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      04-15-2018, 01:32 AM   #1
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JB4 Four Month Honest Review

Guys,

I have had the JB4 in my car for 4 months now. I shot a video of my pros and cons list, but will also list it on a thread.



I think the JB4 is a great tune for what it was put out there to accomplish. Before tuners were able to unlock the DME on our cars, it was definitely ahead of its time, and it continues to be relevant today.

Pros:
Easy to install and remove - If you need Dealer Service on the car, it can be installed or removed in 30 minutes without a trace

Adjustments on the fly - Flash tunes cannot change maps without cutting the car off and reflashing. You can change maps and other functions directly from the steering wheel controls or the JB4 Mobile App.

Cost - Costs less than all the tunes out on the market

Product Support - Free updated firmware and direct support from the creator and owner, Terry @ Burger Motorsports

Safety Parameters - Because of its connections to the sensors, safety parameters are in place to where JB4 would change to a safety map if unsafe levels are reached. This is something that is often a reason that Back End Flash was created to sit behind the JB4.


Cons:
Large power gap before 3000 RPMs - Power surge happens right at 3000 RPMs and the tune doesn't feel like it kicks in until then

Unrefined in power delivery - Seems like the power delivery is not smooth. Feels hesitant. Flash tunes are better at smooth power delivery.

Clunky hardware to hide - The box and wires have to be secured inside the engine bay and sometimes makes the engine bay look unclean with wires routed throughout.

Does not have control over the DME - It uses the sensors, not the DME to tune the car. Less tunability.
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      04-15-2018, 04:59 AM   #2
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      04-15-2018, 05:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemobanks View Post
You need Bootmod3
Yup! I'm going to be installing bootmod3 as soon as i can save the coin. I still plan on keeping JB4 for its CanBUS controls and safety features, but will eventually use bootmod3 as a BEF.
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      04-15-2018, 08:55 AM   #4
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Sounds right, Im sure everyone agrees an actual dme flash is the best option especially when you consider cost. The power delivery is just too erratic for me. Im just surprised it took so long for people to start flashing the stock dme on bmws when other brands have been doing it for years, a decade and more for some brands.
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      04-15-2018, 08:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin.328 View Post
Sounds right, Im sure everyone agrees an actual dme flash is the best option especially when you consider cost. The power delivery is just too erratic for me. Im just surprised it took so long for people to start flashing the stock dme on bmws when other brands have been doing it for years, a decade and more for some brands.
supposedly, it's because BMWs DME is harder to crack. I personally think that isn't truly the case but it's the common excuse.

Folks have been flash tuning with Hondas, Subies, and even American platforms for decades.

But, it truly does guarantee that every time there is a new platform for BMW, Terry and BMS will end up being the first person to create a piggyback in the first year and then everybody will follow with flash a year later or more.

personal opinion is that there isn't a ton of demand in the first or second year to mod, so tuning companies wait to put their R&D into it until then. I think that because of the cost of ownership with our cars. Could be completely off base.
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      04-15-2018, 10:10 AM   #6
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I have found that map one with a downpipe gives the smoothest power delivery. I wasn't expecting the dp to do anything for smoothing out the power and but on my car it did. Map two can be harsher.

On my car I also found that its only less smooth in comfort mode. In sport I have had no hesitation or jerkiness. It's most noticeable if I keep it in 6th gear to pass someone, you can feel a slight bump as boost comes on, but in sport mode it's still nice and smooth.
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      04-15-2018, 10:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supergoat View Post
I have found that map one with a downpipe gives the smoothest power delivery. I wasn't expecting the dp to do anything for smoothing out the power and but on my car it did. Map two can be harsher.

On my car I also found that its only less smooth in comfort mode. In sport I have had no hesitation or jerkiness. It's most noticeable if I keep it in 6th gear to pass someone, you can feel a slight bump as boost comes on, but in sport mode it's still nice and smooth.
That's an interesting thought. I spend most of my time in Comfort because of my job. I may need to try that.

And I love the power of Map 2, but I ride around on Map 1 most days because of the more even power distribution for daily driving.
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      04-15-2018, 11:10 AM   #8
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I am considering changing away from jb4. I had Dinan sport tuner prior and it was so much smoother and I liked the power distribution better. It may not be as aggressive but was definitely better in my opinion. I am considering making a change to something else until my warranty runs out.

