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      08-25-2008, 11:52 AM   #1
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JB3 and long term reliability

I know it's silly to ask this question because no one has a definitive answer but I'm interested in hearing as many people's opinions on the matter as I can.

I didn't hesistate to chip my Audi TT when I bought it almost 9 years ago. After 8 years of owning it chipped, I never had a single engine problem other than the ECU dying after 8 years (and that was a relatively cheap fix - $450 for a refurbished ECU).

Perhaps I was foolish and young back then, but now as I'm thinking about getting a JB3, I'm having second thoughts. Perhaps it is the pictures of the blown turbos in 335s and stories of $15,000+ repair bills. Certainly, I'm craving the extra power but maybe not at the expense of a blown engine.

Exactly what kind of risk are we taking here? I realize we can just remove the JB3 and pretend like it was never installed, but in even of a real catastrophic engine failure, I think I am the kind of person who would own up to it.

I'm willing to take a risk, but it really depends on how much of a risk it is. So what are we dealing with here?
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      08-25-2008, 12:33 PM   #2
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I think the JB3 with the low boost map should be fine for long term ownership (next year I'll bank on it).

At least if you have the updated turbo/wastegate parts on your car - my 335 has the early design and they're failing for the 2nd time around...

I can tell you that compared to my chipped 98 A4, the 335 has a much better (and sturdier) clutch and gearbox. And if you take care of the engine (change oil between the factory 15k intervals, wait until the oil is warmed up etc.) it should last well.
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      08-25-2008, 12:36 PM   #3
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I had this same question and I asked Terry directly. There is no doubt that you are going to take a few years off the life of car by adding boost (especially to 15psi). But we are talking about very long term effects. (I think a 335 owner is at 56k miles running 15psi daily) My suggestion, if your going to keep the car in excess of 70,000 miles is to run the low boost map while daily driving.

I also asked Terry about the turbo issues and he stated that his tuning of the boost is similar to what Dinan does as far as tapering boost to preserve the life of the turbo's.

If you want to be conservative and extra safe you can go with the JB1 or JB2 and then always upgrade if you want more power.

If your going to own up to a $15,000+ dollar repair bill, I would just keep your car stock like me. Hahaha.
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      08-25-2008, 01:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscecc914 View Post
I had this same question and I asked Terry directly. There is no doubt that you are going to take a few years off the life of car by adding boost (especially to 15psi). But we are talking about very long term effects. (I think a 335 owner is at 56k miles running 15psi daily) My suggestion, if your going to keep the car in excess of 70,000 miles is to run the low boost map while daily driving.

I also asked Terry about the turbo issues and he stated that his tuning of the boost is similar to what Dinan does as far as tapering boost to preserve the life of the turbo's.

If you want to be conservative and extra safe you can go with the JB1 or JB2 and then always upgrade if you want more power.

If your going to own up to a $15,000+ dollar repair bill, I would just keep your car stock like me. Hahaha.

How hard is it to switch maps if I want to use the high-boost map for the track or just for showing off? Or I suppose I could just spend the money and go Dinan.
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      08-25-2008, 03:01 PM   #5
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How hard is it to switch maps if I want to use the high-boost map for the track or just for showing off? Or I suppose I could just spend the money and go Dinan.
It seems the problem with going Dinan is by the time the engine/turbos go the car will be off warrenty anyways (thus negating the extra money spent). I suppose we will all find out how reliable the JB3 is in a year or two.
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      08-25-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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How often are you flooring your car and taking it past 6000rpm's.
In the world I live in, it is hard to find room to really stretch its legs. Give it 350RWHP and the road ahead starts getting small very fast. My point is that even with the JB3, you are not going to be in the boost much of the time. The rest of the time you shoudn't be putting any additional stress on the running gear.JMPO
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      08-25-2008, 04:56 PM   #7
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      08-25-2008, 07:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by WhiteOne View Post
How often are you flooring your car and taking it past 6000rpm's.
In the world I live in, it is hard to find room to really stretch its legs. Give it 350RWHP and the road ahead starts getting small very fast. My point is that even with the JB3, you are not going to be in the boost much of the time. The rest of the time you shoudn't be putting any additional stress on the running gear.JMPO


