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Discussion Starter #1
I need to replace the reluctor ring on a front axle. That means you have to get the bottom of the strut off the ball joint pivot bolt and out far enough to get the end of the axle free so the ring can slid off/on.

Anyone recall if I can do that without breaking my the tie rod free and/or removing the strut? I forget how much play there is with the top or toe rod still bolted up. I’m trying to figure out how much time I need for this job.
 

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You can pull the CV axle out without removing the strut, although by the time you get everything disconnected to get that far, the only thing left holding the strut in place is the brake caliper, ABS sensor, and the three nuts on top. My big question would be how hard is it to remove the ring and install a new one? If it can be done with the CV axle in place, so much the better, since you don't have to worry about losing transmission fluid. If it's really tight and needs a puller to remove, or needs to be pressed on, just pull the axle and do it off the car. There was a time it seemed like I was constantly having to remove or replace things on my 900's front suspension, and I probably got the strut removal down to 30 minutes. Even going slowly shouldn't take you more than an hour to get the strut off. If you can find a slide hammer and a CV axle puller attachment to get the CV axle off, getting the axle out of the car is a piece of cake.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The ring just “taps” off. The only caveat is corrosion. If it’s bad you sometimes need an air hammer on gentle repeat action or a lot of time with a manual chisel and hammer. But there’s definitely no need for a puller.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Got it done. Problem persists despite replacing the old ring that was cracked. Replacement wasn’t perfect and it was a little out of round, so perhaps that’s the issue. Could be the sensor, but it doesn’t throw a code, so I don’t think so. But I think I have a spare so I may try that first, then hunt for another ring if needed.

Original issue is abs kicking in below 15 mph.
 

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The thing that usually causes low-speed activation is a loss of signal strength from the sensor. The amplitude of the signal naturally increases with speed, so a weaker-than-normal signal results in a degraded amplitude "early," which the ECM misinterprets as low road speed. The result is low-speed ABS activation but no fault codes... because everything is working correctly just not good enough for consistent performance.

I would look for a greater-than-normal distance between the sensor and the reluctor. Some cars are susceptible to rust or corrosion buildup around the sensor base, so I would look there. I can't envision how that would play out on a 9-3, but a too big air gap is what I'd be looking for. FWIW, a cracked reluctor is not desirable, but generally won't cause a problem. The system broadly reacts to trends and not burps. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks... the ring had caused a spacing difference in the reluctor flanges, and the problem has improved slightly, so I think it was an issue. But, clearly it's not gone. I'll check the other things to see if anything is askew (tomorrow... today is more rain time).
 

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If you happen to have an oscilloscope that's a good way to check... I picked up a Picoscope when messing with VSS sensors and it's been useful multiple times. It's mostly software, and very inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Don’t have one. I can see the utility of one though for this analysis. I have the sensors, so I will start with a swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
So, I found a source for an unblemished ABS ring... see below.

As a side note, I now have an nice rebuilt axle for sale cheap in the classifieds, sans-ABS-ring. :roll:

However, while it made the problem better than it was with the wobbly, loose old-ring, it hasn't cured it. Guess I need to clean connectors, then maybe swap sensors.

I have some spare used sensors, but I think that has to wait for new mounts to be ordered. The bolts in the existing ones feel like they will snap. I put some PB blast on there and will try that again, but I'll probably order up some spares to be safe before pushing those bolts any harder.



 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, in the good news department on my braking system, my abs light is now coming on and staying on most of the time. Just a couple more degrees of time on and I should be able to Tech II it and at least pinpoint the bad sensor... although it feels like the same wheel that had the bad reluctor.
 
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