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ABS Sensor ?

I pulled my ABS sensors out of the front wheel hubs on my '87 5kTQ, and now
it's time to put them back in.  The sensors have some kind of sticky gunk all
over them, and have gotten full of grime.  What's the best way of cleaning
them?  Or, should I just leave them full of junk & reinsert?  And what's the
sticky stuff all over 'em, is it soemthing I should find & re-spray all over
them before putting them back together?  I've got new caps, and the Bentley
says to shove the sensors in 'till the caps hit the "rotor."  Since the brake
rotor has nothing to do with the ABS, is the rotor they're talking about
actually the axel?  If not, what?  TIA!

87 5000CS TQ - Metropolitan Washington, D.C. (but not for long...)
84 5000S - Boulder, Colorado
90 80 - Bethesda, Maryland
(hunting for the elusive Lago Blue '91 200Q)