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Anyone installed a throttle controller?

IanC

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I am the happy owner of a 2013 auto. This car replaces a 2005 Mazda MX5 which had been mildly modified by a previous owner. It was quick!

I have always loved the look of the RCZ, it's still the best looking car on the road IMHO but the auto's performance is a tad underwhelming so I'm thinking of installing a throttle controller. But before I do, I'm interested in hearing from the RCZ Brains Trust on any experiences with these things.

There are heaps of these units for sale on the web at prices ranging from under $65 AUD to over $400. Now there's no way I'm going to outlay much over $150 on one of these but that still leaves me plenty to choose from.

The thing is that the vast majority of the cheaper, sub $160 units look much the same: same size "headunit" with three buttons, all in the same place: one to change modes; and the other two to cycle up or down within modes. They come with a wide variety of throttle plug combinations and there seems to be one to fit just about any make and model, even an RCZ! Plug and pray! Off ya go!

Cable connections aside, the only point of difference with the vast majority of these units is the colour of the headunit and the brand name! They all proport to be plug and play and have a wiring harness that plugs into the throttle plug on the car’s harness and the other end which plugs into the oem receptacle at the throttle itself. Interestingly, the great majority of these have in their harnesses, an Apple lightening plug to power the headunit and handle its output signals. (They must be going cheap now that Apple has finally come to its senses and changed to USB C.) Notwithstanding, this suggests to me that all of these units are probably identical under the skin!

I have read numerous reviews from non RCZ folks who had nothing bad to say about them at all. Throttle far more responsive in the lower modes and neck snappingly quick in the higher "race" modes and no issues. However, I've also read other reviews, some from RCZers, reporting all kinds or error codes, cars going into limp mode etc.

So I'm interested in hearing from RCZ owners, particularly Auto owners who have given one of these things a go. Which brand did you buy? Your thoughts on the performance enhancement (or otherwise) and any issues?

I'm also interested in thoughts on the concept of installing one of these in an auto. After all, Peugeot saw fit to reduce the power of the engines in the autos on the basis, as I understand it, that the auto gear box couldn't handle the power.

If I install one of these things am I going the destroy the auto box or hasten its early demise?

So many questions!
 

lfe

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If you notice that when you open the throttle the car takes 1 - 2 seconds to push more, that is not because there is an electronic delay but rather it is due to turbo-lag, which is the time it takes for the turbo to rev up.

Furthermore, the automatic transmission does not help for a quick response either.
 

IanC

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No argument there.

Turbo lag plus auto trans hesitation.

Seems to suggest that a throttle controller might assist with one or the other or possibly both making for a more responsive vehicle.
 

Johnny AUS

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No argument there.

Turbo lag plus auto trans hesitation.

Seems to suggest that a throttle controller might assist with one or the other or possibly both making for a more responsive vehicle.

Ian, I have just ordered a Hikeit throttle controller for my RCZ. The Black Friday sale for $119 AUD, made it hard to beat.
My family car is an LDV G10 van (2.0 petrol turbo, auto). There was throttle lag in that, which was pretty bad. I installed the EVC iDrive in that. It has completely transformed the way the van drives.
If Hikeit are still on special today, I highly suggest you jump on their site today and get one.
 

IanC

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Thanx Johnny. I have two in my Kogan cart at the moment. They are the same brand (forget the name) one is $101 and the other, a newer version I guess cos it's a lot slimmer, is $130. If I buy one, I think I'll go with Kogan cos they have an excellent refund policy in the event that it causes error codes . Pls post and let us know your thoughts after you install it. Btw, do you have an auto or MT?
 

IanC

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While I'm still very interested to hear your thoughts after you install it, your experience won't unfortunately allay my fears over the throttle controller on an auto.

My concerns stem from the fact that Peugeot saw fit to detune the motor for the auto, allegedly because they had concerns over the auto box's ability to handle the power. I've attempted to research this but I can't get any detail around it at all. As I said in my original post, I'd be very reluctant to install one of these things if I going the destroy the auto box or hasten its early demise.

Pls keep me in the loop.
 