Not sure on a Bootmod with warranty in place.

Can I run Sport Tuner attached and also jb4? If I run map 0? I want to just use the advantage of deleting codes.
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      04-15-2018, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmanm3 View Post
I am considering changing away from jb4. I had Dinan sport tuner prior and it was so much smoother and I liked the power distribution better. It may not be as aggressive but was definitely better in my opinion. I am considering making a change to something else until my warranty runs out.

Not sure on a Bootmod with warranty in place.

Can I run Sport Tuner attached and also jb4? If I run map 0? I want to just use the advantage of deleting codes.
If the JB4 isn't as smooth as stock then something is set wrong for your vehicle. Record a log and post it in the n54tech support forum and they can help you resolve it.

For those looking for a budget option the JB+ is also a great way to go for the N20 & B48. 30 second install and removal, gains almost as good as the JB4 map1.

Mike
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      04-15-2018, 11:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmanm3 View Post
I am considering changing away from jb4. I had Dinan sport tuner prior and it was so much smoother and I liked the power distribution better. It may not be as aggressive but was definitely better in my opinion. I am considering making a change to something else until my warranty runs out.

Not sure on a Bootmod with warranty in place.

Can I run Sport Tuner attached and also jb4? If I run map 0? I want to just use the advantage of deleting codes.
no. the two connect to one of the same sensors. You can use a flash tune with JB4 but anything that hooks up to sensors cannot be run simultaneously. To me, JB4 Map 1 and the Dinan Sport two run similarly. did you really notice that big a difference?

JB4 makes more power, as the Dinan Sport Tuner is closer to JB+ and has no access to timing.
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      04-15-2018, 03:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aekdbrich View Post
supposedly, it's because BMWs DME is harder to crack. I personally think that isn't truly the case but it's the common excuse.
No, it really is because of this. BMW DME's have been becoming increasingly more difficult to break encryption and get everything running smoothly. Hell, ask the guys who used to be able to viriginize and swap DMEs pre E60 cars. BMW introduced rolling codes and now like 3 or 4 companies have made products for that. It's really difficult for sure.
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      04-15-2018, 03:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunkerJ View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aekdbrich View Post
supposedly, it's because BMWs DME is harder to crack. I personally think that isn't truly the case but it's the common excuse.
No, it really is because of this. BMW DME's have been becoming increasingly more difficult to break encryption and get everything running smoothly. Hell, ask the guys who used to be able to viriginize and swap DMEs pre E60 cars. BMW introduced rolling codes and now like 3 or 4 companies have made products for that. It's really difficult for sure.
all I know is I'm not as smart as them, so I will let them do whatever they need to do! I'm just glad somebody's doing it so that we can work on our cars!

Good to know though. Thanks Bunker!
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      04-15-2018, 03:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aekdbrich View Post
all I know is I'm not as smart as them, so I will let them do whatever they need to do! I'm just glad somebody's doing it so that we can work on our cars!

Good to know though. Thanks Bunker!
Yeah, these guys will work day and night to do it, because at the end of day, being the first to break the DME is good business haha. BMW electronics have become a nightmare
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      04-16-2018, 07:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@N54Tuning.com View Post
If the JB4 isn't as smooth as stock then something is set wrong for your vehicle. Record a log and post it in the n54tech support forum and they can help you resolve it.

For those looking for a budget option the JB+ is also a great way to go for the N20 & B48. 30 second install and removal, gains almost as good as the JB4 map1.

Mike
jb4 isn't as smooth as stock I dont know why you are acting surprised. Infact smooth power delivery is one of the main pros dme flashers advertise.
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      04-16-2018, 09:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin.328 View Post
jb4 isn't as smooth as stock I dont know why you are acting surprised. Infact smooth power delivery is one of the main pros dme flashers advertise.
If set properly it is, is yours not as smooth as stock? Send me some logs and I'll help you sort it out. Could be as simple as running too much boost for your octane, could be a wastegate related setting, etc. Flash tuners are always trying to find ways to market their products so not surprised to hear they claim negative things about the JB4. The fact remains once you flash the DME a permanent record as been set.

