How to Properly Delete ABS
By Bryan Leonard, VP, Chase Bays
Deleting ABS from any car can certainly prove to be a daunting task. The ABS works with individual wheel sensors to help detect and subsequently prevent wheel lock up. While this may be perfect for a daily driven normal street car, on cars being developed for performance driving, factory ABS can sometimes cause problems. Motorsport grade ABS systems are great but generally start around $8,000 for parts alone. You can repurpose certain factory ABS systems to work as a stand alone system, but again, this can become costly.
Deleting the ABS sometimes is as simple as pulling the unit and re-plumbing the system. However, many times removing the ABS can pose major issues to the car's electrical system causing “limp mode” outcomes. This is chassis-specific and the internet can be a useful friend here.
The biggest question to ask is what are the implications of deleting my ABS? Who else with my chassis has completed this task and what issues did they face? For drifting this really allows left foot braking without ABS intervention. Keep in mind you would really need a manual brake of some sort to get the proper pedal feel. We offer an excellent solution in the Dual Piston Brake Booster Delete. This comes with our bias valve integrated, which is a critical part to fine-tune your non-ABS brake system. If you select another master cylinder solution, we would advise buying the bias valve to complete the setup.
Research your platform, see if someone makes a delete kit electronically and hydraulically. If not, ask professionals who are familiar with that platform what to do with the electronics. Next ensure that you have properly unioned the lines to their appropriate position. Trace where the front lines connect to the ABS and ensure that union is mated to the front line that leads to the master cylinder. Same with the rear lines. You or a professional will need to be comfortable with flaring. If you aren't comfortable or don't trust your work, seek professional advice. It is critical these items are flared properly. NEVER use a single flare on a braking system. Double flares are common on US cars and DIN on Euros. Japanese cars have a little of both. Identify what you have on your car for consistency.
Chase Bays offers line solutions for popular chassis including BMW E30, E36 and E46, Nissan S13 and S14, Honda Civics and Integra, Miata and more. Using the E36 as an example, lines running from front to rear including front line relocations for both the OE master cylinder and our Brake Booster Eliminator, handbrake lines and even caliper lines to complete the setup. Our lines will adapt directly to the chassis, master cylinder and calipers for the most aesthetically pleasing, leak-free, easily installed solution.
If an off-the-shelf solution isn't available or a custom solution is needed, building a hardline will most likely be the easiest method since soft lines require proper tooling to crimp. Use a proper line bender as well, some people will attempt to bend the lines by hand. After spending so much time on properly laying out your hardlines, flaring, the last thing you want is to kink the line because you didn't want to use a proper bender. Make sure you flare and add the fitting before you bend a section if that end is short. The flaring tool takes a certain amount of space. If you bend too early, you may not be able to get the fitting on.
Braking systems are super critical. You must be proficient at using these tools or seek a professional. Failure to do this, well, you know. Do your research before committing. Build a game plan, then execute.Bryan Leonard has extensive experience as a professional race car builder, driver and driver coach in series including IMSA, World Challenge, WRL, Porsche Sprint Challenge, and SRO.