JB4 for 718 - Page 2 - Porsche 718 Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-28-2019, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Viffermike View Post
I subscribe to the same opinion that @TEST DRyVer does: JB4s and other so-called 'piggyback' tunes are a relatively easy way to coax more power out of an engine -- but that ease is at both the significant risk and the sacrifice of a number of things that you absolutely cannot control without significant additional expense (and you may as well get an ECU tune at that point of expense).

The point he made about BMWs is a fantastic one. It literally took years for large aftermarket shops to crack the ECU on BMW's Nxx engines, particularly the N55. That, as well as relative cost, is why piggyback modules became popular for BMWs.

However, for our cars, the ECU was cracked first, then piggyback modules became available. What that tells me is that tuner companies such as Burger (which makes the JB4) believe that there are enough people who can't stomach either/both the cost and relative inconvenience of a true ECU tune to support bringing a piggyback device to market -- ergo, the market force for the product is not extra power: it's cost. IOW, a piggyback is a 'cheap' way to add it on a car that already has a better way available.

So basically, a piggyback device on a Porsche is like listening to a McIntosh audio system through Realistic (Radio Shack) loudspeakers. C'mon. This is a Porsche. Don't cheap out on it.

Also: Because of the way a piggyback module works (it basically fools the existing ECU into delivering more this-and-that), things like your boost gauge, various temperature gauges, and other key ECU monitoring circuits -- basically, anything controlled by CAN-BUS that the JB4 attaches to -- will cease to be accurate. Do you really want to risk that?
The ECU in this case has not been cracked. Yes Cobb can tune the car, but requires them to open the box.
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post #12 of 19 Old 03-28-2019, 07:49 PM
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The ECU in this case has not been cracked. Yes Cobb can tune the car, but requires them to open the box.
Sort of true but the ECU is fully tune-able by myself and all other COBB Porsche Pro-Tuners.

Front door flashing is in the works and will remove the requirement for sending the ECU in.


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Last edited by [email protected]; 03-28-2019 at 08:16 PM.
post #13 of 19 Old 03-29-2019, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Sort of true but the ECU is fully tune-able by myself and all other COBB Porsche Pro-Tuners.

Front door flashing is in the works and will remove the requirement for sending the ECU in.
Do you know if it will be done this year and a price?

For the fun of it.....
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-29-2019, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viffermike View Post
I subscribe to the same opinion that @TEST DRyVer does: JB4s and other so-called 'piggyback' tunes are a relatively easy way to coax more power out of an engine -- but that ease is at both the significant risk and the sacrifice of a number of things that you absolutely cannot control without significant additional expense (and you may as well get an ECU tune at that point of expense).

The point he made about BMWs is a fantastic one. It literally took years for large aftermarket shops to crack the ECU on BMW's Nxx engines, particularly the N55. That, as well as relative cost, is why piggyback modules became popular for BMWs.

However, for our cars, the ECU was cracked first, then piggyback modules became available. What that tells me is that tuner companies such as Burger (which makes the JB4) believe that there are enough people who can't stomach either/both the cost and relative inconvenience of a true ECU tune to support bringing a piggyback device to market -- ergo, the market force for the product is not extra power: it's cost. IOW, a piggyback is a 'cheap' way to add it on a car that already has a better way available.

So basically, a piggyback device on a Porsche is like listening to a McIntosh audio system through Realistic (Radio Shack) loudspeakers. C'mon. This is a Porsche. Don't cheap out on it.

Also: Because of the way a piggyback module works (it basically fools the existing ECU into delivering more this-and-that), things like your boost gauge, various temperature gauges, and other key ECU monitoring circuits -- basically, anything controlled by CAN-BUS that the JB4 attaches to -- will cease to be accurate. Do you really want to risk that?
Very well stated, Viffer! I had an E36 M3 Dinan Stage lll, an E46 M3 with mild mods (but no tune), an E90 335i with the N54 (stock), a 12 X5 with the N55 (stock), and now the F30 N55 EWG 335i M-sport (complete Stage 2).
The N54 took a while to crack, and the N55 took even longer. JB4's sell used real cheap on the Bimmer forums because everyone that has the ability and desire for increased performance with added reliability is going to ECU tunes. I'm not knocking JB4, because they have a good product that serves a purpose, but once the ECU can be properly tuned, the JB4 becomes obsolete.
The one major upside to a piggyback is the warranty issue that someone referenced above. While you can't totally hide an ECU tune, I've heard many success stories of people running piggybacks that take them off before a dealership visit, and had very little problems with detection. That being said, on an N55, it's a major PITA to remove a JB4 (if your as unskilled as myself)!

