Lokar Throttle and Kickdown Cable Installation by Carl Wiese
Over the last year my Dad and I have been going through carburetors like they were going out of style, trying to find the one that ran best on the engine in my Dadís Travelall. He went through 3 2 barrel carburetors and 2 4barrel carburetors before finding the one he liked the best. I went through some similar swaps trying to trouble shoot a carburization problem in my 74 pickup. All through these trials weíve had to work with Internationalís idea of a linkage for the carburetor and their method of making it work with the kick down on the 727 transmission. Weíve built new linkages, modified them, welded on new brackets, had all sorts of return springs and nothing seemed to work smoothly. I finally got to the point on my pickup where there was no way of making the stock setup work with my carburetor. At that point I started to look for alternatives and found them made by Lokar. Lokar makes some extremely high quality braided stainless cable systems for both throttle cables and kick down cables and while they may seem a little too high class for our Internationals, I can tell you they fit right in! Best of all, they get rid of the stock setup, which I am sorry for me has never worked well. On top of this they are extremely smooth and installation is quick and painless.
I used the following Lokar Pieces.
1- SRK 4000; Throttle and Kick Down Cable Bracket
1- KDP- 2727HT; Transmission Kick Down Cable
1- TC-1000HT; Universal Throttle Cable
While these parts arenít specific to IH, they installed very easily onto our components.
One word of warning, while you pay a premium for the quality of these cables the instructions leave a little something to be desired. However, if you take your time and think it through the install is very easy and hopefully this write up will help fill in any blanks.
Before the install remove the IH throttle and kick down linkage from the engine. Itís simply held on with a few bolts into the intake manifold. The kick down rod goes into the top lever on the transmission. If you look youíll see two levers on the transmission, the top lever is the kick down control and the bottom is the gear selection lever. The kick down lever is held in through a simple cotter pin. Remove the pin and pull the rod up from the top with the rest of the linkage. What you have just removed is proprietary to IH trucks, and I would keep it together. You never know when someone will need it and you can use it as barter.
The first thing I did was install the cable bracket onto the carb. It seemed like the best place to start and simply installs over the rear stud on the driverís side of the carb. If the stud isnít long enough for the nut to thread back on fully, youíll need to get a longer stud. The bracket is fairly thin, but well built and has a set screw on it to lock it in place once itís adjusted to be in line with the throttle arm, something youíll do once the cables are installed. The bracket shows no deflection during use, even with a slight misalignment.
The next step is to install the kick down cable. This requires a bit of effort as you have to climb under the truck. On my 74 ĺ ton 4x4 pickup it really wasnít a problem on, on my Dadís 73 1010 (IHís factory low rider) it was a tight squeeze to get your hand up to the rear of the tail shaft to remove the bolt needed to mount the bracket. I attempted to get a picture of this, but none I took came out good enough to include in this article. However, itís really doesnít require a picture, you simply pull out one of the bolts holding the tail shaft to the transmission. Itís on the rear portion of the transmission on the driverís side right above the cooler line. If youíve got the cable in hand the bent bracket is the one used to mount the cable to the tail shaft. Upon install just snug the bracket into place as once youíve run the cable youíll want to be able to adjust the bracket to get a straight shot to the kick down lever. Since youíve removed kick down rod earlier, all you need to do is install the ball stud into the lever. Now, remove the kick down end of the cable and one of the nuts on the threaded end and feed it through the bracket on the transmission. Lock it in with the nut and reinstall the kick down end and attach it to the ball stud. Make sure youíve got a good straight shot from the bracket to the kick down and tighten up the tail shaft bolt. Make sure everything is tight before you crawl out from under the truck.
The carb end is really easy to install. As you can see from the picture above there is a hole in the bottom of the throttle arm. The ball stud for the carb end is installed into the hole as well as the ďtear dropĒ that comes with the throttle bracket. I didnít use the ďtear dropĒ in my application as I had an tab on the bottom of the throttle arm that interfered with it, fortunately that tab had a hole in it, so I just installed the return springs there.
Next comes sizing the cable housing. What you want to do is pull cable and housing up into the engine compartment so itís tight to the bracket on the transmission and remove the sleeved adjustable portion on the top of the cable. You want to hold the cable on the bracket where it will bolt in to get the right length. Once there back the cable off towards the transmission 2-3 inches to allow for engine movement. MAKE SURE you add slack or your kick down will not work correctly and youíll destroy the cable when the engine moves. Once youíve got the cable and housing in the right place and youíve added the needed slack, you are ready to cut. Mark the housing however you want, and as if I even need to say it MAKE 100% sure you are ready to cut before you cut it. Remember itís easy to make something shorter, but much MUCH harder to make something longer. These cables are tough and have a Teflon liner. Lokar recommends you remove the cable and cut it with a hack saw, but Dad and I really didnít feel like undoing all the work we had done, so we measure how much of the housing needed to be cut off, then I crawled under the truck and pulled the same amount of cable out of the housing. Itís hard to visualize what I am saying, but think of it this way. The housing goes between the two brackets, one of the carb and one on the transmission. Between the bracket and the carb and the bracket and the transmission youíve got exposed cable. So, I simply pulled on the exposed cable under the truck, until I had pulled out enough so there was no cable in the housing where we were going to cut. I ended up with a big loop of cable coming out of the housing under the truck, but none in the housing up at the carb. To do this you will have to remove the throttle arm end fitting off of the cable. Once this was done we use a die grinder with a cut off wheel to cut the housing. We taped both sides of the cable with good quality masking tape and cut away. It takes some time to do as the Teflon lining the inside of the housing is tough stuff, but you can get through. Once we cut the housing to size, we slipped the sleeve back on and installed the housing into the bracket. Then I crawled back under the truck and fed the cable back through the housing and reattached the throttle arm end. Keep in mind the cable is now much longer then the housing, but leave it be as youíll need some of the length for adjustment.
