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850/x70 S1 Articles How to's and step by step guides on a specific repair or modification to a Volvo 850/70 car.

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How to change the accelerator cable (P1 850)

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Old Oct 13th, 2009, 17:02   #1
RollingThunder
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Last Online: Yesterday 13:50
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: South Yorkshire
Post How to change the accelerator cable (P1 850)

My accelerator cable was getting to be quite stiff and jerky making the car a bit awkward to drive smoothly despite being an automatic - a quick look at the accelerator cable sheath (cable1.jpg) confirmed that it was time to replace it.

I hate working on hot engines, so I did the swap first thing on a Saturday morning. First thing to do is to remove the plastic accelerator drum cover - one philips screw is all that holds it in place, but you need to slip the front off two lugs before you can withdraw it.

Next rotate the accelerator drum anticlockwise to remove the cable tension and remove the accelerator cable - the oildrum shaped cable retainer pops outwards away from the drum. Gently return the drum to its resting position - don't let it spring back of its own accord or you may damage the return stop.

The cable adjuster is mounted on a metal bracket and is secured by a metal clip - remove this clip be easing it gently upwards with a screwdriver. Don't be too aggressive or it'll end up pinging into the wild blue yonder - and you'll need it to fit the new cable (cable2.jpg). The cable can now be lifted away from the metal bracket and removed from the plastic clip on the engine top mount bracket. With it now hanging loose, its time to go under the dashboard.

Remove the driver's side lower dashboard trim panel - its held in place by three T25 torx screws. Carefully lower it around the bonnet release lever, pull it out and put it somewhere safe. Look at the top of the accelerator pedal, and you'll see where the cable is attached via a small white plastic bush (cable3.jpg). Pull the cable end & bush out of the pedal and take the bush off the cable - the bush has a cut out allowing it to pass around the cable (cable4.jpg). The cable is now free of the pedal and is ready to be withdrawn through the bulkhead - so you can unwrap your legs from the steering wheel, crawl out of the footwell and adopt a more civilised posture!

Back under the bonnet now and arguably the most difficult part! Firstly, if its an automatic you'll need to unplug the electrical kickdown switch connector (cable5.jpg) and tuck it out of harms way. Now the only thing keeping the old cable in place are a couple of plastic clips (cable6.jpg). Look at your replacement cable to identify where they are and then using a wooden or plastic tool carefully pop the clips away from the bulkhead by poking the tool between the rubber seal and the plastic moulding around the cable. I originally tried to punch them out from under the dashboard but this didn't work - the method just described works much more easily, you just have to be careful not to scratch the bulkhead paintwork. Once half the clips have been worked around the bulkhead, the whole cable can be withdrawn.

Once the cable has been removed, check the bulkhead paintwork around the hole and dab a bit of primer over any scratches.

Fitting the cable is the same procedure in reverse! Remember to ensure that the kickdown switch connector is at the top of the cable so as not to stress the wiring, and make sure that all the plastic clips on the replacement cable have fully locked in place. The lower dash panel has white plastic slides that help to position the panel correctly - it should slip nicely into position - if you need to apply any pressure at all it isn't lined up correctly.

With the cable reconnected, adjust the free play so that the drum stop just hits the metal part of the bracket when the accelerator is released. In theory you do not need to adjust any other accelerator connectors, but you might want to grease the throttle body return spring if its looking a bit dry.

This took me about an hour to do including having a cuppa whilst restoring circulation after the contorting under the dashboard!

The difference in the cars character is pretty astounding - with the heavy accelerator pedal she drove like a lumbering ogre, but now she feels light and sprightly - and much more enjoyable.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cable1.jpg (322.9 KB, 161 views)
File Type: jpg cable2.jpg (324.7 KB, 163 views)
File Type: jpg cable3.jpg (239.8 KB, 160 views)
File Type: jpg cable4.jpg (68.2 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg cable5.jpg (293.5 KB, 140 views)
File Type: jpg cable6.jpg (42.3 KB, 152 views)
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previously: '98 V70R auto AWD, '98 V70R auto, '96 855R auto, '94 855 2.0 auto, 9x various 940/960s
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