JB4 vs racechip dte nm vr afe scorcher lap uncle and countless others.
While the JB4 is the best and most highly developed piggyback tuning system there is no shortage of would-be competitors.We’ll discuss just a handful of the differences below.
What is CANbus anyway? CANBus is the spinal cord that connects the many modules or computers throughout your vehicle together and allows them to operate as a cohesive team. When a technician plugs a tool in to the OBDII port for diagnostics, it’s tapping in to the CANbus allowing full access to the entire vehicle. The JB4 includes this same level of vehicle-wide computer integration. A JB4 with its CANbus connection can read virtually every sensor on your vehicle including critical internal calculations like fuel trims and knock count. This allows the JB4 to take gas pedal position, throttle position, oil temperature, water temperature, intake temperature, engine speed, air/fuel ratio, fuel trims, ignition advance, knock, and countless other factors in to your tuning, providing smoother, stronger, and safer performance.On the other hand boxes like RaceChip without CANbus are limited to reading only the boost sensors they attach to resulting in a “MAP clamp” tuning approach.Common symptoms of non-CANbus related tunes include stuttering, poor shifting, and reduced top-end performance. Since these systems can’t correct the conditions causing the issue, their only solution to any tuning issue is to “turn down the boost”.
It’s not just about boost. While boost control is the most visible aspect of piggyback tuning it’s important to keep in mind fuel & ignition control are just as critical to engine performance and safety. Cranking up boost without properly accounting for fueling and ignition can result in detonation, knocking, stuttering, excessive EGT melting parts, and degraded performance. While JB4 strategies for fuel and ignition control vary by platform - using its additional signal ports, processing power, and CANbus - boost, timing, and fuel are always accounted for. And unlike other tuning systems, you don’t need to take our word for it. The JB4 allows monitoring of all critical engine criteria including diagnostic faults in real time via the optional JB4 mobile app.
What’s with all the different JB4 systems? Each JB4 is designed from the ground up specifically for your vehicle. That includes BMS sourcing one of every vehicle we of support for development and long term R&D. It’s why you’ll usually see *actual* dyno charts and performance metrics for each vehicle on our website and why the JB4 systems themselves need to vary by platform. With each application we optimize the JB4 hardware and software for that specific platform and we always commit to future development through free JB4 software updates that can be loaded via the optional JB4 mobile app. Updates that give the JB4 improved performance, new features, more mapping options, and much more. It’s why you’ll often see BMS employees active within Facebook groups and car forums interacting with our customers for feedback and ideas for improving the JB4 for that specific application.
Our competitors, on the other hand, usually take a universal approach to tuning. Using the same hardware and software they apply the minimum required changes to make it compatible across as many different turbocharged vehicles as possible, often ignoring critical platform differences and changing only the MAP sensor connections on the harness before moving on to the next vehicle application never to return.
What’s the deal with the gas mileage claims? JB4 competitors often make false claims of “improved fuel economy” using their tuning systems. It is not possible to improve fuel economy using MAP sensor tuning and generally speaking more horsepower requires more fuel to support it. So what is the basis of these claims? It all comes down to how fuel economy is measured by the factory computer in some vehicles. Since RaceChip and other simplistic MAP clamp tuning systems apply a preset boost increase at all times regardless of gas pedal position or operational mode, some vehicles base their internal mileage reading off this full time bogus signal resulting in higher than actual mileage displayed in dash. If you measure economy using your trip meter in dash you’ll discover not that fuel economy has increased but rather that RaceChip has simply made the internal gas mileage reading inaccurate. The JB4 on the other hand generally does not negatively affect the economy readings in dash, and while it’s always true that making more power requires more fuel, with the JB4 you’re only using more fuel when racing around under heavy throttle making more power. Fuel economy during normal driving with the JB4 enabled is unchanged.