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ABS controller repair – Z06 corvette

June 22, 2009

Removing the failed ABS / Active handling control module from my Corvette was the only really productive thing I did all weekend.   Aside from mowing the lawn and a bit of half hearted piddling on the shop, most of the weekend was whiled away playing with the dogs, doing laundry and watching ‘Dexter’ episodes with the wife.   

For more than a year, the traction control and anti-lock brake features have been offline,  the glowing failure lights and scrolling messages of Service Traction Control, Service Active Handling, Service ABS have greeted me every time I’ve started the car.   Not wanting to pay a thousand dollar plus bill at the dealer, I’ve procrastinated this repair for a while.   After a bit of exploration on some forums, I find that the electronic control unit is the likely culprit, specifically a power relay sealed inside.   The control unit can be separated from the hydraulic pump and valve assembly by disconnecting two connectors and removing 6 small torx screws and gently prying to break the seal.

DSCF0585

Here is the module removed.   I tried removing the 4 top cover screws as well, planning to find and replace the power relay myself.   Alas, even with the screws removed, I was unable to separate the cover – though I could cut the silicon seal with a razor blade, I was unable to open it.  No matter, I found a company online that will service these for $150, so I’ll ship it off today.

DSCF0586

For those who might be curious, this is what the business end of this control module looks like.   These 12 cylindrical assemblies appear to be electromagnetic coils that actuate hydraulic control valves.  The valve assembly has 12 corresponding stems which mate up with these coils when the assembly is installed.   It appears as though the brake on each of the 4 wheels can be independently controlled whether or not you are pressing the brake pedal by one of three circuits. 

 This allows the car to unlock a wheel that is locked (ABS) while the others are still rolling and you are pressing the brake pedal, or to apply variable braking force to different wheels to help recover the car in the event of a skid (active handling), or to reduce the difference in rotating rates when applied in combination with a reduction in throttle position  (traction control).   All in all, a very smart system that works to undo some of our driving mistakes.   

I’ve missed these features, especially in the rain.

UPDATE 7/3/09:  I received back my repaired module from ABSFIXER this week, installed it and found my problems were resolved.  The repair was done overnight, and most of the down time has been due to shipping both ways.  I was being thrifty and selected a slow shipping method.   For $150, this is an absolute deal on the repair.  Kudos to Brandon at ABS.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim permalink
    June 22, 2009 2:41 pm

    Active Handling is one of the main reasons I’d lean towards a Vette rather than a GTO if I go the V8/RWD route again…

    • Alex permalink
      June 24, 2009 1:10 am

      Yes Tim, “help to recover the car in the event of a skid”… Gotta love that V8/RWD in the rain!

  2. vijay permalink
    June 27, 2009 1:56 pm

    Mark,

    I would like to know what other tv shows you watch.What about dexters lab 🙂 ?

  3. June 27, 2009 4:19 pm

    Vijay,

    Hmm. No, not Dexter’s lab – that’s a children’s cartoon, although I am familiar with it.

    In this case, it’s a showtime series and ‘Dexter’ the protagonist, is a forensic blood analyst who works for the police in a crime lab, and unbenownst to all but the audience, is also in fact, a serial killer.

    It’s a rather warped show, as you would imagine, but also a very compelling story about humanity at perhaps it’s most fundamental level.

    Mark

    • vijay permalink
      June 29, 2009 6:25 am

      Ive checked it out in wikipedia,not quite familiar with that.Do u watch talk shows like Oprah or 60mins?,I dont miss oprah and regularly watch The apprentice as well.

  4. vijay permalink
    July 20, 2009 11:58 am

    just watched a couple of shows of dexter here with my cousin they seem to be a mix of thrill and humour for me 🙂

  5. August 29, 2009 1:20 pm

    viljay, me also lololo…

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