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I have been professionally tuning for over 20 years. I was the lead software engineer and calibrator at a piggyback company for 4 years. Full disclosure Arcflash is a COBB Pro-Tuner so perhaps I'm biased here but I've seen both sides of the industry... This is my thought, piggy backs, like tuning the ECU if done properly can work well. If done poorly either can have terrible results. I tried for years to get the piggyback company to look towards the future and investigate reflashing ECUs. They didn't and no longer have a North American facility... Anyway if you can reflash your ECU it's better than a piggyback every time. The piggyback for example can't raise your boost limits or rev limiter, it has to trick the ECU by clamping the peak boost. This is bad because your car no longer has closed loop control, it's thinking it's running x boost when it's really running y boost. Yes you can add the fuel and adjust the timing to accommodate the boost level your ECU doesn't know it's running but you also lose safety features from that too.

I've tuned many hundreds of cars with piggy backs and I wished I had the control an ECU reflash offers on every one of them. Like others have said, if you can't get a reflash and a piggyback is available it's not a bad way to go if your tuner knows what they are doing and the limitations and caveats of the device. For example if I wanted to tune a Toyota Tundra or Tacoma I'd use a piggy back. But I wouldn't be touching rev limiters or faking out boost levels to the ECU. You just adjust the fueling and timing as needed and that's it. Much simpler scenario vs. a modern Porsche with a turbocharger!
Regardless that you're attached to a specific brand, we can all appreciate your experience and input! Thanks for the response and breakdown... That also makes perfect sense to consider a piggyback for something naturally aspirated like a Tundra.
It also makes sense to consider an alternative for a turbocharged and elaborate motor like the ones we have in our Porsche's.
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-29-2019, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Sort of true but the ECU is fully tune-able by myself and all other COBB Porsche Pro-Tuners.

Front door flashing is in the works and will remove the requirement for sending the ECU in.
I am in once that happens. Just waiting on that.
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post #16 of 19 Old 04-01-2019, 01:10 PM
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Do you know if it will be done this year and a price?
I would certainly hope so, I know it was a front and center engineering effort for COBB last time I spoke with them about it. At the moment there isn't a ETA that I'm aware of.

The pricing for the COBB AccessPort shouldn't change from the current $1495 once the front door flashing has been implemented.
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post #17 of 19 Old 04-02-2019, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TEST DRyVer View Post
Very well stated, Viffer! I had an E36 M3 Dinan Stage lll, an E46 M3 with mild mods (but no tune), an E90 335i with the N54 (stock), a 12 X5 with the N55 (stock), and now the F30 N55 EWG 335i M-sport (complete Stage 2).
The N54 took a while to crack, and the N55 took even longer. JB4's sell used real cheap on the Bimmer forums because everyone that has the ability and desire for increased performance with added reliability is going to ECU tunes. I'm not knocking JB4, because they have a good product that serves a purpose, but once the ECU can be properly tuned, the JB4 becomes obsolete.
The one major upside to a piggyback is the warranty issue that someone referenced above. While you can't totally hide an ECU tune, I've heard many success stories of people running piggybacks that take them off before a dealership visit, and had very little problems with detection. That being said, on an N55, it's a major PITA to remove a JB4 (if your as unskilled as myself)!



