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Old 07-27-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
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Anyone on here have an IMS failure with Tiptronic trans?

As the title asks, anyone on here have an IMS failure with Tiptronic trans?

Changed my oil today for the first time since I got the car. The car has 103k miles on it with a Tiptronic transmission. I found no metal of any kind in the filter and it made me wonder if Tiptronic trans equipped cars are less susceptible to IMS failure since they don't redline the tach. Thinking maybe over revs on a manual trans cause the IMS problems?

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Old 07-27-2013, 01:04 PM   #2
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As the title asks, anyone on here have an IMS failure with Tiptronic trans?

Changed my oil today for the first time since I got the car. The car has 103k miles on it with a Tiptronic transmission. I found no metal of any kind in the filter and it made me wonder if Tiptronic trans equipped cars are less susceptible to IMS failure since they don't redline the tach. Thinking maybe over revs on a manual trans cause the IMS problems?
Over revs have nothing to do with it. When the seal fails, oil washes out the grease, and the bearing starts to destroy itself.

We have seen a couple Tip IMS failures, but as there are far fewer Tips, smaller numbers of failures are to be expected.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
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I had IMS failure at 46K in my C4 with tiptronic No over rev history on it. Doesn't seem to be a factor.
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:10 PM   #4
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Stop and go traffic kills the IMS bearing (after the grease leaves the bearing)

The constant in and out of the variocam on the passenger side of the engine stresses the IMSB.

Variocam comes in between 2850-3000 rpm. If you drive above this or below this, you have less chance of failure (we see no failures in the race cars as we are constantly above 3krpm)

People in LA going from zero to 40 to zero to 40 to zero to 40 in 1st gear, stress the IMSB BIG time. Each time the chain gets loaded in the 2850-3000 rpm.
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:40 PM   #5
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Stop and go traffic kills the IMS bearing (after the grease leaves the bearing)

The constant in and out of the variocam on the passenger side of the engine stresses the IMSB.

Variocam comes in between 2850-3000 rpm. If you drive above this or below this, you have less chance of failure (we see no failures in the race cars as we are constantly above 3krpm)

People in LA going from zero to 40 to zero to 40 to zero to 40 in 1st gear, stress the IMSB BIG time. Each time the chain gets loaded in the 2850-3000 rpm.
Gotta be honest Brad, I can't see that being a major factor in reality.

I'm not disputing the engineering argument. But very frequent transition past that rev range will be normal for the vast, vast majority of road-going Boxsters. And the vast majority of that vast majority doesn't suffer IMS bearing failure. So it can't be that critical.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:51 PM   #6
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No worries!!

The majority of our highways are 65-70 MPH. In most stock Boxster's with stock size tires, this means 2800-3000 is 65-75mph.

As you speed up and slow down between 2800-3000 it kicks in and out. Unless you set the cruise control at 3100. *most* drivers are pedaling the car between 2800-3000 rpm constantly loading and unloading the chain from the IMSB and passenger side cams.

Each and every failure, I speak with the owner and ask them about their driving habits. I don't say anything about what I think, I ask them about their commute to work and weekend habits.

What "I've" found.. the people who haul ass with little to no traffic have a lot less problems than those who "cruise" the legal speed limit and sit in a lot of traffic every morning and evening while commuting.

We have disassembled a LOT of failed engines, and built a LOT of engines. Some are raced, some are in commuter cars.

It's just my opinion If others choose not to believe it? so be it. No loss on my part. I know how I drive them, and I know what I say to my customers about their driving habits.
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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Yes, cruising on a highway. But what about just driving round town, which most Boxsters do A LOT of? You'll be constantly tripping the Variocam.

The fact is, most Boxsters will have done a lot of driving around town. And the IMS doesn't fail in most Boxsters.

Anyway, you'll be relieved to hear I always drive mine like I stole it once it's nicely warmed up!
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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At least here in the US, nobody revs the engine past 2500 rpm making an upshift in town (no joke) Remember, "mericans" << say that with the redneck accent, are used to TORQUE. They are semi preprogrammed to shift early (I see this all the time)

Take a new person out on test drive? They will short shift the car!!

I have spent quite a bit of time running around the UK for weeks on end, I *know* how they drive, and I know what they are used to driving: vehicles with little torque/high revving engines or diesel's with gobs of torque and short shifting.

I ran around the Elstree area frequently in Turbo Mitsubishi's, and downtown London.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:41 PM   #9
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Even if you're right about US owners barely breaching 2k rpm (and gotta be honest, don't really buy it!), here in the UK it's a dead cert most Boxsters will have spent tons of time passing through that rev range.

