Here's the conclusion to this post, as seen here:
Finally got around to replacing the SR's throttle body. It had been getting worse. It started by very occasionally giving a "Reduced Engine Performance" message. This was easy enough to get around by just turning the key to POS II, checking to see if the message came up, and starting it up if it didn't. If it did pop up, then just shutting it back off and trying again. It was also showing a code in VIDA regarding a "Too Low" signal from the throttle module. This started as once a month, then went to once a week, then almost every time I got in the caR, then to the point that the message would not go away and started causing the throttle to react in weird ways. Months ago when the code and message first appeared I bought an almost new throttle body from CMOD knowing the problem would come to a head. I'm not exactly sure why the unit failed. I'm not sure the insides of the wiring area is supposed to have oil all through it. If anyone wants this old one for parts, let me know.
So here's pictures of the removed unit (first two just as they appeared when I opened the case, second two showing after wiping oil off with a papertowel):
Inside the throttle area:
Not bad. It was "cleaned" by the dealer at around 70k, if I remember right.
The job itself was a mix of straightforward removal and absolutely rage inducing re-installation. I did the following removal procedure:
- Take the front side of the OTE pipe off and shifted the pipe out of the way. Stuff hose with shop towels and secure hose out of the way.
- Disconnect the air box from its mounts and disconnected the hood intake from the box.
- Disconnect the pipe from the throttle body. Stuff pipe with shop towels and push pipe towards the front of the car to get it out of the way.
- Cover the starter with a shop towel.
- Remove the throttle body mounting bolts from underneath the car with 1' or so of extensions on a ratchet.
- Break one of the clips while trying to remove the plug (I wouldn't recommend this part of the step). When removing the plug, I would use two small screwdrivers. One to wedge the plug tab over the nub, the other to pry the plug off. Once you get one side, do the other. Remove plug. Do not break clip!
- Slide the throttle body out by pushing it towards the driver's side along the throttle pipe. I was able to remove it in in the space left by pulling the hood intake tube out of the way and adjusting the airbox towards the passenger side.
Installation procedure (the fun part :facepalm
- The best way I can figure to get this back on with the gasket in place is to have two people. I'm pretty sure it's the only way I got it done.
- Put the gasket on top of the throttle body and put the front passenger side bolt through the throttle body.
- Locate the hole for the front passenger bolt. Hold throttle body up while simultaneously trying to thread bolt.
- If you can get this bolt even kind of threaded (just enough to hold the gasket in place at that corner) then this is where the second person becomes super helpful.
- One person, over the car, should hold the throttle body in place and make sure the gasket stays in place. The second person should reach the string of extensions up from the bottom with a bolt in the socket and try to thread a second bolt (CRITICAL not to strip threads here - I recommend not attaching the ratchet and just using your fingers to manipulate the extensions). Once you have two in place and the gasket is in place, then the rest are easy. I would remove the first one (after getting the other three going) and reinsert it to make sure you didn't accidentally start it wrong.
- Once the throttle body is secure, just reverse the removal steps and you're golden.
There is an initialization period required. After installation, turn key to position II and wait for 20 or 30 seconds. You'll hear it sweeping back and forth. Once this is done, you're ready.