No one wants to make a last-minute carburetor change at the racetrack. But the truth of the matter is, it happens quite often. Carbs may need to be swapped out for changing conditions, or simply mechanical problems. But to make life easier when that happens, TomCat Performance has introduced its Quick Disconnect Throttle Linkage.
The apparatus works by attaching the ball end to the carburetor throttle linkage, and the quick disconnect fits over that by pulling back on the locking collar and sliding it into place. Removing the throttle rod from the carburetor is as simple as pulling back on the knurled locking collar and separating the quick disconnect from the ball end. When the ball end is inserted into the quick disconnect and the locking collar is in its home position, the ball end is positively locked into position and can't separate from the quick disconnect. Since it rarely needs to be removed, the other end of the throttle rod simply bolts to the throttle pedal. A Heim joint is used on the pedal-end of the rod to ensure bind-free operation.
This isn't the only quick release throttle rod on the market, but the TomCat Performance unit is unique in that it's constructed from steel rod and not aluminum tubing. Tom Sandal, owner of TomCat Performance, says he chose to go with steel rather than aluminum tubing because most racers will have to put a bend into the rod to get it to fit their setup and the steel is much less likely to kink or crack when bent. If you use a heavy throttle return spring, there's the possibility of an aluminum throttle rod eventually breaking on the track, if a crack is introduced during the fitting process.
We tested TomCat's new Quick Disconnect on a Dirt Late Model, and installation took less than 30 minutes. The locking mechanism felt very secure and worked reliably. It was also easy to tell when the locking collar was completely engaged so that you won't send your driver out onto the racetrack and then suffer the embarrassment of the throttle linkage popping loose.