If you're right, there'd be an epidemic of IMS failures in the UK. But I've been using Boxanet forum in the UK for three years, loads of users, just a couple have had IMS failure in that time. Still can't see this is what causes the failures.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:43 PM   #10
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I have more Boxsters within 100 miles of me than where sold in all of the UK. I speak with over 20 independent shop owners monthly. I speak with 8-10 dealership techs monthly. Now, that being said, between you and I, who has more info coming to them?

90% of the failures? The owners are not online. Promise. 90% of the shop owners? are not online.

This back and forth between you and I is the EXACT reason shop owners and dealership techs (typically) are not online. I do know a few dealer techs who check in from time to time.

It's hard to argue with people who own one Boxster and only work on that car.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:45 PM   #11
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Still can't see this is what causes the failures
How about this: it greatly contributes to failures in my area (Los Angeles)
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:01 AM   #12
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Like I said Brad, I'm not arguing with the engineering side of it. But there are a few realities here that can't be argued with and they have nothing to do with the number of Boxsters I own or have been in contact with. My views have nothing to do with my car.

1. The majority of UK Boxsters will have spent lots of time in traffic routinely tripping that rev range
2. The majority of UK Boxsters haven't suffered IMS failure
3. There's no reason California Boxsters should be any different

Seriously, if you were right about this being a significant contributor to IMS failure it would be total carnage over here in the UK and across Europe for that matter!
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:58 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info everyone. Always wondered why people said to keep the engine at or above 3k rpm on here. Since I have had mine, it only sees above 3k rpm when I'm on a fun run and I use this car as a daily driver. So much to learn about the 986, I thought it was going to be a simple car to own lol.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #14
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Variocam comes in between 2850-3000 rpm. If you drive above this or below this, you have less chance of failure (we see no failures in the race cars as we are constantly above 3krpm)

People in LA going from zero to 40 to zero to 40 to zero to 40 in 1st gear, stress the IMSB BIG time. Each time the chain gets loaded in the 2850-3000 rpm.
I'm a relative newcomer to the forum, though I've been a Boxster owner since the spring of '97. After all this time, there's always a lot to learn about these cars. My current 986 is a low-mileage 2004 S 550 Special with Tiptronic. Beautiful car, has so far been amazingly trouble-free. But I've come to realize that it's a model year fairly susceptible to the IMS thing.

I find Brad's views on the Variocam interesting. Does the 2850-3000 rpm figure apply to all model years of the 986? I typically use the shift paddles on the Tip, so it's no big deal to pay more attention to the tach and shift points. Besides, it's an exercise in futility to repeatedly flog these things in 1st gear in our SoCal gridlocked traffic, only to gain a second or so to the next line-up of brake lights.

Best of all, I'm now retired, have the luxury of mostly choosing the time and place of my Boxster driving.

Last edited by riverside986; 09-16-2013 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:15 PM   #15
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I saw one with a failed bearing, also in the shop i saw an auto with a failed bearing. So i guess they are also vunerable. Sorry
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:49 PM   #16
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According to Jake Raby VarioCam activates between 2200-2500 rpm.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by KRAM36 View Post
As the title asks, anyone on here have an IMS failure with Tiptronic trans?

Changed my oil today for the first time since I got the car. The car has 103k miles on it with a Tiptronic transmission. I found no metal of any kind in the filter and it made me wonder if Tiptronic trans equipped cars are less susceptible to IMS failure since they don't redline the tach. Thinking maybe over revs on a manual trans cause the IMS problems?
Mine just failed at about 52000 miles. I bought it with 23000 on it. Since I've owned it I've driven it in manual mode to avoid lugging it around.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:46 PM   #18
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According to Jake Raby VarioCam activates between 2200-2500 rpm.
That is a big difference (from 2850-3000) in terms of city and suburban driving! It's why I had hoped to verify the specs.

If we were to avoid actuating the Variocam in stop and go traffic (assuming Jake's figures), it would mean up-shifting at no more than 2100 rpm, that raises all sorts of other issues.

The plot thickens.

Last edited by riverside986; 09-16-2013 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #19
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According to Jake Raby VarioCam activates between 2200-2500 rpm.
But dependent upon throttle position on early cars, and load on later cars.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:19 PM   #20
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So we are suppose to be shifting at 3500-4000K ? Cars always seem to shift easier to me around 4K.

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