This thread is meant to be a comprehensive source of information regarding errors when using BBK Longtube Headers on the Cyclone Mustang application. This has come about as a result of a multitude of question surrounding BBK Longtube Headers (Part no. 1642 & 16420) and overwhelming amount of users reporting engine codes.
On many users applications (including mine), after some time, the CEL (Check Engine Light) will come on post-installation. Upon using handheld devices to pull the codes, it has been determined that there is an issue seemingly specific to BBK involving the front O2 (Oxygen) sensors and the BBK supplied Sensor Extensions (Part no. 1111) or a combination thereof. The code numbers vary, but always seem to be of the same nature. The following codes have been reported:
Each of these codes either directly or indirectly are sensor related. These codes are almost always associated with users who have switched to BBK headers
Datalog... datalog... datalog... A reputable tuner SHOULD be able to tell you if there is anything they can do on their end. If there is nothing they can tweak in the tune to make this code go away with no other changes to the car, it is more than likely a mechanical issue.
Check, clean, re-evaluate... Check all connections to eliminate the possibility of a leak. This includes the intake side of the engine. Unmetered air will cause issues including inducing a lean/rich condition. Remove this possibility from the equation by checking all connections and re-torquing the header connections as needed. Clean your intake filter and MAF (Mass AirFlow sensor)
Nearly each of the above mentioned codes pertains to Sensor 1 (front sensors) and refer to Bank 1 or Bank 2 (or both in some cases). We can eliminate Sensor 2 (rear sensors) in this case because we are going to assume these sensors are turned OFF. Exhaust changes are typically more in-depth than the casual Cyclone owner will venture. We can conclude that those who DO venture down this path are fairly modded and tuned by this point. Tuners typically turn the rear O2 sensors off and thus do not report readings.
Bank 1 in our application is the side with Cylinder #1. In this case, the passenger side. If you are showing an issue on only one side, the first step would be to isolate the sensor that is at fault. If you have an issue on Bank 1, swap the sensors ONLY. If the code then jumps to Bank 2, then you may conclude the issue is with the sensor. The extensions are more than likely reading correctly because the Bank 1 side is showing no issue with the sensor/extension combo. The extension on Bank 2 that WAS reading correctly is now showing an error due to the bad sensor that is now connected to it.
If the sensors are swapped and the issues persist, repeat the above process with the SENSOR EXTENSIONS only. If the code jumps banks, it can be inferred that one of the extensions is faulty.
What we know:
Written in Italics font because these are guesstimates based off of information on the web. There is no combination of BBK headers that does not exhibit symptoms of this problem. Both chrome and ceramic, off-road and catted mid-pipes, and any combination of these has reported issues. Both naturally aspirated and forced induction applications have the same issues.
So why BBK?
At this time, we believe it has to do with the new sensor location of the BBK-brand headers. The sensors are relocated to the lower bung just before the connection to the midpipe (fig4). It could be a matter of electrical timing, reading, or some sort of sorcery, but it appears that the ECU does not play well with the new location. (We believe it has to do with how efficiently the sensors and headers heat up and report accurate readings to the ECU) There are reports of users going through multiple sets of extensions from BBK, soldering wires to eliminate the need for extensions altogether, and even unclipping the sensors from the body of the car to make them stretch with ZERO play in the circuit. In all 3 cases, codes are still reported. Despite BBK's claims that ALL longtube headers require extensions as the sensors are relocated (fig1), this not the case and just about a flat out lie. The Borla X-1 (fig2) and Bassni Exhaust Longtube headers available for our application retain the stock (or VERY close to stock) sensor positions. Due to the popularity of the BBK headers however, it can not be determined if the Borla/Bassani design eliminates this issue due to a small sampling size. Mac headers share the same design as BBK, but again, due to sampling size, we cannot confirm that there is a specific issue with this sensor relocation design, or with BBK more specifically.
None that are conclusive at this time. We are still trying to figure out ways to combat this issue...
1. Untested at this time is exhaust wrap. We hypothesize that potentially using the wrap to help retain heat may quell this issue.
2. Replace with NTK sensors instead of OEM. Again, small sampling size, but these sensors may be more durable/better suited to hold up to the new location.
3. Not use BBK. Although the prices are a bit higher, the other manufacturers (Borla/Bassani) may work better than the BBK.
4. Go to a shorty header/Off-Road xpipe combo. (too much detail to get into here, but this setup is comparable to LT setup)
I would like for users of ALL manufacturers of Longtube Headers to please chime and report if you have ever had (or not had) any issues with your setup.