Innovate Wideband O2 Sensor Tech Tip

Discussion pertaining to positive pressure E28s.
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Brad D.
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Innovate Wideband O2 Sensor Tech Tip

Post by Brad D. »

The Problem
Using an Innovate LM-1 wideband I began to recently experience odd AFR readings. As the unit would power on all would be fine for 30 seconds or so. Then the AFR would take off and begin to read super lean - upwards of 40:1 which is completely unrealistic. Performing a heater cal and a free air cal would return the unit to normal operation for a few minutes only to have the same problem return. Worried that my LM-1 unit may be fried a week before my dyno day I decided to do a bit of research and try to diagnose the problem.
The Solution
My research determined that it was possible that since I was not getting any error messages from the LM-1 that the sensor itself may be faulty. It has had a little under a year of hard operation used daily in the car. I also determined that the sensor can be purchased locally at any major auto parts store for around $50. After purchasing the new sensor, installing it and performing the required calibrations, all problems are fixed and the unit is working as good as new!
The Replacement Sensor
If anyone who has an Innovate Motorsports wideband, either the LC-1 or the LM-1, you can purchase a replacement Bosch sensor part number 17014 from your local auto parts store. I purchased the sensor from Autozone for $51.99 and it was in stock.
Here is a list of vehicles that use that particular sesnor.
Last edited by Brad D. on Aug 03, 2011 3:09 PM, edited 1 time in total.
M. Holtmeier
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Post by M. Holtmeier »

Good info Brad!

My sensor was reading a little off when I dyno'd the car. I wish I had this info then, would have saved me ~$40.
Bill in MN
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Post by Bill in MN »

I had the same problem a couple of years ago. The Bosch replacement did the trick.
e30-m30_kid89
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Post by e30-m30_kid89 »

Sorry to bump this thread but i think my new o2 is dead as well...I finally got my Zeitronix data logging software up and working and all i get is the max lean readings all the time...Once I plug it out and plug it back in it dips then goes back to max....

Dead sensor? It was only 2 days old :(
mart154
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Post by mart154 »

Actually, there are quite a few different sensors with different codes from Bosch.

The difference is in cable length.
Martin in BellevueWA
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Here's the latest tips section from Innovate's newsletter.

Post by Martin in BellevueWA »

Tips & Tricks - Important steps for installing/using Wideband O2 Sensors

Not getting the life out of your O2 sensor that you expected? Follow these steps to insure award-winning accuracy and maximum sensor life:

Sensor Placement. The sensor bung (or boss) should be at least 8" away from the combustion cylinder (at or after the collector if you have one, unless you're installing a sensor for each cylinder). To avoid condensation running into the sensor, it should be installed at the side or on top, NOT on the bottom of the exhaust pipe, for example between the 10:00 and 2:00 position. If you don't have a bung, any muffler shop can weld one in for you. If you have a catalytic converter, install the sensor before it. If you have a turbo, install the sensor AFTER it.
Temperature. Temperature at the bung should not exceed 500 degrees C or 900 degrees F. (Extended bungs help with hot locations, see next item).
Extended bungs. For high performance and power sports applications, we strongly recommend using 1" bungs (p/n 3764.) These longer bungs increase sensor life in the "richer" conditions encountered under boost, leaded fuel use, or two-stroke applications.
Safety. Sensors get very hot. Usually this is a non-issue, since they are safely in the exhaust bung when in use. However, if you have the sensor out (for example during a free-air calibration), be sure not to touch the sensor tip, or let it touch a combustible surface.
Never leave an unconnected sensor in running exhaust. An un-powered sensor will be damaged when exposed to exhaust gas.
Sensor Life. Wideband oxygen sensors are designed to withstand the harsh environment of combustion exhaust for 30,000+ miles. However they are complex electro-chemical devices, and lifespan can be reduced by: A) Running leaded gas; B) Running very rich (less than 12.5 AFR) for long periods of time; C) Hitting a heated sensor with water droplets; D) Hitting a running sensor with silicon spray (like WD-40, etc.); E) Dropping a sensor on concrete.
Sensor Errors. Your Innovate wideband will communicate an error code when it detects sensor damage (unlike analog widebands that will give you slow or false data). Depending on your gauge, the error state may be a full-lean reading, an "E08" (or other "E0x"), or a blinking LED. When you see an error condition, first do a sensor calibration, and, if that doesn't solve the problem, replace the sensor. (For races and remote rides, carry a spare).
Calibration. Direct DigitalTM allows you to calibrate the sensor to compensate for sensor wear and changes in barometric pressure, etc. YOU MUST CALIBRATE EVERY NEW SENSOR before first use. The calibration procedure requires that the sensor be in free air, so first remove the sensor and disconnect from the LC-1. Next, to clear all stored calibration data, power the LC-1 for 10 seconds without the sensor attached. Finally, attach the sensor securely and power up again in FREE AIR (no exhaust whatsoever) for 1 minute, or until your gauge warm up indicator stops (full rich or "Hxx"). Unless you see errors, calibration is only required every 15,000 miles. (For turbo and blown applications, calibrate every 10,000 miles. For race applications, calibrate once per race weekend. For Dyno applications, calibrate weekly, depending on use.)
e30-m30_kid89
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Re: Innovate Wideband O2 Sensor Tech Tip

