Changing Wideband sensor from 4.2 to 4.9? - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
 
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Old March 3rd, 2019, 13:13 Thread Starter
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Changing Wideband sensor from 4.2 to 4.9?

Running an Innovate MTX-L controller for last 4 years and I recently had a wideband O2 sensor failure which is not uncommon with these controllers. I've done a little research and the recommendations are to switch from a Bosch LSU 4.2 to a 4.9 sensor as they are not only more accurate but less prone to failure.

Has anyone switched over sensors and can give me a little guidance? Innovate MTX-L manual states this can be done in the software but from what I can tell the sensor plugs are different. Not sure if there is an adaptor or the plugs can be pulled apart and swapped over.

Copied form Innovate site;

https://www.innovatemotorsports.com/support/49.php

Last edited by benckj; March 3rd, 2019 at 13:28.
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Old March 3rd, 2019, 13:23
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It appears that you can purchase the 4.9 cable and plug it into the mtx-l to replace the 4.2 cable.

https://www.innovatemotorsports.com/support/49.php
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Old March 3rd, 2019, 14:38 Thread Starter
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I believe that the sensor recently failed as I had some issues with my alternator. During the diagnois of the fault I started and shut the car of many times and possibly the cycling of the O2 sensor during the heating phase may have killed it.

In addition, I'm thinking that the use of a turbo timer my result in a shorter sensor lifespan. When ignition turned off at key the engine stays running for 30s to cool oil down and circulate coolant. During this time the wideband is shut off which is apparently not recommended when engine remains running. I will look at re-wiring so wideband stays on during this period.
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Old March 3rd, 2019, 14:40 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merryfrankster View Post
It appears that you can purchase the 4.9 cable and plug it into the mtx-l to replace the 4.2 cable.

https://www.innovatemotorsports.com/support/49.php
I'm not sure if that correct as they states two different connectors are used. From my research you need to either install a whole new extension cable or swap plugs over.
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Old March 3rd, 2019, 17:48
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Yes, exactly, that's what I meant. The cable end that goes in the MTX-L is the same for both units 4.2 and 4.9. The end that goes in the AFR sensor is different. So you buy the correct cable for your sensor, which is offered for sale on the page that I linked, your update the MTX-L firmware, and you're done.

PS. In other words, you unplug your 4.2 extension cable from the MTX-L. You replace it with a 4.9 extension cable. You plug the 4.9 sensor into the sensor end of the extension cable. The end.

Last edited by merryfrankster; March 3rd, 2019 at 17:57.
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Old March 3rd, 2019, 18:22 Thread Starter
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Bit of a pain to do that way being an MR2 and the way cable is routed to DP. Just thinking a small adaptor would be available to change existing 4.2 plug to the 4.9. Guess that would be too easy.

Part of my problem is ordering an extension cable from the US. It not only takes some time but they like to fleece us on the postage. Supose I could cut the existing plug off and splice into the new 4.9 sensor. Best make sure I can upgrade the MTX controller as per instructions before I go this way.
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Old March 4th, 2019, 00:19
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Innovate is pretty bad with their shipping rates so I never buy from them directly, I buy Innovate products from third-party vendors on eBay or Amazon who have reasonable shipping rates. Just plug the p/n into the search bar who knows what it will turn up.
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Old March 4th, 2019, 11:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benckj View Post
switch from a Bosch LSU 4.2 to a 4.9 sensor as they are not only more accurate but less prone to failure
The 4.9's are more fragile than 4.2's.
The 4.9's are more accurate, and heat up quicker though.

You cant just switch cables to run a 4.9. They do require different firmware (at the least).

Best thing i can suggest is that you move away from Innovate.
Innovate still aren't the best for ground-loop issues, and are well known for prematurely frying sensors.

Go with a 14point7 Spartan2 with a 4.9.
Or a Ballenger Motorsports AFR500.
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Old March 4th, 2019, 13:06 Thread Starter
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From what I've read the 4.9 lasts longer as the element is finer but not prone to cracking like the 4.2's. Most OEM's have gone with the 4.9's and have them last for 100k+.

I agree though that the Innovate isn't the best controller and is often the cause of sensor failures. With my model I can change the sensor type in the software if using version 1.04 but if not will have to upgrade firmware. Hoping to spend some time with this weekend and see if I can connect OK to controller and check SW version. Should I continue to have issues I'll swap over to another manufacture like 14pt 7 or possibly AEM.

Thanks for the help.

Last edited by benckj; March 4th, 2019 at 13:09.
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Old March 4th, 2019, 23:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benckj View Post
From what I've read the 4.9 lasts longer as the element is finer but not prone to cracking like the 4.2's. Most OEM's have gone with the 4.9's and have them last for 100k+.
I don't know where you're reading, but it's all wrong.

The 4.2's lasted that long on OEM cars too.

The difference is a OEM would spend 100's of man hours working out how to keep the sensors in good working condition for that lifespan.
You'll spend how long... 2 hours at most? And you don't have control over how the sensor is brought up to heat, etc.

Even Bosch themselves have acknowledged the normal 4.9's are weaker and now make a motorsport version of the 4.9 that is more robust (at twice the price of course).
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Old March 6th, 2019, 20:34 Thread Starter
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This is just one article I read with the others much the same.

Agreed the heating element control and cycle is one of the biggest factors with lifespan. Wiring the controller so it is only on when engine is running helps maintain its life.

Well after searching around I bit the bullet and bought a 4.9 sensor through Aliexpress. At around $40 its worth a shot to rewire my existing plug and re-program my controller. If it doesn't work out its not a great investment and I'll be looking at replacement of the whole set-up.
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Old March 7th, 2019, 15:45
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Ben be good if you could report back how you go, looking to do the same thing.

