Replacing O2 Sensor in 1997 ... - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Replacing O2 Sensor in 1997 ...

Okay, guys, my SES light paid me a visit recently and according to the code reader (I really need to buy one) at Auto Zone, it's a P0135 code in "Bank 1; Sensor 1", with their print out recommendation from "ASE Master Technicians" that it is likely an ECM issue. Sales pitch I wonder?

Well, before I go replacing a more expensive ECM, a cursory review on this code, both here and elsewhere, brings to light that these sensors should be replaced after so many miles (60K?). I haven't done that and it is approaching 160,000 miles. ...It is running rougher, particularly when cold, so something is definitely going on. I don't minding replacing the sensor if they need to be.

Okay, Questions:

* Looking from the top, the sensor looks within reach, but I can't see where the harness leads to. Will it give me a problem? Is it more difficult, say, than replacing the #4 and #8 spark plug, which I did a couple of months ago? Number 8 was the proverbial bitch.

*Any sensor brands I should stay away from?

* Also, will the 7/8" specialty socket (similar to those pictured) sold by Harbor Freight work here? It's cheap. ...I've got a metric crows foot set also.

* Just soak the sensor with some PB Blaster, wait a while, remove, and that's it, right? No recalibration anywhere, etc?

... By the way, not adept at multi-meters so I don't want to bother with one right now.

After this is fixed, I'll tackle the real problem - How to rid the AC system of its musty moldy smell.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 03:17 PM
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The O2 sensor plugs are snapped into the rear of the head, or something, up behind the exhaust.

I use a long screwdriver to depress the tab, and pull the wires on the soon-to be removed sensor. I've yet to pull wires out, but I'm replacing it anyway.

Try not to pull on the wires on the other connector, but it's clipped in, so that shouldn't be an issue.

Sometimes it's easier to unclip from the top.

You're in CA, so an open end wrench will pop it loose pretty easy, then you can unscrew it with your finger, most likely.
I can mine, most times. (The guys up north hate to hear that, lol.)

Those tools are great for some cars, but they really don't help me on these; I needed one for my Contour, tho.

Order the NTK O2 senders, they are the OEM.

Don't buy Bosch, unless you really like to do this a lot.


https://www.rockauto.com/info/182/NTK10014-2__ra_t.jpg

NTK 22016 Info
Upstream; Bank 1 Sensor 1; OE MFR: NTK $26.79

If they're covered in oil, the valve stem seals are getting bad, and the Cats will start to have issues over the next 50k miles or so; this usually starts about 160k miles, but rubber ages pretty badly after 20 years.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 03:47 PM
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I always like to go with the Motorcraft from a Ford dealer, to be sure to get the exact one for the car. Ex: Advance Auto had a Toyota brand o2 that supposedly fit my stepsons old Highlander, but it threw a code immediately.

A 7/8" o2 wrench is a good idea. I saw a mechanic use one, and it looked much easier than those clunky sockets like I have. It is a 6 point wrench that has a space to slip over the wire. They can slip with an open end wrench.

Al
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Grog6 and T6Rocket!

Replaced! Haven't driven it yet, but so far just in idle, no SES light (I thought one had to scan it to remove it?) and I hope it does not come back for a visit.

Believe it or not, guys, I turned my 22mm wrench maybe 1/16th of a turn and I unscrewed the rest with two fingers. I might have been able to unscrew it without the wrench. It felt that loose. The only thing that gave me trouble was the friggin' connector.

After thoughts, regrets, etc:
I should have done the driver's side while I had it up. That side looked much easier. ...I do go to Rock Auto for parts purchases, but I had the car jacked up already so I went with Carquest at $47.99 a pop. Grrrrrr. ...Those free Harbor Freight lights they give away with a purchase and a coupon are gold. Given how handy they have been of late, I'd be happy to BUY them. The magnet on it locked to a heat shield and I could actually see what I was doing in that dark cavity.

Thanks again, guys. I'll be back with more questions should the SES light reappear.

... Now for the musty mildew odor I get when I turn the fan or AC on. Can I just pour a bucket of hot bacteria killing solution or water down the vent (located above the firewall in front of the passenger) many forums suggest emptying (spraying) a whole can of anti-bacterial Lysol?

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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The SES returned. Next step?

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 08:34 AM
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Well, you didn't take the advice in posts 2 & 3. We both said to get a factory o2 sensor, not just a (insert random brand name here) sensor. Changing it out for factory now may or may not help, but at this point it's a bigger decision since you already have paid for one sensor.

FYI, at a good online Ford dealer, I would be surprised if you pay much more than $30-35 for a factory sensor. That's what we paid for the o2's for the Crown Vic. Replaced all four.

Al

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2018, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by T6Rocket View Post
Well, you didn't take the advice in posts 2 & 3. We both said to get a factory o2 sensor, not just a (insert random brand name here) sensor. Changing it out for factory now may or may not help, but at this point it's a bigger decision since you already have paid for one sensor.

FYI, at a good online Ford dealer, I would be surprised if you pay much more than $30-35 for a factory sensor. That's what we paid for the o2's for the Crown Vic. Replaced all four.

Al
Actually I did. I ordered the NTK sensor mentioned by Grog6 and made for the car that was supposedly OEM, and some cursory research of reviews found that many Ford owners who had bought them were pleased and didn't have a problem.

Question: On a very basic crude level (the exhaust system is cold right now), if I turn the key on, could I actually feel the sensor warm up if I put my hand over where it is screwed in? Don't they warm up when activated? If so, wouldn't that indicate it is getting power and working as it should.

I'm also thinking of running to the bone yard in a little while and see where all the wires from the sensor lead to. Maybe I'll find an engine with its right side pulled off just to get a clearer picture. The cars are elevated there and one can actually see the firewall better. I want to see all the connections/harnesses.

I'm overdue for a run to the boneyard (Disneyland for me) anyway.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 01:44 PM
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Yes, the sensor will be noticeably warm if the heater circuit is working properly. Wiring could be the culprit, or it could be the PCM as well as in some rare cases the drivers go kaput.


Tracing the wires in a junkyard harness is unnecessary, I can tell you exactly where they go, which is straight from the sensor to the engine harness connector, from there the heater monitor circuit goes to the PCM and the heater power goes to a bulk splice, which would cause other issues if failed there. I’d instead check YOUR harness and trace the wires back, it’s very possible they’re burned or damaged, no point looking on a junkyard car.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Yes, the sensor will be noticeably warm if the heater circuit is working properly. Wiring could be the culprit, or it could be the PCM as well as in some rare cases the drivers go kaput.


Tracing the wires in a junkyard harness is unnecessary, I can tell you exactly where they go, which is straight from the sensor to the engine harness connector, from there the heater monitor circuit goes to the PCM and the heater power goes to a bulk splice, which would cause other issues if failed there. I’d instead check YOUR harness and trace the wires back, it’s very possible they’re burned or damaged, no point looking on a junkyard car.
Very good ,Matt. Because of time constraints and a funeral that is coming up soon (Friday), I decided to leave the car at a shop by my job. They called back and said that it was a wire(s) causing the problem. Apparently one had burned or got damage and was open making contact somewhere. The harness isn't made anymore, but they are expecting some part tomorrow morning to solder together. They called me at work during a busy time and I didn't clearly hear everything he said. I hope that's all there is to it. Thanks.

... And, yeah, I wanted to go to the boneyard and see where and how the harnesses are joined. Just about all the big jobs I've done on my bird have been preceded by some practice on a retired bird at the boneyard. I like knowing what I'm going to face.

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
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