Can Aftermarket Underdrive Pulleys Improve the Throttle Response in a Toyota GT86?

The Toyota GT86, renowned for its impressive balance, rear-wheel drive, and sporty handling, is a favorite among car enthusiasts. However, when it comes to raw power and throttle response, some find it a bit lacking. This might lead to the question: Can aftermarket underdrive pulleys improve the throttle response in a Toyota GT86? Using pulleys like that of NST (NonStopTuning) and GFB (Go Fast Bits), it might be possible to give your car that extra bit of zip that you’re looking for.

Understanding Underdrive Pulleys

An underdrive pulley is a smaller-than-stock pulley that fits onto the engine’s crank or accessory drive shaft. By being smaller, it rotates the engine’s accessories at a slower pace. This reduction in speed decreases the amount of power the engine needs to drive the accessories, thus freeing up horsepower.

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NST, GFB, and other aftermarket manufacturers have developed pulleys that are not only smaller but also lighter. These lightweight pulleys help reduce the rotational mass, further freeing up horsepower. Most of these pulleys are made from materials like billet aluminum, which is lightweight and strong.

NST Pulley Kits for Toyota GT86

NonStopTuning (NST) is a renowned name in the aftermarket performance parts industry. They offer a range of pulley kits specifically designed for the Toyota GT86, Subaru BRZ, and Scion FR-S (all of these cars share the same engine).

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NST pulley kits aim to improve throttle response and horsepower by reducing the size and weight of the pulleys on the crank, alternator, and water pump. These kits typically include the crank pulley, the water pump pulley, and the alternator pulley. The NST kit for the Toyota GT86 is particularly popular among car enthusiasts and tuners.

The NST crank pulley is approximately 70% lighter than the stock crank pulley. This significant reduction in weight can free up horsepower and potentially improve throttle response. The NST pulleys are also perfectly balanced and do not require any additional engine modifications, making them an ideal choice for those looking to boost performance without heavily modifying their vehicle.

GFB Pulley Kits for Toyota GT86

Another popular choice among aftermarket pulley kits is the GFB Lightweight Pulley Kit. Similar to the NST kit, the GFB kit includes the crank pulley, the water pump pulley, and the alternator pulley. What sets the GFB pulleys apart is the unique material they’re made from.

The GFB pulleys are manufactured from 6061-T6 billet aluminum, making them light yet incredibly durable. The crank pulley in the GFB kit is also noticeably lighter than the stock crank pulley, which can help free up horsepower and potentially improve throttle response.

The Results: Power, Performance, and Throttle Response

While both NST and GFB kits can offer improved performance, the actual gains might vary. The general consensus among GT86 owners who have installed one of these kits is that there is a noticeable improvement in throttle response and a slight increase in horsepower.

However, it’s essential to note that while these aftermarket pulleys can free up some power, they won’t transform your GT86 into a supercar. They are, nevertheless, a valuable part of a broader performance upgrade strategy that might include other modifications like exhaust, intake, and ECU tuning.

Shipping and Installation

Installation of these pulley kits typically requires a professional or someone with mechanical knowledge and the right tools. While the NST and GFB kits come with detailed installation instructions, if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, it’s advisable to have the pulleys installed by a professional.

As for shipping, both NST and GFB have extensive distributor networks, so getting these kits delivered to your doorstep is typically not an issue, regardless of where you live. Both companies have excellent customer service and will ensure that your kit arrives safely and promptly.

In conclusion, the question of whether aftermarket underdrive pulleys can improve throttle response in a Toyota GT86 is not straightforward. While there does seem to be some improvement, the actual gains might vary, and the pulleys should be seen as part of a broader performance upgrade strategy. As always, do your research, speak to professionals, and choose the right products for your specific needs and goals.

Other Performance Enhancements with Underdrive Pulleys

Other than the notable improvements in throttle response, underdrive pulleys can offer additional benefits to your Toyota GT86. When installing a pulley kit, it’s important to understand that they can contribute to the overall performance enhancement of your vehicle.

In addition to improving response and horsepower, lightweight pulleys can also aid in reducing engine strain. The NST Lite or GFB Lightweight pulley kits, with their reduced rotational mass, lessen the amount of energy required to turn the pulleys. This brings down the strain on the engine, thereby potentially extending its lifespan.

Moreover, the NST and GFB pulleys are designed to retain the factory belt layout, ensuring that the charging system, cooling system, and other accessory drives function as they should. They are not only made to be lighter and smaller but are also designed for an efficient fit in your Toyota GT86, Subaru BRZ, or Scion FRS.

Lightweight pulleys can also contribute to fuel efficiency. By reducing the load on the engine, they can lead to a more efficient fuel consumption rate. This is another reason why many enthusiasts add these pulley kits to their performance upgrade strategies.

Conclusion: Making the Right Performance Upgrade Choice

To wrap up, the installation of aftermarket underdrive pulleys like the NST or GFB kits can indeed improve the throttle response in a Toyota GT86. They can free up horsepower, reduce engine strain, and potentially enhance fuel efficiency, making them worthy additions to your vehicle.

However, the degree of improvement may vary based on several factors, including the condition of your vehicle, the specific pulley kit installed, and the presence of other performance enhancements.

While the NST and GFB lightweight pulley kits can be a solid part of your performance upgrade strategy, remember that they are just one component of a broader approach. Each car is unique and may benefit from different combinations of upgrades. It is advisable to discuss with experienced tuners or mechanics to find the optimal solution for your specific Toyota GT86, Subaru BRZ, or Scion FRS.

When it comes to enhancing your vehicle’s performance, the potential gains should always outweigh the risk of potential damage. Therefore, consider all factors, do thorough research, and take informed decisions. With the right performance upgrade strategy, your Toyota GT86 can deliver excellent power, performance, and that improved throttle response you’re seeking.

And lastly, whether you choose an NST pulley, GFB pulley, or another brand, make sure you’re comfortable with the installation process. If not, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. With proper installation and care, these lightweight pulleys can provide significant benefits for your vehicle.