How to Remove ABS from a 1G DSM

How to Remove ABS from a 1G DSM

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Parts you need to perform this job.

  • Parts- Non-ABS Proportioning Valve, Non-ABS front brake lines, Non-ABS Master Cylinder to proportioning valve lines, DOT3 Fluid
  • Tools- 10mm, 12mm, sockets and wrenches; 10mm Flare Wrench, Dykes
  • Time- 2 – 4 Hours
  • Cost- $50 – $100

1. You will need to raise the vehicle so all 4 wheels are off the ground. Secure the car with jack stands and remove all 4 wheels. Although all the work will be up front, you will still need to bleed the back brakes. You may also want to make as much room as possible behind the intake manifold so it will be easier to work.

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Remove the strut bar if you have one, remove any vacuum lines in the way, just remember where they go. This will be a much harder process if your car still has AC and cruise control, mine has no goodies in it so there is plenty of room to work.

2. Next we need to drain as much brake fluid as possible. Put a cup underneath the rubber hose the runs from the reservoir to the master cylinder. Undo the clamp the hold the rubber hose to the master cylinder and point the hose into the cup. This will remove all fluid from the master cylinder. There will still be fluid in each brake line that will leak out when removed, so have plenty of rags handy.

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3. It’s a good idea to go around and spray WD40 on the fitting of the front brake lines where they connect to the rubber hose in the wheel well. You’ll also want to spray the fittings in the master cylinder, proportioning valve, and ABS unit. This will make them come out easier, the fittings are a real fragile brass and strip very easy.

4. Next I removed the proportioning valve, that the small adapter on the firewall the has 4 brake lines going into it. In order to do that, you will need to remove the 4 lines going into the valve, the top 2 are the rear lines coming from the ABS unit, the bottom 2 are the rear lines going to the rear wheels. The front lines do not go into the proportioning valve at all, they come right off the ABS unit. It is best to use a flare wrench to loosen the fittings, you will avoid stripping them this way, they are 10mm fittings. After all 4 lines are removed, you can then remove the valve by taking out the 1 12mm bolt holding it onto the firewall, be prepared for fluid to leak out.

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5. Now take a look at the mess of brake lines running around, there are 2 that come from the master cylinder and run into the side of the ABS unit, there are 2 that run back from the ABS unit into the valve for the rear brakes, there is another 1 that runs from the ABS unit to the drivers side for the front brake, and then there is 1 short 1 running from the ABS unit into the front passenger side brake. Try to follow these lines as best as you can and see where they run to and which ones have mounts holding it to the firewall, after you remove these lines you will have many bolts and mounts left over. I started with the passenger side front line, removing it from the ABS unit and then removing it from the stock rubber hose in the wheel well. This line will be the easiest to get out; with a little bit of wiggling it can be removed from the hole in the body and set aside. You can also removed the drivers line from the stock rubber brake hose, but you will have a hard time getting it out of the car. If you plan to sell the brake lines or ever convert back to ABS, then be real careful with the lines, they bend easy. I had no plans of selling these lines or every going back to ABS so I was very rough with the lines, which made it even easier to get out.

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6. At this point you are probably saying to yourself, “I’ll never get the rest of these lines out”. Your 95% right, I was only able to get 1 more line out without destroying it, and I think it was the line that ran from the ABS unit into the valve for the passenger side rear brake. After this I got very frustrated and started to just cut the lines. They cut easy with a sharp pair of dykes. I highly recommend you do this too if you don’t plan to re-use to lines for anything, I ended up junking them. Cutting the lines out will save you a lot of time and anger, TRUST ME!

7. Once the mess of brake lines is gone, its then time to remove the ABS unit itself. This thing hogs up so much room in the engine, you’ll be glad to get rid of it. There is a ground strap the needs to be removed first. You then have 3 12mm bolts hold it down to the bracket, 1 on the passenger side, and 2 on the driver’s side. It also has 2 large wire harnesses holding it in as well. These harness are mounted on a bracket, but can be removed simply by pushing them off the bracket. After this is done, you can now lift the ABS unit out of the engine and be amazed by all the extra room you have. You will also want to remove any of the bolts holding in the ABS unit bracket, and remove the bracket too.

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8. Now its break time, enjoy the view of the extra space under the hood, also take this time to get a rag and wipe up any spilled brake fluid, if left on the paint, it could eat it away. Lay out the new parts and try to get a good feel of how they are going to go and where they will be routed.

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9. At this point I started by installing the front passenger side brake line, route the line along the firewall and see where and what it has to go around before putting it through the car body into the wheel well. Once you see where it has to go, you can route it and mount it down to the firewall with one of the mounts you took off from the ABS lines. Tighten the fitting into the stock rubber hose in the wheel well. Then do the same thing with the driver’s side brake line; this one will be easier because it is much shorter. The top 2 lines are the rear brakes, and the bottom 2 are the front brakes.

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10. After the front lines are in place, you will see that they all meet at the new NON ABS proportioning valve, you will also notice the this proportioning valve has 2 additional holes, these are for the master cylinder brake lines. You can now install the new proportioning valve by bolting it to the firewall with the 12mm bolt. Do not fully tighten the valve yet, you want it to move a little bit, this will make it much easier to thread in the 4 brake lines into the side.

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11. This next part can be a little bit tricky. You will notice that the new brake lines that run from the master cylinder into the front of the proportioning valve have several sharp bends, you need to route these lines under some of the other lines, including the fuel return line. Do your best to maneuver them in there without bending them. Each line can only fit in one place so you wont get confused there. After the master cylinder lines are routed like they should be, you can then thread those lines into the proportioning valve. Once all 6 lines are into the valve, you can them go ahead and fully tighten down the proportioning valve. Next you can finish tightening down the 6 lines that run into the valve, and also tighten down the 2 lines that go into the master cylinder.

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12. Now that you have all the lines tight and have double check everything, you are almost done. Replace and hoses or vacuum lines you removed to gain more access. You now need to fill the reservoir with DOT 3 fluid, and bleed your whole braking system. It is recommended that if the master cylinder were ever emptied, it too would have to be bled along with all 4 brakes. I went ahead and did the extra step of bleeding the master cylinder. You don’t have to but it is a good idea. If you plan to bleed the master cylinder, do not fill the reservoir with a lot of fluid; you will need to remove a brake line to complete the bleeding. Your DSM manual will walk you through the process of bleeding the master cylinder and the brakes. If you find it hard to understand, just shoot me an email and I can help you out.

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13. Lastly, after the brakes are bled and no more air bubbles are in the brake lines, put the wheels back on, lower it down off the jack stand, and torque the lugs to 80ft-lbs. The take the car for a test-drive, on a back road just in case there is a problem. I was scared my first drive out and kept my hand on the ebrake most of the time, as long as there are no leaks, you should be fine. Enjoy the extra space!

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