TJs and ABS problems -
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-12-2021, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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2001 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ronkonkoma
Posts: 98
TJs and ABS problems

Ok here's my situation. I have a 2001 TJ with ABS (apparently not that common according to a local Jeep specialist, at least as far as he see's in his very busy shop) and the light recently came on. I bought an ABS scanner which would not communicate with my TJ or provide and codes, then took it to autozone who said there were no codes and they were unable to reset light. Finally went to a local Jeep specialist. It took him a while with his equipment but finally determined there is a problem with one of the pumps in the ABS module. He did some quick research and informed me that new replacement parts are totally not available. The only possibility would be a used one (if able to find one) and, if used, no guarantee that it would work or last. The other suggestion he gave was to totally scrap the ABS and get replacement proportion valves and lines all around (also his preferred method if it were his Jeep). I asked about just pulling the relay and using as is and he would not comment saying he was unsure how that would work as there are pumps etc in the module that the brake lines and fluid go through. Also indicated that this would not kill the ABS light on the dash. After a few minutes we did pull the single relay on my TJ as a temporary measure until he could do more research and/or try to find parts. Well when I got back in to leave and started her dash light ! so at least that isn't staring me in the face any longer. Once home, I poked around online and found a couple of complete module units "guaranteed to fit and work" one was almost $500, the other only slightly cheaper. I like the idea of ABS in theory, especially on wet roads as I feel Jeeps in general aren't great on wet pavement let alone the 33s I'm sporting. Honestly though, I can only really remember it kicking in while driving in snow. I now live in Florida so that is no longer an issue. I'm just trying to figure out if the simple pulling of the relay is enough and to just go about my business without the ABS activated or if there are issues with the lines and fluid going through deactivated pumps full time. Should I attempt to locate a used (refurbished) part and have the Jeep guy install hoping all will be well? should I just go ahead and tell him to redo the entire braking system to totally eliminate the ABS? I currently feel no issues in the pedal or otherwise with the relay pulled.

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post #2 of 6 Old 06-12-2021, 06:28 PM
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Rio Linda
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You are fine to run the rig as it is
You will have normal braking

Quick version
ABS works by sensing a wheel locking up, then it opens a valve in that line to release brake pressure thus preventing the wheel from locking up. It does this quickly and repeatedly until all the wheels are turning 'equally'
The light on the dash is to inform you the system has been 'turned off' due to an issue with the system

Your brakes will not be effected unless there is a leak/blockage in the ABS hydraulic unit
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-13-2021, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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2001 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ronkonkoma
Posts: 98
Thanks, are you saying put the relay back in ? light is out now and ABS not functional due to no relay so that's the same as relay in, light on, not functioning correct ?
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-13-2021, 09:55 AM
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Location: Rio Linda
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The relay is an electrical component, doesn't effect the normal braking
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-13-2021, 10:23 AM
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis
Posts: 29,082
Pull the relay. Brakes will function as a non-ABS Jeep. ABS hardware can remain as is. I pulled the relays only on my ABS XJ, 15 years and +100,000 miles later, no problems.

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts,
not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution” Abraham Lincoln, 1859.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-13-2021, 05:14 PM
Jerry Bransford
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2004 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Escondido, California
Posts: 72,261
X2 to the above advice to disable your ABS system by leaving the ABS relay out, normal braking will not be affected or degraded in the least. I had to do that after replacing my rear Dana 35 with a Dana 44 that did not have an ABS ability and drove it for years like that without problem.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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