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Old 03-13-2019, 12:36 AM #1
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Are there performance tuners you can buy?

Just wondering if there's such a thing for these vehicles? Like with many others, there's Diablo, Bully Dog, etc, for other trucks and cars. Was hoping I may be able to get something like that or is it something I have to get tuned at a shop? Would be really cool if there was a type of on the fly device where you could change settings for conditions, especially fuel mileage!
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:45 AM #2
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Just wondering if there's such a thing for these vehicles? Like with many others, there's Diablo, Bully Dog, etc, for other trucks and cars. Was hoping I may be able to get something like that or is it something I have to get tuned at a shop? Would be really cool if there was a type of on the fly device where you could change settings for conditions, especially fuel mileage!
There are but most do very little. Old Toyota ECU's are untunable (meaning you cannot re-flash or change the stock values) so other products that do work moderately well like JET chips and the ones you mentioned do very, very little on 4Runners. I run a piggyback ECU to get better fuel ratios at full-throttle and everything in between, but it's anything but plug and play and took hours of work to set up (and the whole setup cost almost $600).

It's best to try some other methods to eek out some performance such as headers, free-flowing exhaust or look into the deckplate mod or elbow removal mods. All of those have been shown to get small performance increases (headers more) and many have reported mileage bumps as well.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:04 AM #3
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What is the deck plate mod or elbow removal?
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:58 AM #4
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if you want my personal opinion, i'd put my time, effort and money into something else on the truck unless you want to drop enough to go forced induction or 1UZ swap.
I know you're coming from sports cars but trying to make these things quick is going to be a disappointing effort. sure, try the free or cheap ones just measure your expectations.
dont get me wrong, i have an e39 with a v8 and a 6 speed and would kill to have that kind of power and throttle response in the 4runner, but the little mods wont get you there. I've decided to embrace the slow until i come across a deal on a supercharger or just end up have the cash on hand and nothing else to spend it on.
again, my opinion so take it however you like
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:09 PM #5
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Really the only "performance tuner" off-the-shelf:

Toyota 5VZ-FE 3.4L V6 Supercharger System



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Old 03-13-2019, 12:12 PM #6
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Embrace the slow is a good way of putting it lol… I agree with most here, not really worth the time/effort for the result. Even the supercharger, which I drove but on a 4.0 Tacoma, was so lack luster, even that price point made the value seem poor. At least with the stock pully setup, doesn’t actually “blow your socks off” and you might even question if it was even installed if you were not familiar with the platform. Supercharger makes it how it should have been out of the box.

I decided I am much better off blowing that cash on suspension… that is really where these trucks start to shine. At least in my mind, I don’t really need to slow down for anything anymore. Ends up being “fast” in its own way.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:25 PM #7
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What is the deck plate mod or elbow removal?
Old website but very relevant: Air Induction. Gadget is the owner of URD, pretty much the leader in Toyota 4Runner/Tacoma performance products and R&D. Check out their website on ideas to eek out some more power: Underdog Racing Development / URD - Aftermarket Performance Parts & Accessories for Toyota Trucks.

I agree with other sentiments though about not seeing any real power gains until you switch to forced induction. My supercharged 4Runner is a blast to drive, getting close to my goal of 300 RWHP but that would be pretty much impossible as naturally aspirated. Engine swaps don't have hardly any support though, 5VZ-FE's are swapped into other vehicles but not much in the way of kits or pre-made adapters to get a different engine into these 3rd Gens.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:32 PM #8
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Honestly I find the torquey but slow nature of these engines kind of enjoyable. Unlike my other vehicles, the 4Runner doesn't beg me to drive like an idiot. It's more of a cruise mobile, and I dig that about it. If you drive it with those expectations, I find it has fairly effortless torque for around town driving. Even on the hills on the highway, I just click OD off on the transmission and don't really need to put my foot into it much.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:41 PM #9
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Speed isn't something looking for at all, I know that's not possible....lol I was more interested in just seeing if by tuning there was the ability to get more fuel mileage, efficiency, and maybe some minor hp and torque gains. Just something else to do with it that's all. Always looking to tinker and tweak.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:20 PM #10
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Old website but very relevant: Air Induction. Gadget is the owner of URD, pretty much the leader in Toyota 4Runner/Tacoma performance products and R&D. Check out their website on ideas to eek out some more power: Underdog Racing Development / URD - Aftermarket Performance Parts & Accessories for Toyota Trucks.

