Throttle Body Cleaning | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Throttle Body Cleaning


Well-Known Member
March 2, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Evansville, In
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 XLT4x4
So I just replaced my thermostat, fan, fan clutch, and temp sender on my X. I was about to go ahead and clean the throttle body when I take a good look and see a factory sticker on the TB housing that says NOT to clean the inside of the throttle body. Anyone have any experience with this? I want to clean it but not if I am going to screw something up. Thanks in advance for any help.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Is supposed to have some sort of protective coating, yours is probely long gone.
Most people clean them no prob

Haven't tried it myself.....but, I saw at Wal Mart a TB cleaner that said it was OK for the "coated" TB.....forget which brand......though I just want to say that they are available........same section as the regular carb cleaners.

Aloha, Mark

Yeah, I bought STP throttle body and fuel injection cleaner, says it is safe for "protective coatings". On my other vehicles I have cleaned the throttle body with the engine running so that I can flip the throttle a few times while spraying the cleaner inside of the TB so it gets sucked through the intake manifold as well.(Those things get dirrrtttyyy inside) Never cleaned an X TB before, think that I may run into any probs with the IAC, etc, by doing this? Thanks for the help :)

Thanks Mark. Looks to me that just leaving the TB on the vehicle and spraying some cleaner in there is as good as it gets, short of buying a new TB. :eek: If acetone won't even make a dent in that stuff, then maybe the ford gods meant for it to be there. Short of spraying the TB down, it may be wise to leave well enough alone.

You can always remove the TB from the vehicle, and clean it that way.

For that matter, you can also remove the whole intake manifold and clean it. I did that once a few years ago, but I was not able to remove all of the varnish. That was before I discovered Sea Foam, which reportedly can cut thru it, using a toothbrush and a little effort. I am skeptical. :)

I have thought about taking the TB off of the vehicle but I am worried about the TPS being out of sync when I put it back on. If I leave the TPS bolted to the TB as I clean it will I be able to put it back on without recalibrating it?...May just leave it on the truck and clean as it runs....or I could just leave well enough alone as the truck runs great without it being "clean". I am a little **** when it comes to cars and when I see something I think is dirty I feel like I have to clean it. :D Thanks for all of the advice.

I have found that it's hard to screw up a TPS that much on our EEC-IV trucks. I have eyeballed TPS install to match what it was before, and it worked out.

Now, I have a voltmeter. That means I can dial it in right to 0.96v every time. If you do any work on your truck at all, a $40 voltmeter will come in very handy. I also use it when I do electrical work on my house. Or, correction; garage with house attached. :D

Advance Auto sales a Sea Foam spray called Deep Creap. I spray down the inside of the TB and Intake man. on a warm engine. Let it sit for a couple of min and then spray down again and start back up. Then while reving spray directly in the TB intake.


Thanks all, I will definately invest in a voltmeter soon, as I do ALOT of the work myself on the X. Thanks Rhett for the .96 setting for the TPS. I have yet to buy a service manual and would not have known that otherwise. I wish that I had a garage to do work in(my cousin in IN has a SWEET pole barn that he has turned into a fully functional automotive garagemahal, lift and all), so I am forced to wait for nice days to work on the truck when I need to :thumbdwn: I am going to clean the TB tomorrow, truck runs great,(knock on wood) but I know that the plate is dirty and I just can't sleep as well at night knowing that:D ;)

93TwotoneXLT, just so you know, there is a long thread on this site about the .96 volt setting of the TPS. I think Jamest started that thread a long time ago.

thank you for this thread! did this with a 19oz can of gun mount carb cleaner and a wire brush also took off and cleaned the MAS wit some mas spray i got at autozone and this thing is runnin like it did when i first got her! 1994 ford explorer eddie bauer 4x4
also sprayed out the big plastic rubber tube with carb cleaner to

heres a pic of her after i cleaned forgot to take pics of before and after (removal/cleaning both sides) but she was pretty damn dirty


another method that is a little more involved...when i got my x the whole upper intake system was in need of cleaning so bad i thought i would take off the upper intake plenum and clean it ...first of all 2 big golf ball size chunks of carbon fell out when i took it off the engine .i took a big plastic container that would hold the plenum and put about 4 gallons of gas in it and let it soak over night day i got a toliet brush ( round type) and used that to clean it out with while it was submergered in gas ....took it out and hosed it down with a water hose and i swear it looked new and even on the inside got every bit of oil and carbon out of the hard to get to places inside of the intake plenum .

whats the plenum, is that what the throttle body is bolted to?

The major important part of the cleaning is the Seating area of the Butterfly to the inner diameter of the Throttle body. Even when fully closed there should be a slight opening. That's why when the TB gets dirty the idle gets crappy. The small gap is no closed off with crud.
Even if you do not take it off the car, If you can hold the Butterfly OPEN and scrub the outer edge of it clean and scrub right where it makes contact with the Body, you will notice a difference in the idle. Of course if the whole thing was clean it would have a positive affect on how air enters the Intake.