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Replace old Jeep part?

The ABS actuator and pump motor have gone out of my niece’s 1989 Jeep Cherokee and the mechanic is saying Chrysler no longer carries the parts (although there’s a lifetime guarantee on them). Does anyone know where these parts might be available? Both her independent mechanic and the Jeep dealer suggested salvage yards but the mechanic indicated that none seem to be available locally. This situation is a crisis because she lives in San Diego, a very car-oriented environment, and needs to get the car repaired quickly as she commutes to work as a teacher. Any help or advice would be welcome.

The brakes function OK, just no ABS - or the brakes don’t work at all? Most salvage yards are members of a parts sourcing network to locate parts at other yards nationwide. You can also go to ebay. I’ve found a lot of difficult to find parts that way.

I replaced that system with a non ABS system using a rebuilt master cylinder and the fittings and proportioning valve from a salvage yard from a non ABS model. The ABS system has been difficult to find for several years in my neighborhood. But it may be difficult to find a shop that will take on the liability of retrofitting parts in the braking system especially in Southern California. Just think, in a few years we may be discarding cars when the GPS fails.

Good luck finding another ABS actuator.

The wife had a 90 Cherokee and the actuator was replaced twice under the lifetime warranty. When the actuator failed for the third time the dealer said they would replace it again if they could locate one. But they’re no longer available because they’ve all been used up replacing them under the warranty. And they’re no longer manufactured. You also won’t find any in the junk yards because those have all been taken because they’re no longer available. Believe me, I looked everywhere.

So after a month of not being able to locate another actuator, the Jeep went to the scrap yard.


Uncle Turbo and Rod Knox, thanks for the quick response. The brakes have failed and the initial thought was that it was the master cylinder as there was brake fluid leaking. But it now is diagnosed as the above. I’ll check with her mechanic to see if he has explored the complete parts network. And you guys are correct that the dealers won’t accept the liability of replacing with salvage yard parts, although her independent maintenance shop does not seem to have that concern, if the parts can be found.

I took a quick look at the AutoZone and O’Reilly websites and they show remanufactured components with a lifetime warranty. A bit pricy, but a possibility anyway.

Looks like has it, too, $450.

The Jeep that I mentioned was priced out to repair with a rebuilt ABS unit from one of the McParts stores but when the part was ordered I was told that the old part was to be shipped to the rebuilder who would repair it and return it after a “reasonable” length of time required to rebuild it and the price could not be guaranteed. Needless to say I declined.

I’m amazed that a 1989 Jeep had ABS brakes…The units available then were mostly Bosch prototype units that, when they failed, caused total brake failure…Maybe you could simply install a standard master cylinder and proportioning valve and drive on without the ABS…But, alas, the brake lines are likely to be completely different making the job expensive and difficult…It’s 24 years old, time to say goodby…

Replacing it with out ABS is a easy job. All you need is a non ABS master cly. and a proportioning valve. I did it on my daughters 89. It took me a few hours to do. You just remove the old abs unit and leave the lines running to the front and back brakes. Put on the master cyl and with new lines run to the P-valve then to the old lines. Bleed the brakes and you are done. She drove for 2 more years,then I drove it for 1 more. No problems.

@Caddyman Bosch ABS has been around since about 1980, mostly on European cars back then.

Here’s the problem. The ABS actuator/pump has a lifetime warranty if it’s replaced with a JEEP component. Once you replace any of these components with an aftermarket/remanufactured components you let Jeep off the hook for the lifetime warranty.

I’m actually surprised they’re available again. Because three years ago you couldn’t find these components to save your soul.

But I’m glad the Jeep went to the scrap yard. The wife now drives a Honda!


If the ABS is that troublesome and expensive, why not dump the system and go non-ABS, as others have suggested. At this point, it sounds like the most reliable repair, and maybe less expensive. And much cheaper than replacing an otherwise decent truck.

Thanks to everyone for helping with this problem. She is asking her independent mechanic if he can replace the non-functioning ABS with a standard master cylinder and proportioning valve, just so she can get by until summer. Thanks!

Hi Oldbodyman (and All),

I’m the niece who owns the jeep. My friend who has done mechanic work is willing to try to fix the master cylinder, but he needs a little more info.

Can you tell me what you mean by “Put on the master cyl and with new lines run to the P-valve then to the old lines,” and I’ll pass it on to him. Also, can you give me a recommendation on what master cylinder to order?

Thank you so much to all for commenting on this issue! This might be my last hope for getting the old truck up and running. It’s been to my mechanic, towed to the dealer, towed to another mechanic. All have said basically the same thing: “ABS actuator and pump/motor assembly have gone out, the parts are really expensive and unavailable, we won’t put a standard master cylinder in because it’s a liability issue. We have no other solution for you.” Hopefully installing a standard master cylinder can get it back on the road for a few months (or maybe even years!).

What you need to do is find a Jeep Cherokee of your vintage that didn’t come with ABS. That’s going to be hard. Then you need to remove every brake component from that vehicle.

This includes the brake booster, the master cylinder, the brake lines, the proportionating valve for the brakes, and the brake pedal rod. Then this has to be adapted to your vehicle to work.

I’ve been thru this. And that’s why I scrapped out the wifes perfectly running 90 Jeep Cherokee. Only because the ABS system was no longer able to be repaired for free or at a reasonable price.

Is the brake pedal as hard as a rock?


I agree with Caddyman and Oldbodyman. I would feel safer without the abs in this only instance. Failure is not an option and running around looking for junk yard parts isn’t either.