Regardless that you're attached to a specific brand, we can all appreciate your experience and input! Thanks for the response and breakdown... That also makes perfect sense to consider a piggyback for something naturally aspirated like a Tundra.
It also makes sense to consider an alternative for a turbocharged and elaborate motor like the ones we have in our Porsche's.
I was seriously considering the JB4 due to using now and not worrying about warranty issue, although unlikely there would be one. Warranty expires June of 2020, so I'll likely wait for the Cobb ECU tune until then.
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post #18 of 19 Old 04-03-2019, 06:09 AM
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I was seriously considering the JB4 due to using now and not worrying about warranty issue, although unlikely there would be one. Warranty expires June of 2020, so I'll likely wait for the Cobb ECU tune until then.
That's a fair assessment. I'll offer one more potential consideration:
Talk to your Service Advisor. Ask him how his dealership feels about a reputable ECU tune for your car. He'll give you a direct answer. If he says that ANY aftermarket performance enhancing modification would void your warranty, then I would absolutely take his advice. If he says that a tune in theory would void the manufacturers warranty, but they would need the prove the tune is the cause for the failure (of any given part. I'm just using an example), then that means your dealership is "mod friendly". A mod friendly dealership doesn't just come out and say they're mod friendly. They give you a "grey" answer, which means you're ok to mod. If the answer is very black and white, they have zero tolerance to mods.
In the Phoenix, AZ. Area, we have two Porsche Dealerships. One is absolutely zero tolerance to aftermarket modifications, and the other one will even help install the mods and explain that failure to other parts is unlikely from that particular mod. They will not back themselves into a corner and say "no problem, modify as you like, we'll cover it". But they will lead you to understand that they tolerate aftermarket mods, as long as you don't go crazy (adding NOS, swapping turbos, getting a widebody setup with a complete overhaul of the suspension geometry).
Just some friendly advice... That being said, I'm on the hunt for a local BMW dealership that's "mod friendly". The current dealership I've used for a few years, is absolutely zero tolerance to aftermarket modifications. I've even seen them flag Beemers for cosmetic mods and stickers, assuming if your car looks like that, then it has to be modded. Which we all know isn't always the case. I'm sure you, as well as many of us here, know people that like to modify their cars to make them look fast and aggressive, but they are absolutely not interested in performance enhancing mods, since they like the look of their car more than they like the added performance.

2018 718 Cayman 6mt, Graphite Blue Metallic, PDLS, Sport Seats Plus (18-way) with Memory Package, Sport-Tex Seat Centers in Graphite Blue/Chalk, Carrera Sport Wheels, PASM, GT Sport Steering wheel, LCA. Mods - VR Tune Stage 2 ECU and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires in GT4 sizes.

Family Car: 2015 BMW 335i M-sport with adaptive suspension and complete Stage 2 with Full Bolt-ons.
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post #19 of 19 Old 04-06-2019, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by TEST DRyVer View Post
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Originally Posted by Optical TDI View Post
I was seriously considering the JB4 due to using now and not worrying about warranty issue, although unlikely there would be one. Warranty expires June of 2020, so I'll likely wait for the Cobb ECU tune until then.
That's a fair assessment. I'll offer one more potential consideration:
Talk to your Service Advisor. Ask him how his dealership feels about a reputable ECU tune for your car. He'll give you a direct answer. If he says that ANY aftermarket performance enhancing modification would void your warranty, then I would absolutely take his advice. If he says that a tune in theory would void the manufacturers warranty, but they would need the prove the tune is the cause for the failure (of any given part. I'm just using an example), then that means your dealership is "mod friendly". A mod friendly dealership doesn't just come out and say they're mod friendly. They give you a "grey" answer, which means you're ok to mod. If the answer is very black and white, they have zero tolerance to mods.
In the Phoenix, AZ. Area, we have two Porsche Dealerships. One is absolutely zero tolerance to aftermarket modifications, and the other one will even help install the mods and explain that failure to other parts is unlikely from that particular mod. They will not back themselves into a corner and say "no problem, modify as you like, we'll cover it". But they will lead you to understand that they tolerate aftermarket mods, as long as you don't go crazy (adding NOS, swapping turbos, getting a widebody setup with a complete overhaul of the suspension geometry).
Just some friendly advice... That being said, I'm on the hunt for a local BMW dealership that's "mod friendly". The current dealership I've used for a few years, is absolutely zero tolerance to aftermarket modifications. I've even seen them flag Beemers for cosmetic mods and stickers, assuming if your car looks like that, then it has to be modded. Which we all know isn't always the case. I'm sure you, as well as many of us here, know people that like to modify their cars to make them look fast and aggressive, but they are absolutely not interested in performance enhancing mods, since they like the look of their car more than they like the added performance.
Good advice because I’d really like to get Cobb sooner than later. A positive for the local dealer is that have full coffee bar with barista. And a complimentary nail bar - free manicures.
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