I'm not drilling into a roof ever again. Like I've said everything works great. Even on side band. I just was curious about making sure that grounding wasn't going to be an issue due to the aluminum body and that I had mounted the antenna correctly.
No, it’s a bad location.
How well you want the radio to work is up to you. I generally can talk with a driver in the opposite direction for ten miles. Five in front and five behind.
Your area is tough. Traffic volume, power lines and hills.
A stake-pocket mount, starboard-rear would work great. 102” whip.
(You may have “reasons” as to avoiding better mounts, but you’d be best off with some experiments.)
Big AM aerials were the norm for almost fifty years on LEO vehicles. So they’re in no way an impediment to any work. Tie down when not used. .
That antenna not as good a choice as a top load that will reach to 13’5”.
Skipshooter an excellent brand for that.
Antenna needs to be atop or AWAY from cab.
1). The rack has to be RF bonded to the bed. Both sides.
2). The bed to the frame. All four corners and twice to the cab.
3). The cab to the frame. All four corners.
4). The hood also
RF bonds are not DC grounds.
You can buy premade woven copper braid straps. Need to be short, a foot or less. 1/4” screws & tooth washers. Scrape paint to primer not bare.
Power should be fused POS to BATT and non-fused NEG to nearest sheetmetal. See Motorola instructions. Or Ford Upfitter Guide.
A Motorola or Kenwood Public Service external speaker will help.
See other threads here on the McKinley and the stock mic (or aftermarket). Keep a spare.
An Apache 2800 or 3800 case to keep it safe. (Harbor Freight).
FWIW, I’ve yet to hear acceptable radio performance with a rack mount antenna. As you have it, or off to side.
By acceptable, I mean, stays in range long enough to take 3-4 questions and answers, at highway speed. I see the same very bad mount all over the USA.
Roof-mount you’d practically be king of the hill. And, no, I’m not exaggerating. I’d have a Wilson 5000 Mag Mount any day over the rack mount.
Glue some steel under the roof headliner.
You can put in a 350W amp with $500 radio with that rack mount (improved) and I’d outtalk you (where all else was the same) with a Little Wil Mag Mount and a 35W Brand X radio.
I know it because I’ve done it.
An permanent-install roof antenna is the default choice.
Chassis Punch: the clean & easy way.
How far you hear (at present) is quite far off from how far you can be heard. Radio watts won’t change that favorably.
Do what you will, but remember that moving an antenna around is pretty cheap. The vehicle is (literally) one-half the antenna system. Which is 10X the weight of the radio.