Innovate LC-1 Lambda Cable (Standalone Wideband Controller) with 02 Sensor

[6/22/2006] Reviewed by: Todd Robello -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99-'05 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

The LC-1 comes with a Bosch Wideband Sensor, a connector cable with an integrated wideband controller, 1 digital output and 2 programmable analog outputs, a mountable external status indicator light, a mountable external calibration button, software and serial cable for programming the analog outputs and viewing the digital output, a sensor bung to weld into your exhaust, and comprehensive instructions.

The Install:

The Bung: Time: 20 minutes to several hours (depending on if you need to pull the header or down pipe from the car, and what is involved in that removal.)

The hardest part of the install for me was adding the sensor bung to my header. Although the LC-1 can be programmed to emulate a narrowband O-2, I was set on retaining mine, which meant I needed the second sensor bung (included with the kit) added to my header. To get the bung welded to my header, I had to remove the header. For a supercharged Miata, this also involves removing the header. This is where the time/difficulty was for me. Once the header was out of the car, I just ran it down to the closest muffler shop and handed them the header, bung, and a $20 bill and I was on my way 20 minutes later. After re-installing the header and supercharger, I was ready to move on to the sensor install.

Sensor Install: Time: 15-20 minutes.

The sensor install was easy… Screw it in to the new bung, and run the wire in to the car. I chose to put my bung in the header just before the cat and right next to the transmission. This made it easy to run the wire up and through the shifter boot.. I removed the center consol with the leather shift boot, and then removed the rubber shift boot that covers the hole to the transmission. From there it was easy to run the wire through the hole, letting the wire lay forward toward the radio. Reattaching the rubber boot did not seem to put un-due stress on the wire, but it was enough to keep it from moving around. I ran it directly under the radio so that I could put the controller back behind the radio.

Controller Install: Time: 30-60 minutes.

The controller install is pretty easy if you don’t mind wiring. The controller plugs into the sensor wire, and then you need to hook up at least 3 of 6 wires. There is a power wire (that I ran to the 12v for the cigarette lighter) and 2 grounds (that I ran to the ECU ground line) that are required, and then there are 2 analog signal lines (I ran one to the link ECU per the LINK Instructions and one is waiting to be ran to an LCD voltmeter as a cheap gauge), and a status/calibration line that can be wired up with the included LED and Momentary push button. I installed the status light in the pop out plastic piece that runs along the passenger side of the radio surround but I passed on the calibration button. I should have installed it but it was hot in the garage and I was excited about getting my LC-1 working. I will probably go back and install it later. The controller and all of this new wiring fit nicely right behind the radio.

Programming: Time: 5-10 minutes.

Programming is a snap, as long as you have a laptop or a PC in the garage. A quick install of the software to your computer, and the analog output programming is completely straight forward. I set my output based on the recommendations of Flyin’ Miata, saved it to the controller, and I was done. Use: The LC-1 works flawlessly. I have had zero problems running it with my LINK ECU, and the ECU does a good job of auto tuning with it. It is a set it and forget it thing, so there is not much to say here.

Overall rating: A++. The best $200 I could have spent. It works flawlessly, and gives me piece of mind that my ECU will have the info it needs to keep my fueling in a safe range.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

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16 July, 2006