ABS light (1996 318iC E36)

Hi All,
Sometime ago I had my car's (1996 318iC E36) brakes replaced. About a month later, the dreaded ABS light came on. After doing some initial research, I found out that it could be because of dirt accumalation on
the speed sensors on the wheel which connect to the ABS controller. I had a mechanic check it out and clean the sensors but the light stayed on. The fault code reported by the diagnostic tool was 17 which according to him meant that a valve had failed in the ABS pump.
$$$... Replacing the ABS pump is an expensive proposition. A brand new pump (part no. 34.51-1162 291) costs ~$1800 + labor. So I decided to get a second opinion at another shop.
The second mechanic claimed that the pump has not failed BUT there is an electrical short in the console which causes the light to stay lit. The ABS pump has some electrical connections that go through the fuse box, across the firewall and into the dashboard console. He thinks that the short is in the dashboard and requires five hours of labor to find and fix the short circuit. I find that somewhat believable because last year I had to replace my A/C controller in the dashboard because it malfunctioned due to a short circuit and even now part of the dashboard does tend to get warm.
But I am still unsure about who to believe.
My question: Is there an TSB for my model regarding console wiring assembly that anyone is aware of?
Any other opinions, suggestions, etc are welcome.
Thank you! Salman

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