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    • Rick

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8-Ball

ABS light on?

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We have a 97 Explorer that recently decided to show the ABS light on the dash computer. The owners manual says zip about it, or how to fix. Any ideas? Thx, 8-Ball.

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I've experienced several Fords that just remove, clean and reinstall the differential sensor solved the problem - enough metal debris to cause bad input. I recommend changing the fluid at the same time. Most Fords require 75W-140 synthetic.

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It wouldn't hurt to at least get it scanned to see what the code is before you start the goose chase. Most parts stores will be able to give you a code for no charge if you want to go that route. Please don't take there advice unless you know who you are dealing with!!

The rear dif abs sensor is bolted to the top of the pumpkin. You'll see it if you look for it.

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This sensor is bolted into the top of the rear diff with a 10 mm bolt. It is the speed sensor that the abs module uses to determine rear wheel speed. If you can find a parts store that will pull the abs code out of it, that would be your best bet.

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Both front wheels have one, and if your truck has traction assist then there isnt one in the rear diff, then each rear wheel would have one. I guess I should have asked earlier if it had traction assist!

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4- I really don't know. it is AWD-full-time 4WD. So, it could be more than one ABS sensor... If it is AWD it probably would not have traction assist, no?

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Quote:
Doesn't the one on the differential provide a signal for the speedo or am I thinking of something else?

The vss should be in the trans on the Explorer

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Air- so it is safe to drive until I figure out/fix the problem? I read something on the internet that said if the ABS light was not not fixed it was like a 1500.00 repair job. Is that incorrect?

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Most vehicles dont have it! If it has it, there will be a switch (button) on the center console that will have T/A on it! Also when it is icy out the T/A will apply the abs and limit power to the truck. My guess is you dont have it. It was a special order option back then.

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Air- so it is safe to drive until I figure out/fix the problem? I read something on the internet that said if the ABS light was not not fixed it was like a 1500.00 repair job. Is that incorrect?

Abs will not effect base breaking when the light is on. So no, it wont be a safety issue other then not have abs. A repair being $1500 would have been a abs HCU, and a few other parts thrown at it! Your best bet would be to bring it in and have them pull codes from it, otherwise its only speculation! As airjer said, some parts stores will scan it for you and pull the codes at no charge!

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I just called the local Checker and they only have ability to scan check engine light. I will call a few more places. I don't feel like paying $100/hr for the dealer to check something that apparently takes 5 min. Anyone know a place that will scan it?

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I made some calls but no-one will scan/pull the codes for less than $45-so I am taking it to a local place here in N.B. tomorrow morning. I am relieved to know that as Air and 4 have said, it is safe to drive the old beast and that the brakes are still doing there thing, just not sending the message to the wheels to employ the ABS. I will post results of diagnosis tomorrow. Thanks 4 and Airjer for your assistance! 8-Ball.

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Well, the problem is the left front speed sensor is out. Is it easy to replace myself? I am not doing this asap as I understand the brakes are still doing their job without the ABS, but I plan to fix it in the next few week s (if I can do it, that is). Is it do-able for me to fix it myself? Shop quoted me 340.00 to fix it, which is not going to happen. I will either try it myself or just leave it go. The truck has 196 thous. on it and I am done putting $ into it...

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I believe this one is part of the bearing/hub assy. If this is 4 wheel drive, its alittle tougher to do, and the part costs a little more ($175-4wd, $85-2wd). But in either case it is a doable job at home! When the time comes if you need more help, dont be afraid to ask for installation instructions.

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Its a bolt in hub assembly. Three bolts, an axle nut, and a little persuasion from a hammer and it should come right out. The big thing is to re torque the axle nut after you install the new bearing. Failure to do so will result in the premature failure of the new bearing.

As much as I hate ABS I do understand the importance of its safety. If you need it and you don't have it because of a relatively inexpensive repair that was neglected, was it really worth not fixing?

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Air and 4- We had the left front bearing/hub assembly replaced approx. 1 yr.ago - so I am going to see if it is still under warranty. It wasn't cheap either-as I painfully recall about 700$ or so. We are going to the cabin for a week 8/16 so this will have to wait a little bit.. I will probably look you up after we get back. Thx, 8-Ball.

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