Our Tips for Setting Up a Tacoma Throttle Controller

By Steve George

September 20, 2022Cars

Toyota was anything but a newcomer at the mid-sized pickup party when it unveiled its third generation Tacoma in 2016. With a decade of successful production under its belt, and a few full-sized design cues borrowed from its equally successful sibling, the Tundra, the Tacoma wasn’t shy about bumping shoulders with the best mid-sized trucks Detroit had to offer.

Gen 3 brought a more aggressive stance, and new styling, and even squeezed some extra space out of the Tacoma’s mid-sized flanks. It’s the look Tacoma owners love so much about these pickups, wrapped around a frame that’s as tough as any Toyota ever built. And yet, for all the gen 3’s accolades, they’ve never had a stellar reputation for being the punchiest performers.

Not surprisingly though, even with a powertrain and engine lineup that’s clearly more dedicated to improving fuel economy than performance, the Tacoma still holds sway as the best-selling mid-sized pickup in North America. It’s an impressive accomplishment, but what Tacoma owner wouldn’t like to have a more responsive throttle too? Fortunately, it’s not difficult for them to have that extra performance; and the best part is, they don’t have to sacrifice mileage to get it.

Taking Control of the Tacoma’s Throttle

evc throttle controller
Source: facebook.com/ultimate9

If you own a gen 3 Tacoma, then you already know that the one thing these pickups could use is a positive feeling when you hit the accelerator. The solution, however, is a simple one: by installing an Ultimate-9 third-generation Tacoma throttle controller, you can take control of your pickup’s throttle response and start feeling more confident than ever about how your Tacoma’s able to perform.

Make no mistake, Toyota’s been very deliberate in the way they’ve continued to tune Tacoma’s cast iron 2.7L 4-cylinder and aluminium 3.5L V6 powerplants. They’re a team of reliable, hardworking engines that are easily capable of grinding out 250,000 hard truck miles, but the signal delay between their Engine Control Units (ECUs) and Throttle Position Sensors (TPSs) scale performance back almost to a minimum. The problem isn’t as much a lack of horsepower, as it is an excess of economization; and through an automatic transmission, the problem can feel twice as bad.

An Ultimate-9 throttle controller won’t increase your pickup’s horsepower, modify your power curve, or force any part of the powertrain to perform outside of its factory range. What it will do though, is allow you to control the reference points between the ECU and the TPS. By removing the delay that you’re used to experiencing in the form of either engine strain or hesitation, especially at low and mid-range RPMs, you’re going to see:

  • More responsive throttle control for passing or merging;
  • More sure-footed traction for towing or pull trailers; and,
  • Instantaneous steering for better driving in snow or mud.

You’re in complete control of your truck’s throttle responsiveness with a throttle controller. And after it’s installed, you can put your concerns about Tacoma throttle lag behind you once and for all.

The Complete Throttle Control Kit

evc throttle controller ultimate9 kit
Source: autobarn.com.au

A throttle control kit for gen 3 Tacomas only consists of 2 components: an in-line throttle control module and a dash-mounted driver interface. The interface, however, features 4 driving modes comprised of 20 unique settings that let you set up your Tacoma package precisely the way you need it.

Factory Mode

In Factory mode, the control module replicates Tacoma’s factory ECU’s settings, and is a good setting for drivers who aren’t familiar with the throttle controller’s performance.

Ultimate Mode

The ultimate mode includes 9 performance settings, and they’ll let you hit the highway driving, or pass or change lanes with a level of confidence that you wouldn’t have thought possible with a Tacoma.

Eco Mode

Eco mode also has 9 performance settings that are ideal for slow speed, and high torque drive like off-roading, or pulling through snow or mud.

Automatic Control Mode

Automatic mode corresponds entirely to the amount of accelerator pressure being applied, and is good for long drives or for towing over varying terrain.

Instead of altering your driving style to compensate for the gen 3’s benchmark performance, a throttle controller lets you set up the truck according to the driving conditions right there on the ground. It’s the safest, and most efficient way to get the Tacoma performance you’ve wanted all along, and you can have it in minutes.

Installing a Throttle Controller

evc throttle contoller
Source: facebook.com/ultimate9

The Ultimate-9 throttle control module installs directly in line with the Tacoma’s wiring behind the accelerator, and 15 minutes is the most you’ll need to complete the following:

  • Unplug the TPS cable from the back side of the accelerator pedal;
  • Connect the throttle controller module’s connector to the back side of the accelerator;
  • Connect the TPS cable to the top of the new connector on the throttle control module;
  • Mount the driver’s interface to a convenient dashboard location; and,
  • Connecting the cable from the driver’s interface to the module.

Setting up the driver’s interface is as intuitive as starting the engine, and you can install the throttle controller with the assurance that it:

  • Won’t interfere with any of the Tacoma’s factory safety or control features;
  • Is fully compatible with factory TSB ECU reflashes, as well as aftermarket tuning mods; and,
  • Is backed by a lifetime warranty.

In short, it’s a mod you can make in minutes, but will give you years of satisfaction in return. What could be more appropriate for a Toyota than that?

The Final Word

At the end of the day, if you own a Tacoma, there isn’t a lot that anyone’s going to tell you about how good they are. Above all the others, the gen 3s are reliable, durable, and they retain their value like no other pickup on the market; and all that’s missing is a bump in performance.

With an Ultimate-9 Tacoma throttle controller, you can make your Tacoma’s performance match it’s dependability to the letter. Don’t be fooled: the gen 3s have the power to perform; they just need the device to make it happen. That’s why when you’re thinking about the next mod you make to your Tacoma, let it be an Ultimate-9 throttle controller.