When I purchased the T-Bird–wow, almost a year ago now–the double-jointed throttle linkage was flopping around under the hood and the gas pedal didn’t connect properly with the linkage under the dash. I cobbled together a fix and left the matter for another day.
Today, in fact.
Missing from the linkage equation was a throttle stop plate, which attaches to the upper bellhousing bolt. It doesn’t connect to the linkage, just gives it something to bang up against. (Why it was designed this way, I don’t know; it seems overly complex to me.) I got a replacement from Thunderbird Headquarters after confirming with the helpful folks on the VCTI forum that I was on the right track.
Turns out, this is a lesson in the dangers of non-stock modifications. The top bellhousing bolt came off easily, even with the linkage in place, but I couldn’t get the stop plate to fit at all. The transmission on my car is not original, and while it belongs in the same family as the one that should be there, it’s a poor fit. Like everything else that bolts to the tranny, the stop plate needed to be modified. I removed a substantial bit of metal to clear the bellhousing and install the plate.
Once correctly in, there was the matter of a connection to the carburetor. It’s a straight rod from the end of the linkage to the throttle actuator, but it has to be the right length. Too short and the gas pedal doesn’t properly connect. Too long and you can’t open the throttle all the way.
The throttle response on my test drive was vastly improved. I was just going to go around the block, but I realized immediately that before, even with the gas pedal all the way down, I was at half-throttle at best.
To the expressway!
Wow. This car is fast. Much faster than I thought. Next stop, though, the gas station.