View Full Version : Newb brake Q ??

12-30-2002, 05:55 PM
Hey Fellas,

I just dug through the FAQ's and the search and i found partially what I am looking for but Im still not 100 % sure of the answer.

I have read about ordering the Brake Accumulator from Prior, however I dont know if that will fix my problem 100%.

The brake pedal on this 90 Bird gets super hard, and you literally have to almost pull yourself up on the pedal to stop it. The ABS light is on ( and thats where i read that the Accumulator will solve that )

.....BUT....will that also help the hard pedal..? or do i need to dig in the wallet for a complete Accuator Assembly ( which is substantial amount more ) ...?

I would rather not spend all that dough and time installing if i dont have to.

Thanks !

12-30-2002, 07:13 PM
Since I/We don't have hands on your car, we can only suggest what I/We think is the most likely problem with varying levels of certainty.
Given your description of your problem, and knowing the maintenance history of many Thunderbird SuperCoupes with Teves II ABS systems, 2 very common wear+failure items are:
1. The ABS pump relay and
2. The ABS accumulator.

If I were you, what I would do is spend the $20 or so and replace item 1 first. Then spend the $100 and replace item 2 next. If you're uncertain, compare the $ spent with what it would cost you to take it to a shop and let them run diagnostics (which won't tell them anything in this case) and then repair/replace the parts. Call first and be sure you're sitting down, cause you aren't going to believe how much they will charge you.

There is no way to know 100% what the problem is. But if your car is 10 years old and has more than 100,000 miles, your accumulator, just like your engine mounts, is/are most certainly worn out.

12-30-2002, 09:31 PM
You might want to pull the codes first. If you get an ABS light, then there should be a code stored. There is a process for pulling the ABS codes using the same tool you can use to pull the engine codes.

Make sure the brake resevoir is full.

The acumulator is a empty cylinder with a rubber bladder inside it that is pressurized by nitrogen gas. This creates a chamber that brake fluid is pumped into by the ABS pump. By pumping this fluid into the chamber, the nitrogen gas bladder effectively stores the pressure of the pump. Thus the Acumulator is what allows power assist in our vehicles and the pump just keeps the acumulator charged.

If the acumulator fails, the rubber bladder tears, the nitrogen gas escapes, and there is no longer any reserve pressure in the system. The ABS pump needs to run all the time. This often causes the ABS pump relay to overheat and fail, or the pump itself to fail from running so much.

Certainly replace the relay first to see if that's it. If not, pull the codes before going to far. Those parts get expensive. Because of the design of the ABS system on our cars though, once it starts degrading you might as well purchase a new, rebuilt assembly from Prior. They have an excellent price and once one thing starts to fail, the system is fragile enough that other parts soon follow.

Kevin Varnes
12-30-2002, 11:51 PM
Before you go replacing parts in hope of fixing the problem, why not check out Duffy's article on tbscec.com He basically outlines everything you need to know to troubleshoot the system.

12-31-2002, 12:44 AM
I would agree... I just found it. It's on the Super Coupe Club of the Southwest's website.

here is a link to the article...http://www.zianet.com/SCCoSW/Articles/ABS.HTML

12-31-2002, 12:44 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the info on that.

Yeah, I certainly wont be tossing money out the window if i dont have to....I try and do the homework as best I can before I touch anything ( what can I say you learn that lesson when driving a Ford 2.3 Turbo for the last 10 years. )

Thanks for the site Kevin, however I was not able to find the article, I will most certainly keep digging though.

( ON EDIT ) Must have been posting at the same time, got the article thanks !!

Take care