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Hey everyone, I just wanted to share my thoughts on a product we offer here at GotExhaust. It’s called Pedal Commander. So that I’m not re-inventing the wheel, here is what Pedal Commander says their product does.

Pedal Commander is a throttle response controller that removes response delays on your electronic accelerator pedal. Effectively, it allows your engine to respond faster so your car can accelerate faster! You paid lots of money for a serious vehicle; when you press your gas pedal, it shouldn’t feel like you are pressing a sponge. Haven’t you ever noticed that older cars tend to be more responsive, before digital pedals? We’re giving you that response back!
Pedal Commander has 4 different control modes: Eco, City, Sport, and Sport+ . Each control mode has 8 adjustable levels to work with. These different settings are what provide drivers with unique acceleration control in their vehicles.
So with that out of the way, I’d like to give a little history. Whenever I first signed on with GotExhaust, the owner (Chris) and I were having a discussion about different products we could offer to the RS community and he felt very strongly that I should promote the device as it’s extremely popular in the Ford Raptor, F150, and Ram communities. I told him that I didn’t really feel comfortable selling them since I quite frankly felt like it was kind of a snake oil type device. He said he understood and that was that. Fast forward to last week and he asked me to stop by the shop, that he had something for me. So I stop in and he hands over this Pedal Commander and he said to try it out and to let him know what I thought.

Installation
To start with, the Pedal Commander, PC from this point forward, is stupid simple to install. You install it between the main wiring harness going to your gas pedal, and then the gas pedal itself. It takes less than 5 minutes to install.



Start by unclipping the cable from the top of the gas pedal. There is a latch that flips up, and then a little clip that must be pressed in that allows the connector to slide off.




Once you’ve disconnected the connector from the pedal, you’ll connect the two connectors on the PC with the wiring harness side and the pedal side. They only fit one way, so you can’t mess it up.



Here’s what your connections should look like once you’re complete.



Now I may have done this a little backwards, but I maneuvered the PC to it’s mounting spot after it was installed. I fished it up and under the steering wheel.



And finally, it will be mounted with Velcro and double sided tape in this spot to the left of wheel.



Initial Impressions

Now that I’ve installed the PC, it was time to go for a drive. The first thing I noticed is that Eco mode is basically just the same as the normal mode. I honestly didn’t spend any time in that as I want to see how the car feels on the different modes. I then switched to City. City mode feels exactly like the RS’ sport mode. This is a small win to me since my normal procedure every…single..time… I get in the car is to crank the car, and put it into Sport or Track mode just to get that extra little bump in throttle response. As little of a win as it is, it’s nice to be able to just get in the car and not have to hit the button for it to feel peppy every time. Coming from V8’s, the RS feels like a slug in normal mode under daily driving conditions.

Moving up to Sport mode, the car feels extremely responsive. You make boost instantly with minimal throttle. Not a little boost, but quite a lot. I would guess it’s the same as if you’re at half to ¾ pedal under normal Sport mode conditions. I tried quickly accelerating from a dead stop a couple of times and the first thing I notice is just how much quicker the car responds to the throttle input since the PC is effectively amplifying your input. I haven’t had issues with torque steer in quite a while, but it’s there now. To me, it felt like the RS was struggling to engage the RDU quick enough to prevent torque steer since the power was coming up quicker. As we know, tire pressure discrepancies play a part in the perceived torque steer the RS gets sometimes. It was definitely amplified in PC Sport mode as it was not evident in PC City mode.
Sport+ mode was fun for a minute, but really too much for just daily driving. I do think it would be fun for drag racing. Also as a side note here, the exhaust pops happened every single time I lifted my foot off the throttle in PC Sport and Sport+. It was pretty awesome just how easy it was to make the car pop.

