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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > My long term Cobb vs PPK impressions - surprising?



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      07-17-2013, 09:18 PM   #1
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My long term Cobb vs PPK impressions - surprising?

This topic comes up a lot, about the BMW PPK tune vs Cobb, etc. Usually it comes down to what people perceive as power for their money, i.e value.

I have a slightly different approach. I have had both for a while - and recently I've been switching on and off between them to really feel the difference.

To preface, I learned a very important lesson from a Porsche Boxster in terms of driving experience: Power does not necessarily matter, but how the car communicates with you and reacts to your inputs can be even more exciting.

Having said that, the Cobb without a doubt produces a significant amount of power. I have stage 1 aggressive running 93, and only a drop in K and N filter otherwise stock. I also have the Alpina TCU flash. No doubt Cobb produces more noticeable power than the PPK by far.

As good as Cobb is, switching back and forth between them and driving on curvy roads with a lot of gear changes - I noticed that the PPK feels far superior in reaction time. It just feels more natural, and lighter, more immediate in the way the transmission and engine respond to you in tighter roads, hoving around 2nd and 3rd gear.

Cobb puts out a lot more boost, and because of this can feel slightly unnatural and have a bit more delay in power delivery. No doubt it pushes you much harder, but it is more artificial feeling while the PPK retains as much of a natural ebb and flow that you can have with the car still being turbo.

Once again, that initial response time and faster stop and go sporty driving is what I am describing. If you are in 4th gear on the highway and floor it, you do get that inital slight delay but then the Cobb produces superior torque and horsepower that accelerates at a faster rate. That's enjoyable too, but I'm wondering if the car isn't better off with less power.

Perhaps PPK plus the BMW PE Exhaust may allow the car to be more responsive and transparent feeling. The other option is to kick the Cobb up a notch, FMIC and Stage 1+...but I have a feeling that while the power will be increased even more, that heavier boost feeling will also increase and the car won't be as natural feeling as a PPK car would be.

Anyways, just my thoughts - I am still playing around with how these react, and I am sure I will learn more. Anyone have any similar ideas? I guess you can sort of replace PPK with stock vs Cobb if that's what you have, although PPK adds a nice level of response.
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      07-18-2013, 11:45 PM   #2
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Ok, maybe I'm the only one..lol
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      07-18-2013, 11:52 PM   #3
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Where in NJ are you... we should meet up and you can try my N54 FBO JB4 G5 no delay after gas mash

* I also have the B3 TCU flash
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      07-19-2013, 12:01 AM   #4
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I have had the ppk 2 for a while. I will agree it is more responsive. I have jb4 with bmw Dci, the jb4 makes a lot more power, which is to be expected, but the reaction time of the ppk is less.
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      07-19-2013, 12:11 AM   #5
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You'd probably have better responses in the turbo section.
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      07-19-2013, 04:41 AM   #6
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PPK is about as far as I would ever take this car without a LSD. All these tunes are essentially useless for anything but straight line highway pulls if you don't have traction.
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      07-19-2013, 06:35 AM   #7
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The PPK does respond quicker than the JB4 but does not have as much power. The newer firmware, 24C.hex, for the JB4 is getting much closer & the general driving feel has continued to improve.
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      07-19-2013, 07:38 AM   #8
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Iv'e got the procede rev2, and new jb4/g5 iso22 and the cobb ... i switched from all threes and i do prefer the COBB by far. Jb4 make noise that i dont really like :S But i feel the Cobb to be more natural
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      07-19-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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In terms of traction, my 335i is the RWD - and I actually really do not have any issues at all, even at Cobb Stage 1 aggressive. I have the OEM RFT summer tires on, and if it's dry, it really hooks up very well and I get minimal wheelspin. (Not enough to bog it down on a launch)
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      07-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #10
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so are you guys saying is if you have a manual the cob is better.
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      07-20-2013, 02:26 PM   #11
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I run a Cobb tune Stg 1 agg. 93 oct. with Alpina B3 flash. I have felt no hesitation. In throttle response and lag it is no different then the stock setup as I have switched between them multiple times. Only difference is the Cobb has a lot more bite behind that bark.

Are you sure you have not selected linear throttle map. Because it is not as aggressive throttle setup as the standard throttle map. If so that might be the only reason you can feel the way you feel.

Also, I have had JB4 in past and I find Cobb better and smoother in its delivery.
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      07-20-2013, 02:51 PM   #12
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I'm comparing it versus the ppk which has a better throttle response than stock.

