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Ford; Found On Road Dead, broke another throttle cable today.


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Well, I had not driven the car for over a week, but I had been having some issue with low idle stalling. I suspected some crap in the carb, ran some Sea Foam through it and it seemed much better. Fast forward to today, finally time and opportunity to take the old gal out for a test drive. Well, the stalling was still there, but not as bad. This issue has been going away after it reached full operating temp, so I thought I'll just carry on around the "block". What happens next, the damn throttle cable broke leaving me stranded on the side of the road. Fortunately only a mile from home, but I did not take my cell phone so I had to go to a nearby house and have the Lady phone the wife. That went over real well! When she arrived, I asked her to stay with the car while I went home to get a spare cable and tools. Changing the cable in the engine bay is simple enough, the hard part is reconnecting the pedal. You need to be a damn contortionist to get under the dash. Anyway, after about an hour, I had managed to get the cable in, but I could not get the clip through the pedal pin. I thought if I keep pressure on the pedal, I should be able to limp it home where I can pull the seat and get better access to the pedal. So job done finally. The last time I had to change a throttle cable was the day I bought the car in LA California, so it lasted 12 years. Moral of the story, keep a spare throttle cable on hand and keep some tools in the car.  Next time I go to NPD, I'll pick up another. Oh, one more thing, the driver door hinge spring thingy broke as well, just something else to fix!

 

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I've got a few rednecks and bubba's in my family.  I can remember riding around in a beater pickup with one of my uncles.  In this particular truck, instead of a gas pedal and throttle cable, he had a piece of speaker cable running from the engine bay into the cockpit with a hairbrush tied to the end of the wire.  Pull the hairbrush to go.

I don't believe this one was a ford.

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That’s a bummer Geoff. Not fun being stranded on the side of the road. Glad it was nothing major and a pretty easy fix.

John - 72 Q Code

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1 hour ago, giantpune said:

I've got a few rednecks and bubba's in my family.  I can remember riding around in a beater pickup with one of my uncles.  In this particular truck, instead of a gas pedal and throttle cable, he had a piece of speaker cable running from the engine bay into the cockpit with a hairbrush tied to the end of the wire.  Pull the hairbrush to go.

I don't believe this one was a ford.

Thanks, 

Oh those "redneck" stories. 

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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1 hour ago, jpaz said:

That’s a bummer Geoff. Not fun being stranded on the side of the road. Glad it was nothing major and a pretty easy fix.

 Thanks John, your right it was not fun especially when Camaro's drive by!!! 

I'm just lucky I was not out at night as I was a week ago when I wanted to test my new LED headlights. That would have sucked big time. That also was the last time I drove the car, lucky or what!

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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36 minutes ago, Stanglover said:

 Thanks John, your right it was not fun especially when Camaro's drive by!!! 

You're supposed to play it casual.  Just get out and lean against your fender with your foot up and your collar popped looking cool.  Don't let them know you broke down.

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6 minutes ago, giantpune said:

You're supposed to play it casual.  Just get out and lean against your fender with your foot up and your collar popped looking cool.  Don't let them know you broke down.

Yeah a bit too late for that! Hood up and my ass hanging out over the fender. 

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I am assuming it’s an automatic, a manual trans would have allowed you to get home by bumping the idle and increase and decrease speed with gear selection and braking.
 

Could be done with an auto as well, just more of a pain and it may not shift out of first.  Either way a broken cable shouldn’t leave you stranded. 
 

I was a broke kid once. Had to learn how to drive without brakes, clutch and throttle out of necessity! Not all at the same time though ;)

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Cribbs74 said:

I am assuming it’s an automatic, a manual trans would have allowed you to get home by bumping the idle and increase and decrease speed with gear selection and braking.
 

Could be done with an auto as well, just more of a pain and it may not shift out of first.  Either way a broken cable shouldn’t leave you stranded. 
 

I was a broke kid once. Had to learn how to drive without brakes, clutch and throttle out of necessity! Not all at the same time though ;)

Well it is a manual and to be honest, I didn't think of upping the idle speed enough to power it. Maybe next time eh! As I had the part (cable) and tools only a mile away, a road side fix was my first thought. Fitting the new cable only took a few minutes, connecting the pedal was a different story, poor light, failing eyesight, a body that doesn't bend and fold like it once did proved to be the hard part. Oh well, all fixed now for hopefully another 12 years. By then I'll be too old to drive it, let alone fix it.

