FJ Performance Tuning Q&A - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 10:37 PM
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FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

I have been getting a lot of phone calls and emails asking a lot of questions about performance tuning and enhancements for the FJ Cruiser. There seems to be a lot of bad and misinformation out there on the subject.

I have been doing performance tuning on Toyota trucks since early 1997. I installed TRD Supercharger serial #00032 on my 96 4Runner and it just flat did not run right. I figured out all the little problems and came up with fixes that later became the launch product for my little business called URD about 6 years ago.

Since then we at URD have tried and gained experience with a great many performance tuning products to include URD branded Performance Calibration units, unichip, MAP-ECU, FAST, Autronic, Apexi, AEM, and APR X-1.

For the FJ Cruiser we are very fond of three basic units, URD MAF Sensor Calibrator, MAP-ECU2, and the APR X-1.

The entry level device is the URD MAF Sensor Calibrator. This little $250 end user programmable unit alters the signal from the MAF sensor Calibrator and allows you to recalibrate the MAF sensor to new intake tubes and alter/optimize the fuel mixture for better performance and economy.

The mid level unit is the MAP-ECU2. This does the same thing as the MAF Sensor Calibrator, but adds more feature like full ignition timing control, additional injector control, nitrous control and a bunch of other things. This is also completely end user programmable.

The high end unit is the APR X-1. URD became involve in the development of the X-1 back in 2005 when I was involved in developing some of the original specifications for it.

The X-1 is a highly advanced engine management system and differs greatly form anything else currently available for the 1GR-FE engine. The hardware and software was designed by one of the former head ECU designers and calibration engineers for Ford.

The calibration files were derived from about a year of engine dyno testing by a former race engine designer and builder for Cosworth and one of the former head calibration engineers for TRD.

The X-1 employs very advanced self tuning strategies to ensure that the fueling of the engine is always exactly dead on. The way it goes about this is a calibration file is flashed into the X-1 before it is shipped to you based on your operating combination. The fuel table is populated with the desired air/fuel ratio values that have been determined to be the best based on extensive engine dyno testing. This table tells the X-1 what the AFR should be. It uses 100% closed loop feed back using the air/fuel ratio sensors (wideband) that are already installed in your exhaust. This tells the X-1 what the fuel mixture actually is. If the fuel mixture deviates from the "commanded" value it will alter the pulse width of the injectors to get the fuel mixture exactly where it is supposed to be and keep it there. The X-1 is capable of a 50% correction factor in its adaptive fuel control.

Now here is something you may not of expected. If for some reason the X-1 cannot get the fuel mixture to where it is supposed to be and keep it there the Engine Guardian feature kicks in and will depower the engine to protect it. You could have a clogged fuel filter or a fuel pump problem causing a lean out and if the actual fuel mixture deviates from the commanded fuel mixture by one value for one second the Guardian will engage and drop the engine RPM to 4000 and activate the check engine light to alter you to its activation. It also works in reverse. If the fuel mixture gets to rich like from an injector locked open it will also engage.

The Engine Guardian also will activate if the engine begins to overheat.

I am sure you know URD markets the most powerful supercharger system for the 1GR Tacoma and we use the X-1 as our engine management system. One thing I also have the X-1 do for my kit is I use the Engine Guardian to limit the max RPM until the engine is sufficiently warmed up. This is important to ensure the longevity of the engine. To much power and boost before the correct operating temp is not a good thing.

For the FJ Cruiser the X-1 can be used to unlimit the vehicle speed limiter, drive additional injectors, run the TRD supercharger without the TRD reflash, get more power and performance out of your normally aspirated engine and so on. There are a host of other capabilities that you may never need as well.

Another really cool feature is the X-1 very robust data capturing capability using the X-Tune software and your PC. If you have some anomaly you can connect your PC to the X-1 and do a data capture of ALL of the engine operating parameters. This file can be emailed to URD and we can analyze your data and if needed make alterations to your calibration and email it back to you. Like folks that do that remote PC fixing thing over the Internet.

URD stocks all the units mentioned above and can ship them all to you immediately. We are also fully capable of giving you the after sale tech support for the installation and whatever else you need, even on most weekends when you will likely be doing your installation. No one beats our tech support!!

I hope that clears up some of the mystery of performance tuning and some of your options. If you have any questions at all, please ask them here. I have been around for a good while, I know what is good and bad, and what works and does not. Feel free to ask me anything about performance improvements for your FJ and I will do everything I can to help you decide what is best for YOU and YOUR FJ from intakes, to spark plugs, to exhaust systems.



If you want to go faster... Go URD!!

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#2 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 11:01 PM
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Re: FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

I should of added this video as well. I am sure most of you have already seen it 1000 times

The Uber FJ featuring URD power!!


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#3 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 11:37 PM
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Re: FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

Thanks for offering up your expertise to us! I know I'll have some questions for you at some point!

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#4 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 02:15 AM
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Re: FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

I'm sure a few other people might be interested in this same question as well. I am not so concerned in trying to get a lot more power out of the FJ. One thing I am interested to know is with all the added weight and suspension and tires changed out from stock to what I have currently now. If I was a conservative driver. No jack rabbit starts or racing or unnecessary downshifting. Can any of the Chips your talking about "restore" some of the MPG that has been lost with many of the mods many of us are using. Lets say my driving habits are geared for best MPG per tank that I can get. Anything else URD has that may restore my MPG back to what it was if I was a full stock rig? Thanks.

