A much better ABS Modification without all the side effects of the "other" ABS MOD out there.

  1st off let me start off about my girlfriend; she has a pet parrot, the damn thing talks and talks,
won't shut up....... BUT, the parrot is really cool !!

  The parrot got me thinking about the guys on automotive forums (and other forums). One night I was on the "New X" Xterra forum and was reading posts and responses from guys who had no idea about what they were talking about. Completely leading others astray with bad incorrect information.

  They reminded me of the parrot, repeating things they had heard elsewere, not knowing what the Hell they were saying, or answering questions posted by saying "I don't know the answer.... but I think it's...." like they are so special that everybody reading on the forum was so relying on them for the answer.


With that being said, onto the ABS MOD:

  Anybody who drives a 2005 + Nissan Xterra, Frontier, or Pathfinder on dirt roads, off-road, in the snow, or mud knows that the ABS will not allow you to stop quickly in these conditions.

  I have had quite a few close calls driving graded dirt roads and rocky roads in the deserts and mountains. Typically driving down a graded dirt road at 20-40mph and you see a small washout ahead, you put on your brakes, the ABS kicks in and you slam right into the washout.

    Another condition is when you are say climbing up a dirt trail and the "SLIP" light pops on, your throttle automatically backs off, the brakes are automatically applied to the sliping wheels, and if you are lucky, you are able make it up the loose dirt hill.

  This condition can be overridden by turning off the VDC switch, if you remember.

  Still another condition happens when the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) takes control of your vehicle and trys to straighten it out when it starts to go a bit sideways, this is very scary when traveling dirt roads. I almost got in an accident a few times in the desert because of this. Like when trying to turn quickly, to avoid hitting a huge rock or whatever, and the "VDC" system kicks in and you slam right into it!

Again, this condition can be overridden by turning off the VDC switch, if you remember.

  Everybody is familar with the crappy ABS Brake MOD that is out there, simply pull the 10 Amp fuse to the ABS Module. This kills all the Electronic Controlled Braking functions AND causes every light on the dashboard to come on, kills the speedometer, Odometer, causes the Transfer Case to stay in whatever mode it was previously in AND causes the Electric Cooling Fan to stay on.  Great MOD uh?

  So you ask, well how can we turn off this fricken ABS monster when we are driving in off-road or in slippery conditions? Well lets consult the Nissan Xterra Service Manual for the answer.


 Look at the last line, Nissan states that the vehicle will take longer to stop on "rough, gravel, or snow covered roads" Take longer?? how about will not stop in time??

Also note that if the ABS system fails, the "ABS" light will come on.


  Ok this function of the ABS system is good to keep, that other MOD kills this Brake Proportioning function.

Note that if this part of the system fails, the "ABS" AND "Brake" warning lights will come on.


  Ok, ABLS sounds like a good idea, a kind of "Electronic Limited Slip", the system applys the brake to the slipping wheel.

  Not good if you are trying to pull out quickly of a parking lot onto a busy street, the system will apply the brakes and cut power to the throttle leaving you a sitting duck to be hit by oncoming traffic.

Also not good if you are trying to power up a steep dirt road with loose dirt or rocks, the system will apply the brakes and cut your power back.

No thanks to this "SLIP" function, it can be overridden by hitting the "VDC" switch if you remember to press the button when you are about to die.


  Read line #1: "For a ABS malfunction, the vehicle is the same condition of vehicles without ABS/ABLS system".

WOW just like the 4x4 drive vehicles we are used to driving !!!

Ok, so how do we turn off  just the ABS system ?


  Start off by removing the big black cover where the fuses, relays, and fuse-links are located.



  Inside you will find a 3-way fuse link, one link is for the ABS "Pump", another for the "Trailer Towing", and lastly the one we want, the link for the ABS "Motor" !

For the 2005 Nissan Xterra it's the 30 Amp link, the newer Xterras, Frontiers, and Pathfinders use a higher current link.


  Nissan calls the "3-Way Fuseable-Link"a connector, this is the part number for the 2005, check with your dealer for the correct part number for your year.


 What we want to do is disable ONLY the ABS Motor. This is done by removing ONLY the fuseable link  on the end as shown. I cut that section off as shown, bent the tab which is the 12Vdc side and covered the tab to the ABS Motor with Heat Shrink.

NOTE: Don't be a moron, turn off your vehicle before removing this Fuseable Link, and likewise turn off the vehicle when reinstalling it after making the MOD to it.

ALL DONE, thats it.


  Turn on your vehicle, you will see the ABS, VDC, and SLIP lights come on. These are ALL of the functions we want disabled when driving off-road, in the snow, mud, and on dirt roads.

Notice all other functions of the vehicle are not affected, unlike that other crappy ABS MOD out there.

Now you are free to lock up your brakes !!! WHOO HOO!!

Now what you can do is buy another one of these 3-way links and keep it installed in the vehicle and install the the modified Link when you go off-road and want the ABS function disabled.

NOTE: If you reinstall the unmodified link, be sure to turn off the vehicle, reinstall the unmodified link. When you start your vehicle, the ABS, VDC, and SLIP lights will go off in a few miles.


If you want to get fancy;

You can install a relay and disable the ABS Motor from the dash.

I'm not going into total detail on this, so don't attempt it if you are not familar with electronics.


Solder wires (16 AWG) from the Relay Socket Common (COM) and Normally Closed (NC) contacts to the fuseable link and the spade lug you removed from the link. I drilled small holes in both of these so the wire would have a good mechanical connection. Don't forget to tin your wires first.


 Mount a 30 AMP fuse, Holder, and a 12Vdc relay with Normally Open (NO) and Normally Closed (NC) contacts on the cover as shown.

  The 30 Amp fuse is in series with the relay contacts and takes the place of the 30 Amp fuseable link we removed when combined with the relay contacts.
 12Vdc is fed to the relay from a switch you locate on the dash, don't forget to put a small (~3 Amp fuse on the 12Vdc to the switch). I got these on EBAY for a few bucks and mounted them on the cover.

Don't forget to keep your 16AWG wires very short to the fuseable link !!

The Red and Blue wires come from the COM and NC relay contacts via the relay socket. Keep these short !!

The black wire goes from the relay coil to chassis ground, the white wire is the other side of the relay coil and goes to 12Vdc, when switched on, it energizes the relay and prevents 12Vdc from going to the ABS Motor, thus turning off the ABS function, which is what we want when driving off-road in the dirt, mud, or snow.


  Put some heat shrink tubing over the solder joints and reinstall the Fuseable link and spade lug as shown.

NOTE: I have only turned on/ and off the ABS Relay BEFORE starting the vehicle,  I don't know what will happen if you turn off the power to the ABS unit while driving, so I do not recondmend doing it !!


Put the cover back on, and you are all done !



Disclaimer, this mod is intended as a reference only, for educational purposes into how to override the Nissan 2005 Xterra ABS Brakes, it's not intended for use on the roads or by persons not familar with driving vehicles the old fashioned way (without ABS). This MOD is only intended for use when Off Roading, and is not intended for use on the street.

I'm not responsible for damage to your vehicle, or any accident you may be involved in.
Time to put on your big boy panties and be responsible for your own actions.