Taking up the Slack on the Gas Pedal

There tends to be a problem with the 2.3L engine with the length of the throttle cable from the throttle body to the gas pedal. The cable is too long! Why is this a problem? There's two reasons:

  1. You have to push the gas pedal part way to the floor before the throttle starts to open. This gives a delay in acceleration.
  2. When the gas pedal is pushed all the way to the floor, the throttle butterflies are not fully open. You never reach wide open throttle!

Fortunately, the solution is very easy to do. very quick (less than 5 min) and the best part is that it is almost free! You take up the slack at the gas pedal using cable ties. This will not work with all 2.3L engines. Some of the later engines are fly by a wire and do not have a physical throttle cable.

This modification only applies if you have a mechanical throttle body cable that attaches like this picture

Here's how to fix the excess slack in the throttle cable:

  1. First determine if you do have slack in the throttle cable by checking under the dash and looking at the gas pedal cable. You may have to wiggle the gas pedal to see. If there is play as in this picture, then you can take up the slack. Also check to see if the butterflies are wide open when the pedal is to the metal with the engine not running of course!

  2. Take a cable tie and tie it around the cable between the pedal arm and the end of the cable stop. If you have more slack, you can add more cable ties.

  3. Here's another example of taking up the slack but this time, there's a return spring on top of the gas pedal arm.


Is this safe to do? Yes, it is as the cable ties do not jam the pedal on or off. If a cable tie breaks or falls off - you just get the original slack back.

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Copyright February 2011 Eugene Blanchard