Edited by Stanglover
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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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1 hour ago, mjlan said:

Where'd the cable break? Repop cable?

Glad to hear it was a relatively minor issue!

Right at the pedal. The same place they always seem to break. And yes, a repop cable.

I know I've told this story before, but back in 08 when I flew out to LA to see the car, just as we were about to take it out the driveway, the cable broke, same place. So Tony and I went to Ventura NPD and got a new one (and some other stuff I knew I'd need). So,  after a road trip, we changed the cable, but I don't remember it being such a PITA to get the clip through the pedal pin and I know we did not remove the seat to get in there. Maybe I was way more flexible than I am now at 74.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I just spent several days under my dash wiring in the new EFI. Never have I had such neck and shoulder pain... and it lasted for days! I'm sure it is not because I am getting older and more out of shape. It must be that the dash is getting closer to the floor. Darn gravity! :classic_huh:

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Ok guys, new story. 

FORD, Fix Or Repair Daily.

So, this afternoon, my buddy and I decided it was time for a cruise. His 75 Corvette C3 convertible and my Mustang. I got to his house without problem about 4 miles from my place, shot the breeze for a while then headed out. We got 1/4 mile along the road when POP! the gas pedal went almost to the floor, no revs to speak of. Obviously the cable did not break again, but WTF happened? So I limped the car back to his house, got the tools out, pulled the seat. It looked like the cable suddenly stretched an inch. Everything was connected correctly it seemed. I pulled the new cable out, but could not see anything obvious. So what happened. I bought this cable several year ago from NPD, no idea what brand. For now, I'm stuck with no car to drive until I find a decent repop cable. Anyone have any info on what is out there? This just got way beyond a joke! 

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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3 hours ago, computercarguy said:

I just spent several days under my dash wiring in the new EFI. Never have I had such neck and shoulder pain... and it lasted for days! I'm sure it is not because I am getting older and more out of shape. It must be that the dash is getting closer to the floor. Darn gravity! :classic_huh:

I feel your pain....... literally.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Never had a cable break in 40+ years of numerous 71-3 Mustang ownership. I did have a “frayed” 429cj cable that I used for 20 years on my car in the 90’s and 2000’s. Could never find a factory replacement for that car... 

"Yes dear", has kept me in the hobby a long time...

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1 hour ago, 7173Vert said:

Never had a cable break in 40+ years of numerous 71-3 Mustang ownership. I did have a “frayed” 429cj cable that I used for 20 years on my car in the 90’s and 2000’s. Could never find a factory replacement for that car... 

Yeah well Ken, it's the old adage; "They don't make 'em like they used too".

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Hi Geoff! I am 61 and , yes, I remember back around 1982 when driving my 1971 Mustang Mach I, the throttle cable broke. Major PITA, Funny. When I read your post about "Rednecks," I didn't think you ever heard of those in Canada. They're all over the place where I live in Birmingham, AL., lol!

1F03M, Maroon,Blk Int,Wht Top,A/C,Rim Blow,Posi

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2F03Q, Brgt Lime(Orig. Gld Glw),Blk,Blk,A/C,P/W,Tilt,Conv Grp,Dcr Grp

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1 minute ago, kevken1959 said:

Hi Geoff! I am 61 and , yes, I remember back around 1982 when driving my 1971 Mustang Mach I, the throttle cable broke. Major PITA, Funny. When I read your post about "Rednecks," I didn't think you ever heard of those in Canada. They're all over the place where I live in Birmingham, AL., lol!

 Yeah Kevin that's funny. Of course we have all heard of "Rednecks" here in Canada. No offence meant or implied to anyone. We're all good people here.

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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So an update on this saga. To be honest, I probably should have posted this in "Mustang Talk" but oh well it's here now.

Today I got thinking. Why is the new cable about 1" too long and therefore no full throttle. I still can't figure why it seemed ok at the start, then seemed to suddenly change as it did. So I pulled it out again and compared it to the old one. I marked the new cable where it needed to be cut and shortened. Low and behold, it was exactly the same as the old one. Unfortunately I cannot find the old eye after I pulled the pin. It dropped and magically disappeared, never to be seen again. My conclusion is that the old cable simply pulled out of the crimp on the eye and did not break as I had thought.

