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Old 09-22-2006, 03:48 PM   #1
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Finally replaced all 4 O2 sensors w/ generics for $160.

I know I brought this up about 8 months ago and I finally got around to doing it. I went to Parts Train and ordered 4 US Auto Parts Network 4 wire universal sensors for $156 including shipping and I picked up two 8-pair packs of weather proof connectors. I pulled the old sensors out and cut the plug ends off about 6" down the wire. I put the connectors on the wires and plugged them together and plugged the sensors back into the car. Since I put the weatherproof connectors on, next time I only have to put female connectors on a new sensor and plug it in.

They have been running beautifully for the past 2K miles and I'll report back as they age. It sure was nice to replace all 4 sensors for the price of 1 of the exact replacement sensors.

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Old 09-22-2006, 04:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deliriousga
I know I brought this up about 8 months ago and I finally got around to doing it. I went to Parts Train and ordered 4 Lambda 4 wire universal sensors for $156 including shipping and I picked up two 8-pair packs of weather proof connectors. I pulled the old sensors out and cut the plug ends off about 6" down the wire. I put the connectors on the wires and plugged them together and plugged the sensors back into the car. Since I put the weatherproof connectors on, next time I only have to put female connectors on a new sensor and plug it in.
Did you happen to take pictures along the way as you bought and rewired everything?
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Old 09-22-2006, 04:47 PM   #3
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GOT DAMN! all 4 sensors for only 156 total...did you use that heat shrink wrap stuff to insolate them?
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:15 PM   #4
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You need to post pics on which wires to which wires or do a detailed write up. This could save everyone 300 bucks or so.
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Old 09-24-2006, 06:58 AM   #5
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I did use the heat shrink and took pics that I can post once I get them off the camera. I will try to post it on my website too asap, but really busy right now with work and other obligations.

For the wiring, it's very easy since the universal sensor has the same wiring colors as the old sensor. I just wired black to black, gray to gray and the two whites to the two whites. The two white wires are interchangable so it doesn't matter which way you wire those two. I also used some of the plastic wire shielding to protect the connectors from the heat. It's the tubing that looks corrogated with a slit down the side that is used to bundle wires together.

Btw, you can't search for the Porsche Boxster O2 sensor and find it. The part number is USOS-4000 and you will usually find it listed under Lexus and Audi vehicles. I found them Speedy Auto Parts for $34.64 each so it's even better.
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:53 AM   #6
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Nice, I dont need anymore info. Thats all I need, thanks. If they are working well Im doing it myself. Actually is there a difference between pre-cat and post cat 02 sensors?
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioboxster
Actually is there a difference between pre-cat and post cat 02 sensors?
Nope. The only difference in the original ones is the connector plug on the end of the sensor. If you look up the Bosch universal sensor for Boxsters (about $100 ea) the same part number is for pre and post cats. In fact, any 4-wire sensor that physically matches the screw threads should work fine.
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:24 AM   #8
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Can't figure out how to order that part

Parts Train doesn't seem to come up with any way to select a generic part like you describe from their web site. Clicking on Oxygen sensors only prings you to a menu that asks for your car's specifics and, for a Porsche Boxster 01 3.2, that only leads to the Porsche specific part with pigtail attached at $156.

Can you tell us how you found this part? And how you figured out it was the right part # considering that there are 4 O2 sensors that are listed?

Last edited by mikefocke; 09-24-2006 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mikefocke
Can you tell us how you found this part? And how you figured out it was the right part # considering that there are 4 O2 sensors that are listed?
Go 4 posts back. I found them at another place (Speedy Auto Parts) for an even better price. I also list the part number if you want to look around for them.
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:49 AM   #10
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http://www.partstrain.com/products/AutoBody/Catalytic_Converters/1999~PORSCHE~BOXSTER~6~2.5~986--001.html



Right here ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:19 PM   #11
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so the sensor is physically the same? it just screws right in to the old socket? this sounds too good to be true
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:26 PM   #12
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Well, I was just going to buy 4 of them and a new maf but I went to check out and the shipping was $35.00 give me a break! I went online with a live customer service chat and they still wouldnt budge. They lost a 400.00 plus sale over greedy and inflated shipping. That was Parts train by the way. Im going to check the other site now. If thety dont try to rip me off I will order from they.
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by binaryc
so the sensor is physically the same? it just screws right in to the old socket? this sounds too good to be true
All O2 sensors are basically the same. They give a reading to the DME in milli-amps (IIRC) based on the temperature of the cats and the DME adjusts fuel/air mix depending on that reading. The only difference between O2 sensors is the number of wires. I believe they are all the same physical size, but I'd rather be cautious and make sure you check the threads before you just go out and get them. I also bought a Bosch universal sensor from someone on eBay that's made for the Honda Civic for $15. It matches my original sensors too.

