Lightning in a World of Thunder

Last updated: April 4, 2000

Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 02:48:14 -0800
From: Stephen Stanley (

The following information is taken from the European Workshop Manual Supplement, dated 7/94, as a result it may not apply to all FD's out there, but may be worth a try. It is certainly going to be safer that Dana's recommended oil slick technique - furthermore, you won't get the EPA complaining about the pollution you cause when the oil slick runs off into the sewers.

  1. Make sure that the ABS memory error codes have been cleared from memory [connect TBS to GND in the diagnostic connector, turn ignition on (don't start engine), press the brake pedal 10 times at intervals of less than 1 second. If successful, the ABS warning light will come on for 3 seconds, then go out] Remove jumper wire and turn igntion off.

  2. Make sure your battery is fullly charged, when you turn the ignition on, the ABS light should come on for 2-4 seconds, then go out.

  3. Assuming the above succeeds.... and the manual only worries if the light stays lit

  4. Jack up the car and support it on safety stands. Ensure the car is in neutral (or N if an auto)

  5. Release the parking brake

  6. Rotate each wheel by hand and inspect for brake drag (not sure the of relevance of that step)

  7. Connect a jumper wire between TBS and GND in the daignostics connector

  8. With ignition off, get an assistant to press the brake pedal and ensure the right front wheel stops

  9. With the brake pedal still depressed, turn the ignition switch on and verify that the brake is released momentarily (approx 0.5 secs) and that the wheel turns when pressure-reduction operates.

  10. Check remaining wheel in the following order: Left Front, Right Rear, Left Rear

  11. If steps 9 and 10 show correct operation, then the following systems are ok:
    - - Brake piping to ABS hydraulic unit
    - - braking system including ABS hydraulic unit
    - - electrical system in ABS hydraulic unit (solenoid, ABS motor etc)
    - - ABS control module, its output system (solenoid, relay etc) and harness
    The following items are not tested using the above procedure:
    - - Input system and harness of ABS control module
    - - Intermittent failure
    - - fluid leakage

    Hope this helps

    I particularly like step 12:

  12. replace the ABS hydraulic unit if necessary


Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 13:33:50 -0800
From: "Ulen, Robert S" (

ABS ECU (Reference page P-46 of the Workshop Manual)

  1. With engine OFF, short "TBS" to "GND" terminals in the diagnostic plug (located on LH engine bay wheel well near battery). There is a "map" of the plug terminals located inside the plug lid.

  2. Turn the ignition switch ON, but do not start the engine.

  3. Read any stored trouble codes on the ABS Warning light. If no codes are stored, the light will come on for approx. 2 seconds, then go out. If code(s) are stored, the ABS Warning light will flash as follows to indicate code number. A Long flash represents the tens digit (10, 20, 30, etc.), and a short flash represents the ones digit (1 thru 9). Example: Long, short, short flash represents code 12. If any trouble codes are found, refer to page P-48 of the Workshop Manual for trouble shooting details. The Check Engine light stays ON during the ABS trouble code check.

  4. Cancel any stored trouble codes as follows: With the "TBS" and "GND" terminals still shorted, and the ignition switch still ON, press the brake pedal 10 times at a rate of more than once per second. Ref. page P-47 of Workshop Manual.

Note: In the non-troubleshooting mode, if the ABS Warning light remains ON or flashes (when car is stopped) 2 to 4 seconds after the ignition switch is turned ON, there probably are stored codes in the ABS control unit due to a malfunction. The ABS will not operate if codes are present. Ref. page P-53 of the Workshop Manual.

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