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Old 12-27-2012, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Unknown
Posts: 12
Maxx2 is on a distinguished road
Review - JB Stage 1 for N63/S63

Below is a quick review of the brand new JB Stage 1 for the N63/S63

When I first heard that BMS had released a JB Stage 1 tune for this platform a few weeks ago I knew I had to try it. I’ve been a BMS customer since 2009 with the N54 in my 335i. I’ve tried all the BMS products for that engine starting with the JB+ then the JB3 and finally the JB4. They always delivered as promised and anyone who has dealt with BMS knows; the customer service is unmatched. Period.

At release this new BMS product was designated for the N63 engine only. After a brief discussion with Terry @ BMS we decided to move forward and test it on my S63 equipped X5M. After placing my order, package was shipped within hours and on its way. USPS missent the package, which delayed it a few days, but in the end they got it right.

Initial Impressions:
Inside the all too familiar packaging were the control box, wiring harness and USB cable. The control box looks identical to the JB4 box I had on my 335i. All wiring is neatly zip tied and a free USB cable was included for logging and updating firmware. All connectors used on the harness appear to be OEM parts and are indistinguishable from the connectors installed on the factory harness.

There were no installation instructions for my exact application, but the instructions for the N63 750i give a general idea of what needed to be done and where the sensors were located. All the N63/S63 engines have the same general layout and intercoolers are located in the same location on all platforms using these engines.

I started off by removing the entire air box assembly (front and back sections), which sits above the intercoolers. With that out of the way there was plenty of access to both intercoolers and the TMAP sensors. The right side TMAP sensor was quite easy to access, but the left side TMAP sensor was a bit more time consuming. Disconnecting the connectors from the TMAP sensors was pretty straight forward if you spend a few minutes looking at the connectors on the JB Stage 1 wiring harness. The clips holding the connectors to the sensors are small and could easily break if too much force is applied. There is no need to pry the clips wide open as the connectors slip right out if you open the clips even slightly.

At this point in the installation, I decided I wanted to reverse the JB Stage 1 wiring harness and install the JB control box on the passenger side of the engine bay. This would enable me to run the USB cable easily into the cabin for logging and firmware updates. A quick email to Terry and he confirmed it was ok to flip the wiring harness. I installed the harness closest to the Stage 1 control box (about half way down the harness) to the “passenger” side intercooler TMAP sensor. This is the exact opposite of what is written in the JB instructions for the N63 750i installation. I then connected the longer harness to the driver’s side intercooler TMAP sensor and routed the control box to the ECU compartment in the upper left corner of the engine bay.

Routing USB Cable: (This step is not REQUIRED and completely OPTIONAL)
I knew going in that I would be logging and updating the control box firmware so I had already planned to route the USB cable into the cabin. To do that I began removing the various panels and covers in the upper left corner of the engine bay until I opened the cover on the ECU box. Once this was opened I was able to feed the USB end of the cable into the cabin and pulled the other end of the cable out the ECU box by removing the large grommet and sliding it alongside the factory harness. The JB control box was left outside the ECU box for accessibility, but could be tucked away inside if desired.

I used zip ties to keep the JB harness from moving around and being damaged and then began reassembling everything. Overall, it is a very simple installation especially if you do not run the USB cable inside the cabin. Total time for installation should be less than an hour even on your first attempt. Subsequent attempts should go much quicker once you get the hang of the TMAP sensor clips.

Engine Start-up:
After everything was buttoned up, double and triple checked, I used my netbook to check the connection to the JB control box. With the ignition on and engine off I confirmed I was able to connect to the JB control box and changed the map from 1 to 0. It was now time to start it up. I had disconnected the negative battery terminal prior to installation and that triggered a series of warning messages (4x4, DSC, Servotronic, ABS, etc…) which was startling, but perfectly normal and quickly cleared up with a brief drive around the block. Given the JB control box was set to map 0 (inactive) the engine idled perfectly and everything looked to be functioning properly.

