Changing the O2 sensor. From the top or bottom? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-29-2003, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default Changing the O2 sensor. From the top or bottom?

picked an AC-Delco up fom the dealership while getting my SC oil last night, $60 for that thang! owned it for 5 years with 122k miles, figure its about time i change the sensor. It looks to me that it would be easier to get to from the bottom but i dont have ramps and i hate to get under the car with jacks and floor stands.

suggestions welcome
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:06 AM   #2
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On my SE it can be easily done from the top.... but of course there'* no SC in the way.

Doing it from below won't be that much easier though, it'* pretty hard to reach the sensor from down there.
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:46 AM   #3
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yah, i got the SC and the strut bar in the way. if i can reach it and get a wrench on it from the top, i dont see any way to get good torque.
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:55 AM   #4
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You can get the strut bar out of the way in no time, but unfortunately not the SC.

For what it'* worth, I work under the car all the time while supporting it with jackstands (each good for 3000KG). It'* a bit spooky at first but you get used to it
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:57 AM   #5
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I did mine from the top. It was actually pretty easy if you have the right tools. If you don't have one, get an O2 socket. It will make everything 10x easier. I just used a regular socket wrench and extender to get to it. You just need the right amount of extensiones so the wrench is either an inch or so below the cross brace or right above it. It took a little bit of pressure to break it free, but once free it came right off. New one went on easy.

I also tried using wrenches and getting at it from underneath before I did it and it was damn near impossible to get to and have any leverage on the wrenches at all. The O2 socket is your best friend here.
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:15 PM   #6
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awww shucks, i had a feeling it would involve buying nother tool I'll only use once. and you never even removed your strut bar?

how do you get a socket over the wiring harness, its a foot long?
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nytro67
awww shucks, i had a feeling it would involve buying nother tool I'll only use once. and you never even removed your strut bar?

how do you get a socket over the wiring harness, its a foot long?
Well, the tool is only a few bucks, and if your good (or cheap), you can return it when your done.

The O2 socket is a socket that has a groove in the side for the wires to go out of. This keeps them out of the way of the socket. You'll understand when you see it.
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:27 PM   #8
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OK, thanks for the good info Gord. I just went to toolsource.com and checked one out. I see what you mean now. There is a universal one for 18 bucks. Do you recall the size of ours? I'd rather stop at Rice boys, i mean PEP boys on the way home from work and pick one up.
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
You can get the strut bar out of the way in no time, but unfortunately not the SC.

For what it'* worth, I work under the car all the time while supporting it with jackstands (each good for 3000KG). It'* a bit spooky at first but you get used to it
Thank you too for the info Uri. I used to get under cars with just a cheap car jack and do all kinds of <other> unsafe stuff before i got married and had kids.
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nytro67
OK, thanks for the good info Gord. I just went to toolsource.com and checked one out. I see what you mean now. There is a universal one for 18 bucks. Do you recall the size of ours? I'd rather stop at Rice boys, i mean PEP boys on the way home from work and pick one up.
I've this twice on my car over the years, as well as on some others. Some things to note:

1) The oxygen sensor socket you can get in the MotorMite "HELP!" line of tools should be just fine, and it certainly ain't $18, either. Sears Craftsman also has the socket, as do others. The size is practically universal for O2 sensors on all cars so you will be using the socket again sooner or later.

2) The sensor wire unplugs via an in-line connector about 10" or so away from the sensor. The connector also has a clip on it to attach it to a bracket to keep the wire from touching the exhaust manifold.

3) It replaces from the top. You'll need a couple of socket extensions, but that'* all. You do _not_ need to remove the strut brace.

4) Make sure there is anti-seize compound on the threads. Both AC-Delco and Bosch units come pre-treated, if I remember right. If you have to add your own for some reason, make sure that it'* compatible with O2 sensors, and put the compound only on the sensor threads, not the hole threads. That way any excess compound will be pushed outwards as you install the sensor, not inwards into the manifold.

5) When you're done installing the new sensor (which will be all of about five minutes after you start removing the old one), don't be congratulating yourself so hard that you forget to plug in the wire from the new sensor.
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