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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N55 Turbo Engine Tuning and Exhaust Modifications - 335i Tuning > cobb vs jb4 on n55



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      01-12-2015, 06:55 AM   #1
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cobb vs jb4 on n55

Hello,

Doing some research, I still haven't really gotten the answer.
I currently have the cobb ap and running on stage 2 aggressive (e92 n55 w/ bms intake and downpipe). I was debating at first which route to take either cobb or jb4, but I just thought since I still have warranty it would be better to go with cobb since it only takes like 15 min to uninstall it.

My warranty is about to be up soon, and I am still hungry for more power. I know there are another route I can go with the cobb getting it protuned. There is also the other route jb4 which makes lot of power.

From the perspective of maintenance and reliability, which route is better you think?

thanks!

Last edited by davidoh1989; 01-12-2015 at 12:42 PM.
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      01-12-2015, 08:22 AM   #2
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I would say keep the COBB for backend flashes. And get JB4 to make some more power.
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      01-12-2015, 08:38 AM   #3
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I would suggest adding a aftermarket chargepipe (ER, BMS, COBB etc) along with it. The OEM plastic one will crack eventually when PSI get higher.
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      01-12-2015, 09:13 AM   #4
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I have cobb and my warranty will be ending this summer as well. I plan on swapping out my turbo for stage 1 or 2 from PureTurbo! I would def change the charge pipe, that's one of the first things I did, plus a protune will also get you some gains, Cobb's of the shelf maps suck!
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      01-12-2015, 09:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidoh1989 View Post
Hello,

Doing some research, I still haven't really gotten the answer.
I currently have the cobb ap and running on stage 2 aggressive (e92 n55 w/ bms intake and downpipe). I was debating at first which route to take either cobb or jb4, but I just thought since I am the warranty it would be better to go with cobb since it only takes like 15 min to uninstall it.

My warranty is about to be up soon, and I am still hungry for more power. I know there are another route I can go with the cobb getting it protuned. There is also the other route jb4 which makes lot of power.

From the perspective of maintenance and reliability, which route is better you think?

thanks!

Once you do the JB4 install once or twice its only 10-15 min to install as well. Its pretty simple.

Mike
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      01-12-2015, 09:31 AM   #6
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I would just get a protune and keep the cobb. It seems like a protune makes basically the same power as a JB4 does.
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      01-12-2015, 10:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JETmn View Post
I would just get a protune and keep the cobb. It seems like a protune makes basically the same power as a JB4 does.
But I like how you can change maps on the fly with JB4 using the steering wheel controls.
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      01-12-2015, 10:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhm135 View Post
But I like how you can change maps on the fly with JB4 using the steering wheel controls.
PRETTY SOLID SET UP FOR N55

JB4 S2 ISO FF stacked with COBB/BMS backend flash. run e50 and max out the turbo. get a CP ALSO look into PURE turbos upgrade.

what i loved about the JB4 was boost limiting in 1st/2nd gear also being able to run map 2 14.5 psi daily and with the flick of the cruise control swap to map 6 21psi with meth if i need to embarrass someone pretty sweet how you can switch maps on the fly use meth integraton and now soon BMS is releasing a port injection set up that will be controlled by the JB4.an extra 6 injectors that will allow for 100% e85 on big power! cant wait BMS is always adding more options for jb4 users and the support is unreal.
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      01-12-2015, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhm135 View Post
I would say keep the COBB for backend flashes. And get JB4 to make some more power.
Yep. That's what I have done. Both are great tunes and have their benefits.
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      01-12-2015, 06:46 PM   #10
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I haven't gotten either yet but I'm leaning more toward the jb4. Seems like that makes more power
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      01-12-2015, 07:22 PM   #11
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Stack cobb with JB4

JB4 has a lot of support from N54tuning.
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      01-12-2015, 11:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMT0286
I haven't gotten either yet but I'm leaning more toward the jb4. Seems like that makes more power
They are about the same at the end of the day. The jb4 is much more user friendly though. Install, add gas/e85, and go!
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      01-13-2015, 11:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidoh1989 View Post
Hello,

Doing some research, I still haven't really gotten the answer.
I currently have the cobb ap and running on stage 2 aggressive (e92 n55 w/ bms intake and downpipe). I was debating at first which route to take either cobb or jb4, but I just thought since I still have warranty it would be better to go with cobb since it only takes like 15 min to uninstall it.

