I know this probably belongs in the suspension/brakes section, but I want to put it here so it will get more exposure.
I'm sure almost everyone here that has done suspension work has had their fair share of damaged ABS/VSS cables. I think its senseless to pay $200-250 for a whole new sensor when only the wire is busted. Here is how to fix it and save that money
Direct link to my ProjectGS DIY site, easier and cleaner version if you want to print it out.
The stuff on my page is the same stuff as below.
by: Jeff Tsai
Repairing ABS/VSS Sensor Cable
Sharp Utility Knife (sharper blade will make stripping the small wires easier)
Heavy Duty Electrical Tape
Liquid Electrical Tape
Soldering Iron with Fine Tip
Electrical Grade Solder
This is a cable that several people damage when doing brake or suspension work. A new sensor usually costs about $200 from the dealer. The cable is easily damaged if tugged or bumped. I think its senseless to buy a whole new sensor when only the cable is broken. This guide will be a basic overview on how to save you $200. The most obvious requirement is that you need to have some basic electrical knowledge, but nothing over the top. You also need somewhat good soldering skills since you will be working with a wire that is about 18 gauge. I broke my cable when installing my TRD sway bars upside down! Heh, yes stupid but everything bolted up and there were no instructions in the box
. I'm not the only one that has made this mistake, but here is the cure to your problem if this has happened to you.
Start by inspecting the wire for any physical breaks. Easy ones to find are external rips/cuts/tears in the outer rubber insulation. Tough ones to find are the internal breaks. For the internally broken wire, you will have to squeeze/bend around with your fingers on the wire to find where it is severed inside. It will be a pretty obvious flat spot on the wire if it was smashed by something (upside down sway bar
). The third possibility will be a wire that is broken at the connector plug or the solder joints on the actual sensor. This guide will cover how to fix a break in the middle of the wire. If someone sends me a cable to fix that has a break at the sensor or connector, then I will add to this guide.
After finding the break in the wire, cut the wire all the way through at the break point. Strip away about 1/2 inch of the rubber insulation with sharp scissors. Then use the sharp razor blade or sharp utility knife and strip away a tiny bit of the insulation on the two wires. Just follow the above picture and you should be set.
Just to make sure the sensor is working and there are no breaks further down in the wire, check the resistance across the two wires. It should be around 1.6-1.7K Ohms. Follow the above picture.
Now solder the two wires together. Make sure the solder does not bind the black and white wires. Follow above picture.
Use the electrical tape and wrap around one wire then all the way around the whole thing. Or you can wrap each wire individually, I'm just used to doing it this way because it's faster. Anyways, follow the above picture.
Now is the cool part. This liquid electrical tape will seal everything up so it's watertight. Just apply it around any exposed areas so it covers to the rubber.
Here's a picture of the finished application of the liquid insulation. Let coating sit for 10-15 minutes for full cure before touching it. Once you finish, test the resistance at the connector and make sure its 1.6-1.7K Ohms if it checks out, then you're good to go. If the resistance is still incorrect, then you either have a break somewhere else in the wire, or a break at the sensor.
Now, go reinstall the sensor on your car and get rid of those pesky ABS, VSC, VSC OFF lights!
-2006- Jeff Tsai