Conclusion

After trying all the different modes and noting mentally how I felt about them, I decided to put the PC back on city mode and work on dialing it in to suit my driving habits. I did this over the course of about 20 miles. My typical drive is about 8 miles of curvy back roads, 4 miles of 4 lane highway, and 3 miles of stop and go city driving. Starting in City mode, the PC also has 8 additional tuning settings for each main setting. I was happy at City -2. The car feels perfect there for normal driving. And when I get on the curvy roads, I switch the RS over to sport/track mode and now the RS pedal feels perfect. It responds exactly how it should have from the factory IMO. I’ve said this before somewhere else, but the RS is every bit as fast as my 04 Cobra was from the factory. The only difference until now, was how response it felt. The RS pedal just kind of felt soft to me , really as all new vehicles do. I’ve always chalked it up to being torque management in the ECU, especially in first gear, to protect the driveline. In this case, it’s really just the throttle programming. The biggest win with the pedal commander to me is when I’m doing rev match downshifting. I feel like I’m giving an unnatural amount of pedal as compared to older, non throttle by wire vehicles I’ve driven. I love being able to drive the car without it feeling so tied down.

So what started out with my perception of the Pedal Commander being snake oil, has turned into finding a product that I can’t see driving my RS without. I’ve also purchased one for our EcoBoost 2.7 F150 as there’s a night a day difference there as well. The Pedal Commander really does do what it says, and it does it very well!

If you're interested in the Pedal Commander, shoot me a message and i'll get you a price. We will also be having special pricing for Black Friday. Keep your eye out on this thread where I will post a code that can be used for purchasing through our website!
 

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Not saying this won't make changes but it is still sending a pedal input - not changing the ECM's response. Can't you just adapt your throttle control to give it more throttle more quickly? Part of learning the car.

Also, if you have a tune anyways, can't your tuner tweak your Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) map if desired?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@Madokami, sorry for the delay, have been on the road home from SC this evening. Discount code is FOCUSPEDALCOMMANDER .
Link to the product on our site.


Not saying this won't make changes but it is still sending a pedal input - not changing the ECM's response. Can't you just adapt your throttle control to give it more throttle more quickly? Part of learning the car.

Also, if you have a tune anyways, can't your tuner tweak your Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) map if desired?

@DeltaT, you are correct that you could adapt your throttle control. It's really not the easiest thing to describe. The owner of our company owns a Roush Supercharged Raptor. He took me for a ride in his truck to show me the difference, and aside from the truck getting loud a lot quicker I couldn't really tell you anything other than as he changed modes, the truck was accelerating harder. Again, what's the big deal? Getting in the drivers seat and experiencing it is a completely different thing. There's a tangible difference in how the car responds and it makes it a much more enjoyable experience. The first thing I thought after using it in the RS was thinking back how much it would have improved the drive ability of my Rubicon and Power Wagon, especially off road. The first 1/4 to 1/3 of pedal input was extremely spongy which made a lot of situations off road more difficult than they needed to be. This is very similar to how to pedal in the RS feels to me.

I drive pretty spiritedly on my way to and from work. I have my own version of rev match downshifting where i brake with the inside part of my right foot and roll my foot to manipulate the gas pedal. With the gas pedal being recessed, it's not really conducive to my method or heel toe, especially with how much throttle you have to give to achieve an aggressive downshift. I've pretty well mastered this method over the past 17 years of driving high performance manual transmission cars, but the RS has proved a bit more difficult for me. My rev match downshifts had frequently been lacking in the smoothness department :) With the Pedal Commander it is a lot easier now. Like I said in my original post, that's the best positive effect for me.

As far as tuners being able to adjust your tune to accomplish the same thing, of course they could. For me personally, i'm holding off on a tune as i'm going to be auto crossing a full season next year in BS. That being said, there's still a place for the Pedal Commander even in a tuned vehicle. I worked with a couple of different tuning shops primarily over the past 17 years and drive ability with the tune is always a major concern. I usually end up going back and forth with my tuners 4 or 5 times on the initial tune before I call a tune good. And of course once you change a component, the drive ability is typically changed and I go back and forth with the tuner for another 2-3 revisions before it's good. With our cars that means flashing the change multiple times, which in of itself is not a huge deal. But it is nice just being able to push a button or two just to adjust the car to your liking. With the Pedal Commander you have complete control over how your pedal feels without having to go through that whole process.

I really cannot express how skeptical I was of the PC until I actually drove with it. I'm also a no BS kind of guy to be quite frank. I've been granted a lot of freedom as far as what I choose to offer to the RS community. I wouldn't be offering it for sale if I didn't think it was worth it.
 