As far as 4.2 to 4.9's go, the 4.9 is much more effective at handling temps. I was tuning with Nitro and the 4.2 took a dump after about an hour.
The 4.9 has never had an issue. Still operating under Meth and E85 tunes.

There is more info on this page than anyone could want as to why that is..
Quote:
What makes LSU 4.9 superior to LSU 4.2 is not only because LSU 4.9 uses an electrical reference signal, and LSU 4.2 uses the reference air, but also because Bosch significantly improved every aspect of the LSU sensor in the 4.9 version, and made it a mass production level, with superior reliability and quality. Once again, with LSU 4.9, Bosch has dominated the oxygen sensor market in the automotive industry as it did before. Below are some of major improvements of LSU 4.9:

1) Thinner sensing element. All LSU sensors use thick-film technology, which means the whole sensing element is composed of a bunch of thin layers made of different materials. LSU 4.2 has a total thickness of the sensing element as 1.5mm (1 mm = 0.04 inches), while LSU 4.9 is only half of that. How significant is this? Think about this: there are about 10 layers of materials in the sensing element, you squeeze them into 1.5mm thickness. Already hard to imagine? then you have to cut it to half for LSU 4.9. This is the most significant reason that why LSU 4.9 is more expensive than LSU 4.2. Because everything that is used to manufacture the LSU 4.2 sensors has to theoretically double the precision to make LSU 4.9! What are the benefits? more accurate measurements and faster response! Even common sense tells you, when the electronics become smaller and smaller, they tend to be more sensitive and respond faster!

2) New design of protection tubes. The sensing element is protected by a double layer tube. LSU 4.9 has a new design of the inner tube. It has a sophisticated structure to create gas rotations around the sensing element, and it also blocks the liquid droplets reaching the sensing element. What are the benefits? improved gas flow, faster dynamic response and significantly reduced thermal shock risk. Especially the latter one, that thermal shock has been the number one enemy of the oxygen sensor all the time. By fixing this problem, Bosch fundamentally made LSU 4.9 sensors to the mass production level for auto industries. In auto industries, all parts must be designed for at least 10 year life. The LSU sensor is the most important emission control device. It must sustain the harsh environment for 10 years or more. Since 2007, many GM, Ford and other OEM vehicles have been equipped with LSU 4.9 sensors to meet the recent stringent emission requirements. Most likely your vehicle has one LSU 4.9 at least, some have 2 or more. And most likely none of them has been broken. Otherwise you will see the “check engine” light ON on the dash the first thing.
https://www.ecotrons.com/accurate_la...su_42_sensors/
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Old March 7th, 2019, 16:39 Thread Starter
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Ye, that's the article and link I thought was posted above. Have read much the same in multiple articles so I find it hard to believe the 4.9 is more likely to fail. It is the modern replacement for the 4.2 so seriously doubt its not a decent upgrade.

One thing I've found out is the calibration resistor used in the sensors is located in the cable plug. This resistor is altered through radiation to a fixed value based on calibration required. I was looking at cutting off the 4.9 plug and attaching the 4.2 one but now that I understand how it works I can't do this.

Not sure what direction I will go as the Innovate option is to replace the full extension cable back to controller which matches you sensor. It was a real pain to run this cable and I'd have to source it from overseas (time + $$$) so I sort of hate doing this option. Might make a junction box and jumper wires across to start with and use a more permenant solution later on. The link below shows the various configurations of O2 wiring.

https://wbo2.com/cable/lsuconns.htm

I'll keep this thread open and report back on my findings for those interested in doing the same or even understanding a little more how this important sensor works.
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Old March 7th, 2019, 22:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benckj View Post
Well after searching around I bit the bullet and bought a 4.9 sensor through Aliexpress. At around $40 its worth a shot...
I buy all kinds of stuff on Ali but is that a genuine Bosch sensor, for $40? Or a knockoff?
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Old March 8th, 2019, 02:13 Thread Starter
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Let you know when I get it. Numbers look right but cable doesn’t. Worth a shot and I’m not in need of the car now so can fiddle a bit. My local dyno shop has an O2 that we can poke up tail pipe to check if I want.
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Old March 9th, 2019, 18:28 Thread Starter
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Some sucess, I think......

Tried to re-cal sensor and still got E8 up indicating sensor is bad. Downloaded the Programming software and managed to connect to the MTX controller right away. Did this as I needed to check the current software so it was above version 1.04 which allows changing sensors from 4.2 and 4.9. Glad I was using late version so I would not need to reload new software as well as firmware.

Confusion set in as the programming indicated I was already on a 4.9 sensor o at least this was default setting, not sure. Going by the oval plug description and my purchase order info I am sure it’s a 4.2 sensor. Could the controller brains become scrambled or be telling me lies as it asked me if I was sure when selecting 4.2 in dropdown list? If so, this could be the crux of my problem as battery was disconnected for a couple of months while I sorted out a new alternator. Wonder if Innovate controller somehow changed to the wrong sensor which caused the fault issue I'm experiencing. Plausible or not?

Last edited by benckj; March 10th, 2019 at 14:43.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 15:12 Thread Starter
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For those watching this is the sensor I've ordered. Looks the part but time will tell if its decent enough to use and how long it lasts.


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1pc-...f-9b010fcf783e

Last edited by benckj; March 10th, 2019 at 19:20.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 15:38
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Originally Posted by benckj View Post
For those watching this is the sensor I've ordered. Looks the part but time will tell if its decent enough to use and how long it lasts.
Link does not work, it is locked to your order ID and your login on ali.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 19:20 Thread Starter
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Sorry about that. Updated link above.
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Old March 11th, 2019, 15:41
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So pretty clearly this is a knockoff not an authentic Bosch. It will be interesting to see how it does.
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