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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 46873
Experience:  16 years experience
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2003 Thunderbird. Checked codes and see P0122, P0223, P0221,

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2003 Thunderbird. Checked codes and see P0122, P0223, P0221, P2111, P135. All of this after washing the engine. I suspect I got something too wet, and all of these seem to point at Throttle Actuator Control or Throttle/Pedal Position Sensor issues. How do I troubleshoot this?
JA: Which particular sensor are you asking about? And have any trouble codes been triggered?
Customer: Supplied codes, did they come through?
JA: Are you fixing your Thunderbird yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yes, myself. So far I unplugged connectors and blew out any moisture, which I didn't find very much of.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: If I disconnect the MAF and TPS connector I can start in limp mode but no throttle control.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Some more codes: P0102, P0113, probably all relates to one problem.

Welcome, I'm Chris (aka Moose). I'm here to help 365 days a year, but not every hour of the day. I try to prevent delays as much as possible. Please understand I am not there and can only advise based on what you tell me. Let's get started.

Lets start off with running the engine, hood closed for about 20 minutes to get it good and hot. Unplug all the connectors related to these codes and apply DIELECTRIC grease to the pins and connector seals. Reconnect them all then remove both battery cables, hold them together for one minute. Reconnect the battery and test drive. Tell me what codes are stored now.

Please make sure to rate my answer prior to logging off, as this is how I get credit for helping you. If you have not yet received 5 star excellent service from me. Please follow up so you get everything from me that you expected from the deposit you have already paid, which I get nothing of till you rate me. Rating does not close the post nor prevent replying at a later date.

Thanks Moose

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Moose - I followed your instructions perfectly and when I restarted the TBird, it would only run at 500RPM with no throttle response. The attached file has the new codes. Looking forward to the next step...Bill

So far we are looking more so to a faulty throttle body. If you remove the air intake tube from the throttle body, does the throttle body need to be cleaned and does it respond to throttle pedal pressure with the key on and a helper pressing the throttle?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Moose - I'm going to try the pedal pressure/throttle body test later today. I noted that this problem surfaced after washing the engine. I didn't start the engine right after so my bad. If some component of the throttle actuation was affected by the washing, what part/s would that be? What gasket may have failed? It seems that if the throttle body is dirty, that wouldn't have an effect on the electronics. Please give me your thoughts. Thanks...Bill

If water is to blame then the gaskets that failed and allowed water into the electronics of the electronic throttle body. Those are not gaskets you can replace and the damage is already done which a gasket would not even resolve. Electronic throttle bodies are not meant to be worked even though aftermarket companies sale parts for them. They should be replaced as a complete unit. So far the throttle body is sticking and not able to move correct, water got into it or there is a wiring or PCM issue. I am trying to do all things prior to all the difficult tests and possible expensive parts replacing

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks, I'll let you know what I see later today!
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Tested the throttle body response. Full pedal and the blade opens to about quarter open then stops with buzzing or clicking, like it's binding. Started again and it went to limp mode again - 500 to 700 RPM. Is there another test? When power is off, I can move the blade by hand. $400 to replace - it would be great if I can do another test or two to be sure... :) Thanks...Bill

Did you try cleaning the throttle plate and bore while open. We are getting closer and closer to the throttle body bad.

Would you like the Ford diagnostic steps for these codes?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Moose - I checked the throttle body bore and it wasn't super dirty. It had about the right amount of grundge for the number of miles driven. Pictures show the blade, a peek at the bore, and the top view. The part number shows 3W4E-AC. If it turns out to be the throttle body, how closely do I have to match the part number? I found a "Lincoln Ls / Thunderbird 3W4z9e926ad Oem Throttle Body" on Amazon that looks identical. Yes, I'm interested in the Ford diagnostic codes, please share! Thanks...Bill

I would go ahead and clean it. Use spray brake cleaner and your enemies tooth brush. Scrub the bore and the edges of the blade.

The steps are below.

The part number first 4 need to match, last 2 letters and AC is older than an AD. The closer to Z the last 2 letters are the newer the part. 3W4Z compared to 3W4E. I can not say with confidence that Z and E are compatible.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Moose - I ordered a good used/tested T/B today. It has a warranty, so I'm just hoping that it'll be no problem. The technical diagrams are great - and really detailed! Thanks for sharing those. I'll receive the part on Monday and will report back then how it worked. Thanks...Bill

Sounds good Bill.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Moose - I received the replacement Throttle Body and it's an exact replacement for my stock piece. Very clean, tested, ready to install. I noticed when I unbolted the old part that the torque was very light and the threads very fine. What is the recommended torque for these bolts? I'm thinking between 60 and 120 in/lbs, and would appreciate the right spec. Should I use loctite? I'll receive the fresh gasket today and install before dark. Fingers crossed! :) Thanks...Bill

89 inch pounds and no loctite


Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Hi Moose -
FYI - I spent the last few days in the hospital with pneunomia! Hope to get to installing the T/B today or tomorrow. Optimistic!
Talk soon...Bill

When I was 6 weeks old I was misdiagnosed with a cold in the ER. My mom left the hospital. About a mile down the road at a red light I stopped crying and my mom assumed that was good. At the next light she turned around and say I was blue. She drove as fast as she could to the ER. They did CPR on me to the door and shocked me once inside. They figured I was dead for at least 5 minutes. I had sever pneumonia. I was Born mid December and lived in a bubble at the hospital till June.

Get to feeling better Bill and contact me when ready.


Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Wow! Crazy story! Talk soon...Bill

Sounds good.

Chris (aka- Moose) and 3 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Hi Moose - Great news! I installed my used/tested part and it runs great! Great diagnosis. Thanks for hanging in there with me! I have another question that I'm submitting now, and made sure I requested you for answers!
Talk soon...Bill

Good deal Bill.