View Full Version : More ABS woes

07-17-2009, 03:07 PM
The hits just keep on comin' folks...

About a year ago (I think) I was having issues, and, thanks to Bryan's help in diagnosing, it turned out to be the accumulator. Ordered one from Priorre and slapped it on, all fixed. Till this morning...hey, at least I went about a year right?

This morning at start up, got both ABS and red brake lights on solid. At first , the brakes had booster pressure and the car stopped fine. About 1 mile down the road, hard as hell brake pedal and no assist. Turned around, came home.

I have 2 spare brown anti-lok relays and swapping them in did no good. Well, let me qualify that-when I switched in the 1st one, the lights went off when I started the car, and I thought- "FIXED"!...Drove 2 miles and both lights came on again and lost assist. Went back home.

The pump;

Weird... because I can depressurize the system and it runs at key on, a while actually,...and at first it sounds normal, than after about 15 seconds it makes a weird noise like a hose with air spurting, or a balloon slowling expelling air...coming from the unit the accumulator is attached to, not the master cylinder/ booster itself.

Then...sometimes I can depressurise the system with key off and then with key on, the pump doesn't run...then it can suddenly come on and run a while.

I don't have a spare black relay to test, as Adam's car has none. I know something's not right with that picture, but it's not there. There were only brown anti-lok and a gray (I'll assume again A/C WOT ) relays. Can't even find the harness connector for the black relay. Anyway, I digress...

Were it not for the fact I just read a long thread on how unhappy many were with the brake feel after removing the ABS system and going to conventional, I'd be there right now.

The car is slowly self destructing on me this year. Too bad it looks so nice because I really am tired with it lately.

Rant off, any help VERY appreciated.

07-17-2009, 06:00 PM
Have you checked for a bad YAK.....:p

Your first description sounds like you have air in the system.....

I just installed an ABS unit into a 92 and it had that exact sound when I turned the key on.....

Pump will run for quite a while then gurgle like it is sucking air.....

Then it will load up, click, and shut off (at least I know that that part of the system is alright)....:o

I am sure bleeding the brakes will fix that problem....:rolleyes:

The intermittent problem that you are experiencing could be from a bad pressure switch or the pump motor failing......

Are you leaking any brake fluid from the pump motor area.....:confused:

07-17-2009, 06:46 PM
Big Dan, I have the Anny sitting here obviously not going to be painted any time soon, if you need something to test a theory with come get it.. Well have to fight the tall grass and the wasps that I'm sure have taken every corner of the car as if it was their own but we'll hook the tractor to it pull it up by the house and get what you need off of it to test with..

Let me know...


P.S. the old girl is rebelling becuase you've stopped showing her off, that's what's wrong with her!!

07-17-2009, 07:47 PM
Dan, according to the shop manual the three relays from left to right are: WOT A/C cutout relay, the Hydraulic pump motor relay, and Anti-lock power relay. It shows two relays for the n/a 3.8l. Also I just found out the Advance auto has one of the relays for $20, I think it's the Anti-lock power relay.
Hang in there, you'll get it figured out and at least you have the Pacer to drive in the meantime.

Duffy Floyd
07-17-2009, 08:49 PM
When is the last time you flushed the system with new brake fluid? To me at sounds like the line from the reservior may be partially plugged.

07-17-2009, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the tips and moral support guys, I am pretty demoralized today, the car was great for 3 years but now seems like it's getting back at me in the last 5 months...

Duffy, I haven't done a fluid swap in forever...last I recall was probably 1998 or so.

Hadn't heard or thought of that possibliity before on this type issue, but coming from you I will certainly entertain it as solid advice.


Stay tuned...I probably won't have any chance this weekend to get into it ( moving Cindy out of her apartment), so it will sit till a time window opens.

07-17-2009, 09:45 PM
If I pull that hose off the bottom of the reservior, besides losing fluid, what are the ramifications? After I snake it out, can I just put it back on and fill the master cylinder up, or do I have to bleed anything?


07-17-2009, 09:49 PM
I would do a system flush also as a first step and then see how it handles it.
Good luck with it.

Duffy Floyd
07-17-2009, 10:14 PM
I would flush and bleed the system. There is no assurance you won't have an air pocket injected into the system if the pump has been running without fluid. No assurance you won't have a air pocket in the line after the R & R too.

I would depressurize the system by pumping the brakes 20 times or more with the ignition off first so when you drain the reservior you have the most "old" fluid out of the system as possible.

I use ATE Super Blue Racing Brake Fluid or ATE Type 200 (amber). Same stuff different color. I made the mistake of not depressurizing the system my last flush evolution and could never get completely clean fluid out (the amber and blue "mixed" gives you GREEN :eek:fluid) I swap back and forth so I know if I have a complete flush. Good fluid too...highest boling point I know of for a DOT 4 fluid. Don't use DOT 5.

Duffy Floyd
07-17-2009, 10:17 PM
Make sure you clean up the mess as best you can....brake fluid and paint don't mix as you know and it is also electrically conductive.

