If you’re looking for an effective, yet affordable way to reduce your 4×4’s engine lag and tap into its dormant potential, you’re probably considering adding an aftermarket throttle controller. In the past, the only real connection you had to your vehicle’s motor was the accelerating pedal. The entire connection was a rigid wire that ran from the top of the gas pedal through the firewall and right on top of the motor. This was known as the Bowden cable system, and it was extremely basic, yet functional.
However, as with almost all other mechanical forces, it wasn’t a reliable system – it was prone to wear and tear, inefficiency and eventually, failure. Initially, the Bowden cable system controlled the so-called butterfly flap found inside the carburettor, which manages the air and fuel mixture, so that the driver could pick their preferred speed. But the Bowden cable system has become obsolete with modern vehicles.
Nowadays, just about any vehicle has adopted technologies which improve performance, efficiency and safety, which has led to the mechanical throttle wire being replaced with a completely electronic interface. This system goes by many different names, but the most popular ones are fly-by-wire or drive-by-wire systems.
The DBW system isn’t anything new, and was initially introduced in the 80s by the German automotive industry. Naturally, in the 4×4 automotive industry, carburettors have been replaced by fuel injection systems, which sparked the need for DBW systems as well. Vehicles with a DBW system provide numerous benefits, including improved fuel economy, lower manufacturing costs, more redundancy in the event of failure, and the ability to use adaptive cruise control. But most importantly, DBW systems provide a nicer, direct feel when you press down the gas pedal.
But even though there are so many benefits of DBW systems, there’s one drawback that’s not obvious to a lot of people, unless they own a high-end sports vehicle. DBW-fitted vehicles usually have a short lag or delay between pressing the gas pedal and the engine reacting. The only way most 4x4s can overcome this lag is with the help of an engine throttle control module.
This useful, powerful device is easy to install and use. Basically, an engine throttle control module adjusts the voltage of the DBW system, allowing you to tune the response from the accelerator. This results in reduced throttle delay and lag, which is greatly appreciated when towing things with your 4×4.
As someone who’s had a throttle controller on their 4×4 for a long time, I know all of the benefits of getting one, and it’s safe to say that it’s one of the best and most satisfying upgrades I’ve ever made. It took my HiLux to a whole new level. Throttle controllers have been popular in Australia for about 10 years, and they’re available for most 4×4 vehicles. There are several throttle controllers out there, but if you’re looking for the best one, you probably want the iDrive.
The iDrive can be one of the best upgrades for your 4×4, and most of the people I know who have one speak very highly of them as well. iDrive has been in the Australian market since the very beginning, and they’re now respected as the industry-leading supplier. While I’m not savvy enough to understand claims like “delivering sharper throttle curve”, what I do understand is that they simply work.
As briefly aforementioned, this type of throttle controller is also quite simple to use and install. It only requires a few basic tools and a little bit of dexterity to access under the dash close to the accelerator. You can take apart any stubborn connector with a small screwdriver or plastic panel remover. It’s a task that takes 5 minutes at most and doesn’t require any modification to the dash or body panels. What’s really great is the fact that you can also remove the iDrive if you aren’t satisfied with it, and it will leave no trail that it was ever installed in the first place. However, I doubt you’d remove it once you have it installed.
The iDrive itself is comprised of the unit’s body, which is half the height of a conventional matchbox, and a connecting cable with a plug-in interface that’s made specifically for your vehicle model. The wires are insulated and sturdy, unlike some throttle controllers whose wires are flimsy and thin.
You have to decide where you want to put the main interface first, and you’ll want to ensure it’s accessible from the driver’s seat, no matter whether you actually interact with it regularly or not. It’s typically treated as a set-and-forget device. So, just pick your preferred area, clean it, peel the double-sided adhesive tape and put it in position. Then, carefully route the wire between the dash and the steering column. Carefully detach the DBW plug or sensor that’s found near the top of the gas pedal.
Depending on your vehicle, you’ll then need to slide the locking tab or squeeze the fastening clip before you separate the main loom from the gas pedal’s sensor. Lastly, grab the iDrive’s wire lead and place one of its ends in your vehicle’s original wiring loom until it clicks.