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ABS light on (one possible fix)


JerryC

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Putting this here for general knowledge for anybody that searches for ABS fixes.
My ABS light started blinking on at random times for a few weeks until finally staying lit permanently. The blinking on and off led me to think it was connection issue.
The fix was to clean the contacts in the connector at the "electro-hydraulic brake proportioning valve" on the drivers side frame rail near the rear tire. I lightly scraped the four pins with a small screwdriver, washed them down with contact cleaner and used dielectric grease to seal out dirt and moisture when I reconnected it.
 


XTC90BII

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Jerry C

My ABS light issue was the ABS wheel speed sensor. Changed out the sensor for $20 bucks plus shipping from RockAuto and no more ABS blinking light. I had already changed out the ABS valve when I completely redid everything on the rear brakes.

Dennis
 
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JerryC

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Jerry C

My ABS light issue was the ABS wheel speed sensor. Changed out the sensor for $20 bucks plus shipping from RockAuto and no more ABS blinking light. I had already changed out the ABS valve when I completely redid everything on the rear brakes.

Dennis
I had replaced it while ago, the connector was broken and I replaced that too. This time around I pulled it and inspected it and I moved on to the connector at the brake valve.

I have read where others simply pulled and cleaned off the wheel speed sensor, but mine was clean.

One thing about the wheel speed sensor, if you don't get it seated fully you will get a weird brake feel when you stop. It does something like a bump just before you stop. Guess how I know that :)
 

wildbill23c

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Fixed mine with a piece of electrical tape..the light is just covered up LOL. Light is on solid all the time, pretty annoying especially at night.

Haven't bothered trying to figure out what the problem is, wouldn't surprise me if there's a broken sensor and/or wire somewhere.
 

JerryC

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LOL, I've done the tape fix before myself for the same reason, it kicked on and it was too distracting on the drive to work in the dark.
I was working on the trans yesterday and the light is back. ABS and the trans are the two things that keep me up at night. tape for now until I figure this out (again).
 

wildbill23c

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I think my next solution will be to pull the stupid bulb out...seems like the ABS in these older vehicles was more of a pain in the ass than a help anyways.
 

XTC90BII

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Well my ABS light came back on yesterday when I started the BII for the first time. I started driving and in a mile or 2 it went out and stayed out until I made a stop. When I restarted the BII it came back on and stayed on for a couples of miles and went off again. When I got home I crawled under the BII and checked the wheel speed sensor connection and everything was connected in good shape and no leaks from where I had installed the new one a couple of weeks ago? My thoughts are that I might need to replace the ABS module which would be the last thing in the entire braking system that has not been replaced other than the master cylinder. Any thoughts

Dennis
 

JerryC

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You could try the flash-out code for the ABS, I don't remember the procedure but it's probably online somewhere.

I'm guessing that the brake fluid is good since you have replaced most of the parts. How was the fluid when you started working on the brakes? If it was old and nasty you might have some crud still in the system and fouling up the RABS valve.

Mine has been mostly working lately, for no particular reason. The tape is till over the light.
 

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My rear ABS got the same problem and that's because of a cracked VSS.
 

JerryC

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My rear ABS got the same problem and that's because of a cracked VSS.
I replaced the VSS today and the ABS light is off. I put about 65 miles on it today and it stayed off. Not saying that is the fix yet as it has been intermittent in the past.

However, my trans is doing much better with the new VSS. Shifting is more consistent and in the right places now and the torque converter is locking up consistently as well.

A big thanks for the heads-up, I never would have thought to replace the VSS without your suggestion.
 

JerryC

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Well, the ABS light popped on while coming to slow stop this morning... :(
It did clear on restart, I'll give it a little bit before it gets the electrical tape fix again.

Trans is still working good. :)
 

JerryC

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After another 50+ miles of no ABS light, and the light popped on as I stopped in my driveway. It has stayed on for a couple of trips and about another 35 miles.

Looks like the electrical tape fix is coming back.

One thing I noticed is the brake pedal is firmer and higher now, I think that's a clue but I haven't figured out where it is pointing at.
 

wildbill23c

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Well, I guess I'll save the time and not mess with the VSS right now then HAHA!!!. I'll just use some of that black electrical tape :).

