Great thread. I didn't see it in time to post a timely reply, but everything lyonkster and enikolich said is right on the money. I too have run the MC dry and was in a total panic. Why? Because my Haynes manual (I call it my Heinous manual) specifically says:
"2 On conventional (non-ABS) brake systems, if air has entered the system due to low fluid level or master cylinder replacement, all four brakes must be bled. Warning: If this has occurred on a model with an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), or if the lines to the Hydraulic Control Unit or Integrated Control Unit (1998 models) have been disconnected, the vehicle must be towed to a dealer service department or other repair shop equipped with a DRB II scan tool to have the system properly bled."
Well now, that is completely, totally, utterly BULL - as evidenced by this thread and our hands-on experience. I've run the MC dry on 2 different occasions, and neither of my vehicles have had a DRB scan tool used to bleed the system. Enikolich had every line removed from the HCU and successfully bled his brakes using the conventional method. This, unlike Haynes, is useful, practical information!
As lyonkster states, the systems are separate and unless you somehow get air in the HCU there's no need to bleed the ABS system as the Haynes (Heinous) book would lead you to believe. Stoopid Haynes! I really, truly hate it when technical manuals lead us astray, or in the Haynes case, outright lie to us. Because of things like this, I've come to use this forum as my first and last reference for just about every repair I do.
Thanks to all the folks who post! You insights, advice and experience are worth way more than all the Heinous manuals in the world!
-1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE. Factory Emerald Green, with aftermarket rust accents ("What rocker panels?!") 192,000 miles (and counting) with the 3.8L and ORIGINAL 41TE. The Spinach-Van!
-1996 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE, Factory Rosewood paint with ZERO rust, 3.3l, 175,000 miles. The "new" van. It's a baby. The Eggplant-Van!