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How to Improve Throttle Response

Banks’ all-new PedalMonster gives your truck better drive-by-wire performance.

KJ JonesAuthor

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." While Sir Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion rings true for most tasks, it really hasn't been applicable to vehicles—especially turbodiesel pickup trucks of the late 1990s to present—since the advent of electronically controlled throttles ("drive-by-wire"/"fly-by-wire") nearly 35 years ago.

Let's face it. From a pure driving perspective, performance—better yet, perceived performance—starts with the way a truck reacts to a foot's pressure on the throttle pedal, taking a vehicle's weight into consideration, of course. Does it feel like the rig immediately moves out when you step down? Or can you usually count at least one Mississippi before some type of action occurs?

We believe that laziness is intentional and nothing more than conservative throttle-activation logic that manufacturers' powertrain engineers program into ECMs (for liability reasons). Of course, that's somewhat understandable, but the lag is an annoyance for enthusiasts who truly enjoy the complete driving experience. It's also potentially unsafe.

In the same way that an engine's horsepower and torque can be "unlocked" through ECM tuning, throttle response that the factory holds back also can be made available through calibration, or devices that basically modify the throttle-pedal signal that the ECM receives. As these things go, throttle-pedal boosters and assist-type units are not new. They have been around for many years, and for all intents and purposes, they work.

However, despite the currently robust market, Banks introduces PedalMonster, an all-new, plug-and-play, throttle-sensitivity module that allows users to dial in throttle response (on the fly) via an iDash or with an Apple or Android Bluetooth app. As part of the company's network of devices, PedalMonster also can be used in conjunction with Banks tuners for totally optimized horsepower and throttle response.

Banks engineers say it not works and eliminates "dead pedal" as an OBD-II-connected controller (OBD-II also provides 12 volts for the device requires to operate). It also features adjustable low-speed trim and Reverse Safety and Active Safety fail safes that bypass PedalMonster and return throttle sensitivity back to stock whenever the manual or automatic transmission is in reverse gear, or in the event there is a problem.

Banks' new PedalMonster is 100 percent plug-and-play, and as you'll see in the videos, it can be incorporated into a truck's throttle-pedal wiring in less than 30 seconds (and as an inline device, it does not leave a footprint in the ECM).

Pick a Pedal

Banks' PedalMonster can be adjusted on the fly through an iDash or phone app. Each setting (City, Sport, and Track) includes ten levels of throttle sensitivity refinement, which allows users to tune out the dead spots experienced in the throttle pedal of most drive-by-wire vehicles, especially newer turbodiesel pickup trucks.

  • CITY: Ten levels of increased pedal sensitivity that are mapped for a linear characteristic throughout the throttle's travel range. The setting provides more response without compromising a smooth driving experience. Power is focused more on the higher range to prevent unintentional quick acceleration in city driving situations.
  • SPORT: Ten levels of improved pedal sensitivity that gives vehicles a sportier feel with a focus on mid- to high-level throttle application. Increased power is delivered in the midrange, which is ideal for instances when a little extra get-up-and-go is necessary.
  • TRACK: Ten levels of increased pedal sensitivity in the lower travel range and greater resolution in the upper range, for more precise control on track. Power is delivered sooner.

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