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SN95 ABS Module Relocation

108
118
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Virginia
On the SN95 cars the ABS module is on the front passenger frame rail mounted up near the radiator. It's got some weight to it, 8 lbs. I'm thinking of mounting it somewhere else to keep weight off the nose. But also it could balance out the weight of the battery? Do you think it's worth it to move to new location?

I'll add that my car does not currently have ABS and I'm in the process of adding it. So it's the same amount of work to add it anywhere. Since my dash is gutted, I'm thinking of mounting it inside the car, under the dash. But I know all the wiring will reach the factory location and I could get factory brake lines, instead of making custom lines.
 
108
118
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Virginia
I think I've convinced myself to relocate the ABS inside the car. Pros outweigh the cons.

Original LocationRelocated Under Dash
ProsUsing removed harness, wires will reach factory connections
Could get factory brake lines
Factory mounting
Weight behind front wheel axis
Shorter brake line routings
Uses empty space under dash
ConsMounted forward of front wheel axis
Not plug and play since car didn't have ABS
Clutters engine bay
Custom wiring
Custom brake lines
Custom mounting
Could be noisy in car when active
 
I would add having super hot oil in the passenger cabin to the cons of under dash. Please make sure you put a good shield around it and any lines! I like reading your posts and want to see you keeping at it :)
 
108
118
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Virginia
I would add having super hot oil in the passenger cabin to the cons of under dash. Please make sure you put a good shield around it and any lines! I like reading your posts and want to see you keeping at it :)
A shield is a good idea, although the dash will act as a shield. How often do hard lines burst though (aside from rusted ones). I'm installing all new custom hard lines using copper nickel brake lines.
 
108
118
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Virginia
There were two potential relocations I was considering. One being in the engine bay on the driver side where the relay box is located. I liked how close this was to master cylinder and looked factory. But would require relocating fuse box or battery. Both of which I didn't want to get into yet. Second location being under the dash as described above. So I got it mounted to the inner firewall using the factory bracket and some welded bolt pads. Looks good and is secure. Plenty of room for easy plumbing and wiring.

As far as mounting in the drivers cockpit, a lot of race cars have it mounted inside. But hydraulic pressure and hot items are always a concern.

PXL_20220126_235943551.jpg
 
Upgrading to a more "intelligent" unit from other (newer) cars is always an option, though I'm not sure how easy it is. Check out the ones that Vorshlag has played with. The factory SN95 units aren't that great, and with good brakes, sticky tires, and a good driver, you can do better generally. Mine on my "racecar" has never been hooked up and I've never missed it. I removed the unit in favor of a delete block for weight purposes and for more space to install a larger radiator.
 
108
118
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Virginia
Upgrading to a more "intelligent" unit from other (newer) cars is always an option, though I'm not sure how easy it is. Check out the ones that Vorshlag has played with. The factory SN95 units aren't that great, and with good brakes, sticky tires, and a good driver, you can do better generally. Mine on my "racecar" has never been hooked up and I've never missed it. I removed the unit in favor of a delete block for weight purposes and for more space to install a larger radiator.
How new are you talking? S197 and after require CANbus except for the Ford Racing ABS module (FR500). The FR500 would be ideal, but pricier. The one I have is from a 1999 Cobra, so it's the more ideal 4 channel brake and should be setup better for the larger cobra brakes I have. I'm assuming yours was the 3 channel.

I've never raced with ABS. It might be the grass is always greener on the other side kind of thing. If I don't like it then I can also remove it. For autocross, I really think it's going to help the car. I can see how on a road course it might not be as beneficial, where trying to carry more momentum through turns. And the turns are not nearly as tight.
 
the ABS on these cars was pretty bad. the cobra units were supposed to be the best but mine never worked.
I looked into having my unit rebuilt or replaced and its nearly impossible so the practical solution was to just delete it entirely.

if you want real ABS and are gonna do all the work to relocate it I'd look into a newer system you could tune and replace if it breaks.
 
How new are you talking? S197 and after require CANbus except for the Ford Racing ABS module (FR500). The FR500 would be ideal, but pricier. The one I have is from a 1999 Cobra, so it's the more ideal 4 channel brake and should be setup better for the larger cobra brakes I have. I'm assuming yours was the 3 channel.

I've never raced with ABS. It might be the grass is always greener on the other side kind of thing. If I don't like it then I can also remove it. For autocross, I really think it's going to help the car. I can see how on a road course it might not be as beneficial, where trying to carry more momentum through turns. And the turns are not nearly as tight.
IMO for autocross, if you need the ABS on a run, it likely won't be your best run. But having ABS keeps a minor mistake from becoming a disaster so it is well worth having.

