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Old 01-30-2002, 06:52 AM   #1
jamz
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Default ABS on/off switch

An i-club member figured this out and put up a how-to guide <A HREF="http://www.i-club.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=140632"> HERE. </A HREF>

Looks pretty easy, I think I'm going to go to Subaru, get an extra switch, and try it tonight!

-James
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Old 01-30-2002, 09:04 AM   #2
sorbee711
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Wow, the mod even looks good. I expected it to be really ugly and held together with duct tape, but it doesn't.
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:13 AM   #3
USOM2000
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just a question...

under what driving conditions would disabling the ABS be advantageous? i'm not really thinking of doing the mod, but i'm very interested in learning more on the topic.

thanks

ben
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:20 AM   #4
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Snow. The ABS in the Subarus don't work well, if at all on this. Basically, it takes forever to stop.

With ABS off, you can wedge snow under the tires and scrape away the snow to get to the pavement to slow down much faster.

--kC
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:28 AM   #5
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gravel/dirt also. and IMO wet pavement as well. I think the Subaru ABS locks up way too early. Since I pulled my ABS fuse at O'Neil's I havent put it back in.
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:34 AM   #6
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Non ABS should stop a car better on a loose surface where you create a pile of snow/gravel/etc in front of the tire. But, the problem is, what ever direction you are going when you locked 'em up, that is the direction you will continue. ABS allows you to steer while slowing down. ABS in the rain is also superior to non-ABS. If you can trigger ABS on wet roads very easily blame the tires. ABS is triggered at an impending lockup, crappy tires means low lockup levels.

Any ideas what an insurance company might do if they find you were in an accident and discover you modified the ABS system? Good luck with coverage...

ABS is good 99% of the time, just because you can do something does't mean you should.

/bill
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:34 AM   #7
bill harvey
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isn't the hole point of abs to let you turn while you brake. tires skid i straight lines they don't let you turn...
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:54 AM   #8
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Around where I live, you get roads that are plowed well, and roads that are not plowed at all.

My ABS is fine on wet pavement, but in the snow, you might as well open the door and put your feet down flintstones-style, 'cause you'll stop just about as fast that way. I would want an easy way to disable ABS when I'm on a snowy road, and re-enable it when I get to a plowed section.

As far as insurance goes, I don't think it really matters if you can't stop and hit something. Regardless of your ABS status, you would hae been going "too fast for the circumstances" or whatever they call it.

-James
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Old 01-30-2002, 12:22 PM   #9
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I agree with you, James, why you'd want an ABS switch. However, don't ignore what Bill says about insurance and liability. If you hit someone with the ABS off and caused a lot of damage to others, you certainly don't want your insurance company to use that as an excuse and not cover you. It's something worth thinking about.

-Ray
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Old 01-30-2002, 12:45 PM   #10
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I don't care how deep the snow is, you can maneuver in ways WITH ABS that you simple canít with out it. ABS will also stop your car quicker in adverse conditions; these are the two main reasons for having it and it is well proven. Donít go by feel, go by the facts. You can not modulate the pedal as fast as the system can and if you are just operating your brakes normally in these conditions, then you are an accident waiting to happen. The only instances were disabling your ABS may be beneficial would be in certain rally conditions or when purposely trying to perform a specific, and probably dangerous for the street, maneuver.
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Old 01-30-2002, 02:14 PM   #11
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I agree that insurance companies might use a switch as an excuse not to cover you, but wouldnt they also use driving too fast (i.e. too fast for circumstances) also as an excuse? Or driving with bald tires? (i.e. slicks ) A switch is easily turned off, too, they might have to prove that ABS was off (which could be done by analyzing skid marks, etc I suppose).

Anyway, it's kinda moot, because it would see very limited use. *I* would only use it on snowy roads, where I am known to be very cautions anyway. I would want the extra security of threshold braking, and locking it up when I want to, depending on the circumstances.

I don't want to get into a whole ABS debate here, but when I go out in *my* car, with *my* driving ability, in *my* tires, in *certain* snow/loose surface conditions, I can stop the car faster, with more control without ABS than I can with ABS. It's that simple.

A few weeks ago, I was on a dirt road up in Franconia that some of you are familiar with. The conditions were ice over gravel, with some snow on top. I got the car on a steep downhill, moving at about 4-5 MPH, and tried to stop. You just could not. You just kept going because the wheels sensed lockup, and pulsed. I did this several times, and the stopping never improved.

I pulled the ABS fuse, went to the same stretch of road, same speed, and tried again. Much more controllable, much more stopping ability. I could stop the car, or at least retard most of it's speed, much better than with ABS. I had the car almost stopped at the same point on the road in which the ABS enabled car was sailing along at the original speed.