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Originally Posted by ohioboxster
Well, I was just going to buy 4 of them and a new maf but I went to check out and the shipping was $35.00 give me a break! I went online with a live customer service chat and they still wouldnt budge. They lost a 400.00 plus sale over greedy and inflated shipping. That was Parts train by the way. Im going to check the other site now. If thety dont try to rip me off I will order from they.
Holy cow! The shipping I paid was around $15. I thought it was high at the time, but still so much less than the regular ones I took the deal. I never checked their MAF price. Is it pretty good too? I paid $245 for an MAF at Sunset so I'm interested in the differences.
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:34 PM   #14
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I ended up buying an 02 sensor from speedy auto parts, just one. I tried everything I could to buy four but it just kept going back to one in my shopping cart. My scanner says I have one bad 02 sensor so I will just start with that one. Bought the MAF from Pelican for 280.00 and free shipping I trust them.
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Old 09-27-2006, 06:24 AM   #15
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ohioboxster,

How can you tell out of the 2 which sensor needs to be replaced?

My CEL came on last week with a P1117. It hasn't come back on TG.
I'm hoping it doesn't but if it does I am going to pay 147.00 for a Bosch sensor. From thiis website
http://www.automedicsupply.com/index.php?&model=Boxster&stopredirect=yes&width=1024&height=768
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Old 09-27-2006, 07:22 AM   #16
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Hi,

Using Universal O Sensors isn't an issue if you do your homework. There are 5 types of O Sensors; Unheated Thimble-type O Sensors (LS), Heated Thimble-type O Sensors (LSH) , Heated Titania-type O Sensors, Heated Planar-type O Sensors (LSF), and Heated Wide-Band O Sensors (LSU).

Further within these types, several different primary materials are used and two different methods of extrapolating the Air/Fuel Mix are used.

A sensor using Titania, changes its resistance of a reference voltage (sent to it by the ECU) which will change proportionally to the amount of Oxygen it is exposed to. This technology was never in widespread use and was found only on a few cars from the mid-80s to mid-90s. It is estimated that fewer than 3% of all cars and trucks use this type.

The most prevalent types of O sensors on the Market are those which use a ceramic made of Zirconia. When exposed to Oxygen (O), a Zirconia ceramic will produce a voltage proportional to the amount of Oxygen it is immersed in (Exhaust stream) as the Oxygen molecules embed into the ceramics surface. For the two types of Zirconia sensors, they need to be heated to 650F. This further breaks them into two additional categories: Unheated and Heated.

Unheated Zirconia sensors generally have only one or two wires. Their advantage is that they are simpler to manufacture and are of the earliest technology. Their disadvantages are that they contaminate sooner (as carbon and other combustion by-products condense on the exposed ceramic) and on Cold Starts, don't allow the ECU to function until the exhaust gasses bring them up to their operating temperature (Open Loop). Also, if idling for extended periods, they can fall below their operating temperature threshold (650F) and force the Car's ECU back into an Open Loop where the ECU is no longer monitoring or responding to changes in the A/F mix. This affects both emissions and performance.

Heated Sensors contain a Heat Coil which is fed by a separate voltage circuit and usually have 3 or 4 wires. Their advantages are that they come up to temperature sooner and don't stop monitoring at idle. Also, since they are heated, fewer contaminates can condense on the ceramic surface of the sensor giving them a longer service life.

Heated Planar-type O Sensors (LSF) and Heated Wide-Band O Sensors (LSU) are a much more modern technology and are used primarily on only the latest model cars. They use a circuit board with the sensors attached and use a pulse-width heater coil. Their advantages are that they operate at much higher temps (1292 to 1472 F) and will vary their voltages in much smaller increments allowing for direct sampling of the A/F mix instead of an extrapolation method used on the other types of sensors. I wont discuss these in-depth except to say that the 08 997TT uses the Heated Wide-Band O Sensors (LSU) type. Hope this helps.

