O2 Sensor – how could it go so wrong?

My o2 sensor died a week before inspection time came around. It was closer to 3 weeks before, but since I didn’t realize that inspection time was in July until the last week it felt like the last week. I had it checked out and they told me that it was the catalytic converter that was out. I took it to another shop (Mr Muffler) that did a better test and they assured me that it was the o2 sensor that went out. I was excited that it came down to the o2 sensor because the catalytic converter was around $1000 to replace. Instead, my o2 sensor would only cost me $750. Pep Boys quoted it at $550. For a part that just needs to be unscrewed and replaced, that’s a rather costly repair. I decided to do it myself.

The first step was to get the o2 sensor off. This proved to be a problem. No matter what tools I tried it would not come out. It took me three days (trying a bit each day) to finally get it off. When I finally did get it off it took the threads from the exhaust manifold with it. Now I have nothing to thread the new o2 sensor into. I’m still at a loss on how to get the new o2 sensor into the hole. Currently I’ve used some epoxy (designed to resist heat) to hold it in place, but I dont’ have really high hopes on that lasting too long. Really I just want it to pass inspection first, then I’ll worry about a permanant fix to the system. I’m still in limbo on how this will all turn out, but I have a feeling that this will all end up costing me $400.