S63 Logging:
I then began the logging phase to collect the data which Terry used to evaluate the JB Stage 1 was operating as expected. Although the S63 has similarities to the N63 they are quite a bit different and the data being collected from the TMAP sensors was not as expected. Apparently, the S63 does not share the same TMAP sensors as the N63 variants and therefore the output was scaled differently. After a few firmware revisions, Terry provided a solution that matched the output of these sensors and the data being collected was now consistent with expectations. Various logs were sent in for evaluation and Terry determined everything was functioning as intended.

Driving Impressions:
I have only had the JB Stage1 installed for the past few days and the only other upgrade currently installed are a pair of K&N filters, but there is absolutely no doubt that this tune has made a HUGE difference. The Stage 1 only increases boost by 2.25psi but the gains significantly exceed what one might expect from such a small increase in boost. There is a very noticeable difference in part throttle to full throttle application which now builds boost more rapidly and the midrange punch provides a surge which pushes you back with significantly more force. No doubt about the gains here… Gains are immediate and beyond expectations. Spinning all 4 tires from a dig without much effort is not something I experienced before the JB Stage 1.

The fact that BMS has decided to take on N63/S63 tuning is the best news of 2012 for the N63/S63 community. The potential of this platform is immense and the fact that this is only Stage 1 leaves me wondering what the next stages will be like…

At a price point which is unrivalled in the industry and without the typical BMW tax, which is directly proportional to the MSRP of your vehicle, BMS has hit another homerun and delivered a huge blow in the N63/S63 tuning game. Whether BMS decides to deliver the knockout punch in N63/S63 tuning is still undecided at this point, but if their N54 tuning is anything to go by… other tuners have been put on notice…

(FYI, I am not affiliated with BMS in any way whatsoever and my review is entirely my own and in no way influenced by BMS or any of its’ affiliates)
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 2
tvurt is on a distinguished road
Nice. I was a customer of Terry's on two different 335's. Great product and support.

I am very happy to see the JB for our platform.

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Old 01-15-2013, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA, UK, Asia
Posts: 30
mpatrizio is on a distinguished road
I emailed Terry and he said the power gains would be similar to the N63, which is 25HP and 40 TQ.

While the module costs less than $400, the gains seem meager compared to the other software options?
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Unknown
Posts: 12
Maxx2 is on a distinguished road
I think it's great that Terry has begun working on this platform. I'm positive he won't disappoint. I saw something he wrote a few days ago and it sounds like there is sufficient demand to begin testing the next stage of this product. No timeline on possible release though...

Although the S63 is similar to the N63, I'm pretty sure the gains will not be the same given the different turbos, max boost, etc. on this engine. I don't want to speculate, but it feels like more than 25hp and 40TQ.

Yes, there are many options out there for this engine with much bigger gains, but all of them (except Hartge & Kelleners) are flash tunes which may or may not result in a voided warranty.

For the very small investment on the JB Stage 1 you definitely should try it out for yourself. Easy to install/remove and very noticeable improvement.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Work
Posts: 5
Z28Camaro is on a distinguished road
Really interested in more info on this. You should also post this over at xbimmers.
1995 Camaro Z28 Convertible - 687 RWHP
2008 E63 AMG P30 - Stock
2010 BMW X5 M - Stock
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA, UK, Asia
Posts: 30
mpatrizio is on a distinguished road
Does anyone know if the X5m takes harness "type A" or harness "type B"?
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Unknown
Posts: 12
Maxx2 is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by mpatrizio View Post
Does anyone know if the X5m takes harness "type A" or harness "type B"?
Not 100% sure...

The vehicle build date will determine when a change like that went into production.

I must have been lucky though as I didn't specify A or B and the one I received fit perfectly on my 2012 X5M.

You should snap a picture and email it in before ordering.

Worst case he will always exchange it for you.
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