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Old 12-02-2014, 04:08 PM   #1
Marshmallow
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DIY ABS Disengagement Switch

One of my Audi's has a fantastically helpful switch on the dash that disengages the anti-lock brakes. I would like to add this feature to my E46 and my other Audi. On the Audi, I don't need ABS so I can just unplug the wheel speed sensors. (The fuse cannot be pulled as I would lose my differential lock along with the ABS since they are controlled by the same fuse.) On the E46, I would like to have the option of disengaging ABS at the flick of a switch. However, the ABS in my car leaches into 4 or 5 fuses. Clearly, I cannot simply wire a switch into the fuse. What are my options for this? I have yet to find an answer for this and apparently no one really cares to do this. So this is a bit of a shot in the dark but hopefully someone here has done something with this.

I recently purchased enough buttons to fill up my DSC button row and I have two that are currently unused. If I can find a way to disable ABS, I am going to try to wire it into one of the unused buttons for an OEM look!
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:07 PM   #2
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Whats the purpose of disabling ABS? I can understand traction control to get the rear-end out, but ABS is pretty much out of the way until you really need it.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:10 PM   #3
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Whats the purpose of disabling ABS? I can understand traction control to get the rear-end out, but ABS is pretty much out of the way until you really need it.
Disabling ABS makes the car safer if you know how to drive without it and especially if conditions call for it. Braking on snow, dirt, or any loose surface is difficult with ABS engaged. It can also be good for track usage.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:29 PM   #4
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Disabling ABS makes the car safer if you know how to drive without it and especially if conditions call for it. Braking on snow, dirt, or any loose surface is difficult with ABS engaged. It can also be good for track usage.


It's only good to disable it for track cars when you've modified the capabilities of the car outside the envelope it's able to correct for, i.e. much stickier tires that need a healthier slip angle to develop grip. Even then, Bosch makes a motorsport ABS that's much faster than non-ABS. It's just retarded expensive, and not allowed in most race series because it's unfair.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:30 PM   #5
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It's only good to disable it for track cars when you've modified the capabilities of the car outside the envelope it's able to correct for, i.e. much stickier tires that need a healthier slip angle to develop grip. Even then, Bosch makes a motorsport ABS that's much faster than non-ABS. It's just retarded expensive, and not allowed in most race series because it's unfair.
I know this. My Miata has no ABS. But anyway the reason for wanting a switch is not for the track, I was just pointing it out. I want it for driving on snow and dirt.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:46 PM   #6
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I'm pretty sure that ABS will make you stop faster on snow and dirt 9.9/10. Test your stopping distance with and without it. Also remember that if you have to turn, and your wheels are locked up, you ain't turning. Not trying to start an argument, but I'd love to see the numbers.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:47 PM   #7
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Also remember that if you have to turn, and your wheels are locked up, you ain't turning.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:49 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure that ABS will make you stop faster on snow and dirt 9.9/10. Test your stopping distance with and without it. Also remember that if you have to turn, and your wheels are locked up, you ain't turning. Not trying to start an argument, but I'd love to see the numbers.

Several close calls with trees while off-road with ABS on tell me it doesn't help and in fact hurts. I can stop far shorter with ABS off. I can test this with the same subject by using my Audi in which you can disable the ABS. I am actually curious as to how much it helps now. When I get a chance I will measure the stopping distance. On loose surfaces, ABS gets confused and constantly kicks in. Without it, you can build up snow or dirt in front of the wheels to help you stop quicker.

I'd love to hear your rebuttal on this one unevolved.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:56 PM   #9
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Well the Audi ABS system is as old as the e30. The new systems are much faster, and much improved, due to leaps in processor technology. I'm curious as to how much better it will work for you.

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Several close calls with trees while off-road with ABS on tell me it doesn't help and in fact hurts. I can stop far shorter with ABS off. I can test this with the same subject by using my Audi in which you can disable the ABS. I am actually curious as to how much it helps now. When I get a chance I will measure the stopping distance. On loose surfaces, ABS gets confused and constantly kicks in. Without it, you can build up snow or dirt in front of the wheels to help you stop quicker.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:58 PM   #10
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Well the Audi ABS system is as old as the e30. The new systems are much faster, and much improved, due to leaps in processor technology.
I know this but the same basic concept is still there, and my E46 would be miles better in the snow without it. If I can find a way to reliably switch it on and off I will report back with data to support this.

And I will do a test with the Audi as soon as I can.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:00 PM   #11
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On loose surfaces, ABS gets confused and constantly kicks in. Without it, you can build up snow or dirt in front of the wheels to help you stop quicker.
No sure I am buying into all of this.

Building up snow and dirt in front of the wheels to stop quicker, this is not repeatable or controllable.

ABS gets confused and constantly kicks in? The ABS is not getting confused unless there is a problem with wheel sensors or the controller.

Are you confusing ABS with DSC?

But have fun with your experiment.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:04 PM   #12
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Look up sliding vs. static friction.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:04 PM   #13
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No sure I am buying into all of this.

Building up snow and dirt in front of the wheels to stop quicker, this is not repeatable or controllable.

ABS gets confused and constantly kicks in? The ABS is not getting confused unless there is a problem with wheel sensors or the controller.

Are you confusing ABS with DSC?

