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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 05-21-2012, 08:19 PM
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Wideband O2 sensor

I am thinking for my performance motor I am going to need wideband O2 sensors. I have been reading a little about them lately and I am at altitude when home (6200 ft. above sea level) so it seems like it makes sense.

It looks like the ones I have been using are Ford replacements, both have the same Ford P/N and a Ford stamp. What isn't clear to me is what I would need for my truck (signature below). Can I just get some replacement O2 sensors that are wideband or would I need a kit? I just don't understand that much about it yet.

Anyone have experience or knowledge of this?

Thanks.
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Red, 1992 F150, 351W, E4OD, Vortech V-2 Si trim blower, Snow Performance water/meth injection system, custom cam, Edelbrock Performer intake, Twisted Wedge 205cc heads, shorty full-length headers, MASS Air (converted), tuning with QuarterhorseRT, 4x4, short bed, 33" tires
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:27 PM
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The EFI systems in these trucks use narrowband O2 sensors which means the sensor just switches high or low(1v or 0.2v) to indicate which direction the A/F ratio is from the ideal of 14.7:1, and note that the sensor cannot indicate how much rich or lean the mixture is.

A wideband O2 sensor produces an output that varies continuously from 0-5v which corresponds to A/F ratios of about 7 - 22 :1 once calibrated, so not only do you know if the mixture is rich or lean but you know by how much. This sensor is not compatable with the EFI systems in these trucks so you can't simply swap one of these in.. you need to install the sensor in it's own bunk in the exhaust and either use a dedicated wideband gauge on the dash or a laptop to display and datalog the output.
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1990 5.0HO AOD XLT X-Cab F150 3.55LS, 1994 3.0L 5-sp x-cab Ranger 3.45, 2004 3.0L 5-sp X-cab Ranger Edge 4.10, 2004 2.5L 5-spd Subaru Legacy
1996 Kawasaki ZX11D, 2004 Honda 599, 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Conanski View Post
The EFI systems in these trucks use narrowband O2 sensors which means the sensor just switches high or low(1v or 0.2v) to indicate which direction the A/F ratio is from the ideal of 14.7:1, and note that the sensor cannot indicate how much rich or lean the mixture is.

A wideband O2 sensor produces an output that varies continuously from 0-5v which corresponds to A/F ratios of about 7 - 22 :1 once calibrated, so not only do you know if the mixture is rich or lean but you know by how much. This sensor is not compatable with the EFI systems in these trucks so you can't simply swap one of these in.. you need to install the sensor in it's own bunk in the exhaust and either use a dedicated wideband gauge on the dash or a laptop to display and datalog the output.

I have a Cyberdyne Air/Fuel gauge connected to the stock O2 sensors I have now and that gauge always reads low while warming up and when up to temp, it reads nothing (too low I guess). I wonder if that is a result of the small voltage range these put out.

Based on the fact that the EFI system isn't compatible with a wideband, I am not yet sure I want to go through the trouble because I can adjust the air/fuel ratio at the MASS Air sensor.

But I have a question: are these stock O2 sensors really that useful to an EEC-IV system if they only return high/low? It doesn't sound like they would be very accurate for the computer to read and make adjustments.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:44 PM
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The computers aren't exactly flying blind though, the reason there are so many different EEC calibrations is because the engineers have already done most of the work for the computer on all the different engine/powertrain/chassis combinations and preloaded calibrations that are pretty close to what a stock motor needs so the O2 sensor is just there to allow the fine tuning needed for closed loop operation.
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1990 5.0HO AOD XLT X-Cab F150 3.55LS, 1994 3.0L 5-sp x-cab Ranger 3.45, 2004 3.0L 5-sp X-cab Ranger Edge 4.10, 2004 2.5L 5-spd Subaru Legacy
1996 Kawasaki ZX11D, 2004 Honda 599, 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIKIL View Post
I have a Cyberdyne Air/Fuel gauge connected to the stock O2 sensors I have now and that gauge always reads low while warming up and when up to temp, it reads nothing (too low I guess). I wonder if that is a result of the small voltage range these put out..
If it's a wideband gauge then yeah it won't show you anything meaningfull because it's not seeing the correct voltage range, there is a simple gauge designed for narrowband sensors designed to work with 0-1v inputs.
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1990 5.0HO AOD XLT X-Cab F150 3.55LS, 1994 3.0L 5-sp x-cab Ranger 3.45, 2004 3.0L 5-sp X-cab Ranger Edge 4.10, 2004 2.5L 5-spd Subaru Legacy
1996 Kawasaki ZX11D, 2004 Honda 599, 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Conanski View Post
If it's a wideband gauge then yeah it won't show you anything meaningfull because it's not seeing the correct voltage range, there is a simple gauge designed for narrowband sensors designed to work with 0-1v inputs.

According to the instructions that came with the gauge, this is a wideband gauge. The instructions indicate that bar 1 on the graph represents 17.1:1, bar 5 is 14.9:1, and bar 10 is 12.1:1.

So I have a gauge to read it, could I get a wideband, weld it in, give it power and ground, and connect the signal wire to my gauge? If that's the case, it might be party time...
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:09 PM
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Yes all you need is a basic wideband sensor.
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Paul (Conan) O'Brien

1990 5.0HO AOD XLT X-Cab F150 3.55LS, 1994 3.0L 5-sp x-cab Ranger 3.45, 2004 3.0L 5-sp X-cab Ranger Edge 4.10, 2004 2.5L 5-spd Subaru Legacy
1996 Kawasaki ZX11D, 2004 Honda 599, 2008 Kawasaki KLR650
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:10 PM
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No, you can't just hook up power and connect it to your gauge. Widebands are much more sophisticated and require a special controller in order to function. The gauge they come with almost always has the controller built in.

Innovate, AEM, and many others make wideband O2 sensor kits.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:10 PM
 
 
 
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