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2001 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 with 4.7 automatic transmission.

I have had a lot of trouble with the ABS system on this truck and have terrible brakes.
Last time and a few years ago the brake solenoid was found to be the problem causing the rear brakes not to engage.
The braking on this thing sucks even though the complete PB master cylinder and booster has been replaced.
I am fully aware that ABS is better than standard brakes but I would settle for standard brakes at this time if removing or bypassing the ABS would help.
My questions:
If I completely bypass the existing ABS system and even install an adjustable proportioning valve, will I lose my speedometer and will it trip a code causing the engine to go into fail safe mode?
If so is there a way to still bypass the ABS and retain the speedo and not have the engine code?

Note: Please no sermon on safety and the need for ABS. I totally understand the need and the dangers of disconnecting it.
If it doesn’t work and I can no longer find new OEM parts then I am no longer interested in throwing money at used parts that do not work or only work for a short time and then again fail shortly after.
I am looking for a good solution in elimination of the ABS and having good standard brakes.
Thanks to all who can offer good solid information and has a good understanding of the ABS system on this year model with my options.
Thanks
 

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Removing or depowering the ABS itself will not improve the braking. The real issue on that vintage Dakota are the for crap front brakes. The basics of ABS is it is only active when the brake on a wheel is applied, and the brake applied tire has begun to slip/slide. The slip/slide has to be around 10 to 20% slower than the actual vehicle speed. IF the brake on a wheel is applied, and IF the tire has exceeded the preset slip amount, THEN the ABS engages control. Aside from that, ABS does nothing, is just along for the ride. The ABS side of the system is parallel to the basic brake system. Now, if the brake fluid has never been flushed/replaced, and if the ABS has not been regularly put in action, water, contamination and even air can get trapped in the ABS side of the system which can cause the whole brake system to feel soft, mushy, unresponsive. Just getting a proper and complete brake fluid flushing and new fluid refill may return the braking to the best it can be.

And the best the braking can be in a Dakota of the 2001 vintage, is in a word crappy. The front rotors are too small, the single piston calipers lack feel and feedback, the slide rails on the caliper brackets "notch" over time and never fully retract, always slightly dragging. On my 2001 Dak I've replaced all the brakes and lines, hoses, etc, even ground down the caliper slide rails to reduce drag. I have completely flushed out the system and put new fluid in. But the 2001 Dakotas simply have crappy front brakes, lousy feel, lousy power, inadequate really for the weight of a Dakota. That's why in 2002 to 2004 Dodge put much better twin piston calipers and bigger rotors on the front. I plan to replace the crappy single piston calipers and smaller rotors on my 2001 Dakota SLT with the better rotors/twin piston calipers on the 2002 to 2004 Dakota.
 

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Removing or depowering the ABS itself will not improve the braking. The real issue on that vintage Dakota are the for crap front brakes. The basics of ABS is it is only active when the brake on a wheel is applied, and the brake applied tire has begun to slip/slide. The slip/slide has to be around 10 to 20% slower than the actual vehicle speed. IF the brake on a wheel is applied, and IF the tire has exceeded the preset slip amount, THEN the ABS engages control. Aside from that, ABS does nothing, is just along for the ride. The ABS side of the system is parallel to the basic brake system. Now, if the brake fluid has never been flushed/replaced, and if the ABS has not been regularly put in action, water, contamination and even air can get trapped in the ABS side of the system which can cause the whole brake system to feel soft, mushy, unresponsive. Just getting a proper and complete brake fluid flushing and new fluid refill may return the braking to the best it can be. And the best the braking can be in a Dakota of the 2001 vintage, is in a word crappy. The front rotors are too small, the single piston calipers lack feel and feedback, the slide rails on the caliper brackets "notch" over time and never fully retract, always slightly dragging. On my 2001 Dak I've replaced all the brakes and lines, hoses, etc, even ground down the caliper slide rails to reduce drag. I have completely flushed out the system and put new fluid in. But the 2001 Dakotas simply have crappy front brakes, lousy feel, lousy power, inadequate really for the weight of a Dakota. That's why in 2002 to 2004 Dodge put much better twin piston calipers and bigger rotors on the front. I plan to replace the crappy single piston calipers and smaller rotors on my 2001 Dakota SLT with the better rotors/twin piston calipers on the 2002 to 2004 Dakota.
Already done all of that. There is a failure in the system and I can no longer get reliable parts! Once again: I am looking for a good solution in elimination of the ABS and having good standard brakes. And maintaining the speedometer. Can this be done? I had adequate brakes in the past and when I added the drilled and grooved rotors it improved the braking and eliminated the warping rotor problem. Hopefully someone can answer the questions that I has posed. I will say that changing the caliper to a newer type seems another solution but not a complete one. What is involved in the change? Thanks
 

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I have not done an ABS removal on a Dakota. My 2001 Dak has rear axle only ABS which hasn't worked since I bought the truck used back in 2011. I just disregard the ABS warning light in the gauge cluster. I have no speedo issues, but I have also not disconnected the harness at the rear axle ABS sensor. Perhaps pull the fuse for the ABS and see if the speedo produces any issues?

