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Old 11-21-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
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Calm My hypochondria

Ok, I tend to have a severe case of car hypochondria and I'm thinking an 02 box was the wrong car to soothe this.

Anywhoo...I'm in the process of planning two repairs. One soon, AOS may be going bad and is original to the car, so am having that replaced, having the throttle body cleaned while he's in there, and a trans flush and filter (yes, I have a tip).

Second repair was going to be the peace of mind repair this summer, LN IMS upgrade, RMS and probably new front engine mount.

Now I'm reading about the cam pads, lifters, and the like and my head is about to explode. Can anyone tell me what that's all about? Is it a neccessary maintenance job? My box has 84k miles on the clock. I changed the oil myself when I got it and plan to do it every 6 months or every 5,000. I know the AOS needs done, I want to do the IMS and I know I need new tires by fall....but now this lifter and vario cam crap is making my head spin.

Anyone had them replaced as part of maintenance and can give me a cost idea or an urgency factor? Haven't even told the wife the 2000 dollar IMS plan...just got her comfortable with the local guy's 370 dollar AOS change quote. Someone help me out here. Any advice on this is appreciated.

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Old 11-21-2013, 02:09 PM   #2
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First all the IMS issue is over done here. I have 76k on mine and I am not planning on replacing it. Here's my theory. The odds are better for me to win a million bucks on a lottery ticket than the IMS bearing going out. Boxsters have been being built since 97', yes the early one's had issues especially 97-98. Ok, next you have a Tip, so do I. The major or majority are the cars are with standards, why, because they are the base units and A Tip is a $2500 upgrade. The drivers of Tips usually are not hot dogging their ride, yes, if I had a stick, I would be another Andretti on the road. I think you can figure the rest out. Next the are the cam pads, usually the last a long time and can be checked if necessary to see if they need to be replaced. Lifters hardly ever go bad. Poor oil change maintenance can create that problem. If you get one sticking, add a little SeaFoam to the oil, and I would recommend using some if yor gas maybe every 3 months...great stuff. Now the AOS and Tip service is a DIY job. Easy, get Pelicans 101 Projects for your Boxster. You can also go to Pedro's site and use his DIY section. You will save a bundle.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:31 PM   #3
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First all the IMS issue is over done here. I have 76k on mine and I am not planning on replacing it. Here's my theory. The odds are better for me to win a million bucks on a lottery ticket than the IMS bearing going out. Boxsters have been being built since 97', yes the early one's had issues especially 97-98. Ok, next you have a Tip, so do I. The major or majority are the cars are with standards, why, because they are the base units and A Tip is a $2500 upgrade. The drivers of Tips usually are not hot dogging their ride, yes, if I had a stick, I would be another Andretti on the road. I think you can figure the rest out. Next the are the cam pads, usually the last a long time and can be checked if necessary to see if they need to be replaced. Lifters hardly ever go bad. Poor oil change maintenance can create that problem. If you get one sticking, add a little SeaFoam to the oil, and I would recommend using some if yor gas maybe every 3 months...great stuff. Now the AOS and Tip service is a DIY job. Easy, get Pelicans 101 Projects for your Boxster. You can also go to Pedro's site and use his DIY section. You will save a bundle.
Hmmmm, I thought the early cars were actually very reliable as far as the IMS goes. 97-2000 had a double row bearing.
Not sure if I agree with your logic on the TIP. Plenty of those guys give their car gas, they just cant drive stick. I also believe giving the car gas shouldn't grenade your engine
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:38 PM   #4
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The engine's drive chains run on pads. Over time these can wear. If they wear too much, the engine can jump timing. You can check them visually, but that's expensive. You can get an indirect look at the variocam pads by watching camshaft deviations with a Durametric. The deviations should be rock steady when measuring them. Over a long period of time, the deviations may change as the pads wear. If the deviations get too big, greater than +/- 6 degrees, then think about a more detailed diagnostic or replacement

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Old 11-22-2013, 03:32 AM   #5
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Ok, I tend to have a severe case of car hypochondria and I'm thinking an 02 box was the wrong car to soothe this.

ha ha ha ha ha

just sell it now...

(the Boxster is a reliable car once you get it sorted out and fix the know weak spots, but it's 100% the wrong car to own if you have car-hypocondria - especially if you read the internets)



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Old 11-22-2013, 04:06 AM   #6
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Stay off the forums.. You'll be fine. ;P
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by fatmike View Post
ha ha ha ha ha

just sell it now...

(the Boxster is a reliable car once you get it sorted out and fix the know weak spots, but it's 100% the wrong car to own if you have car-hypocondria - especially if you read the internets)



/
Well this is one way of looking at it. My experience after 2.5 year of ownership of my 2001 base Box is that initially the car repairs real or imagined can be overwhelming if you allow it to be. I have a wife that gets on my case if car repairs become excessive. So to keep everyone happy I decide on what I must do and what is not necessary.

First your AOS is relatively cheap to repair. Secondly with my concern for the IMS I had installed the IMS Guardian which can give info on impending failure of the IMS.This worked out to installed cost of less than half of what it would cost to replace IMS.

Many Box owners take a chance and do nothing about the IMS until the clutch needs work and then typically do rms/ims/clutch together.

