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View Full Version : ABS repair options 90' 240sx SE?



jerryk
10-02-2007, 06:02 PM
I just purchased my second 90-240sx se fastback stick with 175k on it. My other 90 240sx with 210k is suffering from severe rust underneath and will be the parts car. Both cars have identical features except for one. The replacement car has ABS that is leaking from the unit, near the passenger side firewall under the hood, but otherwise seems to be working. I saw a complete rebuilt replacement for $600.00+ but I do not think that is necessary it just looks like a seal problem. There are no trouble lights on the dash. Where exactly do I find the diagnostic unit to view trouble codes I printed out the list of the codes. How do I go about fixing the leak? Are there any other Nissan year models and make that I can use? In addition, I purchased an aftermarket VLSD Kit will it fit and work into the ABS car's pumpkin?

cdlong
10-02-2007, 07:55 PM
try tightening up all the connections first. if the unit itself is leaking, you're a bit screwed, i don't think you can find a rebuild kit anywhere. you could just pull the whole system, ABS that old isn't great anyway.

as for the vlsd, i'm not sure about the '90 but usually the vlsd and abs are packaged together. check your stock diff before you go swaping anything.

jerryk
10-02-2007, 08:21 PM
try tightening up all the connections first. if the unit itself is leaking, you're a bit screwed, i don't think you can find a rebuild kit anywhere. you could just pull the whole system, ABS that old isn't great anyway.

as for the vlsd, i'm not sure about the '90 but usually the vlsd and abs are packaged together. check your stock diff before you go swaping anything.
I am starting to think that way. After mulling over the future of a complete hydraulic ABS system that is now 17 years I have decided to rip it out. I can envision this becoming a maintenance and parts nightmare. No one on the forums seems to know much about the system just that it requires a whole **** load of different parts, drive shaft, pumpkin, wheel shafts, rotors, pads, etc. I intend to keep this car for another 17 years and do not want to spend the remainder of my life, I am 67, looking for this sensor and that actuator etc. I have all the parts I need. I just purchased this second 90-240sx se ABS fastback stick with 175k on it basically for the body. My other 90-240sx non-ABS with many new and performance parts and 220k is suffering from severe rust underneath and will become the parts car. Both cars have identical features except for ABS. So keeping my goal in mind and knowing my driving skills, never drive the speed limit and drift around corners, I believe this is the correct approach. I did get a VLSD for the wintertime I am tired of driving 40MPH in the snow.
This is my old one what a shame.
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/136240140-L-1.jpg (http://www.smugmug.com/photos/136240140-L-1.jpg)
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/136240163-L.jpg (http://www.smugmug.com/photos/136240163-L.jpg)
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/136240179-L.jpg (http://www.smugmug.com/photos/136240179-L.jpg)

I am striping the new old 240SX and treating the entire frame with POR15.

Do you know what parts can be removed I need a shopping list.

djsilver
10-02-2007, 08:43 PM
If your car has ABS, it also has a factory VLSD unless someone has removed it and put something else in. The VLSD carrier is about 3/4" longer than the open diff unit because it also contains the speed sensor that works with ABS. VLSD guts can be swapped to an open carrier but the output shafts and driveshaft must be swapped as well and you can't put an open diff carrier into your SE without disabling the ABS because of the lack of speed sensor.

Aftermarket LSD kits are made to fit either the VLSD or Open pumpkin, due to the different output shaft lengths. You'll either need to find our from your source which one you purchased or figure it out by taking measurements of the spline depths.

A Nissan dealer can plug into the Consult port and read out error codes. The FSM also has instructions on activating/reading the LED on the ECU for trouble codes. It's available in multiple places on the web in .pdf form but www.240edge.com (http://www.240edge.com) has it nicely organized.

