Ford 4.6L & 5.4L TPS Replacement

How to Replace the TPS on a 4.6L or 5.4L Ford F-150

The Throttle Position Sensor, or TPS is a potentiometer that relays the position of the throttle blade to the PCM. The sensor sends a small voltage to the control module which varies based on throttle position. While the PCM automatically compensates for normal wear of the TPS, the part can eventually develop a poor or erratic signal; nothing lasts forever. Assuming the TPS has failed, replacement can rejuvenate performance and throttle response.

Applicable Model Years: 1997 - 2003 4.6L, 5.4L Ford F-150
Throttle position sensor (TPS): Motorcraft p/n DY967, F4SF-9B989-AB

 

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TPS location on 4.6L and 5.4L V-8 engine

• Disconnect the negative battery cable. If applicable, remove the plastic engine cover.

• The TPS is located on the driver side of the throttle body and is attached by (2) x phillips head bolts. You may be required to remove the IAC hose and the bracket for the plastic engine cover in order to gain access to the TPS. Improving access in this area will reduce the chances of stripping the head(s) of the mounting bolts.

TPS sensor

• Disconnect the wiring harness connector to the TPS by depressing the locking tab and pulling the connector outwards.

• Use a phillips head driver (or screwdriver) to remove the (2) x mounting bolts. Threadlocker is applied to the screws from the factory, so expect the bolts to be relatively tight. Be cautious not to strip the heads, as extraction will be complicated.

TPS sensor removed

• With the mounting bolts removed, the TPS can be pulled off of the throttle body. Make a note of the tang that rotates to control the TPS signal, as you'll need to pay attention to this during installation of the new sensor.

Installing new TPS sensor

• To install the new TPS, position the front of the sensor at approximately a 45 degree angle downwards with the harness plug facing you (refer to image). Align the tang with the groove in the TPS, pushing the sensor towards the mount on the throttle body. Once the tang engages the groove in the sensor and the TPS is flush against the throttle body, twist the sensor upwards until the bolt holes realign. Reinstall the hardware, using a conservative amount of threadlocker on the bolts.

TPS sensor installed

• With the throttle position sensor installed, attach the wiring harness connector, IAC hose, engine cover bracket, and engine cover.

TPS sensor hardware

• A phillips head bolt that is coated in threadlocker is a disaster waiting to happen, as it's notoriously easy to strip a stubborn phillips head. We opted to replace the factory hardware with an Allen head bolt. If the phillips bolts became marred or otherwise damaged during removal, we highly recommend you don't reuse them.