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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2003 Dodge Ram, 5.7l 4x4...and I think the Laramie based on the VIN... previous owner painted it and removed stickers and badges.

Few months ago I got the red lightning bolt, so I removed and cleaned the throttle body. Worked fine for 3 weeks then died on me. Started it up and literally coasted into the parking lot at the garage.

They said they were not sure if the throttle body or the TPS. They did say that the TPS for my specific year and model was not sold separately, came as part of the gas/brake pedal assembly and is no longer available.

We put in a scrapyard throttle body because they don't deal with refurbished and with covid money is tight so, went used.

Truck ran perfect for 2+ months, and then the red bolt came back when I decelerate and the engine coughs and dies.

Maybe the used throttle body died? Maybe just need the contacts cleaned?

When I search for TBS though I have no luck. Tonnes of them for sale, until I click 5.7l for my year then 0 results.

Is my TBS hard to find? Is it a part of the pedal assembly? Is the part called something else maybe? They were pretty clear about the entire pedal assembly needing replaced if that part... just trying to confirm what it is I'm after and what the part is or part# even better. Thanks.
 

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Red Trucker
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TPS is usually a sensor on a cable TB, however on a fly-by-wire it's integrated into the electronics. What they don't seem to realize is that 2003's don't have an e-pedal per se; the pedal is standard, it pulls a cable to the APPS apparatus under the battery that controls the TB. 04 and later they integrated all that into the pedal like the hemi cars had. Are you just getting the icon or have you checked to see if there was any kind of code that accompanied it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
All I have is one of those small $15 ODBII plugins and last time I had the problem I had no codes so didn't bother trying this time. I'm 20-30 minutes into the country so trying to figure it out myself versus $120CAD to tow it into town, get told they can't find the part and $120CAD tow back home. :D

My pedal, I'll mention in case a factor, is motorized... I can adjust the pedals in/out for different leg lengths.

From what I can see online, the TPS is behind the gas pedal and sold on it's own, but again, I narrow the results down to 2003 5.7l and the results drop to 0 for some reason.

I'm no mechanic but if I see what the part looks like and where it goes I can replace it. I do my own basic stuff like brakes, struts, starters, alternators etc... easily accessed bolt on stuff. :D
 

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There are 2 throttle position sensors inside of the throttle body that aren’t serviced separately. I’ve never really seen the gas pedal position sensor(different from tps) go bad, try diagnosing the issue from the throttle body or just try replacing the throttle body and that should do the trick. TPS codes get set when the throttle blade gets stuck at the wrong position at any point in time. After replacing it youll need to perform a throttle relearn procedure, it’s on the forums here somewhere or just google it


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Red Trucker
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All I have is one of those small $15 ODBII plugins and last time I had the problem I had no codes so didn't bother trying this time. I'm 20-30 minutes into the country so trying to figure it out myself versus $120CAD to tow it into town, get told they can't find the part and $120CAD tow back home. :D

My pedal, I'll mention in case a factor, is motorized... I can adjust the pedals in/out for different leg lengths.

From what I can see online, the TPS is behind the gas pedal and sold on it's own, but again, I narrow the results down to 2003 5.7l and the results drop to 0 for some reason.

I'm no mechanic but if I see what the part looks like and where it goes I can replace it. I do my own basic stuff like brakes, struts, starters, alternators etc... easily accessed bolt on stuff. :D
Your pedal ASSEMBLY (the whole mount) is motorized. If you truly have a 2003 then the top of the pedal itself has a bellcrank cable that goes through the firewall. The reason your results narrow down to zero is........as I told you.......the TPS is integrated into the electronic throttle body. Whatever it is you think you see, it either isn't for the pedal or you don't have a 2003. Besides, TPS wouldn't be on the pedal anyway. Accelerator pedal position and throttle position (meaning the throttle blade) are two very different things. Find a fairly new or known good TB and put that in. That is your only recourse here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Your pedal ASSEMBLY (the whole mount) is motorized. If you truly have a 2003 then the top of the pedal itself has a bellcrank cable that goes through the firewall. The reason your results narrow down to zero is........as I told you.......the TPS is integrated into the electronic throttle body. Whatever it is you think you see, it either isn't for the pedal or you don't have a 2003. Besides, TPS wouldn't be on the pedal anyway. Accelerator pedal position and throttle position (meaning the throttle blade) are two very different things. Find a fairly new or known good TB and put that in. That is your only recourse here.
Maybe I have the name wrong... but here's another thread talking about replacing the full assembly


So... sounds like possibly more than 1 recourse here... however, like many threads... the guy who started it never posts what the final results were. May try to message direct and see what the results were. I'd replace the TB, but, my concern is we replaced it 2 months ago with a used one, and new or used can fail, but kinda puts the odds in favour of something else being at fault.

Unfortunately due to schedule and crappy weather I haven't been able to do much with it. Hoping tomorrow. Hoping you're right... because although around $200CAD for a refurbished unit, it's really quick and easy to swap and reset/calibrate. If I do have to replace the full pedal assembly... well, not available anymore in Ontario, Dodge won't ship up from the USA and wreckers don't have one so... parts truck for sale I guess... oil pan is seeping and that's another $1000 to replace. Rather look into something else when that needs done. :D
 

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Red Trucker
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For the APPS sensor it usually (usually) throws a code. That however, is under your battery tray lol.
 