RCZ-mad

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While I'm still very interested to hear your thoughts after you install it, your experience won't unfortunately allay my fears over the throttle controller on an auto.

My concerns stem from the fact that Peugeot saw fit to detune the motor for the auto, allegedly because they had concerns over the auto box's ability to handle the power. I've attempted to research this but I can't get any detail around it at all. As I said in my original post, I'd be very reluctant to install one of these things if I going the destroy the auto box or hasten its early demise.

Pls keep me in the loop.
This AT6 trans (with Tiptronic System Porsche) can withstand a maximum torque of 300Nm.

With that in mind, the engine in the THP156 has 115kW (154hp) with 240Nm torque so it's not problem for the auto trans.

However if you were to chip it to the THP204 level, which has 150kW (201hp) with 275Nm torque, the numbers say it will still handle it HOWEVER as you can see, it's very close to the maximum torque it can handle so personally I wouldn't do it. You'd probably have to upgrade the valve body (if that is even possible with these, haven't gone that far down the information rabbit hole yet).

This auto trans is an Aisin box that was introduced in 2010 to replace the AL4 (4-speed), details below;
  • TF70-Series Aisin AWF6F25 (300Nm) - 6-speed transverse
    • Group PSA transmission code AT6-III (EAT6)
      • Peugeot 208, 508 II, 308 II, 408 II, 2008, 3008 II, 5008 II
      • Citroën C3 III, C4 II, C4 Picasso II
      • DS DS3
      • RCZ
 

IanC

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This AT6 trans (with Tiptronic System Porsche) can withstand a maximum torque of 300Nm.

With that in mind, the engine in the THP156 has 115kW (154hp) with 240Nm torque so it's not problem for the auto trans.

However if you were to chip it to the THP204 level, which has 150kW (201hp) with 275Nm torque, the numbers say it will still handle it HOWEVER as you can see, it's very close to the maximum torque it can handle so personally I wouldn't do it. You'd probably have to upgrade the valve body (if that is even possible with these, haven't gone that far down the information rabbit hole yet).

This auto trans is an Aisin box that was introduced in 2010 to replace the AL4 (4-speed), details below;
  • TF70-Series Aisin AWF6F25 (300Nm) - 6-speed transverse
    • Group PSA transmission code AT6-III (EAT6)
      • Peugeot 208, 508 II, 308 II, 408 II, 2008, 3008 II, 5008 II
      • Citroën C3 III, C4 II, C4 Picasso II
      • DS DS3
      • RCZ
Many thanx for the info RCZ-mad. The info and your opinion are very much appreciated.

IanC
 

IanC

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As a side note, when did you get your RCZ and did you get it from another state?
Purchased it in September from a Canberra lady who'd purchased it new from a Canberra dealer. Why do you ask?
 

RCZ-mad

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Purchased it in September from a Canberra lady who'd purchased it new from a Canberra dealer. Why do you ask?
I wondered if you snagged one I was looking at because I've just spent the last 3 weeks looking for the right one and a couple of white ones were on the short list, But ultimately the sellers were delusional with their asking prices lol
 

IanC

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Mine had 125k on it and was up for rego. She was asking $22k for it. Far too much imo. I was originally after a MT but after some deliberation, decided on the auto. I took it for a drive when i was still undecided but she mentioned a few things about a new car on order, overseas trip planned etc so I figured she'd be keen to sell. It's in great nick, other than for the very cloudy headlight lenses (now fixed) and service book up to date. She ultimately accepted $18k for it. We both walked away happy so a win win!
 

RCZ-mad

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Not a bad deal. I actually went pretty far down the road with a white 2011 auto that was under 100k on the odo BUT had an engine change. Could of gotten it for $12k but it just had too much wrong with it that even the low price couldn't justify getting it. Some others around the $14k to $15k mark as well but you can see in photos that they are a bit too rough so anywhere from $17k to $19k is acceptable territory for a good one with full service history and looked after.

Any private seller asking from more than $19k for a Mk.1 auto is fooling themselves lol
 

IanC

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True. Mine is a mk2 but you some of the prices are eyewatering. And some have been on the narket for a long time! Good luck with your quest. I'm sure Nirvana awaits.
 