Adjusting is the next trick; you can move the lever by hand and feel it start to work inside the transmission. You want to adjust the stop on the cable so just as the arm starts to move on the carb, the lever on the transmission starts to move too. Once itís all installed you have to go drive it and adjust it by feel. Make sure the transmission isnít kicking down too early or hanging in gears. There lots of adjustment on the cable and on the housing at both ends.
Here is the installed kick down cable.
The kick down is installed you can move onto the throttle cable, which basically follows the same procedure as the kick down, but is a little easier. Now you may be looking at the cable and seeing the clevis end and think ďhow am I going to get this to attach to my stock pedal?Ē Well, I thought the same thing and came up with all sorts of ideas while the cable was still in the package. When we pulled it out we discovered this
As you can see, you can slide the clevis end off the cable once itís removed from the housing. If you slide it off you end up with a ďsinkerĒ end commonly found on all IH cables. This end will install into the bushing in your pedal, just like a stock cable will.
But I am getting ahead of myself. The first thing you want to do is remove youíre old cable. If youíve never done this before it can be quite a hassle as there is a plastic fitting that serves as a fire wall junction. In some cases youíve got to ruin this fitting to get it out, so BEFORE you ruin this fitting make sure youíve got the time needed and parts on hand to install the cable. I would hate from someone to disable their vehicle then need to run to the parts store. Youíll also want to pull the old ball stud out of the carb arm and install the new one that came with the new cable. Once the cable is out, Remove the throttle arm end from the new cable and pull the cable out of the housing. Install the new housing with itís fixed double nut end through the fire wall. I used the same hole as the stock cable, with washers on both sides as the hole is a little large to just use the nuts. Now that this is done, pull the adjustable sleeved end off the cable housing and hold it on the mounting bracket like you did with the kick down cable, again leaving slack for engine movement. Once again, measure twice or three times before you cut. Since the cable has been removed from the housing (you did that right!) you can cut it using the same method as above. Once itís cut install the adjustable end back onto the housing and into the bracket. Next slide the cable back into the housing, through the bushing in the pedal arm and reattach the throttle arm end. Make sure the ďsinkerĒ is seated in the bushing. Something you didnít do on the kick down cable was cut the cable to size. A few things first, you want to make sure the cable is fully seated in the bushing in the pedal arm and the pedal is pulled up fully from the floor. The pedal needs to be in the same place as it would be if you had your foot off the gas and the truck was at idle. Now make sure this is the case, double check or block it up if need be. Next make sure the throttle arm on the carb is all the way forward and the butterflies are fully closed. Again, measure twice; make sure everything (pedal and butterflies) is where it needs to be and cut the cable. I think I had to cut mine three times before I got it right. My theory is the same as above. Itís easier to make things shorter if you are too long, then to make things longer if you are too short. Take your time and itís no problem. Finally you want to reinstall the throttle arm end back onto the cable and adjust if need be. Once mine was installed I didnít have to adjust it at all. Hereís a picture of the final product.
With 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest thing Iíve ever done on a truck Iíd give this a 3. Youíve got to think a bit, measure and take you time, but itís not all that difficult and you need no special tools. The end result is great and smooth operation of the throttle and kick down without the contraption IH used to operate it. You get more adjustability and itís easier to swap carbs or go EFI. I will note this install was using a Holley 4150 series carb, but we also installed it on a Carter 4 barrel used on a Ford. We had to build a few brackets, but it worked. And tomorrow weíre putting it on a Edelbrock 1406 series carb, which was straight bolt on and no brackets needing to be fabbed. This improvement I feel is very worth while and well worth the investment. Finally, I want to say a word about the cost. I had initially used a cheaper brand universal cable kit and broke a piece on install because of the tight constraints on the set-back 74/75 engines. I then went to the Lokar cable. Below is a picture with the Lokar on the left and the ďother brandĒ on the right. We made the tightest coil we could out of the two housings. You can clearly see the difference between the two cables. Even with as tight of a coil as that is the cable slid effortlessly through the Lokar housing, not so with the other brand.