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The red lightning bolt is directly related to the throttle body. If your pedals were the issue here then you most likely would not have the lightning bolt appearing, another option would just be to check the circuits from the throttle body to the pcm, there could be something going on with the connectors, although that was a more common issue with the older transaxle/fwd vehicles from fca’s dark days lol. But that being said it’s very possible the used throttle body was already bad.


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Discussion Starter #9
Ok... so...

TPS is on the Throttle Body
APPS is under the battery tray

So, what is my mechanic and (in that thread) the Dodge dealer talking about? This is where I'm getting confused... again... I don't know cars. Show me a picture of what I need to replace or a YouTube video and I can usually do it. Basic stuff I can figure out like brakes and suspension. Did my own repairs for 15yrs until I got this Dodge. :)

What should I do next? I'm thinking....

  • use my ODBII to see if any codes
  • disconnect battery 20min or more
  • clean the throttle
  • contact cleaner on the TB plug
  • contact cleaner on APPS?
  • connect battery and do a calibration
 

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Red Trucker
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I think your mechanic(s) was confusing APPS with TPS. I have found these dealer mechanics have about a 10yr knowledge span. There are even dealers who will flat out tell you they won't work on anything older than say, 2010 or so. Know someone with a 2004 Ram that got tuned away from their local dealer's shop because it was older than they were willing to work on. Then you have places like one that I saw down south; same old man had been bringing his bought new at that dealership 1966 Newport w/383 since the day he had purchased it there. Was very weird to see that old beast on a lift next to more modern vehicles lol. I ended up having to fix something myself on a car because the dealer shop couldn't figure it out.
To answer your question:
  • use my ODBII to see if any codes
  • disconnect battery 20min or more
  • clean the throttle
  • contact cleaner on the TB plug
  • contact cleaner on APPS?
  • connect battery and do a calibration
  • Never hurts to do that
  • May work but likely a temporary fix at best
  • Couldn't hurt but be careful, don't just go manipulating the butterfly willy nilly; if you did that last time that ,might be why one failed
  • Also couldn't hurt
  • Good luck, it's a pain in the dick to get to
  • Only necessary if it has been disconnected
I would also recommend downloading your factory service manual; these have troubleshooting guides that are generally better than shooting from the hip lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I use a mechanic now that isn't Dodge... I live in a Hamlet (smaller than a village) and nearest town is 25min away so, slim picking on where you go for work.

Dodge however, never seems to be able to figure out the issue. Plus, and this really got me upset... I took my Ram in once because had a small occasional drip of oil from the rear dif. They shrugged it off as nothing too much, if gets worse worry, otherwise don't worry. 4 months later, the pinion nut pin popped out and the drive shaft dropped while driving. $1400CAD later I had a used drive shaft and rear axel installed. Apparently a known issue with these trucks, but the recall only covered 2005-2008 not 2002-2004. Still, should have been something they were aware of... I'm surrounded by farms... half their business is trucks around here.

That was my last straw with them. My mother stopped going as well because they billed a lot to diagnose and essentially said sorry, no idea half the time.

As for my todo list... figured do all that at once...except the APPS if that difficult to get at. Figured do the cheap easy stuff first... failing that I'll replace the TB again.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, decided to buy a TB... even if working for now, I don't 100% trust what I have and would not enjoy having it die again hours from home.

I'm looking at a site here in Canada and odd pricing. 2 brands, new are $365... Cardone I know remanufactures stuff, I have a set of front calipers I installed from them this year. Oddly they are $183 remaufactured, or for $3 more can buy new?

Better to buy a rebuilt Dodge TB? or a new off-brand TB?




629474
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Taking a break installing it... I'm 6'3" tall and no idea how short people work on these trucks. Need to build myself a platform. Hard to get those TB bolts in with the edge of the grill shoved into one's chest. :D

Anyways... took the old one out and it was a mess, lots of black/brown oil and deposits, and the orange gasket between it and the airbox was also pretty coated in gunk. Lots inside behind the TB as well, as would be expected, but more than last time I had it apart. Also, for years, lots of milky residue in there and under the oil cap. I read that's common on these, but figured I'd mention it.

Could I be looking at another issue?

Truck has 390,000km... about 243,000 miles. Part of me wants to get the engine flushed, part of me thinks if I do something will get knocked loose and probably do more damage than good.

So, assuming the mechanic cleaned the used TB, what would make it get so gummed up so quickly? I don't want to have this issue every 2-3 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nope... drove about 10min, before started to sound a bit rough, the lightning bolt came back.

Bought a new, not refurbished TB, battery disconnected an hour and did the recalibration (key on, not started, slowly press gas in, slowly release, key off, then wait a minute and start).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Was really hoping for a bit more feedback on this site... Truck has been dead for a month. Time to switch back to Chevy I think.
 
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