The dreaded ABS light, and on a pre-OBD2 vehicle! Luckily the wheel speed sensor setup on Jimnys is pretty simple to diagnose… and to replace.
I’m slightly paranoid that leaving the wheel speed sensors attached when I replaced the kingpin bearings may have caused this failure, but I was very careful not to stretch the wires and the fault didn’t pop up until a few weeks later so let’s just call it coincidental timing…
For later OBD2-equipped Jimnys I assume that ABS faults can be diagnosed with a cheap OBD reader and a compatible app/program. However, if the vehicle is pre-OBD2 (or you don’t have a reader to hand) you can check the wheel speed sensors directly by using a multimeter to check for the small voltages they send back to the ECU.
The connectors for the two front wheel speed sensors are located behind the driver’s headlight assembly inside the engine bay. In my 1999 Jimny (and, I believe, the early G13B-engined UK models) the connectors look like the ones below; later models use a single square plug instead.
To check the wheel speed sensor circuits jack the car up and spin each front wheel in turn whilst probing the sensor plug(s) with a multimeter set to DC volts. A working sensor will show a small voltage which increases with wheel speed, so a zero volt readout will show where the fault lies… just remember to go through all the wheel and plug combinations to eliminate user error! If both sensors look healthy the issue may be with the rear wheel speed sensor, which I assume (but don’t know!) can be checked in the same way.
Cambriare part number VE701789 is a full front axle kit containing two sensors, two looms, and all the plastic and metal clips to match the OEM attachment points – I purchased mine via eBay for around £30 which strikes me as amazing value. It made the swap super-simple, the only faff being the partial strip down of the hubs necessary to smash out the old sensors… oh, and drilling out the other snapped sensor bolt of course 🙄
There’s no reset procedure necessary (at least on my pre-OBD2 JDMny) but the light won’t immediately go out after the swap – it takes a run down the road for the voltage to register and the light to go out by itself.