DaveW
 
108
118
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Virginia
the ABS on these cars was pretty bad. the cobra units were supposed to be the best but mine never worked.
I looked into having my unit rebuilt or replaced and its nearly impossible so the practical solution was to just delete it entirely.

if you want real ABS and are gonna do all the work to relocate it I'd look into a newer system you could tune and replace if it breaks.

Not sure which cars you are talking about. If early SN95 then yes the 3 channels are not ideal. If later New Edge then the 4 channels are preferred and the Cobra units even more if using big brakes and big tires. My car did not have ABS so I was open to install anything and anywhere. I picked up a Cobra unit (I'm running cobra brakes and large tires). Yea a Bosch, Ford Racing, or MK60 would be way better, but I have a couple hundred dollars into my setup opposed to a couple thousand dollars for the aftermarket ones. Plus the Ford units are quite good compared to the Chevy ice mode ones.
IMO for autocross, if you need the ABS on a run, it likely won't be your best run. But having ABS keeps a minor mistake from becoming a disaster so it is well worth having.

DaveW
I would respectfully disagree and this may only be for my car, but the car is way faster with ABS now. No longer am I locking up one tire. I can push deeper in the corners with confidence that the tires aren't going to lock up. ABS kicks in almost every run. And this is the same for the fast guys running the newer mustangs (Mach 1, GT350).

Or maybe this is more due the small, tight technical courses that we have been forced to run. I can see how a large flowing course you may not use ABS. You aren't going from 50-60 to 20 mph regularly. I'm planning to run large events next year, so we will see. But regardless it doesn't hurt to have it installed and running.
 
I borrowed a friends ESP '96 Cobra that was updated and backdated to the max (made into a R clone) for a season and it presumably had the Cobra ABS (I know it was 4 channel) and it worked very, very well.

Regarding getting into the ABS on runs, I won't argue with you too long to make you faster, but even on smaller courses or slick surfaces, I find my best runs when I brake properly (early and less to quote Andy Hollis/Evo instructors) as opposed to the ones I go too deep and use ABS to save the run from disaster. If the ABS is holding the tire at maximum longitudinal grip on braking, there is none left for turning. Not to say that some of those ABS runs aren't still pretty good - there is no perfect autocross run. But as a driver who is not terrible and also has to reign in over aggressiveness all the time, I can drive as deep as anyone and brake as hard as anyone (hold my beer!), but almost always my runs are better/faster when I *don't* do that. Look at my day 1 nationals results. Run 1 was early and smooth (it wasn't a huge braking course) and I never got back to that time when I tried to go faster. Run 2 there had at least 1 "oops, too deep" moment. Don't look at day 2, kind of a mess there :)

Anyway, enjoy and cool car.

DaveW
 
108
118
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Virginia
I understand better now and agree with you. Proper braking zones are key and should not rely on ABS to get into a corner. Having the ABS allows us to squeeze that braking zone without locking up. My use is probably more due to the small site.
 
I understand better now and agree with you. Proper braking zones are key and should not rely on ABS to get into a corner. Having the ABS allows us to squeeze that braking zone without locking up. My use is probably more due to the small site.

my cobra (97 sn95) never had a functional unit and finding one was more trouble than it was worth for me. i just pulled the bulb. after i sorted the suspension I could really feel what was going on.
it required more attentiveness but was easy to manage and rewarding when done right.
 
611
603
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
During my last couple autocrosses this season I compared my video to a couple guys I run against in a S197. We are all really close in times within a couple 1/10th's. The only way they keep up with me is during braking. I carry more corner speed and have 150hp advantage in a lighter car but there is no way I can brake like they do. I'm really considering trying to put ABS back in my car. I need to do a bunch more research though because I don't have the stock ECU anymore so I need to figure out how to make it work standalone.
 
108
118
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Virginia
During my last couple autocrosses this season I compared my video to a couple guys I run against in a S197. We are all really close in times within a couple 1/10th's. The only way they keep up with me is during braking. I carry more corner speed and have 150hp advantage in a lighter car but there is no way I can brake like they do. I'm really considering trying to put ABS back in my car. I need to do a bunch more research though because I don't have the stock ECU anymore so I need to figure out how to make it work standalone.
Your car should be standalone, except for traction control. But I think the brake portion should work fine without the factory ECU. just needs power and wheel speeds.
 

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