But have fun with your experiment.
The ABS thinks that the car is sliding on pavement when it is on loose surfaces and thus gets "confused" per say.

ABS is good for tarmac and sheet ice, light snow.

ABS off is good for dirt and heavy snow.

From NHTSA: "On very soft surfaces, such as gravel or unpacked snow, ABS may actually lengthen stopping distances. "

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/e...4-26-2013.html
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:09 PM   #14
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From NHTSA: "On very soft surfaces, such as gravel or unpacked snow, ABS may actually lengthen stopping distances. "

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/e...4-26-2013.html
From that same article,

" Do cars with ABS stop more quickly than cars without?
Perhaps, but that's not the main purpose of ABS. It is a system designed to help you maintain control of the vehicle during emergency braking situations, not necessarily make the car stop more quickly."

All of this bickering, but the point is you can't disable ABS on these cars without a serious background in programming.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:12 PM   #15
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From that same article,

" Do cars with ABS stop more quickly than cars without?
Perhaps, but that's not the main purpose of ABS. It is a system designed to help you maintain control of the vehicle during emergency braking situations, not necessarily make the car stop more quickly."

All of this bickering, but the point is you can't disable ABS on these cars without a serious background in programming.
You're really not listening to me at all. I understand the point of ABS and I know what it does. When in a low traction environment, ABS is a hindrance. There is a reason my Audi with a locking differential has a ABS kill switch. It's because the car was designed to be used off-road and in snow. The engineers knew of the shortfalls of ABS and I can tell you that having the kill switch option is extremely helpful.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:14 PM   #16
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The ABS thinks that the car is sliding on pavement when it is on loose surfaces and thus gets "confused" per say.

ABS is good for tarmac and sheet ice, light snow.

ABS off is good for dirt and heavy snow.

From NHTSA: "On very soft surfaces, such as gravel or unpacked snow, ABS may actually lengthen stopping distances. "

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/e...4-26-2013.html
Perhaps, but it is always the responsibility of the driver to adjust their speed and driving to the present road/driving conditions.

I would think that it you really found a need to not have ABS active you should slow down, adjust your distance and modify your braking behavior.

The goal of ABS is to not have to actually use it.

One of the first things I always do when snow or ice is on the ground as I start out to drive is to actually stab the brakes to activate the ABS so I can determine exactly how slippery the road conditions are at the time.

Then I modify my distance, steering and braking to adjust to the current road/driving conditions.

Wouldn't you think that if the ABS was such a problem, the manufacturers would include a switch for the driver to disable this similar to traction control?
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:17 PM   #17
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Perhaps, but it is always the responsibility of the driver to adjust their speed and driving to the present road/driving conditions.

I would think that it you really found a need to not have ABS active you should slow down, adjust your distance and modify your braking behavior.

The goal of ABS is to not have to actually use it.

One of the first things I always do when snow or ice is on the ground as I start out to drive is to actually stab the brakes to activate the ABS so I can determine exactly how slippery the road conditions are at the time.

Then I modify my distance, steering and braking to adjust to the current road/driving conditions.

Wouldn't you think that if the ABS was such a problem, the manufacturers would include a switch for the driver to disable this similar to traction control?
I should add that when I need ABS off, I am in a situation where there are no other vehicles around. The E46 is a street vehicle but the Audis are not. And they did have switches in some cars years ago. I guess it just didn't catch on. But then there are lots of useful features that are no longer put in cars.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:22 PM   #18
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Sand and gravel under the tires act like tiny ball bearings when you step on the brakes. As a result there will be very little friction/traction between tires and ground. Therefore all four wheels want to lock up immediately. ABS would keep them from doing so. When you hit the brakes without ABS, the tires will immediately begin to dig in pushing against sand and gravel; this builds little berms in front of each tire. To deal with the negative effects of ABS on dirt, some manufacturers had installed a kill switch for ABS in their full time four wheel drive vehicles (for example early 90's Mercedes-Benz G-Class) but recent changes in the law prevents them from providing this option any longer. As of 2012, all vehicles sold in the US are required to have ABS.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:26 PM   #19
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You also can't steer when this happens, and you might end up in a tree. Honestly if you just pull a fuse it should disable the system. Curious to see your findings.

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Sand and gravel under the tires act like tiny ball bearings when you step on the brakes. As a result there will be very little friction/traction between tires and ground. Therefore all four wheels want to lock up immediately. ABS would keep them from doing so. When you hit the brakes without ABS, the tires will immediately begin to dig in pushing against sand and gravel; this builds little berms in front of each tire. To deal with the negative effects of ABS on dirt, some manufacturers had installed a kill switch for ABS in their full time four wheel drive vehicles (for example early 90's Mercedes-Benz G-Class) but recent changes in the law prevents them from providing this option any longer.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:30 PM   #20
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You also can't steer when this happens, and you might end up in a tree. Honestly if you just pull a fuse it should disable the system. Curious to see your findings.
I end up in a tree with the system on. (Ask me how I know.) I'm going to pull the speed sensors on the V6 Audi (the 20v has the kill switch) and possibly the E46 as well. Then I will do a test on dirt or snow and bring back the findings. There are turns I can take at certain speeds while on dirt and make it through fine without ABS but I can't make the turn with the system on. Keep in mind I am powering through the corners, not braking or coasting.
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