RCZ-mad

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True. Mine is a mk2 but you some of the prices are eyewatering. And some have been on the narket for a long time! Good luck with your quest. I'm sure Nirvana awaits.
haha nah my quest is over now, got a black 2011 auto from the dealers, they were actually offering better prices than private for a low kay, one owner with full service history and receipts for all work done.

I ended up speaking to 5 or 6 private sellers and only 1 was willing to negotiate on price, the rest were stubbornly stuck on the price they gave, even though as you noted there have been ones up for sale a long time.

One of them even gave me the whole 'in no rush to sell' even though it had been sitting there since March. Yeah buddy, don't think you're that serious about selling if that's the case, why even list it? lol.

How about this one, a seller with a Mk. 2 from 2013 with about 60k on the odometer however, the head unit no longer worked and it had damage to the rear bar that had perforated the plastic and left a gash, they were asking $20k with those damaged/not working items, what a joke. I'm pretty certain I was the only person who had enquired about it for a long time, because they were back and forth with me for about a week, seemed very keen to sell but obviously not keen enough lol. Then shortly after talking to me, it changed to 'on hold' on Carsales so who knows what they're doing with it now.

After speaking to these people, it becomes very clear they have a number in mind that they FEEL is right, because they FEEL the car is so amazing. And sure, its a good car but they don't seem to understand how market conditions work so they stubbornly stick to their price until a year down the track when despair sets in and they finally drop it. In the mean time, they had to put off whatever it is they wanted to do that hinged on selling the car, there has been further depreciation and if they are still driving it, putting more mileage on it etc.

Bottom line is, they all missed out on selling to me because they were deluded enough to believe their cars were worth at least $2k more than they are in reality. Put it this way, if they're selling a car that is essentially the same model/version and roughly same mileage for significantly MORE than a dealer, you'd think a light bulb would go off in their heads lol
 

Johnny AUS

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I wondered if you snagged one I was looking at because I've just spent the last 3 weeks looking for the right one and a couple of white ones were on the short list, But ultimately the sellers were delusional with their asking prices lol

Were you considering the pearl white 2.0 HDi on the outskirts of the ACT, with NSW rego, advertised on Facebook Marketplace?
 

RCZ-mad

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Were you considering the pearl white 2.0 HDi on the outskirts of the ACT, with NSW rego, advertised on Facebook Marketplace?
Nope, wasn't looking at any manuals, this was for my wife and daughter to drive and they weren't interested in rowing through gears in traffic lol
 

IanC

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You are absolutely correct about some folks being deluded. But bottom line: a thing is only worth what someone will pay for it.

I've been looking for an RCZ for a couple of years and it's either feast or famine with these things on Carsales. For a while there I was lucky to see one or two but there was about 15 or so back in September when I purchased mine.

I was happy enough with my MX5 but I made the mistake of taking my wife for a drive in it just after I picked it up, when it was lowered and had very stiff springs. Turned her off it unfortunately and she never really warmed to the car even after I put oem shocks and springs back on it. I'd only had it for 12 months but there was no point having it if she wasn't going to be happy with it. Shame really cos we've owned three MX5s over the years and she loved riding in the other two.

I was really in no hurry to buy another car but I put the MX on Carsales with a very optimistic price on it and sold it within a fortnight for what I'd asked for it. Again, a win/win. So with the MX5 gone I wanted another toy so it was back on the RCZ hunt and I was focusing on manuals.

Tbh, the only other RCZ I test drove was an R with 115k on it I think it had. Very quick but in the end I just wasn't prepared to pay $27k for it. It was a good buy at that price but three things really sealed the deal not to go ahead: I didn't think my licence would remain with me for long; I couldn't get used to the clutch which took up in the last 3cm of travel; and no heated seats! Although this last one sounds trivial, it's a deal breaker for me. My charming spouse has stage 4 cancer and tumours in her back and heated seats are a must have for her.

I should add that I let a few weeks go by after I test drove the auto (still looking for the illusive manual) before I contacted the owner and made the offer and she was pretty keen coz I think I was the only person who'd shown any interest in it over the couple of months she'd had it advertised.
 
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