JB1 vs JB4: What’s the Difference?

JB1 and JB4 refer to two piggy-back tuners sold by Burger Motorsports. The main difference between the two is that the JB4 tuner has a little more power than the JB1, as well as some additional functionality.

JB1 and JB4 Overview

The JB1 and the JB4 are two piggyback tuners intended to be compatible with a variety of cars, primarily Volkswagen-Audi Group vehicles, but also cars from a variety of other manufacturers.

The JB1 can be connected to cars like the MK7 Golf, the Audi A3/S3 from 2014 and onwards, and the Audi TT from 2015 and onwards, among others. If you’re based in Europe, you can also connect your JB1 to the MK3 Seat Leon Cupra, the Seat Ateca Cupra, and the Skoda Superb 280.

The JB4 can be connected to many of these same vehicles. Various other cars that are compatible with JB1/JB4 tuners include almost every BMW, several vehicles from Kia and Hyundai, the Infiniti Q50/Q60, and cars from a number of other manufacturers, including Honda, Aston Martin, Ford, Lexus, and McLaren, to name just a few.

As for what these tuners actually are, the JB1 and the JB4 are electronic controllers that attach to your car’s computer and modify the signals being sent to and from the computer. We’ll talk more about what this means and why piggyback tuning offers some distinct advantages over other kinds of tuning in the next section of this article.

What to Know About Piggyback Tuning

If you’re considering picking up either a JB1 or a JB4 tuner, it’s a good idea to be familiar with piggyback tuning and how exactly it affects your car.

On the surface, piggyback tuning seems pretty similar to a flash tune, since both of these tunes affect the values that the ECU puts out. However, they do so in very different ways.

With a flash tune, the data on the ECU is overwritten with new data intended to increase performance. The advantage of flash tuning is that you don’t need to permanently connect any extra hardware to your car to perform the tune; instead, you just connect a computer to your car’s OBD-II port and upload your tune that way.

The advantage of flash tuning is it’s a lot more versatile than piggyback tuning since you have way more control over how you can customize the various characteristics of your powertrain (such as ignition timing, valve timing, and fuel delivery). 

However, the big disadvantage of flash tuning is that by overwriting the existing code on your ECU, there’s a good chance you’ll end up voiding your warranty. In addition, you can potentially end up bricking your ECU if you don’t install the flash tune correctly.

In contrast, piggyback tuning uses an electronic controller that physically plugs into your ECU and stays there. Piggyback tuning doesn’t overwrite the code on your ECU; rather, the controller tricks the ECU into making more power by altering certain signals that the ECU receives.

For example, a piggyback tuner on a turbocharged car might trick the ECU into reading the boost pressure as much lower than it actually is. The ECU will then adjust the boost pressure to what it thinks is normal levels, when in reality it’s actually turning the boost up higher than normal.

Some piggyback tuners allow you to adjust the engine mapping through a phone app or other means, but many of them come with a specific tune that can’t be altered. This means that you don’t have as much freedom of customization with a piggyback tuner, which is the main downside of tuning your car this way.

The advantages of a piggyback tune outweigh the drawbacks, however. For one, since you’re not actually reprogramming the ECU, installing a piggyback tune won’t void your warranty. It’s also easy to install a piggyback tuner, since you just have to connect it to your ECU and you’re done.

This also makes it easier to take your car back to stock if you need to. You just need to disconnect the piggyback tuner and you’re back to stock; no need to spend time waiting for a computer to reprogram your ECU.

Comparing JB1 and JB4

So, what’s the actual difference between JB1 and JB4? As we’ve mentioned, it basically comes down to how much extra power they can deliver and how much functionality each of them offers.

The JB1 offers an extra 45 horsepower and 45 lb-ft of torque at the default setting, with the potential to make up to 90 more horsepower and 70 more lb-ft of torque with a few bolt-on mods. The JB4 offers the same amount of power at the default setting, but can deliver an extra 100 horsepower and 70 lb-ft with bolt-on mods.

The JB4 also allows you to remotely access the engine mapping, which allows you to make further adjustments to your car’s tune; the JB1 doesn’t allow this, however. The JB4 also has more safeguards in place to prevent failures from occurring (for example, if the JB4 detects that the air/fuel ratio is too lean, it will lower boost pressure to compensate).

Of course, for this extra functionality you also have to pay extra, and the JB4 is about $100 more than the JB1. 


Both the JB1 and the JB4 are excellent piggyback tuners if you want to quickly and reliably squeeze a little more power out of your engine. 

As for which one you should go with, that depends on your personal preferences. If you would prefer to pay less and don’t mind losing out on some functionality, the JB1 is your best bet. On the other hand, if you want to have greater control over your tune, you should probably go for the JB4.