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This may be a stupid question.....but I don't have too much experience with ABS. Most of my cars never had ABS, and most were all converted to Brembo, Wilwoods etc.

So anyway I was driving to work this morning in the Armada, and a car broke pretty quickly in front of me and I pressed the brakes a little harder then usual.....it was only for a split second but damn near felt like the brakes fell off the car. It made some weird noise but mostly just felt a lot of vibration through the pedal. Now knowing the concept of ABS, that all makes sense.....but I have never felt that in my Armada before??

Is that normal...have you guys ever felt the same in your car when slamming on the brakes?? I wasn't able to reproduce it...but I only tried slamming on the brakes while going only 5-10mph. If that's what ABS feels like.....NO THANKS!!! I'll upgrade the Armada brakes to some 6 piston Brembo's or something and disable the ABS. :D
 

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That was the normal ABS operation - loud noise and pedal vibration. The ABS was doing what it is designed to do, pulsing the brakes to prevent lockup. You wern't able to reproduce it in your test because the ABS doesn't work at that low speed.
 

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While I haven't had to lock up the brakes on my Armada yet...thankfully...what you describe sounds like ABS to me. That's what it has done on my other vehicles and that's what it's supposed to do. The first time I ever felt it, I thought, "wow, they should come up with something better or dampen the vibrations through the pedal..." since my first reaction when I felt it was to take my foot OFF the pedal. Put damn if they don't work great, ABS saved me from one serious accident and that made them worth it all.
 

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I recommend to all people who have never felt ABS to wait for the next rainy day, then go out in a deserted parking lot and slam on the brakes as hard as they can at about 40 mph. The first reaction is to release the brakes when you first feel ABS, but don't do it! ABS will reduce your braking distance, particularly if the surface is slippery.

Keith
 

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I got a phone call while I was making my first reply and didn't make all the comments I wanted to.
I think any attempt to disable the ABS is a big mistake. This would not only disable the ABS, but also VDC. Changing to bigger/stronger brakes won't help if the wheels are locked. The stock brakes will lock up all wheels if ABS wasn't used. You have no control over a locked wheel. Locked up front wheels won't respond to the steering wheel. When the wheel is locked up and skidding it doesn't make much difference how the steering wheel is turned, you still have no control. The ABS keeps the wheels from locking up; you have control over a rotating wheel.
Also dynamic friction is greater than static friction. In other words a braking wheel stops the vehicle better if it is not skidding on the surface. A skidding wheel has less stopping power.
If a braking system has the ability to stop the wheels of the vehicle from rotating, then a bigger rotor, more pistons in the caliper, etc can't do any more than that. Better quality brakes can give you resistance to brake fade, maybe less rotor warpage, pad dusting and wear, less pedal pressure, etc., but if the stock brakes are capable of stopping the wheels from rotating without fading under normal driving conditions (including panic stops but not racing) then a change to "bigger brakes" won't help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
scr38 said:
I got a phone call while I was making my first reply and didn't make all the comments I wanted to.
I think any attempt to disable the ABS is a big mistake. This would not only disable the ABS, but also VDC. Changing to bigger/stronger brakes won't help if the wheels are locked. The stock brakes will lock up all wheels if ABS wasn't used. You have no control over a locked wheel. Locked up front wheels won't respond to the steering wheel. When the wheel is locked up and skidding it doesn't make much difference how the steering wheel is turned, you still have no control. The ABS keeps the wheels from locking up; you have control over a rotating wheel.
Also dynamic friction is greater than static friction. In other words a braking wheel stops the vehicle better if it is not skidding on the surface. A skidding wheel has less stopping power.
If a braking system has the ability to stop the wheels of the vehicle from rotating, then a bigger rotor, more pistons in the caliper, etc can't do any more than that. Better quality brakes can give you resistance to brake fade, maybe less rotor warpage, pad dusting and wear, less pedal pressure, etc., but if the stock brakes are capable of stopping the wheels from rotating without fading under normal driving conditions (including panic stops but not racing) then a change to "bigger brakes" won't help.
I agree, but that being said you can't beat the stopping distance of a set of beefy upgraded 4,6,8 piston calipers. One, the overall rotor diameter is much larger, and the added pistons will improve the gripping power drastically. Especially on such a heavy vehicle...and one with large heavy wheels....22" rims and above. I occasionally take my mustang out for road racing events and even on my GSX I loved having the upgraded brakes. I never had to slam on them and have only locked up my brakes twice on any car I have ever owned. Even with the Armada in my opinion...I had plenty of room and there was really no need for the ABS to kick in. I've owned my Armada for over a year now and this is the first time the ABS has ever kicked in....so I think I'll be fine with some huge performance brakes. (Although I have to admit that the new Nissan permanent fix brake parts are Amazing by themselves). I'll just have to see if the budget allows for some huge brakes for the truck. :thumbup:
 

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I think you're missing the point of ABS. Its not for stopping power, it's for Anti-Locking. Bigger brakes are a fine idea but getting rid of the ABS is just stupid, plus you have to tell your insurance company and your rates will go up
 

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Missing the point reiterated

I think you should listen to the advice of the people about the ABS. Let's go back to your situation where your ABS kicked in. If you had the "big brakes" without the ABS you probably would have locked up the brakes and rearended the car in front of you minus the pedal pulsation. In an "emergency" you aren't trying to feather the brakes on the verge of locking up, you just stomp on them as a reflex. When you need it that one time, it won't be there, then you will regret it.
 

