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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Venhill Teflon Throttle Cable? 1500

Hello there

I have always had a throttle cable that is a bit on/off especially when setting off.

I have heard good things about Venhill Universal teflon throttle cables. I am looking to order one but getting confused about which one to buy. They seen to have two listed one with a 5mm outer and one with a 6mm outer.

Has anyone got any experience of them and which one should I buy?

To make it fit the 1500 will i need any of the extra fittings listed on the pages?


Simon Taylor

Hi Simon.

Here's a link to a thread in the archive that will tell you all about it.

The thread contains a link to the cable I used. Any Qs feel free.........

Prepare to be amazed - the difference it makes to throttle control is incredible.

RS Hughes

Hi Rod

Thanks so much for the info, I have just ordered the same one. I am hoping to be amazed, my original throttle cable goes from being pretty bad to almost making the car hop down the road.

Do you need to lubricate the cable prior to fitting, if so I will also need either and ptfe lube that you used I guess.

I am hoping it arrives before the weekend and I have time to fit it to make the trip to Silverstone this weekend a bit easier!

Thanks again for the help


PS I might post more requests for help when it arrives and I try to fit it!!

Simon Taylor

I am not sure what Rod would advise, but it is not necessary to lubricate a Teflon lined cable assembly.

It can cause dust etc, to stick to the lubricant which can cause more problems.

In all the years that I have used a Teflon throttle cable, I have never lubricated the cable, but I do lubricate the linkages at the ends.
JB Anderson

JB is correct I think. I did lube the sleeve before assembling it, but on mature reflection I decided not to bother when I made up the same kit for 3 other cars just after I did mine. They are all fine without the lube.

RS Hughes

Correct Rod, its Teflon in the tube, not lubricated mine and all well after 2 and a half years of daily driving.

Well chuffed compared to the standard on off type.

Daughter uses them on her suzi as well in the unprotected rain and muck.
Dave Squire

Yes, the teflon is the lubricant. No need for anything else to muck up the workings. My teflon lined bicycle brake cable setup has worked well for 5 or 6 years now.
Martin Washington

Here's a link to another (short) archived thread on the same topic that I just remembered. It has a couple extra little bits of info that might just help you.

And going back to your original Q no - you don't need any extra bits. Everything you need is either in the kit or can be salvaged from your f++++d-up original cable.

When I did the 3 other cables I made a sort of special tool. I drilled a hole in a bit of scrap pine batten just big enough to push the cable sheath through. Then I nipped it in the vice until it "only just and no more" gripped the sheath to make it easier to cut it with the hacksaw. That way it was easy to make a clean accurate cut.

Hope this helps. And don't bother with the lube. It's a waste of time and ptfe spray.

RS Hughes

Hey brilliant. Thank you to everyone for helping.

Just got to wait for mine to arrive and I will have a go. I might wait till after silverstone this weekend as I might cock it all up and be left without a useable car to take!


Simon Taylor

Right. It arrived today and had a look at all the fittings etc. The old cable had to be cut so I could get the carb connector on the end then secured with one of the brass fittings soldered on.

The pedal end also needed a brass fitting on it which I had to solder in the footwell due to none of them fitting through the bulkhead hole.

All seems to be working. I am a bit concerned that the pedal fitting now doesn't fit into the actual slot on the pedal due to the fittings being drilled cross ways instead of length ways but it seems to hold on the outside of the bar with tension.

Fingers crossed the soldered joints hold up. I didn't think solder was that strong! I must be wrong.

I am considering buying a spare from moss to keep in the car for the trip to Silverstone this weekend just in case there are any problems.

Thanks again for all your input.

Simon Taylor

"due to the fittings being drilled crossways instead of lengthways"

That's why I drilled mine lengthways (axially). Perfect fit! Plus it went through the bulkhead hole no problem in that orientation.

Great to hear it's working though. Noticed the improvement?


RS Hughes

Hi Rod

I would have liked to have drilled them length ways but I don't have a vice to hold them unfortunately.

I have not had chance to drive it yet but hoping it will be a lot better.


Simon Taylor

I've got a spare one on my desk already drilled ready to go. If you can desolder yours without a drama and you want it I'll post it to you tonight.
Txt your address to 07541 162132.

RS Hughes

That's very kind of you Rod. I will text you now. Simon
Simon Taylor

On its way. (Check your voicemail BTW).
RS Hughes

I did mine with a Venhill Kit - Best £10.34 I've spent.
If you look at their website it has tips about soldering "Fingers crossed the soldered joints hold up. I didn't think solder was that strong!"
It says about "Bird Caging" the end of the inner cable.
I used pliers with the wire in a vice. Worked a treat. They're rock solid

Nigel Axtell

Hi people, I am new to Midgets having just bought my first ever 'old' car, a 78 1500 with the twin SU's. I'm brand new to the site but saw this old thread re throttle cables. I am interested as mine too suffers from the jerky throttle making it difficult to set off or change gear ultra smoothly. Sorry I am not much of an emailer /forum user but if anyone, maybe Simon Taylor, Nigel Axtell,RS Hughes or JB Anderson knows the part number of the Venhill ptfe kit to buy I would appreciate it. I couldnt get the links to open on the thread, hence me asking.
A new cable is a good place to start and may save further messing. I have workshop facilities and can solder etc. Post, txt, whatsap or ring, Thanks, Jon 07825 304200.

