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Discussion Starter #1
Now I've gone and done it...

I was on a gravel road the other day and for whatever unreasonable thought was going through my mind, I decided to try to skid to test the ABS brakes.
Nothing really came of it, so I thought...

Now, three days later I am starting to get wonky acting brakes, intermittently.

I first noticed I had an ABS light, and sometimes I don't.
Then I had some weird 'force feedback' type anomaly happening in the pedal, and it sounded like I needed pads something aweful ( this occurs when the ABS light is not on)

Other times it seems systems normal... but it is getting worse and more active.

Now, if I feel or hear a little something wonky when stepping on the brake, I can release and reapply and perhaps I can stop normal.

Anyone, anyone.... where do I start?

I popped the hood the other night and I appear to have full fluid. About a year ago I did front pads, calipers, and rotors. I also flushed fresh fluid without letting the reservoir run dry. (a full, fresh large bottle of fluid)
 

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Sticky piston from applying the brakes so hard or a hose problem, most likely the piston. Your ABS light is likely coming on in the wet. Your pads could be binding on the caliper bracket if they were tight when you installed them. Sometimes one has to grind things down a bit to get a little more tolerance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sticky piston from applying the brakes so hard or a hose problem, most likely the piston. Your ABS light is likely coming on in the wet. Your pads could be binding on the caliper bracket if they were tight when you installed them. Sometimes one has to grind things down a bit to get a little more tolerance.
It just happens to be a bad time for Ole Gerty to be acting up like she is...
 

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I only bring this up due to it happened to me on a 4 wheeler, is there a rock between the rotor and the backing plate or a rock that worked its way in somewhere? Sometimes one gets kicked up just right.
 

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Is the pedal feeling spongy? or is it normal?
Any of the wheels warmer than rest?
Noise coming from front or rear?
Pull the ABS code, might point you to the wheel with sticking brake...
 

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Check for a cracked star wheel on the front axles. These wheels are part of the ABS system, and tell the computer whether one wheel is slipping. Look up on Google.

You can deactivate the abs, and see if the problem goes away. Note, the star wheels are press fit on the axles, and I've had two crack on two different Chrysler vans.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is the pedal feeling spongy? or is it normal?
Any of the wheels warmer than rest?
Noise coming from front or rear?
Pull the ABS code, might point you to the wheel with sticking brake...
Not spongy. Not a hanging caliper.
I pulled the ABS fuse and she drive like normal until a time when i can investigate further. I have a motorcycle and another vehicle, so alternate transportation until I can get her fixed is an option. I have turned into a minivan enthusiast (which I never thought would have happened:))
I'll try to get a scanner on it asap, I don't own one myself.... Perhaps Santa will bring one, but only if I tell an elf.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also, my symptom was ABS activation when I stepped on the brakes.
Good inspection points Marvin, thank you.
Did you find it possible to repair the tone wheel or is replacement of the driveshaft the only option?
I think I remembered Atoman discussing how the tone wheel was an issue about 18 months, maybe two+ year ago. Was it rusty corrosion?
 

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I think I remembered Atoman discussing how the tone wheel was an issue about 18 months, maybe two+ year ago. Was it rusty corrosion?
Yes, I had the tone wheels rust out pretty bad, the 'notches' filled up with corrosion and the 'teeth' became 'chipped' and uneven. It started turning ABS light on in wet weather and traction control would act up and eat up gas mileage. I asked around if there were any rebuilders or shops that could change the tone wheels and got some strange looks from techs I've known for a good while, so at least locally there's no one who does that. Problem with aftermarket axles is that the ones I've seen only last about a year before they start making clicking noise (and my van still has factory axles).

I ended up cleaning up the front end tone wheels (LH was the worst and was setting the sensor / signal code) and running a file over them to level out the teeth a bit. Then liberally applied Jeepman's snake oil (Fluid Film). It's been working fine and no ABS light (trac acted up a bit at first, but I trained myself to hit the 'trac off' button)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had considered if traction control was a mileage eater... applying brake around a turn.
When I first got the FJ Cruiser, after experiencing it in the field applying brake when turning sharp, I started to try to remember to turn it off (on dry solid roads) to see if I could notice even a slight increase in MPG...
 

