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How to Replace the Throttle Body in a Ford Explorer

by Contributor

Ford could reasonably boast that the Explorer is the one vehicle that kicked off America's SUV love affair. While the debut of the Explorer was timed for the beginning of the SUV craze, it became the "go to" SUV for the common man. The Explorer consistently delivers a good measure of comfort and versatility while being stylish and affordable. Throughout the 1990s, Ford sold nearly a half million annually. Here are the details for replacing the throttle body in the Explorer.

Remove the Throttle Body

Step 1

Disconnect the battery ground cable and isolate it to avoid accidental contact the terminal during installation of the throttle body. Separate the air inlet tube from the throttle body after loosening the clamps.

Step 2

Take out the throttle linkage shield. Pull the accelerator and speed control cables from the lever on the throttle body.

Step 3

Label the engine wiring harness connectors on the throttle position sensor (TPS) and the idle air control (IAC) valve then disengage them from the throttle body.

Step 4

Loosen the four nuts that hold the throttle body in place. Remove the nuts and then take the throttle body off the upper intake manifold. Separate the gasket and throw it away.

Clean all the mating surfaces to remove old gasket material, dirt and debris. Use a plastic scraping device as needed to avoid scratching the aluminum.

Install the Throttle Body

Step 1

Set a new gasket with the throttle body onto the upper intake manifold. Position the mounting nuts in place. Torque the nuts in a crisscross pattern to 80 inch pounds of torque on the 4.0L and 4.6L engines and to 71 to 89 inch pounds of torque on the 5.0L engine.

Step 2

Connect the TPS and IAC valve wiring connectors. Be sure to remove the labels.

Step 3

Reconnect the speed control and the accelerator cables to the lever on the throttle body. Replace the throttle linkage shield.

Step 4

Replace the air inlet tube between the throttle body and the air cleaner housing. Tighten the clamps to secure the tube in place.

Start the engine. Inspect all the connections and verify engine performance.


  • Place a clean shop cloth over the opening to the manifold to prevent dirt from falling into the engine.


  • Never smoke or expose an open flame of any kind to the area near fuel-related engine parts.

Items you will need

  • Mechanic's toolset, including a full socket set, wrenches, screwdrivers
  • Torque wrench
  • Replacement gasket
  • Clean shop cloths
  • Plastic scraper

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