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Throttle linkage: Rod or cable?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mramc1, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. mramc1
    Joined: May 26, 2006
    Posts: 418


    So I need to build a real throttle actuating device before I get my truck ready for legal road use. I'm leaning towards using a piece of 3/16" steel rod versus a cable. The engine is 283 in an A p/u with spoon throttle pedal and Edelbrock carb. I know that my Dad's old Willys p/u has a rod and it still works good. I have had trouble with the Lokar cable I used on my Studebaker and had to end up fixing it on the side of the road once.

    What is your preference, rod or cable? Any safety issues to consider? I am running a standard transmission so no need for inclusion of a kickdown cable. Thanks.

  2. joeybsyc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 808

    from PA

    I JUST snapped off a Lokar cable 2 days ago...crappy design if you ask me, all that holds it in is a tiny set screw that is no match for the strength of your leg. If you use a cable make SURE the pedal bottoms out before pulling the cable completely tight. If you have the ease of installing either one at this point, I'd definitely set it up with a rod instead of a cable.
  3. Some prefer rigid (rod) linkage over a cable, but I personally have used both and can't tell a difference.

    I'd be concerned with how well either set-up works in a given application. Sometimes rigging up a rod system is a big pain in the ass and a cable is much easier to do. A cable may stretch a little over time and need a readjustment.

    A nice rod linkage laid out well is a thing of beauty though and may be a bit more responsive but it's nothing I've ever been able to tell the difference between.

    Safety issue - make sure that you have return springs and your butterflies don't go past halfway open whatever style you choose. A throttle stuck wide open is more of a hazard than a broken linkage that just lets you idle.
  4. revkev6
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,351

    from ma

    that's just common sense. your pedal should always bottom out as you reach WFO. if it doesn't you can bend any of the linkage including the carb itself.

  5. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus


    I definately prefer the metal rod ... easy to do ... looks correct on a older car and is way less prone to fail. ;)
  6. Longbox55
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 97


    Rod here, too. 1/4" stainless.
  7. Yo Baby
    Joined: Jul 11, 2004
    Posts: 2,812

    Yo Baby

  8. I prefer rod linkage, too, but I'm working on a straight 6 that actuates from the side, not too practical. Kinda cool that you got # 430 of the ZZ430 engines! That's cool! I got robbed at Fort Jackson in 1994, not cool! MP's and shit, very not cool. Back on topic, go with rods if you can. Cables if you can't.
  9. Duration
    Joined: Oct 2, 2006
    Posts: 543

    from Wayne, MI

    either one works well if installed right. i have a rod in my truck now but will change it to a cable with the new engine. its going to have multiple carbs and the cable will be cleaner looking. also easier to route and adjust. use what works for you but use quality parts and install them right. also check very carefuly for any binding or other problems before you start the engine.
  10. Either a rod or cable will work well. I've had both---if you have a carb that is side operated like CYRUS mentioned, you can use a 2 rod system, operated thru a bell crank lever. It is a good idea to use a small Heim end on the end of the rod to reduce any binding----stuck throttles are not fun.
  11. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668


    i know this thread is pretty old but im going through the same problem myself sort of. if i use a rod setup for my 292 v8, do i NEED something for the kickdown lever? if so how would i set that up?
    cuz at the moment im running the original pedal rod off my old inline 6, i can run a rod from that to the carb probably, but then the kickdown lever on the tranny is left alone. what can i do to solve that one?
  12. primed55
    Joined: Feb 7, 2005
    Posts: 313


    I personaly like the look of mechanical linkage over a cable but from a safty stand point you run more of a risk of it binding... I broke a motor mount on my 56 once, the motor twisted and locked the linkage wide open.... Scared the shit out of me.
  13. Cables suck. They where invented by lazy engineers. Linkage looks much better and looks right.
  14. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    ive been using the lokar far so good..but as said above . It definetly needs to be installed and adjusted correctly (as any throttle advancement device should). I believe i will have the option to go rod linkage on my A project..I hope. Because to be 100% honest I like the solid linkages better than cable.
    Cable can fray..and lock up inside the casing (really sucks when this happens at WFO!) a rod linkage or solid linkage set up doesnt have this issue.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,283


    Nickel or stainless arc welding rod comes in a few different diameters. Knock the flux off, polish to your preference, thread the ends for small hiems or ball joints. I use em for restoration on the big cars where everything was nickel or chrome plated and skip the plating cost/process. Maybe I can do a tech week gig on the ones I'm doing next week.
  16. Track-T
    Joined: Feb 25, 2003
    Posts: 366


    Gotta go with linkage, 1/4" stainless with 1/2" aluminum drop down.

    Attached Files:

  17. 14 years on a lokar cable.
  18. Black Magic
    Joined: Jun 27, 2008
    Posts: 242

    Black Magic

    Rod all the way I have had cable break way to many times and I was not in the best places to be broke down, The rod has never failed me yet!

    Attached Files:

  19. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,461


    Yes please.
  20. torchw8
    Joined: Apr 1, 2008
    Posts: 29


    seems to me that the rod is definetly more old skool!!!

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