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How-To: Clean Your Throttle Body

By Grinomyte. This tech article was originally posted at It is primarily intended for Ford trucks but most likely also applies to other Ford models.


Ok so i needed an oil change today so I started knocking that out. While I was waiting for it to drain I decided my IAC needed another cleaning since i was getting the searching idle again. As I was starting to pull it out I started poking around in the engine just making sure everything was looking ok, and beats me why I just decided to clean the EGR ports since I had read about someones being clogged. I figured I had never cleaned em and they were probably gonna give me trouble anyway. Well, I tried and tried to get that stupid pipe off from the driver side header to the flying saucer part and i just couldn't get it off. So I decided to just pull the entire throttle body (TB) and give it a good cleaning. So in effect, I turned a 5 minute oil change into a good 2 hour project.

So i took so pics and hopefully this will help some people, and most importantly, ill use the thread as a reference for every single IAC problem that comes along cause i cleaned that as well.

Ok so lets begin
Ok heres the driver side stuff to remove

And the passenger side stuff to remove.

Most of it is pretty easy, the tubes are a tad tight so you'll have to tug em good to get em off, but for the most part its not bad. The flying saucer (ok shoot me, its an EGR something) was the hardest part for me since I didn't have a 10 mm deep socket, i only have deep sockets in standard. Since they are on really tight it took some innovation on gettin them off. I wouldn't recommend it so i wont even mention how i got it off, just note that deep socket metric is a must.

The other part which i didnt take a picture of unfortunately, is the stupid cruise control cable. I don't use the thing so I almost cut it. The cable attaches to the throttle plate in one of the stupidest fashions ever. It's blatenly a bad design, and I say this, simply because I couldn't get the stupid thing off for the life of me. Instead I went to the actual cruise contorl box itself and removed it there, its a simple twist off piece similar to the child safety latches on antifreeze bottles, then just a cable catch.

After you remove all the rest of the circled stuff, take out the intake tube like normal (just good practice, it's in the way anyway, if you can't manage to get the intake off, I would recommend paying someone to do this procedure for you, and you probably should stay away from items under the hood). Then the throttle body is held in by 4 8mm bolts. Actually i removed these bolts first before doing tube from the pcv to the TB, it makes it easier and I recommend you do the same. Once you take that last tube out you should be able to remove the entire throttle body.

The V8 Triton Ford throttle body

And the lower intake opening, nice and dirty

Lower intake of Ford 4.6L V8 engine

And the throttle body, also quite dirty.

Dirty throttle body

Very dirty throttle body - closeup photo

I used this to clean it out:

Gumout air intake and throttle body cleaner

Theres a warning on the throttle body about using special solvents. I actually would call BS, since theres no way the teflons doing anything anymore since the entire inside of the TB is coated with crud, but I just used special throttle cleaner anyway. That stuff is actually one of those spray while the vehicle is running, but I actually like my cat converters and the job they do, so I decided against that. I also recommend having some good pipe cleaners, or probably better, some baby bottle clenears. Just find something that will be good for cleaning small holes about 1 cm in diameter and about 6-7 inches long. You'll want to get those tubes nice and clean. Use all the cleaner stuff liberally.

On to the IAC. Mine has been acting up again so I knew it was time to clean it. Here's the IAC


Heres the underside where you'll need to do your cleaning action.


I used to just use brake cleaner every once in awhile and it really helped, but this time i used WD-40. I kinda dislike the idea of burning wd-40 in my engine, but i figured it was a minute amount, and it's really worth it. Using WD-40 my engine idles much nicer. It always felt just a little shakey before, but its much better now. Just clean it out with brake clean, let it dry, and then toss a couple shots of wd-40 in there. If your ambitious you can kinda wiggle the parts inside while cleaning. I did and I don't have damage, but it looks a little fragile inside.

Heres just a pic of the TB with the IAC and then with it removed for the slow folk

the throttle body

the throttle body

Notice in the IAC removed pic, the IAC is thrown negligently to the side.

Once Icleaned it I reattached it (10 mm bolts again i think). The just put everything back together and make sure you get everything back on properly. I didn't mess up, but I don't know what happens if you do, and I won't take any blame . In all I say it took me about 2 hours, going at a leisurely pace. I took it for a drive, and the idle like I said feels much stronger, not like its gonna die anymore, so thats satisfying, and it feels a tad more responsive. I also found a bolt and a socket that i lost in my engine, so that was nice. I wish i had time to pull the entire lower intake a clean that out too, maybe next weekend. If I do i'll be sure to make another post. Hope that helps some of ya out if your having IAC problems or EGR problems. I hope I didn't miss anything, and as usual:

This post is purely for entertainment purposes and in no way implies that you should do any of the following and if you choose to you do so at your own risk.