When I pull to a stop sign or light, I have to shift into neutral... the engine races to about 3000 rpm. The transmission shifts hard as the car slows and I have to press fairly hard on the brake to keep it from surging forward. It is almost like "choking" the engine when it is cold to let rev a bit to warm up, but the revving is WAY to high. It automatically drops back down to normal within sveral seconds, but I am afraid it might do damage to my tranny...sometimes I have to shift back into drive while it's still revving, and it slams into gear.
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In park or neutral not much load on the engine, when you put it in gear, there is a load. How may miles on the engine? How long since a tune-up? Any applicable trouble codes? Check and clean the idle air system and throttle body, see if it helps? Check cylinder compression. If the compression is way low, it may be tough trying to get it to run correctly.
In the old days, carbed engine, no computer, sometimes we'd set the idle in drive, at least it was driveable, it wouldn't die every time you stopped at a stop sign or red light. Yeah, when you put in park or neutral, the rpms would go high. Sometimes, your just trying to keep it on the road, if possible.
Both are possible but from your description it sounds like the truck is in limp home mode. You need to put a scanner on it and see if any codes are set. Then repair the code and reset it then see what happens.
Sounds like a throttle position sensor sticking in a very dangerous position. The throttle position sensor does exactly what it sounds like. Senses the throttle position and sends it to the injectors, if the position sensor is sticking open it is a very dangerous situation. Get your vehicle to a mechanic and have them scan the check engine light and besure that is the issue before going any further, but that is your most likely answer, Good Luck!
3000 rpm? This is pretty high for idle. You need to have the stored code read from the ECM. Usually this is a simple O2 sensor but with it racing to 3000 rpm I would have this diagnosed by a tech at a shop.