Programmable Lambda Sensors for Fuel Economy - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Programmable Lambda Sensors for Fuel Economy

Hi All:

With gas prices on the rise, I am going to be doing an experiment to help improve fuel economy a small amount.

I plan on installing wide band lambda sensors with programmable 0-1 and 0-5 volt outputs in the post O2 (sensors behind catalysts) position and sending the ECU an offset 0-1v narrow band sensor voltage. I am starting with the post O2 sensors vs the front because these sensors have limited authority in terms of how much fuel will be taken out. They are there for catalyst monitor and trimming the closed loop fuel for emissions (I work in emissions..). I may eventually move them to the engine out position for larger gains, but this will provide for a very conservative first step.

The concept of offsetting the sensor voltage is very simple: the sensor will report 13.7:1 AFR when it is actually seeing 14.7:1 stoich, for example. This drives the control system to remove fuel (lean out the mixture), until actual AFR is 15.7:1 and reported from sensor is 14.7:1. These figures are just an example of what I'm doing, I will be making a very conservative first attempt at the sensor calibration!

The plan is to leave the stock sensors in their OE position and keep the heater circuit hooked up to those, to maintain the sensor heater diagnostic in tact. I will feed the signal wire from my wide band sensors to the ECU signal harness side wire. I'll have two gauges that will report the actual AFR behind the catalysts.

The bosses are going to be installed next week. You can get these programmable wide band sensors now for a couple hundred bucks. I'm using Innovate Motorsports with Bosch sensors. I think they're about $250 each, which is relatively inexpensive for wide band lambda measurement!

I currently average around 13-14 mph with primarily city driving. The wife is the primary driver. Project goal is to bring this up to at least 15 mph.

Stay 'tuned'!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 11:36 AM
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I got +3mpg's ( 13.2 To 16.9 0.92 was tire correction) just from getting the super chips programmer and installing the mileage tune just driving my normal route no highways. I think new there about $300 used about $250. If its just the mpg your after this seems a better way to go but your idea is pretty cool just expensive. Maybe you could combine the two.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAL-XK View Post
I got +3mpg's ( 13.2 To 16.9 0.92 was tire correction) just from getting the super chips programmer and installing the mileage tune just driving my normal route no highways. I think new there about $300 used about $250. If its just the mpg your after this seems a better way to go but your idea is pretty cool just expensive. Maybe you could combine the two.
I've read about fuel economy improvements from the current programmers and they didn't seem that great & have mixed results. I really appreciate the feedback, though, I am still considering one.

I do tuning on the side (as well as work) and have been waiting for HP Tuners to support the 4.7L Jeep, but I'm not sure it will ever happen. I'd really like to tune myself, rather than go with an off the shelf calibration.

What I'm doing is a work around, but it works. I've used the method to tune for emissions. You just need to be careful about partial combustion/misfire when you start heading into the 15-16 AFR range at higher loads. This method is limited for AFR in that it won't be engine load based, like a proper reflash/cal change, so you can only go so far with it. It will universally shift AFR leaner at all engine speed+load points. Aggressively lean AFR's don't work so well at higher engine loads. A proper calibration change, on the other hand, will allow for very lean AFR at low load cruising conditions and then maintain proper stoich or enrichment at higher engine loads. So before someone explains how dangerous this is, I admit it has limitations and am approaching it from that perspective. The post O2 authority to drive AFR away from stoich stops at a certain point, anyway.

I really just am putting this out there to have some quantitative numbers available for an out of the box idea.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Just picked up a used Flashpaq. I think I'll do some comparisons of 1) Flashpaq alone 2) lambda offset alone 3) FP & lambda offset.

It would probably be a good idea to get sensors installed in the engine out position to monitor lambda very closely. I have access to these sensors through work, so that's nice.

I will also be collecting a set of OBDII parameters with a data logger we use, check out IOSiX CAFLOR. You basically set it up with a config file and it collects data automatically every time the vehicle runs, it's a cool device.

By doing this, I can summarize the driving conditions (engine speed, load, etc) for the data I'm going to show here in this study. Obviously, everyone's fuel economy will vary based on driving conditions, so this will provide a good reference for my results.

Those that like details and are technical are really going to appreciate this thread..

Last edited by dmoser; 03-05-2012 at 12:08 PM.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 06:09 AM
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Though im in a 5.7L I'm still enjoying this read. Thanks for your thoroughness.


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhj View Post
Though im in a 5.7L I'm still enjoying this read. Thanks for your thoroughness.


