Last Updated on November 27, 2023
The Ultimate9 evcX Throttle Controller For The 5th Gen 4Runner – An Upgrade To Their Popular EVC Model
Meet the next gadget that can take your 4Runner from a retired grandpa heading to a DMV to give up his license, to an anti-theft, more responsive machine.
It’s common knowledge that the 4Runner has noticeable throttle response lag. That’s not a big problem depending on overall preference, but it’s nice to feel like I have control. Insert common demand into the picture, and there will be a supply. The Ultimate9 evcX throttle controller is an easy addition to make your 4Runner drive exactly how you’d like.
Find It Online:
- Ultimate9 evcX Throttle Controller (5th Gen 4Runner): Check Price
Unboxing and Installation
Overall, this is a job that takes only a few minutes to complete and has minimal instructions. The pamphlets provided in the box give a nice knowledge overview of features you’re about to give to your throttle. It also highlights in what situations you may want to use each one.
Step 1: Unplug The Original Throttle Wiring Harness
Pictured above is the OEM throttle plug. There is a retention clip that can be pinched and simultaneously pulled up and away to disconnect.
Step 2: Install Ultimate9 Throttle Harness
Take the throttle plug-in provided by Ultimate9 and insert it in between the harness that’s now hanging loose and the one that’s on top of the throttle itself.
You’ll notice that the harness end on the evcX wire set that’s longer will be inserted into the dangling connector, compared to the shorter end/plug that’ll fit snugly into the top of the pedal.
Be sure to try to fix the wires up and out of the way as best you can, so as to not be in the way of your foot when driving. Using a zip-tie may do the trick if there’s excess wiring.
As for the driver interface module, it’ll have a sticky back for convenient placement. The wire that extends from the throttle harness to the controller is pretty long, so you have options.
Note: Between the EVC or the evcX, the latter has Bluetooth capabilities and allows the user to access all modes through an app.
This allows you to place the evcX module out of sight if desired. The EVC model does not connect via Bluetooth and placement must be considered for easier access to change modes.
Initially, I stuck the device to the right of the steering wheel right in front of my knee, as shown above. Sadly, with the angle of the plastic facing forward just a tad, it was enough for it to fall off after a while.
I then placed it to the left of the steering wheel where it’s a bit flatter. I’d much rather have the Switch-Pro in that location, but for now, this will have to do.
Driving Modes and Interface
Once Bluetooth is connected and you’re in the Ultimate9 app, each driving mode is listed as well as a scaling meter in the center. Whenever a mode is selected (aside from the U9 mode), the meter can be set from 1-9 to fine-tune the setting.
For example, with ECO mode, the throttle response will be reduced thus being more fuel efficient. It takes a noticeable push on the throttle for the vehicle to respond and get up to speed. Increasing this from 1 to 9 will exacerbate this throttle response, requiring that much more of a stomp on the gas pedal to see a quicker response.
This is a full-throttle, need for speed setting when you’re looking to get the max power out of 4Runner instead of max MPG’s. It is super touchy, I’ll admit. It feels like I’m driving a completely different vehicle.
This is also the only mode that cannot be adjusted with the scale. It’s called “U9” for a reason – automatically adjusting it to the max throttle response.
This is the step below that of the Ultimate9. It allows the user to enhance response time and feel sharper with the pedal if still left on 1. This mode is adjustable too just in case you want to bump it up a little more, but not quite the level of U9.
For utilization, I personally haven’t used it beyond the streets and in a few scenarios. I’m not a fast driver who’s trying to constantly overtake others while in traffic. However, it could be used in a daily setting to overtake someone or even useful while towing.
This is stated as a reduced mode compared to the U9 to avoid potential wheel spin/loss of traction, but still enhanced for a quicker start from a dead stop.
It’s fun to use against those random Pathfinders on the highway that rev their engines at a stop light. I’ll admit, it’s easier to just hit the U9 instead of Launch and think about what meter number it’s on. You can still get a quick launch all while avoiding traction loss if you hit the gas right.
This is pretty self-explanatory and will adapt similarly to how modern vehicle control units/modules naturally do. Based on your driving habits, the throttle controller will either enhance or decrease throttle response so you can keep the setting the same every day.
This was the setting I was most interested in. I recently drove roughly 1,700 miles just West of Denver, CO from Richmond, VA, and was going to be driving a good bit within the area before ultimately driving roughly the same distance back. It was a large sample size where I could test this setting out.
Ultimately, I was disappointed with how the fuel economy was during the trip. I wasn’t expecting it to get the MPGs of a Smart car, but I should have known that once you average 80-85MPH on a pretty steady incline to the west, fuel efficiency suffers. What helped more was using Lucas Oil Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner and adding that to a tank of gas.
Eco was set at 9 for hours on end and driving there and back, I averaged around 13.5MPG – sometimes less depending on the area, but never more. During the drive around Denver, it was closer to 12MPG because of the constant gear shifting and inclines.
This mode does work best around where I live, however. It’s much flatter, but also speed limits (aside from the main highways) don’t exceed 55-60MPH. This is a much more balanced speed where I’d normally get around 15MPG and can bump that up to at least 16MPG. Still, it’s not a huge difference though.
This is stated as a mode used most during use in snow, mud, or even on a rocky trail. I used it on an off-road trail in CO, but to be honest, it wasn’t anything treacherous so I didn’t feel much of a difference.
If you happen to grace a lad at a nice restaurant the opportunity to park your 4Runner and don’t want them to do any joy riding, switch to this Valet mode for less throttle response and limiting max RPMs.
Sometimes you might want to feel how the throttle felt originally. If so, revert back to factory settings.
This mode is the second reason I got the evcX model. Unlike the standard EVC model that doesn’t have this feature, once parked, this mode allows the driver to set and enter a code that’ll disable the vehicle’s accelerator. When enabled, you can press the gas and nothing will happen, adding an extra layer of security from theft.
Whenever you need to drive away, simply enter the code to enable the accelerator.
Overall, this is a great way to have more control over your 4Runner. It’s an easy upgrade that may prove invaluable even if you only buy it for the locking feature or the Eco mode. I’m looking forward to putting to use other modes more when out on the trail!