my accelerator cable (73 Pantera L) is very sticky and difficult to drive smoothly at slower speeds. Can the cable be lubricated or does it need to be replaced?

Jim Pantera #5102
Original Post
I tried to lube my original throttle cable as it was very tight (21,000ish orginal miles on it). It worked for a bit and then broke while I was out on a drive.

I then ordered a new OEM style throttle cable from a Pantera vendor and installed it. I always thought it felt tight and I theorized that it was just the design of the Pantera throttle bracket and the tight curbs that the cable made going through the firewall and down to the tunnel area. Unfortunately, this cable began to fray and eventually broke after a year or so (approximately - and BTW I don't drive my car much).

Next I purchased a Lokar "cut to length" stainless braided throttle cable, built a new aluminum bracket, added a return spring and have been running without issue since.

I personally like my new cable and bracket much better than the original but that is just my two cents. I know several owners are running OEM style cables without any issues. Maybe it is just my car. It seems to fight me on everything I do to it.

Good luck on your endeavors.


P.S. Here is a link to the Sticky Throttle Cable Thread that pointed me in the direction of buying the Lokar throttle cable. It should give you some other members view points and hopefully help you make an educated decision.
Thanks Devin, mine has 27,900 miles, runs great except for the sticky cable that drives me crazy. i have read the various strings thanks to your response and will take a look at it in the morning.

The internal tube under the spring on the carb end kinks VERY easily and is OFTEN but not always the source of the problem.

Even if it's "new", few mechanics that are not Pantera experts will damage it in installation because of having to thread the thing through the car.

I personally don't think that tube is necessary and can be removed to save the throttle cable assembly.

I think most likely that the cable assembly was "sourced" from another production car that needed the internal tube?

The Pantera does not.
I agree with Devin on the Lokar cable. I have one on the 72 Pantera after the original broke and the one sourced from a Pantera vendor kept binding up. I have Lokar throttle cables and e - brake cables on both Cobras as well and they have been trouble free. Lokar also carries a large selection of brackets that may save you the trouble of fabbing one up.
I've used lokar pedals and cables on different cars. Everyone is/was jerkey. I quit buing Lokar. I've even had the pedals come apart while driving.

The fix for the cable was to go to a larger cable. I make all mine up from larger cables and sheething i source from different places. Some i made up from stuff i bought from or mcmastercarr.

Ditch the Lokar.
Shimano Bicycle brake outer cables have a nylon inner sleeve, if you use this stuff when making up a cable you will have a smooth action.
I appreciate all the good advice but can someone tell me exactly where the tube is and what it looks like. See attached picture of the cable at the bracket behind the carb. there is a small tip on the end of the cable but that seems to be part of how the cable stays in place on the bracket. If this is the tube you are talking about how will the cable stay in place at the bracket?

thanks Jim


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That is not the stock throttle cable. Here are two pictures of it.

The end with the long spring is the carburetor end. Inside of the spring there is a steel tube that goes over the cable and under the spring.

It is about the size of a fuel line. About 3/8" outside diameter. Mechanics tend to bend it up during installation and as a result the cable within gets pinched and causes the throttle to hang up.

When you run the 4x Weber 48ida carb installation the space left for the throttle cable under the distributor and the #5 cylinder intake runner, is too little for a rigid throttle cable at that point.

If you disassemble the spring end of the cable by removing the hex nut threaded on, the spring and spring retainer will slip off and the tube will be exposed.

At that point you can completely remove the steel tube with a tubing cutter, hacksaw or carborundum disc and reassemble it.

Then the cable will not bind inside of a kinked steel tube.

What you are showing me is NOT the original throttle cable assembly, that I know of. It may have been altered the way I described but the cable mounted return spring and its retainer were not reinstalled.

I'm not sure if what I have is what Wilkinson calls the type 3 throttle cable? The picture he is showing definitely does not have the internal steel tube under the spring.

I'm thinking that yours may be type 1, without any spring. What I HAD was a type 2 with the tube and the spring. What I have now is essentially the type 3 without the tube but with the spring?

Maybe Bosswrench would know about this? Ask him.

In any event, you need to disconnect the cable from the carb and operate it without it being attached to the carb.

If it operates freely at that point then the issue is not the cable but the carburetor itself. Carb throttles are known to foul and cause the throttle to hang up.


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Last edited by panteradoug
Here is mine installed. You can see what I mean about the room to run it through under the distributor.

It's really tight there.

If you look closely you can see the cable itself inside of the spring. The steel tube has been removed.


