Anti Lock Brake Trouble

BRush

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#1
We had a big nor’easter that dumped a lot of snow and ice this weekend. My bike hauler, a 98 Ford E150 van has anti-lock brakes and I’ve discovered that the “anti-lock” part is no longer working. This things skids on the ice just fine. I’m just trying to get a little background info before I take it into the dealer. What are some of the reasons this system might fail? Am I looking at a high $$$ repair.

Thanks.
 

High Lord Gomer

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#2
The Anti-lock light and the brake light both came on on my 2000 E450. It turned out to be the rear wheel speed sensor that bolts on top of the rear differential. I think it was $20 or $30.
 

BRush

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#3
Thanks. That's good suggestion, though my light has never come on.
 

jboomer

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#4
The ABS module in my '99 Silverado stuck in the "on" position about six months ago. Basically, whenever you turn the ignition on, you constantly get that "vibrating" sound from the ABS. I had to pull the fuse for the ABS to shut it off. The cheapest price I could find to replace it was $700 not including labor (about $100 they said). Now, I drive without an ABS!
 

BRush

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#5
I did some more testing tonight on some snowy roads. The anti-lock is cycling the brakes on & off, but the cycle rate is glacially slow. It skids for a full second, then the brakes release and it rolls for another second, then the brakes again. It should pulsing several times per second. Time to take it to the shop.
 
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#6
are you driving in 4wd? some systems dont work well or are locked out in 4wd, aslo how are your base brakes? abs only works right if your base brakes are ok, no leaking axle seals or wheel cylinders etc. without a light on or a scan tool hooked up it will be hard to check, but your base brakes should be good before you check the abs or you could run into much more money when you go to have it checked
 

tnrider

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#7
my 99 ranger's abs light went on recently - light-on immediately followed wheel spin while stuck in a hole in 4wd-high. had to shut off motor to make reset. abs worked fine after that - i tried on snow/ice covered roads

i had abs failure one time when the ranger was new - on dry gravel - they said it was metal shavings (from mfg) that got jammed in unit. sounded fishy considering that was the same excuse they gave when my 98 explorer took it upon itself to decide when to shift into and out of 4wd. of course could just be that ford leaves metal shavings in all wheel assemblies... :^)
 

BRush

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#9
Originally posted by yo its matt!
are you driving in 4wd? some systems dont work well or are locked out in 4wd, aslo how are your base brakes? abs only works right if your base brakes are ok, no leaking axle seals or wheel cylinders etc. without a light on or a scan tool hooked up it will be hard to check, but your base brakes should be good before you check the abs or you could run into much more money when you go to have it checked
The van's only a 2wd and I just spent a chunk of change last August having the brakes redone, so they should be in reasonable shape. I'm hoping for the low-dollar speed sensor cause, but I suppose it could go either way. I'll let you guys know what the root cause turns out to be.
 
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#10
im not sure on a ford if you have 3 wheel speed sensor of 4, you can unhook the sensor connector and check ohms from left side to right side they should be the same, if you only have 1 in the rear that make this harder, the rear sensor often has different resistance value than the front. also on an a/c volt scale you can spin the wheel and you should make voltage but be careful not to spread the terminals when you check this thats one of the worst mistakes even professional techs make, turns 1 problem into many.