To me, in those conditions, I was able to control the car better without it. Similar conditions prevail on public roads, where I will hopefully never have to put my skills to test, but nevertheless, I would like the option.

It is true that the ABS system can modulate the wheels way faster than a human. But I submit that there are many real-life instances in which wheel modulation is not what stops the car, but rather applying controlled friction to the surface.

That being said, I think ABS is much more valuable in the dry or in the rain, because the surface is not loose. Hence my desire to turn it back on easily.

-James
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Old 01-30-2002, 02:35 PM   #12
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It seems to me that it'd be a good mod for a track only car. If its track-only chances are no insurance, not street legal, etc. Having the ability to turn ABS on and off during consecutive laps could teach a person a lot about why its bad to brake while turn, why its good to brake in a straight line, etc.

My $0.02,
-dave
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Old 01-30-2002, 02:44 PM   #13
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...45mph, snowy road but straight, deer runs out, going too fast to avoid with out breaking, ABS braking, was able to handle the car even with it partially on the even snowier berm and avoid the deer. Without ABS I would have skid right into the deer. If your brakes are modulating that much you are braking too hard. Further, while we benifit from an AWD vehicle, try that in a FWD on a corner and watch your ass pass your nose.
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Old 01-30-2002, 02:57 PM   #14
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Disable ABS for autocross, rallycross and ice racing!

Those of you who have never done any of the above, don't comment. I autocross with ABS turned on but rallycross and ice race with ABS turned off. ABS just doesn't allow you to toss the car around like full wheel lockup does. When you're doing 55 MPH through the last gate of a rallycross and you need to slam on the brakes into the stop gate (read: 55 MPH to 0 MPH on gravel) ABS sucks.

But, with ABS turned off, you stop instantly.

When racing, you want full lockup in some circumstances. Especially on snow. At the last Team O'Neil rallycross on snow I was at I couldn't break my rear end free in the skid pad because I couldn't get the wheels to lock up (I left ABS on just to see what it would be like).

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Old 01-30-2002, 03:06 PM   #15
traskw
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That was my point. I just could see some one reading this thread and disabling their ABS for street use unknowingly, no mater how good you think you are your car is safer on the street with ABS in 99% of conditions. On the ice you have plenty of room for error and no one else is on the coarse with you.
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Old 01-30-2002, 03:12 PM   #16
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Snow/ice/loose gravel are not merely 1% of driving conditions when you live in NH.

I leave my ABS on, but I certainly see the advantages of disabling it. YMMV.

/Andrew
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Old 01-30-2002, 03:18 PM   #17
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Please don't disable your ABS unless you are familiar with, and have practiced, non-ABS emergency manuevers. Tim O'Neil said it pretty well-

1. For the normal everyday driver, leave ABS on.
2. For the driver who has been trained, ABS is best off (in certain conditions, ice, snow, etc).

That's it. Know what you are doing. It's a pretty basic rule- don't screw around with stuff that you don't know the effects of- I don't know about suspension, and you don't see me playing around with spring rates and stuff.



Just remember, by disabling ABS, you turn the car from a "perfectly" controlled machine into........ every other car I have driven in my entire life!
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Old 01-30-2002, 03:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by traskw
...45mph, snowy road but straight, deer runs out, going too fast to avoid with out breaking, ABS braking, was able to handle the car even with it partially on the even snowier berm and avoid the deer. Without ABS I would have skid right into the deer.
Im not sure I follow you here. Without ABS you would have been able to control the car better actually. Using threshold braking etc. I believe Tim O'Neil said something to the effect of ABS being designed for people who think they can turn and brake 100% at the same time. Which we know is not possible.



If your brakes are modulating that much you are braking too hard.


Or the ABS system isnt very good, or your wheel/tire size is different than what it was designed for.



Further, while we benifit from an AWD vehicle, try that in a FWD on a corner and watch your ass pass your nose.


Im also not sure I follow you on the FWD point. Were you accelerating through said turn? If so, then the AWD car would actually be a little more assy(although with more control, and depending on setup). And if you werent accelerating then AWD or FWD wouldnt have made that much of a difference. AWD doesnt help you stop, and it really only helps you corner if you are accelerating through the corner. And if you turn and lift off the throttle, both AWD and FWD cars will have off-throttle oversteer.


