I hope you find them interesting. These pulls made with my Alltrack’s JB4 piggyback ECU active, peak (set) boost at 23.
This is a non-scientific review. I don’t have drag strip run data, it’s only about my thoughts and impressions.
I removed the JB4 last night. I’ve driven just 20 miles without it today, and here is my review of the Burger Tuning JB4.
I think getting a read on the JB4 is made easy by removing it, just as much as it is installing it. The absence of the unit — after using it for 3.5 months — makes a difference felt just as strongly as adding it.
Without the JB4…
I ran the JB4 with its stock settings for a month before increasing the boost at certain RPM levels… custom map.
See my brief comment about life with the JB4 here.
I’m going to leave it off for a few weeks to get even more of a gauge on how much power is missing and how fuel economy is affected. While I had the JB4 installed, I didn’t notice a significant loss or gain in my Alltrack’s fuel economy.
After a few runs to Castle Rock to get some data on MPG, I’ll make another JB4 post, this one specifically MPG apples – apples with actual numbers.
As promised in my VW forum post, here’s my JB4 install guide…
So I wanted a little more power delivered safely — well within the VW 1.8 4-cylinder’s happy place. And I didn’t want even “bolt-on” level of mods. This Burger Tuning JB4 isn’t even bolt-on level because it’s so easily reversed and removed. And at $429 it’s not cheap but it won’t break the bank either.
On a new car, that’s the level of commitment I’m comfortable with.
Plugs B, C and D are pass-throughs. That means they go in-between the female and male connection that are already there. Unplug what’s there, insert the JB4 connector, then put what’s left into the JB4 connector. Of course, the blue AFR wire and OBDII connections you don’t do this with.
JB4 driving and power impressions coming soon in a post here. Also look for a post about the effect of the JB4 on my Alltrack’s MPG.
Aftermarket tunes available from several vendors are $500-$750, and this APR tune specifically is $599 without the labor of installing it, so when my sales guy told me a dealer-approved/installed APR tune for the Golf Alltrack would be 4X as much, I almost fell out of my chair.
A tune is a product that re-writes some or all of the programming on a car’s computer. The goal is more power.
Factory programming usually leaves a great deal of headroom for engine longevity, so getting more power — especially from a turbocharged engine — isn’t difficult. Getting more power out of a non-turbo (“normally aspirated”) engine is very expensive compared to a turbocharged engine.
So why get the tune at the dealer in the first place? The upside of getting the tune at time of delivery is that it’s a dealer-approved modification that doesn’t void your warranty. I was expecting to pay more at the dealer. Keeping the VW warranty intact while enjoying the extra horsepower of a tune is a win-win. But the “lose” in all this is the price.
At $2400 it wasn’t even close. At 1-2X, I’d have gone for it. But two-and-a-half grand is absurd.
I’ll probably pick up a $379 “JB1” piggyback module for my new Golf Alltrack [very lengthy forum discussion here]. It’s not a tune in the traditional sense, but runs alongside the factory tune on the car’s ECU.
The JB1 is a true user adjustable plug and play solution for all MQB based models in the VW Audi Group range. Power Gains: Starting at 35whp and 35ft lb with 91 octane with + 4.80psi boost over stock on the default setting. Engine estimates are 50bhp gained and 45ft lb.
It’s a configurable device that boosts boost. I might see more MPG if I can keep my foot out of it. And therein lies the paradox: it gives VW 1.8 and 2.0 liter EA888 engines a nice kick to the midrange power. So it’ll be difficult to keep my right foot light. Let’s be honest. I’m not getting this for fuel economy.