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I recently performed some maintenance on my Pantera and the results were so dramatic and nearly ZERO in cost that I had to share the results with you. It really is so simple and the results so astounding it must be seen to be believed. You may already know all this stuff so if you do, humor me by reading this 'cause it took a while to type.

My Pantera is a '71 and I have never liked the throttle cable setup. Actually, the original setup worked fairly well until I broke the cable. The original throttle cable on my car was a simple metal tube that ran the length of my console and through the rear firewall then up to a mounting point near the drivers side of the intake manifold.

I got to thinking that someone must have come up with a better throttle cable than just a piece of twisted wire sliding through a metal tube. I had purchased an aftermarket throttle cable many years ago produced for Hall Pantera and WOW, what a difference! I was impressed with the quality and construction of the new design of cable.

So I installed it in the same stock mounting locations as the original and all was well....for a while.

After many years of performance upgrades including changes in carburetors, intake manifolds, carb leveling plates and such....I began to notice that the throttle cable "feel" was not so good anymore and I had difficulty obtaining full throttle when mashing the loud pedal....which I do a quite often and with much vigor. I would find that when I pushed the gas pedal to it's maximum travel, the butterflys in the base of the carb would many times be only 3/4 open and not fully vertical where they should be when at full throttle. I would also notice that there was a direct correlation between throttle pedal "effort" and how far down I was pushing the pedal. The further I pushed the pedal, the harder it was to push. I always chalked up the increase in pedal pressure to my carb return spring. I figured it was doing a good job.....actually too good!

As I said, this weekend I finally decided to see what I could do about fixing the issue. I recalled seeing a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) that Ford issued back in the early 1970's about a new throttle cable for the Pantera. I looked it up and saw a photo of where the cable was mounted up near the gas pedal. Wow! My cable was mounted in the stock position which was just a hair off the carpet on the floor but the position in the photo in the TSB was probably 5" higher! Which got me thinking...

If you looked at where the mounting point for the throttle cable near the gas pedal was, my Pantera's cable was pointed at a terrible angle when you viewed how the cable exited and attached to the pedal. Think of it this way, if the mounting point for the cable was at the number 6 on a clock, the mounting point on the gas pedal was at the number 9. This is OK if the mounting point for the cable is pointing TOWARD number 9 instead of barely pointing at number 7 like mine was! I checked the fitting where the cable comes out and heads toward the pedal and found out the cable was actually sawing into the end of the fitting! I was trying to saw my throttle cable in half for years!

To remedy the situation, I raised the cable mounting point from a whisker off the carpet to about 3" off the floor. Then I pivoted the cable mounting bracket so that the throttle cable exited the bracket and was actually pointing at the attachment point for it on the gas pedal. No more sawing by the cable!

I then checked the mounting point of the throttle cable in the engine compartment. This is where things really needed help.

This is where the carburetor geometry comes into play. I had been modifying my engine through the years using the stock throttle mounting point which was just a small bracket bolted to the intake manifold. This was the correct point for a stock carb and stock intake but I was now far from that. I now have a Holley strip dominator intake with a Mighty Demon 750 carb and 1" spacer. This setup has to be at least 12" taller than stock....OK, maybe not that much, but you get the idea.

The problem is that the pivot point for the throttle linkage has changed drastically when compared to the stock mounting point for the throttle cable. Think of it this way...if the pivot point for the throttle linkage is the center of a clock and the location for the throttle linkage at idle is at number 4 on the clock and full throttle is number 8 on the clock, it is nearly impossible to pull the linkage past 6 on the clock if you are trying to pull the linkage from 3" to the left and 3" down of the number 6! From 4 to 6 everything is OK but trying to get to 8 is impossible! That is why I could not get full throttle.

What I needed to do is get my throttle cable mounting point at or above number 9 on the clock so that the cable could be pulled past 6! I hope this description makes sense.

After raising the mounting point of the throttle cable, the throttle response is absolutely phenomenally fast and full throttle is no longer an issue of trying to do the impossible. The pressure needed to push the gas pedal down to the floor has also been HUGELY decreased!

Now someone, somewhere, is saying "Everyone knows that you have to have the mounting point of the throttle cable above the pivot point of the throttle linkage of the carb!" OK, so now I know too.

What difference did this make with my new 540hp 408 stroker? Well, let's put it this way...after 18 years of ownership and 10's of thousands of miles that I have driven my car, I have to learn how to drive it all over again. It has WAY too much power...but I am learning to live with it and will cope the best I can burn rubber

Hope this might help someone else out there who wasn't good in geometry either.
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So many races have been lost due to misadjusted throttle cables...

