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      05-08-2012, 02:59 PM   #1
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JB4 vs Cobb 335i review

Hi guys,

I've been running a JB4 for a while now and last week I received my new Cobb Accessport from AR Design (highly recommended btw).

So I thought that I should share my findings to those guys on here that might be contemplating the two most popular tuning options in the UK. First of all my car is far from standard but I have been comparing similar maps betwen the two so we are talking JB4 map 2 vs Cobb Stage2 and Stage2+fmic maps. I have bigger turbos and all the usual bolt on mods (exhaust, fmic, downpipes etc) but I have tried both tuning options on the same car with same mods.


Installation

The Cobb has an obvious advantage here with very simple installation when compared to the JB4. The ROM on my car was recognised by the Cobb device during installation so I was able to run maps straight away and didn't have to email any files to Cobb.

I installed the JB4 myself quite a while ago but I found it quite easy to install and the online instructions were very thorough. I've taken the cowling off about 20 to 30 times now for various reasons and I can take it off in about 2-3 minutes. If you're not comfortable with this aspect a good garage should be able to install it in under an hour.

Normal Driving

I've driven my car with both tuning options for my daily commute so can give my thoughts on the differences between the two in ordinary conditions. When oil temperature is above 70degrees and the JB4 is active I have found that the throttle is very sensitive and takes careful modulation to prevent the car flinging itself down the road. On the flipside however, this means that the car is super responsive low down in the rev range and builds boost very quickly.

The Cobb on the otherhand feels very different. One thing to note is that I have a manual and I tried out the linear throttle mapping as recommended by a few people on the American forums. I found the car to feel like standard down low and much easier to drive normally. I hope to go back to the standard throttle mapping to see which of the two I prefer.

Performance

Luckily I managed to try the car out on a few of the dry days we had in the last week so I could compare the two. It's worth noting that I haven't been using methanol with my JB4 for the couple of weeks prior to installing the Cobb so the comparisons should be fair. One thing I have noticed in the last week is how much I miss the dash gauges with the JB4. I have noticed that I really rely on them and it's always good to know that the turbos are working as they should.

With both options the car is super quick but I feel that they deliver the performance in different ways. The JB4 hits maximum boost early and is very aggressive whereas the Cobb is much smoother with slightly better midrange and high rev performance. In a straight line race I would expect very similar performance between the two but one thing to note is that the Cobb uses more boost to acheive similar performance (18psi+ compared to 14.5psi with the JB4). This might be a point of concern for those whose turbos have a lot of mileage on them.

My main reason for purchasing the Cobb was due to the superior ignition control and AFRs when compared to the JB4. For regular users this shouldn't be a worry but since I'm pushing for much higher numbers these aspects are something I need to consider.

Final thoughts

I think the major point from my experiences is that which ever option you go for, you definately won't be disappointed. The difference between these and the standard car is so big that you will never look back. If you can install it yourself or have a trustworthy garage then the JB4 makes sense and it cost me over 200 less than the Cobb which I negotiated a good deal on.

One thing to mention is aftersales support from the companies. I have dealt with Terry@BMS (JB4 designer) for over a year now and his support is nothing short of superb. He responds to emails really quickly and always tries his best to help you out. Despite the time difference between here and the UK it seems he is at his computer all the time any day of the week. Cobb are also good with their support but one thing to note is that they are a regular company and don't respond as well during the weekend and out of their office time. However I have been really impressed by the help I have received from Cobb with regards to custom tuning with my car.

If you have any questions then don't hesitate to ask.
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      05-08-2012, 03:32 PM   #2
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Good review mate, thanks for posting.

It's likely to be a JB4 for me based on price, ease of use etc and some of the nice features. Looking forward to when I'm ready - lots of parts now sat in the garage

Matt
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      05-08-2012, 04:28 PM   #3
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Where abouts in brum are u bro?
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      05-08-2012, 04:31 PM   #4
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Thank you for the write up, as I have been keep changing my mind between the two. However I only the other day, pressed the button and order my JB4.

More importantly I was looking for an more aggressive feel to the car - and your write up has confirmed what I thought.

