Electrical 1992 w/ Codes 41 & 91

prgt347

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Jan 16, 2009
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Car has been running rich and today CEL came on briefly while idling and gave codes 41 & 91. Normally I get code 15 (has SCT chip) and 11's but has run rich for as long as I can remember. I've checked for vacuum leaks numerous times but do not find any. Read prior posts regarding these codes and tested the O2 wires today. Using an ohm meter from the harness to computer (pins 29 & 43) I get around 1.7 - 2.0 ohms on each side (for reference my ohm meter reads around .9 ohms when touching the red & black wires to each other). At idle I get between .01 - 02 volts on each side. For whatever reason when I turn on the A/C the voltage increases to .05 on each side at idle. If it give it gas the voltage goes up to just under .9 then settles back down to .01 - .02 at idle. These are relatively new O2 sensors, replaced in the past 1-2 years. I still had the old sensors so I put them in but got the same voltage readings.

Before replacing the sensors I wanted input as to these readings to see if I have a wiring problem.
 
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jrichker

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Code 41 or 91. Or 43 Three digit code 172 or 176 - O2 sensor indicates system lean. Look for a vacuum leak or failing O2 sensor.

Revised 24 Aug 2018
1.) To correct the RH & LH mismatch on 91-93 5.0 Mustangs
2.) To add Tmoss’ wiring diagrams for 88-95 Mustangs


Code 41 is the passenger side sensor, as viewed from the driver's seat.
Code 91 is the driver side sensor, as viewed from the driver's seat.

Code 172 is the passenger side sensor as viewed from the driver's seat.
Code 176 is the driver side sensor, as viewed from the driver's seat.

Code 43 is not side specific according to the Probst Ford Fuel injection book.

The computer sees a lean mixture signal coming from the O2 sensors and tries to compensate by adding more fuel. Many times the end result is an engine that runs pig rich and stinks of unburned fuel.

The following is a Quote from Charles O. Probst, Ford fuel Injection & Electronic Engine control:

"When the mixture is lean, the exhaust gas has oxygen, about the same amount as the ambient air. So the sensor will generate less than 400 Millivolts. Remember lean = less voltage.
When the mixture is rich, there's less oxygen in the exhaust than in the ambient air , so voltage is generated between the two sides of the tip. The voltage is greater than 600 millivolts. Remember rich = more voltage.
Here's a tip: the newer the sensor, the more the voltage changes, swinging from as low as 0.1 volt to as much as 0.9 volt. As an oxygen sensor ages, the voltage changes get smaller and slower - the voltage change lags behind the change in exhaust gas oxygen.

Because the oxygen sensor generates its own voltage, never apply voltage and never measure resistance of the sensor circuit. To measure voltage signals, use an analog voltmeter with a high input impedance, at least 10 megohms. Remember, a digital voltmeter will average a changing voltage." End Quote

Testing the O2 sensors 87-93 5.0 Mustangs

Measuring the O2 sensor voltage at the computer will give you a good idea of how well they are working. You'll have to pull the passenger side kick panel off to gain access to the computer connector. Remove the plastic wiring cover to get to the back side of the wiring. Use a safety pin or paper clip to probe the connections from the rear.


Disconnect the O2 sensor from the harness and use the body side O2 sensor harness as the starting point for testing. Do not measure the resistance of the O2 sensor, you may damage it. Resistance measurements for the O2 sensor harness are made with one meter lead on the O2 sensor harness and the other meter lead on the computer wire or pin for the O2 sensor.
Computer wiring harness connector, computer side.
88243.gif


Backside view of the computer wiring connector:
a9x-series-computer-connector-wire-side-view-gif.gif



87-90 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Dark blue/Lt green – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Dark Green/Pink – RH O2 sensor

The computer pins are 29 (RH O2 with a dark green/pink wire) and 43 (LH O2 with a dark blue/lt green wire). Use the ground next to the computer to ground the voltmeter. The O2 sensor voltage should switch between .2-.9 volt at idle.


91-93 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Red/Black – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Gray/Lt blue – RH O2 sensor

The computer pins are 29 (RH O2 with a Gray/Lt blue wire) and 43 (LH O2 with a Red/Black wire). Use the ground next to the computer to ground the voltmeter. The O2 sensor voltage should switch between .2-.9 volt at idle.


94-95 5.0 Mustangs; note that the 94-95 uses a 4 wire O2 sensor.
The computer pins are 29 (LH O2 with a red/black wire) and 27 (RH O2 with a gray/lt blue wire). Use pin 32 (gray/red wire) to ground the voltmeter. . The O2 sensor voltage should switch between .2-.9 volt at idle.


