working on my exhaust manifold/cat install, it seems the downstream O2 sensor nut is stripped. went ahead w/ the removal to try to get a better angle out of the vehicle(1997 civic lx). no luck, my o2 socket seems to get a bite, but slips every time.
thinking of just replacing it as maintenance, but i need the car right away. no one carries denso(OEM), but i could get a bosch for ~$40+ w/ an advance auto coupon.
so, should i...
try other means to extract the sensor?
buy a new bosch sensor?
or drive the car w/out it until the denso gets shipped?
If you choose to wait on the denso, you can temporarily drive it without a sensor just use a spark plug to plug the hole.
If you have the clearance to do so, I'd try something like a pipe wrench to try to get the old one out, then thread it into the new cat lightly with plenty of anti-seize compound. You were getting decent mpg before so the sensor is likely working OK as it is.
My experience has been that the old 02's never come out with the 02 socket. The slot in the side of the socket means the socket can flex enough to strip. It works fine with 02's that have been replaced not that long ago, but for factor 02's it's a joke.
I always end up using a grinder cut off wheel to cut the sensor flat to the nut, then use a regular socket of the appropriate size and a breaker bar. It works every time.
I've tried running the car first, heating the 02 area directly with a torch, heating the 02 directly with a torch, etc. None worked.
Leave it in until the new one gets to your house. Cut the old one and it'll be easy to replace.
much thanks! i took both of your ideas to complete the task...
couldn't find a spark plug big enough to plug the O2 hole, so i cut the old one down to be able to remove it. it took a vice, a 22mm box wrench, and a hammer to finish extraction.
next, plugged the hole w/ the old remnant. ordered my denso and anti seize grease. fastened both sensors JUST snug until the grease arrives. next time should be easier...the after market assembly is O2 friendly in regard to access.
btw...1-2 day shipping was just over $1 more than reg ground
the car runs(accelerates specifically) much better w/ the new cat, but i'm getting a burning smell. i suspect it's the cheap foil/cardboard gaskets burning due to being over sized(excess material burning off?).
Could be the oil/chemicals on the outside of the cat to protect it during shipping/manufacture. I'd give it a few good long drives and see if you still smell it. Could possibly be an exhaust leak, however, so be careful if you start to feel drowsy while driving.
You could have an assistant "plug" the end of the tailpipe with their hand for a brief period while you inspected the new parts for leaks. You can put your hands near the joints and usually feel hot air coming out if there's a leak.