07-18-2009, 08:40 AM
Thanks guys. :)

07-18-2009, 08:49 AM
I've never been able to remove the tube that connects the reservoir to the pump.....:mad:

Kurt K
07-20-2009, 09:10 AM
I've never been able to remove the tube that connects the reservoir to the pump.....:mad:
huh, that tube pratically would fall off on my 89 XR7. I did have to replace that hose as it would leak a lot if the car sat for any length of time.

07-22-2009, 09:54 PM
Check your ignition switch to see if it has begun to come apart. A few years back the 91 had the same symptoms and it turned out to be the switch.

07-23-2009, 08:58 AM
Will do Glenn,

Will add that to the list of things to check into before I decide to take the master cylinder/ pump unit out, problem for me now is time.

Going away this weekend for a week and my work schedule hasn't allowed a chance to do any of it, so when I get back I hope to find out what's going on.

Thanks for all the help fellas, :)

Gerry Rider
07-23-2009, 02:12 PM
Mine started acting pretty squirrelly like that a couple of years ago. After driving me crazy I finally found that the wires going into the connector at the front of the master cylinder were not solidly contacting the connector. Pushed the wires in hard and no problem since.

07-23-2009, 02:54 PM
Thanks Gerry, noted. I've tried all that FWIW...

UPDATE: Got home from work early today and started troubleshooting.

From advice on an old thread which Duffy took part in, I removed the anti-lok relay and probed things with my meter...verified # 3 was hot with key off...next was to check for voltage at pin #2 (pink with white supposedly) and had no power with key on....advice said to then;

"check anti-lok 10 amp fuse in the primary distribution box"...

Ok, is that the fuse box in the engine compartment next to the washer fluid reservior? Because if it is, I see no 10 amp fuse in there whatsover. I see 80...60...30 and 40 amp fuses, a 20 (small) and 5 (small) also.

So I'm on hold at the moment to finish that step.


I did go and jumpered pin # 3 to # 4 as per further advice from that thread, and the pump ran. That's the 1st time I've heard the pump in a week now.

So..the pump works...What does this mean?

Let me know about that anti-lok fuse and where exactly to look.



07-23-2009, 05:23 PM
Found the 10 amp fuse (under dash fuse box)

Fuse looks good...

Well, this is where I'm at, wherever that is...

If I get any free time in the next 2 days I'll try to disconnect the pressure switch harness I guess...

07-24-2009, 11:57 PM
Please check the ing. switch Dan, easy to do & could save you a bunch of work :D

07-25-2009, 09:23 AM
Please check the ing. switch Dan, easy to do & could save you a bunch of work :D

That's on the top of the list Glenn, will do it when I get back in town.

Understanding the system only basically as I do, I can only narrow it down to the ignition switch, the pump pressure switch, or a weird wiring / contact problem.

I'ved changed an ignition switch out before so that's no biggie.


See you guys next Sunday, I'll be out of the country ...
( Always wanted to say that) :)

07-26-2009, 09:27 PM
See you guys next Sunday, I'll be out of the country ...
( Always wanted to say that) :)

Huh..... I guess you've been lying all of these years about your place in Upper Mongolia then. The last time I checked Upper Mongolia was located on another continent. :rolleyes:


07-26-2009, 10:20 PM
Huh..... I guess you've been lying all of these years about your place in Upper Mongolia then. The last time I checked Upper Mongolia was located on another continent. :rolleyes:


With Yaks.....:p

08-04-2009, 06:42 PM
Swapped out the ignition switch this evening...no luck.


08-04-2009, 09:32 PM
How long did you run the pump motor when you jumped the relay....

Does the pump sound strong or does it just hum a little because it doesn't know the words.....

08-05-2009, 12:09 AM
About 5 seconds or less Ed. Sounded uniform in tone and decent, no fizzing or trailing off at the end like the times before it stopped running altogether when I initially had the issue and heard it run. But then, those times it ran a while.

After everything I've gleaned from threads on this, it sure seems like it's coming down to the pressure switch .

08-05-2009, 09:33 AM
I had a 90 that did the same thing as yours.....

Pump would run for just a few seconds and shut off....

It was the pressure switch.....

08-16-2009, 03:00 PM
OK Ed, I realized after getting back from my trip to N.C. that there was a misunderstanding on what you asked me about the pump in that last post..

I thought you meant how long did I run the pump with the relay jumpered...and I only ran it less than 5 seconds to see that it ran. I pulled the jumper out after that.

So...in order to see how long the pump would truly run, today I jumped the relay again and let the pump run... it ran about 50-60 secs ...sounded normal, and at the end it gurgled a bit, then stopped. Then I turned the key ON, and the ABS light went out during self test.

So..it apparently charged the accumulater and all was good. I haven't started the car nor tried the brakes though, I'm sure the problem will repeat itself once the accumulator charge is used, but will find out I guess, soon enough.

What are the chances I've 3 bad brown anti-lok relays? Or could whatever is wrong with the system be burning them up?

I think I'll stop and pick up a Sorensen relay tomorrow or Tuesday just to see.

I know I've pretty much got to bleed the brakes before I go ripping stuff out, just won't have the time for a while, so I'm doing a lot of uneducated guessing right now...


08-16-2009, 03:34 PM
The gurgling could be a sign of air in the brake lines....

It's a good idea to bleed the system and see if it goes way.....