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Hi team , was wanting to start a discussion on the NTK sensors versus the LSU 4.9 .. I find a lot of contradicting information on the internet that maybe you guys can help clear up … is a NTK sensor more accurate ? Are the 4.9 lsu sensors faster responding ? I see on ballenger website they offer many different grade sensors in the NTK lineup .. production grade , calibration grade , lab grade and commercial grade .. the price points for these different grade sensors vary quite largely from $130USD all the way up to $800USD and a specific $499USD “lab grade “ for motorsports use that they claim is upwards of $1500-2000 USD from other sellers .. ballenger claims the lab grade 500$ sensor is more accurate and faster responding with longer lifespans .. I see that Motec offers their version of NTK that is a calibration grade around 270$ and the Haltech is around 150$ witch is allegedly a modified production grade … do all the different NTK sensors Speek the same language ? Can we use a lab grade sensor on any random controller or vice versa ? I know there are a lot of questions here and I’m really looking for someone who has had experience using both sensors and their personal opinions .. maybe someone who has done comparative testing .. Haltech recommends the use of the NTK WB1 for using race gas and I specifically asked them if One Ethanol R falls under that category and they said yes … so aside of using methanol for longevity reasons , the big question is .. are NTK better than LSU as their price points are suggesting ? Thanks in advance! All opinions are welcomed and encouraged !
Here's one data point for you. I have an original ngk powerdex afx with ntk sensor, the one that was supposed to be the ducks nuts. Way back now but an old tuner commented it was out by around 0.5 afr compared to their dyno sensor, my calibration was on point but I would like to think the tuners dyno afr sensor was at least 99% accurate.
I wouldn't assume the ntk sensor is more accurate, it's supposedly just a little more robust. Since the afr number isn't a fixed number you should tune to as Andre says I'm not sure I would spend big on lab grade sensors for most use cases. I like to think the modern CAN based systems are all close enough and would probably look for one with an ntk sensor if it was gonna cop some abuse
You also need to look at the Bosch LSU ADV sensor, it's the latest and greatest upgrade over the LSU 4.9:
NTK are more robust in terms of thermal & mechanical shock, they can measure to a richer lambda than the LSU (hence common for high power alcohol applications) and in my experience seem to be less sensitive to lead poisoning (possibly not a common issue in automotive applications nowadays anyhow). The NTK however is quite a bit slower ~ 2-4x slower response than the LSU depending on span range and is also more sensitive to exhaust gas pressure.
I dont know what the differences between the various "grades" of NTK sensors are - whether it is the quality of the ceramic or something else like a calibration tolerance or post manufacture verification process. There are a couple of different "calibrations" also - some with a 4mA (LHA) free air pump current and some with 6mA (L2H2 etc). Not all controllers are compatible with both types.