It sounds like you are still in the honeymoon stage of Box ownership. It takes a while to feel more relaxed about it. Financial situation I believe if well heeled a person is more relaxed. If you have borrowed to the max to finance the Box then a person may likely be more on edge. Be prepared to spend $1-2k a year on normal repairs per year if you are paying somebody to do it, a lot less if you do it yourself.

If you bought your Box super cheap and work has not been done then repairs may be coming thick and fast. If the repairs have been done(confirmed by receipts) then not so much work needs to be done.

If this Box keeps you awake at night and the wife gets on your case too much then fatMike may be right. If you can calm your mind and your wife things should be okay.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:26 AM   #8
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The earlier cars had an issue with D-chunk failures, not IMSB failures. They IMSB failures ramped up with the change to single row bearings. If I had a single row I would probably do the upgrade but, as I don't, it can wait till I do the clutch which isn't even close to needing replacement as this point.

The tips are more likely, not less likely to fail, for the exact reason stated - they aren't driven as hard. The trick to making these engines last is to keep the revs up and drive them like sports cars. Babying them is a recipe for failure.

Lifters frequently go bad. Ask Jake. And adding snake oil to the engine is not a fix. Replacement is a fix.

The tensioner paddles do wear. You can keep an eye on this, as Thom mentioned, by monitoring cam deviation with your Durametric. Also keep an eye out for bits of dark brown plastic in the filter when you change the oil.

I know you're getting conflicting advice here, but if you do some reading you'll find that jcb986's advice contradicts that of the people here that know what they are talking about on just about every point. You'll have to make up your own mind on who to believe, but you can't go too far wrong listening to people like JFP and Jake - guys that work on these cars for a living.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:39 AM   #9
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With 84K miles and a Tip I would not change the IMS or do any extensive non-essential work. If I had a manual AND it needed a clutch I would change the IMS at that mileage. There are MANY (20+) mods of catestrophic failure and the IMS and timing chain and related components are only a few. You would be spending around $4-5K and still have an engine with a limited remaining life. For my money I would save that $4-5K for WHEN it does go boom and put that toward "your next Boxster phase." I think it's time for you to come to grips that your engine will not last forever and have your plan for when it does. Even Jake does not recommend replacing the IMS at that milage….
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:04 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jdraupp View Post
Haven't even told the wife the 2000 dollar IMS plan...just got her comfortable with the local guy's 370 dollar AOS change quote. Someone help me out here. Any advice on this is appreciated.
Put it to her this way, the Boxster come two ways. One way allows you to replace the IMS when the clutch needs replacing. One day job. Then you're good to go for years and years.

The other Boxster (point out that this isn't the one you bought) comes with a free IMS (the one it came with from zee Germans) and the replacement IMS bearing that will cost you $10K when you have to split open the engine, along with a whole slew of "while you're in there" costs. If you postpone spending the $10K on IMS bearing #2 (who wouldn't?), and it fails, you'll need a whole new engine which will cost more than car is worth.

So which was the better choice me lady?

Think of it this way, the IMS bearing is part of the clutch job. It's a big expense but bumping it up early gives you the utility of a new clutch (your $$$$ at work) and safeguards your engine if your bearing is a wobbler. No bearing lasts forever, it should be refreshed with a new one or even an better one at a regular interval. Leaving it in there indefinitely is aksing for trouble and contradicts the laws of simple bearing design.

In addition you should mind the coolant system -- its an ecosytem of watermpump, coolant tank, the most recent coolant cap replaced each time you flush the coolant system with the factory pink koolaide. Use an excellent oil with high engine-saving ZDDP, like Motul x8100 5w40. And if you want some peace of mind, get an oil analysis from Blackstone labs to see if the previous owner was doing you in any favors.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:09 AM   #11
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This is my experience;

97 Boxster with original IMSB: 130,000 miles (75 track days, over 1,000 runs up to rev limit and >100 continuous hours >5K rpm)
99 996 with original IMSB: 128,000 miles

That's all I'll say.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
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When I tore down my original 3.2L with about 75K on it, 22 of the 24 lifters were "frozen" in a collapsed position. Not good for lift!
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:00 AM   #13
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When I tore down my original 3.2L with about 75K on it, 22 of the 24 lifters were "frozen" in a collapsed position. Not good for lift!
And that is what we consider "normal".
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:40 AM   #14
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Guys thanks for all the advice. I'm hoping to be that boxster owner that gets 250 plus out of it like jager has. I think I can convice her to spring for the ims retrofit and if it adds 5-6 yeara to the engine life then that's a plus. I changed the oil as soon as I got it and didn't see any metal in the filter. At some point all engines bite the bullet and I guess ill either look for a new one at that point or do the 3.8 big bore upgrade.

All of your advice is much appreciated gents. I'm a little more calm about it now. Back to driving it like its stolen.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:59 AM   #15
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Back to driving it like its stolen.
Absolutely the correct conclusion!
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:35 PM   #16
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Sorry to add to the confusion, but I thought Tips were less likely to have IMSB failure. No one had figured out why, just that they failed less often.

And I'm not a mechanic and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn. How do you change a clutch in a Tip?

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