Mike
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      04-16-2018, 11:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@N54Tuning.com View Post
If set properly it is, is yours not as smooth as stock? Send me some logs and I'll help you sort it out. Could be as simple as running too much boost for your octane, could be a wastegate related setting, etc. Flash tuners are always trying to find ways to market their products so not surprised to hear they claim negative things about the JB4. The fact remains once you flash the DME a permanent record as been set.

Mike
When you compare the two, there is just no doubting it though that a flash is better. As for writing, they both are susceptible to voiding a warranty. Field engineer could easily go in and find out.
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      04-16-2018, 11:29 PM   #17
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I'm shocked that people are still using piggybacks with stock DME flash on N20s, despite the failures out there. The N20 isn't a strong engine. You need to be running a richer AFR than stock as well as timing targets with very minimal timing corrections, if any, if you want to baby your N20. N20s should be babied. It's proven that they're not that solid. I don't get the whole "saving for BM3 but bought a JB4" thing. Isn't it pretty much same price as a JB4?
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      04-17-2018, 12:19 AM   #18
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Does anyone have AFR logs of JB4 and BM3 base maps? Itís hard to say which is safer without actually seeing the logs.

If not, I may take one for the team and get on the dyno with my BMS stage 1.

The main thing that bothers me, is that I have no idea what the maps look like with JB4s. I have no clue how much timing advance there is.

Also, there is no knock sensor, so I have no clue if Iím getting detonation or not.

Last edited by ilivas; 04-17-2018 at 12:38 AM..
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      04-17-2018, 12:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsm87 View Post
I'm shocked that people are still using piggybacks with stock DME flash on N20s, despite the failures out there. The N20 isn't a strong engine. You need to be running a richer AFR than stock as well as timing targets with very minimal timing corrections, if any, if you want to baby your N20. N20s should be babied. It's proven that they're not that solid. I don't get the whole "saving for BM3 but bought a JB4" thing. Isn't it pretty much same price as a JB4?
it depends. First, the JB4 used to be much more expensive, as the premier tune out there. Flash tunes weren't an option for a good while. When flash tunes finally hit the market for the N20, JB4 was forced to drop its price and the resale value tanked. you can pick up a used JB4 for less than $300 nowadays if you are patient. so yeah, JB4 cost to entry is much cheaper than your flash. also had appeal until recently because flash Tunes required DME removal. That's no longer the case.

JB4 is a great tune, but it just doesn't have the same tuneability as your good flashes. it can hang with some of the OTS maps for BM3 or Active Autowerke, but quickly will get outshined because of the additional parameters the flash has access to. Piggybacks struggle to hang because of that.
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      04-17-2018, 06:08 AM   #20
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328i, Catless DP, JB4 on map 2. The ultimate, easy combination.
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      04-17-2018, 08:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilivas View Post
Does anyone have AFR logs of JB4 and BM3 base maps? Itís hard to say which is safer without actually seeing the logs.

If not, I may take one for the team and get on the dyno with my BMS stage 1.

The main thing that bothers me, is that I have no idea what the maps look like with JB4s. I have no clue how much timing advance there is.

Also, there is no knock sensor, so I have no clue if Iím getting detonation or not.
I can't speak for timing on JB4, but the AFR for our platform on WOT should be high 11s to low 12s. You need to run richer on these in order to keep it cooler. Does JB4 not detect knock? Clearly, the cars have the sensors, as it's something you log in BM3.
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      04-17-2018, 10:06 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilivas View Post
Does anyone have AFR logs of JB4 and BM3 base maps? Itís hard to say which is safer without actually seeing the logs.

If not, I may take one for the team and get on the dyno with my BMS stage 1.

The main thing that bothers me, is that I have no idea what the maps look like with JB4s. I have no clue how much timing advance there is.

Also, there is no knock sensor, so I have no clue if Iím getting detonation or not.
The JB4 includes built in logging tools for all major engine criteria including ignition advance (knock) in all four cylinders, air/fuel, fuel trims, boost pressure, throttle, and anything else you'd want to look at. In addition the latest firmware updates allow you to monitor boost, timing, and/or AFR in dash real time.

Mike
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