I need to remove the rear OS sensors on a 96 Intrepid. I can’t seem to find were the electrical connector for it is. The wires disappear on top of the Transaxle in to a tight area and it is not clear were it ends up. Do I need to cut the wires and splice the new one in? I have been advised against doing this with sensors by a friend who teaches auto mechanics. As It may throw off the voltage signal. Any ideas or is there someone out there who has worked through this and is willing to share how they did it?
Did your advisor help you to decide to change the rear oxygen sensors for some reason? Are you sure you need to?
If you are changing an oxygen sensor, it doesn’t matter if you cut the wires right at the sensor. You may need to, anyway, to get a deep-well 7/8" socket on the sensor, or a 7/8" box-end wrench. Oxygen sensors are, usually, incredibly tight.
You’ll see the oxygen sensor best from under the car. Go to www.autozone.com, register, come back here, and click on this http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?fromSearchPage=true&pageId=0900c1528006aab8&partName=Heated+Oxygen++HO2S++Sensor&partId=0900c1528006aab8 link for the location of the oxygen sensors and replacement instructions.
Your friend is sort of half right. You would really be better off if you find that connector and attach the new sensor there via the plug. The problem with cutting the wires and then splicing in wires from a new O2 sensor is that your splices are going to be exposed to the elements – rain, roadsalt, ice, heat. Doing splices that will stand up to that for years is not trivial. It can probably be done if you have no other choice, but it’s something you’d probably prefer to avoid.
A proper splice, using solder, will not change the voltage. Good insulation, such as shrink tubing plus layers of electrical tape, will be an adequate seal.
Splicing will be a last resort, of course, but if replacement involves removing the transaxle, go for the splice.
Of course, you can always have the dealership do the job. The mechanics there have done it dozens of times. They know the tricks.
Looking closer it looks even tougher due to space requirements. The O2 wire does not have allot of space around it. Like I said the the wire disappears between the transaxle and the bottom of the steering rack making it impossible to know were the connect is. I can’t fit my hand in there to feel around. It even seems near impossible to get a wrench of any length that you would need on the o2 sensor. How do the pros do this? Do they remove the CV shaft as it seems to be in way from the bottom. Do they just remove the converter? I say just like it is a trivial event. I don’t know how they get at it in such tight quarters. Even to cut the wires and solder a splice in looks tough with the space available.
Has anyone out there done this on a 96 Intrepid or similar Chrysler product?
Check on the firewall behind the engine. Sometimes the electrical connectors for the #2 O2 sensors are plugged in there.
Autozone.com shows the “exact fit, OEM type” front oxygen sensor wires as 12 inches long to the connector, and the rear oxygen sensor wires as 22 inches long. http://www.autozone.com/autozone/catalog/parts/partsShelf.jsp?fromString=search&vehicleNValue=&appQuestionId=4294857831&parentId=cat30056&filterByKeyWord=oxygen+sensor¤tPage=1&categoryNValue=14299999&navValue=14200117&fromWhere=&itemId=prod61261&displayName=Oxygen+Sensor&pageNumber=1&ansQListString=4294857831&nysQFromType=nysAnswers
I figured this out while repairing the inner tie rod. With the air intake removed and one inner tie rod removed I was able to get one hand between the transaxle and the shelf the rack and pinion sits on. I was able to pull out the wiring for the O2 sensors just enough to gain access to the connectors. The Driver side was tie wrapped to another wire. The passenger side connector has a prong on it that snaps into a hole. I had to pry it out of this hole. All done by feel. I could get some access from underneath on this one. Not easy but doable with some patience.
On another day I will remove the CV axle on the driver side to gain enough access to the downstream O2 sensor from below. For another day. But now I know where and how to get to the connectors.