TEIN EDFC ACTIVE Controller: Suspension tuning at its best

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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