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Old 08-30-2008, 10:58 PM   #1
TCPMeta
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Default Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

My 98 SL1 started to give me some problems with the O2 sensors. The rear sensor wasn't reading correctly. I bought a new sensor and cleared the code by disconnecting the battery. On the test drive the CEL came back up and was the same code. I checked the wiring and everything was fine. I went ahead and took the exhaust apart and found the screen to the catalytic converter was basically clogged. I took a trip to advanced auto and bought two Sparkplug Non-foulers and decided to trick the cat. I punched out the screens on the cat then bored out one of the foulers. I then screwed on the other fouler on top of it. Screwed in the rear O2 sensor and reinstalled the exhaust system.

Just to clear up

The Sparkplug Non-foulers uses the same thread size as the O2 sensors. The fouler lets so much exhaust reach the rear O2 sensor thinking that there is a catalytic converter filtering out the exhaust. This trick works on most 4 cylinders and some 6 cylinders with dual catalytic converters.

Here is a guide I found on a different thread a while back when I ran into exhaust problems when researching a O2 simulator for my Dodge.
http://forums.clubrsx.com/showthread.php?t=296791
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

nice! didn't think it'd be that simple to trick the o2.

this info will come in handy..
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

Why did you repost this?
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Old 08-31-2008, 12:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

I re-posted it under the mods section because it is unwanted in the tech section.
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

Ok then. Not really a mod. It's more like a cheesy work-around.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

a cheesy work-around that apparently works well. also seems to be popular depending on the forum.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

This "trick" is meant for track cars that run with out catalytic converters with semi stock ECU/PCM systems.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

OIC. I didn't know you were running a race car.
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

I like how race cars are exempt from emissions.

see, I can be sarcastic too. if florida stays emission test-free next year, I may just run straight-through just to irritate tree molesters.

as far as I know, cats aren't needed in a car that's tuned well enough. that's what all the hot-rodders say over here at biff burgers. they only burn away excess hydrocarbons or whatever, and don't even work until they heat up. and from what I've read here, our cars emit most emissions when they're cold--about the time when a cat would come in handy. something about closed-loop or fuel maps or what have you. I assume this is similar with all cars.

my friend mikey has a 94-ish (it's a mutt. 94 shell though) integra with a built b18 (building a h22) and no cat. sounds awesome and gets pizza to the customers faster than any other driver there

I'd bet $50 it passes any emissions test..except california. they suck though, so they don't count.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

My 94 SL2 could not pass emissions. Hydrocarbons were way over the limit. I had it checked by an emissions certified professional on a professional scanner. He said the car was running perfectly and the only other thing that could be wrong was the cat. I took the cat out and found that a PO had hollowed it out. Put a new cat on and HC went from 239 ppm to 11 ppm without changing anything else. So, your theory about properly tuned cars not spewing pollution is bunk. My car was running perfectly and still not passing.

I'm no tree hugger but I also see no reason to spew more pollution simply because I want to save a buck. That's irresponsible.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:44 AM   #11
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Roll Eyes Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

I agree with Cat Fuzz. My K1500 Chevy almost failed emissions testing a few years back (but squeaked by because the test tech basically ran the hell out of the poor thing to superheat it, an old trick). I later found out that the old style pie-pan converter had basically rattled its pellets around to the point where they eroded small enough to migrate through the support sieve into the muffler. At that point the cat was virtually non-functional.

I put on an oversized high flow "performance" Magnaflow honeycomb cat and not only did it pass smog with flying colors the next time, but it actually felt peppier (the old fluidized bed pie-pan converters WERE restrictive, not so the modern honeycomb ones).

I am also NOT a tree hugger by any stretch of the imagination, but personally I will not run without cats on street vehicles. With the modern honeycomb designs there is no reason not to run with them, other than being cheaper I guess.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

It's true catalytic converters don't work a damn when its cold. After 10 minutes when the exhaust heats it up it starts to filter correctly. Technically you shouldn't drive the car when the motor is cold. Let it heat up to normal temps before hand but with the price of gas the way it is I slam it into gear as soon as it starts.

As far as tuned cars not needing a catalytic converter is bull. If they're running something else then high grade race fuel or pump gas then maybe. I do know that some cars don't have EGR valves if they're property tuned but that is from the manufacturer. The EPA states every car should have at lest a PCV valve, a catalytic converter and a charcoal canister.

