'89 STS with ABS, pedal went to floor, now what?
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Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, '89 STS with ABS, pedal went to floor, now what? in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; 82k miles and it's beautiful! ...but, today the brake pedal went to the floor with red brake warning light on. ...
  1. #1
    Moondoggie is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 70 Eldorado 89 STS, 92 SDV
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    '89 STS with ABS, pedal went to floor, now what?

    82k miles and it's beautiful! ...but, today the brake pedal went to the floor with red brake warning light on. I pumped it up and drove home about 20 miles in traffic, the pedal stayed firm but both the red brake and yellow ABS lights will light up when braking, but not consistently on every stop. I checked the reservoir level, right at the full mark. One other minor detail, at a traffic light a few miles before this happened I saw smoke coming from the left (driver side) front wheel and smelled burning liner, not fluid. Related? I have no idea. If this was non ABS I'd throw on a new master cylinder. What do I do with this one? I looked up the price for the ABS unit...$950? HELP!

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  3. #2
    EcSTSatic's Avatar
    EcSTSatic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1999 STS - diamond white
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    Re: '89 STS with ABS, pedal went to floor, now what?

    Classic symptoms. If you didn't lose fluid then I'd say it was a master cylinder. Can't answer for the smell. Keep searching for answers. Meantime , try and find a place selling them cheaper. Does the whole assembly have to be replaced?

  4. #3
    pketch is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2000 Eldo ETC
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    Re: '89 STS with ABS, pedal went to floor, now what?

    I don't know but can saftly say your brake system is a Teves. You can check this by looking under the hood at the master cylinder. If there is a black can on top its a Teves. Not the best when it comes to ABS systems. It was the killer of many a Buck Reatta. If in fact it is a Teves system go to this site and do the brake test. http://www.reatta.net/. It may save you life or the life of a loved one.

  5. #4
    Moondoggie is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 70 Eldorado 89 STS, 92 SDV
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    Convert to non ABS? Any one done that?

    Thanks guys, I found that Reatta ( I want to spell it Regatta!) brake test web page before I posted here. There is no question in my mind that this is a hydraulic problem and it's just a matter of time. As I said in the initial post, if it wasn't an ABS system I'd just throw on a new master cylinder (or a seal kit on the old one). The first thing I did when I got home was to go to Rockauto and look up a master cylinder. $40 or something and then I saw the fine print "w/o ABS". At the top of the list was the ABS, almost a grand. I had to go out again last night for another 20 mile round trip and the pedal is still up and firm but both the red brake and the yellow ABS will come on on an inconsistent basis.

    I just got out of an 87 Eldorado that was still going strong at 200k and that didn't have ABS, the brakes looked simple enough. At this point I'm thinking of just going to the bone yard and taking what ever pieces I need to convert this STS to non ABS. Anyone have an opinion?

  6. #5
    Krashed989's Avatar
    Krashed989 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: '89 STS with ABS, pedal went to floor, now what?

    Check your codes. If the lights are on then the computer knows whats wrong.

  7. #6
    Moondoggie is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 70 Eldorado 89 STS, 92 SDV
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    Re: '89 STS with ABS, pedal went to floor, now what?

    Good idea! Pins A and G on the ALDL connector. I've got the Chilton 67-89 Caddy book, the codes are on page 463. The car is out on the road at the moment, I'll do the tests tomorrow afternoon and report back.

  8. #7
    EcSTSatic's Avatar
    EcSTSatic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: '89 STS with ABS, pedal went to floor, now what?

    I had a Teves ABS system in my '88 Ford TurboCoupe. The system had a nitrogen charged actuator. It went out on me 650 miles from home. Same symptoms as yours. Brakes Plus in San Antonio ordered a rebuilt master cylinder (new ones were not available any longer) and installed it for $1000 and change.
    I hope you have better luck than me!

  9. #8
    Moondoggie is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 70 Eldorado 89 STS, 92 SDV
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    Re: '89 STS with ABS, pedal went to floor, now what?

    Haven't had time to go through the flash reading of any codes from the brake computer yet but I did use a turkey baster in the reservoir to get out as much fluid as I could and then opened up the bleeder on the left front and let it drip. I added a complete big bottle of fresh brake fluid and manually bleed that caliper with "the helper". That didn't solve anything but I did get rid of some old fluid in the system. Prolly another hundred miles on the car since the pedal to the floor incident last Thursday and the red brake light is coming on with greater frequency. The brakes still stop the car but end is near. I've put some time into finding a seal kit for this Teves unit but so far no luck. I'll go to the junk yard and pick up a booster and buy a new non ABS master cylinder before I'll spend a grand on the ABS unit.

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