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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 10-03-2011, 04:02 PM
BluegrassPicker BluegrassPicker is offline
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Easiest Way To Turn Off ABS Light? (Unit is already bypassed)

Hi

I recently bypassed my ABS unit ( inside the left frame) with a small piece of brake line and some adapter fittings due to problems with the RABS system. The brake warning light and the ABS light had been coming on and the rear brakes were dragging. ('94 F250 4x4 Supercab 460 AT 130k miles).

The bypass solved my problems, and after unplugging the bypassed ABS unit, the ABS light never came back on, to my delight.

Now, after about 600 miles, the ABS light has come back on! The system is bypassed at the brake lines and the unit is unplugged and it's disabled, so does someone know the *easiest* way to kill the ABS warning light in the dash? The light is aggravating at night.

I'm hoping there's a wire I can cut or a connector that I can pull to solve the problem. I've already pulled the fuse with no success, and tape over the instrument cluster isn't a good option.

If removing the bulb is the best solution, is it a difficult chore to get the instrument pod out to remove the bulb?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:51 PM
Lazy K Lazy K is offline
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Installing An OEM Tachometer In A 1992-1996 F-150 Or Bronco .: Articles Click on this link for instructions on removing the cluster if you need to remove the bulb.
However maybe try unplugging the RABS computer which should be behind the glovebox.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:21 PM
BluegrassPicker BluegrassPicker is offline
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Thanks for the info.

How do I recognize the RABS unit behind the glove box, and does anything need to be removed under the dash or elsewhere to get at it?

Thanks again.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BluegrassPicker View Post
Thanks for the info.

How do I recognize the RABS unit behind the glove box, and does anything need to be removed under the dash or elsewhere to get at it?

Thanks again.
Drop the glovebox....Its simple to do....2 tabs, and VOILA!

The RABS is a little black box about 4" x 6"...Can't miss it...
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:12 PM
BluegrassPicker BluegrassPicker is offline
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I dropped the glove box and VOILA! I found the RABS box and yanked the connector off, and VOILA! No more ABS light!!!

Thanks to everyone for your responses and help. It is sincerely appreciated.

The BluegrassPicker
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by BluegrassPicker View Post
I dropped the glove box and VOILA! I found the RABS box and yanked the connector off, and VOILA! No more ABS light!!!

Thanks to everyone for your responses and help. It is sincerely appreciated.

The BluegrassPicker
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:26 AM
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So what happens if I unplug the rabs box without bypassing the rabs valve? And is there a way to gut the valve without removing it?
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:39 AM
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So what happens if I unplug the rabs box without bypassing the rabs valve? And is there a way to gut the valve without removing it?
For me, it was easier to bypass the valve than to try to figure out a way to internally gut out the valve.

My local Autozone had a 8" piece of brake line with the proper size male fittings on both ends, and they had a brass coupler to fit each size. I simply removed the brake lines from the RABS valve and installed the small brake line with the couplers where the RABS valve would have been, then bled the brakes. (O'reilly has the same parts).

I unplugged the connector from the RABS valve and then pulled the fuse from the fuse block, and then after reading the much appreciated recommendations in this thread, I unplugged the RABS box behind the glove box.

Now I have absolutely no RABS and no light on in the dash.

It seems to me that to gut out the valve, one would have to disconnect the brake lines, etc., remove the valve and gut it if possible, reinstall the unit and the lines and then bleed the system anyway. For about $10 in parts and a little bit of time, I was done.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:56 AM
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I'm in the same boat, '89 F150 5.0 and my rear antilock light is on as is my e-brake light. Each stay on. Do I need to bypass the RABS to get the light off or can I just unplug the box?
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:55 PM
BluegrassPicker BluegrassPicker is offline
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Originally Posted by (Adam) View Post
I'm in the same boat, '89 F150 5.0 and my rear antilock light is on as is my e-brake light. Each stay on. Do I need to bypass the RABS to get the light off or can I just unplug the box?
That was exactly my situation.

Both lights came on and my rear brakes started dragging. After cooling down and sitting for a while, the brakes loosened up, but the lights stayed on. I disconnected the plug at the RABS hydraulic unit and the lights went out and I was able to make it home without dragging the brakes. At home, I bypassed the hydraulic unit and all was good for a while, but then the ABS light only came back on. Unplugging the unit behind the glove box solved that.

Based on that experience, I'd recommend a bypass and unplug everything. It seems to me that unplugging only won't prevent the hydraulic unit from causing the brakes to drag some day.

Additionally, I should mention that I now have much more and much firmer brake pedal. The pedal used to go almost to the floor on hard braking and felt squishy. I believe the system bleeds better without having to bleed the RABS unit.

I'm in the process of buying a 1996 motorhome on the Ford E350 chassis with RABS. The RABS unit bypass will be first on my agenda if the deal goes through and it ends up in my driveway.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:12 PM
(Adam) (Adam) is offline
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I'm not sure if my rear brakes are dragging, does it feel a bit like wheelhop? When I brake kinda hard that's how it seems. My pedal is similar, too. I'll try to bypass it as I drive like an old man so not real worried. Thanks.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:13 PM
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I'm not sure if my rear brakes are dragging, does it feel a bit like wheelhop? When I brake kinda hard that's how it seems. My pedal is similar, too. I'll try to bypass it as I drive like an old man so not real worried. Thanks.
In my situation, I noticed that the truck was pulling hard to the left and that the rear hubs were hot, especially the left one. The rig did not roll free in neutral.

As far as "driving like an old man", my driving might be described the same way, but I figure trucks had been made for more years without RABS than with, and I've survived quite well in the ones that I used to have, so I can get along without it. Having said that, I'm sure RABS would be a good thing if it worked and was reliable (and inexpensive to maintain). I absolutely know that full four wheel ABS is absolutely fantastic as I've experienced the benefits first-hand several times in two cars that I own.

I'm not sure what would cause the wheelhop in your situation.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:18 PM
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Does anyone have a picture or description or location of the valve. I have a lock-up/wheel hop issue. Sorry I hijacked thread.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:42 PM
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Does anyone have a picture or description or location of the valve. I have a lock-up/wheel hop issue. Sorry I hijacked thread.
Link to RABS valve with pix at Autozone

The unit is located under the truck on the vehicle frame on the driver's side. Follow the brake line down from the master cylinder and you'll find it.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:02 PM
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Does the rabs valve have the proportioning valve built in? The residual valve? In other words, does bypassing the pos cause any problems??
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:02 PM
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