December 15th, 2003 (Post #38)

December 15, 2003
O2 Sensors Solved
O2 sensor problem is solved. I replaced the Left side (driver’s side O2 sensor) sensor and cleared the error 44 code with little or no effort. It was a snap. Really it was. Then as you should I replaced the right-side O2 sensor. After I was done the truck ran terribly. It missed, backfired, and stumbled and generally ran poorly. Eventually a code 45 showed up. What on earth could be the problem? Error 45 is the right side (passenger) sensor.

Well it turned out I did a bit of wiring wrong and swapped a pair of wires. The truck was running extremely rich. The sensor was covered in carbon when I pulled it confirming this theory. And there it was a swapped set of wires. I am guessing that I swapped the pair in my haste to put heat shrink on the wire and dropped the pairs several times.

I have some tips. I posted them in the forum but I will post them here also.

Lesson one: Part A: Don’t settle for second rate stuff. If the slug type of crimps are what you need, wait and get them. If you need good heat shrink get it before the job and don’t settle for “what they had”.

Lesson one: Part B: Get more than you need of the repair items. Don’t buy six crimps if you need six. Buy a full additional set. What if you wire it wrong? You only have enough to do the job once and seldom, in my experience, do you do it right the first time. My dad always took four nails up the ladder for a two nail job. I asked him once why he took 4 when you only used 2? He said, “What if you hit your thumb and drop your nails?” Of course this is the same man that broke off the eraser end of the pencil and threw it at me saying, “I don’t make mistakes.” So it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Lesson two: Check your work. Once your done, check it again. I failed to do this. It was cold, I was cold, and I was in a hurry and it was getting dark.

Lesson three: Don’t get in a hurry.

Lesson four: Do your work in a hospitable environment when able (i.e. indoors with heat in the winter and a cool breeze in the summer.)

So as I close this episode I have learned a good many things about my truck.

Closed loop and open loop sensors. There is not really a lot to the oxygen sensors when you think about what they actually do. You can reset all the error codes with just disconnecting the battery.

On the Difficulty Scale this project was a 1. Maybe a 1.5 considering the crimping and heat shrink.

The next big project is a suspension overhall. I hope to replace my springs, shocks, tie-rod ends, and put a set of poly bushings on in one day. I have everything but the poly bushings but in a couple of weeks I should have them. I’m hoping for a couple of weeks after the new year is in to begin. Rogers has offered his lift and his garage for me to work on all this so I’m thinking of something nice to buy him. Any suggestions?

If the camera has good batteries that day I’ll take lots of pictures.