Knock Sensor.....Help! - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Knock Sensor.....Help!

Well I got my new radiator shipped in today from Rock Auto with new Knock Sensors as well. I went to remove my old knock sensors this evening with a 22mm socket and got the drivers side out fine with a little effort. I am confused though because no coolant came out? Some should have correct? I was expecting it to come gushing out like some have said. Could it be that blocked up that something was clogging the hole? I did not have room for the car in my shop so it was outside and it was getting dark and had limited lighting so I could not tell. The sensor had some fluid on the tip I could see but that is all, just wet. I will get a better view tomorrow.

When I went to remove the passenger side Knock Sensor it is just spinning. I have a good bite on it and the head is just turning within the sensor. I have heard some say they have had issues with this as well. Should I try to get a wire welder in there and tack it back and try to remove it or what is my best option? I thought about trying a chisel to see if I could get some bite on it but I am afraid I will make it worse. Should I just let it go and forget about it? I would like to get it out and do it correctly especially since I have new knock sensors and a new radiator.

Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated. As usual if there is going to be problems it will be with me. LOL.

Also wanted to ask how I can flush it from the top side? I am sure this is a stupid question but I had the thermostat out should I not be able to run water down the water pump hole and it flush through and out the knock sensor that is out on the drivers side or would the water pump have to be pumping or pulled off the motor for it to flow through?

Any suggestions on what my next options should be? I am truly at a loss and very frustrated.

Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freebird View Post
Well I got my new radiator shipped in today from Rock Auto with new Knock Sensors as well. I went to remove my old knock sensors this evening with a 22mm socket and got the drivers side out fine with a little effort. I am confused though because no coolant came out? Some should have correct? I was expecting it to come gushing out like some have said. Could it be that blocked up that something was clogging the hole? I did not have room for the car in my shop so it was outside and it was getting dark and had limited lighting so I could not tell. The sensor had some fluid on the tip I could see but that is all, just wet. I will get a better view tomorrow.

When I went to remove the passenger side Knock Sensor it is just spinning. I have a good bite on it and the head is just turning within the sensor. I have heard some say they have had issues with this as well. Should I try to get a wire welder in there and tack it back and try to remove it or what is my best option? I thought about trying a chisel to see if I could get some bite on it but I am afraid I will make it worse. Should I just let it go and forget about it? I would like to get it out and do it correctly especially since I have new knock sensors and a new radiator.

Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated. As usual if there is going to be problems it will be with me. LOL.

Also wanted to ask how I can flush it from the top side? I am sure this is a stupid question but I had the thermostat out should I not be able to run water down the water pump hole and it flush through and out the knock sensor that is out on the drivers side or would the water pump have to be pumping or pulled off the motor for it to flow through?

Any suggestions on what my next options should be? I am truly at a loss and very frustrated.

Thanks so much!
On th side that you got 1 KS removed, there is most likely a lot of crud blocking the hole. Take a small screwdriver or awl and poke it in the block which should open up and allow coolant to run out.

On the passenger side KS, sounds like the lid of the KS has separated from the body. It does not take much torque on the KS for this to happen. It may be real helpful to take a few extra minutes and remove the starter to gain some valuable working room in this area. Then as you suggested you could try to tack weld the lid back to the body of the KS. If you do this, try to turn the sensor in clockwise, just a little first and then back it out. At the first sign of resistance, move it back in clockwise and then back it out a little further. Your fighting with the junk in the system along with the threads in the block to remove the KS.

If all else fails, then it's time to get creative with a pair of vice grips or similar on the body of the KS. At this point, I would do whatever you can to get the old KS out of there. It is probably no good now that the lid has separated from the body. When reinstalling, there should already be sealer on the threads. DO NOT use Teflon tape or other sealant as this will affect it reading properly. Install torque on these is very low too.....I believe it's only 14' lbs.

To flush the block, yes filling from the WP Tstat housing should work. You just need to block off the heater core ports and rad port to fill the block. I assume these are all disconnected anyway for flushing. I like to block off the KS ports on the block to let the block fill and then remove the KS to allow it to FLuuuuush real good. Do this a few times til the water appears clear. Once done refill with a 50/50 mix of distilled water and coolant. A complete flush will take about 2 gallons of H2o and 2 gallons of coolant.

================================================== =============


'95 Caprice SS conversion - Bonny Buckets - 96 Column, Shifter and Console - 3.73 Gear and Herter tune - Z/28 Cluster - Blazer OH Console - Green/Pink bushings - Chromed Impala Wheels - Eibach Springs and Bilstein Shocks - Corvette Engine Dress - the list goes on and still more to do...it never ends.
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 08:37 AM
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I had the block drain plug hole do that on my 83 GM V8 driver side .. back then no KS just a pipe plug. when I stuck a screw driver in the hole the block drained and had casting sand in it which caused the blockage.

on my 96 I never had any issues removing the KS but I removed them when the vehicle was 3 yrs old. also I am the only person that's works on it.

over torquing maybe the problem on why it broke. using various tools you should get it out .

I use permatex MACHINE thread sealant on the threads and torque to about 10 ft lbs being careful NOT to shock/drop the sensor OR bang hit it...

this type sealant is basically paint ..will not effect sensor operation in any way and no leaks. using a round pipe brush work the block threads so clean less chance of leak.

on coolant I use 2.5 gallons of antifreeze and 1.5 gallons of distilled water. it may take a extra QT if you blow out the heater core which it what I do every time this is done.
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks J Cat. Appreciate the help. Will do. Thanks everyone!
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 11:57 AM
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Yep, just did mine. Barely inserting a small screwdriver into the DS had it gushing. The PS side came out easy for me, but there was nearly no water left at that point. A cup maybe. Doubt if even a pint.

