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How to Clean your Throttle Body

Removing and cleaning the TB
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How to Clean your Throttle Body

Postby EKinMN [OP] » Nov 26 2011, 6:27am

While changing oil today, I decided I would also pull the throttle body (TB) to clean it. My truck only had about 18,000 miles on it, but I thought I would check it out anyway to see how dirty it was. Here is the way to do this, if you want to do it. I've heard other members state that by 30,000 miles, the throttle body can be very dirty. Mine was not bad, but I am careful to use a Top Tier fuel and run a can of Sea Foam in the gas every few thousand miles.

1. Disconnect Battery:
This will help by resetting the ECM to accommodate the clean TB, and to ensure you don't accidentally short something out (although this is very unlikely).

2. Remove the Cover/Shroud:
The plastic cover over the engine is attached by 2 "buttons", like little compression fittings. It raises up, then toward the front of the truck to remove.
1 Cover Off.JPG
1 Cover Off.JPG (139.84 KiB) Viewed 27126 times

3. Remove the Intake/resonator:
Unscrew the clamp near the TB, and the one closer to the air cleaner/MAF. Then unattach the small line that runs into the side of the resonator (just twist and pull).
3 Remove Intake.JPG
3 Remove Intake.JPG (147.49 KiB) Viewed 27126 times

4. Unhook the Electrical Connector:
Slide the small gray retaining clip back and remove. Push down (pinch) the connector, and pull back on the connector to unhook it.
4 Unhook Elec Connector.JPG
4 Unhook Elec Connector.JPG (130.76 KiB) Viewed 27126 times

5. Unscrew the Bolts Holding the TB:
There are generally 4 bolts that hold the TB in place. On mine, the top 2 have nuts that are removed, and bottom 2 are bolts. Whatever combination you have, remove the 4 retaining bolts/nuts.
NOTE: There is a gasket behind the TB. Ensure you locate this as you remove the TB. Often, it sticks to one surface or the other.
5 unscrew bolts.JPG
5 unscrew bolts.JPG (140.55 KiB) Viewed 27126 times

6: Remove TB:
Carefully remove TB, and set aside. Note the location of the gasket (mine is green). Once removed, cover the area with a clean towel so no dust can enter the opening.
6 TB removed.JPG
6 TB removed.JPG (163.48 KiB) Viewed 27126 times

7. Clean the TB:
Use a cleaner made specifically for the throttle body. Spray it from all sides, and allow the cleaner to work for a minute or so. Wipe it clean with an old lint free cloth. If needed, use an old toothbrush to remove all of the build up. NOTE: It is OK to move the butterfly (gently). Be sure to clean every side well. Allow it to dry before reassembly. This is also a good time to clean your MAF sensor: How to Inspect and Clean a Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF)
7 Cleaning TB.JPG
7 Cleaning TB.JPG (138.63 KiB) Viewed 27126 times

8 Opening butterfly.JPG
8 Opening butterfly.JPG (131.16 KiB) Viewed 27126 times

8. Put it all back together:
Simply reverse the process. Bolt the TB back on, using a cross pattern (like mounting a tire). Plug in the elctrical connection to the TB. Attach the resonator, and be sure to plug the breather hose back in. Then put the engine cover on, and connect the battery.
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Related Topics  03 throttle body on an 09   Throttle body   Throttle body going out?   Throttle body    Throttle Body Sludge, Help   Throttle body mistake   Oil in throttle body   Ported throttle body   Throttle Body failure   which throttle body can i put on my 5.3L??   2010 5.3l throttle body   Throttle body spacer   90mm throttle body   upgrading throttle body ??!! 
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Re: How To Clean your Throttle Body

Postby rdss » Nov 26 2011, 6:43am

Nice write up. Down and to the point.
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Re: How To Clean your Throttle Body

Postby AzDragonLord » Nov 26 2011, 12:50pm

Good write-up...thank you!
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Re: How To Clean your Throttle Body

Postby Gorecki » Nov 26 2011, 7:38pm

Good job Eric! I hope in the very least you've managed to reduce the amount of times people ask how to do this by oh...15,000. ;)
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Re: How To Clean your Throttle Body

Postby starspangled6.0 » Nov 26 2011, 8:38pm

Great write up... I've heard that this is a very common GM truck issue for some reason. Sure has been a pain for my truck!
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Re: How To Clean your Throttle Body

Postby DRK4X4 » Nov 26 2011, 8:49pm

Nice job. If you ever sell your truck someone is going to get a good one because yours has been WELL maintained. You're getting good at these maintenance "How-to's"... :D
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Re: How To Clean your Throttle Body

Postby WingNut » Nov 27 2011, 1:53am

Can't wait to see what my TB looks like. I've never cleaned it and have never run seafoam through it either. My only saving grace is using TopTier gas.
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Re: How To Clean your Throttle Body

Postby starspangled6.0 » Nov 27 2011, 5:03am

Be prepared for a surprise, WN! I took the time the other night to clean my filter, MAF, and throttle body. Yowza, what a difference! Forgot how smooth the 6.0 is supposed to be.
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Re: How To Clean your Throttle Body

Postby ubuthedog » Nov 27 2011, 8:36pm

You may have coolant lines at the bottom of your tb making it a bit of a pain to remove, I clamped mine and then removed them. Its easier then draining half the system unless you are going all out and would like new coolant as well.
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Re: How To Clean your Throttle Body

Postby DEERE G » Nov 27 2011, 9:23pm

Nice write up. After reading this, I ran out and bought the cleaners. The TB was DIRTY!!! I took it off and cleaned it on the bench. I also cleaned the MAF sensor.
I just got back in the house from a test drive. Seemed to be more responsive. I want to see how it reacts in the morning after cooling down in the garage. I have a slight throttle hesitation when cold.

Thanks again, Keith
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