My warranty is about to be up soon, and I am still hungry for more power. I know there are another route I can go with the cobb getting it protuned. There is also the other route jb4 which makes lot of power.

From the perspective of maintenance and reliability, which route is better you think?

thanks!
Both have pros and cons but the JB4 does a better job controlling boost and is a lot easier to adjust boost per RPM.
In terms of reliability and maintenance they are the same.
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      01-13-2015, 12:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonluc88 View Post
I would suggest adding a aftermarket chargepipe (ER, BMS, COBB etc) along with it. The OEM plastic one will crack eventually when PSI get higher.
+1
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      01-13-2015, 12:44 PM   #15
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I reccomend Cobb mainly because I feel safer with it and like the idea of a stock operating mode.

I know the JB4 has been proven and is well vetted by now, but I prefer to be able to modify engine parameters directly at the source rather than manipulating ECU IOs after the fact.

One important thing to remember is that the Cobb base maps SUCK, at least for the N55. When I first installed the Cobb, I was like "WTF?". It barely felt better than stock. Meanwhile, JB4 cars felt immediately faster.

Then I got my protune from PTF. The power increase from the protune was very very significant. Far greater than the increase from going from stock to Cobb alone.

That's the main difference and probably the reason why so many people prefer JB4 around here. The JB4 is a plug and play ordeal, where as the Cobb needs a protune to achieve similar power levels, and most people don't get a protune. They just want to hook it up and go. Understandable.

It's also important to note that the JB4 has other cool features like map switching via the steering wheel and direct E85 support, none of which the Cobb supports.

All that being said, I see no reason why one can make more power than the other. In the end, both methods are directly or indirectly manipulating the same variable: boost. (Cobb being indirect, JB being direct)

16psi with 6 degrees of timing should perform identically no matter how it's achieved. Especially considering there's no control over VANOS with either Cobb or JB.

The functional difference between the two is that the Cobb allows you to modify stock ECU load targets. The achievement of these load targets is still controlled by the ECU's algorithms. Boost is just one variable that the ECU can use to achieve load targets. Timing is another.

Think of it more along the lines of BMW simply tuning the car more agressively from the factory. They would likely modify the same tables that the Cobb modifies.

On the other hand, from what I understand, the JB takes direct control of the boost and clamps/modifies ECU sensors and signals to keep it thinking that everything is normal.

This means that a JB car should have consistant boost pretty much no matter what, where as a Cobb car's boost will constantly flucuate based off of outside conditions, but should deliver more consistant power.

The reason that this is often debated is because there are some definite short commings with the Cobb especially for the N55. No VANOS control, speed limiters, etc.

If there was FULL control over the ECU, it would be foolish to use a piggyback. Until then, they both have their pros and cons.
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      01-13-2015, 08:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unklejoe
I reccomend Cobb mainly because I feel safer with it and like the idea of a stock operating mode.

I know the JB4 has been proven and is well vetted by now, but I prefer to be able to modify engine parameters directly at the source rather than manipulating ECU IOs after the fact.

One important thing to remember is that the Cobb base maps SUCK, at least for the N55. When I first installed the Cobb, I was like "WTF?". It barely felt better than stock. Meanwhile, JB4 cars felt immediately faster.

Then I got my protune from PTF. The power increase from the protune was very very significant. Far greater than the increase from going from stock to Cobb alone.

That's the main difference and probably the reason why so many people prefer JB4 around here. The JB4 is a plug and play ordeal, where as the Cobb needs a protune to achieve similar power levels, and most people don't get a protune. They just want to hook it up and go. Understandable.

It's also important to note that the JB4 has other cool features like map switching via the steering wheel and direct E85 support, none of which the Cobb supports.

All that being said, I see no reason why one can make more power than the other. In the end, both methods are directly or indirectly manipulating the same variable: boost. (Cobb being indirect, JB being direct)

16psi with 6 degrees of timing should perform identically no matter how it's achieved. Especially considering there's no control over VANOS with either Cobb or JB.

