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Repairing Reluctors

Mod Description
The reluctor rings rot over time and can eventually cause ABS, Trust and ESP problems. New drive shafts are expensive so lets repair instead of replace.
Mod Details
PremiumYes Difficulty Mod ID453 CreditEvilution Cost££30+ For450 Fortwo452 Roadster Link Copy to Clipboard PartsBuy here

What Are Reluctor Rings?

Reluctor rings, also called ABS rings, are attached to each wheel to measure the rotational speed. If one or two wheels should start rotating quicker or slower it means that the wheels are spinning or slipping. This allows the ECU to kick it with Trust/ESP or ABS if the brakes are applied.

If a ring is damaged it will send false info to the ECU causing the Trust/ESP or ABS to activate.

Replacing The Rings

Why replace the entire drive shaft if it’s just the ring that is broken? Well that is a fair question and now it’s one that I can answer. You can. You can buy smart reluctor rings from the link at the bottom of the page.

All reluctor rings are made from the same base metal, they have to be to give the correct signal. What makes ours better than any others is the corrosion protection we have used.Smart standard rings are nickel plated which is no good. Other replacement reluctors use white zinc plating which is OK. Ours use yellow zinc plating which is twice as good as white zinc plating.

Only 1 type of plating is better than ours but it dangerous and bad for the environment.

As you can see, our reluctor rings are unique in appearance as the plating makes them red/green/yellow/gold/pink depending on the light.

Preparing For New Rings

Follow the info here so the outside of the shaft is out of the hub and you can get at the rings. The ring is only held on by compression and probably rust. Prize the old ring off using a screw driver, be careful not to damage the shaft underneath.

The ring should come off quite easily.

The area where the ring sits is obvious, you will also note there is a slight ridge so the new ring physically cannot be placed too far onto the shaft.

Using a wire brush or a rotary tool, take off all the loose rust around the area. Repeat with a file until the area is shiny and then finish off with wire wool and emery paper. (Ideally it needs to be much cleaner than in the picture below).

Fitting The New Rings – Hot

Using a blow torch, heat the ring up until it glows red. Wearing gloves (obviously), push the red hot reluctor ring onto the shaft and into the correct position. You may need to lightly tap it into position with a small hammer.

You can use the old ring in front of the hot ring to stop any damage from the hammer.

Picture to be added soon

Allow the ring to cool totally before refitting the driveshaft back into the hub. Paint the ring and the area around it with hammerite to protect it.

Fitting The New Rings – Cold

Jeff S proved that the rings can be fitted cold by drifting them on.

Clean the area that the ring will sit on as well as you can. Put the new ring in position with the old ring on top and evenly tap all round until it’s in place. Putting the old ring between the new ring and the hammer protects the new ring from damage.

Paint the ring and the area around it with hammerite to protect it.


This is generally cheaper than buying new or good second hand drive shafts. The replacement reluctor rings are made of a better quality material that won’t rust. The great advantage is you don’t have to remove the drive shaft from the car, this saves time and effort plus reduces the chance of having to replace the seals.

Front Reluctors

The front reluctors are part of the front bearing which are quite cheap and easy to change.

Repairing The Rings

Having a split reluctor ring doesn’t always mean you need a new set of drive shafts. It’s all down to your talent and how much time you have. Either way, removal of the shafts is going to make it a whole lot easier. It is very rare for the ring to lose a section, more often than not, the ring splits because of corrosion and a build up of rust under the ring.


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