Replaced Upstream O2 sensors - Page 2 - Dodge Challenger Forum: Challenger & SRT8 Forums
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah they are fun to do, I did all 4 of my o2's about 2 months ago. It took me about 2 1/2 hours on a lift to do them. My biggest problem was getting my big ole meat hooks in that tight spot for the up stream one. Those were a PITA, the post cat o2's were cake to do- 10 minutes tops. It also helps that there wasn't any rust on them either.
A lift would have saved me some time and effort for sure, but it wouldn't have made it 'easy' by any means. As you can probably attest, having easier access to the parts only goes so far. If it's in a bad location and/or oriented at an odd angle, you're boned, lift or not.

In hindsight, I would remove the steering column to get at the left side upstream one. That would make it so much easier to get to. I considered doing that last night, but I kept thinking surely this wasn't going to devolve to the point that I had to remove the damned steering column. That would be a major pain to do and add untold time and effort to the task.

Little did I know, it would not add any more time or effort than fighting that sucker the whole time I was trying to get at the sensor on that side...

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 10:24 PM
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I am lucky that I have access to a lift for sure. I agree the orientation is kinda screwy on the upstream o2's and breaking them loose was the biggest pain. I actually considered removing the cats/ intermediate pipes which would have made access easier but I didn't want to mess with potentially damaging any gaskets.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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I am lucky that I have access to a lift for sure. I agree the orientation is kinda screwy on the upstream o2's and breaking them loose was the biggest pain. I actually considered removing the cats/ intermediate pipes which would have made access easier but I didn't want to mess with potentially damaging any gaskets.
I hit mine with some penetrating oil and let it soak in an hour or so before starting. That seemed to help on the right side one. It broke loose with little effort, once I finally got the socket in place and the two wrenches lined up on it to twist. That part took a lot of effort, but the lube definitely help to break it loose.

The left side was seemingly unaffected by the penetrating oil, which is not surprising since I couldn’t really see it well enough to make sure I got the oil properly applied. Combine that with the fact that I couldn’t get my hand up in there (or down in there either) well enough to get a good grip, and breaking that side loose took exponentially more effort.

I did remove the bolts on the exhaust flanges where they attach to the manifolds just under the sensors, thinking that I would be able drop the exhaust pipes and cats a little to make room. But my exhaust is bolted up to the car well enough that the pipes hardly budged at all. I would have had to loosen it all the way back to allow it to be moved out of the way enough to do any good I think.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 11:53 PM
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When I was swapping in the long tube headers I too the old O2 sensors off before I removed the manifolds and midpipes. I don't remember it being that difficult...but then again the header install might have masked the pain. I will say that with long tube headers O2 sensor replacement is a breeze.


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 09:07 AM
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Unless a sensor fails early, prematurely, and so far with my cars none has, when one goes "bad" -- as was the case with the Turbo when one sensor was tripping the CEL due to a sensor heater circuit fault -- I replace all 4 sensors.

When I had the sensors replaced in my Turbo at 132K miles afterwards the engine ran noticeably better. Kind of surprised me, but highlighted how at least sensors can degrade even if they don't degrade enough to trip a CEL. I think I was fortunate the one sensor did fail which forced me to replace the set when I did.

Might mention the CEL came on as I was leaving a Barstow gas station having just filled up the gas tank after a nearly 200 mile drive from AZ to CA on I-40. This after a 2 day drive from Springfield MO. All the way from Springfield the engine was fine. Even when the CEL came on there was no sign of any engine issues. Every fill as I made my way from Barstow to home the CEL came on. I would read the code and note it was the same code as before, then clear the code and drive on.

Likewise when I had the sensors replaced in my Boxster at around 305K miles (one sensor was causing a CEL but except for recalling the error code pointed to an O2 sensor I can't recall any other details) -- the sensors had around 200K miles on them -- afterwards the engine ran better.


With sensors looking like they looked out of your car's engine you might consider a Techron treatment. A bottle of Techron mixed according to directions on the bottle... well, almost... The bottles I get treat 20 gallons but I dump the entire bottle in a nearly 17 gallon gas tank. Then drive the car as you normally do. As you use up the gasoline with the Techron added you might notice the engine running better as the injector tips, intake/exhaust valves, combustion chamber and possibly even the converters receive some cleaning from the Techron.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:10 AM
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I hit mine with some penetrating oil and let it soak in an hour or so before starting. That seemed to help on the right side one. It broke loose with little effort, once I finally got the socket in place and the two wrenches lined up on it to twist. That part took a lot of effort, but the lube definitely help to break it loose.

The left side was seemingly unaffected by the penetrating oil, which is not surprising since I couldn’t really see it well enough to make sure I got the oil properly applied. Combine that with the fact that I couldn’t get my hand up in there (or down in there either) well enough to get a good grip, and breaking that side loose took exponentially more effort.
I was going to suggest this - good idea that you did it. Especially since those upstream sensors thread into cast iron manifolds and would be rusty around the threads.

Probably soaking with more would have helped that left side one. Sometimes getting a cotton swab soaked with it and applying it liberally on the top of the theads would have encouraged the oil so soak around the threads.

Generally O2 sensors start gettting a bit sluggish in their old age - probably more so as there's deposits building up on the sensors' tip.

For the cats - if you here rattling noises at idle - one quick way to test (cooled down converter) is to rap the body with a mallet (or your fist, wrap in a towel) and if you hear rattling - that converter honeycomb is breaking up and due for replacement.

Since the 'Hauler hasn't thrown any codes, the cats are probably still doing their job and within the range of tolerance to check out as okay.

Odds are you'll probably have better idle quality and the MPG might improve a bit as well

poor maintenance (fouled plugs, rich mixtures) often cause overheated and failed cats. Or someone putting leaded fuel into the vehicle

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 11:54 AM
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@Nuke BTW did you clear the adaptives by disconnecting the battery? This will clear the LTFT and speedup the learning of the fuel trims with the new O2s.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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@Nuke BTW did you clear the adaptives by disconnecting the battery? This will clear the LTFT and speedup the learning of the fuel trims with the new O2s.
Si...I unhooked it before removing the starter, so it was unhooked for several hours.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Keep us posted on how they holdup.
Starting at 6am this morning and ending a little while ago, I managed to put 414 miles on the new O2 sensors during mostly highway driving. No DTCs, CELs, or any other signs of trouble seen yet with the NGT/NGK sensors.

It's far from a certainty at such an early point in this experiment, but I'm inclined to start believing that these sensors are going to work for me...
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:47 PM
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Starting at 6am this morning and ending a little while ago, I managed to put 414 miles on the new O2 sensors during mostly highway driving. No DTCs, CELs, or any other signs of trouble seen yet with the NGT/NGK sensors.

It's far from a certainty at such an early point in this experiment, but I'm inclined to start believing that these sensors are going to work for me...
Hopefully they outlast my Bosch wideband...darn thing just crapped out on me today. Darn thing was just over a year old and I recalibrated 3 times.
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