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ABS Sensor Leads

Mr. Anderson

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Recently, I had some time to look at the front ABS leads. (My ABS light has been on for some time, but I knew the front sensors were throwing codes, and I haven't got around to looking at them.) Upon looking at the leads, I discovered that the furry woodland creatures of my house had been chewing on the insulation, and through some of the wires.

I'm probably beating a dead horse here, but what are some ways that I can repair the sensor leads without having to go buy some new ones?

I will try and get a picture of the damaged leads up tomorrow when I'm back at the car.

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I have in the last month tried 1" shrink wrap. I think it is going to work. I have close to 2 thousand miles on them and have driven them in rain. In no way do they look stock, but they work. Today I put the Red in storage for the winter so the experiment is done for the year. I am supposed to be getting 6 front ABS leads this week [4 are already sold] that are supposed to be good so I may have 2 to sell.

Getting back to the shrink wrap. The place was called www.buyheatshrink.com I bought tubes that were 4' long and will shrink 1" down to 1/4" [4-1] If you go this way you have to buy the 1" diameter as it is the smallest size that fits over the inner fender plug. But remember if your leads don't work, they must be repaired before using the heat shrink.

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Guest Mc_Reatta

While this horse has been beaten before, it's a long ways from being dead.

The wire is a single conductor with a braided metal shield serving as the second conductor despite what the FSM shows.

Most trouble starts when the insulation wears or cracks off exposing the braid to the elements.

Catching it early before the braiding is significantly damaged there a number of coatings that have been tried with various levels of success.

Plasti Dip, Marine Liquid Rubber, Silicone Sealant coatings have been used and also have been mixed with heat shrink tubing also. The ony reports back so far seems to be Plasti Dip has a short life span, and using heat shrink decreases the flexibility of the cable somewhat but not terribly.

If your braid has been chewed thru, you could attempt to repair/patch with solder, copper foil and/or copper solder wick prior to coating. This type of repair will not be very flexible, so if in a high flex area it may not holdup well.

If your cable has been completely chewed thru you're in for some work, but you can repair the center conductor and cover with heat shrink, then repair the braid and coat and then heat shrink over it all too. Hopefully this did not occur in a high flex area as this area will be pretty stiff.

Good luck and report back

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Justa word of caution. Some of the sensors have "welded themselves to the housing in which they are installed. If it doesn't come out after a bit of coaxing, your better off leaving it installed and working on the cabling in situ.

John F.

That's a good point. If they don't come out repair as best you can installed. If they do come out completely, when you do the reinstall use a product like "anti-seize". But if your attempts to remove the sensor leaves the barrel in the hub and the "guts" and sensor lead in your hand, do your repair to the lead. Then run a bead of silicone around the outside of the barrel still in the hub. The bolt of the lead will draw down the sensor head squishing the silicone and giving you a weatherproof seal. I have done one this way on the Black and have gone two winters [the Black is my winter Reatta] and about 15,000 miles and have had no trouble.

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Guest Mc_Reatta

The location you've indicated is a good area to conduct a repair. The two grommets hold the cable still there where they attach to the strut.

The worst would be the section where the number 3 points to in the sketch. That's where the full turning and vertical motion of the wheel flexes the cable the most as it reaches over to the fender.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright guys, good news! I was able to repair the sensor leads! :D

Now for what I did, with some pictures...


So, this is what I started with on the front passenger side. The section where the braided wire was exposed was where the main trouble was located. I ended up removing the sensor and cleaning the magnet area (very dirty) and tested continuity with an ohmmeter. I received no reading from the meter. What I ended up doing was removing the insulation around the damaged wires and crimping the wires together like a twist-tie, and then covered the area with what was left of the braided insulation. After that, I sealed everything with liquid tape and covered with heat shrink and electrical tape. (The 2nd pic is the finished product) I also covered any other exposed areas with electrical tape. When it was all said and done, I rechecked with an ohmmeter. It showed roughly 1100 ohms. :D


As for the one on the front drivers side, it looked identical to the one on the passenger side (pic 1). However, when I checked with an ohmmeter, it read around 1100 ohms. :D I covered all exposed areas with electrical tape and covered the larger area with liquid tape, heat shrink, and electrical tape, just like the other sensor.

After everything was hooked back up, I started the car, and after the normal test that the ABS does, the light went out and stayed out!!:D I took it for a drive, and everything worked perfectly. Hopefully this will be a fix that lasts for a long time! :)

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