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I was considering it for my car, as I did an emergency stop today and left a 20m skid mark along the road, as well as attracting a load of attention from pedestrians from the skidding noise! Also the safety aspects are important too.

Model: Vauxhall/Opel Agila
Year: 2003
Engine: 1.2 (Z12XE)

Here is a diagram of the system. It doesn't look complicated:

ABS System Diagram

EDIT: I have a parts catalogue too for the brakes. I think I need:

  • Hydraulic Unit
  • Vacuum Pump
  • Several Gaskets
  • 3 wheel speed sensors (the front right one is used to read speed)
  • Brackets for sensors
  • 2 pickups for the rear
  • The ECU for ABS.
  • Bulb for ABS light.
  • New rear drums for ABS
  • More gaskets
  • New master cylinder
  • These Pipes
  • More Pipes

My Questions:

In general, what parts would I need?

How long would it take to install? (i.e several hours etc)

What tools would be handy to have?

Would it be an expensive job? What is a rough estimation (not including labour)?

Is it a difficult and complicated job?

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  • Does the car come with reluctor wheels at all four? Obviously it will have one on the front right where it reads for vehicle speed. Jun 16, 2015 at 23:44
  • Yeah, I think they do. I'm not sure about the back though as there are two separate parts, one for ABS and one not for ABS
    – George
    Jun 17, 2015 at 10:40

2 Answers 2

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Typically if the car you drive was available with ABS and you are able to locate a car otherwise identical to yours at a scrap yard then the cost will be considerably less than ordering the parts new. However, only if you have the tools available, somewhere to do the work and the skills needed would you be able to make the conversion economically viable. You would then have the issue of trying to find an insurer who would accept a car which had a non-standard braking system (even if it was taken from another car the same, you would still have to declare it as a modification). You may find they would want an engineers report to certify the installation.

The free alternative is to learn an advanced driving technique called cadence braking. This allows you to manually do the same job with your right foot as an ABS module does. Cadence Braking

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I was quoted the equivalent of about 1000 GBP to retrofit it to my old Corsa B. I assume that includes labour AND parts.

All things considered, it would probably be cheaper to fit larger (ergo wider) rims with quality tyres. That doesn't have to cost more than say 350 pounds and will improve your driving and braking performance considerably.

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  • The problem with larger wheels is that it would not be allowed by my insurance... So this wouldn't really be a solution for me. Sorry :(
    – George
    Jun 17, 2015 at 10:41
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    I didn't know. Mine works in such a way that as long as the diameter remains the same, it's not a problem. Jun 17, 2015 at 12:14
  • Also, I just checked and my wheels are the widest ones you can get as standard. Any wider and they rub on full lock.
    – George
    Jun 17, 2015 at 14:46
  • Ah well, so much for the "cheap" solution. Jun 17, 2015 at 14:50

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