It's not a lag exactly, it almost feels due to the extra boost it takes a bit longer to initially push that through- I guess things are amplified a bit when pushing more boost than the ppk.
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      07-20-2013, 07:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatNinja View Post
PPK is about as far as I would ever take this car without a LSD. All these tunes are essentially useless for anything but straight line highway pulls if you don't have traction.
New to the tuning world. "LSD"?
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      07-20-2013, 07:52 PM   #14
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Limited Slip Differential
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      07-20-2013, 07:53 PM   #15
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Is that something you can add on? I'll have to research that now. Thanks...
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      07-20-2013, 08:00 PM   #16
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Is that something you can add on? I'll have to research that now. Thanks...
Lsd is in the rear end. It is a mechanical part.
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      07-20-2013, 08:15 PM   #17
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I agree with you. I had Cobb Stage I and then Cobb Stage II. The PPK was smoother in every transition from gear to gear. I now have GIAC Stage II and it is much smoother than Cobb in every aspect but also very close in overall boost. Stage II is up to 16 psi and I believe Cobb Stage II was at 18 psi. IMO the PPK is a waste of money ($800) if you are in search of more boost v stock.
Thanks for the review.
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      07-20-2013, 08:49 PM   #18
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I have the PPK stage 2 and a brand new Cobb sitting in a box waiting to go on the car so I haven't compare them yet. I am curious, do any of the people who say the PPK is more responsive down low have an MT? And for those with the AT, do you think the slower response of the Cobb is related to how it works with the AT gearbox?

Could it be a throttle mapping thing? Have you guys tried both throttle maps on Cobb compared to PPK? I have noticed the PPK throttle mapping feels pretty non-linear.

If the PPK is more responsive down low and has nothing to do with the gearbox, Cobb should blend the maps. Use the PPK timing, fuel, boost targets, AFR targets, etc. on lower left side of the map and then slowly raise the targets in the higher RPM/higher kPa cells to match Cobb's current maps. Then you would get the responsiveness of the PPK with the more aggressive power in the top end. Win win.
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      07-21-2013, 12:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharkBait View Post
I have the PPK stage 2 and a brand new Cobb sitting in a box waiting to go on the car so I haven't compare them yet. I am curious, do any of the people who say the PPK is more responsive down low have an MT? And for those with the AT, do you think the slower response of the Cobb is related to how it works with the AT gearbox?

Could it be a throttle mapping thing? Have you guys tried both throttle maps on Cobb compared to PPK? I have noticed the PPK throttle mapping feels pretty non-linear.

If the PPK is more responsive down low and has nothing to do with the gearbox, Cobb should blend the maps. Use the PPK timing, fuel, boost targets, AFR targets, etc. on lower left side of the map and then slowly raise the targets in the higher RPM/higher kPa cells to match Cobb's current maps. Then you would get the responsiveness of the PPK with the more aggressive power in the top end. Win win.
I have MT, and the ppk is definitely more responsive.
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      07-21-2013, 07:55 AM   #20
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MT is less forgiving of an unresponsive engine, as the engine is directly coupled to the rear wheels. AT with torque converter will allow the engine to spin up a little and feels less responsive to begin with but can mitigate that effect by allowing the engine and turbos to spin up when you nail it. I remember back in the early days of turbos in road cars some writers would actually say that they preferred ATs with turbos because it could help mitigate lag (remember massive turbo lag?) I never drove one because back then I couldn't afford anything beyond "runs."

As to the LSD, everyone I've talked to who has one says it makes a world of difference to the car, but you're looking at $2K or thereabouts for a good one, and they're not easy to install (apparently the ring gear is welded to the carrier on most E9x, so this is not a DIY process other than just swapping the whole unit.)
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      07-21-2013, 08:14 AM   #21
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I believe the PPK alters the throttle mapping to enhance the feeling of more power whereas Cobb allows users to choose either the stock throttle mapping or a linear mapping (which is less responsive).

On that note, why don't you drive a FBO Cobb car and tell us about the responsiveness.
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      07-21-2013, 04:54 PM   #22
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I disagree with that post above. The PPK did absolutely nothing to my car in terms of throttle mapping. My automatic 335 still has that annoying dead spot at the top of the throttle pedal. I only wish it would eliminate that issue. The PPK drives pretty much like stock with just a bit more boost everywhere. It spools just as quickly, has tons of midrange and falls on its face just as bad at 5500 rpm. A PPK car can fool you into thinking the upper rev range is weaker because the drop off is more pronounced. I'm happy overall and may never go beyond this power level with this car. It would need an LSD at minimum if I gave it more power. Then follows the journey to insanity with one modification after another ...
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