HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby Phantom » November 19th 2011, 5:55am

I tried to find a 290 50 15 tire and not one found ,, but I did find 295 50 15 that is 2 tenths of an inch of the 215 75 15 , , I Believe the diameter difference has to be at least more than .25 , maybe as much as .5 before it throws off the VSS
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby chevymaher » November 19th 2011, 6:08am

Ambush wrote:
chevymaher wrote:
Phantom wrote:Something I recall is ,, on the 94 3 channel system is that there are only 3 sensors , one at each front wheel , and the VSS in the tranny is used for the rear wheels ........And I have 290/50/15s all the way around for tires.I will trace all my brake lines and positively see where they run.A brake flush may be in order.


I'm having ABS problems on my '95 to. I haven't done much about it right now, but one thing I did read in the factory manual was that if you change tire size from the factory size, you MUST change the speed sensor module AND recalibrate another one. If not, it will affect the ABS. I'll look up the other module. I beleive you need the GM DVM for the recalibration.


I am interested in what your saying.And will look into it more.But my van did the same thing since I got it.I had factory size tires on it for years.Had to wear out what I got it with.Before I got the big ones.If you figure it out I all ears tho.I just learned early I have no brakes at all in ice and snow and drive accordingly.Actually if all 4 tires are on ice or snow it works acceptably.Problem only occurs if some tires on ice/snow and some are on dry pavement.one tire in snow/ice, or one tire on dry pavement the rest on ice/snow.Heavy BRRR sound and we are not stopping.So it extremely dangerous if the roads half covered and half dry.I just use the tranny in second and go slow and hate on it real hard.If I cant get it working by snowfall that fuse coming out till spring.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby chevymaher » November 19th 2011, 6:13am

Phantom wrote:I tried to find a 290 50 15 tire and not one found ,, but I did find 295 50 15 that is 2 tenths of an inch of the 215 75 15 , , I Believe the diameter difference has to be at least more than .25 , maybe as much as .5 before it throws off the VSS

I just went and looked.Your right they 295/50/15.Been so long since I bought them I forgot what they were.Boy do I got egg on my face. :dunce:I even took the camera I was so sure.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby Phantom » November 19th 2011, 6:21am

chevymaher wrote:
Heavy BRRR sound .

That be a clue there , it should be light and soft

I know the sound you speak of , a friends van does that , but his rear tires are about 1 3/4 inch taller than the front , and it was really felt strong and van did not stop like it should , the system getting mixed signals from front and rear
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby chevymaher » November 19th 2011, 6:33am

It is really loud vibrates the pedal even. The speedo has always been off.Perhaps re calibration of the VSS is what needed.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby Phantom » November 19th 2011, 6:40am

That could be the source of problem , if the speedo is off , it sure can cause a problem since the rear wheels feed the VSS , if it is wrong it will send wrong info into the system
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby chevymaher » November 19th 2011, 6:50am

Those little side of the road trailers that tell your speed.Well around here they believers in them.They all over and they move them around and take your picture and such and whatnot.Anyway my van is 5 MPH off in all ranges.30 up to 75 MPH consistently.60 on the speedo is 55 MPH.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby Phantom » November 19th 2011, 3:53pm

You might have a worn out VSS :shrug:
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby chevymaher » November 19th 2011, 11:35pm

I will be checking the 90s tranny see if it the same.Plug sure looks the same.Cant hurt to check.Got to look it up see what ratio that thing had.And see what got to be done to calibrate the silly thing.Probably go to my brothers friend who owns the dyno shop.I am sure they can do it.Been fixing the familys cars all day.No good deed goes unpunished Bob said.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby Ambush » November 21st 2011, 4:29am

I looked again at the manual and did some math. The VSS is set for the factory tire size and gear ratio. Changing either will throw your electonicaly sensed speed from your real speed.
If you put on larger/smaller dia., tires then the rear wheel speed will still be sensed by the trans output, but the front tire speed will be sensed by actual rotational speed.
With larger dia. tires the sensor on the fronts will tell the computor that the fronts are turning slower than the rear, because the rear is still being sensed by trans out put NOT by the rear tires. If you had a four sensor/four channel BPMV, then it wouldn't matter, because they would all sense the same.
Now some math, if I did it right.
Stock tire size is 215/75/15. 215 being the width in millimeters and 75 being 75 % of 215.

