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Broke your ABS/VSC sensor? Here's how to fix it!

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Old 10-05-06, 11:08 PM   #1
JeffTsai
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Smile Broke your ABS/VSC sensor? Here's how to fix it!

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.
http://www.projectgs.com/DIY/SuspBrake/ABSVSC/index.htm

The stuff on my page is the same stuff as below.
===========================================
ProjectGS DIY
by: Jeff Tsai

Repairing ABS/VSS Sensor Cable

Recommended Tools:

Multimeter
Sharp Utility Knife (sharper blade will make stripping the small wires easier)
Heavy Duty Electrical Tape
Liquid Electrical Tape
Soldering Iron with Fine Tip
Sharp Scissors
Electrical Grade Solder
Pliers
Click the image to open in full size.


Introduction:
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.

Instructions:
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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now solder the two wires together. Make sure the solder does not bind the black and white wires. Follow above picture.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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!

FINISHED!


ProjectGS DIY
-2006- Jeff Tsai
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Old 10-05-06, 11:40 PM   #2
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Nice pics man! Great write up!
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Old 10-06-06, 01:27 AM   #3
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dude- VERY good write up.
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Old 10-06-06, 07:44 AM   #4
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jeff,

great write up.
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Old 10-06-06, 08:20 AM   #5
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this could save DIYers some $$$.
one thing thing I'd have done different would be to put small heatshrinks on each individual wire here before soldering.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-06-06, 11:39 AM   #6
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Thats AWSOME Jeff, great piece of info
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Old 10-06-06, 09:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckb View Post
this could save DIYers some $$$.
one thing thing I'd have done different would be to put small heatshrinks on each individual wire here before soldering.
Well, yeah I did heat shrink tubing on another set, but you have to cut out more of the rubber insulation. Reason being, that the heat moves up the wire when you solder and the tubing shrinks before you have a chance to slide it back over the solder joint. So in short, yes heat shrink tubing can be used, but you're going to have to strip away about 1" of rubber insulation VS 1/2". Since this wire is so short in the first place, I'm trying to cut away as little as possible. The liquid electrical tape keeps everything secured in place and watertight, so the electrical tape inside will never peel/fall off.

Once again, if any of you has a busted ABS/VSS wire that you need repaired and you aren't able to do it yourself...send me a PM and we can set up an arrangement.
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Old 10-07-06, 11:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing Jeff.
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Old 10-08-06, 09:10 AM   #9
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Can this be made into a sticky or maybe start a DIY forum ?
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Old 10-12-06, 07:12 AM   #10
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mine is fine but this info is too good to not give props. awesome work dude!
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Old 10-24-07, 05:50 PM   #11
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Great thread, I just fixed mine, I ripped my passenger side one when I did my lower balljoints.

Now the fun part was I ripped it out inside the plug! I had to shave down the plastic and find the metal connector, I use a peice of RJ45 lan cable and basically made a new cable about 5 inchs in length and coupled up to my old cable. I had to use hot glue and basically build up the connector then covered it all up, it did not look factory lol.

It was a fun job, but it worked out well and it saved me from buying a 300 dollar cable [thats how much they want from the dealerships in Toronto]

After I did it I had to reset the ecu [I pulled the fuse and the negative batt cable for 20 mins] The light still did not go off, I had to drive for about 1 minute and the light went out.
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Old 10-24-07, 08:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffTsai View Post
Well, yeah I did heat shrink tubing on another set, but you have to cut out more of the rubber insulation. Reason being, that the heat moves up the wire when you solder and the tubing shrinks before you have a chance to slide it back over the solder joint. So in short, yes heat shrink tubing can be used, but you're going to have to strip away about 1" of rubber insulation VS 1/2". Since this wire is so short in the first place, I'm trying to cut away as little as possible. The liquid electrical tape keeps everything secured in place and watertight, so the electrical tape inside will never peel/fall off.

Once again, if any of you has a busted ABS/VSS wire that you need repaired and you aren't able to do it yourself...send me a PM and we can set up an arrangement.
Hey Jeff,

I sent you a PM maybe last week about removing the wire b/c I saw your thread. I took a look at it the other day and I'm not too sure how to remove it cable to inspect it. I saw there was a bolt behind the rotor, but then I don't know where else I'm supposed to disconnect it. Could you please help me out with that. THanks in advance
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Old 08-08-08, 10:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taeng View Post
Hey Jeff,

I sent you a PM maybe last week about removing the wire b/c I saw your thread. I took a look at it the other day and I'm not too sure how to remove it cable to inspect it. I saw there was a bolt behind the rotor, but then I don't know where else I'm supposed to disconnect it. Could you please help me out with that. THanks in advance
+1. i completely forgot about the VSS when I was changing my wheel bearings and I tugged on it and now have no ABS or VSC. I looked around but I couldn't find a connector where I can disconnect so I can take it off the car to inspect it.
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Old 08-08-08, 11:09 AM   #14
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You need to remove the a bit of the fender liner (towards the front bumper) . Once you have that opened up a bit, you'll be able to see the connector.
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Old 08-08-08, 03:20 PM   #15
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jeff clear your pm box!
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Old 08-08-08, 03:20 PM
 
 
 
 
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1999, 300, abs, absvsc, broken, gs300, gs400, is350, lexus, reset, scion, senson, sensor, speed, vsc, wire, xb

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