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The Throttle Body



Bolt-On FAQ’s: The Throttle Body

Written By: Josh Hopping

Since our last piece in the “Bolt-On FAQ’s” series was done on cold air intakes, we thought it would be appropriate to move on up the intake path and talk a little about throttle bodies.  The throttle body is an easy upgrade that can be done in your garage with basic tools and knowledge.

What does a throttle body do?  Well, when you drop that lead foot and let those ponies loose, you can think of the throttle body as the gate that lets them all out.  Depending on how your ‘Stang is configured, your gas pedal is either mechanically or electronically connected to the throttle body.  The gas pedal actuates the throttle plate located inside of the throttle body, which regulates the amount of air being sucked into your engine.

Now that you have a basic idea of how the throttle body works, it’s pretty easy to see why an upgrade might be beneficial, right?  An upgraded throttle body will not only be larger in diameter than your stock piece, but also more efficiently designed with smoother edges specifically designed for optimum airflow.  This is all part of improving that crucial pathway of air throughout your car’s system. Easy-in-easy-out is what we’re going for here.

You’ll likely pick up a few ponies by upgrading your throttle body.  However, the old saying applies here as well: you will get better results by pairing the upgrade (which means planning ahead) with other bolt on’s.  In other words, a bigger throttle body is not going to do you a bit of good if you are still trying to suck all of that air through the restrictive stock intake box, and shove it through the stock intake plenum.  Actually, you may even lose a pony or two going this route.  To get the performance gains you are looking for, sit down and plan your mods ahead of time, even if you can only afford to get them one at a time.  In the end, you want your bolt-on pieces to complement one another and work together.  The end result will be a car that can breathe when you need it to and get the power to the wheels!

As with all the other bolt on’s in the Mustang world, there are many great companies out there to choose from when it comes to throttle bodies.  Be sure to do your own homework before pulling the trigger.  Talk to other enthusiasts, check out reviews from retailers and magazines, and be sure to join a forum or two and get involved!