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Old 08-21-2012, 10:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ABS shut off switch?

I've recently had the thought of using a normally closed relay and putting it inline with the ABS pump power.

idea being that when the relay is energized it will disable the ABS system making for better braking in muddy/slippery type conditions when I'm out on the trail.

my hypothesis is that the ABS light will come on to let me know it has been deactivated and will turn back off after i turn the switch off (maybe after a key cycle?) to let me know the system is functioning as i do love it for street driving.

has anyone else thought of this? better yet anyone done this? am i missing anything as to why this may be a bad idea? reason for this is i ran into a situation last winter where ABS hurt me more than helped. would like to have this cured by this winter so i can feel a bit more comfortable about it.

Last edited by kirtydandra; 08-21-2012 at 10:38 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think that is an excellent idea. I don't think it would be very difficult to figure out as the ABS unit under my hood, on the passenger side, just inboard and forward of the right-front strut tower should be easy enough to tap into.

I suppose a simple disconnect of any wires leading to that unit may give you an illustration of what you could expect with the added switch! If you have a greasy enough place to slam on the brakes, that would be a good test for the unplugged wire(s)!
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The only downside is a bit of a reach, but IF you were in an accident and IF they thought for some reason your ABS didn't work and IF they found the altered ABS wiring your insurance company could possibly screw you good by claiming the ABS didn't work and the lack of ABS caused the accident- even if it actually did work.

A truly paranoid person would not put in a switch but would swap the ABS fuse out with a burned-out fuse, but I don't think things are to that point... yet.

I have a few hills near me that when the snow is greasy if I want to stop (no matter how slow I am going down them) there is only one way- kill the key.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes an easy and cheap mod indeed.

I didn't think of the insurance issue. I realistically think the only time it would be scrutinized that hard is if there was a fatality in said accident?

Maybe I'll get sneaky and hide everything nicely.

But I believe whether abs or not here in WA you'd just get a "unable to control your vehicle" or a "following to closely" ticket.

I am definitely going to be doing this mod in the near future and will post on this thread with pics and final results, costs, etc.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's a neat idea. There are a few situations where I wish I could disable ABS (I've got one of those slick hills that Dave describes around here--even going 10 MPH it's still terrifying when ABS kicks on because there's no way I'll stop when that happens!).

It should be easy to do. I don't think the ABS would come back on until you cycle the key, though. I had my ABS light come on twice last winter because I think I got enough snow and ice on a wheel sensor to mess with it (a guess, but it hasn't come on since). As soon as I pulled over and cycled the key (both times), it went out and the ABS worked again. That would be very easy to test, just by pulling the fuse and putting it back in while the vehicle is running.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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so with the engine running i pulled the #18 10A fuse on the inside panel. owners manual labels it as the ABS Control/Cruise Control fuse.

the result being with the fuse pulled the ABS light on dash was illuminated. reinstalled the fuse and the light goes out!!! no key cycle necessary!

so now i just need to figure what wire at the pump to tap into for the same result and ill have "on-the-fly" ABS control which is exactly as i hoped for.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know that abs failures that trigger the light may also trigger a limp in mode activation in some vehicles. Don't know about Subarus. Had a speed sensor failure on my Mountaineer that caused this.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That's because the tranny lost output speed. Different scenario that affected multiple systems. I suppose that could happen too. But since I'll be tapping into pump power or ABS module power it will only set a localized DTC for ABS only and shouldn't affect any other systems. Very good thought though!
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm not to up on the electric parking break but with a manual parking break in my MB I just engage it and that locks the back wheels. Was never sure what the fronts were doing but I would guess that ABS is still operating and maintaining some sort of steerage. Not sure how this would work for you. The parking break is a very useful tool and going to this electric one is the only thing on the OB and many new cars I don't care for. Could be I just need to get used to it but for the life of me I don't know why you would pull out a purely mechanical emergency break. Anyway just a thought, I don't live where snow is that much of an issue.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake2c View Post
I'm not to up on the electric parking break but with a manual parking break in my MB I just engage it and that locks the back wheels. Was never sure what the fronts were doing but I would guess that ABS is still operating and maintaining some sort of steerage. Not sure how this would work for you. The parking break is a very useful tool and going to this electric one is the only thing on the OB and many new cars I don't care for. Could be I just need to get used to it but for the life of me I don't know why you would pull out a purely mechanical emergency break. Anyway just a thought, I don't live where snow is that much of an issue.
My power ebrake functioned like abs when i did a panic stop with it at 25mph. Well sort of, they locked up... Then released... Locked up... Released... Till the car stopped.

Wish I had a manual one.
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