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@Madokami , sorry for the delay, have been on the road home from SC this evening. Discount code is FOCUSPEDALCOMMANDER .
Link to the product on our site.




@DeltaT , you are correct that you could adapt your throttle control. It's really not the easiest thing to describe. The owner of our company owns a Roush Supercharged Raptor. He took me for a ride in his truck to show me the difference, and aside from the truck getting loud a lot quicker I couldn't really tell you anything other than as he changed modes, the truck was accelerating harder. Again, what's the big deal? Getting in the drivers seat and experiencing it is a completely different thing. There's a tangible difference in how the car responds and it makes it a much more enjoyable experience. The first thing I thought after using it in the RS was thinking back how much it would have improved the drive ability of my Rubicon and Power Wagon, especially off road. The first 1/4 to 1/3 of pedal input was extremely spongy which made a lot of situations off road more difficult than they needed to be. This is very similar to how to pedal in the RS feels to me.

I drive pretty spiritedly on my way to and from work. I have my own version of rev match downshifting where i brake with the inside part of my right foot and roll my foot to manipulate the gas pedal. With the gas pedal being recessed, it's not really conducive to my method or heel toe, especially with how much throttle you have to give to achieve an aggressive downshift. I've pretty well mastered this method over the past 17 years of driving high performance manual transmission cars, but the RS has proved a bit more difficult for me. My rev match downshifts had frequently been lacking in the smoothness department :) With the Pedal Commander it is a lot easier now. Like I said in my original post, that's the best positive effect for me.

As far as tuners being able to adjust your tune to accomplish the same thing, of course they could. For me personally, i'm holding off on a tune as i'm going to be auto crossing a full season next year in BS. That being said, there's still a place for the Pedal Commander even in a tuned vehicle. I worked with a couple of different tuning shops primarily over the past 17 years and drive ability with the tune is always a major concern. I usually end up going back and forth with my tuners 4 or 5 times on the initial tune before I call a tune good. And of course once you change a component, the drive ability is typically changed and I go back and forth with the tuner for another 2-3 revisions before it's good. With our cars that means flashing the change multiple times, which in of itself is not a huge deal. But it is nice just being able to push a button or two just to adjust the car to your liking. With the Pedal Commander you have complete control over how your pedal feels without having to go through that whole process.

I really cannot express how skeptical I was of the PC until I actually drove with it. I'm also a no BS kind of guy to be quite frank. I've been granted a lot of freedom as far as what I choose to offer to the RS community. I wouldn't be offering it for sale if I didn't think it was worth it.
Fair enough, thanks!

Jim
 

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Morning everyone, I don't get over here much, but I wanted to add a little something to what Donald has shared. I felt very similar to Donald and others when I first heard of the Pedal Commander. I neither wanted or thought I had a use for it. My current toy is a 14 Ford Raptor 6.2L with Roush phase 2 super charger, LT headers, 4:88 gears and custom tuned by JDM engineering. To say that my truck is a beast without the Pedal Commander is an understatement. Donald can share a video of my truck walking off from his Powerwagon getting on the interstate while I was pulling a trailer and a small diesel John deere tractor. The truck is awesome.That being said, my loyal customers began asking about them more and more so I became a dealer for them about eight months ago. After selling so many in my first month and having nothing but positive reviews, I went ahead and ordered one for my truck. HOLY COW, in the highest setting, it provides one major issue for my truck, rear tire wear. I tend to drive a little hard form a dig most of the time, just short of spinning the tires and have spent many years mastering offroading in my trucks. The primary benefit beyond added throttle response overall is when I am offroading. When I am offroad, I turn it up and because the throttle "throw" or travel if you wil is so much less for the same response, I find it much much easier to control torque steer in corners, etc. It is absolutely awesome! One other thing I want to cover. Any reputable tuner like 5Star tuning, JDM Engineering, etc can provide for better throttle response as a part of any custom tune. What they cannot do is provide 36 different shift on the fly settings that can be changed at any time for any reason according to road conditions, driving environment or otherwise. For those that might want to try the Pedal Commander, we just announced the best time to do so starting today. Click the link below and use promo code FOCUSRSPC and save 20% off the listed price through December 31st! Let Donald know if you have any questions at all.gotexhaust .com/i-23645880-2011-2017-ford-focus-pedal-commander-throttle-response-controller.html
 

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Run the Torque app and look at the throttle pedal position/demand signal. It is just ramping up the demand much earlier, hell 1 degree of pedal movement can signal 100% throttle demand. That is what is making small engine vehicles drive-able now a days. People are just not realizing that they are at 100% throttle plate position and 100% engine demand at 3/4 throttle pedal position.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So I made a video doing my best to show how the Pedal Commander works. It will at least give you some idea of what to expect when changing modes. The only way to truly experience it is to get behind the wheel of a vehicle that has one.


