Clean your throttle body!
Well, I finally got the nerve to do it. Chilton had nothing helpful and everything I found in searches just said "remove TB and clean." So I figured it can't be that bad. And truthfully, it isn't. But it looks daunting. So for those who need an encouraging word, here goes:
-1/2 inch socket or wrench
-small torx head screwdriver
-new TB gasket ($4)
-tin of cope
1. Remove air cleaner with a flat head screwdriver (man, I'm getting sick of that stock box)
2. Remove the front sensor clip. There's a little tab on top of the clip that is flush but you push it down and pull and it just unhooks.
3. Remove the side sensor clip. Same as above.
4. Reach around the tb and unclip the IAC sensor by pushing out on the tab and pulling. It's different than the other two.
5. Remove the small vacuum tube from the front of the tb by just pulling it out.
Now you're down to the throttle cables. I had no prior idea how they came off but just studied them for awhile and figured it out.
There's two cables, the one on the passenger side goes first.
6. Unclip the cable end (small plastic c-shaped clip) by pulling the throttle linkage forward for slack and pushing the cable clip backwards. It's very similar to a tiny version of a cell phone belt clip holster.
7. Unclip the other cable in the same manner.
At this point, you're ready to unbolt the tb. You'll need a ratchet and 1/2 inch or equivalent metric. I used 1/2 inch. They were on tight so time for elbow grease.
8.Loosen all four bolts and remove. I laid them out in the same pattern so they went in the same holes later.
Now CAREFULLY lift off the TB and move it slightly towards you so you can access the throttle cables retention clips on the black bracket. I set the assembly gently on the fan shroud while I stuffed a clean rag into the plenum.
9. Each throttle retention clip is unique. For the outside one you'll need a pen to push in the retainer dimple and pull up. The inner one needs pliers to sqeeze the top and bottom and pull out.
Now it's time to clean. You'll need throttle body/carb cleaner, rags, toothbrush or similar, q-tips, and a torx (star shape) head screwdriver. I had one in my small Craftsman case. Most tool kits should have them.
10. Remove all three sensors using the torx driver carefully. When you remove the IAC you'll see why this was a good idea. Mine was completely black and gunked up. The TB bore was all black too. I spent atleast an hour cleaning all the crevices and nooks of the TB and then the IAC. CAUTION!!!!!! Be VERY gentle with the IAC as it is over $100 to replace. Use the q-tips to gently rub the crap off and it will look like brass again. I never sprayed cleaner into it or moved the plunger at all.
Once you're satisfied with the cleaning, just re-install everything using a new gasket. I don't have a torque wrench so I just criss-cross tightened them good and tight. Now, was that so bad?