Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tech Tip - Accelerator Pedal and Throttle Rod Adjustment

Accelerator Pedal and Throttle Rod Adjustment

As promised in last month's article on how to adjust your Automatic Transmission, Ken Smizinski has provided the following instructions on how to adjust your throttle rod and your accelerator pedal.

After adjusting your Automatic Transmission as detailed in last month's "Tech Tip", you may also check your pedal height clearance to the floor as well as your throttle rod. Both adjustments are made with your 1/4" dowel or 1/4" drill bit placed into the pilot holes on both sides of the bell crank. The clearance specified for your accelerator pedal is 4 1/4" from the top of the pedal to the floor for 1955 and 1956 Thunderbirds. 1957 Thunderbirds have a pedal clearance of 4 7/8". The adjustment to your pedal height is made by lengthening or shortening part #9748 for 1955 and 1956 Thunderbirds. For 1957 Thunderbirds, the part number is #9784. Refer to the attached diagram for exact locations. Make sure your accelerator linkage remains straight during adjustment. Any lateral movements of the linkage could give you an improper height reading.

The throttle rod is adjusted via part #9772 for 1955 and 1956 Thunderbirds, and part #9747 for 1957 Thunderbirds. Make sure your engine is warm so that your choke is disengaged. Once the choke has disengaged, set the length of your throttle linkage so that the butterfly valves on your carburator's primary venturi are completely closed. From this point, adjust your idle screw so that your car idles smoothly or according to your owner's manual specifications, whichever you prefer. Make sure, however, your idle is not set too high. Too fast an idle can damage the center support inside your transmission. Many a Thunderbird's center transmission support has been cracked by a high idle. When the car is put in reverse, the inevitable "slam" into gear creates enough force to crack the metal support. Over time, this support will separate and eventually cause transmission failure.

Don't forget to remove your 1/4" dowel or 1/4" drill bit when you have completed your adjustments.

Source: CTCC Tech-Tip Manual 1993-1997

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