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Old 06-05-2013, 08:11 AM   #1
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IMS Bearing Lubrication Upgrade

http://blog.tunersmall.com/direct-oil-injection-for-ims-bearings/

The above site outlines yet another 'solution' to the problem of IMS bearing failure and seems to me to be the best yet. I have not contacted them with respect to price, but it has numerous advantages:

1. It can be used on any M96/M97 engine, even those with the larger bearing that cannot be removed without engine disassembly.
2. Rather than relying upon splash oil (as with the LN bearing alone), it provides for pressurized oil to the bearing.
3. I gather that unlike the LN Solution, this pressuized oil is taken from the cylinder head, rather than the oil pressure sensor, and hence it is filtered oil. If you have debris (plastic or metallic) in the pan, would you want that to be able to get at your unsealed IMS bearing?

There is discussion of it on Pedrosboard and I gather Pedrosgarage will be selling it shortly. Here is the thread:

http://pedrosboard.com/read.php?7,26540,26627#msg-26627

Brad


Last edited by southernstar; 06-05-2013 at 08:20 AM. Reason: additional info.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #2
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Interesting. Now there is another "fix/solution". One point made in that thread, and I think it is a good one, is how do you know you aren't just lubricating a bad bearing. I am inclined to go with a new bearing and be done. My car is at 70K so a new bearing installed with a new clutch will last me a loooooong time, or so it should.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:24 AM   #3
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I agree, Bruce. However, there is nothing to stop someone from installing an upgraded bearing with direct oil injection. If, however, an inspection of the original bearing shows no wear (and lets face it, some have lasted over 200,000 miles). then just remove the inner seal and re-install the original bearing with the oil injection upgrade.

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:28 AM   #4
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I guess my thought is why go to the extra expense unless you are going to drive it another 100K miles? In that time you are going to need another clutch, so just put another bearing in at the time. I guess in my mind, I have settled with the idea of the bearing being another regular maintenance item to be done along with the clutch. I will wait to see the cost of this new solution before reaching any conclusions.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:43 AM   #5
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Agreed - price will be extremely important to virtually all of us. Having said that, if the cost of this upgrade turns out to be no more (or even less) than an upgraded LN bearing, it strikes me that if you have a dual-row bearing, remove and inspect it, if (as seems likely) it is unharmed, re-install it after removing the inner seal and installing the direct-lubrication kit. If you have a single-row bearing, purchase the Pelican Parts upgraded original bearing, remove the inner seal, install it and the direct-lube. And yes, if you want to keep the car forever, install the LN ceramic bearing and the direct-lubrication.

Brad

Last edited by southernstar; 06-05-2013 at 09:44 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:00 AM   #6
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Agreed - price will be extremely important to virtually all of us. Having said that, if the cost of this upgrade turns out to be no more (or even less) than an upgraded LN bearing, it strikes me that if you have a dual-row bearing, remove and inspect it, if (as seems likely) it is unharmed, re-install it after removing the inner seal and installing the direct-lubrication kit.
Bad idea; even LN has always cautioned against re-installing a previously extracted bearing, even theirs.............
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
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Several points...

It's not clear that direct feed oil lubricates an unsealed IMS bearing better than splash oil alone. It might, but I'd like to see the data that shows this.

One must remove the transmission and flywheel to install the direct oil feed's custom flange. If I'm in there to install the flange, I'd replace any OEM bearing with an LN retrofit. As some have said, direct oil feed may extend the life of a degraded bearing, but why take the risk on how long this might be.

Ceramic bearings will last longer than steel ones. To me the 'better' solution solution might be direct fed oil plus a ceramic IMS bearing. My own belief is that the direct fed oil IMS Solution is the best answer.

Of course, all of this is just opinion at this point. LN has put forward data to benchmark its solutions. Let's see data the others can bring to the debate.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:49 AM   #8
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thom, it strikes me as intuitively obvious that pressure fed lubrication is superior to splash as it will be continuous as the vehicle is being operated, regardless of whether you are cornering, accelerating, decelerating, etc. Obviously, LN also believes so as they have also gone to pressure feed in its new 'solution'. We have come a long way since the Ford Model T, which I believe used splash feed rather than pressurized oil for the main bearings.

As to re-installing a perfectly fine bearing, I have never understood LN's prohibition except as a means of selling additional, rather expensive bearings. As I understand it, the tool from LN is designed to install the bearings without damaging them (if not, what is the use of the tool?). If the bearing is undamaged upon removal and inspection, then what is the problem? Indeed, Excellence magazine editors recommended that in order to extend the original IMS bearing's life expectancy, one should remove the original bearing's inner seal in order to allow it to be splash lubricated. How does one do that without re-installing it?