Theres even a rumor that in a few years NASCAR is going to step up on emissions. They have already switched from leaded gas to unleaded.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:41 AM   #13
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Fuzz View Post
My 94 SL2 could not pass emissions. Hydrocarbons were way over the limit. I had it checked by an emissions certified professional on a professional scanner. He said the car was running perfectly and the only other thing that could be wrong was the cat. I took the cat out and found that a PO had hollowed it out. Put a new cat on and HC went from 239 ppm to 11 ppm without changing anything else. So, your theory about properly tuned cars not spewing pollution is bunk. My car was running perfectly and still not passing.

I'm no tree hugger but I also see no reason to spew more pollution simply because I want to save a buck. That's irresponsible.
When you said the CAT was hollowed out I took that to mean that a hole had been punched through the catalyst honey comb. If what you meant that the entire honey comb was gone it may have been ejected by a good backfire. I have seen several that were absolutely clean after a couple of backfire events.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
When you said the CAT was hollowed out I took that to mean that a hole had been punched through the catalyst honey comb. If what you meant that the entire honey comb was gone it may have been ejected by a good backfire. I have seen several that were absolutely clean after a couple of backfire events.


The catalyst was completely gone. No traces of it left, at all. I figured since it was cleaned out so well, that someone must have hollowed it on purpose. Can the catalyst break up so small that it will pass through the muffler?


BTW, to the OP, the cat is not a filter. It doesn't trap any particles like a filter does. Here's a link: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/catalytic-converter2.htm
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Last edited by Cat Fuzz; 09-01-2008 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:57 AM   #15
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

It seems that a backfire shatters it and the small pieces work through the muffler. I suspect that if you caught the failure quick enough you would find chunks in the muffler. I was looking in one that was blown out last weekend. We were fixing the rear O2 bung that had rusted out in the threads and could not clear the codes after the repair and installing a nice brandy new O2 sensor. Cat had never been touched but there was a previous backfire event when some ignition wires got crossed up. It was not in the muffler either, everybody wanted to look. A couple of loose baffles but nothing else.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:15 PM   #16
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Happy Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

My BMW has no EGR valve and no air pump from the factory, and it is a California emissions-rated vehicle and passes smog just fine, no tricks, not even close to failing.

On the other hand it has two massive cats (true dual exhaust) that are obscenely expensive to replace. If they ever go bad I'll use OBD-II aftermarket units instead.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

My project car (2000 Dodge Intrepid with a 3.5L high output from a 04 300m special) had two huge cats but I had to ditch them so I was able to use a set of JBA shorty headers (1920s). Also a neat thing about it after 2001 Dodge did away with the EGR valve. Sad part is with my new motor that doesn't have a EGR my stock PCM from 1999/2000 has a EGR error code.

Anyway, I used the term filter because its just easier to say it filters out pollution then saying reducing and oxidation.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:11 AM   #18
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Happy Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

I always thought EGR valves were a dumb thing. Instead of designing the engine correctly (like the BMW), they put them on to lower the combustion temperature by diluting the incoming mixture with burnt exhaust. It lowers NOx emissions, but a single lightning storm produces more of it than tens of thousands of cars. So do forests full of those nasty tree things, I have been told......

The truly, monumentally dumb thing about EGRs is that California mandated them on diesel cars in the 1970s and 1980s (I have no idea about nowadays, I no longer own one). Let's see....a compression ignition engine that needs to have things really hot to ignite and burn a low grade fuel, and the hotter it burns the more completely and cleanly it burns. So how can we screw it up and make it run badly and pollute so we can get the tree huggers to point their bony fingers at them when they pass by emitting soot? An EGR to lower the combustion temperature..! Brilliant. Sounds like a plan.

But I could be wrong......
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:23 AM   #19
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Default Re: Mechanical O2 Sensor Simulator

Quote:
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My BMW has no EGR valve and no air pump from the factory, and it is a California emissions-rated vehicle and passes smog just fine, no tricks, not even close to failing.

As does my moms 2002 Chevy Tahoe. No air pump and no EGR valve. And it California Emissions. My 2001 Suburban also doesn't have an air pump, but has an EGR valve. Both are California emissions and both have extremely good emissions. My 2001 Suburban is a bit better than the Tahoe. But thats due to custom PCM reprograming. I also get way better gas mileage than the Tahoe.
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