Note that all resistance tests must be done with power off. Measuring resistance with a circuit powered on will give false readings and possibly damage the meter. Do not attempt to measure the resistance of the O2 sensors, it may damage them.

Testing the O2 sensor wiring harness
Most of the common multimeters have a resistance scale. Be sure the O2 sensors are disconnected and measure the resistance from the O2 sensor body harness to the pins on the computer. Using the Low Ohms range (usually 200 Ohms) you should see less than 1.5 Ohms.



87-90 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Dark blue/Lt green – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Dark Green/Pink – RH O2 sensor
Disconnect the connector from the O2 sensor and measure the resistance:
From the Dark blue/Lt green wire in the LH O2 sensor harness and the Dark blue/Lt green wire on the computer pin 43
From the Dark Green/Pink wire on the RH O2 sensor harness and the Dark Green/Pink wire on the computer pin 29


91-93 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Red/Black – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Gray/Lt blue – RH O2 sensor
Disconnect the connector from the O2 sensor and measure the resistance:
From the Red/Black wire in the LH O2 sensor harness and the Red/Black wire on the computer pin 43
From the Gray/Lt blue wire on the RH O2 sensor harness and the Gray/Lt blue wire on the computer pin 29

94-95 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 29 Red/Black – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 27 Gray/Lt blue – RH O2 sensor
From the Red/Black wire in the LH O2 sensor harness and the Red/Black wire on the computer pin 29
From the Dark Green/Pink Gray/Lt blue wire on the RH O2 sensor harness and the Gray/Lt blue wire on the computer pin 27


There is a connector between the body harness and the O2 sensor harness. Make sure the connectors are mated together, the contacts and wiring are not damaged, and the contacts are clean and not coated with oil.

The O2 sensor ground (orange wire with a ring terminal on it) is in the wiring harness for the fuel injection wiring. I grounded mine to one of the intake manifold bolts

Check the fuel pressure – the fuel pressure is 37-41 PSI with the vacuum disconnected and the engine idling. Fuel pressure out of range can cause the 41 & 91 codes together. It will not cause a single code, only both codes together.

Make sure you have the proper 3 wire O2 sensors. Only the 4 cylinder cars used a 4 wire sensor, which is not compatible with the V8 wiring harness. The exception is that the 94-95 uses a 4 wire O2 sensor.

Replace the O2 sensors in pairs if replacement is indicated. If one is weak or bad, the other one probably isn't far behind.

Code 41 can also be due to carbon plugging the driver’s side Thermactor air crossover tube on the back of the engine. The tube fills up with carbon and does not pass air to the driver’s side head ports. This puts an excess amount of air in the passenger side exhaust and can set the code 41. Remove the tube and clean it out so that both sides get good airflow: this may be more difficult than it sounds. You need something like a mini rotor-rooter to do the job because of the curves in the tube. Something like the outer spiral jacket of a flexible push-pull cable may be the thing that does the trick.

If you get only code 41 and have changed the sensor, look for vacuum leaks. This is especially true if you are having idle problems. The small plastic tubing is very brittle after many years of the heating it receives. Replace the tubing and check the PVC and the hoses connected to it.

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 94-95 Mustangs


Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 91-93 Mass Air Mustangs


Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 88-90 Mass Air Mustangs
 

prgt347

Active Member
Jan 16, 2009
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Thanks Joe. Based on my testing it appears the sensors are bad but I'm not convinced they are and at $40 a pop I'm not ready to take the chance yet. I have an Auto Meter A/R ratio gauge (not wideband) and remember the last time I replaced the sensors the meter didn't read anything at idle either, indicating low sensor voltage. When driving the lights would bounce around some but was always in the green under any sort of throttle. Basically the same thing it's doing now and one of the reasons I don't think it is the sensors. Plus getting both codes at the same time seems odd when I've never had these codes come up before.

What other tests can I do? I'm guessing I can check the voltage of the Gray/Yellow wires at each sensor as well as check to see how strong the Black/White ground wires are. Or, with both wires reading closer to 2 ohms does this indicate a problem with the wires going to the ECU? Again, seems odd that both wires would be bad all of a sudden.
 

prgt347

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Jan 16, 2009
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Update: I soaked the newer sensors in gasoline overnight to clean them off and re-installed them this morning. After the car warmed up the senors both sensors read .9 as the car idles and hold steady at that voltage. If I blip the throttle the voltage immediately drops down, going as low as .12 volts, then right back up to .9 as it idles. Idle is great, staying around 600 - 650 RPMs with no surging.

