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Thread: O2 Sensor Removal

  1. #1
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Default O2 Sensor Removal

    Verified the Code 91 on KOER today in the 88.

    Going to take a stab at replacing both original O2 sensors since I have new ones on hand.

    Advice on removing the old ones (still running stock manifolds)?

    Use the O2 sensor socket or snip the wires and use a regular socket?

    Engine hot or cold?

    Use heat (acetylene available) or not?

    I have done O2ís on other cars before but I know this one is going to be a pain since they are original and this car has seen many decades of salt.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
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    Tiggie use an O2 socket and lots of WD-40 will doo the trick don't forget the large 1/2 inch drive wrench.

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    I've had luck wire brushing the rust off around it and then a few days of PB Blaster. Used some heat around the sensor to get the manifold warm. Popped it out with the O2 socket. This is assuming you can let the car sit while the PB is on it.

    If it gives you fits and refuses to come out and you're sure it's bad then cut the wires and get a good socket on it. Just work it back and forth and it should come out w/o taking the manifold threads with it.
    These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.

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    Domestic Tourist Lincolnmania's Avatar
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    try the o2 sensor wrench first but don't strip it. if it don't budge, cut the wires and use a deep socket. might have to use some heat.

    1986 lincoln towncar signature series. 5.0 HO with thumper performance ported e7 heads, 1.7 roller rockers, warm air intake, 65mm throttle body, 1/2" intake spacer, ported intakes, 3.73 rear with trac lock, 98-02 front brake conversion, 92-97 rear disc conversion, 1" rear swaybar, 1 3/16" front swaybar, 16" wheels and tires, loud ass stereo system, badass cb, best time to date 15.94 at 87 mph. lots of mods in the works 221.8 rwhp 278 rwt
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    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnmania View Post
    try the o2 sensor wrench first but don't strip it. if it don't budge, cut the wires and use a deep socket. might have to use some heat.
    Yeah that would be my thoughts as well. If the O2 you're removing as trash already I wouldn't worry about breaking the sensor (as long as it doesn't strip). Try nice first, if that doesn't work... heat is your friend.

  6. #6
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    I would follow your gut and just cut the wires and use a good quality six point socket only if your committed to replacing it, have the part on hand and are 100 percent sure the sensor is bad and not just causing a code from a rich or lean mixture. ( I did not research the code you have to be honest )

    I have had luck in the past wire brushing the sensor and manifold as clean as I could of loose rust at the threads soaking the sensor repeatedly while lightly tapping on the manifold near the threads with a brass hammer or brass round stock and a hammer to create vibrations to aid in movement of the penetrating oil deep into the threads.

    Then clean off the manifold and sensor with non flammable brake clean, heat the manifold around the threads with a fine point torch and let it cool naturally while tapping on the manifold some more.

    Once it has cooled down enough to not cause a fire I would respray with penetrating oil this time tapping lightly on the 02 sensor while looking at the puddled up penetrating oil to see if the oil has started to seep into the threads, if so let it soak and spray some more every once in awhile.

    After your sure the oil has had time to do its job, clean with brake clean and reheat the threads with a torch and test the water with impacting torque to the ratchet or breaker bar not just steady heavy torque.

    If it breaks loose at all stop what your doing and soak the threads once it has cooled enough to not cause a fire and slowly work the sensor back and forth loosen and tighten until it is removed. If you hear the dreaded thread death squeak the threads are still dry and need more soaking time.

    When I worked on cars for a living and I had to replace 02 sensors I only did so when I knew they were bad which meant in my opinion if it is bad and needs to be changed no matter what I would always cut the wire and or sensor down to size until I could fit a good quality six point socket either a deep socket shallow socket or wrench if I had no room for a ratchet. I only used a 02 sensor socket to tighten and only then when I couldn't for some reason just use a open ended wrench.

    In my opinion there is no worthy O2 sensor socket to remove a sensor unless your dealing with a newer low mileage car that has never seen road salt and then I would doubt the sensor is bad.

    BTW I never liked the idea trying to remove a sensor from a warm or hot engine ( heat expands ) both the sensor and manifold are steel sure one is cast iron one is steel yet they will heat up at similar rates.

    Heating the external threads with a fine point torch and quickly torquing on the still cold sensor is where you will have the best results. If the sensor threads have time to expand with the manifold threads the heat has not done anything for you.

    I found this video or I should say the video found me after typing this post ( damn spies ) anyways this guy test out different penetrating oils and brake fluid as a penetrating oil which I never thought of ( he mentions he did a 3 hour soak time test on a different video which I have not watched that may have different results ) I brought this up in case this may help you.

    Last edited by EaOutlaw1969; 10-23-2019 at 08:07 AM.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

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    Fastest Box In South Jersey 86VickyLX's Avatar
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    Get the exhaust nice and hot and spray it with PB it should free up real nice. Though if you're getting a code 91 it's probably indicating an actual lean issue. The O2 unresponsive codes are 94 and 44 (and that's assuming your smog stuff is still hooked up).
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    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 86VickyLX View Post
    Get the exhaust nice and hot and spray it with PB it should free up real nice. Though if you're getting a code 91 it's probably indicating an actual lean issue. The O2 unresponsive codes are 94 and 44 (and that's assuming your smog stuff is still hooked up).
    Think I’m going six point socket and maybe some heat if needed. Thanks for the advice!