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again thanks for all the input but my cable looks like a similar cable from the accelerator to the bracket on the engine as you can see from the picture i attached to the last message but the picture you sent me of the cable with a spring on the carburetor end is different than mine. the cable is the same but my spring is a separate spring from the carburetor linkage to a bracket in front of the carburetor. see picture attached to this post.


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If you disconnect the cable from the carb does it still stick? Trace the cable from the pedal to the carb. Any tight bend radii? Is it rubbing on the inside of the cover next to the pedal?
mine is 5102 73 i believe July build date but not certain. the cable seems to bind only when i am trying to go slow and need to shift and then gently depress the accelerator. At full throttle or aggressive driving it works great.
There are two advantages to the return spring on the cable.
One is that it returns the cable to zero. The other is that it removes the stress from the throttle shaft of the carb.

I think someone removed it to go to the seperate spring.
i think you are correct. can the spring be reattached without replacing the entire cable? I really do not want to have to tear the interior of the car apart to fix this relatively minor problem. I could order a new OEM cable with spring and if it can be separated just add it to my existing cable.
I think it can be IF the threaded portion of the cable hasn't been removed. (I believe that I see it still on there?)

I want to say that I think the spring was added as a correction to the original which had this problem?
Thanks Doug. i am in the process of trying to sell my Pantera after 20 years of enjoyment with it and just trying to make sure it is as perfect as possible. I love the car but time to move on. I have it in the Vacari auction in Biloxy MS in October so wish me luck.
Nolejim, the bracket on the intake that guides the cable is soft steel and can easily be bent and/or repositioned to be in better alignment with the carb lever. This alone makes the motion easier. In addition, after 45 years any cable liner inside the assembly is long gone. It is possible to lube an OEM cable by removing it and adding motor oil, then draining until you get no drips. Replacement cables are a better grade of assembly than in 1970 & need no lube.
thanks for the advice. i am wondering if the spring on my carburetor linkage is too strong and that is causing some of the binding/stickiness when trying to accelerate slowly or softly.
There is play there somewhere and you need to determine where it is.

Try the spring on the cable first, see if it fixes it.

The dual springs you see on my throttle are there for the "track safety inspectors".

You would think that my throttle pedal is very heavy and notchy but it isn't.

It is so light, the first reaction is that something is disconnected.

You do want to use as light a tension on the return spring as possible. Holley's are not good with the wear on the throttle plate shaft bore.

Webers have a ball bearing at either end but have soft brass throttle shafts and you can twist them with screwy linkages.

Some Holley's also have brass throttle shafts. You want the steel ones.

The Holley's have no bushing or bearing in there and WILL wear oblong from the spring pretty rapidly. You want minimal spring pressures on them.

Don't forget there is a return spring on the carb throttle shaft also. How many do you really need?

If a Holley is going to stick open, it is because you have a bent throttle shaft probably caused by a backfire.
Doug thanks, as mentioned before my cable does not have a spring attached but the cable is the same as the one in the picture without a spring. I tried disconnecting the heavy spring from my carburetor linkage but the return spring that is on the carb throttle shaft was not strong enough by itself. I am going to try some springs with less tension and see if that helps or solves the problem as the carb itself works fine.
I hardly would tell ANYONE that I know everything about everything. Hardly.

I do know that the spring attached to the cable is necessary for the cable assembly to work as intended.

Everyone is entitled to try to reinvent the wheel if they want to. To me redesigning brassieres as a freshmen engineering student with the live models was a more appropriate of a use of my time. Especiay all the fittings, then the durability testing.

All those jumping jacks, tumbling and refittings, but to each his own. Now that project made sense. Hands on was a great thing.

It was shocking actually see the help that some needed? Now it's throttle springs? My how the mighty have fallen? Cool
Last edited by panteradoug
Doug, not sure you understand my situation, i am not trying to change or reinvent anything, this is the way the car has been for the 20 years i have owned it and for all i know it came from the factory this way. I tried the lighter spring today and it it definitely improved the situation. not sure it is perfect but i am happy with the results. I do appreciate the input and i do understand the weber set up as my 65 Shelby R model came with webers from the factory so i had to keep them in balance.

Pedal to the Medal!!!
The throttle cable on our cars are problematic and Devin has had a similar experience as I have had, however you need to have a mechanical sense, it is not just slip it i (no pun intended)especially if your car has been modified. after you install the fix have a friend see and help to insure you are getting full throttle.
I did this mod to my Throttle Cable bracket to ensure it has a smooth bend at the end. The long piece is just a piece of scrap, and its bent to a nice radius. The grooves are to keep the tie wraps from slipping.


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