That is very true. I have the jb3 in the high boost map and very few times i will ever see 15psi. You only see it when you want to used it. I have a boost gauge install and just normal cruising around town im getting around 5-6 psi most of the time. So all in all it depends how you drive and abused your car.
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      08-25-2008, 07:47 PM   #9
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'With great power comes great responsibility ' - spiderman movie

Ah yeah I think it really depends on how you use it, if you go around beating on your car yeah the life is going to decrease, but if you step on that boost only time to time, cool down your car properly warm her up properly etc. I don't foresee that many problems.

People ask me questions like when they get springs - how long do I think it will last I can only give them an approximation - because I have no idea how agressive they are as a driver - it can vary from every person. (For me personally i am an agressive driver I wish I could get the tire life that tires get rated at).
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      08-26-2008, 11:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gio View Post
I know it's silly to ask this question because no one has a definitive answer but I'm interested in hearing as many people's opinions on the matter as I can.

I didn't hesistate to chip my Audi TT when I bought it almost 9 years ago. After 8 years of owning it chipped, I never had a single engine problem other than the ECU dying after 8 years (and that was a relatively cheap fix - $450 for a refurbished ECU).

Perhaps I was foolish and young back then, but now as I'm thinking about getting a JB3, I'm having second thoughts. Perhaps it is the pictures of the blown turbos in 335s and stories of $15,000+ repair bills. Certainly, I'm craving the extra power but maybe not at the expense of a blown engine.

Exactly what kind of risk are we taking here? I realize we can just remove the JB3 and pretend like it was never installed, but in even of a real catastrophic engine failure, I think I am the kind of person who would own up to it.

I'm willing to take a risk, but it really depends on how much of a risk it is. So what are we dealing with here?
Ever thought of looking at the SSTT Mod..?? gains aren't as great as the Dinan or JB3 but its very reliable and plug and play so warranty wouldn't be much of an issue.
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      08-26-2008, 11:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1LazyBmw View Post
Ever thought of looking at the SSTT Mod..?? gains aren't as great as the Dinan or JB3 but its very reliable and plug and play so warranty wouldn't be much of an issue.
If I wanted a less agressive mod why wouldn't I get JB1 or JB2 and spend a quarter or half the money for the same performance?

Right now I am leaning towards JB3 (which is the same price as the SSTT) and running the low boost map most of the time and the high boost map for the track.
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      08-26-2008, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AW135iTT View Post
That is very true. I have the jb3 in the high boost map and very few times i will ever see 15psi. You only see it when you want to used it. I have a boost gauge install and just normal cruising around town im getting around 5-6 psi most of the time. So all in all it depends how you drive and abused your car.
I am curious what the boost was driving around town before the tune. I thought stock max is 8.8 PSI. Having higher levels of low psi will make a difference over time, though not as much as peak. There is no such thing as something for nothing. All the tunes increase power and torque throughout the RPM band. Driving mild will help, but don’t think you will not have extra ware and tear.
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      08-26-2008, 08:11 PM   #13
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I am curious what the boost was driving around town before the tune. I thought stock max is 8.8 PSI. Having higher levels of low psi will make a difference over time, though not as much as peak. There is no such thing as something for nothing. All the tunes increase power and torque throughout the RPM band. Driving mild will help, but donít think you will not have extra ware and tear.


Well like that all say "you gotta pay to play"!
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      08-26-2008, 09:08 PM   #14
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We won't know until people start racking up 100k miles on the stock turbos... but I personally know someone with 60k miles on their 335, and they have been tuned with 15psi for about 50k of that... their car was even an august 2006 build, and they have not had a single issue.

-Rick
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      08-27-2008, 10:05 AM   #15
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I thought stock max is 8.8 PSI.
At sea level. At high altitudes it can reach 11 PSI if I'm not mistaken. (That being the idea behind JB1 and SSTT).