If both cars have ABS you should be able to swap ABS units and put the one that doesn't leak into your "new" car.

djsilver
10-02-2007, 09:15 PM
To get rid of the ABS system you'll need, at minimum, the master cylinder and all brake lines under the hood. The front calipers on the ABS model are larger but will still work w/o ABS but remember which ones you have when you buy pads because they're different. From your first post I thought both cars had ABS. I have an ABS control unit from a '91 SE that I'd sell you for $100 plus shipping and I'll even give you the $100 back if it doesn't work. (PM me if interested)

I've reviewed my option sheets for the '90 model and am confused. The '90 could be ordered with ABS but the HICAS/VLSD option wasn't listed until '91 so you have an open diff unless someone has already swapped it. I'll have to do more research on ABS w/o VLSD because I've not heard of an open diff carrier with a speed sensor for ABS so someone else may able to clear this up. I'll stop here while I only appear mildly stupid. (edit; I've reviewed an '90 FSM and the Braking/ABS section shows a speed sensor on the diff but the drivetrain section only show parts and instructions for an open diff so apparently they did come that way. The FSM also has instructions for reading error codes on the dash ABS light and the ABS control unit LED.)

The Consult port wasn't available until '91 so I apologize for misleading you. My car is a mixture of parts from several years/trims.

rednerd
10-02-2007, 10:20 PM
Personally, I'd keep the ABS system. The early 90's ABS units were huge and ungly but if you are planning on running big brakes (and not so big tires) it's a nice feature to have.

jerryk
10-03-2007, 12:40 AM
Djsilver
I already tested the ABS car by placing some oil under the passenger rear tire. It is an open diff, I gunned her, and she just sat smoking up a storm. From what I have read the rotors and calipers are larger on all four wheels is this not true? I do appreciate you taking the time to answer me no one else has on four forums. As I said actual knowledge of ABS is few and far in-between. You offer is tempting price for your unit but look at it from my “NEW” perspective I have driven FWD and RWD drive stick all my life and in my youth spent many a weekend on the Lime Rock circuit. In 1980 I had totally mad 1600 pound 80’ Sentra putting out 190EHP. I can out-drive and think this system. Now I have to think about the long term and the difficulty of keeping this ABS system going for another 17 years. That is the plan. This was is an antiquated implementation and the fact that I could only find one control unit re-builder does not bode well. I have a complete non-ABS operational car so any part is not a problem. I think I want to keep the ABS rotors and calipers and dump everything else. This is the time to do it because the car is going to be stripped glass and fenders removed rustproof and painted. My tranny was just totally rebuilt a month ago and has a new Centerforce clutch. The only outstanding question is the motor on the ABS. It has 175K but how was it cared for. I put 310 miles on it and she is a little rough at the edges. I am going to examine and change the oil run a test to see if she is burning antifreeze, check the oil plug for metal filings check the spark plugs and run a wet/dry compression test. My old 240 has 200k on the original chain but I have cared for the car since 1990. My plan is to take the best of both cars and create one.


Hello Rednerd one look at the pictures would tell you that my car is far from stock. It has subtle custom paint and bodywork. I am running 205/17/35 in front and 215/35/ 17 in the rear. I have a 1.5” drop spring with camber adjusters front and rear, Tokico gas struts, poly suspension bushings, oversized sway bar front and rear, strut bars front, and rear stainless steel cat and Borla cat back and so on. Ugly does not bother me but long-term practicality does.

rednerd
10-03-2007, 02:20 AM
I'm guessing you are rocking the stock engine and brakes? If so I'd dump the ABS. If you are planning on running gobs of power and 300zx brakes the ABS system might be worth saving.

djsilver
10-03-2007, 07:09 AM
I understand your position on the ABS. The 89-94's and 97-98's had 57mm front pistons vs. 54mm and larger pads. The 89-94's had 35mm rear pads and the 95-98's had 38mm (all with the same pads) The non-ABS MC is 7/8" vs. the 15/16" for ABS. I'm running a '90 coupe with the 57mm front calipers, the 38mm rears and the 7/8" MC but I'm also running 265/45/16 Kumho V710's (SCCA D-street prepared class) I'm running without ABS but I'm 51 myself so it's good practice for keeping my reflexes in tune!