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#5 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 06:12 AM
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Re: FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

oh thats funny first video he maxed out the speed limit then at the end the cop gets him....thats CLASSIC....as acetechno said though is there a program where if you want to conserve gas and increase the mpg is there a program? Of course there is always a program to extract more power and decrease mpg that we know.
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 07:26 AM
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Re: FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

Back before the X-1 was in production I had the the MAF CAL from URD and it without a doubt served its purpose. I was N/A then. I was about to sell my X-Runner due to limited aftermarket support. But when I saw the X-1 come out I jumped on it like a winning lottery ticket. Since then I have put more than 170 RWHP under the hood. APR and URD are people you want to know if you are looking to turn your vehicle into a super vehicle. I by no means am looking to lift my X-Runner,have lowered it 4-6 times. But I have in common with the FJ community the 1gr-fe engine. Doing dynos I have called all 3 of these guys Allan, Scott and Gadget during tuning and they always pull through for me. Technical support with these guys is impeccable. Thank you Gadget for your excellent thread. U B da man.

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#7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 10:14 AM
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Re: FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

Quote:
AceTechno previously said: View Post
I'm sure a few other people might be interested in this same question as well. I am not so concerned in trying to get a lot more power out of the FJ. One thing I am interested to know is with all the added weight and suspension and tires changed out from stock to what I have currently now. If I was a conservative driver. No jack rabbit starts or racing or unnecessary downshifting. Can any of the Chips your talking about "restore" some of the MPG that has been lost with many of the mods many of us are using. Lets say my driving habits are geared for best MPG per tank that I can get. Anything else URD has that may restore my MPG back to what it was if I was a full stock rig? Thanks.

Now there is a tough one. If you have increased tire size over stock the best thing you can do is regear the diffs. That will take a lot of load and strain off of the drive line.

A tire size change as little as one inch can make a huge difference in loss of MPG and performance. On my 4Runner I went from the stock 31" tires to just 33" tires and it was like I was towing a boat all the time. I change the gears from the stock 4.10 to 4.56 and it was a lot better, but still was not right. Changed them again to 4.88 and the truck feels much better now. Still not back to the overall factory drive ratio, that will take I think a 5.0 gear set that does not exist.

In addition to that you can install the URD MAF Sensor Calibrator and that will help at the higher throttle settings and burn slightly less fuel there.

Of course there is the X-1. It's combination of exhaust cam gears, cooler thermostat and self tuning fueling will always keep you at the optimum economy and performance.

One of the ways we get more performance is to lean down the fuel mixture a bit, but you have to be careful going to far on a heavy truck. The reason the factory runs the fuel mixture so pig rich is that they have to plan for the worst case condition. The government requires them to warranty the cats for 8 years or 80,000 miles and at the same time tells them that they can use the materials in the cats that work really well. The substitute materials that they have to use now are very expensive.

High power calibration is not for the best power, it is to protect the cats. In high load conditions the extra fuel from the overly rich mixture is to cool the cats off. Full throttle acceleration on flat ground is usually setup at around 10-10.5:1 AFR. Now if you really load the engine up, like towing a heavy boat or a heavy off road truck with oversize tires up a long mountain grade and you are at high throttle and not accelerating, the ECU will kick into cat saver mode and drop the AFR to as rich as 9.4:1. If you are heavy, not geared right, you do not want to lean it down much or you will smoke your cats.

Now what you can do, is let me set you up with a set of Doug Thorley long tube headers and an X-1 with the special calibration for the front cats being removed and we can get you a nice jump in power and watch your MPG come up as well. This calibration will run the fuel mixture at high load a bit leaner and be a little more aggressive on the spark timing to get that peak cylinder pressure closer in that point of rotation in the crank where it will put the most efficient work to the wheels and drive the vehicle. More power with less fuel consumed.

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#8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 10:21 AM
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Re: FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

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JOCKTHEGLIDE previously said: View Post
oh thats funny first video he maxed out the speed limit then at the end the cop gets him....thats CLASSIC....as acetechno said though is there a program where if you want to conserve gas and increase the mpg is there a program? Of course there is always a program to extract more power and decrease mpg that we know.
Many times what we do to increase power also increases the overall efficiency. Get the engine working less hard to get the air in and the air out increases power and burns less fuel doing it.

The X-1 kit includes the exhaust cam gears that gets the cylinders emptying more completely and allows the engine to draw in more cooler air for better more efficient combustion. The fuel tables are optimized and so is the spark table all to increase the efficiency of the engine. More power with less fuel. A great combo. Just don't expect miracles is the lack of aerodynamics plays a big factor at higher speeds and we can't tune that away.

The URD XRunner has an incredibly high top end. It has been close to 170 MPH a couple of times and it was still accelerating. These of course are just plain stupid speeds.

Did have fun when I was asked to be a chase vehicle at the Lambo meet. The XRunner really humbled up some of those super cars. Two of those owners bought XRunners and our supercharger kit for them after the meet.



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Last edited by Gadget@URD; 08-22-2009 at 10:29 AM.
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 05:44 PM
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Re: FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

Hey thanks for that reply. I have one more question. I have always understood it as if you have more power that your engine is working more efficiently. Thus less of a strain on the engine thus using less fuel to get thing up and going or moving. So in theory having more power and not using it would also save on MPG. Am I right?

I like your idea of the DT long tubes and X-1. <<< Do you install this together??? I am not to far from your HQ in Socal. That is a lot to swallow in cash though. I can get that, but won't be able to make next months house payment. So I kinda have to put things in priority. My tire size is only 33". Thanks again.

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Last edited by AceTechno; 08-22-2009 at 05:53 PM.
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 05:47 PM
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Re: FJ Performance Tuning Q&A

with the X-one given a rough estimate how much more HP and torque can I get with the TRD SC on a FJ cruiser? Also with the upgrade kits on the SC on the URD site can Stage 2 and 3 be applied to the TRD SC also?
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