Post by e30-m30_kid89 »

Big Bronze Rim wrote:The Problem
Using an Innovate LM-1 wideband I began to recently experience odd AFR readings. As the unit would power on all would be fine for 30 seconds or so. Then the AFR would take off and begin to read super lean - upwards of 40:1 which is completely unrealistic. Performing a heater cal and a free air cal would return the unit to normal operation for a few minutes only to have the same problem return. Worried that my LM-1 unit may be fried a week before my dyno day I decided to do a bit of research and try to diagnose the problem.
The Solution
My research determined that it was possible that since I was not getting any error messages from the LM-1 that the sensor itself may be faulty. It has had a little under a year of hard operation used daily in the car. I also determined that the sensor can be purchased locally at any major auto parts store for around $50. After purchasing the new sensor, installing it and performing the required calibrations, all problems are fixed and the unit is working as good as new!
The Replacement Sensor
If anyone who has an Innovate Motorsports wideband, either the LC-1 or the LM-1, you can purchase a replacement Bosch sensor part number 17014 from your local auto parts store. I purchased the sensor from Autozone for $51.99 and it was in stock.
Here is a list of vehicles that use that particular sesnor.

Bumping this back up, I got back my MS from Peter and its running superb but it's kinda doing exactly what you've described - It'll read "normal" and spike lean (The LM-1 will read oxygen%) while its really not. I've had the sensor for about a year of tuning through the various setups so it's taken a beating..

I think this thread confirms I need a new wbo2..cheap sensors ftw!
winfred
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Post by winfred »

my lc1 is a little flaky, afr bounces around a bit now unlike its generally smooth operation when new, really moves at idle and a free air helped a little but i think it's shitting on my idle and it'll swing the afr nearly from one end of the scale to the other when idling, mostly steady at speed but still moves, at $50 delivered from amazon.com i may just scarf up a new sensor
Scottinva
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Post by Scottinva »

I use some VW wideband for the lc-1
George
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Post by George »

Scottinva wrote:I use some VW wideband for the lc-1
VW Mark IV sensors are the exact same part #
Scottinva
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Post by Scottinva »

thesixerkid wrote:
Scottinva wrote:I use some VW wideband for the lc-1
VW Mark IV sensors are the exact same part #
Yep, those suckers are cheap for what they are too.
FirstFives Dictator
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Post by FirstFives Dictator »

Also, any exhaust leaks will drive you crazy. I had to tune the TR8 race car's idle by vacuum. When tuned correctly, the LC1 (and Dyno's sensor) read 17:1

It was full of slip-fit joints. Which are fine if you know to deal with them.
winfred
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Post by winfred »

new sensor fixed it up and its smooth again, then the fuken fuel pump took a shit at the end of the test flog :x
winfred wrote:my lc1 is a little flaky, afr bounces around a bit now unlike its generally smooth operation when new, really moves at idle and a free air helped a little but i think it's shitting on my idle and it'll swing the afr nearly from one end of the scale to the other when idling, mostly steady at speed but still moves, at $50 delivered from amazon.com i may just scarf up a new sensor
Brad D.
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Post by Brad D. »

Vehicle Listing Updated.
louielouie
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Post by louielouie »

According to RockAuto the harness lengths are:
17045 - 22.0"
17014 - 28.9"
17036 - 30.1"
17085 - 42.1"
17030 - 46.1"
17098 - 53.9"
These seem to be in relative price order, too.
FirstFives Dictator
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Post by FirstFives Dictator »

louielouie wrote:According to RockAuto the harness lengths are:
17045 - 22.0"
17014 - 28.9"
17036 - 30.1"
17085 - 42.1"
17030 - 46.1"
17098 - 53.9"
These seem to be in relative price order, too.
Great info!
Jelmer538i
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Re: Innovate Wideband O2 Sensor Tech Tip

Post by Jelmer538i »

Bringing this back up.
I have a Innovate MTX-l in my E28. I worked fine but since yesterday it reads 22.4 all the time. I re-calibraded the sensor and it was fine agian but only for 15 seconds when it went to 22.4 again quickly. Soem say it is a common Innovate problem that the heat up is not enough and than it keeps reading 22.4.

Any thoughts on this?
Brad D.
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Re: Innovate Wideband O2 Sensor Tech Tip

Post by Brad D. »

Jelmer538i wrote:Bringing this back up.
I have a Innovate MTX-l in my E28. I worked fine but since yesterday it reads 22.4 all the time. I re-calibraded the sensor and it was fine agian but only for 15 seconds when it went to 22.4 again quickly. Soem say it is a common Innovate problem that the heat up is not enough and than it keeps reading 22.4.

Any thoughts on this?
I have seen this issue when battery voltage at the sensor is low (sensor not fully heated) and when a sensor is on the verge of failing. If voltage is good then I would suspect the sensor itself.
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