Pedal Commander & Sprint Booster Alternative: Meet the Pedal Box Throttle Response Controller – Reduce Tacoma Throttle Lag & Mushy Pedal
After driving your Tacoma, you may have noticed the weird and annoying throttle lag when you press on the gas. It’s most noticeable on steep inclines when you go to accelerate and get little to no throttle response. In general, when you first push on the gas, the throttle is fairly peppy, then there’s a large dead zone, and all a sudden, the truck downshifts and jumps upwards of 3000+ RPM and you take off.
If you have looked into trying to get rid of this issue, then you most likely have come across the process of re-gearing or some sort of throttle response controller.
What is Re-Gearing? What is a Throttle Response Controller?
One solution to this problem is to regear your truck. This is where you upgrade the gears inside your differential to acquire a more desired ratio. While this can be an extremely expensive and labor-intensive process, it is almost guaranteed to solve and mitigate most shift patterns and acceleration problems. It’s also been known to increase acceleration and gas mileage.
If you’re lifted, on bigger tires, a common upgrade you might hear about is switching to Nitro Gear 5.29s. We’ve done a review and overview here. Check it out to learn more.
The more cost-effective option would be to get yourself a throttle response controller. This controller is a system that connects to your factory throttle harness and pedal and removes any response delay in the accelerator at a fraction of the cost of regearing.
There are some common options on the market for the Tacoma. Both the popular Pedal Commander and the recently reviewed Sprint Booster are both well-known options but another company has shown up with an impressive new product. Introducing the Pedal Box with two versions; standard and Bluetooth/app controlled.
Pedal Box & Pedal Box+
We will be taking a look at the Pedal Box+ throttle response controller and the installation process on a 3rd Gen Tacoma. Pedal Box offers two options when purchasing your controller. The Pedal Box or Pedal Box+. The Pedal Box+ comes with an app that you can Bluetooth to your phone and control the settings remotely.
The plus is the one we will be installing and reviewing today. This simple and cost-effective install is a great solution to help solve your gas pedal woes. With the simple plug and play install and the multiple different driving modes and customization features, you can be sure you’ll get the experience you have been looking for!
Let’s dive into it!
Find It Online:
- Pedal Box & Pedal Box+ Maximum Response: Check Price
Required Tools & Materials:
- Extra set of hands (optional)
Step 1. Unplug Factory Harness
Start by locating your accelerator pedal. Try and get into a good position in the footwell to be able to reach in and unclip the stock harness.
There is a pinch/pressure tab on the right side of the harness. Make sure to pull from the harness body and not the wires to ensure you don’t damage them.
Step 2. Plug In New Harness
Grab your Pedal box wiring harness and controller.
Locate the male connector (arrow pointed to the male). This is the connector that will plug into the factory harness that you just removed.
Take your factory harness and your new pedal box harness and connect them.
Ensure you have both the clips facing the same direction. They will easily snap together.
Step 3. Reinstall Throttle Response Controller to Accelerator Pedal
Grab the other remaining end on the pedal box harness and clip it into the accelerator pedal harness.
Make sure you have the clip orientated in the right direction; it should be facing the passenger’s seat. Make sure you hear the snap to ensure it is secured properly.
Step 4. Program Throttle Controller
Turn your ignition on; there is no need to start the truck.
The top button on the controller will light up green.
With the top light indicating green, press and hold the + and – button simultaneously for at least 3 seconds until the light bar indications flash green and red. With the lights flashing green and red, slowly press the throttle from the neutral position to the full-throttle position.
Release the pedal back to the neutral position. You can watch the light bar indicator advance as you push the pedal to make sure you are doing it correctly. The top button will start blinking if done the right way. Press and hold it for 3 seconds and the light will now flash green, indicating it’s all programmed.
If you got the Pedal Box+, now is the time to download the app as specified in the manual. Following the instructions will eventually bring you to a screen that gives you the ability to control which mode and response you are in via your phone.
Step 5. Tuck Excess Wires
Now it’s time to deal with the excess cables and controller module.