The functional difference between the two is that the Cobb allows you to modify stock ECU load targets. The achievement of these load targets is still controlled by the ECU's algorithms. Boost is just one variable that the ECU can use to achieve load targets. Timing is another.

Think of it more along the lines of BMW simply tuning the car more agressively from the factory. They would likely modify the same tables that the Cobb modifies.

On the other hand, from what I understand, the JB takes direct control of the boost and clamps/modifies ECU sensors and signals to keep it thinking that everything is normal.

This means that a JB car should have consistant boost pretty much no matter what, where as a Cobb car's boost will constantly flucuate based off of outside conditions, but should deliver more consistant power.

The reason that this is often debated is because there are some definite short commings with the Cobb especially for the N55. No VANOS control, speed limiters, etc.

If there was FULL control over the ECU, it would be foolish to use a piggyback. Until then, they both have their pros and cons.
Pretty fair comparison. This post should have its own sticky
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      01-13-2015, 08:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidoh1989 View Post
Hello,

Doing some research, I still haven't really gotten the answer.
I currently have the cobb ap and running on stage 2 aggressive (e92 n55 w/ bms intake and downpipe). I was debating at first which route to take either cobb or jb4, but I just thought since I still have warranty it would be better to go with cobb since it only takes like 15 min to uninstall it.

My warranty is about to be up soon, and I am still hungry for more power. I know there are another route I can go with the cobb getting it protuned. There is also the other route jb4 which makes lot of power.

From the perspective of maintenance and reliability, which route is better you think?

thanks!
I don't think Cobb and JB4 are that different in terms of what they deliver. I suggest you keep the Cobb. Instead, spend money to (1) go FBO by adding DP, FMIC, and intake, and (2) get a custom Cobb tune (e.g., from PTF etc.). I think that is a better way to spend your money.

JB4 does have a custom map but all that does is allow you to specify boost at different rpms. The ability of a tuner to look at your logs and create a custom map just for your car and its mods is a big advantage of Cobb so since you already have a Cobb, why not take advantage of it?
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      01-13-2015, 09:30 PM   #18
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Some great info in here....I personally went with JB4 ISO + E85 Wires.....never tried cobb
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      01-13-2015, 10:45 PM   #19
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IF we are talking about N55, JB4+COBB with BMS back end flash takes a sh1t on COBB alone. Here's why, try and have ptf make you a E50 tune on 18-19 psi. You're most likely going to run into misfires or have a TON of revisions to go through before you can drive with confidence (well at least my friends did...went PTF route, they had a great 91 octane tune that still hit 18psi but not like the jb4 with e85 on 18psi much less aggressive curve.) the JB4 even without the COBB backend flash, just jb4 FF ISO will run solid on E50.Car will run much better on 50% ethanol vs 91/93 octane tune wether it be flash or piggy back.... Again this is n55 only. If you're the type of guy who only wants to run pump gas and not deal with finding e85 stations a COBB tune will hit much better boost on 91 octane than the jb4 IMO.... Jb4 91 octane is only good for 12.5 psi (map 1) you could run map 2 or 5 if you fill with 93 but I would go with COBB tune if I was only planning on running pump gas Bc you could get more boost out of it IMO. You want to go fast jb4 with e85 is the way to do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unklejoe View Post
I reccomend Cobb mainly because I feel safer with it and like the idea of a stock operating mode.

I know the JB4 has been proven and is well vetted by now, but I prefer to be able to modify engine parameters directly at the source rather than manipulating ECU IOs after the fact.

One important thing to remember is that the Cobb base maps SUCK, at least for the N55. When I first installed the Cobb, I was like "WTF?". It barely felt better than stock. Meanwhile, JB4 cars felt immediately faster.

Then I got my protune from PTF. The power increase from the protune was very very significant. Far greater than the increase from going from stock to Cobb alone.

That's the main difference and probably the reason why so many people prefer JB4 around here. The JB4 is a plug and play ordeal, where as the Cobb needs a protune to achieve similar power levels, and most people don't get a protune. They just want to hook it up and go. Understandable.

It's also important to note that the JB4 has other cool features like map switching via the steering wheel and direct E85 support, none of which the Cobb supports.