Many thanks

BBQ
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      05-08-2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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Great review of the 2 mate.
JB4 for me I think when I get my 135.
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      05-09-2012, 03:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m thriller View Post
Where abouts in brum are u bro?
Just the other side of the NEC

An important point to note is that I am using the v301 maps and not the beta ones which are out and are supposed to be an improvement. I will be trying these out soon as well and will give my thoughts. I'm still waiting to be sent the stage 3 map which is the main I bought the Cobb. It is likely that I will be using a cobb map with the JB4 controlling the methanol and I will hopefully have the best of both worlds.
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      05-09-2012, 04:21 AM   #7
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Nice review Idnan, you've got a real beast there!
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      05-09-2012, 08:01 AM   #8
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Very good review!...

cobb for me..when i get the funds!...
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      05-09-2012, 11:50 AM   #9
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good review, we need good people like you sharing this type of info. I have had my JB4 now for about a month and wont look back, its amazing, best money ive ever spent on a mod
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      05-09-2012, 12:30 PM   #10
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Thanks for the positive comments guy. I stand by my comments that both are excellent pieces of kit and we are lucky to have both options and neither will disappoint.

If anyone is looking into buying a Cobb AP then you're more than welcome to come to mine and borrow it if I'm free.
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      05-09-2012, 04:42 PM   #11
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Very interesting review, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I'm surprised COBB hasn't made their stage 3 map available to you yet - I got it within a few hours of asking for it.

As I still have a JB3, I'll probably upgrade it to a JB4 shortly in order to do a similar comparison, and also to use the JB4 as a meth failsafe.

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      05-09-2012, 04:52 PM   #12
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Well done Idnan, thanks for this review - very honest and balanced.
I'm on an Evolve stage 2 right now but have "itchy fingers" and TBH the Cobb appeals to me more in terms of ease of installation. But then, the JB4 has it on price. I guess it's good to have the choice. Mind you, if it keeps on raining, the car's staying as it is.............Summer, really?

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      05-09-2012, 05:22 PM   #13
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WoW, Ive just realised how many people have 335i on the UK forum Most of them modded Hope you are having great fun, I am joining soon with E90 335i 6MT pre-LCI M-Sport or if I am lucky LCI, but just wanted to ask is there any difference between pre-LCI and LCI of course except the bumper package etc etc - I mean engine, gearboxes, weight, torque etc ? Is it really worth looking for 6MT or just dont bother and get paddles ? Any other info would be appreciated

Also if you guys are running around 400BHP are the engine's components safe for example crank, valves etc excuse my lack of idea, I am not a mechanic lol ?

Great review by the way !!! Juicy Box lol is 500 dollars - fantastic price and can deliver 100BHP more but how ? It should be a lot more advanced than tuning box or remap etc ?

Best Regards,

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      05-10-2012, 02:30 AM   #14
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57 plate onward has lower tax!

I think LCI is worth the extra...
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      05-10-2012, 04:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux View Post
Very interesting review, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I'm surprised COBB hasn't made their stage 3 map available to you yet - I got it within a few hours of asking for it.

As I still have a JB3, I'll probably upgrade it to a JB4 shortly in order to do a similar comparison, and also to use the JB4 as a meth failsafe.

Alpina_B3_Lux
The stage 3 maps taking a few days extra is mainly my own fault, I've been sleeping early so I keep missing Rob's emails. I did get it last night and will be transferring them to the car today although as Mike has mentioned the weather is terrible.

I've got the settings off Terry for running the JB4 meth with the Cobb so will try that out in a couple of days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matrez View Post
WoW, Ive just realised how many people have 335i on the UK forum Most of them modded Hope you are having great fun, I am joining soon with E90 335i 6MT pre-LCI M-Sport or if I am lucky LCI, but just wanted to ask is there any difference between pre-LCI and LCI of course except the bumper package etc etc - I mean engine, gearboxes, weight, torque etc ? Is it really worth looking for 6MT or just dont bother and get paddles ? Any other info would be appreciated

Also if you guys are running around 400BHP are the engine's components safe for example crank, valves etc excuse my lack of idea, I am not a mechanic lol ?

Great review by the way !!! Juicy Box lol is 500 dollars - fantastic price and can deliver 100BHP more but how ? It should be a lot more advanced than tuning box or remap etc ?

Best Regards,

Mat.
Manuals are rarer than autos but it all depends on what you prefer. Both will hold 400bhp perfectly fine unless the clutch is excessively worn etc. And as far as engine strength is concerned you shouldn't worry as there are loads of people like Alpina and myself who are running bigger turbos and meth with no problems at all.

As Phil says, look for a car built after September 2007 so you have cheaper tax although it is only 200 extra a year which isn't that much.

Neil@Juiceduptuning sells the JB4 for 320 which is a great price with the advantage of UK support. Plus the JB4/Cobb can give 500hp at the wheels with the appropriate mods
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      05-10-2012, 07:40 AM   #16
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Is the JB4 a pain to install and remove Idnan ?

