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Guys, being an owner of a JPS Subie for about two months and being totally unmechanically inclined, I seek HELP!!

Last night I was out for a ride and was a little heavy on the pedal 🤪. I ended up breaking the accelerator, either the cable or the fasteners/connections. My pedal just sits on the floor and is totally limp  

I found a thread on here back to 2006 where the exact thing happened to someone and some good advice seemed to be to turn the idle way up and drive it that way to the shop.

So first I just found out there are no tow hook holes on the car and the tow truck driver had a flatbed but we had nowhere to connect his hooks to load the car. Luckily I was on a hill and we were able to coast the car on to his bed. But now it’s in my garage and I don’t know how to get it to someone (probably JPS 20 minutes away).

The car is fuel injected and if you could tell me how to get that to run at 2500 RPM idle I think I can get it there. I have no jacks here to get under the car and probably couldn’t fix it myself anyway  

Alternatively, if there is anyone in north San Diego who could come fix it I am willing to pay handsomely.

Also, from the threads I saw, I will need to get someone to install the hardware so that I can safely have the car pulled up on a flatbed should I break down again.

any help and advice from you gurus would be greatly appreciated  


PS when I bought this car my wife said I was nuts. I convinced her that this is a HOBBY, not transportation. I think she’s thinking ‘I told you so!’ But so far she’s only expressed sympathy. Lol  

Also, never in my life have I been broken down, when so many people stopped to tell me what a cool car I had. Lol again.


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Air cooled engine or Subaru?  Single or duel carbs?  VW pan based?

In college I had a '57 small oval rear window bug and the throttle cable broke.  I pulled the shoe lace out of my Converse sneakers and used it to hold throttle open enough to drive the 35 miles home.  If throttle is cable driven - cable either broke, barrel connector to throttle linkage came loose (lime green), cable shortener came loose (orange) or the throttle cable hook came off the pedal assembly (red).

Here's shot of dual carb linkage where you caoul pull the throttle linkage open to 2k RPMs with shoe string or piece of wire.

Image result for vw air colled bug carb throttle connection

No screw in tow hooks (like on new cars) on old VW pans but a tow truck should have these big steel fish hooks they can attach carefully attach to chassis H beam.  For about $100 you can buy a VW tow bar that attaches to the front H beam - provided you have another vehicle with a tow hitch.


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Last edited by WOLFGANG


Using that chassis photo, above, the tow guy can place straps just inboard of the circled area, too.  At the rear, he can strap around the chassis members that hold up the transaxle/engine.   Alternatively, he can use “wheel nets” which go over the top of the wheels and are attached and cinched down to the tow bed.

Since you have a Subaru engine, little, if any, of Wolfgang’s post will apply and we don’t know if Steele used the Subaru electronic throttle or a cable from pedal to engine, so I would suggest that you put the ball in John Steele’s court and get him to come to your house and fix it.  The car is only two months old - HE should stand behind his product.  That’s called “Customer Service”.

BTW:  Your wife might be right….

My wife is always right, Gordon, just like yours.

I have a cable from peddle to engine. I just visited John in the shop and he showed me the two places it may be broken, and also how to properly get it on a flatbed.

checking my engine, it looks like the cable broke in the rear. I might try to get it reattached and if I can’t I’ll have it towed to JPS.

I bought the car slightly used through John as a pass through entity for the actual owner, so I have no warranty. But despite John’s poor standing with the members on this site, I have to say my personal experience with John has been great (please take it for what it’s worth as we have documentation of those with different experiences). He has fixed a few small things at no charge and done some upgrades for a very reasonable cost.

Thanks guys. You are all so helpful. Really appreciate it.

@jncspyder I know you’re story and I believe you were mistreated horribly, although I’m glad to know that you got someone to straighten things out and you love your coupe now. I know the nightmare you went through. I’m just reporting my experience.

I did find that the little device that connects the cable to the throttle in the engine has broken off. Probably wasn’t secured properly. At least it’s an easy fix.


Mike, there are lessons for all of us throughout this little incident.

That modern Subaru engine is a thousand times more complex than the Briggs & Stratton units sputtering away in the back of most of our cars. Sensors, microprocessors, wiring, relays, thousands of lines of code - and yet, what broke?

A simple, mechanical, probably under-engineered widget designed to physically connect that modern engine with the 1950s technology in the rest of the car.

When things break on these cars, they are usually pretty simple to fix, because you can hold them in your hand and see what broke. Often, finding exactly what broke or got gummed up is the hardest part. No scan tool is going to help you.

Another lesson is what your wife told you. Yes, we are all just a little nuts for wanting to drive these things in the first place.


Actually, the subaru FI is not a bad unit but as with all new experiences you have to have enough of the common issues fail to be able to troubleshoot the car.

Get a ECU reader that presuppose s that you have a stock ECU and, an iPhone app.  You can read codes which will tell you why what happened and clear codes.  Then there is the normal simple stuff like fuel supply etc.  I have drive by wire but you have a manual throttle.  Start writing yourself a manual...   :

I was very lucky that I grew up on a farm of frugal Yankee farmers who repaired everything out of necessity so learned how to fix and maintain stuff the right way at a very young age.  Many of us are not so lucky but pick up the skills along the way and that's just fine.

It's a pretty big tent, the PCCA, and there's room for everyone.  

Except for "George fromTexas".  I'm not quite sure where he fits.....  Glad he found something elsewhere.

When I got married, I was told, "You can be right or you can be happy" Truer words have not been uttered.

As a fellow, "not mechanically inclined" person on this forum, I just wanted to say that I feel your pain. The few lessons I have learned so far are as follows:

1. Find out what spare parts and tools you should be carrying and then go buy them now. I also keep zip ties in the car for when things need to be held together.
2. Figure out a way to tow the car yourself if you need to (I bought a tow bar first, then a trailer).

My first break down was my exhaust manifolds loosening, which on it's own would just result in an awful sound and a loss of power but it also stopped the hex bar/accelerator from working and I was getting no acceleration. I used my wife's hair rubber-band thing to hold it together long enough to get home and then fixed it. I had no tools at that time.

Second break down was a blown fuse to the fuel pump. Because I had spares and tools, I ran a wire directly from the battery to the fuel pump and fixed it at home.

Can't say I got any better a being as mechanically inclined as others but I can bang stuff with a hammer and put duct tape on it.

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