To fix the new cable, I split the crimp open with a cold chisel, repositioned the eye and re-crimped it. Now, I know SS cable is very hard to solder, besides they are pre-lubed. After cleaning and the use of my mini torch, I was able to get a good solder joint, just as reinforcement. I couldn't pull it apart with it clamped in a vise and pulling on the eye with vise-grips. Test drive proved it to be good, full throttle @ 5500rpm. 

I am going to get another cable, but I'm wondering if I was sold an incorrect cable for the 71-72 MUSTANG. Could it have been for another year and why it is longer? Anyway for now, the saga seems over.......... and yes, I did take my cell phone on this test run!

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Geoff,

what a story! I am glad you did it home on your first run by managing it yourself fixing it on the road and now fixed the whole problem!

Take care and enjoy your great car again!

Tim

 

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly :runninpony:

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4 hours ago, timachone said:

Geoff,

what a story! I am glad you did it home on your first run by managing it yourself fixing it on the road and now fixed the whole problem!

Take care and enjoy your great car again!

Thanks Tim. It has been an ordeal, but hopefully now fixed. I am still going to get another cable and make sure it is never going to pull out of the eye again.

Geoff.

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Just to conclude this saga. I tried at the local Ford dealership for a D1ZZ-9A758-H cable, but no go. Next, I looked at fixing the one that broke or pulled out, not sure which. Making an "eye" was for me very easy, but on close inspection, I noted the cable behind the little stop block was also starting to fray, so I abandoned the idea. Time to buy a repop I guess. However, I found that for my pre 7/10/72 car ( the post 7/10/72 have a ball like piece on the end), the length is listed from 22 1/2" to 23 1/2", if you can trust the listing to be correct that is. The important dimension is not the overall length, but the dimension from the inside firewall fastener to the center of the eye. If it's too long, then you won't get full throttle, if it's too short, the pedal will be higher up and as there is no solid stop block, could over strain the cable and break it. This is my conclusion anyway. As I had to shorten the cable I had by 1", I'm guessing I got the 23 1/3" version. Something to look out for next time.

Here is a pic of the cable that failed. This one, like the new one, has the outer cable cover extending 1 1/2" past the firewall fastener, except this one has a rubber like sleeve over it, the new one doesn't. I calculate the ideal length between the fastener and the center of the eye to be 2 1/2 - 2 3/4". This is what sets the pedal position. 

IMG_1820.JPG

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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12 hours ago, Stanglover said:

Just to conclude this saga. I tried at the local Ford dealership for a D1ZZ-9A758-H cable, but no go. Next, I looked at fixing the one that broke or pulled out, not sure which. Making an "eye" was for me very easy, but on close inspection, I noted the cable behind the little stop block was also starting to fray, so I abandoned the idea. Time to buy a repop I guess. However, I found that for my pre 7/10/72 car ( the post 7/10/72 have a ball like piece on the end), the length is listed from 22 1/2" to 23 1/2", if you can trust the listing to be correct that is. The important dimension is not the overall length, but the dimension from the inside firewall fastener to the center of the eye. If it's too long, then you won't get full throttle, if it's too short, the pedal will be higher up and as there is no solid stop block, could over strain the cable and break it. This is my conclusion anyway. As I had to shorten the cable I had by 1", I'm guessing I got the 23 1/3" version. Something to look out for next time.

Here is a pic of the cable that failed. This one, like the new one, has the outer cable cover extending 1 1/2" past the firewall fastener, except this one has a rubber like sleeve over it, the new one doesn't. I calculate the ideal length between the fastener and the center of the eye to be 2 1/2 - 2 3/4". This is what sets the pedal position. 

IMG_1820.JPG

Interesting observations! Your story reminds me that it could catch you every time with a 50 year old cable. Thanks for sharing!

Tim

 

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly :runninpony:

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4 hours ago, timachone said:

Interesting observations! Your story reminds me that it could catch you every time with a 50 year old cable. Thanks for sharing!

Tim, yes indeed. Old stuff breaks and always at an inconvenient time and place.

I'm continuing to research reproduction cables for pre 7/10/72 cars and I will update this when I have the information I need. I don't intend to be caught out again. My "fix" may hold for as long as I'll be driving this car, but I want a back-up in the tool box.

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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This is my spare from ACP. The length is 23.5", but I have not tried it on. I hope I am not surprised the day I need it that it doesn't work. If it is longer at least you can jerry rig it to make it work for an emergency, better than too short.

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1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump

Strange center section with Truetrac, 3.5 gear and 31 spline axles, 4-wheel disc brakes

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