What's the cost of the Cobb in the UK ?
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      05-10-2012, 07:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonw View Post
Is the JB4 a pain to install and remove Idnan ?

What's the cost of the Cobb in the UK ?
You've ordered a new 135i haven't you?

If so then they don't do a Cobb AP for the newer n55 engine so the n55 JB4 is your only option:

http://www.juiceduptuning.co.uk/shop...duct.asp?ID=59

I can't comment on how good it is but I expect it is just as good as the n54 version. Installation is fairly straightforward, but I guess it depends on how good your mechanical skills are. If in doubt then get someone with a bit of experience to do it.


BTW I've put the Cobb stage 3 map on this morning and all I can say is I stand by my comments about the JB4 being more responsive low down but this map is quicker but is still shockingly smooth.
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      05-10-2012, 08:43 AM   #18
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Placed deposit today for the 135 but have been informed BMW maybe putting the 320bhp N55 engine into the 135 so just waiting to find this out.
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      05-10-2012, 09:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil200tdi View Post
57 plate onward has lower tax!

I think LCI is worth the extra...
Ahhh ok thanks, will try to get LCI then

Quote:
Originally Posted by idnan View Post
The stage 3 maps taking a few days extra is mainly my own fault, I've been sleeping early so I keep missing Rob's emails. I did get it last night and will be transferring them to the car today although as Mike has mentioned the weather is terrible.

I've got the settings off Terry for running the JB4 meth with the Cobb so will try that out in a couple of days.



Manuals are rarer than autos but it all depends on what you prefer. Both will hold 400bhp perfectly fine unless the clutch is excessively worn etc. And as far as engine strength is concerned you shouldn't worry as there are loads of people like Alpina and myself who are running bigger turbos and meth with no problems at all.

As Phil says, look for a car built after September 2007 so you have cheaper tax although it is only 200 extra a year which isn't that much.

Neil@Juiceduptuning sells the JB4 for 320 which is a great price with the advantage of UK support. Plus the JB4/Cobb can give 500hp at the wheels with the appropriate mods
Ahhh ok thanks a lot for that !!!

Best Regards,

Mat.
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      11-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idnan View Post

In a straight line race I would expect very similar performance between the two but one thing to note is that the Cobb uses more boost to acheive similar performance (18psi+ compared to 14.5psi with the JB4). This might be a point of concern for those whose turbos have a lot of mileage on them.

Hi idnan,

I am trying to decide which tuning I should go with for my 335is and your review definitely helped. So I want to thank you for your detailed review.
But quick question.
You mentioned that COBB uses more boost (18+ psi compared to 14.5 psi JB4), with different maps/settings, can't you change how much boost you are getting?

Thanks again for your review! You have cleared up some of my confusion.
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      11-26-2012, 11:08 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellomyBMW View Post
Hi idnan,

I am trying to decide which tuning I should go with for my 335is and your review definitely helped. So I want to thank you for your detailed review.
But quick question.
You mentioned that COBB uses more boost (18+ psi compared to 14.5 psi JB4), with different maps/settings, can't you change how much boost you are getting?

Thanks again for your review! You have cleared up some of my confusion.
Both Cobb and JB4 have had developments since the review was done. Protuning is available for the Cobb and Jb4 now has isolated boost control for those who require.

There are fair few different Cobb maps available depending on your mod level and driving requirements. I'm switching to a JB4 and Cobb combination so the best of both worlds

Is there a Cobb protuner close to you? If so, I would buy the Cobb and then have a custom map done by a local tuner or a remote one like ProTuningFreaks.
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      11-26-2012, 11:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idnan View Post
Both Cobb and JB4 have had developments since the review was done. Protuning is available for the Cobb and Jb4 now has isolated boost control for those who require.

There are fair few different Cobb maps available depending on your mod level and driving requirements. I'm switching to a JB4 and Cobb combination so the best of both worlds

Is there a Cobb protuner close to you? If so, I would buy the Cobb and then have a custom map done by a local tuner or a remote one like ProTuningFreaks.
Thank you for your quick reply.

I'm leaning towards JB4 since it's cheaper and you get nearly the same results compared to COBB.
When you say you are switching to a JB4 and COBB combination, does that mean you can have COBB on top of JB4 tuning? How is that possible with ECU flashes...? I'm confused...

Oh! and I forgot to ask... What exactly is protune for COBB?? Is that just another tuning map?
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