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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The much-discussed Raptor ECU flash for later year FJs convinced me to get in line, and it finally came available for earlier FJs this summer - right before my big annual 6,000mi journey to Moab, Summit and back to Vermont. With great support from Tim at Raptor (@Tradewind) and @bazross we got the new ECU maps installed just days before my departure, and off I went!

My first impression scooting around town was confirmed when I briefly went back to stock tune, and what a difference - literally laughed out loud at how sluggish my rig felt by comparison...really did experience the promised torque gain. Nice that it’s so easy to go back to stock tune, but don’t see why I’d want to!
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
On pavement FJ is more responsive, quicker on starts (1st gear pep is considerable), and silky smooth shifting all the way to the top. Also the shift pattern is more power-oriented, allowing for higher sustained rpms in each gear prior to shifting, so there’s no lag, no bogging down. Realized how I’d grown used to that over the years, and how anticipating speed loss with each shift had affected my driving - especially on long uphills . I live in the mountains so it’s a frequent occurrence. I still can’t help saying Ahhhhh outloud driving around town doing lots of starts and stops.

Also because valve timing and fuel delivery are different, the sound is more throaty - sweet new tinge of roar, especially in passing gear which is a blast - literally - with a breath-taking amount of power instantly available. Now I look forward to oppotunities to launch passing gear :wink

So I loaded up all my gear for a month of wheeling and camping out west and hit the interstate. With the weight gain and additional drag from a loaded roofrack, FJ handled with a good deal more spirit above 2500rpm than I anticipated - without loss of expected mpg.

This was especially apparent going up long steep stretches of I 70 over the Rocky Mountains. In previous years I would typically be pressing hard to keep up (important on this crazy road) but with the Raptor there was power to spare. Also way less gear hunting and down shifting, so happier tranny.

Another advantage on the interstate I discovered was maneuverability in heavy/high speed traffic - being able to zip in and out of lanes, or quickly get out of the way of the many horrible northeastern drivers who do not pay attention was great (and I admit I’m a fairly aggressive driver :grin). Gave me a feeling of greater safety that I could be so nimble....a light footed brick sounds perfect for the conditions! :ninja:
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Ok, the real reason I wanted this tune...rockcrawling! For years I’ve tried to figure out ways to increase low end torque to better get up tall ledges and stupid-steep inclines - and have more throttle control. The exciting result: waaaaay more throttle response than I anticipated, and more power immediately available....so much so that I overdid it on a few obstacles I’d struggled to get up previously. Learned more controlled approaches, more finesse possible, and also nice not having to give it a bump as much as it really launches with this tune. Further, on really long steep off-camber climbs where losing power is not an option I had the joy of complete confidence. A friend who watched my ascent on the Waterfall, Where Eagles Dare and said I “looked supercharged”....and it felt that way!
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Here’s what I meant by overdoing it - on Hell’s Gate and The Wall on Gold Bar Rim I did not intend or want to put a wheel in the air, but being used to pressing harder to throttle up these two obstacles in the past I had too much torque happening. In addition I had my front locker engaged so that could’ve been a problem for my diff on touchdown. But I made it up with no breakage and from the drivers seat felt really easy!
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
At Summit there were no obstacles (Poughkeepsie was closed) but I loved the improved power and surefootedness (compared to previous years)on loose skri (ex:Ophir Pass) and steep high-elevation slimey mud/gravel mixture trails (ex: Enginneer, Imogene)...pics below.

In addition to a front eLocker I have TRD CAI, BAM catback exhaust, 4.56 gearing in an 8.2 third. The Raptor Tune not only maximizes these, it also is the most profoundly beneficial for performance of anything I’ve done - it definitely achieves the goal I intended it for. No ill effects whatsoever, no maintenance required, no physical alterations to have it on board. Not only is it reliable, it continues to make me happy with new surprises, like tons of extra pep now that the weather is turning colder up here (I couldn’t believe it - 34deg yesterday morning and she was like a wild animal, consuming her new diet of truly cold air...so much fun!!).

