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  • Writer's pictureJustin Turner

Why you can (and should) tune your Manual Transmission Tacoma FKS 3.5 V6 engine (2016+ model year)

So you are one of the few (but special) folks who drives a manual transmission Tacoma eh? And you may have been wondering, "Does vF Tuner offer tunes for the MT?" The answer is YES!

In December 2020, vF Tuner released their largest (and greatest) calibration update for the 2GR-FKS platform. It was more than a year in the making, with hundreds of lines of codes tested and more than 500 hours of in house code analysis.

Overview of changes made:

  1. Updated Fuel mapping via direct AFR target control - vF Tuner modified the tunes fuel tuning, changing the air fuel targets and modifying the tables for direct AFR target control. This eliminates fuel tuning guess work.

  2. Updated Ignition control logic for octane learning - vF Tuner modified their ignition tuning, which includes changes to the base ignition tables, high and lock knock tables, and modified how the ECU interprets knock data and reduces or advances ignition. This created their "Octane Learning" feature, which allows you to run a tune with varying octane. The ECU will reduce ignition and make the necessary adjustments to keep the tune safe. There are 2 versions: an octane version for regular gas (85-89), and an octane version for premium fuel (90-94). **Note: You can technically run 87 or even lower on the premium file. However, you will get continual diminished performance.

  3. Updated Camshaft tables - vF Tuner updated their VVT tuning to incorporate some changes that Toyota has changed for 2020 model year vehicles that use this engine and produce higher horsepower and torque numbers than the Tacoma.

  4. Updated Rev limit - The rev limiter has been expanded on the manual transmission to 7250. Note, vF Tuner does not recommend extended high revs (for example continually banging off the limiter).

  5. Torque Modeling patch for the Manual transmission - One of the biggest changes vF Tuner has made, and the one that you can feel right away, is the Torque modeling patch. They have changed the torque model for how the Manual Transmission version of this truck demands throttle position. This creates better response and more predictable engine response

  6. Elimination of Gear based Demand tables - vF Tuner has found, through extensive testing and code analysis, how to eliminate the torque model changes when you change gears. This is exclusive to OVTune and took hundreds of hours and months of testing to figure out. This is by far THE BEST change that can be made to the tune to make this truck more drive-able. On the stock calibration, each gear has it's own Torque Model. This means the response from the engine is different, and unpredictable, in each gear. Driving a manual transmission REQUIRES that you know how the engine responds when you apply throttle. However, in the Tacoma, the throttle is applied differently for each gear and neutral.

This means you either need to remember how EACH GEAR drives, and independently change how you apply throttle in these gears to create a smooth driving experience.

Your other (better) option is to let Mobile Antics flash this latest vF Tuner calibration, which eliminates all of this and creates a 1:1 predictable throttle output, regardless of gear.

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