I'll also mention that I completely misspeak about Eco mode. No lights illuminated on the PC does not equal Eco mode. As an IT guy, I ignored the golden rule and failed to read the manual. I just installed and tested. To get into Eco mode, you actually have to hold the star (mode button) down for a few seconds. To test Eco mode gains as accurately as possible, I drove the RS very conservatively on Wednesday to work and back home. Then yesterday I put the car in Eco mode and drove it to work and back. It made for an extremely boring commute. You have to carry your speed because the RS accelerates at a snails pace unless you completely bury the gas pedal. That being said, the gains are real.

Without Eco.



With Eco.



Now with all that, I don't see myself ever driving in Eco mode for any real purpose. I didn't by my car to drive it like that. I just did the test because i'm sure there's someone out there who may utilize that mode.
 

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Check your tire pressure.
 

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Pedal commanders won't make your car faster. They don't give you more MPG. Everything they do you can already do with your foot or different drive modes. All they do is adjust how much the computer thinks you are pressing down on the throttle vs what you actually are. And yeah, some people might like this. Everyone has their own opinions on how the pedal should behave and having options is cool. (My personal opinion is linear or bust) But on the other hand the ~$300 these things cost can go a decent way into making actual power gains through a tune, with the bonus of them being able to do almost the same throttle mapping modifications.

I'm not saying to not buy it, but I'm just saying to do your research and be aware that these aren't magical little boxes that do anything other than mess with your throttle. I know a few people with them, and most seem to like them. Most also understand what they do, but then you get the few who honestly believe it "gave me like 25 horsepower bro" all because they have it set to give 100% throttle with little to no pedal movement. Yeah, anything can seem fast when you floor it everywhere.
 

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Pedal commanders won't make your car faster. They don't give you more MPG. Everything they do you can already do with your foot or different drive modes. All they do is adjust how much the computer thinks you are pressing down on the throttle vs what you actually are. And yeah, some people might like this. Everyone has their own opinions on how the pedal should behave and having options is cool. (My personal opinion is linear or bust) But on the other hand the ~$300 these things cost can go a decent way into making actual power gains through a tune, with the bonus of them being able to do almost the same throttle mapping modifications.

I'm not saying to not buy it, but I'm just saying to do your research and be aware that these aren't magical little boxes that do anything other than mess with your throttle. I know a few people with them, and most seem to like them. Most also understand what they do, but then you get the few who honestly believe it "gave me like 25 horsepower bro" all because they have it set to give 100% throttle with little to no pedal movement. Yeah, anything can seem fast when you floor it everywhere.


To me, there's enough difference/issue with this "Drive-by-wire" accelerator system/program compared with the "old-fashioned" throttle-cable accelerator that it's really annoying. Sometimes I feel it can be out right dangerous at times.

So I will be ordering two of these....
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Check your tire pressure.
Is that what those lights are for?? ;) Seriously though, winter tires are mounted and I haven't installed my TPMS sensors yet. Hard to find the time!


Pedal commanders won't make your car faster. They don't give you more MPG. Everything they do you can already do with your foot or different drive modes. All they do is adjust how much the computer thinks you are pressing down on the throttle vs what you actually are. And yeah, some people might like this. Everyone has their own opinions on how the pedal should behave and having options is cool. (My personal opinion is linear or bust) But on the other hand the ~$300 these things cost can go a decent way into making actual power gains through a tune, with the bonus of them being able to do almost the same throttle mapping modifications.

