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Discussion Starter #1
My car is borked. Badly. I noticed the insulation around the O2 sensor connection was missing, and that it grounded against the body while I was futzing around with vacuum lines while setting idle and timing yesterday.

For the sake of argument, what's the worst that could happen? Fry the ECU? Could that be the source of my problem, and not a dropped valve or spun bearing?

 

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I highly doubt those sounds are from a O2 sensor being improperly grounded.
 

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Maybe I killed the combo-relay? Or it's mostly dead? I want to say I have a spare somewhere...
Combo relays sometimes fail but not nearly so often as you might think. The test is simple - turn on the ignition and push the AFM vane open. If the fuel pumpruns the relay is fine. If it does not run then the relay might be bad but it is likely that there is some other problem.
 

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For the sake of argument, what's the worst that could happen? Fry the ECU? Could that be the source of my problem, and not a dropped valve or spun bearing?
A shorted oxygen sensor will make the car run extremely rich, far more so that if the sensor just failed from old age.

Running that way for a short period of time shouldn't hurt anything. Long term, it could cause fuel dilution of the oil, melt your cat, damage the piston rings, etc.

It really depends on how long the car was driven with the shorted sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, I'm just trying to remain in denial that I have to rebuild or replace my engine because it dropped a valve seat, best case scenario.
 

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These engines sometimes break rockers but it is usually at high rpm with stiffer valve springs and big cams.

I can give you a good deal on a complete 2.5 motor or any selection of parts from it. I don't drive to Texas very often but I do go to Pensacola occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
These engines sometimes break rockers but it is usually at high rpm with stiffer valve springs and big cams.

I can give you a good deal on a complete 2.5 motor or any selection of parts from it. I don't drive to Texas very often but I do go to Pensacola occasionally.
Well, I'm not in a huge hurry. If it makes more sense to replace than repair the engine, it'll probably take me a couple of months to have the time to pull it. I am looking locally but so far no spares. I'm afraid even replacing the head would involve more time than I can commit right now. I just don't have the bandwidth to start any major projects. Which is never good with a car like this... I've been scared of something major like this happening ever since my first kid came along.
 
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