Guide to replacing
the X1/9 throttle cable
Mark Eversoll [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2002 1:01 PM
Subject: Replacing the X1/9 throttle cable Replacing the throttle cable on the X1/9 is not easy but it can be done. The key is patience along with what I've learned. These instructions are aimed at the fuel injected cars and the carbureted models are very similar.
To begin, you'll need to provide access to several key areas of the car. Remove the metal cover over the tunnel underneath the dashboard. Loosen the emergency brake cable and remove the emergency brake handle from the center of the car. Lay this to the passenger side. Remove the spare tire and on the tunnel located in the tire compartment, remove the cover through which the heater hose and throttle cable pass. It's held in place with three 7mm screws. From the engine compartment, remove a similar cover, held in place by one 7mm screw. I found it very helpful to remove the driver's seat and steering wheel to allow more clearance in the car. I also loosened the center console to allow access to another small access hole. It also helps to raise the front of the car - it aids in being comfortable while you work.
Disconnect the throttle cable from the cross arm on top of the valve cover. You'll need to remove and save the end of this cable and the nut used to lock its adjustment. There is an e-clip that is used to secure the cable sheath to the fixed plate on top of the valve cover. Remove and retain this. From inside the emergency brake hole, remove and save the clip that holds the throttle cable sheath to the metal tube. Peel back the carpet around the accelerator pedal to reveal the four bolts that secure the pedal assembly to the tunnel. Remove the bolts and fish the pedal assembly out of the tunnel. It does not come out very far.
Note the attachment of the cable to the pedal. The spring is used to control slack in the cable and to provide a small amount of return force to the throttle of the car. Reassembling this incorrectly later will not be a good thing. First, make sure you have eye protection in place. You must compress the spring and remove the cotter pin holding it in place. Then remove the cotter pin in the cable end on the back of the pivot. You do not need to disassemble the pedal assembly any further.
Note that the end of the throttle cable is larger in diameter than the cable. If you reach into the tunnel to follow the cable to the tube, you should find a rubber grommet through which the cable passes. The grommet is important as it keeps the cable from wearing against the tube wall. The hole in the grommet will be centered and too small to push the cable end through when replacing the cable assembly, so you need to remove the grommet intact so you can use it again. This grommet fits very tightly over the flared end of the tube. Flared is not the correct word; it's more of a flange. You can see what this looks like by studying the tube in the emergency brake access hole. To remove the grommet, you must grasp it and squeeze it to stretch it off the flange.
I had to move the console to gain access to another small hole on the passenger side. Through that hole, I inserted a long flat blade screwdriver to push the rear of the grommet while I reached through the tunnel hole to pull it off. This was the toughest part of the job.
With the grommet off, you can pull the throttle cable out of the tube from the emergency brake hole. Reach in that hole toward the rear of the car and open the clamp holding the sheath with your fingers. Then you can pull the entire assembly out through the hole in the engine compartment.
Pull all of the cable to the sheath end, which will be at the rear of the car. Replacement begins with snaking the new cable assembly through from the engine compartment into the spare tire well. From here, route it into the tunnel. On top of the heater hose seems best as it will guide the cable toward the clamp used to help secure the sheath in the tunnel. From the emergency brake access hole, reach toward the rear of the car and grasp the cable assembly, bringing it through the clamp. Pull the cable out of the sheath and feed it down the tube. When you have pulled all the cable out and into the tube, insert the sheath end into the tube at the emergency brake and reinstall the clamp.
Reach into the tunnel and secure that clamp against the cable as well. Reach into the tunnel and grasp the cable end. Pass it through the grommet and snap the grommet back onto the tube. Route the cable end out of the hole into which the pedal assembly goes. Insert a new cotter pin into the hole on the cable end closest to the tube. Pass the cable end through the pedal pivot. Place the spring and plastic bushing on the cable end. Call a helper and have them lay on the passenger seat and lean over to where they can see the assembly you are working on.
While wearing eye protection, hold the cable end in the pedal assembly while you compress the spring. When the forward hole in the cable end is visible, your assistant should insert a new cotter pin. If you let this spring go before the pin is inserted, you will discover why I recommend eye protection for this job. Reinsert the pedal assembly into the tunnel. Done properly, from the front of the car you will have the cotter pin, the spring on the cable end, the pedal assembly, and the other cotter pin.
From the engine compartment, pull the cable assembly up to the mount and insert the e-clip onto the sheath. Install the cable end and nut you removed and saved earlier and install that cable end to the cross arm on the valve cover. Reinstall all the covers you've removed, the seat and steering wheel. Adjust idle speed and throttle position switch as required.
Director, AIS, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, GA
80 Fiat Spider #55CSP - 81 Bertone X1/9 #55ES FLU 2243
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