I'm not saying to not buy it, but I'm just saying to do your research and be aware that these aren't magical little boxes that do anything other than mess with your throttle. I know a few people with them, and most seem to like them. Most also understand what they do, but then you get the few who honestly believe it "gave me like 25 horsepower bro" all because they have it set to give 100% throttle with little to no pedal movement. Yeah, anything can seem fast when you floor it everywhere.
Well, the PC didn't magically grant my car extra horsepower or somehow make it magically more fuel efficient. Not claiming that. As I showed in the pictures in my previous post, I was able to get better gas mileage while in Eco mode which was boring as all get out. It achieved that extra mileage because it changes the throttle trim/response/whatever you want to call it to where pressing the pedal down 50% only netted about 10% of normal pedal input. In doing so, the car was dog slow, extremely boring to drive, and didn't get into very much/any boost most of the time. That equates into getting better gas mileage. You're right in that it's no different than what you could do by modulating your right foot appropriately, well mostly at least. That being said, it's a TON easier to hit a mode button on the PC. Also for people who who don't want to get a tune due to the head gasket issues, this gives them a means to adjust the throttle curve without having to flash a tune to their car and potentially having issues due to that.

I've owned and driven a lot of custom tuned vehicles of all types from Mustangs to Volvos, to me there is still a place for this even with a tune. It gives you flexibility. Don't forget that the drive modes still work with the PC, they just become peppier as a result of the more aggressive curve.


To me, there's enough difference/issue with this "Drive-by-wire" accelerator system/program compared with the "old-fashioned" throttle-cable accelerator that it's really annoying. Sometimes I feel it can be out right dangerous at times.

So I will be ordering two of these....
Absolutely! I really wish I would have had one of these back when I had my offroad vehicles. I can think of so many places where it would have helped to have that throttle curve be more aggressive at the start of pedal travel. It was very frustrating to be in situations where the vehicle needed a bump to clear an obstacle but due to the throttle curve you would either get nothing, a lurch, or way too much of a bump. That was often one of the biggest gripes I saw from other JK Wrangler owners. My Power Wagon was marginally better thanks to having significantly more torque thanks to the 6.4L V8, but you still had to fight through the vagueness and inopportune times.
 

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Pedal commanders won't make your car faster. They don't give you more MPG. Everything they do you can already do with your foot or different drive modes. All they do is adjust how much the computer thinks you are pressing down on the throttle vs what you actually are. And yeah, some people might like this. Everyone has their own opinions on how the pedal should behave and having options is cool. (My personal opinion is linear or bust) But on the other hand the ~$300 these things cost can go a decent way into making actual power gains through a tune, with the bonus of them being able to do almost the same throttle mapping modifications.

I'm not saying to not buy it, but I'm just saying to do your research and be aware that these aren't magical little boxes that do anything other than mess with your throttle. I know a few people with them, and most seem to like them. Most also understand what they do, but then you get the few who honestly believe it "gave me like 25 horsepower bro" all because they have it set to give 100% throttle with little to no pedal movement. Yeah, anything can seem fast when you floor it everywhere.
My 2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe came stock with a "Sport" button that basically remapped how much pedal movement affected the throttle like this does. I think I engaged it few times in the 11 years I have had the car and just like the throttle response in normal mode for rowing through the gears.
 

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Hi!
I become owner of new RS two month ago. The first 2000 km I tried to be careful with pedal to avoid a big load to new engine. It was a bit difficult after 13 years daily driving Impreza WRX. But when I overcame the first 2000 km I have tried to drive RS more aggressive but it still was too smooth, especially at the start of acceleration. Subjectively, It seemed that 230 hp WRX (bit chip-tuned) is much more powerful than 350 hp RS in daily active driving in Normal and Sport mode as well. I ordered Pedal Commander and installed it on my RS. It totaly changed my feeling of street driving. Now I have power at such moment when I need it. It is great! I feel my RS 30% lighter and faster. I don't take part of drag, street-racing or another competition. I understand that device does not change power and torcue parameters of my car, but my enjoyment of driving becames much higher and the begining of acceleration will definitely be faster. I think you will not be able to manage pedal by your leg like Pedal Commander do it. You will never feel your your stock RS such light and powerful.
I very recommend Pedal Commander to RS owners who plan to use their RS daily in stock configuration.
Many thanks to developers!
 
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