01-21-2014, 10:25 PM #1Member
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Review of the Burger Motorsports JBD for the 335D
I recently started a new job that increased my commute to 80 miles a day, a good deal of it in stop and go traffic. I decided I should sell my moderately modified 2005 Subaru STI that was getting about 21mpg and buy something that would get better gas mileage, have an automatic transmission, and would still be fun to drive. After looking around, the only car that met my criteria was the BMW 335D. Great chassis, gobs of torque and 36mpg was pretty much untouchable considering what was available at the time I was looking. I ended up purchasing a 2011 335D in white, sport package with 32,000 miles on it.
Not long after I purchased the 335D I was looking at the tuning options available for it. Some of you may remember my name on this forum from my time at COBB Tuning. While I am not capable of tuning an engine myself, I have been in the industry long enough to understand the basics as well as grasp the advantages and disadvantages of different tuning technologies being used today and feel that I am capable of making an educated decision in this area. While my career is still within the automotive performance aftermarket industry, I am not currently affiliated with any companies providing tuning solutions for BMWís.
I looked at the options that were available and decided on the JBD/CAN tool combo for a few reasons. I really liked the ability to do this myself at home. My car is CPO and still under the original warranty, and I like the convenience of quickly removing the tune prior to going to the dealership. I also liked the adjustability available in the JBD. Finally, the price seemed very reasonable for the claimed power gains, the install/uninstall convenience and the ability to read and clear codes.
The install of the JBD is very easy. The JBD is a simple small box/harness that only requires you to unplug one stock connector at the front of the engine and plug-in two connectors into both sides of the stock connector. The part of the install that takes the longest is removing the 5 screws that hold on the plastic engine cover. Install and uninstall of the JBD literally takes less than 5 minutes.
Playing with Settings
I followed the included instructions and initially left the JBD at the original setting which is about 60% of its maximum adjustability. I immediately noticed the additional performance, but Iíll get to that in more detail later. Needless to say, I was interested in seeing the ultimate power that the JBD would make, so again, following the instructions, I made progressive changes in small increments. The instructions say that newer ECUs will throw codes the higher you go with this tuner, so I wanted to slowly work up the maximum my ECU would allow. In fact, to make this even more convenient, I modified the JBD so I wouldnít have to disassemble the case every time I wanted to make an adjustment. I drilled a small hole in the top half of the case right over the adjuster and fitted a rubber plug into it. So now I just remove the plug, make an adjustment, then replace the plug.
I continued to increase power until finally started to get codes and limp mode at about 95%. They occurred when the car was stopped and I jumped on the accelerator hard. The car would start to pull hard then stopped pulling, the dash would show a warning and the car went into limp mode. Thatís where the included CAN tool came in handy. I could just drive to a convenient place to stop, plug the CAN tool in to the OBD-II port, read and clear the codes and I was good to go. This has only happened twice while I was experimenting with the power settings. I have been driving at about 90% for over 10,000 miles in temps as high as 110F and as low as 30F without throwing any codes. My ECU seems very happy at this setting.
The performance with the JBD has been great so far. I have not had the car on a dyno, but it pulls much harder than stock. It feels like the biggest improvement is in the torque low in the power-band as it really pushes me back into my seat. The best part is that the power delivery feels very refined, like stock, just a lot more of it. There are no driveability issues that Iíve experienced in stop-and-go traffic or long stretches of open highway. Power delivery feels perfectly smooth throughout the entire rev-range with no noticeable surges or power drops anywhere.
In fact, I feel that driveability is much improved due to the changes in accelerator response. When I first got the 335D I felt that the engine was very sensitive to initial accelerator input from a stop. It seemed like the slightest touch on the throttle and the car would surge forward harder than I had intended. I had to focus on rolling from a stop to make it smooth in non-spirited driving. With the JBD this sensitivity is gone. The accelerator feels very linear now throughout its range and it no longer surges away from a stop.
My two favorite stories since installing the JBD are from passengers I had in the car that are both in the tuning and racing industries. One friend was telling me about the Audi A6 TDI that he had rented in Germany and how much power it had and thatís probably why it wasnít getting the fuel economy he was expecting. As he was talking a pushed the accelerator pedal to the floor and the results interrupted his original train of thought and he said ďOh, HELLO! Thatís impressive! No, thatís way different than the Audi. Our Audi didnít do that!Ē The other time was another friend riding in the car to lunch. I didnít think anything of it as I changed lanes to get around a truck and put my right foot in a bit. He quickly exclaimed, ďWOW, that $#@! really helps!Ē which made me laugh out loud. Turns out he really said ďchipĒ, not ď$#@!Ē, but he let me be amused for awhile before correcting me later.
Fuel mileage is tough for me as I rarely drive in a very controlled way for accurate comparisons. The traffic I drive in is slow or stop-and-go for several miles in each direction of my commute. When itís clear I typically set the cruise control at 80mph. There are frequent times when Iím using the torque to my advantage to squirt into lanes that are moving quicker than mine, so itís safe to say that there is little consistency in my daily drive. Iíve been tracking mileage by filling my tank all the way up to the flap in the filler neck, so I know Iím getting consistent starting points to each tank of fuel. My best mileage on a full tank since I started using GasTracker was 33.5mpg without the JBD installed to get stock mileage after a trip to the Dealer. My last tank with the JBD was 32.5mpg and I consistently reach 32mpg. So maybe there is a 1mpg difference due to the tuner combined with my driving style. I believe the difference is due to the additional power delivered while accelerating hard and I wouldnít be surprised if fuel economy turned out to be the same in controlled back-to-back tests with and without the JBD.
One thing that I can confirm is that the JBD does have an impact on the Fuel Economy showed on the dash. It is consistently 2mpg (usually down to the 1/10th of a gallon) lower than the fuel mileage I calculate at the pump at every fill up. It is so consistent that I just add 2 to whatever the display is showing and it always comes out dead on with the actual mileage.
I am very happy with the JBD! It does everything Burger Motorsports says it will (which can be rare in this industry) and does everything I need it to do. The power feels like it has increased quite a bit, with improved driveability and refined power delivery. It is very easy to install, adjust and uninstall. Considering the price for both the JBD and CAN tool, and the resulting performance and quality it provides, I think the JBD is a great buy. I would definitely recommend it to other 335D owners looking to quickly and simply add significant power gains and improve driveability.
Last edited by GarySheehan; 01-21-2014 at 10:30 PM.
01-21-2014, 10:38 PM #2Member
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01-21-2014, 10:49 PM #3
We have one in a car, its entertaining to say the least
Now it needs EGR delete, SCR delete and 4" oval exhaust from the turbo back
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01-21-2014, 11:22 PM #4
Well spaced, complete sentences, paragraphs, bold titles, excellent. So nice to see something that does not look like it was written by a 3rd grader who just got access to a keyboard for the first time.
Very well done. A dynograph before/after would really have completed this though. If I had to nitpick