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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am new to the forum— and to Range Rovers. I have just purchased a 1997 Vitesse— and love it. That said, I am looking for guidance to a brake problem.
Currently, my dash shows ‘ABS’ light (owner said this was disconnected), a blank space, then a ‘TC’ light. Brakes work fine until the middle/empty space pops-up with a red brake light. When that comes on, the power assist goes away and I am stomping and pumping to get the Rover stopped (feels like a Flintstones episode). I turn the car off and on over the course of a few hours and the light goes away and the brakes function normally— until it happens again! No fluid loss.

Could someone point me in the right direction re fix— need to safely drive my family.

Many thanks!

John
p.s. I understand that this was one of 125 made in yellow— anyone know how to see where in that group this one falls?
 

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ABS light will stay on until you reach 5mph then go out, if it stays on there is a fault. TC light will stay on until the ABS pump has built up pressure, the go out and the red light will do the same and will also come on if the handbrake is on. Whhat should happen is that as soon as you turn the ignition on, the ABS pump runs for 30-40 seconds. It then runs again after every 3 or 4 presses on the brake pedal. If it runs for less than this or comes on every time you use the brakes, the accumulator is shot and needs replacing. Simple job and cures 90% of all braking issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ABS light will stay on until you reach 5mph then go out, if it stays on there is a fault. TC light will stay on until the ABS pump has built up pressure, the go out and the red light will do the same and will also come on if the handbrake is on. Whhat should happen is that as soon as you turn the ignition on, the ABS pump runs for 30-40 seconds. It then runs again after every 3 or 4 presses on the brake pedal. If it runs for less than this or comes on every time you use the brakes, the accumulator is shot and needs replacing. Simple job and cures 90% of all braking issues.
Thank you so very much for your fast reply— and for this info! I appreciate both. I will try this this weekend. I’m not an experienced mechanic but I can usually follow a YouTube pretty faithfully.
Re the part, I see it on Amazon (an OEM Wabco for $184 new) and used on EBay for $150. The new part looks like a globe but the used part is the same globe sitting on top of another part(?). Is the ‘globe’ what I want, or do I need to find the ‘whole thing?’

Thank you for your help!

John
 

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Don't buy a used one - you don't know how old it is or how long it will last. You could have the same problem in a couple of weeks or months. This is a part that I would only buy new.
 

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With pre-99, it sounds like you have all the signs of master brake assembly failure. There are some threads on this, but long story short the piston in the MBA fails (breaks) b/c it is made of plastic & then zero brakes. You can rebuild it--about 8 hours total (including removal/rebuild/reinstall) using a kit from a guy in NZ--about $200 I believe. It is not a dealer serviceable part. Or spend a couple of thousand for a new Wabco unit. 2000 forward aren't a problem. And no, unfortunately you can't put a used 2000-2002 unit in there as you'll still get an ABS fault (though the brakes will work) due to the differences b/t GEMS and THOR.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry! I have been with my father, in hospital, and have been away until just now. I did install the accumulator. It worked for about 10 mins, then the middle (red) brake light came on again and I was back to unassisted braking. Later in the afternoon, the light went off and I had my power braking again. Does this fit with your diagnosis?
I have not been able to find the rebuild kit you reference— would you happen to know the site?
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ABS light will stay on until you reach 5mph then go out, if it stays on there is a fault. TC light will stay on until the ABS pump has built up pressure, the go out and the red light will do the same and will also come on if the handbrake is on. Whhat should happen is that as soon as you turn the ignition on, the ABS pump runs for 30-40 seconds. It then runs again after every 3 or 4 presses on the brake pedal. If it runs for less than this or comes on every time you use the brakes, the accumulator is shot and needs replacing. Simple job and cures 90% of all braking issues.
I received the part today and installed it. It was incredibly easy! It seemed to work— for a bit. Then, the red light returned and I was back to Flintstone-esque braking. However, a few hours later, the red light went off again and my power-assisted brakes had returned. Another forum member referenced a master brake assembly failure but I can’t find anything on this. What do you think??
Many thanks for your help!
 

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Don't buy a used one - you don't know how old it is or how long it will last. You could have the same problem in a couple of weeks or months. This is a part that I would only buy new.
Excellent point. I took your advise and purchased a new OEM. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First check out if your pump is running more then it should..
Thank you for this advise— I din’t really know how to gauge ‘normal’ but will pop the hood and listen around the area where the accumulator is (I think it sits atop that pump). Thank you
 

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Just checking, have you done the brake bleed since fitting the accumulator, as recommended?
 
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