    Smog is gone. It’s bucking and kicking from off idle to almost WOT, but only while warming up or a hot restart (what I am guessing is open loop). After warm and driving for a while, it’s just low on power. Feels like a six banger. Passed the cylinder balance test though.

    The tripminder went metric (the E/M button doesn’t work) the other day. Went back to English after a couple days. Also told me I had used 2148 liters of fuel in 4896 km, before it went back to English. And finally, it likes to tell me it’s getting absurd MPG from time to time - over 200mpg. I chalked all this up to a bad tripminder but I guess it might be that and an actual fuel flow reading error.

    I will try to check the tripminder readings while the problem is occurring.

    Won’t have a chance to do the oxygen sensor until Saturday at earliest. Feel free to add anything else I should check out. It’s got a good wires/cap/rotor/plugs and no vacuum leaks.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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    Member of the Orb Alliance packman's Avatar
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    I used a 7/8" line wrench; and a good bit of Kroil for the CV O2 sensors.

    My aunt's '05 Elantra on the other hand; broke the same line wrench years later. Ended up replacing both the mid pipe and O2 sensor for that car.

  10. #10
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I've never had a system lean code and actually had it be the oxygen sensor. The few times I've had a legit bad O2 sensor, they didn't give any codes.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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  11. #11
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    The plot thickens. Tripminder was in good form tonight. Did some playing around and watched the instant MPGs.

    Did not have any problems from a cold start.

    Did have the bucking after a cooler restart (140F start temp). The tripminder said 15-16MPG when I was into the throttle in OD at 45mph about as much as you can get without a downshift. I repeated once warmed fully and got 11-12 in the same conditions but it ran smoothly. The bucking continues regardless of throttle position.

    Tried to get it to repeat on a hot restart but nothing to report out of the ordinary.

    “Leaning” towards a lean condition in open loop, maybe closed too but it’s compensating more.

    The Engine and Emissions Manual has some pinpoint tests for the code 91 I can do without the break out box. Will try those and report back.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  12. #12
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    if its still got thermactor plumbing, make sure that didn't get stuck on. If it keeps injecting air you'll get an apparent lean condition and the ECM will fatten the fuel mix to compensate.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  13. #13
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    No plumbing for smog.

    I tested the left O2 using the procedure outlined in my service manual. 10-14in of vacuum on the MAP, good and hot engine. Supposed to see over 0.5V within a minute. Was getting about 0.2V and she was running quite rich. I verified the right side also, which gave me 0.6V. Checked the left again to be sure and still the lazy 0.2V.

    Cut the wire and used a deep well 6-point socket. Broke loose pretty easy but hard all the way out. Took it slow and went back and forth with Kroil (had a lot handy). Galled the threads a bit. But new one installed and no problems yet. Have not retested and don’t plan to unless problems reappear. Ran okay for a test drive other than I must have broken one of those awesome nylon vacuum lines since it looses vacuum quickly under load and the ATC goes wonky.

    Fingers crossed.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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    If that F shaped check valve (Motocraft YG 337) is buggered, HVAC will do that too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    Think I’m going six point socket and maybe some heat if needed. Thanks for the advice!

    Smog is gone. It’s bucking and kicking from off idle to almost WOT, but only while warming up or a hot restart (what I am guessing is open loop). After warm and driving for a while, it’s just low on power. Feels like a six banger. Passed the cylinder balance test though.

    The tripminder went metric (the E/M button doesn’t work) the other day. Went back to English after a couple days. Also told me I had used 2148 liters of fuel in 4896 km, before it went back to English. And finally, it likes to tell me it’s getting absurd MPG from time to time - over 200mpg. I chalked all this up to a bad tripminder but I guess it might be that and an actual fuel flow reading error.

    I will try to check the tripminder readings while the problem is occurring.

    Won’t have a chance to do the oxygen sensor until Saturday at earliest. Feel free to add anything else I should check out. It’s got a good wires/cap/rotor/plugs and no vacuum leaks.
    Not sure why but the whole tripminder going crazy thing drove me to hysterical laughter. On topic though, Kroil is great shit and has helped me out of some (literally) sticky situations.

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    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Tripminder has been happy lately. Maybe it’s done being possessed. 200 mpg would be nice though.

    Car is is happier now. Still a hiccup at very light throttle... maybe TPS. Checked codes and the 91 is gone. Back to the 44/94 your smog is MIA codes.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  17. #17
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    stupid high mpg readings happen when you have no fuel flow input. I'd bet bad connection at the tripminder, or at the ECM end of that harness.

    my diesel runs off a special injector that wasn't in the car when I got it. It was giving me figures in the 250 mpg range sometimes.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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