Certainly I agree (and said so in my second and third posts in the thread) that one can install both the direct feed and a new LN ceramic (or Pelican) bearing if needed, or if one so chooses out of an abundance of precaution.

Brad

Last edited by southernstar; 06-05-2013 at 12:00 PM. Reason: additional info.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #9
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Perhaps bearing outer race deformation cycles with installation and removal begin to encroach on the optimum design clearances within the bearing.

One shock load going in being acceptable and no go after that...

Pressure fed lubricant performs a specific function in the LN ims solution. It is a hydrostatic bearing.

A rolling element bearing may not benefit from an oil jet if it is already immersed in oil. Is the ims location immersed or not?

One has the consider where the oil is taken from to feed an oil jet. Is there another problem created?
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:03 PM   #10
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As to re-installing a perfectly fine bearing, I have never understood LN's prohibition except as a means of selling additional, rather expensive bearings. As I understand it, the tool from LN is designed to install the bearings without damaging them (if not, what is the use of the tool?). If the bearing is undamaged upon removal and inspection, then what is the problem? Indeed, Excellence magazine editors recommended that in order to extend the original IMS bearing's life expectancy, one should remove the original bearing's inner seal in order to allow it to be splash lubricated. How does one do that without re-installing it?
The OEM bearing is pressed into the shaft by its stronger outer housing, so there is no load on the inner race, the balls them selves, or the cage assembly during the insertion process. The LN install tool also loads only the outer housing while installing the bearing. When the bearing is extracted from the shaft using the LN tool kit, it is pulled by the center stud, significantly loading the inner race, the balls and the cage assembly, none of which is good for the unit as any deformation of any of these components will ultimately lead to it failing if reinstalled.

What the Excellence article was describing was removing the IMS bear seal that faces the flywheel so that the bearing can get splash lubricated, which can be done using a dental pick while the bearing is still installed, so it never sees any loading during the seal removal process. Removing the other seal on the side facing the inside of the IMS shaft will do nothing to improve the lubrication process, and would in fact result in the shaft remaining full of oil, which would not be a good thing. In fact, the newer IMS Solution system actually inserts a freeze plug into the shaft before the new solid pressure fed bearing is installed for that exact reason.

So it isn't always about selling more bearings, but rather founded in experience and fact.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #11
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One has the consider where the oil is taken from to feed an oil jet. Is there another problem created?
And there in lies the "rub"....................
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:09 PM   #12
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Thanks JFP, makes sense. But in removing the outer seal, shouldn't one also be able to inspect the bearing for damage without removing it?

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Old 06-05-2013, 01:24 PM   #13
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Thanks JFP, makes sense. But in removing the outer seal, shouldn't one also be able to inspect the bearing for damage without removing it?

Brad
Yes and no; you will be able to see part of the bearing, but that is about it. It is difficult to get a magnification device in there to look at the races and balls for signs of pitting or wear. We have seen bearings that looked good in the car, but after extraction and a good cleaning looked a lot different. So running the existing bearing is a bit of a crap shoot for everyone short of the 2005 and on cars that cannot extract the bearing through the cases. Even then, Raby has developed a way to upgrade those engines as well, but only does it at his shop.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:35 PM   #14
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Even then, Raby has developed a way to upgrade those engines as well, but only does it at his shop.
SSF was delivered their first batch of IMS Solution units to distribute last week. They are now in the system and selling like hot cakes. Any shop that sources their components from SSF has access to the IMS Solution now. It was only available here for the first year or so as we worked on large batch production, but thats not the case now.

It is ONLY available from SSF, LN and Flat 6 are not selling the units directly, but of course you can have yours installed where it was invented and by the same hands that worked through its development.

Wait till your hear the testimonials we have received from those who we have outfitted with the technology so far. I have been gathering them for my newsletter. Everyone has noted so far that their are many more benefits from the IMS SOlution that just added reliability and longevity from removing the factory ball bearing design.

Just figured I'd make that statement as we have not yet made any public announcements about other shops having access to the kits yet. Honestly it appears that SSF will have their first batch sold out completely before we even get a chance to make the announcement. The next batch will be 4X as large, but at least now with it in their system they can do backorders :-)
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:40 PM   #15
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one of the early pioneers of the oil-fed ims bearing concept (perhaps even the guy tuneRS bought the idea from) developed his idea here (LONG read):

Who has done an IMS change (New Oil Fed Design Idea) - Pelican Parts Technical BBS

so, some testing results. one thing that gets missed, however, is one of his theses that the bearing is actually unevenly loaded as installed and that moving it outboard improves the loading of the bearing and might reduce failure.

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