It appears the sensors are working properly and the wiring seems to be fine as well. If that's the case then why won't the computer make changes to lean it out? Could it be the SCT chip and the tuning?
 

jrichker

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Did you clear the codes after cleaning the sensors?

How to clear codes.
Clearing the codes by pressing a button on the scan tool or disconnecting the test jumper used to start the code dump does not erase the “learned settings”. All it does is erase the stored codes in memory.

You must clear the codes anytime you replace any sensor. The following tells you how and is different from the method above
Clear the computer codes by disconnecting the battery negative terminal and turn the headlights on. Turn the headlights off and reconnect the all sensors including the MAF and anything else you may have disconnected. Then reconnect the battery negative cable.. This clears all spurious codes may have been generated while troubleshooting problems. It also clears the adaptive settings that the computer "learns" as it operates. Clearing the codes does not fix the code problems, it just gives you a clean slate to start recording what the computer sees happening.

Run the car for at least 30 minutes of driving and dump the codes again to assure that you have fixed the code problem or sensor problem. This is necessary for the computer to relearn the adaptive settings that the computer uses for proper operation. The engine may run rough at first, but should smooth out as it runs for the 15-20 minute learning period.
 

prgt347

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Jan 16, 2009
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First, let me make a correction to my earlier post. When I plugged the gas-cleaned sensors back in and ran the car the voltage was NEGATIVE. So at idle it read NEGATIVE .9 volt and with a blip of throttle went to NEGATIVE .12 volt. I'm assuming I've fried those sensors.

I went ahead and bought new sensors, and they act just like before: .01 volt at idle and increases up to .9 volts with throttle. When I drive around voltage from both sensors bounce around like they should but hang in the .84 - .86 range with any sort of throttle. At any speed if I put in neutral and let off the gas the voltages quickly drop back down to .01.

To reply to your post, yes when the codes first came up I cleared the codes and ran it for several days. Codes did not come back but still ran rich as usual. I cleared them again when putting in both sets of sensors (gas-cleaned and new set), ran the car for a while, and codes still have not come back - I get 15 then 11, yet it still runs rich.

With only having .01 - .02 volts at idle I'm thinking this has to be part of the problem, although I can't seem to pinpoint it.

The car has Ford Racing shorty headers and SVE off-road H-pipe if that matters.
 

jrichker

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First, let me make a correction to my earlier post. When I plugged the gas-cleaned sensors back in and ran the car the voltage was NEGATIVE. So at idle it read NEGATIVE .9 volt and with a blip of throttle went to NEGATIVE .12 volt. I'm assuming I've fried those sensors.

I went ahead and bought new sensors, and they act just like before: .01 volt at idle and increases up to .9 volts with throttle. When I drive around voltage from both sensors bounce around like they should but hang in the .84 - .86 range with any sort of throttle. At any speed if I put in neutral and let off the gas the voltages quickly drop back down to .01.

To reply to your post, yes when the codes first came up I cleared the codes and ran it for several days. Codes did not come back but still ran rich as usual. I cleared them again when putting in both sets of sensors (gas-cleaned and new set), ran the car for a while, and codes still have not come back - I get 15 then 11, yet it still runs rich.

With only having .01 - .02 volts at idle I'm thinking this has to be part of the problem, although I can't seem to pinpoint it.

The car has Ford Racing shorty headers and SVE off-road H-pipe if that matters.
The problem is with your meter or the way you are using it. Either the test leads are plugged in backwards or if it has a polarity switch, it is set wrong.

Try measuring the battery voltage and see if you get the same type of results. Just be sure to change the meter range when you do the testing.
 

prgt347

Active Member
Jan 16, 2009
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The problem is with your meter or the way you are using it. Either the test leads are plugged in backwards or if it has a polarity switch, it is set wrong.

Try measuring the battery voltage and see if you get the same type of results. Just be sure to change the meter range when you do the testing.

I'm pretty sure it is the sensors being messed up causing it to read negative. I did check the battery and got correct voltage. When I put the new sensors in I got positive voltage (the numbers I posted earlier). I read somewhere that negative voltage is possible but is due to a contaminate that gets inside the sensor, sometimes silicone.

And, on top of this issue the engine has recently started losing oil pressure and is now ticking horribly when warmed up. No ticking when cold and oil pressure is fine, but as soon as it warms up the pressure drops and the lifters start ticking. I'm starting to think the engine has had enough. It may just be time to rebuilt/replace it and start over again.