All that being said, I see no reason why one can make more power than the other. In the end, both methods are directly or indirectly manipulating the same variable: boost. (Cobb being indirect, JB being direct)

16psi with 6 degrees of timing should perform identically no matter how it's achieved. Especially considering there's no control over VANOS with either Cobb or JB.

The functional difference between the two is that the Cobb allows you to modify stock ECU load targets. The achievement of these load targets is still controlled by the ECU's algorithms. Boost is just one variable that the ECU can use to achieve load targets. Timing is another.

Think of it more along the lines of BMW simply tuning the car more agressively from the factory. They would likely modify the same tables that the Cobb modifies.

On the other hand, from what I understand, the JB takes direct control of the boost and clamps/modifies ECU sensors and signals to keep it thinking that everything is normal.

This means that a JB car should have consistant boost pretty much no matter what, where as a Cobb car's boost will constantly flucuate based off of outside conditions, but should deliver more consistant power.

The reason that this is often debated is because there are some definite short commings with the Cobb especially for the N55. No VANOS control, speed limiters, etc.

If there was FULL control over the ECU, it would be foolish to use a piggyback. Until then, they both have their pros and cons.
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      01-13-2015, 10:49 PM   #20
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Hi guys, I need some specific guidance ...

Currently I am FBO and on COBB pro tuned maps running on standard 97RON.

I am going for Stage 2 Turbo upgrades and as such is Cobb & pro tuned again sufficient ? or Do I need Cobb with BMS backend flash (no special fuel / methanol upgrades intended ) and pro tuned again ? or just Cobb with back end flash and no pro tuned ?

Pleased to hear your guidance.

Thank you.
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      01-14-2015, 09:00 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PURE135i View Post
IF we are talking about N55, JB4+COBB with BMS back end flash takes a sh1t on COBB alone. Here's why, try and have ptf make you a E50 tune on 18-19 psi. You're most likely going to run into misfires or have a TON of revisions to go through before you can drive with confidence (well at least my friends did...went PTF route, they had a great 91 octane tune that still hit 18psi but not like the jb4 with e85 on 18psi much less aggressive curve.) the JB4 even without the COBB backend flash, just jb4 FF ISO will run solid on E50.Car will run much better on 50% ethanol vs 91/93 octane tune wether it be flash or piggy back.... Again this is n55 only. If you're the type of guy who only wants to run pump gas and not deal with finding e85 stations a COBB tune will hit much better boost on 91 octane than the jb4 IMO.... Jb4 91 octane is only good for 12.5 psi (map 1) you could run map 2 or 5 if you fill with 93 but I would go with COBB tune if I was only planning on running pump gas Bc you could get more boost out of it IMO. You want to go fast jb4 with e85 is the way to do it
I see. I should have mentioned I am running 93oct only for my car. It makes sense that for higher E mixtures, you need more control over fueling than what the stock ECU trims would allow. I'm not sure how JB4 actually accomplishes this, but it has some way of compensating for the ethanol content that seems to work well. My guess is that it causes the ECU to increase fuel pressure by modifying the fuel pressure sensor signal.

It seems to me that the Cobb only allows for editing of some tables, no actual program changes. That's the major limitation that I see. This is why there are no cool features like map switching on the fly, launch control, etc. Those would require actual program changes.

It would be a huge effort to decompile all of the actual program code on the ECU, but it has been done for cars before.

The first one that comes to mind is the DSM ECUs (DSMLink). They can actually control auxillary pins on the ECU and have them drive WG solenoids, meth pumps, etc...But these are very old computers that probably have 1/1000th of the complexity of a new Bosch unit.

I doubt we will ever see that kind of control with the Cobb.

Getting a little off topic here but I wonder how much of the program code is specific to BMW and how much of it comes from Bosch.

Bosch uses this MEVD17 ECU for a lot of cars. My guess is they produce and sell custom units to manufacturers and provide them with a software package and APIs which they can use to integrate for their own deisngs.

The amount of common code between different manufacturers ECUs will determine the feasbility of someone attempting to make program modifications.
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      01-15-2015, 01:18 AM   #22
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I bought both COBB and JB4, prefer COBB for its simplicity since my DME is supported. Maybe when my warranty runs out I'll stick JB4 back in for good,
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