As for your diffs, it sounds like you have two opens, one with a speed sensor and one without. You can put any aftermarket LSD made for a 240sx in either one, but if it was made for a VLSD equipped car you'll have to find some output shafts from a VLSD to go with it.

Have fun!

jerryk
10-20-2007, 03:08 AM
I have two cars both the same 1990-240sx stick hatchbacks. I plan to keep the ABS / No HICAS (1) car but want to use my non-abs 240sx (2) for parts.

My car (2) tranny is completely rebuilt will it fit into the ABS (1) drive line without mods?
I want to remove ABS from car (1) but keep the calipers rear end pumpkin and drive line. Is this a problem?
I want to install my VLSD unit that I purchased but not installed for Car 2 in Car 1’s pumpkin. Should I replace the axle shaft seals?
Do I need my BMC from Car(2) and why? Besides removing the big control unit under the hood, what other parts can I remove? I was told the ABS computer is in the rear on the driver’s side I do not see it. Precisely where is it located?

djsilver
10-22-2007, 02:18 PM
1. There are no differences in the manual transmissions between the 1990 ABS and non-ABS 240sx.

2. There are no differences in the rear calipers from 89-94.

Let's stop here. I'm answering the rest assuming when you say you bought a VLSD "unit" you mean you bought the part that goes inside the "pumpkin" (diff carrier). There were two kinds of "pumpkins" available on the 240sx; The shorter non-ABS pumpkin came with an open diff in all models 89-98. The longer ABS pumpkin came in the 89-90 with an open diff and from '91 on with either open or VLSD diff (to get the VLSD it also had to have the SE package with HICAS 4-wheel steering) 89-94 had 4-bolt covers and 95-98 had 2-bolt covers.

3. The ABS pumpkins (including ABS/open or ABS/VLSD) are 3/4" longer than the non-ABS pumpkins, so the ABS driveshaft is 3/4" shorter than the non-abs driveshaft to make room. You need to run an ABS driveshaft with ABS pumpkins and a non-ABS driveshaft with the non-ABS pumpkin (regardless of what you eventually put inside the pumpkin!)

4. An OEM VLSD "unit" or any aftermarket LSD/VLSD/HLSD/CLSD made for a USDM 240sx will fit in either pumpkin. What you must determine is whether the diff you purchased was made to replace an R200 (open) or an R200V (VLSD) differential because the output shaft lenghts are different and the shafts must match the the differential.

This is importand because most aftermarket manufacturers that make diff's for the 240sx make separate models to replace either the open (R200) or VLSD (R200V) differentials.

FYI, R200 and R200V diffs are used in many different USDM and JDM Nissans/Infinitis/Subarus/Toyotas but they may have different case widths and output shaft diameters and spline counts. This is important to know if you're purchasing a used diff without proper documentation.

5. Replacing output shaft seals is good practice (and cheap)

6. If you remove the ABS control unit you will need the following;
A. A non-ABS master cylinder. The non-ABS unit has separate connections for the front calipers and the ABS unit doesn't.
B. Hard lines from the non-ABS unit. You'll need the fronts from the MC all the way to the front caliper hoses. You'll need the rear non-ABS hardline from the MC all the way to the first corresponding joint in the ABS rear hardline.

7. I have a 1990 FSM and it shows the ABS ecu to be behind the left rear armrest panel.

jerryk
10-22-2007, 03:22 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have new aftermarket parts or they are coming from my old non-ABS 90 Hatchback car (1).

1. There are no differences in the manual transmissions between the 1990 ABS and non-ABS 240sx.
Good thank you
2. There are no differences in the rear calipers from 89-94.
Good a little more front stopping power

Let's stop here. I'm answering the rest assuming when you say you bought a VLSD "unit" you mean you bought the part that goes inside the "pumpkin" (diff carrier). There were two kinds of "pumpkins" available on the 240sx; The shorter non-ABS pumpkin came with an open diff in all models 89-98. The longer ABS pumpkin came in the 89-90 with an open diff and from '91 on with either open or VLSD diff (to get the VLSD it also had to have the SE package with HICAS 4-wheel steering) 89-94 had 4-bolt covers and 95-98 had 2-bolt covers.

