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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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PO171 codes

I know this means lean on bank 1. My 96 Tbird 3.8 is now powered by a 95 SC 3.8.
I replaced the o2 sensor after the cat. Code came back a few days later. I wanted to replace the o2 in front of the cat but it is very long and the local auto parts place only have the o2 which is too short so i just sprayed wd40 on it but code came back a few days later after i cleared it.

The o2 on the passenger side (before cat) has some kind of connector in the middle making it very long. Not sure what o2 sensors come with these extension connectors. Is it because the o2 is for a 96 3.8 na but because the motor is 95sc which is causing it to be too short needing a butt connector in the middle? Are there any aftermarket universal o2's that come extra long?

I took it to a shop and the guy there doesnt want to get involved with it because his scanner is only programmed to read factory cars. When I told him that motor was 95SC and my cars computer was re-collaborated, it kind of scared him away and plus he has never seen an o2 sensor like that before. His scanner also picked up p0171 code and also pinpointed that oil dipstick was loose and I know that tranny fluid dipstick wasnt put in all the way. (which may also throw lean code).

Anyways, the dipstick stuff is minor. What do I do about replacing the o2 sensor? All the o2s before the cat for a 96 3.8 tbird that auto part stores sell are too short. Do I need an o2 for a 95 SC 3.8? Not sure what to do here but my emissions test may be coming up soon and I need to fix this asap.

Car has been running great since rebuild 5 years ago. These codes are all starting to show up suddenly.

thanks.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 12:29 PM
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I don't exactly remember what was up with that O2 sensor. But vaguely remember having to buy a universal sensor from Auto zone Think it just came with different connectors for multiple vehicles. They didn't stock the direct replacement for the car.

Just get the O2's for a 96 NA V6 bird. Rock auto lists a NTK with a 22" lead for the 96 v6. Need to get under the car and find out how long the wires need to be.

You also need to check for an exhaust leak. May not just be a bad sensor. Pull the sensor out and see if it is black.

1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 01:18 PM
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I believe this is the one that is in the car now.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...66_16521_97999

1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 01:20 PM
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If you have a lean code on bank 1, then the O2 sensor most likely is not your problem. I would say first look for vacuum leaks, and then try cleaning your MAF, and if neither of those work, get it hooked up to a scanner that can read live data, and take a look at your short and long term fuel trims on both banks to see what it is doing. Another thing that can cause a P0171 is an exhaust leak before the cat, so check that out too.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLOWN38 View Post
I don't exactly remember what was up with that O2 sensor. But vaguely remember having to buy a universal sensor from Auto zone Think it just came with different connectors for multiple vehicles. They didn't stock the direct replacement for the car.

Just get the O2's for a 96 NA V6 bird. Rock auto lists a NTK with a 22" lead for the 96 v6. Need to get under the car and find out how long the wires need to be.

You also need to check for an exhaust leak. May not just be a bad sensor. Pull the sensor out and see if it is black.
Ok thanks, I don't think the o2 was black when i took it out and looked at it a few weeks ago and if it was put in at rebuild, i've only put about 10-15k on it since so it shouldn't be bad yet but who knows. Madmike, i did clean off the MAFS and code still came back the only thing i noticed that would be similar to a vaccum leak is the transmission fluid dipstick wasn't pushed in all the way and the fill hole was clearly exposed.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 03:17 PM
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That wouldn't cause the p0171 code or a lean condition. Since you have an SC motor in there, I'm going to stick with a vacuum leak as the most likely cause. Double check all the intercooler connections, intake gaskets, injector o-rings, and the entire mess of vacuum lines. Spray around different areas a little bit at a time with some carb cleaner, and if you find a leak, the engine rpm will rise. If you can't find anything that way, a smoke test would be the next DIY test, and if that doesn't turn anything up, you'll have to have it hooked up to a scanner and watch the fuel trims as you drive to see what is going on.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
-97 Tbird Sport 4.6 Nice weather daily driver
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
That wouldn't cause the p0171 code or a lean condition. Since you have an SC motor in there, I'm going to stick with a vacuum leak as the most likely cause. Double check all the intercooler connections, intake gaskets, injector o-rings, and the entire mess of vacuum lines. Spray around different areas a little bit at a time with some carb cleaner, and if you find a leak, the engine rpm will rise. If you can't find anything that way, a smoke test would be the next DIY test, and if that doesn't turn anything up, you'll have to have it hooked up to a scanner and watch the fuel trims as you drive to see what is going on.


Would a vacuum leak appear on the boost gauge or no? Boost gauge indicates there is no vacuum leaks. Car still runs great and has a lot of power. If one of the fuel injectors weren't dumping enough fuel, would it run like crap?

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 06:01 PM
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Only a major vacuum leak would show up on the gauge. I wouldn't worry about the IC tubes and such since it is only the passenger side throwing the code. I would be looking at exhaust. Or injectors but those are fairly new too. On the passenger side

1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 06:02 PM
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A small vacuum leak will be very hard to see on the boost gauge. And yes, if an injector were spraying too much or not enough fuel, you would also have a poor running condition and a misfire code.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
-97 Tbird Sport 4.6 Nice weather daily driver
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 06:03 PM
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But like Mike said I would log the fuel trims with the Xcal

1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
[email protected]@[email protected]
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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I will as soon as I figure out how to. Don't have lap top. Oh and i was told the proper way to check for exhaust leaks is to block both tail pipes and if car stalls than there is no exhaust leak but if it keeps running, that means there is and I would see the exhaust coming out elsewhere. Is this true? I plan on getting it on the ramps and under it again on friday because I'm off and it's supposed to be nice.

Come to think of it, the car wasn't throwing these codes until after the new starter was put on and the starter is located right by the exhaust and cat so that's the first place i will check.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 04:58 PM
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That is probably the stupidest idea I have ever heard. You will never get the car to stall by blocking up the exhaust system, but you definitely could create exhaust leaks where there weren't before! The way to check for exhaust leaks is to listen for them and look for the tell-tale black soot around wherever the exhaust is leaking.

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-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
That is probably the stupidest idea I have ever heard. You will never get the car to stall by blocking up the exhaust system, but you definitely could create exhaust leaks where there weren't before! The way to check for exhaust leaks is to listen for them and look for the tell-tale black soot around wherever the exhaust is leaking.

I thought it was kind of dumb also. I forget who told me that but figured i'd ask.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I did notice that the exhaust tip on the passenger side sticks out about 3 inches farther than the exhaust tip on the driver side. I have the xenon body kit so the exhaust pipes sit low and and several times, I've bumped that tip (driver side) into a curb pretty hard which has pushed it back a few inches as opposed to other one. But would this cause bank 1 to run lean?

 photo exhaust.jpg

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Last edited by Rodeo Joe; 02-21-2014 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Merged posts
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 03:39 PM
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That wouldn't cause one bank to run lean, but it could have knocked something loose causing an exhaust leak, which could throw a lean code.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2014, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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I went under the car and couldn't find any exhaust leaks. I'll check again on my next day off. I did remove the long air tube that I had bought at advanced auto parts. This long flexible air tube I had running from under the front bumper into the cone air filter. I don't recall having lean problems until after I removed the heat shield that went around the cone filter and adding the flexible air tube. I cleared the code and I'll see what happens. I don't think this was the problem but it's worth a shot.

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