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Old 10-25-2010, 11:55 AM   #1
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Driving at low rpms/question for Jake and others

I was following the diagnosis of Pats car which I'm sure many of you were and ever since I read:

"Pat is at great risk for an IMS issue because:
1- The car is an 02 model with a 2.7 and a single row bearing
2- Its a tip
3- Because its a tip coupled to the fact that the car has been driven very easy by Pat because he didn't want to experience an issue..

When driving this car it shifts into 5th gear when in "drive" mode at less than 45 MPH at an RPM of less than 1800.. That spells disaster for the IMS bearing which sees MORE load at the bearing than at higher RPM.
"

I have become a little more nervous about my car. Some days I go out and run the hell out of it, and other days I cruise around and often find myself under 2000rpms. I drive the thing daily, and want to do some maintenance to my car but due to recent job loss I don't have the $.

I have an 00 S 6speed quickly approaching 50K. Is driving this thing at lower rpms going to come back and haunt me or should I leave it a lower gear and keep the revs up?

I love this site, but the more I read the more nervous I get about owning this thing. I've had 0 problems so far, so maybe I should quit reading all the threads about issues people are having.

Thanks, Jake
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:13 PM   #2
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Reading these things makes everyone who owns one worry. On my legacy GT, if you go to the main forum for those cars there are starting to be threads saying,

"I have 80k on my stock turbo and it's not blown yet. What am I doing wrong?"

It became a joke at how many armageddon threads were started vs. actual failures compared to the total production run.

I am not a Jake Raby, nor am I an expert by any means on the 986. I will say however that I received a message on another forum from someone, umm, involved in this arena. Here's what I can share:

"The IMS typically fails due to the failure of a drive sprocket retaining stud. This causes the collapse of a bearing which may be heard as a "death rattle" prior to prompt failure. Many reasons have been advanced from the drive chain type (non Duplex) to misalignment of the engine/gearbox to simply a flexing crankshaft caused by through-bolt design inadequacy. My guess is that it is a matrix of all of these things and some others. The failure rate in Pre MY2005 engines with Tiptronic may be as low as one in 20000. This quite a low rate in such a low volume engine family.

Another reason advanced by some people with extensive Technical experience in this area is that lubricants that are too viscous (when dead cold) may contibute to the problem until they become less viscous, especially in engines that are used very infrequently."


Take it for what it's worth. I'm not willing to source that without express permission, so it's a unsourced reference on an internet forum. hehehe.

I mean no offense to Jake and those who have had failures, but understand that what they see is failures. People seek Jake out to talk about failures, get recommendations to avoid failures, etc.

To give a similar story from Subaru (again), they have been making Subarus since 1996 with bad oil pick-up tubes. Problem with the brazing. It can break off into your oil pan with no warning and is essentially catastrophic, as the oil pressure warning light comes on at 2 PSI. There's not even a sound, just an engine running without lubrication.

A vendor came out with an over-engineered-to-death pick-up tube and charged a reasonable amount for the product. Basically he had been involved in this for years and years and was helping people with sometimes very built engines avoid a really catastrophic design failing. His estimates put the failure at 2-3% of the entire engine production.

I have no idea what it is in the boxster, and it will really suck if I'm (personally) one of the say 20% who have a failure. But I'm willing to change my oil, listen closely to the engine, and drive the snot out of it for years without worrying because the cost/benefit ratio isn't good enough for me personally.

That's just my .02
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:23 PM   #3
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IMS bearing problem or not, lugging the engine of any car is not a good thing.

Your Boxster is not happy when you run it below 2000. Just don't do it.

Unless I am cruising on the hwy at perhaps 2600rpm, I generally do not let the rpm go below 3000.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluellen
IMS bearing problem or not, lugging the engine of any car is not a good thing.

Your Boxster is not happy when you run it below 2000. Just don't do it.

Unless I am cruising on the hwy at perhaps 2600rpm, I generally do not let the rpm go below 3000.
seconded. and, if you're going to be in "D" mode in a Tip, either do it once you're up to speed or be prepared to keep the accelerator mashed to the floor the whole time - (that's more fun anyway).

i've found that the "learning" function of the Tip is quite temporary. once you've backed off the accelerator for a few seconds it goes back to grandma mode.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:20 PM   #5
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I don't know how much of it is psychological, but honestly, everything seems to feel a lot better once the car has warmed and you can run past 4k without worry. Shifting seems smoother than when you short shift below 3k, and overall the car just seems to drive better when you're routinely above 3k. I started out driving very easily and at low rpms, but very shortly after getting the car I read up on the issues on here and started driving it a-la the '3k and above' rulebook. It doesn't compute in the brain, especially when you're more used to putting around at the lowest gear and RPM possible in a Corolla that's always trying to be fuel efficient like I am. And passengers will always question it because it doesn't work in their brain either...and in some cases it's not really worth the trouble explaining the whole IMS thing, lol. But like I said, to me things just seem to work better at higher RPMs. Maybe that' why 4k is right at the top of the tach.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:35 PM   #6
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This one has the possibilities of turning into a snowball from hell so I don't think I'll be too vocal here.. What I would say most people would cringe at or think that I am promoting abuse.

