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Old 10-09-2012, 12:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to fix a bad Angle Sensor

Sorry for the pic layout, but i couldn't figure out how to add a pic after each step. so the numbers after each step go to the pics in order from left to right.

This is some very helpful info I learned about angle sensors and the fact that probably a big majority of them can possibly be fixed instead of the need to be replaced. All they consist of is a pair of contact brushes mounted to a small spring loaded wheel that turn along an electrically conductive strip that varies in resistance from one to the other. Unless serious damage has occurred to the brushes or the strip(physical damage, excessive wear to the brush tips or resistance strip), there's really not much that can mechanically go wrong with them. Over time, the o-ring that seals the sensor to the engine case can dry out and shrink allowing water to enter the sensor housing through a couple small holes in the backplate and around the sensor shaft. This can lead to a build up of oxidation on the contacts which in turn create more resistance or can completely disrupt the connection between the contact points, both of which will give false readings which produce error codes and ultimately lead to the sensor being trashed and replaced.

All you need is a few simple tools and a DMM (digital multimeter). An analog volt/ohm meter can be used but isn't as accurate as a digital meter so it's possible to false readings with an analog meter.

Tools: X-acto or similar razor blade
Needle nose pliers or tweezers
Ultra fine needle files or some very fine grit sand paper
Dielectric grease
Electronic contact cleaner (not necessary, but recommended)
Super glue
DMM
Silicone (I use Permatex Ultra Black)

First off, test to confirm the sensor is out of spec. Download a service manual for your model which will have the specifications for the sensor and the steps for testing. Once it is determined that the sensor is faulty, it's time to grab your razor and cut it open. First, use the razor to make a couple marks on the sensor housing and backplate so you'll know where to position the plate during reassembly. This is necessary cause the spring inside is slightly torqued which allows the brush wheel to return to it's at rest state. To do this, look on the engine side of the sensor and you'll see a small thin ring around the outside of the backplate. Take your razor and slide under this lip and cut all the way around, breaking the lip off as you go.
(1)
Next, carefully pull the backplate off, if it hasn't already popped out (there is a spring underneath so be ready). Now, use extra care and remove the brush attachment. Be very careful not to damage the tips of the contact brushes which are very finely stranded metal and can bend or break off if not careful.
(2)
Next, using needle nose pliers or a set of tweezers, remove the resistance strip retaining clip then carefully remove the resistance strip itself. The strip will have 3 small contact points at one end, which in most cases, get oxidized and corroded due to moisture. Also, the contact pins which remain in the sensor housing will also get oxidized and corroded.
(3)
Once completely disassembled, carefully clean the contacts on the sensor housing using needle file or sandpaper. If you have some electronics cleaner, spray them off once done. Now, you must be EXTRA CAREFUL when cleaning the contact points on the resistance strip. These contacts are very very VERY thin strips of metal and can be easily damaged. My advise is not to use sandpaper on these. I used the tip of a needle file and very gently scraped till the contact was shiny then washed with contact cleaner.

Once everything is cleaned, apply a small dab of dielectric grease to the center of the sensor housing where the brush attachment sits. This will make the brush wheel turn easier and also help repel moisture. Insert the brush wheel paying attention not to damage the brush tips. Reinstall the spring as it came out (each end of the spring has a different bend and will only go in one way which will be obvious) and place the backplate onto the spring, and squeeze back together into the housing realigning the backplate with the marks you made in the beginning. I used a couple small clamps the hold it together as I applied a couple drops of super glue. Once the glue is dry, remove the clamps and apply glue all the way around and allow to completely dry. Once dry, use your meter to verify that all your work has paid off by testing again using the procedures in the service manual.
(4)
Reinstall sensor into the sensor bracket. I applied a little bit of Permatex Ultra Black silicone on top of the o-ring to ensure a good water tight seal to the engine case. Reinstall the sensor to the case, being sure to preload before installing the bolts, and torque to specs. Apply a dab of dielectric grease to the plug and reattach the harness. If done correctly and considering that the sensor was salvageable, you just saved yourself $50-$100 bucks. I hope this helps someone in the future. I know it fixed my problem and saved me money that I can use on something more desirable.
(5)
Attached Thumbnails
How to fix a bad Angle Sensor-sensor2.jpg   How to fix a bad Angle Sensor-sensor3.jpg   How to fix a bad Angle Sensor-sensor.jpg   How to fix a bad Angle Sensor-img_0117.jpg   How to fix a bad Angle Sensor-img_0123.jpg  


Last edited by joeyglvr; 10-09-2012 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Excellent write up,and thanks...
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Great write up --- Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had assumed that switch to be a potentiometer, and was hoping to be repairable. Good work with this!
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Has anyone studied the feasibility of making the rancher system a "closed loop" style with an oxygen sensor? Ive been toying around with it, but its been 20 years since I went to electronics school and I dont remember half of what I learned. Im trying to study it, but its slow going. Anyone have an inside track?
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Great write up,will be very useful to all of us.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actionman View Post
Has anyone studied the feasibility of making the rancher system a "closed loop" style with an oxygen sensor? Ive been toying around with it, but its been 20 years since I went to electronics school and I dont remember half of what I learned. Im trying to study it, but its slow going. Anyone have an inside track?
the only way that would work is POSSIBLY...and i stress possibly, with the consideration that someone that knows the layout and operation of the ECM on a fuel injected model and it would strictly have to be a fuel injected model. u could actually drill a hole in the header and weld in a bung and install a two wire O2 sensor on a carburated model and wire it to an air/fuel ratio meter to tune to the desired 14.7:1 air/fuel ratio which I've done on several carb'ed vehicles for carb tuning purposes....but in the world of atv's, it really wouldn't be practical as this ideally only benefits fuel economy, emissions, and with automobiles, power, which i would suspect wouldn't be worth the effort with an atv. as for a fuel injected model, the ECM would have to be reconfigured to integrate the O2 readings in with stuff like TP sensor, VSS sensors, air temperature, atmospheric pressure, etc. in my opinion, a two wire O2 sensor could be used to tune in a carb for maximum efficiency but the end results wouldn't be worth the effort and money spent. just my thoughts but still a great subject to discuss!!
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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all this for a 6$ part?
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRocket View Post
all this for a 6$ part?
where are u buying angle sensors?if u can get them for 6 bux a pc, then i'll take 2 dozen.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I stand corrected. Everything I have been researching has showed the angle sensor to be this little metal shaft that cost $6 No where in the parts diagram on the honda oem site does it mention this black spring loaded sensor. They don't even show one. I've been so confused trying to figure out what everyone was talking about. Then I took the real sensor out and out popped that shaft. It all makes sense now. That sensor is 60$ for me.
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