Atleast that's the way I think it goes. But Im no expert. Correct me if Im wrong.
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Old 01-30-2002, 03:43 PM   #19
traskw
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I meant in an emergency situation. As far as the deer goes the ABS on my 97 worked flawlessly and it would have been impossible to break and steer without ABS given the situation/variables. The car was going too fast and the situation occurred too quickly to warrant any other reaction. I know this is an isolated case, but it is one thing to slide your car around a cone you are setting up for and another when the obstacle is unforeseen, unless you are also psychic. My main worry was that you may have been misleading inexperienced drivers. Obviously every one here is the best driver and I must not be, for seeing the usefulness of the ABS doing what it was designed to do. May the 3 deceased out of the 4 previous generations of professional drivers before me roll in their graves. No, I am not a professional driver, I was the first in four gererations not to be due to an unfortunate divorce. 99% is an admitted exaggeration.
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Old 01-30-2002, 06:00 PM   #20
traskw
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Didn't mean to kill your thread. I have been partial to the ABS since that near accident. It just seems like your system really has a problem if it is that bad.
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Old 01-30-2002, 06:59 PM   #21
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Here's my opinion. (Yeah, like we need another one in here)

ABS was designed to do one thing: to keep the wheels at the threshold of lockup. That's where you get maximum stopping power. Low traction surfaces, however, don't allow ABS to do it's job. On those type of surfaces, you want to clear out the loose top part to get to the hard bottom part where there is traction for the tires. ABS, on the other hand, keeps the tire rolling. So you never clear out the top layer.

In an emergency situation, Tim's crew taught us to go against our instincts. They wanted us to avoid obsticles WITHOUT brakes at all. You want to REACT to the emergency without having to think.

I went to Team O'neals thinking I was going to be spinning like a madman because I was driving on all-season tires. But I learned that that is only 1 part of the whole picture. There are 3 limits: Your own, the roads, and the car's. Exceed any 2 of those, and you'll be visiting the snowbanks on the sides of the road.

Personally, I pull my fuse when there is snow on the roads. I have driven in snow all my life without ABS. Hell, until now I could never afford a car with ABS. I'm more comfortable with my own assestment of the road conditions versus a computer that is completely blind to the situation at hand. *shrug* I guess we'll all have to just agree to disagree on this one.

-John
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Old 01-30-2002, 07:45 PM   #22
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I agree with some of your points, I definantly drive an ABS car differently from a non-ABS car. Steering without breaking would have meant too much forward momentum in my situation with the deer, but cornering is best done without any braking in these kinds of conditions. I usually drive in a lower gear ratio than normal to power through turns and make full use of the AWD system.
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Old 01-30-2002, 08:11 PM   #23
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abs is designed to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle in emergency panic stop situations. period.
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Old 01-31-2002, 11:01 AM   #24
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Post A little education...and a recap

Okay here we go.

ABS was originally developed for aircraft so that they would not lock their tires during landings and cause otu of control situations due to blown out tires.

ABS in cars is very helpful on any hard surface, asphalt, concrete, wet or dry. It is also helpful on split traction surfaces that would otherwise cause a yaw rate around the vehicle's CG.

The purpose of ABS is to help maintain threshold braking without locking a tire, which in turn CAN allow steering input if the tire is not at 100% of braking ability.

The fastest way to stop a car on a hard surface is maximum threshold braking which has the tire spinning at a small percent less than actual forward motion of the vehicle. This is possible due to tire adhesion on any given hard surface.

The fastest way to stop a car on a loose surface such as gravel, loose dirt, or packed snow is (generally) a locked tire which can build up a wedge of the driving surface underneath it. Obviously there are exceptions here.

A good track driver even with racing ABS will usually never engage it because ABS pulses are not at the maximum braking threshold. However ABS (if it is good) on a track car can save a $200+ racing tire from total annihilation when the driver loses concentration or makes a mistake.

A good off pavement driver will never use ABS because with left foot braking skills the accelerator and brake alternately become ABS and traction control (with an AWD vehicle). However in the case of a rally where many different surfaces may be seen and grip level may be drastically different from side to side ABS may be desirable in some cirumstances.

In general street ABS was developed for the masses, not the enthusiast. In many cases even the masses fail to use ABS correctly because when the ABS pulses back through the brake pedal they release pressure on the braking system causing increased stopping distances for no reason other than lack of training.

A more educated and well trained driver can use ABS for its intended purpose, in addition a very well trained driver will know what circumstances to turn it off, and that it is a tool to be used in situations where the driver has made an error, not as a failsafe to maintain steering control.

As a side note, at maximum ABS braking on a slippery or loose surface, even though the wheels are not locked it is very easy to overwhelm the steering capabilities of the tires since they are attempting to provide 100% braking force. Remember the tractions circle, a tire can only do 100% of anything. It can not brake at 100% and turn at the same time.

-Drew
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