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With wireless and GPS technology, The TEIN EDFC ACTIVE and ACTIVE PRO systems allow for velocity- and G-Force-based (in all directions!) tuning. Unlike the ACTIVE, the ACTIVE PRO also programs each shock individually as opposed to just the front and rear, which gives full tunability for lateral Gs as well. Fortunately for non-PRO ACTIVE owners, however, TEIN now has a program to update the ACTIVE controller to a full ACTIVE PRO as well.

The TEIN EDFC ACTIVE Controller: Suspension tuning at its best

by Pablo Mazlumian

When TEIN (it's pronounced "TANE", not "TEEN") released the EDFC controller nearly 14 years ago, the suspension tuning world hit a new level of technology.  At that time, only a select few high-performance vehicles came integrated with suspension systems that could be tuned on the fly, and they were usually limited to just two modes—sport and comfort. 

The TEIN EDFC (which stands for Electronic Damping Force Controller) is compatible only with select TEIN coil-over setups, including the Type Flex as installed on our Project MKIV Supra. It has three customizable modes the user could set up for the front and rear shocks. One part of the computer controls the two front shocks, and the other controls the rear two. The EDFC also has the ability to switch between 16- and 32-way adjustments, and it makes these adjustments in just 0.25-seconds. 

I’ve had the pleasure of using the first version of TEIN's EDFC on Project Supra for many years, and the product has performed without fail. When I wanted to stiffen up the whole car, I would do so with the touch of a button. If I wanted my wife to enjoy the ride, I softened it. And if I wanted to dial in more understeer or oversteer, I could dial the front and rear independently of each other. I could do that manually or use those three presets to give me more or less understeer. According to TEIN, over 100,000 of these EDFC units were sold, and TEIN has continued to innovate. 

In 2013, the firm released the TEIN EDFC ACTIVE, which was an entirely new unit.  First off, it’s smaller than the EDFC, making installation a lot easier, especially if you’re trying to hide it from plain sight.

Since the EDFC ACTIVE uses GPS and accelerometers, the user could now program the suspension to adjust itself at any given speed or registered G-Force load in terms of braking and acceleration. So, if I wanted my TEIN shocks’ compression and rebound characteristics to stiffen as speeds climbed, I could program it. I could also command them to stiffen up the front even more as the G-Force load increased under heavier braking, and to even follow that with further adjustments, depending on what came next in terms of vehicle speed and acceleration combined!

The beauty of using both GPS and accelerometers means I can now have the car ride comfortably during cruising and then instantly stiffen up when the EDFC ACTIVE detects a certain G-load or vehicle speed, or a combination of both. I can also program the car to stay soft at very low vehicle speeds to induce more vehicular squat to get the best hook-up from a dig. The possibilities are numerous, and they simply depend on your driving style and preference.

 


The EDFC ACTIVE and ACTIVE PRO kits come with two wireless remote control driver units to adjust the shocks. One unit controls the rear two shocks and the other controls the front.

The motor units adjust rebound and damping simultaneously at the touch of a button, and adjustments happen in less than a quarter-second. Here’s a picture of a motor unit installed on our right-front shock on our Project MKIV Supra, and it sits next to the turbo.

Here’s a shot of a motor unit on the right-rear shock. Our TEIN FLEX suspension on our Supra was installed by none other than Modified by KC, which has always been Project Supra's dressing room, if you will.
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Comments
Discotea
Discotealink
Tuesday, December 08, 2015 10:04 AM
Just wondering if the GPS antenna being installed upside down is having any effect on the actual speed the unit is seeing. GPS antenna's usually have to be installed the correct way so the bottom of the antenna is down because that is usually a ground plane. Have you tried it installed the other way to see if your getting better data for the unit.
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Tuesday, December 08, 2015 10:25 AM
@Discotea. Thanks for reading! What makes it appear upside down? Perhaps because the sticky part is on top? In any case, the speed appears very accurate to me at least, since it matches my PerformanceBox from VBox USA, another GPS-based product. :)
Discotea
Discotealink
Tuesday, December 08, 2015 7:38 PM
Pablo, It looks upside down because its under the wiper bladed on the inside of the glass. I did not realize that the gps antenna had the sticky tape on top of the antenna. All my work with GPS antenna has been with OEM's and Suppliers for Navi systems where the bigger the ground plane the better reception you would get. Since this is only a speed sensor instead of a positioning sensor it's probably not as critical. I'm in detroit and used to work for Nissan but now am at bosch.
Boxed Fox
Boxed Foxlink
Thursday, December 10, 2015 10:47 PM
I'd love to see what kind of things would be possible with a really dialed-in setup on a racecar. Too bad active damper control is illegal in most road racing classes.
CTK
CTKlink
Sunday, December 13, 2015 8:25 AM
This is potentially awesome, but also potentially disastrous. I would feel a lot more comfortable if Tein loaded it up with some kind of fully automatic adjusting system, or a system that just optimized damping for different road qualities and desired handling characteristics (under vs oversteer for example). Would be cool for it to have some kind of feedback system to monitor suspension movement and adjust on its own but that is all $$$$$$$. Still though big progress and very cool nonetheless; it just unfortunately depends on the user knowing what they are doing, which is not at all a given.
Boxed Fox
Boxed Foxlink
Sunday, December 13, 2015 4:55 PM
@CTK - I think that's always going to be an issue with anything related to car setup. That being said, it would probably help to have a companion guide that gives the user an idea of how to tune for various scenarios. You know, something like this, but using the parameters that the EDFC uses as inputs:

http://www.ozebiz.com.au/racetech/theory/shocktune1.html
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