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No problem! I enjoy this type of stuff, so it's fun for me. I was thinking of testing out a couple different intake setups too and monitoring temps. It's real easy to do with the CAFLOR scan tool device I mentioned in the post above, one of the parameters I'll be collecting is "IAT" (intake air temperature) which is typically a measurement of the air intake charge as it passes through the MAF sensor. I also have a device called a DAQ, which will collect thermocouple measurements and integrate them (time align them) with the OBDII data.

Most of the time any small benefit from an intake is from lowering restriction (removing sound reduction) of the intake and not lowering temperatures...I figure it is time to 'put to bed' all the speculation there is out there about CAI's!

All my data will in general apply to all three Jeep engines. The overall gains/losses will of course vary, but the concepts should hold true across the board.

The work starts this week with the installation of the lambda bosses in the exhaust. Used Flashpaq is on the way.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the menu for the scan tool where you can see what initial OBDII parameter set I've loaded. Should be neat to see what differences in fueling and ignition timing exist between stock Jeep and the Flashpaq calibrations. I'll also be able to make a basic RPM vs intake pressure ("MAP") scatter plot to show what operating regime the vehicle is used. I've loaded "IAT" (intake air charge temp) according to previous post and all four oxygen sensors for obvious reasons!

This many parameters should result in about a 2 Hz sampling rate, I think that will be fine for now.

Cheers

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAL-XK View Post
I got +3mpg's ( 13.2 To 16.9 0.92 was tire correction) just from getting the super chips programmer and installing the mileage tune just driving my normal route no highways. I think new there about $300 used about $250. If its just the mpg your after this seems a better way to go but your idea is pretty cool just expensive. Maybe you could combine the two.
I'm averaging 11.8 to 12.6 mpg during my daily commutes. All city driving w many traffic lights. Would love to increase milage. With your increase, you notice a dropoff in excell., or perfomance?


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2006 3.7l Silver black and crome Sport W QT1
K&N cai. Aridium 1X plugs. 1.5" Spider Trax...
Tinted windows gone. Got ticketed for 137.50!! Full Synthetic motor oil and many more mods...
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2008
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4WD
If 4WD - system: QT-II
Current Mileage: 175,000
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Got the Commander on the hoist today and marked the locations for the new sensor bosses.

Here are some pics showing the placement for the new sensors. You always want them to be horizontal or pointing down at an angle above horizontal so water doesn't collect on the sensor element and crack it.

I just decided to do both pre cat bosses while it was all torn apart, but am only going to be starting with sensors in the post cat location for my experiment.

It should be done tomorrow, I'm using one of my fabricators through work. They had to drop the hot end from the manifold to avoid getting chips inside the exhaust in front of the converter. Metal chips erode the ceramic substrate of the catalyst to the point of eventually going all the way through (I've seen it happen in the industry during testing)

Driver's Side Pre Cat Stock O2 Sensor and Location Mark for New Sensor Boss



Driver's Side Post Cat Stock O2 Sensor and Location Mark for New Sensor Boss



Passenger Side Pre Cat Stock O2 Sensor and Location Mark for New Sensor Boss


Last edited by dmoser; 03-06-2012 at 07:19 PM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sterling Heights, MI
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Model year: 2006
Trim Package: Sport
Power-Train: 4.7L V-8
4WD
If 4WD - system: QT-II
Current Mileage: 175,000
Posts: 188
Got the Jeep back today (the Superchips programmer came too, thanks Lt_JWS).

Dropping the hot end was a helluva job. 3 of the 4 anti rotation nuts were seized, so my supplier had to take both wheel splash shields out, as well as remove the cross member for the transfer case. Luckily, he did all this as a favor, but this sort of job would cost a decent chunk of change to do unless you have a connection or are willing to drop the hot end and weld yourself.

The other option would have been to use the stock O2 sensor locations for the wide band sensors, but this would have triggered all sorts of fault codes for the sensor heater circuit. My plan is to leave those hooked up to the stock sensors and simply put a weatherpack single pin connector on the signal wire, so that I can swap it between the stock sensor and my programmable wide band sensor.

I have both sensors and am waiting on the weatherpack connectors. These connectors will provide a clean and professional waterproof installation that allows me to very easily switch back to the stock sensor signal if something goes awry.

Pics of the newly welded bungs this weekend!

Cheers all

P.S. saw another news story here in MI on the 6 o'clock news about rising gas prices...$5 by summer. This is so worth it. I'll do a cost analysis at the end.

Last edited by dmoser; 03-08-2012 at 08:12 PM.
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