So: 215 X 75% = 161.2 converted to inch = 6.35" X 2 = 12.7 + 15" = 27.7" dia and 87" circumfrence

295/50/15. using the same formula comes up with 26.6" dia and a 83.5" circumfrence. An inch difference on the dia and 3 1/2" on the circumfrence.

If you were to recalibrate [ for your 295/50/15] then using the standard tire size of 215/70/15 would bring you close to the 295/50/15

215/70/15 would be 26.8 dia and 84' circumfrence.

You have to change the VSS and have a tech recalibrate the VSS calibrator module that signals the BPMV. Apparently an easy, quick job. The VSS takes the place of the little plastic speedo pinion gear on the trans that we used to have to change in the old days.

Now having said all that, I have stock size tires all the way around and I'm having the same issues.
When I pull my fuse, that also cancels the speed signal and my trany won't shift. Not an option for me. Don't know if it makes any difference but my van is Canadian.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby chevymaher » November 21st 2011, 4:56am

That good information.Phantom was correct my tires are 295/50/15s it dont matter it still off.i was thinking about it and re-calibrating wont help.It only does it in snow/ice patches.Not on dry pavement.Some in the rain though.Not enough to worry still got ample braking.Probably even working right.Problem I thought of was my snow tires.They studded 31 inch monsters.Way bigger than the front.Tires go on fuse comes out till reg tires go back on problem solved.I am still interested in calibrating it so it right with the summer tires.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby davlafont » June 27th 2012, 8:34pm

Hi folks. I'm resurrecting this dormant thread because my '99 AWD has the same ABS failure: very low speed release of pressure. The fuse was pulled by the former owner and I'd like to correct the problem.

Reading through these posts (and the other threads linked here) has been very helpful. But the following comment caught me by surprise:
timelessbeing wrote:bkzxclusive is correct.

Since '99, when the AWD controller senses rear-wheel slip, the motor in the transfer case engages a clutch that sends power to the front wheels. Works wonders in snow! ;)


I was under the impression that the electrically operated transfer case was more like a locker diff; both front and rear always powered, but allowed to rotate at their own speeds unless the difference is too great (i.e. loss of traction). I thought the electric motor served to lock the front and rear together when needed rather than to engage the front when needed.

Everything I know about these vehicles comes from this site (and the other one too), so I'm not arguing. I'm just curious whether I've misunderstood the AWD function. I can't quite tell if the consensus is that pulling the ABS fuse means I have a 2WD van.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby EasyXjer » August 9th 2012, 3:52am

I have a 95 Astro 80k miles. The abs light came on while on trip last week. intermittent at first now stays on all the time. Pulled front wheels sensors look good nice and clean. codes are 27 66 86. Done by jumping the a-h terminals. Cant find any reference what thee voltage at the h terminal should be. Anyone have any ideas on what to check/replace? Also where can I get a scantool for these ABS?Thanks Dan
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby EasyXjer » August 10th 2012, 4:22pm

ok 66 and 86 must have been done while I was trying to figure out why the light was on. Cleared the memory and all I get is 25 sooooo i guess its the left front sensor is bad. All I can find on the net is over 100 bucks as it comes with the backing plate which is not needed. Any one know where to get one cheaper? Thanks
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby kanatuna97 » October 12th 2012, 8:22am

thyubernoob wrote:Ok guys I have the answer to the question. How do I disable my ABS system. This is NOT the correct fix, but the cheapest for me!
I have a friend who is a fully certified mechanic get me the diagram for the ABS system for my 95 safari and we figured the best way to disable it is to cut the main power going to the ABS pump so heres a step by step of what I did.

1. Pull the battery out, disconnect the ground first then the positive.
2. The ABS control unit is under the master brake cylinder, follow the wiring harness from the unit up to behind where the battery was.
3. There you will see two plugs, one has about 4 or 5 small gauge wires, the other has one big red wire, this is the power wire for the ABS pump, unplug it
4. I wrapped it with electrical tape to keep out dirt and water.
5 Install battery in reverse order of removing it. (REMEMBER YOU NO LONGER HAVE ABS BRAKES NOW)
Now when I took it for a test ride it did take care of the problem I had with the ABS acting up when I was coming to a stop, but now the ABS light is on, so the next fix was a piece of electrical tape over the warning light...lol it works.....I did see online somewhere where you could install a diode in the plug so the computer thinks the ABS is still connected and the light won't come on, but thats another story......

