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  #1  
Old 01-09-2012, 11:22 PM
DadzDodge DadzDodge is offline
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Default Oxygen Sensor replacement

The Check Engine light lit up on my son's '96 Ram (5.2L engine) and when I had the code read at AutoZone it pointed to the pre-cat "upstream" o2 sensor. I'm sorry, i don't remember the code. I bought two new sensors (Denso, only because the price was right) and replaced them.

The tip I want to pass along relates to removal of the old sensors. I rented the oxygen sensor tool from Advance Auto, and it worked well enough for the rear (downstream) sensor, but the front (upstream) sensor wouldn't budge, even after shots of PB Blaster and some time spent waiting for it to work. I ended up destroying the sensor that I was trying to remove, which ended up being a very good thing because it allowed me to slip a 7/8 box-end wrench over the sensor and thanks to the wrench's long handle (and with some help of the PB Blaster I'm sure), the sensor came right out. The next time I go to remove an o2 sensor, if I'm 100% certain I'm going to replace the sensor, if I can't get the sensor to budge I'm going to cut its wires and use a long handled box-end wrench.

By the way, the Check Engine light went out after a couple of drive cycles, once the sensors were replaced. I love it when that happens.

For our '96, the Denso part numbers for the sensors are 234-4077 and 234-4079. The sensors are easy to find. One is just upstream of the catalytic converter, and the other is in the tailpipe downstream from the cat. Both have in-line electrical connectors that are easy to find, just follow the wire away from the sensor until you find them. Lift the connector's tab gently, and the connector should slide apart with a little effort. They're connected to the truck frame via plastic tabs that you just push into the hole. I can take some pictures and post them here if anyone would like to see them.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:42 PM
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Zlow28 Zlow28 is offline
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thanks for the tip. I dont have a 5.2 but im sure pics would help for those who do
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:37 PM
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I need to change them too. But when I call to ask the prices, they tell me that I need to know the length of the sensor's cable. Just want to be sure which ones I have to buy to avoid surprises.
Mine is a 98 5.2L with probably factory ones.
And other thing is, it only has two, right? Because I called autozone and they asked me if I have to change the 4
Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:26 PM
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Another tip warm the pipes a bit not to hot. Drive the truck a bit then hit it with penitrating oil let it sit. Then take out sensor when its warm to the touch.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:09 PM
Screamintrashcan Screamintrashcan is offline
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I agree with you, Ramfan, excet I don't let 'er cool off, always worked for me, and I don't use any lube, tho it couldn't hurt, a 1/2 impact set to rattle gently, and turn up the air until it unscrews has been pretty successful. I made my socket with an impact socket, I think its a 22mm, but I'm probably wrong
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:59 AM
DadzDodge DadzDodge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe1500 View Post
I need to change them too. But when I call to ask the prices, they tell me that I need to know the length of the sensor's cable. Just want to be sure which ones I have to buy to avoid surprises.
Mine is a 98 5.2L with probably factory ones.
And other thing is, it only has two, right? Because I called autozone and they asked me if I have to change the 4
Thanks!
The question of wire "pigtail" length caused me some confusion, too. I finally decided to get under the truck and have a look. There are two sensors on our truck. The upstream sensor just needs the 12" pigtail and the downstream sensor needs the 18" pigtail. Before buying anything, though, I'd have a look under the truck to make sure.

Here are some cross-references I came up with. Again, double-check for your application before buying anything.

Denso:
Upstream: 234-4077
Downstream: 234-4079

Delphi:
Upstream: ES20044
Downstream: ES20046

Bosch:
Upstream: 15705
Downstream: 13280

I plan to take some pictures this weekend and post them here.

Don't forget to put a little bit of anti-seize compound on the new sensors' threads before you install them. This should be included with the sensors when you buy them.

Last edited by DadzDodge; 01-11-2012 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:47 PM
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Thank you very much, DadzDodge.

I'll try to have a look before buying anything.
Is it easy to see without lifting the truck?
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:35 PM
DadzDodge DadzDodge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe1500 View Post
Thank you very much, DadzDodge.

I'll try to have a look before buying anything.
Is it easy to see without lifting the truck?
Yes, sort of. I have an L-shaped driveway and I park the center of the truck over the grass while leaving the wheels on the asphalt. This allows me a way to get under the truck without raising it up. (I do still chock the wheels). If you have a way to get under the truck safely, you'll quickly find the sensors right within reach. The electrical connectors are easy to reach, too. It'll probably be Sunday afternoon before I can get to it, but I'll definitely post up some pictures to walk you through the process.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:20 PM
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Question

I get down the truck a while ago, located the two sensors (good thing only has two). I saw the one before the cat has longer cable than the one after it. I thought that the upstream had 12" and the downstream the 18", or maybe someone changed them and put what they wanted.
Does it make any sense?
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:24 PM
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I don't understand why you didn't use a box end wrench from the beginning? You can just unplug the harness and slip the wrench over the wires (in most cases). The only thing I can think of is the harness plug was too big to do so? Even so, I've never gotten stuck on them even with an open end wrench. I also drive the truck or at least let it idle until the exhaust is warm, that way the sensor will release easier.

Also, the downstream sensor did not need replacing, and even if it did, it's not really necessary as all it does is monitor catalytic efficiency. But either way you got your problem solved .
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