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great advice campfamily on the "practice braking in rain"! My husband did the same thing with me when we bought the suburban. The shaking of the pedal is scary, but it works great! We're teaching our 15 year old how to drive, and she will be taught this procedure on the next rainy day.

Now if we could only get her to stop stalling the new mazda 6! :)
 

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Puma, welcome to ABS!! It sounds fairly consistent with how the ABS system works. When requiring a sudden stop or rapid deceleration, the computer engages and disengages the braking system to apply firm yet even braking power at the wheels. Of course the end result is to not lock the brakes up causing a skid, the unexpected pedal pulsing is often times enough to make you have an accident!! I'm not a huge fan of ABS, but I understand it's role, i agree in some respects that if I had a spare 4K+, I'd upgrade to some 4 or 6 piston Big Brake setup, but sadly that money is not there.

Good to hear you didn't have the accident though! A side note, ABS probably will not kick on until 25 MPH+ I think. If you mash the brakes at 5 - 10 MPH chances are thin you would skid.

Hope it helped a bit.
 

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scr38 said:
I got a phone call while I was making my first reply and didn't make all the comments I wanted to.
I think any attempt to disable the ABS is a big mistake. This would not only disable the ABS, but also VDC. Changing to bigger/stronger brakes won't help if the wheels are locked. The stock brakes will lock up all wheels if ABS wasn't used. You have no control over a locked wheel. Locked up front wheels won't respond to the steering wheel. When the wheel is locked up and skidding it doesn't make much difference how the steering wheel is turned, you still have no control. The ABS keeps the wheels from locking up; you have control over a rotating wheel.
Also dynamic friction is greater than static friction. In other words a braking wheel stops the vehicle better if it is not skidding on the surface. A skidding wheel has less stopping power.
If a braking system has the ability to stop the wheels of the vehicle from rotating, then a bigger rotor, more pistons in the caliper, etc can't do any more than that. Better quality brakes can give you resistance to brake fade, maybe less rotor warpage, pad dusting and wear, less pedal pressure, etc., but if the stock brakes are capable of stopping the wheels from rotating without fading under normal driving conditions (including panic stops but not racing) then a change to "bigger brakes" won't help.
Totally agree the benefit is when you least expect it with a panic stop where you reflexivly put the petal through the floor. I tested the braking of the Armada one day burying my foot at about 50 and it sounded like the brake pads were gone and it was metal on metal. But it stopped with no lock ups relative to the mass.
 

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Living in Minnesota

I live in Minnesota. I have had ABS in my last 3 cars. First I want to say that in the winter time, we use ABS amost weekly. It does work and does help with stopping and more importanty steering around an obsticle while stopping quickly.

Second, ABS will come on at any speed. On many occasions I have made the corner into my driveway and started sliding only to hit the breaks. All I hear is the rattle from the ABS and the vibration from the peddle. When this happens I am only doing about 5 MPH.

I am guessing from the responses in this thread everyone lives in the south.

Andy
 

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On the Armada the ABS will not activate at 6 MPH or below.
 

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ABS brakes

ABS is a wonderfull tool for the winter driver ( I live in an area where the late fall and early srping are the most dangerous as the temperature hovers around freezing alot with alot of icy slushy roads ie. the most slippery conditions possible), but it does have limitations. The object of ABS is not to stop quicker, but to be able to steer while under FULL braking conditions. There are situations where ABS will not stop as quick as non ABS( slushy, icy roads, very loose gravel) , but with non ABS you loose your steering control ( all tires must be rotating to be able to control the vehicle)

The Key points to remeber is when you feel the ABS pulsate, push harder, look & steer where you want the vehicle to go. It does seem counter intuitive because of the way most of us were taught to drive ( lock the tires release and modulate the brake pedal to avoid locking/ lock up the tires completely) But once you get the feel of full ABS braking, it gives you more confidance in Emergency braking manuvres.

And yes the ABS works at speeds lower than 6 mph. I just had it activate the other day at an icy intersection.
 

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CDNArMaDa said:
And yes the ABS works at speeds lower than 6 mph. I just had it activate the other day at an icy intersection.

See this attachment from Nissan Armada Factory Service Manual:
 

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