Mounting a Wideband in a Viper - Guide and Photos

D

DAMN YANKEE

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I’ve gotten enough calls that reworking my earlier thread on the placement of a wideband reader in a Viper exhaust is in order. Some of you may remember that I wrote this up over the winter, but the thread took a left hand turn as some wanted to see the resulting logs. Because the thread was thought to be unresolved (as in no log work in the dead of winter) it never made it to the illustrateds. With more and more people realizing the running an engine management system dramatically improves performance, wideband questions are on the rise and this article needs to be more available in the Illustrateds. I will address the resulting pull and logs of a new Roe 5lb system in another thread as the results were completely kick-**** as Sean himself put it in an email to me this week after reviewing the pulls “that is sooooo much better than stock it is ridiculous.” I want this thread to be on the strict topic of where and how to place the wideband sensor element. Please help me attend to the missed operations of placement and mounting.

First off, thanks to all that helped with information on their Wideband installs, much appreciated. I’ve put together a compilation of photos of my wideband install to give others a head start. This is a preliminary, simplified review of one wideband sensor placement technique.

The background is as follows:

1. If one is committed to doing fine tuning themselves, they will have to improve on the sensitivity of the stock narrowband oxygen readers on their Vipers. As many already know there are four narrowband O2 readers on their stock vipers, two (2) at either side of the header and two (2) directly rear of the cats. Whereas these narrowband readers work perfectly well with the stock PCM and OBD, they simply are not sensitive enough to do fine tuning. There are any number of excellent choices to be made in Wideband O2 (WB) sensor kits and add-on engine management systems. The common element is the need to provide O2 sensor sensitivity to the 1/10 of a percent, instant read capability and to get them placed in front of any cats, make sure they operate in the right heat range, are properly angled, wired up and allow for “free air” configuration.

2. One has to make some choices all along the pathway to self tuning. In this case, one makes a choice as to whether to run one or two wideband units. If one wants to afford two (one on either “bank” of side of the engine) one should. However, one can (and many do) run a single bank (one engine side) as this should provide data that reflects both sides of the engine. If one chooses to run a single side, one is also committed to keeping up with reading ALL their plugs at every tune as this will catch most irregularities. Lastly, some weld a **** on both sides, but use a single Wideband sensor, capping the side not being metered (caps are included with bungs) and switching Wideband locations very infrequently.

3. There is also a good deal of discussion as to where is the very best location for a wideband O2 sensor. Some argue that at the apex of the header collector is the right place, others at the mid pipe bend, others suggest that a “catless” system can have them mounted in the stock narrowband O2 sensor location. In fact, all of the above can work well. Those that choose the header collection location must monitor the general heat constraints of the wideband unit and provide for a simple copper heat-sink if too much heat is present. Equally important is the fact that the very best location will allow for access to the wideband unit as it really should be configured once a year (minimum seasonal street use) or perhaps once every 10,000 miles (more aggressive race/road use) by being able to remove the sensor for a free fresh air oxygen baseline. Note that others suggest that letting the exhaust rest for 24 hours provides all the “fresh air” required to do the configurations “in place”. I choose the “in the side-sill location” as the right place for ease of access. I also didn’t feel good about leaving any steel “chips” in the pipe after drilling for fear they would be red hot when blown against the cats.

4. One should realize that this might also be the right time to upgrade the sill fasteners (see the detailed directions in “Illustrated Upgrades”) or at least be aware that working with the stock sheet metal sill screws is a delicate affair.

5. Lastly, wideband O2 bungs (the rings that will be welded on the pipe to hold the sensor) are sold separately, I recommend that if you are going to do either a highflo cat, no-cat, or cat-back modification that you at least take the time to weld on the bungs in case you want to add widebands in the future, just add a layer of "Anti Seize" to the included **** cap's threads and seal the bungs off.

The photos here show the work done to place a wideband sensor at the mid-pipe within the sill of a 2000 GTS. One can be placed on either side using this technique. There is two ways of doing this, one is by welding on the car itself (be sure and fully disconnect the battery cables), the other is by removing the mid pipe, easily done when doing an exhaust or cat or both change-over. This series of photos was done when a cat-back system was being installed, so the mid pipe was already hanging free. The mid pipe is unclamped at the header by setting the front end of the car on jacks and removing the band that holds the mid pipe to the header. It should be noted that the actually angle of the “****” (the stainless ring that is welded on that will hold the wideband sensor) is done to allow the sensor to angle forward and slightly outward, but still able to fit in the sill itself. There should be plenty of room, this is not a tough “tight-fit” problem.

1. Get the car on jack stands. Determine if you are doing this “in-place” or you are taking the mid pipe out. If you are taking out the mid pipe, the cat back system has got to come off first.

2. Take off one or both side sills and mark the location of where the **** will be welded. Make sure that, with the wideband unit mounted, everything will fit in the sill. Wrap the mid pipe / cat with a heavy towel so that when it moves it won’t scratch anything.

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3. Climb under the car and remove the band that holds the mid pipe to the header. Mine came off easily after the clamp was loosened and a small amount of leverage was applied to the clamps “binder lips” that hold the pipe to header. Note the clamp band and the raised binder lips are tacked, its a one piece unit.

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4. Remove the rubber isolator bracket at the sill so that the whole mid pipe unit now can come off.

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The clamp nut facing towards us, notice one of the stock narrowbank header sensors.

5. I drilled out the holes first to the diameter of the internal thread hole of the ****. Make sure that the sensor is not facing UP. a slight downward angle is preferred. you don't want condensation building up in the sensor or other fluids accumulating in the sensor. Pointing slighted down makes for nice longevity of the WB02 (Joe Dell).Then I used a Dremel tool to make the final adjustments. One can surface mount as well, no issue. Just be sure that the wideband sensor gracefully fits in the hole. Weld it all together with the **** caps ******* into the bungs. Remove the caps and check the final fit of the wideband sensors.

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6. Remount the mid pipe, attach the cat backs. DO NOT TURN ON THE ENGINE until ALL the wideband wiring is complete and functional. Running the engine without the wideband(s) fully functional and powered can destroy them.

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In the Illustrated Guide titled “Wiring a Wideband” one can finish off the job completely.

Find that link here

http://forums.viperclub.org/showthread.php?t=598748


The finished units..

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Again, thanks to all that helped me, hope this helps all of you that will follow. The resulting benefits are simply astounding.
 

Knight Viper

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Once again DD, a million thanks go out to you for taking your time to write and share all this with us. It's very much appreciated!! Keep up the GREAT WORK!!!
 

OKViper

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Thanks Dan, and lets make sure this again gets added to the illustrated upgrade.

I sure am glad you bought a Viper!
 
D

DAMN YANKEE

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Thanks guys, remember alot of this was only made possible due to the kind efforts of a whole lot of VCA members sharing their techniques and experiences. I am just trying to get it all captured so that others don't have to struggle as much as I did.
 
D

DAMN YANKEE

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You can shop for a wideband at any of the great sponsors of this web site. You have choices as to actual wideband equipment, all the usual suspects that service us will be competitive and helpful. I know alot of guys with different widebands and they all seem to work well. It must be as fast a sampling unit as possible and come with its own "computer" and software. You will find very little difference in price, so go with the guys that care about you and Vipers.

I bought a single Innovate LC-1 from Summit..they are not a sponsor of this site, my bad.
 
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