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!!