Links no longer active and Venhill have overhauled their stock system so part numbers have changed.
If anyone is looking for it the new part number is U01-4-100 at
Currently £10.42 including VAT, but I don't know what they charge for post and package.

I've texted Jon - hopefully between the text and the archive he can get sorted out.

Another option Jon is to go to a pushbike shop and get them to make up a cable, but take the original cable adjuster and the yoke that attaches the cable to the bell crank between the carbs with you. The yoke is not in the kit (it's specific to the SU carbs) and the shiny new adjuster in the kit is metric, which is just annoying.

Also the new cable definitely needs to be a bit longer than the original, which is on the skimpy side. Even 6 inches more gives the cable an easier routing.

Good luck.


Welcome to the board. I'm sure that you'll enjoy your car as much as we do ours.

As Rod suggests, try a bicycle brake cable. You can make it as long as you want/need and it will probably be a bit cheaper than a bespoke cable. I've had mine for about 12 years and I've never had any problems.

Thanks people, top job. Really appreciated. Jon Ryden.

Hi Jon,
Sticky throttle cable isn't the only cause for this symptom on a 1500.

In some instances it can be that the butterfly disc in the carbs is closing and sealing too well. The running engine then creates a slight suction on the manifold side of the butterfly and this is sufficient to cause some resistance when setting off, especially if you have been at tick-over for a little while.e.g. whilst waiting at traffic lights.

The simple solution is to turn the carb adjustment screws down just a little, maybe 1/8 to 1/4 turn. This will raise the tickover just a little making setting off easier, but more importantly will ease the butterfly disc off its sticking point to prevent this suction effect.

It may indeed be a faulty cable, but check the sticking throttle disc first as adjusting the tickover is very easy to do and costs nothing! If it doesn't sort the problem just turn the setting back to where it was and order a new cable!

Happy Christmas

On the bicycle cables, if you go that way ,get the Shimano Dura-ace cable, it's a much finer wound cable and slides smoother
William Revit

Guy is on it - I'd forgotten about that.
Another quick but essential check is to see that the bulkhead panel where the cable passes through is straight. The metal can get bent, presumably by over heavy boot/pedal interface, and if it's not straight the cable will not line up properly with the pedal. This is only a problem with the throttle closed, or nearly closed, but that's exactly where you don't want the cable to drag.

It took me an embarrassingly long time to spot that on my 1500.

<<"It took me an embarrassingly long time to spot that on my 1500">>

Likewise, Grey, For a long time, if I wanted to set off gently, as when in queing traffic, the technique was to thump my fist on my right knee. That was sufficient to gently start the throttle movement. But simply pressing on the accelerator it would resist initial gentle foot pressure so press a bit harder, whereupon the pedal would suddenly move and the car leap forward to be followed by rapid braking to avoid contact with the car in front! It must have looked rather odd when going in town traffic with the top down thumping my knee to make controlled progress - one feels very visible to passing pedestrians!

A great cheap upgrade, I was a bit concerned whether the soldered connector would be strong enough, but two years later no problem and the Venhill cable resolved the horrible sticky accelerator pedal
Tim Lynam

>>GuyW wrote>> In some instances it can be that the butterfly disc in the carbs is closing and sealing too well. The running engine . . .

>>JT replies>> How can the engine be running if the butterfly discs are fully closed? Presumably running by dint of the 'orrible over-run poppet valves (in the butterfly discs) leaking (ie partially opening)? Surely the engine won't run at all with fully closed 'plain' butterfly discs?
J Thomson

Guy and JT; Balance pipe?
Flip Brühl

The butterfly discs don't have to fully seal hermetically which would indeed strangle the engine. But it is sufficient for the manifold depression at tick over to hold a sufficient pressure difference up and downstream of the butterfly disc to hold them shut as you very gently press on the pedal. It's only a momentary thing anyway but is sufficient for to make a not so smooth get away.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Hi all, thanks so much for all your responses, plenty for me to be getting stuck into there. Looking forwards to testing all your theories and advice and ending up with a silky smooth featherlight throttle. This old car stuff is new to me, never thought I'd end up with one, its always been bikes at this house. We started racing a vintage sidecar six years ago after decades racing old bikes so maybe the progression from two, to three and now four wheels is inevitable. I dont mind working on the Midget, at least I'm not constantly having to take the petrol tank off. Thanks again, Jon Ryden.

This thread was discussed between 15/06/2015 and 27/12/2019

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