Ask Unichip: Tuners For The Tundra 4.6 and 4.0?
Not all wrenching on the Toyota Tundra gets done with an actual wrench. The complex computer systems that manage the Tundra’s engine are a ripe source for unlocking extra horsepower. Somewhat conservatively-tuned from the factory, the Tundra has attracted attention from aftermarket chip manufacturers and programmers intent on squeezing every last drop of potential from the vehicle’s drivetrain. However, only Unichip offers a tuner for the Tundra.
We were given the opportunity to interview Jack Friedman from Unichip, one of the authorities in ECU tuning. Unichip has been in business for more than 15 years, and during that time the company has maintained a strong presence supporting the many different engines offered in the Tundra. Jack provided us with an almost overwhelming amount of information concerning the ins and outs of Tundra tuning, and we’ll be sharing that info in a series of posts that should help Toyota Tundra owners get a better understanding of the ECU tuning process.
Question 1: A Tuner for the New Tundra 4.6L
We asked Jack about the availability of a Unichip option for 4.6 liter editions of the Toyota Tundra. Currently, the company provides a chip for the 5.7 Tundra both with and without a TRD supercharger.
Jack’s response was that, historically, Unichip has not seen strong interest from smaller-engine pickup truck owners when it came to seeking out performance tuners, and as such the company has no current plans to release a product for the 4.6 liter V8. That being said, he did offer the possibility of a group buy from interested Tundra 4.6 owners, as the company is capable of rapidly putting together an effective tune for the power plant.
Question 2: A Tuner for the 4.0 V6 Tundra
Along the same lines, we asked if the Unichip offering for the Tacoma’s 4.0 liter V6 could be installed in a 4.0 V6 Tundra. According to Jack, the answer is yes (with a few caveats). Since the engines are the same, the programming for the chip itself would not have to change when moved from the Tacoma to the Tundra. However, the ECU’s themselves are physically different, which means that a different Unichip Plug ‘n Play harness would have to be used in order to connect the chip to the Tundra’s computer.
Jack was fairly confident that the Tacoma chip would work in the bigger truck without any issues, but he did qualify that statement by saying that since Unichip has yet to test this particular configuration there could be some minor electrical differences between the two ECU’s that would need to be worked out.
That wraps up the first part of our interview with Jack at Unichip, covering some of the questions that are relevant to those not driving around behind the 5.7 liter V8. In our next post, we will talk with Jack about some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding engine modifications and how they affect engine tuning.
Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Accessories