I've noticed the brake pedal is pretty firm in my B2 as well compared to my 84 B2 and 84 Ranger.

Not having ABS isn't any big deal to me, and since it was only rear ABS anyhow it was pretty pointless in the first place.

After the $212 repair bill which turned out to be the rear 2 spark plugs 1 on each side of the engine being full of carbon making it run on 4 cylinders I'm not too worried about doing too much more. Think I'll just save up the money and do an engine swap next spring and then keep this engine and slowly rebuild it for a spare. Engine currently is burning oil pretty bad and leaks oil everywhere.
 

JerryC

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The vss did make my transmission work much better.

Your plug and oil problem. By any chance do you park facing up hill? My 86 had gummed up under the valve covers and that was restricting the return oil flow. I could see a possibility where oil could pool and with old valve seals get into the cylinders.
 

JerryC

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The other day I was working on the rear sway bar to see if I could soften up the rear suspension (it worked) and while doing that it passed close by the ABS sensor on the rear end. I unplugged the sensor while moving the sway bar around. When I was done I plugged it back in.

When I got it all bolted back together and went for a test drive the ABS light was off. I'm seeing a pattern here, unplugging/reconnecting any part of the ABS sensor connections (rear, vss, controller) turns off the ABS light for some period of time.
 

wildbill23c

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The vss did make my transmission work much better.

Your plug and oil problem. By any chance do you park facing up hill? My 86 had gummed up under the valve covers and that was restricting the return oil flow. I could see a possibility where oil could pool and with old valve seals get into the cylinders.
Nope parked on flat ground. It just burns and loses that much oil.

Hmm, maybe I should pull the valve covers and have a look and see if its sludged up...UGG, never ending battle. Combined with a fuel leak at the stupid fuel reservoir under the driver's side frame area which I'm waiting on parts for.
 

wildbill23c

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The other day I was working on the rear sway bar to see if I could soften up the rear suspension (it worked) and while doing that it passed close by the ABS sensor on the rear end. I unplugged the sensor while moving the sway bar around. When I was done I plugged it back in.

When I got it all bolted back together and went for a test drive the ABS light was off. I'm seeing a pattern here, unplugging/reconnecting any part of the ABS sensor connections (rear, vss, controller) turns off the ABS light for some period of time.
Hmm, bad wiring/connections somewhere. I haven't messed with mine at all, its running and driving I'll leave well enough alone LOL.
 

James H

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You could try the flash-out code for the ABS, I don't remember the procedure but it's probably online somewhere.

I'm guessing that the brake fluid is good since you have replaced most of the parts. How was the fluid when you started working on the brakes? If it was old and nasty you might have some crud still in the system and fouling up the RABS valve.

Mine has been mostly working lately, for no particular reason. The tape is till over the light.
Pulling flash codes is easy, the ECU us in the b pillar behind the driver seat, open the access panel, there is a a single wire with a connection, jump it to ground with the key on and count the flashes. Here are pics for my (87 b2/ranger) shop manual. Stat here and I can add pics of the next stop for you, o woul add them all but there like 30 more pages, but this will get you started. To every one: I have the (87) manual from Ford, and a quite a few other chiltont's and Hanes manuals. If you need info, just msg me and I can look it up for you guys. I have a dozen books I don't seem to use cause my truck just won't brake on me... Lol..no matter how hard I try....


Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
 

JerryC

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My latest entry in this saga. A few months ago I had a fuel issue. The 12v wire was loose at the high pressure pump. It had been replaced before by some previous owner.

How could this possibly effect the ABS system? When it was replaced previously the harness was behind the FP bracket and seems that it got pinched or rubbed through somehow. I haven't gone digging into the harness yet. The ABS light has been off since that time and I've been waiting to be sure it would stay off. I'm at about 500 miles since I fixed the FP wire.
 

JerryC

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Following up, the light stayed of until about a month ago. I noticed the pedal felt squishy that day. Went out the next day to drive it and saw a puddle under the right rear.
Leaky wheel cylinder. Took me a couple of weeks to get around to fixing it. Light's been out since I fixed it.
 

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