2001 Dak front brakes wise the single piston caliper is the real issue for lousy brake feel and inadequate power. Perhaps since you had adequate brakes in the past, maybe go to a brake pad upgrade? Other wise do the knuckles/calipers upgrade from a 2003 Dakota:

I plan to do this when I install my 56 C3 pickup cab/box on my 01 Dakota chassis.
 

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Interesting. I wonder then if the 01 Dakota gets the speedo info from the ABS sensor. The speedo on my 01 Dak works fine, and is nearly a match to the speed reported on my Gamin GPS. Well then I guess I'll be repairing the ABS sensor/harness connection to make sure the speedo works, and also to get the ABS/Brakes warning light to go off.
 

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03-04 calipers, pads, rotors, and steering knuckles are a huge upgrade to the previous model year trucks. I did this on my 02 years ago. With EBC green stuff pads it was actually too good since 02 only has rear ABS. After a number of lockups I installed standard ceramic pads on the front and lowered the tire pressure to 30. Stops on a dime now.
 

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My '03 (RT) has a 10A fuse (on mine it is #27) for the ABS in the fuse panel that is inside the truck on the left side of the dashboard.

I've never pulled the ABS fuse on my Dak, but I have on my GMC when the ABS was activating when it wasn't supposed to, and pulling that fuse was a temporary fix for that problem and I did get a red brake light and an amber ABS light.

So you could try pulling that fuse and see what happens.
 

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on my 01 if you have the issue where the abs pump engages and wont shut off that wont help. if i recall however its been a bit as i did it for the durangos previous owner. i want to say if you reach underneath the unit there's another plug and thats what actually powers the pump. with that unhooked the system cant actually engage at all but leaves the rest of the system on for speedo and such. i will look when i get home and verify.
 

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Thank you everyone for your input.
Here is what I have learned and found:

My 2001 Dakota Quad 4WD Quad with 4.7 Automatic Transmission has only rear wheel ABS I have only the dual solenoid setup on top of what looks similar to a proportioning valve.
If you unplug it you immediately get an ABS and E Brake lights on the dash.
Since I had had the same problem years ago with a bad part and kept the old unit I decided to do some reverse engineering and take the old valves apart.
What I found was two simple solenoid valves and a pressure sensor.
I carefully took everything apart and cleaned and reassembled it.
I bench tested the valve by using a battery and jumpers on the plug.
I could hear the valves moving but didn’t seem to be moving very good.
I then removed the magnetic portion from the solenoid that had the wiring harness and plug.
Disconnected the one on my truck and plugged the harness part that I had removed from the old ABS Into my trucks harness.
The ABS and E Brake went off!
This solves the dash light problem for those of you who want to bypass the ABS and have the dash lights off.

I decided to check out my local salvage yard where I found a very good ABS Solenoid and replaced my defective unit.
Since I also had a warranty on the master cylinder I replaced it at the same time.
When bleeding I found no need to activate the ABS to burp air etc. On the rear wheel ABS only there is no issue.
I found that a vacuum brake bleeder is useless at least when bleeding these brakes. Air is sucked in around the threads of the bleeders and causes problems.
The best way is to use a bleeder bottle with a line submerged in fluid and pump the pedal.

Brakes work fine now but like all Dakotas need to be better. I’ve lived with this for years and the truck has over 200,000 miles on it.
I say drive on!

Also: during this process I bypassed the ABS by removing the brake lines and using a coupling to connect the lines back together.
I then thoroughly bled the brakes and test drove the truck attempting panic and normal stops.
Panic stops were not comfortable since the wheels would lock and go into a skid just as I expected.
This was on dry pavement and I can only imagine the result if on wet or ice covered pavement.

Once everything was reconnected and ABS working again I tried the stops in the same locations and same speeds.
There was of course no difference in normal stopping, however in a Panic stop situation I could feel the brakes pumping Automatically and my stopping distances and control was much better as expected.

I still hate the long Dakota pedal but ABS is still the best way to go.
If anyone has questions on any of this please respond and I will do my best to reply.

oh also: At no time did I ever lose speedometer functionality during any of the test that I did.
 
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