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Old 10-14-2008, 06:57 PM   #1
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Default Wideband vs. narrowband

If all I want to do is see if my engine is running lean or rich will a narrow band work for me? Are they accurate and fast enough? $25 vs. $230 is a big difference.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:58 PM   #2
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NO. Wideband = useful information. Narrowband=pretty light show.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:19 PM   #3
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A narrowband is pretty much useless. I will say my brothers narrowband did save his motor once. He punched it and it didn't go blue. He pulled over and a vacume line had came off the FMU.
So they are better than nothing.

But you can finer tune with a Wideband. If you plan on high boost you will need it. That way your not too rich or too lean. Better hp.

But yes, you atleast need something over nothing. And rich or lean is all the nb will tell you.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddcod View Post
A narrowband is pretty much useless. I will say my brothers narrowband did save his motor once. He punched it and it didn't go blue. He pulled over and a vacume line had came off the FMU.
So they are better than nothing.

But you can finer tune with a Wideband. If you plan on high boost you will need it. That way your not too rich or too lean. Better hp.

But yes, you atleast need something over nothing. And rich or lean is all the nb will tell you.
That being said, I still wouldn't trust a NB FWIW, just not worth it, Granted every now and then you might find someone who "got saved" by one but they could also give you a false sense of security. Either get a WB or baby the thing and turn the boost WAAAY down so you know you're not going to lean her out (most likely)
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddcod View Post
A narrowband is pretty much useless. I will say my brothers narrowband did save his motor once. He punched it and it didn't go blue. He pulled over and a vacume line had came off the FMU.
So they are better than nothing.

But you can finer tune with a Wideband. If you plan on high boost you will need it. That way your not too rich or too lean. Better hp.

But yes, you atleast need something over nothing. And rich or lean is all the nb will tell you.
+1. They will say rich or lean, but other than that, you're on your own. Widebands are nice. If anything, perhaps you can borrow one from a friend to get your car tuned to whatever A/F ratio you want and then remove it and install the narrow band to tell you if it ever goes lean or stoichiometric.

If you're trying to do this super cheap, you can tune by reading the plugs. It's an art to do it right though, but it does work if done correctly.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:59 PM   #6
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Narrowband is useless unless except for idle
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:55 AM   #7
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Narrowband information:



Wideband Information:
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:29 AM   #8
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I'd spend the extra money and get a wideband. I've been in more than a few cars running one and they really are worth the money. Of course its my personal opinion that a wideband should always be used with a pyrometer. Its nice knowing what fuel mix you're running and to know if you're too lean or washing out your cylinders. However, I think that information is only one half of the coin. Using a pyrometer will tell you your engine's story. I'll let you know what's going on. Ignition too advanced? Too retarded? You can put these together for the full story.

Once you have an eye on water temp, oil pressure, EGT's and AFR's, you can feel secure with knowing that you'll be alerted upon the first issue. I'd also want a knock sensor, but that's getting pretty involved. :irony:
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:53 AM   #9
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Look at it this way - you can take that $200 and dump it into dyno tuning (usually $300-400 to tune a car) or you can buy the wideband and tune it yourself, then buy 30 minutes of dyno time to dial it in. Buy a wideband and learn how to use it and you'll like the outcome.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:12 AM   #10
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I have no experience tuning miata's, but:

on my subaru I actually tuned the first 2 setups (vf34 and then 18g) using the stock narrowband......we threw the car on a dyno a while after and while the afr's wernt SPOT ON they were pretty damn close. and since I tuned kinda rich/conservative I knew that the time driving before the dyno session had no negative effect on the car. so in that sense, yes you can get away without using a wideband, HOWEVER: dont risk it or be stupid, the 200 dollars you spend for a wb is well worth it. I know I wont even touch my miata's maps untill I have a wb wired in.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington
Look at it this way - you can take that $200 and dump it into dyno tuning (usually $300-400 to tune a car) or you can buy the wideband and tune it yourself, then buy 30 minutes of dyno time to dial it in. Buy a wideband and learn how to use it and you'll like the outcome.
Savington you got some wisdom! That makes good sense,

I'm going to get one now!
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:23 AM   #12
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In case you needed any more motivation to go w/ a wideband,


You're looking to get your AFR around around 12:1. a narrowband will read 0.9v from 10:1 all the way to 14:1. Thus your target area, 12:1, does not have a corresponding voltage.



Widebands on the other hand, clearly show your AFR.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:31 AM   #13
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I think tann3r's graph pretty much explains it. Cruising around WOT @ 14:1 isn't exactly rich.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdexta View Post
I think tann3r's graph pretty much explains it. Cruising around WOT @ 14:1 isn't exactly rich.
exactly.


when outputting between .2v-.8v the narrowband is reading 14.7:1. When you watch a NB gauge the bounce back and forward fro rich to lean as the ecu adds fuel when it hits .2v and removes fuel with it hits .8v.

that leaves you with only 8 voltage jumps of any data - .0v, .05v, .1v, .15v, .85v, .9v, .95v, 1.0v

that's a range of 18:1 - 14.7:1 in four data points and 14.7:1 - 10:1 in another four. Horrible resolution.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:38 AM   #15
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You don't need o2 sensors to check air fuel mixture. Just close the garage door, rev up the car, and sniff the exhuast. It takes a good 30-minutes or so to get the full effect. Let us know how it turns out.
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