I’m extremely happy with both the Raptor Tune and the support provided, especially during the initial (worlds first!)re-mapping of a VVTI FJ engine. I highly recomend this for both sport and comfort. Happy to answer any questions and will continue to update as I learn and discover more, such as performance in sub-zero temps and snow wheeling :smile

Edit: attaching the Raptor website to better answer your questions - scroll down and you’ll see something familiar :)
http://raptorsc.com.au/toyota/toyota-remapping/

- Deb
 

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Damn, I guess I’ll put this on my list after my Jmax snorkel arrives. $$$
 

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07-09 Raptor ECU Tune ROCKS! My review from trail & road + PICS!

Excellent and thorough review Deb.
I’ll say one thing about the Raptor though, this may be the most expensive NA bench tune I’ve seen outside of exotics, unless I’m not understanding what is included?

*edited for being a dolt and not realizing it’s not in US Dollars...did not edit my original response.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Well I was considering unsubbing from the Raptor thread to remove the temptation....

But sounds like I may need one of these before next year's trip. I just put my 4.88's on and it feels a little overgeared now on the highway with 34's so I may want to figure out my setup first and see how I like it.
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Excellent and thorough review Deb.
I’ll say one thing about the Raptor though, this may be the most expensive NA bench tune I’ve seen outside of exotics, unless I’m not understanding what is included?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Pictures of the unit and home screen are above. I’ll call it a “DIY bench tune”and as far as I know, it’s roughly the same cost.....but would be better to ask Raptor. My son drove hours to the closest shop for his Dyno tune and it took 2 days...with lousy results. The Raptor tune has been well-validated and will work for all our 07-09 FJs - mine is living proof :rocker:
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Discussion Starter #16
Well I was considering unsubbing from the Raptor thread to remove the temptation....

But sounds like I may need one of these before next year's trip. I just put my 4.88's on and it feels a little overgeared now on the highway with 34's so I may want to figure out my setup first and see how I like it.
You will make good use of it I’m sure :blueblob:
 

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Forum Beer Miester
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Well I was considering unsubbing from the Raptor thread to remove the temptation....

But sounds like I may need one of these before next year's trip. I just put my 4.88's on and it feels a little overgeared now on the highway with 34's so I may want to figure out my setup first and see how I like it.

You’re in the actual power producing rpm band of the FJ now, you’ll get used to it bro. Welcome to the 4.88 club, we are few! :bandit:
 

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Forum Beer Miester
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Excellent write up Deborah and I couldn’t have said it better, the Raptor is a game changer across the board. Even at 13,000 feet the FJ seemed very peppy far more so than in previous years.

Again I’m pretty happy neither of us tried that assent on Where Eagles Dare as Jeff did, I don’t think either of us had a good grasp of how to handle the extra torque at that point. I think I would try it now but not that day, just too squirrelly until I got a handle on it. I’ll have a little more help next year to ease up the bigger stuff :wink and I’ll probably start taking some weight off the roof as well to reduce roll.
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Excellent write up Deborah and I couldn’t have said it better, the Raptor is a game changer across the board. Even at 13,000 feet the FJ seemed very peppy far more so than in previous years.

Again I’m pretty happy neither of us tried that assent on Where Eagles Dare as Jeff did, I don’t think either of us had a good grasp of how to handle the extra torque at that point. I think I would try it now but not that day, just too squirrelly until I got a handle on it. I’ll have a little more help next year to ease up the bigger stuff :wink and I’ll probably start taking some weight off the roof as well to reduce roll.
Thank you Jason! Yes in retrospect I too am glad neither of us attempted that climb, literally the steepest (with most dangerous side slopes) I have EVER seen, prior to getting our sea legs with the new tune....we did not need to lift a front wheel in THAT spot! It was like a trail that happened to be on a vertical wall with hundreds of feet of dropoff to either side. Watching @Firemedic831 climb it I really thought we were about to witness a tragedy...and now I can’t wait to get back there and run it :rofl: Good point on the effects of elevation at Summit - or lack thereof thanks to Raptor :wink
 
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