Wideband reviews?

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MalcolmV8
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Wideband reviews?

Post by MalcolmV8 »

It was recently brought to my attention on the SCT tuning forums that Zeitronix makes the most accurate wideband for the average hot rodder. Asides form the lab grade units which cost several thousand dollars. This was posted by Don Lasota who claims to have tested and used just about every brand there is on his dyno along side the lab grade units and says nothing is nearly as good as Zeitronix.

One important aspect is pressure in the exhaust manifold as it greatly affects what reading your wideband will give. For example the higher pressures at WOT (depending on your particular engine/exhaust setup) may make your sensor read 11.5 AFR but you may in fact only be 11.8. A tuner could then lean out he AF a little to get to what he thinks is 11.8 but has unexpectedly caused a lean condition and a motor that may well blow up. I don't doubt that theory as I read that in my tuning manuals by Greg Banish who's a very accomplished tuner with a very impressive resume including his day job as an OEM EFI calibrator for GM.

One interesting feature available to the Zeitronix is a pressure sensor that you install into the exhaust as well so it can take into consideration the pressure changes and deliver very accurate AF.

Now pressure sensor aside I'm curious as to Don's claims on how much superior it is. I have a lot at stake here so it's definitely perked my interest. I was very busy this winter.
I built up my 03 Cobra. Did a full return fuel system with twin 405 walbro fuel pumps, 80 lb injectors, 2.9 whipple crusher and all supporting mods (TB, mass air etc. etc.) Water/meth injection & nitrous, J&S Vampire anti-knock box etc.. I'm tuning the car myself with SCT's pro racers package and have it very drivable but have not tuned WOT properly yet as it's a handful to drive and attempt to tune. I need an actual dyno since it's somewhere around 650+ whp without the nitrous.
I also built up my buddies 2011 GT 500. I'm actually still wrapping this one up and almost done. Posi port on the blower, smaller pulley, full exhaust including full length headers, had the tranny rebuilt with carbon fiber syncros, twin disk RXT McLeod clutch, water meth injection, nitrous, gauges, Vampire anti-knock and all the misc stuff that goes with it. Also tuning this car myself with SCT's PRP when it's done.
And last but not least I built a turbo'd civic which I'm using as my daily driver. Everything on it is custom built by me pretty much. Running a Precision 53mm turbo. I tuned this one myself using Hondata S300.

Anyhow all three cars above I built this winter are all using dyno jet wideband 2 units. There are claims these units that do not require calibration just use an internal resistor to compensate for certain conditions and sensor age. This worries me. A lot of hard work and money tied up in the above vehicles.

I've asked Don the SCT forums to please shed more light on his claims of how superior the Zeitronix is and how far off these others are? I've also emailed him directly and he just doesn't respond. So I've tried googling around for more info and failing to find any reviews or info that backup what he says.
Anyone have anything to help? links to wideband reviews or otherwise useful info on widebands? Maybe I'm worrying for nothing... maybe not?

Thanks
Malcolm
92 302 Ranger - sold
94 302 Ranger AWD - sold
07 BMW 335xi - tuned, boost turned up, E85 - sold
04 911 TT - to many mods to list. Over 600 All Wheel HP on pump gas - sold
2015 Coyote - daily driver
03 Cobra - 2.3 TVS on a built 12:1 CR motor with ported heads, cams, long tubes etc.
MD Racing Lean Protection Module
E85

Tuned by MD Racing

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cgrey8
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Re: Wideband reviews?

Post by cgrey8 »

I don't have any links to read other than the very old magazine article by...I can't even remember who did it, maybe MM&FF? But they tested about 10 different WBs under various conditions using "test" gas with known AFR values to determine which gave consistently the best results. Their findings were that the Innovate LC-1 was the best. However their tests were lab tests, and have been widely discredited since they did not test under real world conditions and they also wore the sensors by running each in the exhaust of a leaded gas burning engine before testing. Lead ruins WBs over time so the arguments made were that this had just as much to do with each sensor's performance quality as anything else they did. Although I'm fairly sure they ran their battery of tests both before and after "wearing" them with lead.

The only other argument out there has been that the vast majority of WBs out there use the same Bosch LSU4.2 wideband sensor. The only thing that changes is each controller's electronics that interpret the readings and do their own methods of compensation where they deem necessary. Even many auto mfgs have moved to using WBs instead of the standard narrow band HEGOs so they can run full-time Closed Loop.

Bottom line, while there are some arguments as to which WB is most accurate, I think most people on the EECTuning forum have found that they are all decent and don't quibble over the difference of .3-.4 points in AFR. Most N/A engines produce max power around 12.5 AFR (assuming 100% gasoline). Although some produce better at 13. And yet others produce better in the 11s. But when you get into boosted engines, you target rich mixes, not because they make more power. Most of the time they don't. The purpose of the over-enrichment is to control Exhaust Gas Temps. So if you are running such high boost pressures that you need to be concerned about this, then you should also be running an Exhaust Gas Temp sensor so you can determine if exhaust gasses are getting above 1300 degrees and if they are, enrich the mix even if adding more fuel would produce less power. However the vast majority of boosted applications just dial in 11:1 and call it done. That's over-enriched enough for most applications that the engine isn't going to melt any pistons with that. And if the AFR is actually closer to 11.3 or 11.4, it's still so overly enriched the engine isn't going to grenade because of that. If an engine grenades, it's more likely due to excessive timing, not leaned out mix. So if in doubt, over-enrich.

BTW, most serious tuners don't tune via AFR. They tune via lambda since that's what Widebands measure. Lambda is converted to AFR based on the fuel assumed to be used. But often talking in terms of AFR just gets confusing because people start thinking E10 needs to target a different number. Where if you tune via lambda, you remove the need to care. For more details on this, read my writeup on the EECTuning.org site:
Widebands measure lambda (λ), not AFR.
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MalcolmV8
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Re: Wideband reviews?

Post by MalcolmV8 »

Chris, I know the article you're talking about. I've seen it a long time ago and it had a pic of a pipe with about 10 O2 sensors all around it at the same time. Like you said that's so dated and there was lots of controversy about the way the tests were done.

You are correct on the newer vehicles using widebands from the factories. In fact that's how the 2011 GT500 is that I'm working on. Pretty slick.

Lower 11s seems way on the rich side. I've always had my car running around 11.8 ~ 12.0 but that's lean as you want a boosted motor. Even on nitrous I run between 11.4 ~ 11.8 (wet shot that varies across the RPM band). That's why I'm concerned about been say .5 off on AFR that would put me at say 12.5 potentially. So in all reality I need to tune my cars to say around 11.5 AF just in case they're running leaner. I suppose I could live with that but if the Zeitronix is as good as they say and gets around this all the better.

Yes I try and work in lambda. The hondata has the option of datalogging right in lambda which is great since I work in lambda in the tune. It makes it super easy. My SCT software crashes every time I put in a formula for lambda and it's really annoying. I have to datalog in AF and then covert to lambda since that's what the software works in. I've asked SCT and they say it should work but clearly it doesn't.
92 302 Ranger - sold
94 302 Ranger AWD - sold
07 BMW 335xi - tuned, boost turned up, E85 - sold
04 911 TT - to many mods to list. Over 600 All Wheel HP on pump gas - sold
2015 Coyote - daily driver
03 Cobra - 2.3 TVS on a built 12:1 CR motor with ported heads, cams, long tubes etc.
MD Racing Lean Protection Module
E85

Tuned by MD Racing

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