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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 10-12-2004, 09:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ok so I'm trying to take out my old oxygen sensor and put a new one in but the old one is so friggin locked in there that it won't budge at all. I got the special socket wrench with the slit in the side and that helps to grab the sensor but I still can't budge it at all. I sprayed some wd-40 on it and I'm going to let it sit overnight. Tomorrow I'll try to muscle it out again. Does anyone have any suggestions to help losen the sensor? I mean I know that all the heat and such has locked it in there pretty good but there has to be some way to get it off without having to take the whole exhaust system off. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-12-2004, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Aight.. take the wrench... get a pipe breaker pipe.. fit it over the wrench.. and push that sucker... it should torque out... if not.. they sell some stuff that is made to get into the small holes and down into the actually screw part of that sucker... its made for all bolts and such.. most hardware places and car parts stores carry it.. that stuff works wonders for older cars.... get some of that..

Good Luck

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Old 10-13-2004, 08:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Use PB blaster instead of WD-40. That ish will lossen anything..
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I heard letting your car heat up a little bit is good as well. But be careful because I'm pretty sure that WD-40 or whatever else you are using to release that sucker is flammable. You don't want to start a fire under your car.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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be caefull not to strip the bung.
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, so far I've tryed getting the special slit socket wrench...using a pipe on the end of the wrench...and using PB blaster to get this damn O2 sensor off...and so far I think I've rounded off the O2 sensor so much that it won't even grip anymore. I'm not sure what else to try unless I go to the auto shop...
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Old 10-13-2004, 03:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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LOL , ive ran into a few of these. you should use the pipe trick meathod. to give more leverage
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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yep. use that to get more leverage on the sensor. and use some of that good ol' elbow grease.
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Furious@Oct 13 2004, 02:01 PM
LOL , ive ran into a few of these. you should use the pipe trick meathod. to give more leverage
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If he rounded the hex off the O2 sensor as he just stated all the leverage in the world is not going to help if the split socket is slipping. So lets try the follwing in this order:

I am assuming you are goig to change the sensor, thus you dont care what happens to it. so cut he wire off of it and use a regular 6 point not 12 point socket of very good quality (craftsman as a bare minimum) Now it is time to get out the propane torch. heat the bung not the sensor to the greatest extent possible... you are not going to hurt the exhaust by heatring it so dont worry, and the sensor.. wellwho cares.. heat it till it glows red if you can, moving the torch around. ( i dont use propane but most folks do, so I am hoping it will get hot enough) then get your 6 point socket on there, which by the way becuase of the thermal expansion will hopefully fit tightly enough now, and a long pipe and make sure you are turning it the right way... (remember to note your orientation since you are under the car.

all of this assumes HIGH quality rachets and sockets. if you use crap you will at the least round stuff out and the worst get badly hurt when that cheeze ball rachets breaks and you slam your hands into something or worse yet your hands into your nose and shatter your face and knock your teeth out.. yes it happens, so dont let it happen to you

let me know how it goes
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Mine was really stuck too. I ended up taking it to a garage and they put a long breaker bar on it and it finally came loose. So the advice about leverage is the key.
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Old 10-14-2004, 01:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally posted by wavewuver@Oct 14 2004, 11:06 AM
Mine was really stuck too. I ended up taking it to a garage and they put a long breaker bar on it and it finally came loose. So the advice about leverage is the key.
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not to bust chops but if i understand the gentelman's post it is too late for leverage because he has alread rounded out the hex on the O2 sensor. Now he needs to reduce the force required to remove it, not increase the force being applied to a rounded out fitting. Unfortunately I suspect that he used an inferior quality O2 sensor socket which has rounded the hex.. Also he used the type with a slot in it, which is prone to flexing. i have had better experience with the completely closed ring type. I also sometime just cit the lead off and use a 1/2 inch drive 6 point deep socket. I know I am getting that puppy out so I dont worry about wrecking the sensor by cutting the wire. Then again I also have a whole lot of quality tools at my disposal, including 3/4 inch drive tools and oxy acetelyn torches for when the going get really rough....

Use common sense and be reasonable in your assessment of the the qulaity and availabilty of your tools ...
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Old 10-14-2004, 02:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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this worked for us once

if u have a stripped bolt, heat the crap out of it until its red.. then immedietely take a cup of cold water and splash it, then it should come off with a vice grip.. if that doesnt work, and u have a welder, wat u can do is WELD a nut to it, and then use the nut to take it off..
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Old 11-19-2004, 02:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Gotta heat up the engine to take those off sometimes...

Or use a blowtorch if the car isnt running.

Good luck, i made the same mistake and removed the exhaust manifold before taking off the 02 sensor --- was impossible to take it out cold.

later on found out the instructions said to heat car up first to remove 02 sensor.
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Old 11-19-2004, 03:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I know a mechanic that torches everything he gets his hands on. The torch and water thing that xsperf said works great. I had that done on my car a couple times.
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Be careful using the torch + water trick. There is a chance that you could be heat treating/tempering the metal and it will become more brittle which is then prone to cracking.
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