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I ended up cleaning up the front end tone wheels (LH was the worst and was setting the sensor / signal code) and running a file over them to level out the teeth a bit. Then liberally applied Jeepman's snake oil (Fluid Film). It's been working fine and no ABS light (trac acted up a bit at first, but I trained myself to hit the 'trac off' button)
What? ................ no snakes associated with that stuff. You must be thinking of faux synthetic oil or something. :)

If a wheel is dragging, there can be slippage during wet going and ABS light will come on.
 

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I was actually able to remove a tone wheel from a front driver CV shaft stub this summer. I used a hammer and big chisel, and took turns hitting it on the side, opposite ends until it came off in one uncracked piece. Maybe the same can be done with a used one in the junkyard, and then install it on your CV shaft.

I removed it because I needed the stub to fit in the rear (AWD) hub to hold it together, and the tone wheel was in the way. I had already removed the rear axle shafts and differential (parts donor van) and needed to turn it around in the driveway to pull the engine. In this way I found out the front axle stubs can be used in the rear hubs (without the tone ring or functioning ABS) to hold them together, maybe as an option during the summer months to disable AWD for gas mileage (remove rear axles and disconnect driveshaft from PTU).

Could a front wheel sensor have moved too far away from the tone ring? I had that happen from hitting snow with my 2000 with the 4th gen front brakes. Had to loosen the bolt and reposition the sensor, and retighten bolt to fix.
 

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I considered DIY tone wheel replacement, and have a high degree of confidence that the old ones can be taken off (even if one has to use a cutting wheel). Though much lower degree of confidence correct new ones can be sourced and pressed in without damaging them in the process.

Since ABS works, I'm not inclined to mess with it unless problems return. Eventually those factory axles are going to wear out, not to mention the rest of the van is showing the results of repeated salt brine exposure...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you all for the suggestions and continued discussion.
I have been too busy to even lay before the bumper and take a look underneath, let alone pull the front wheels. Busy busy December...

We replace the starter ring gear on Lycoming aircraft engine flywheels. First is to remove the old gear by cutting through about 70% with a cut off wheel and then a sharp whack with a coal chisel. Then we bbq the ring gear and put the flywheel in the refrigerator freezer. With welding gloves, quickly drop the gear onto the flywheel and spin rotate it for a second or two until it locks onto the surface.
Its actually kinda fun...

I'll let y'all know what the inspection reveals, hopefully sometime this year.

I've pulled the fuse and am driving with non ABS brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
UPDATE AND questions.

So I drove about a week with the ABS fuse pulled and it was just like a vehicle without ABS or traction control. Both the ABS and Brake lights were illuminated.

A friend brought me a scanner to borrow so I reinstalled the fuse, read the codes ( left rear sensor AND some valve acting up code), cleared the codes and after a short drive the left rear code (and ABS light) reappeared. This was about a week ago.

Today, I performed a tire rotation, and while I had the wheel off, I inspected the sensor and it appeared to NOT have been torn from the vehicle due to road debris. I pulled a little clip, and was able to remove the sensor tip from the wheel hub. It looked OK so I put it back in with a little spit for o-ring lubricant... That's just how I fly these days...

I didn't have the scanner so I drove about a mile and the light did not go away on its own.
** I would have unplugged / replugged the connector, but I don't know where to access it. Advice here? The wire seems to go up into the chassis... Do I unplug the rear sensor wire somewhere from inside the vehicle??

Are both the rear sensors the same? Before I blindly throw a part at it (a new sensor) I'm inclined to swap left to right to see if the fault code swaps to the other wheel... Unless y'all are highly confident that the sensor is most always the fault.

Your guidance and experience will be greatly appreciated.
Happy New year!
 

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When I tore apart my 2001 (should be same as 2002) the other side of that sensor harness runs straight up the inside of the rear wheel well inside the van) under some sound insulation/batting, emerges at the top of the wheel well and goes into the rear quarter area to plug into the main harness. You may have to totally remove the rear side plastic panel to access the wiring through the body cavities. I had totally gutted the interior of my parts van to remove/keep the whole body harness. I remember pulling those sensors because they were stuck under that sound deadener (butyl rubber with carpet batting stuck to it) and it was more work than I thought it would be.

Since you will have to have both rear panels off to switch sensor sides, would it be easier to make temporary harness extension/jumper wires to plug the body sensor connector into the sensor connector on the opposite side? Then you don't have to remove the sensors until you are sure one is bad.

The rear ABS sensors are the same on front wheel drive vans, but separate sides on AWD vans. (source: Rock Auto catalog).
 
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