Normally when cleaning a throttle body I usually just take the intake tube off and spray the body and plate with the engine running. Is this safe to do with a vehicle with mass air? Obviously when you take the intake tube off you are taking the mass air plate out of the stream and it runs rough and kicks an engine light on. Any help would be appreciated.
If the thing runs while you're hosing down the throttle plate, do it. It may not hurt to find a sensor safe fluid, and "fog" the MAF sensor at the same time. Keeping a clean sensor is just as important. This way, you don't run like crap while performing your maintenance.
I need to clean my butterfly valve about once a year (10,000 mi) with some carb cleaner spray. My idle goes down and it will stall at strat up with the A/C on. I just pull the hoses off and spray it off while running the engine. The engine runs great. I have a 88 302 with Jacobs ultra team and 140k mi.
You guys don't need to clean those throttle bodies. Ford made a fix in 1991. Buy a F2PZ-9F939-A kit for under $18. It reroutes the air around the plates by going under the iac solenoid so the plates are not used for idle air any more. No more sludge every year changing the air flow. I bet I have installed over a thousand over the years. (best for 1990 and older, see ford tsb 91-25-07)Norman. (a ford tech)