It should not be a stretch to assume BMW designed this engine to provide many miles of service to people living high in the mountain areas...
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      08-27-2008, 12:00 PM   #16
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if your nervous about it then wait for the people running high boost and 91 octane to start blowing stuff up. And when that happens take your tune off.
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      08-27-2008, 12:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteOne View Post
How often are you flooring your car and taking it past 6000rpm's.
In the world I live in, it is hard to find room to really stretch its legs. Give it 350RWHP and the road ahead starts getting small very fast. My point is that even with the JB3, you are not going to be in the boost much of the time. The rest of the time you shoudn't be putting any additional stress on the running gear.JMPO
This makes sense to me. And personally, I don't put that many miles on ly car for this to be a concern to me.
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      08-27-2008, 01:27 PM   #18
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At sea level. At high altitudes it can reach 11 PSI if I'm not mistaken. (That being the idea behind JB1 and SSTT).

It should not be a stretch to assume BMW designed this engine to provide many miles of service to people living high in the mountain areas...
cant talk for JB1 but SSTT is not based on altitude.

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Actually the SSTT doesn't trick the computer into thinking its at altitude. This is a misconception of how it works. Also the unit has been tested thoroughly with the latest FASTA, DIS and ISIS computer diagnostic equipment and the unit was not found and set no codes. In fact we tested it with the unit still on the car and it was not detected

It seems to use more of air temp and timing to get the mild boost from what I have read (split second is hush hush on the details).

Could you point me to any BMW documentation that quotes the 11 psi ? (I’m being serious not sarcastic). I have seen 11psi a lot in the forums, but not in any official documentation or Mags

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      08-27-2008, 01:57 PM   #19
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cant talk for JB1 but SSTT is not based on altitude. (...) Could you point me to any BMW documentation that quotes the 11 psi ? (Iím being serious not sarcastic). I have seen 11psi a lot in the forums, but not in any official documentation or Mags
You misunderstood - I meant that the BMW software can compensate for unfavorable atmospheric conditions (such as altitude) by increasing boost up to 11 PSI. So the JB1 and SSTT are setting their boost targets to these values, safe in the knowledge that BMW would not hesitate to work the turbos more.

This amount is not specified in any public documentation as far as I know - it's something the tuners discovered when breaking the OEM program. :smile:
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      08-27-2008, 02:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
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You misunderstood - I meant that the BMW software can compensate for unfavorable atmospheric conditions (such as altitude) by increasing boost up to 11 PSI. So the JB1 and SSTT are setting their boost targets to these values, safe in the knowledge that BMW would not hesitate to work the turbos more.

This amount is not specified in any public documentation as far as I know - it's something the tuners discovered when breaking the OEM program. :smile:
So what happens when you run a N54 with JB1 or SSTT at altitude then?

I recall seeing somewhere that the max safe (or maybe it was the nominal) pressure for the turbos (specified by the manufacturer) is something like 12 PSI. Actually, I don't remember what it was, I just remember 12.
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      08-27-2008, 02:58 PM   #21
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You misunderstood - I meant that the BMW software can compensate for unfavorable atmospheric conditions (such as altitude) by increasing boost up to 11 PSI. So the JB1 and SSTT are setting their boost targets to these values, safe in the knowledge that BMW would not hesitate to work the turbos more.

This amount is not specified in any public documentation as far as I know - it's something the tuners discovered when breaking the OEM program. :smile:
So you are saying that above the increase in airflow that is needed to reach standard boost at altitude the N54 engine adjusts for the base atmospheric pressure at altitudes ?

Very interesting, if true. If the 11 psi number is accurate, then there should be no stock HP lost from 0-4200ft above sea level. My experience with supercharges and older turbos is you start losing hp the second you go above sea level.

If this is the case (I would love to see it confirmed in BMW docs) then a max 14 psi tune is pretty safe. But you guys higher up aren’t going to get much with out a lot more risk(nothing new) . Damn I love being at sea level
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      08-27-2008, 03:03 PM   #22
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So what happens when you run a N54 with JB1 or SSTT at altitude then?
You don't. That's why they came up with the JB2 and JB3 (and other piggybacks and reflashes).

I'm pretty sure Terry is cautious about recommending JB1 for high altitude situations.
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