I specialize in the failures related to the M96 engine, so because of that I am overexposed to failures on a daily basis. People seek out our services as an absolute solution to the problem. We answered 3 failure calls today, most shops don't hear about that many in a year, thats just an example.. Another 4 cars are inbound from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and California.

Just drive the car the way a Porsche was designed to be driven. Thats not the same as a Honda or Toyota.
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Last edited by Jake Raby; 10-25-2010 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:40 PM   #7
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Thanks, it gives me some piece of mind. It's just like almost every other day you see someone talking about problems with these cars and I understand things can happen and things can be done to help prevent issues as well. I still think once I have the $ im going to change the damn bearing anyways.

I guess I need to start driving this thing a little harder. Its just with my exhaust it sounds like its revving high when I'm only pulling 3000rpms and I usually throw it into the next gear to quiet the engine down some.
With some of my car background I am constantly listening to the engine and monitoring the thing and no issues so far. I sometimes get a short rattle on start up but no other noises.

I'm just being really paranoid with financing this car and no source of income at the moment and savings quickly dwindling that if something would go wrong I'd be totally screwed. In general, I probably got in a little over my head when I purchased the thing. I've loved it ever since though!
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby
This one has the possibilities of turning into a snowball from hell so I don't think I'll be too vocal here.. What I would say most people would cringe at or think that I am promoting abuse.

I specialize in the failures related to the M96 engine, so because of that I am overexposed to failures on a daily basis. We answered 3 failure calls today, most shops don't hear about that many in a year.

Just drive the car the way a Porsche was designed to be driven. Thats not the same as a Honda or Toyota.
Thanks Jake. I was hoping to get some insight from someone who knows these things inside and out and until I read your post, I had no idea that I was possibly putting more stress on the car/bearing. I usually drive the thing pretty hard but it seems like I'm constantly speeding the whole time and I really don't need any more points on my license.

I probably should have contacted you privately, but I thought maybe there might be someone as ignorant as myself out there that didn't know they could be adding stress on the bearing by not running it harder and you could add a little expertise on the subject.

Well I'm off to run the **************** out of it.
Thanks, Jake
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby
Just drive the car the way a Porsche was designed to be driven. Thats not the same as a Honda or Toyota.
Hey now, watch it!

I've got a k20z3 with 95k miles on it beaten within an inch of its life on a daily basis that's never had a spark plug replaced or anything other than oil changes and air filters. Spins at 8000 rpms like it was born there.

And I've got an m96 that has a significant bearing that likes to let loose with no warning.

I don't know man....hehehe.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #10
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I'm just being really paranoid with financing this car and no source of income at the moment and savings quickly dwindling that if something would go wrong I'd be totally screwed.
I understand..
Unfortunately unless you spend some cash there is no way to really limit the failure possibilities..

I wish this was "Mamby Pamby Land" where the streets were paved in gold and Unicorns and Rainbows were abundant, but it certainly isn't.

Luckily preventives have been developed and the understanding of why failures occur exists.. Just a few years ago no one knew and all you could do was hope it wasn't going to happen to you. Some people still don't believe it can/will happen to them.
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby

I wish this was "Mamby Pamby Land" where the streets were paved in gold and Unicorns and Rainbows were abundant, but it certainly isn't.
Whoa, Jake!? You been keepin' a secret from us?? C'mon, fess up now Jake: You're actually that Drill Sergeant guy on those Geico commercials on TV aren't you?
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:10 PM   #12
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Whoa, Jake!? You been keepin' a secret from us?? C'mon, fess up now Jake: You're actually that Drill Sergeant guy on those Geico commercials on TV aren't you?
If you only knew.. BTW- Its Drill Instructor, Gunny Hartman was a Marine, Drill Sargents are in the Army.

Yes, I am a Marine :-)
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA
Hey now, watch it!

I've got a k20z3 with 95k miles on it beaten within an inch of its life on a daily basis that's never had a spark plug replaced or anything other than oil changes and air filters. Spins at 8000 rpms like it was born there.

And I've got an m96 that has a significant bearing that likes to let loose with no warning.

I don't know man....hehehe.
I have to agree, Honda engines are more robust than any others I've owned and they LOVE being exercised. The 1.7L V-tec in my Integra was constantly driven from 6000-8000RPM, that's the only way it would make any power. 200,000 miles with alot of time spent at redline and the thing still ran great and barely used any oil. All the other engine driven components needed replacing like the alternator, ps pump, water pump, ect, but that engine just loved to rev.

Sometimes I really miss that car.





It was the precurser to the 2.0 in the S2000 so I have to imagine those cars have an equally robust nature.

Last edited by blue2000s; 10-25-2010 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jake Raby
If you only knew.. BTW- Its Drill Instructor, Gunny Hartman was a Marine, Drill Sargents are in the Army.

Yes, I am a Marine :-)
You're right, my bad. (Forgivable, though...Me? US Army.)
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:45 AM   #15
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For what it's worth, I was out at my moms old place working on rebuilding my sisters jeep and found my old oil filter from about 3k ago and cut it open and there was no signs of anything inside which was nice to find
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:28 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jake Raby
I understand..
I wish this was "Mamby Pamby Land" where the streets were paved in gold and Unicorns and Rainbows were abundant, but it certainly isn't.
It isn't?
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