The Jimi™ Throttle Bracket Story

As published in MR2Only magazine issue 7 Nov 2007

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...oops wrong story !

Back in 2004 after an extensive search lasting 6 months, I became the proud owner of a Red 1988 Mr2MK1 T-bar. I bought it in Newcastle from Lee Hall after a 2 hour test drive ! ( we were both enjoying ourselves ) and I had a very enjoyable 150 mile drive back to the sunny Kingdom of Fife with the T-bars off.

I spent the next day crawling all over the car examining all the nooks and crannies. One of the first things that struck me on opening the engine compartment was the ugly monster tripod bracket Toyota had fitted for the throttle cable, it seemed to dominate the engine bay, more or less obscuring the beauty of Mr T’s fine 4AGE twin cam engine. “Not much I can do about that” I thought, so I whipped it off, gave it a clean up, a coat of paint and refitted it.

 

7 months passed as I spent time getting various bits and pieces of the car the way I wanted them, but every time I opened the engine bay, there it was squatting there glowering at me.
Then one fine cold January morning, I was pottering about doing a bit of tidying up in the engine bay when I cracked ! “Enough is enough … its got to go !” So off it came.
“Now what do I do” I wondered as I stared at the scabby cam covers I had uncovered.
Careful examination of the throttle quadrant revealed that it already had a groove for the throttle cable and a location hole for the nipple, Bingo !!
Unfortunately my joy was short lived as I realised that fitting the cable that way meant pushing the accelerator was trying to close the throttle.
“Ahhhhh … I can turn the quadrant round ……...nope various reasons why that wouldn’t work either, ah well, back to the drawing board.”
But it did give me the germ of an idea, if I made a location point at the other side of the quadrant then the cable would wrap round the groove and the direction of operation would be correct. Here's the quadrant with the new location point for the nipple on the left.

 

Once I had the inner cable located I could see where the outer would have to sit, the middle of nowhere! So I needed to make a bracket that was strong enough not to bend or flex when the accelerator was pressed and I needed to mount it somewhere.
First thoughts were off the bodywork, not a good idea, since the engine is rubber mounted and rocks fore an aft. Next up, mounted off the gearbox ?…..nope ….. too complicated to fabricate with the limited material and facilities I had available.
“Hmmmm …. there's 2 bolts securing the return spring bracket to the inlet plenum, so if I used them, I could make the bracket run across the top of the quadrant to where I need the outer cable to be.
So I took some measurements, made up a quick sketch on the back of my cigarette pack, (literally), and off I went to look for something to make it out of.
I found a piece of stainless channel I had acquired when building my sons jeep, (another saga, for another time !), a bonus being that it already had a bend in it that I could utilise.
After a couple of hours work with an angle grinder, hacksaw, files, drills and various bits and pieces and I had a prototype and was beginning to believe this would actually work !

 

I test fitted it to the car and with some minor adjustments it fitted fine. What a difference ! Immediately the engine bay looked less cluttered, more open and the bracket looked like it belonged there.

 

Now for the acid test … would it actually work ? I took the car for a drive and to my surprise found the throttle action was much smoother and the pedal travel had shortened.... what a bonus!!
I left it on the car for a couple of months to make sure there were no problems and then decided to make an improved version incorporating the lessons I'd learnt from the prototype. This is the 2nd version fitted, as you can see one of the changes is how the outer cable locates on the bracket.

 

My next improvement was to bead blast the bracket to a satin finish and etch it with MR2 in the Toyota MR2 font.

 

Now I was happy with it and could spend some time tidying up the engine and engine bay. After a few months and having attended several MR2OC Scottish meets, word of my bracket had spread among other MK1 owners and I'd had quite a few requests to make brackets for people, which I was quite happy to do. But, since making them was pretty labour intensive and I had a very limited supply of suitable stainless steel, I decided to investigate other options.
After spending some time talking to various companies and getting some very scary quotes, I found a local company, James C Gillespie of Kirkcaldy who were willing to make up the basic bracket for me in stainless steel, leaving the finishing for me to do.
I gave them the 2nd version to use as a template and incorporated a couple of refinements to the design They made a sample bracket for me to check the fit and when I collected it a few days later I was stunned by the quality. They had transferred my design into a CAD drawing package and cut the stainless using a computer controlled laser cutter, then machine formed the bends.

 

It was so impressive that my first thought was "This is going to be way out of my price range." However, to my surprise I learned that I didn’t need to place a huge order to bring the price down to a very reasonable level.
All I had to do was put the money up front !
After a bit of thought I decided to go for it and place an order … and so the Jimi™ Throttle Bracket was born. I've been making them available with 3 finishes which I do myself, so each bracket is hand finished and unique … so no two are identical.

 

I've also done a few one off designs as special requests. Here are a few of them:-

 

 

 

 

Making the brackets is basically a non-profit making hobby, enabling me to keep the price down to the bare minimum, just enough to recover my initial outlay and postage costs.
I've never advertised or actively pushed the brackets, news of them has spread by word of mouth and this article, leading to people contacting me asking for one.
I don't sell them in bulk because I don't want anyone profiteering on them, that would kind of defeat my intentions with them, which is to make an affordable, effective mod available to the MK1 community.
Over the last 3 years more than 100 Jimi™ Brackets have been successfully fitted to MK1's throughout the UK as well as Holland, Malaysia and the USA .

My thanks to the following people :
Graham Gillespie of James C Gillespie Ltd for a quality job, at a great price.
Barry Fimister ( Fimmo ) for help with the graphics on the first specials
Max for her patience and support.
Scottsmale for his support and being customer number 1
All the people that trusted me and my design enough to buy one and fit and use it.

An interesting footnote is about the name “Jimi™ Throttle Bracket. “
Credit for that must go to a fellow MK1 owner and friend of mine, Graham King ( Scottsmale ) who first coined the phrase and it's stuck ever since !
Graham also penned this little ditty
Ode To a Jimi™ Bracket

This Photo Album contains pictures of owners cars with the bracket fitted.

Jimi Lawson 2/10/07