BTW I've found an easy way to make your car FEEL more powerful. Change the geometry so that the pedal travel is shorter. That means that you get a bigger push in the back per inch of pedal travel. Once had a car where I did the opposite, more pedal travel, made the car feel sluggish. Yes, feel, in fact it was the same.

OK, enough about feelings for now...
It is amazing how there are so many little things like this that were corrected in later cars.

Not to pick on anyone or anyones car in particular. With a Detomaso there is always something that can be re-engineered and improved, so I'm not immune to that scenario?

I'm thinking that really anything before the L is introduced is almost like a pre-production car?

'71s are a great example of this.

However, what you say about the throttle is absolutely true. It isn't necessarily limited to just the Pantera though. The Mustangs need some help in that area too, and Ford made millions of them.

Thanks for the heads up on this. I'm sure there are still some Pantera owners unaware of this issue and just accepting it as "just the way it is", with no idea that it is a relatively easy correction to do? Wink

As far as what Mikael says, yes, but be sure to put a positive pedal stop in or else you are going to twist up the throttle shaft on the carburetor trying to push the pedal to the floor.
FAST....with the new throttle cable positioning do you find that in corners when you are trying to modulate the throttle on/off for over-steer/under-steer, that you've lost some control...kind of like "all" or "nothing"? "All" feels good in a straight line, but when you're on the edge of nuetral and over-steer in a fast corner and you push the throttle and get "all" it may have the tendency to give you that "oh sheeet" throttle effect when you're suddenly over-steering.

I had a webber carb setup that needed a killer spring because it was in a right hand drive car...the cable came down the far right side of the car and had to curve around 90 degrees to get the webber throttle. That made the cable/pedal hard and stiff....and to close all those throttles, we tried a bigger spring to compensate. I hated it, because you had to almost do bench press to make the throttle work which was really bad from a finesse stand point....easy on and off of the throttle disrupts the car far less in corners. Even in deceleration when you pulled your foot out of the gas it would almost snap shut the throttle butterflies, radically changing rear wheel bite and stance of the car with weight transfer to the front wheels. It was a pain and had to be changed.

I think possibly the throttle pedal on the Pantera (a road car, not a dragster) was designed to give a long pedal travel to allow the driver to make slight adjustments to throttle position, rather than all or noting...I'm exaggerating on the all or nothing but you get the idea?

I understand what you are saying...what is so amazing is that by simply changing the location of the throttle mounting position at the carb, you can adjust the response drastically (for better or worse). For now, I am going to leave the throttle setup as it is which is very quick. I just got back from driving it and am still enjoying the "scare the crap" out of me feeling when I nail it. When I drove the car the first time with the new adjustment a couple days ago I was entering a gentle sweeper of a turn and decided to hit the throttle hard and a split second later after the smoke cleared I was in the lane next to me! It demands a lot of respect right now and I am having to learn to drive it all over again...which is WAY fun. This afternoon I gave a fellow Pantera owner a ride and we were losing traction in third! He could not believe how the power comes the way, this is all happening at 5000 feet elevation.


I was adjusting the mounting positions at both ends of the throttle cable. The issue at the end near the gas pedal was that the cable was actually sawing into the fitting at the end of the throttle cable mounting bracket. That issue was solved by moving the bracket upward and at an angle that pointed the fitting directly toward the top of the gas pedal where the throttle cable attaches. This made things much smoother, for sure, but the biggest difference happened after the adjustment in the engine compartment. Kid tested, Mother approved!

Here is a side view of my engine before I installed it. The red lines show the original placement of the throttle cable mount (shown as the upside down "T" on the left) and the red line going to the carb linkage being the angle of attack. What you can see from the angle on the red line is that no matter how hard I pull on the linkage, there is no way I can ever pull the linkage in a clockwise motion past 6 on a clock. You simply can't pull the linkage uphill when your cable mounting point is so far below. The green line shows the new mounting point for the throttle cable which is now ABOVE the original mounting point by about 2". The green line going to the carb linkage shows that when you pull on the cable, the throttle linkage can now easily be pulled past 6 on a clock and obtain full throttle. The throttle response is DRAMATICALLY changed at this point as well, making the response MUCH quicker.
An other thing to take a closer look at, is the throttle pedal pivot point. The pivot point is steel, the pedal made of aluminium, a combination that doesn’t work well, especially if the little axle gets rusty. The return spring of the pedal pulls the pedal slightly sideways too, which is pernicious to a proper working of the pedal. Remove the pedal, clean both sides of the pivot point with sand paper, lubricate/grease everything, and realign the spring (which requires drilling a new tiny hole)...
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