If you however want to tackle it, you may want to try a plumbing wrench. Name escapes me at the moment, but it's a spring loaded jaw that's use to get the faucet nuts at the back of a sink. Acts like a pipe wrench, self locking, but the handle is parallel like the socket extension would be. And the end has a T bar.
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 11:58 AM
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Basin wrench!
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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting! Has anyone tried a Basin Wrench on this before and had it work? Would I be better off trying that first before welding it? Thanks for the info!
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:00 PM
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Interesting! Has anyone tried a Basin Wrench on this before and had it work? Would I be better off trying that first before welding it? Thanks for the info!
Have not as I've been fortunate to get them out with a socket/ratchet. As you probably know laying under the car and looking at the sensor, having a wrench that has a flex head could be very helpful. The angle of the block where the sensor is compared to the angle of the oil pan, does not make it easy to attack the KS housing from the side. A pipe wrench that does not flex could make this difficult from the underside of the car. Maybe the angle is easier from the top but what you have to remove to get at the KS does not make this feasible.

Basin wrenches are fairly inexpensive so it's worth giving it a shot. But if you have access to a welder and the KS is most likely toast anyway, why not just hit it with a Few welds? The easiest way to get these out is to just use the socket on the KS lid. Just try to tighten it in a little first and then try to back it out. Once it breaks free, it should come out pretty easily as they are a NPT thread and have a slight taper to them.

If the KS already has what appears to be sealant or what may look like a thread locker (reddish color), this is all the sealant you need. No need to add more and I've just reinstalled them a few times with the existing sealant and they haven't leaked yet. So I wouldn't consider adding any additional sealant to the threads. All the new KS's I've seen already have something applied to them. Take a close look at your new KS to confirm this.

================================================== =============


'95 Caprice SS conversion - Bonny Buckets - 96 Column, Shifter and Console - 3.73 Gear and Herter tune - Z/28 Cluster - Blazer OH Console - Green/Pink bushings - Chromed Impala Wheels - Eibach Springs and Bilstein Shocks - Corvette Engine Dress - the list goes on and still more to do...it never ends.
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks 4Door. It is going to have to be a welder indeed. I sit here humbly typing this having failed yet again another night. Tried the Basin Wrench (was not large enough to bite on it), Vice Grips a no go. Welding is definitely the route to go. So did you just tack weld it on the very outer edges like on three sides then?

The good news is I got the starter off but now am wondering if I should replace it since it has not been replaced in the 12 years I have owned the car. If so what is a good brand to go with?

I have a new Hobart wire welder that I have not put to use yet, need to get an argon tank and also had a pacemaker put in and I need to be careful welding. Been using my Lincoln Ranger 8 Stick so I guess this will give me a good reason to purchase a tank and get the MIG set up. Would be much easier and cleaner to hit with the wire welder I am sure than stick right? Or do you think I could hit it okay with the stick? I am just thinking slag wise.

Did you actually use a torque wrench or will I be safe just getting them snug? 14' lbs is not much. I would have to get a torque wrench since I don't currently have one.

I poked a small screw driver in the hole as suggested and it broke through all the gunk and a ton of coolant came out. Will feel great to get it all out and this all put back together. Thanks again for all the help!

Last edited by Freebird; 09-27-2016 at 11:44 PM.
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
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. So did you just tack weld it on the very outer edges like on three sides then?

The good news is I got the starter off but now am wondering if I should replace it since it has not been replaced in the 12 years I have owned the car. If so what is a good brand to go with?

Would be much easier and cleaner to hit with the wire welder I am sure than stick right? Or do you think I could hit it okay with the stick? I am just thinking slag wise.

Did you actually use a torque wrench or will I be safe just getting them snug? 14' lbs is not much. I would have to get a torque wrench since I don't currently have one.

I poked a small screw driver in the hole as suggested and it broke through all the gunk and a ton of coolant came out. Will feel great to get it all out and this all put back together. Thanks again for all the help!
Been fortunate that mine have always come out with just using the socket, so never had to weld them before. But seems like to me whatever you can reach up in there with would be your best option. IIRC And you look at your new KS you will see how the top/lid is placed into the KS body, then the edges of the KS body are bent over the lid and believe there are then just 3 or 4 tack welds at the seam. Don't think it really matters how pretty is as long as it holds well enough to wrench it out of there.

I did use a small 1/4" torque wrench that is in inch pounds to get these in. You could probably "ball park" it by hand if you have experience doing this. But really why, when you could pickup a torque wrench fairly cheaply at a place like harbor freight. Sure it may not be as accurate as a snap-on, but they work pretty well and seem ok for the average wrencher.

On the starter....why bother if it's working fine now? Sure it's old, but if it ever does fail replace it then and its (to me) such an easy replace anyway. Not to mention the replacemnt stuff isn't as good sometimes as the original. If you do replace, seriously consider getting the Corvette Starter for the LT1 which is a direct Bolton.

================================================== =============


'95 Caprice SS conversion - Bonny Buckets - 96 Column, Shifter and Console - 3.73 Gear and Herter tune - Z/28 Cluster - Blazer OH Console - Green/Pink bushings - Chromed Impala Wheels - Eibach Springs and Bilstein Shocks - Corvette Engine Dress - the list goes on and still more to do...it never ends.
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