Zirconia O sensors are the type used on the Boxster (Heated Thimble-type O Sensors (LSH)). Because all air does not contain the same amount of Oxygen (changes in altitude, Ground Level in Stop & Go Traffic, etc.), Zirconia sensors also need to sample reference air. To do this, they either have a hole at the base of the detector, or sample air drawn-in from the electrical connector and sent to the sensor inside the wire sheathing.

This is where most people trying to use Universal Sensors will get into trouble. They will inadvertently block the reference air from the sensor by using the wrong connectors (which contain no sampling hole), kinking the sheathing, or by using heat shrink tubing and also blocking the sampling hole. When using Universal sensors, you need to carefully examine the new and old sensors. If the sampling hole is in the sensor body, there will be no problem. But, if the reference air sample is drawn into the connector, you need to make sure that you dont interfere with this function when attaching a connector. The Bungs for O sensors are standard, so virtually any Universal will work so long as you account for the air sampling to occur.

O sensors have a usable life of only about 30k mi. (source: Robert Bosch, AG). After this, range (MPG), emissions, and performance can suffer. Changing them at this interval is one way to breathe new life back into your car and the cost is significantly offset by fuel savings. You should change all the O sensors at the same time as they are mileage dependent. You can confuse the ECU (DME in Porsche parlance) by mixing new/old sensors causing a loss of range or performance. And, if you have 1 bad one, you'll soon see the others fail as well, especially if over 30k mi. of service, so it's just generally easier to do them all at once (save on S/H, installation, etc.). Hope this helps

Happy Motoring!... Jim99
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Old 09-27-2006, 08:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fab
ohioboxster,

How can you tell out of the 2 which sensor needs to be replaced?

My CEL came on last week with a P1117. It hasn't come back on TG.
I'm hoping it doesn't but if it does I am going to pay 147.00 for a Bosch sensor. From thiis website
http://www.automedicsupply.com/index.php?&model=Boxster&stopredirect=yes&width=1024&height=768
P1117 is the code for the maf sensor, I used an Atron hand held scanner that I bought off of e-bay for $55.00 it comes with a code cd,will turn off the cel but wont give actual information about sensor like voltages and such
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:01 AM   #18
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Ohioboxster, are you sure?
I thought P1117 code refers to the Precatalyst oxgen sensor. This infomation is from Bentley Service Manual.

MNBoxster you must like to type alot, unless you like using copy/paste.
thanks for the lenghty email but what you wrote how does that answer my question.

?-
How can you tell out of the which sensor needs to be replaced?
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:36 AM   #19
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Sorry, I just punched the code in my program and it said " Manfacturer control fuel air metering" If you hook a scanner up to the OBD II port under the drivers side dash it will tell you which 02 sensor is bad. One of the guys on the forum informed me Auto Zone will scan the car for free. You could buy one of these , thats what I did.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Actron-Code-Reader-CP-9135-OBD-2_W0QQitemZ260036047969QQihZ016QQcategoryZ92078QQr dZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I bought one for 55 bucks so it worth it to look around on e-bay.
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fab
Ohioboxster, are you sure?
I thought P1117 code refers to the Precatalyst oxgen sensor. This infomation is from Bentley Service Manual.

MNBoxster you must like to type alot, unless you like using copy/paste.
thanks for the lenghty email but what you wrote how does that answer my question.

?-
How can you tell out of the which sensor needs to be replaced?
Hi,

You have a 2.7 e-gas Boxster while OHBoxster has the 2.5 non-e-gas model. Different code definitions for each.

But, a Bad O sensor can throw one of many codes, usually all related to AF Mix, ECU, or actual O sensor.

If you read my reply, and if your Boxster has 30k+ mi. on it, you'd see that you need to replace all the sensors, not just the one which is showing itself to be faulty at present. These have a Service Interval which is mileage dependent (30k mi. according to Robert Bosch, AG), just like your Oil & Filter, and they all have been in service the same amount of time/#miles .

You should replace them all at once. Not doing so may lead to no improvement in performance/range/emissions (you might not even feel a difference, but the DME may not be selecting the optimal Maps for your car/gas/driving conditions). And, you'll most likely be starting down a path where the other three require attention in short order...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

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