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Old 09-13-2017, 08:18 AM   #1
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Newbie -- 1981 280 MoHo
 
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Minneapolis/St. Paul , Minnesota
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Emergency! On a trip, Broken down in parking lot & need accelerator/throttle cable

Guys, I'm on a trip in my 1981 280 and all has gone beautifully. I have driven for 6 hours from St. Paul, MN to Milwaukee and am on my way to Michigan.

Well, while on a very busy bridge during rush hour, suddenly my throttle cable came off of the gas pedal! Great place for that to happen!!

I was able to Coast over to the shoulder and then quickly MacGyvered a way to manually accelerate to get off the bridge and on the first exit, using an extension cord to pull on.


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That worked well for the immediate situation, and I even used it to drive to the nearest O'Reilly Auto Parts shop since it was nearby.

They of course don't have that exact one, probably because it is old.

PLEASE help me right away with any advice on how I can somehow reattach the throttle cable to the pedal and be on my way, or where I can get a new one that will work with my 1981 280.

I am SO bummed!!!!

~Tap
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:39 AM   #2
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Hi

First step would be to phone around and see if a nearby store has a proper replacement part. Uber will get you to the store and back. No need to limp over with the 280. Next step may be to get one via FedEx / early delivery. You have your entire home "with you". Camp out in the lot until tomorrow.

Without seeing the specific cable, I'm not going to guess what might also work. I'll leave that to others who may have actually pulled one off of that engine.

Bob
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:46 AM   #3
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1981 28' Airstream 280
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Good advice. Thanks Bob.

I also should have been more clear that the cable didn't snap in the middle or at the throttle, it broke off of where it connects to the gas pedal. I can still feel it behind the pedal, but I think it is probably too short.

I just found a mechanic that is willing to look at it. I don't think he has the cable, but he will check it out and try to help.

I'll update this thread when I know more.

Thanks guys.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:55 AM   #4
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Can you get a picture of the way the cable was attached to the gas pedal? I know it's not an easy shot, but with digital "film" these days one can keep trying until they get lucky.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:10 AM   #5
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Sometimes these cables have crimped-on ends. Have a look at both ends and see how it was made. Try looking in a Bike shop or motorcycle shop for a new cable and housing that is longer than the one you lost. A rear brake cable may be more than long enough...

If you find one you can use, pull the broken cable out of the old housing, and thread the new cable into your old housing. Use an electrical connector or part of one to fashion a new end for the end you need to replace. Use an uninsulated electrical lug or the like, and crimp it as tight as you can. Finagle it into place on carb and pedal. That should work until you can find a new one...

Some motorcycle shops may be able to put new ends on a piece of cable foy you--try them or a bike shop...

Yes, I carry a Swiss Army (MacGuyver) Knife, and have used it to resurrect old car alternators on long trips...be creative and careful...
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:13 AM   #6
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Good job getting off the road. Here is what Mill Supply lists for accelerator cables:

https://www.millsupply.com/stepvan-p...erator-cables/

I ran a search on the oem part number for the first one listed and found a bunch of other vendors. Hopefully you can get fixed up enough finish your trip without having to wait for a new cable.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:15 AM   #7
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Thanks guys.
The cable runs through a hard black plastic tube and then put a hole and a metal ball/bead keeps it held on place. Then that black plastic tube locks on to the pedal mechanism.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:32 AM   #8
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Hey Tap.
Is there any way you can snap a picture down in there. I know it's a bitch but if you could get your camera down there and snap a few pics of the end of the cable near the gas pedal would really help on coming up with ideas on getting it reattached well enough to get you going. I'm sure we can MacGyver something together to get you on your way. Keep cool brudda, get us some pics.

Mike
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:33 AM   #9
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Before you go spending a bunch of $$$
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:48 AM   #10
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Did the ball come off the end? What exactly broke?

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Would one of these screw on cable ends patch you up?
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:32 PM   #11
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Have a look in the unit repair guide, service guide or GM parts wiki which will give you the oem ref and hopefully parts blowout
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:26 PM   #12
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Tap,

I think this throttle cable should work for your 280. It worked on my 74 20' Argosy even though my original was longer.

Not sure if any local auto parts store will carry it but at least you have a number to cross reference to.

Brad
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:35 PM   #13
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Minneapolis/St. Paul , Minnesota
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Thank you all so much for your helpful suggestions.
It has now been fixed!
I lucked out and found a very kind and helpful mechanic here in Milwaukee, and I drove my MacGyver'd AS over to his shop.

He fixed it for me.
I'll give full details on the. Eat future, once I get settled at my destination at Urban Air in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Five and a half more driving hours to go.
Thanks!!
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:04 PM   #14
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Drive carefully!
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