You know your stuff. I purchased a Carbonetic unit for replacement of an Open Diff in a 90 unit. So it will be installed in the ABS Pumpkin. Therefore, I need not worry about everything from the Tranny back.

3. The ABS pumpkins (including ABS/open or ABS/VLSD) are 3/4" longer than the non-ABS pumpkins, so the ABS driveshaft is 3/4" shorter than the non-abs driveshaft to make room. You need to run an ABS driveshaft with ABS pumpkins and a non-ABS driveshaft with the non-ABS pumpkin (regardless of what you eventually put inside the pumpkin!)

Got it.

4. An OEM VLSD "unit" or any aftermarket LSD/VLSD/HLSD/CLSD made for a USDM 240sx will fit in either pumpkin. What you must determine is whether the diff you purchased was made to replace an R200 (open) or an R200V (VLSD) differential because the output shaft lengths are different and the shafts must match the differential.

Got it

This is important because most aftermarket manufacturers that make diff's for the 240sx make separate models to replace either the open (R200) or VLSD (R200V) differentials.

FYI, R200 and R200V diffs are used in many different USDM and JDM Nissans/Infinitis/Subarus/Toyotas but they may have different case widths and output shaft diameters and spline counts. This is important to know if you're purchasing a used diff without proper documentation.

Brand-new in the box.

5. Replacing output shaft seals are good practice (and cheap)

Thank you will do. Are there any bearings to change?

6. If you remove the ABS control unit you will need the following;
A. A non-ABS master cylinder. The non-ABS unit has separate connections for the front calipers and the ABS unit doesn't.
My 90 non-ABS (1) 240 will be the parts donor. ABS car is (2).
Will use MB and hard lines.

B. Hard lines from the non-ABS unit. You'll need the fronts from the MC all the way to the front caliper hoses. You'll need the rear non-ABS hard line from the MC all the way to the first corresponding joint in the ABS rear hard line.

Thank you I thought the person was taking a short cut when he talked about line Ts.

7. I have a 1990 FSM and it shows the ABS ecu to be behind the left rear armrest panel.

Thank you for everything. Can you give me a time estimate for?

1 Removing tranny from (2) car. Removing new tranny from my car (1) and putting it in car (2). Two removals and one install.

2 Removal of all abs components MBC and hard lines from (2). Removal of MBC and hard lines from car (1) and installing it in car (2). Two removals and one install.

3 Dropping car (2) pumpkin and removing open diff and installing new-boxed diff.

djsilver
10-23-2007, 05:50 PM
Swapping the guts in the pumpkin; I'd allow a day for removal, cleanup, disassembly, re-assembly and installation (if you have all the tools and don't need to order shims) You'll need a split-bearing puller if you use the old bearings, a way to press bearings on to the new diff in any case, a torque wrench, a micrometer, feeler guages and a hi-lo micrometer for setup.
1. Remove the driveshaft first. It's easiest if you un-bolt it from the pumpkin then unbolt the center support brace. It'll droop in the middle and fall away from the pumpkin, then you can pull the front part out of the transmission.
2. Follow the FSM for swapping the innards. I've re-used side bearings if they look good but others may not agree. A new pair is about $100. If you're lucky your old shims may work out but if they don't you may need to buy more or buy some shim stock for adjustment.

Swapping brake stuff; You can do this in an afternoon. Just go real easy on the tubing fittings. Use some RustBuster before hand and don't get in a hurry or you'll f**k it up.

Swapping transmissions. This includes dropping two driveshafts and two transmissions, two clutches and replacing only one of each. I'd figure a day for myself (I'm slow)
1. Rent or buy a pilot bushing puller and replace the pilot bearing while you're there.
2. Rent a transmission jack to make it easier
3. The bolts around the top of the transmission to engine are tricky. I used about 3' of socket extensions and got most from underneath. Some folks don't even replace the top 2 but I'm not advising it. Keep track of their locations, as there's about 5 different sizes and two different thread pitches in the mix.