How to Buy a Throttle Body for a Mazda Car

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How to Buy a Throttle Body for a Mazda Car

Buying a new throttle body for a Mazda car is a great way to enhance performance, engine responsiveness, and speed. These engine components allow an engine to work more responsively with the accelerator, delivering improved performance and handling capabilities to drivers. Of course, not all drivers are familiar with the ins and outs of this engine part. Consumers may have questions about what a throttle body is and how it functions within an engine. By learning some of the basics of throttle bodies, consumers can position themselves perfectly to find and buy a throttle body to improve their Mazda's performance. Consumers may also want to know some of the best retail options for buying these component parts. While traditional vendors can offer some options, online retailers, such as eBay, not only have a wider catalogue but can also offer an easier way to search for the correct throttle body for a Mazda.

What Is a Throttle Body?

Throttle bodies are used in traditional spark ignition petrol engines. They function as part of the air intake system, controlling the air flow that enters into the engine's combustion chamber. A throttle body consists of a bored housing with a throttle plate, also known as the butterfly. The butterfly rotates on an internal shaft within the throttle body. A throttle body is very much like a carburetor in a non-injected engine, which performs the same function as a throttle body in tandem with fuel injectors to control airflow and combine air with fuel in the engine.

The majority of cars on the road use a single throttle body. Cars that are going for enhanced performance that work in race conditions may use several throttle bodies linked together. Very advanced systems use what is known as an ITB, or individual throttle body, system that involves assigning a throttle body to each cylinder on an engine.

How Does a Throttle Body Work?

The throttle body works with the accelerator pedal input created by the driver to control the amount of air flowing into an engine. When a driver steps on the accelerator, the throttle plate in the throttle body widens to allow air to flow into the engine. When a driver backs off of the accelerator, the throttle plate closes or "throttles" the airflow. This give and take in the airflow of the engine enhances the speed of the vehicle and the responsiveness of the engine to the driver's accelerator input. The throttle body is inserted between the air filter box and the intake manifold and is typically connected to a mass airflow sensor.

Components of a Throttle Body

The main component in a throttle body is the throttle plate or butterfly. This component is a butterfly valve that releases and throttles air in response to signals from the accelerator system in the main. A throttle cable communicates the accelerator pedal motion to the throttle body through throttle linkages, which then move the butterfly.

In drive-by-wire cars that use electronic throttle control, an electric motor provides an intermediary step between the throttle linkages and the accelerator pedal. The accelerator pedal "speaks" with a sensor in an Engine Control Unit (ECU), which then transmits the appropriate throttle opening to the throttle plate. This type of system can also factor other engine sensors, beside acceleration, into its equations. An airflow sensor works with the ECU to determine an ideal air-fuel ratio.

Terms Used With Throttle Bodies

Consumers may come across certain terms during their search for a throttle body with which they are unfamiliar. Learning what these terms mean can help clarify the purchasing process for one of these devices.

Term

Definition

WOT

Wide Open Throttle; when throttle allows maximum airflow

Minimum airflow

Airflow when car is idling

IACV

Idle Air Control Valve, electric-driven; controls air that bypasses throttle opening

TPS

Throttle Position Sensor; transmits status of butterfly to ECU

If consumers come across any additional terms that need clarification, proactive communication and questions with a seller can help. In general, asking questions of a seller can result in a smoother purchasing process.

Types of Throttle Bodies

There are several types of throttle bodies available in the marketplace. Consumers should understand the fundamental differences between these types when searching for a throttle body for their Mazdas.

Single Bodies

Single bodies are streamlined solutions that offer an easy match to inlet ports on an engine. Many drivers prefer this simplicity over twin bodies because it can guarantee a purer and better mixture path. These throttle bodies can also make the most apt choice for street vehicles. Single bodies can be found in bore and twin injection varieties, as well, which require more adept installation and maintenance.

Twin Bodies

Twin body throttles are the most apt solution for production engines. These throttle bodies can follow a direct-to-head installation set-up under certain conditions, but typically connect through an appropriate manifold.

Direct-to-Head Bodies

Direct-to-head bodies provide the most orderly and direct way in which to connect a throttle body to a Mazda engine. These units need to be carefully matched to the inlet ports on an engine. Fortunately, unlike a carburetor manifold, direct-to-head throttle bodies are angled to ensure the best results during installation.

Choosing the Size of a Throttle Body

In addition to choosing a type of throttle body, consumers should also select an appropriate size of throttle body. The size of a throttle body relates to several performance factors, including power output, cylinder head design, RPM, and cylinder capacity.

Bore Size in Throttle Bodies

The bore size is an important factor to consider in selecting a throttle body. Consumers should weigh the end result that they want from the installation of a throttle body. A larger bore results in less flow resistance, but a smaller bore gives better throttle control and fuel mixing. Based on a 120 mm throttle body, measured from butterfly to valve head, and an engine with a 9,000 RPM maximum, consumers can use the following table as a general reference for how much horsepower per cylinder they can achieve with different bore diameters.

HP/C

Size (mm)

HP/C

Size (mm)

HP/C

Size (mm)

HP/C

Size (mm)

0-30

30

39-46

38

56-65

45

80-87

52

30-33

32

46-51

40

65-74

48

87-93

54

33-39

35

51-56

42

74-80

50

93-up

56

Consumers can also seek out throttle bodies based on their vehicle's model and model year. Many sellers, especially those working in online marketplaces, use model and model year as a central reference in the vending of throttle bodies. Owners can also refer to parts catalogues associated with their particular Mazda for guidance.

Buying Throttle Bodies for Mazdas on eBay

One of the best options for finding and purchasing a throttle body for a Mazda is the online retail site, eBay. This aggregator has a wide-ranging catalogue of choices created by bringing together various sellers from around the U.K. and beyond. You don't have to worry about searching through all of these listings; in fact, eBay gives you a helpful search interface located on every page on the site that you can leverage to narrow in on a throttle body type. Use this interface to enter a keyword term, and then begin looking through the resulting listings in detail. Look for listings with detailed information on the throttle body and for listings that are associated with the model and model year of your Mazda.

Communicating With Sellers on eBay

It is important, as mentioned, to communicate with a seller during the purchasing process for a throttle body. These sellers are often seasoned in these types of enhancements to engines and can help inform your process. Visit a seller's page by clicking on their highlighted name from a listing. On a seller's page you can message a seller directly and ask any and all questions you have about a throttle body. You can also review a seller's feedback and past listings at your leisure to see the experience that a seller has with throttle bodies.

Conclusion

Purchasing and installing a throttle body on a Mazda is a great way for consumers to enhance the speed and performance of their vehicles. Choosing the right throttle body is, of course, essential, but can be easily done with the right information. Consumers should get to know the various design types associated with throttle bodies, as well as the terms that are often used when discussing throttle bodies and their performance capabilities.

Once consumers have learned the basics about throttle bodies, they can use the online retailer, eBay, to find and purchase a throttle body. eBay's sellers often list throttle bodies in association with a particular model and model year of Mazda, making it easy to zero in on the right choice. Users can also run searches using general terms to peruse the marketplace of selections. Whichever approach, by utilising eBay and getting to know the ins and outs of throttle bodies, any consumer can find one that can ideally supplement a Mazda engine.

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