I found the best way is to stuff the excess cable down into the center console behind the carpet. It is easy and out of the way and requires no cutting, drilling or extra work.
Step 6. Mount Controller
Included in the kit are the mounting plate and adhesive tape.
Place the adhesive tape in the middle of the plate, making sure it is fully secured.
One of the best places to mount the controller is right next to the engine start/stop button. It sits up out of the way nice and tidy.
The wire will run nicely up along the steering column cover and will not impede your driving. If you have extra cable slack, stuff it back into the center console carpeting as mentioned in the last step.
For an even cleaner install, you can route the cable in the space between the dash and steering column.
Drive Modes & Customization
The options for customizing the setting of the Pedal Box are super extensive, ensuring that you can fine-tune your settings and get the exact response you have been looking for.
There are 4 modes on the Pedal Box. City, Sport, Sport +, Stock.
Pedal Box Modes
- Green = City Mode. This mode is designed for stop and go, urban kind of traffic. Significantly improved low-end speed and throttle response off the line.
- Yellow/Orange = Sport Mode. Sport mode increases throttle mode significantly in the low-end range and is suitable for the majority of driving conditions. There is more spontaneous throttle response.
- Red = Sport+ Mode. Sport+ mode has the most throttle response through the whole pedal travel. Quite a bit of responsiveness is obtained at low speeds while using Sport+. Fast acceleration and overtakes are best done in this mode.
- White = Stock Sensitivity. You can feel a big difference when switching back and forth between stock and the other modes.
Fine adjustment can be obtained by pressing the + and – buttons, which lights up the 6 bar indicator. Hitting + 3 times will light up the right side red bars red and/or bring you back up to neutral, hitting the – 3 times will bring you back down to neutral and/or will light up the left sidebars green.
Pressing the + and – will fine-tune your throttle response for whichever mode you are currently in. The more red bars show, the more responsive while pressing into the green bars will make it a little less responsive. Fine-tuning can be done to get a setting that feels best to you.
Congrats, you have completed the setup process! And now it’s time to go out and drive to see how it feels!
As previously mentioned, this version of the Pedal Box came with a Bluetooth app. You might be wondering, what features does the Bluetooth app have and is it worth the extra cost?
When you first open the Pedal Box app, you are greeted with relatively the same controls as the physical controller. You have all the options. With the app, you can save specific presets. This allows you to have custom settings for different scenarios. Having the Bluetooth app gives you a more user-friendly platform compared to the wired controller. This can help make things a bit easier when changing your setting.
Is it worth it? It all depends on which way you’ll likely be changing your settings. If your phone never leaves your sight, this might be a good option for you. Either way, you won’t really go wrong.
Right off the bat, when you drive it for the first time, you feel an increased touchiness and response off the line.
The truck will feel more balanced getting up to speed, as compared to before where you had to really step on it to get to the desired speed. As it does not completely solve the shifting point issue, it does solve it in the sense that the correlation between the speed and the position of the pedal in the pedal stroke will be improved.
The stock pedal stroke can be depicted in thirds. The first third you get power, the middle stroke you get a pretty big dead zone, and lastly, you get more power. The best way to explain the new Pedal Box is that the pedal stroke is now more evenly divided up. You now get power back in the dead zone that you previously wouldn’t have had.
This helps on hills, especially when you are cruising between 40-70 mph. Having a better low-end response helps around town when getting up to cruising speed. It is also noticeable when needing to get around someone. The truck won’t downshift and rev up to 3000+ RPM and sound like it’s going to send piston 2 to the moon. It’s got the power to spare to help in that kind of situation.
I like this option more than the Sprint Booster because it has the clip you can place the handheld unit onto. Also, I have read reviews on the pedal commander of it being difficult to hold straight because the cable is connected on the site and it wants to lean that way. Really minor details but more or less all these products achieve the same goal; reduce throttle lag on the skinny pedal.
Overall, this kit is pretty awesome. I’m stoked to add more functional mods to my truck that dial in the basics.
A super simple installation process and the ability to customize really help the driver get the best, most desired throttle response. This makes driving your Tacoma a much more enjoyable experience!