Now my buddy said the correct fix is most likely that one or both of the front hubs with the sensors in them need to be replaced, but that cost money!..lol
So good luck, hope this helps for the guys who wanted to know!


When i unplugged my abs wires no abs light came on hummm
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby kylenumann » March 12th 2013, 9:58pm

Hello all, first time poster here but I have already been helped tons by these forums (you helped me change out my alternator a few months ago).

I just wanted to contribute, I too have been experiencing the brake failure at low speeds in my '98 AWD Astro, and also have almost rear-ended people. I could not find this topic on the forum because I didn't realize it was ABS-related. In fact, nothing showed on my dash in the form of error lights, so I thought it may be air in the brake lines, a problem with the booster, who knows.

I took the van to the shop today and their brake diagnostic did not pull any errors either, they assumed the ABS unit itself was going bad. I didn't have the cash to replace it so I opted to take their other option and disable the ABS. They said they just removed the power supply plug to the ABS unit under the driver seat. This seems to have gotten rid of the problem, and it is reassuring to see others here that have taken the same steps.

As a previous poster mentioned, there is NO WAY that driving without ABS could be as dangerous as the low speed brake failure I was experiencing.

That's all, just wanted to share the info.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby kanatuna97 » March 13th 2013, 7:17pm

Ive been running without ABS since last summer winter now,i just pump my brakes if needed i must say not very often
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby sadglad » March 13th 2013, 9:26pm

kylenumann wrote:..........I too have been experiencing the brake failure at low speeds in my '98 AWD Astro, and also have almost rear-ended people. I could not find this topic on the forum because I didn't realize it was ABS-related. In fact, nothing showed on my dash in the form of error lights, so I thought it may be air in the brake lines, a problem with the booster, who knows.


There is another thread https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=11954 about this problem. Yes, it is most likely an ABS problem but maybe not with the ABS control unit. It may be a problem with the front wheel speed sensors which are part of the ABS system. There was a recall on some GM vehicles (not Astro) that may still affect our vans. You can read the fix here [url]viewtopic.php?f=45&t=917&p=35796#p35796[/url] If cleaning the sensor mount does not work then you may need a new sensor or even a whole new hub. New hubs come with new sensors.

That recall bulletin did not turn out to be my problem. I had to replace one of the front hubs. You can diagnose the wheel speed signal to the ABS system with a DVM but it won't tell you if just the sensor is bad or the whole hub needs to be replaced.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby MNastroman » April 24th 2013, 5:42am

My '96 AWD had dangerous ABS issues. Finally the pump kept buzzing, so I just pulled the fuse. ABS light is on, but now I have full control of the brakes and it does not interfere with the AWD. Easy.

'96 has very difficult to reach front wheel sensors. You have to remove the brake backing plates which were something like 18mm hex head bolts, and they were seized from Minnesota salt. They had to be the most unreliable ABS brakes I ever drove.
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Re: HOW I DISABLED my ABS (1995 SAFARI AWD)

Postby DCMoose48 » October 10th 2013, 4:35pm

'95 Safari AWD... I unplugged what I thought was the red wire referred to in the OP (the pics are gone) but the braking problem didn't go away and the brake light didn't come on. According to the manual the fuse labeled 'brake on the fuse box is for ABS, cruise control and speedometer. Is that the right fuse to pull? I can do without cruise and I can use a GPS app on my phone for the speedometer so if I pull that fuse will that get rid of the ABS?
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Fueling (1/8 tank)
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Years of Membership: DCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full yearsDCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full yearsDCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full yearsDCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full yearsDCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full yearsDCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full yearsDCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full yearsDCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full yearsDCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full yearsDCMoose48 has been a member for 10 full years
Posts: 15
Topics: 3
Joined: April 2011
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1995
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari

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It is currently April 20th 2021, 5:13pm

Brakes Forum
BrakesLets talk about brakes and brake performance. Disc, drum, anti-lock brakes(ABS). Discuss brake components like the pads, rotors, calipers, shoes. Pads can be ceramic, metallic, or other. Rotors can be standard, cross-drilled, or slotted.
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