I agree with other sentiments though about not seeing any real power gains until you switch to forced induction. My supercharged 4Runner is a blast to drive, getting close to my goal of 300 RWHP but that would be pretty much impossible as naturally aspirated. Engine swaps don't have hardly any support though, 5VZ-FE's are swapped into other vehicles but not much in the way of kits or pre-made adapters to get a different engine into these 3rd Gens.
I honestly don't understand the point of engine swaps when a supercharger is readily available for the 4R. I suppose if you want to do something different or you're interested in doing it from just a coolness factor but the 1UZ doesn't seem to offer that much better performance than a SC 5VZ. Seems like you could rebuild the engine, buy a rebuilt transmission from toyota and the supercharger for the amount of money and time to do the swap.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:32 PM #11
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Give it a tune up, Plugs,wires, clean the MAF and a new air filter. You will get more from that than any mod short of a supercharger
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:28 PM #12
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I honestly don't understand the point of engine swaps when a supercharger is readily available for the 4R. I suppose if you want to do something different or you're interested in doing it from just a coolness factor but the 1UZ doesn't seem to offer that much better performance than a SC 5VZ. Seems like you could rebuild the engine, buy a rebuilt transmission from toyota and the supercharger for the amount of money and time to do the swap.
It does offer more power, and the ability to go forced induction on top of it, although then you are talking some real costs since I don't know of any pre-made kits like our 4Runners have. If you can get one with the VVT-i technology, it puts out roughly 290/300 HP/TQ. That's a big jump over our stock 183/217. The supercharged 5VZ-FE runs at 265/267 HP/TQ so even that cannot match it, however it's comparing apples to oranges. An engine swap like the 1UZ is an insane amount of work, whereas putting a S/C is not and can be done in one day with basic tools. Costs would be about the same if you are doing all your own work and labor but time costs don't even compare.


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Give it a tune up, Plugs,wires, clean the MAF and a new air filter. You will get more from that than any mod short of a supercharger
Headers will. Doug Thorley headers will gain up to 13 lbs/ft of torque. However, the cost and absolute pain of installing them takes out any fun factor of installing. There's a general rule of thumb that you pay roughly $100 per HP on a naturally aspirated engine and I've found that to be true. The only one that can beat that price point is the deckplate airbox mod, but it's not about to turn your 4Runner into a race car by just freeing up the intake a little.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:32 PM #13
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It does offer more power, and the ability to go forced induction on top of it, although then you are talking some real costs since I don't know of any pre-made kits like our 4Runners have. If you can get one with the VVT-i technology, it puts out roughly 290/300 HP/TQ. That's a big jump over our stock 183/217. The supercharged 5VZ-FE runs at 265/267 HP/TQ so even that cannot match it, however it's comparing apples to oranges. An engine swap like the 1UZ is an insane amount of work, whereas putting a S/C is not and can be done in one day with basic tools. Costs would be about the same if you are doing all your own work and labor but time costs don't even compare.
I guess to me at the end of the day its an SUV with offroad capability and not a sports car. Stock the 4R is a bit of a dog but I can imagine S/C'ed its probably the right amount of power it should have.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:50 PM #14
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The thread about tightening up the sag in the throttle cable got a lot of attention, it gave mine a little peppier feel. I tried but couldn't find it.
Does anyone make a smog legal performance camshaft ? That would certainly add some ponies.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:11 PM #15
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The thread about tightening up the sag in the throttle cable got a lot of attention, it gave mine a little peppier feel. I tried but couldn't find it.
Does anyone make a smog legal performance camshaft ? That would certainly add some ponies.
smog legal camshaft ? well times 4. these things are not a small block cheby with one cam...duhh...we got 4 cams total to deal with
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