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Old 07-26-2014, 02:10 AM   #1
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IMS Question

Sorry if this has been covered before but I haven't been able to find a clear answer. I have as 2001 boxster S with over 100k miles. A top priority for me was to replace my IMS bearing to the LM Engineering version but recently I have read horror stories where the IMS Bearing failed after it was replaced and I also read that if your bearing lasted past a certain mileage it probably won't fail. Should I or should I not replace the bearing. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 07-26-2014, 02:52 AM   #2
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I don't know what "horror stories" you've heard, but the LN bearing is bulletproof.
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:58 AM   #3
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I don't know what "horror stories" you've heard, but the LN bearing is bulletproof.
I suppose that depends on who you believe. There are plenty of reports of failures after the "upgrade", though LN and their associates always claim that this is due to improper install.

Relying solely on the manufacturers word about the reliability of their product is tough.
Without independent analysis, you either have to take their word for it or take your chances with OEM. I'm in the latter camp.
I'm not shelling out thousands for something that might be better, but that's just me. The best advice that I can give is to read, read, read and come to your own conclusion.

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Old 07-26-2014, 05:12 AM   #4
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What members here have had THEIR own LN bearing fail? I've read plenty of threads where the OE failed but not one where the ceramic bearing did.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:13 AM   #5
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What members here have had THEIR own LN bearing fail? I've read plenty of threads where the OE failed but not one where the ceramic bearing did.

naturally. how many 986/996 cars were sold? 100K+
how many LN bearings have been fitted? a few thousand? and those would also all be new and less likely to have failed
So of course there would be statistically more reports of the original bearing failures vs and after market replacement.

But both combined all still significantly lower than the number of UNREPORTED unfailed (and likely never to fail) original bearings.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:28 AM   #6
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How long has the LN bearing been around for? Wondering what the sample size of the replacement actually is?
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:42 AM   #7
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Here are the facts. Draw your own conclusions.

Porsche reported in the Eisen class action lawsuit that about 8% of single row and less than 1% of dual row bearings failed in model years 98 through 05.

Out of 15,000+ installations, about 5 LN bearings have failed or three one-hundredths of one percent.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 818BoxsterS View Post
Sorry if this has been covered before but I haven't been able to find a clear answer. I have as 2001 boxster S with over 100k miles. A top priority for me was to replace my IMS bearing to the LM Engineering version but recently I have read horror stories where the IMS Bearing failed after it was replaced and I also read that if your bearing lasted past a certain mileage it probably won't fail. Should I or should I not replace the bearing. Any advice would be appreciated.
I've read most of these posts over time. One member with a good reputation in the industry said there were possibly 2 failure both cause by improper installation. Other failures were due to improper timing procedures or car that were not prequalified for a replacement. IE they had chain issues cam issues or other internal problems.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:56 AM   #9
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Here are the facts. Draw your own conclusions.

Porsche reported in the Eisen class action lawsuit that about 8% of single row and less than 1% of dual row bearings failed in model years 98 through 05.

Out of 15,000+ installations, about 5 LN bearings have failed or three one-hundredths of one percent.
15000 is a good sample size.....do we know how long they have been around for? Wondering what the proven longevity is.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:20 AM   #10
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Is your car a manual trans? If so wait until it needs a clutch and just change it-especially if you plan to go another 100,000 miles.
Thankfully my 2002 needed a clutch at 80,000 miles shortly after I bought it. I was in the "leave it alone" camp. It would surely have failed.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:00 AM   #11
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The LN IMS Retrofit - it's dual and single row IMS bearing designs - was created in 2009.

I believe that LN considers its dual row bearing a permanent fix. With zero dual row failures, they may be right.

On the other hand, LN recommends owners treat its 1st generation single row bearing as a maintenance item because its load carrying is far less than its dual row counterpart. The maintenance interval is 50,000 miles or every four years. That said, LN single row bearings may last far longer.

LN introduced its Gen 2 Pro bearing at the beginning of this year to eliminate the single row Retrofit's load carrying concern.
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:26 AM   #12
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I know I have seen it discussed in some thread previously, but how do you determine if your car is a single row or dual row IMS model. I recall someone talking about serial number or build date or something, can anyone advise me?


Also, what is the easiest way to find the engine number, or where is it located on the engine? I have all the documents from the original purchase and there is no engine numbers listed anywhere.

Thanks
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:53 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the input. As I see, the LM bearing is reliable but I still have one more question: Can I rely on my oem bearing to not fail since it has gone 100k+ miles without an issue or are these failure just a matter of time?
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:36 PM   #14
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I know I have seen it discussed in some thread previously, but how do you determine if your car is a single row or dual row IMS model. I recall someone talking about serial number or build date or something, can anyone advise me?


Also, what is the easiest way to find the engine number, or where is it located on the engine? I have all the documents from the original purchase and there is no engine numbers listed anywhere.

Thanks
What YEAR is your car?

The 2000 and 2001 crossover years may have mixed up single row and dual row IMS bearings, and it turns out there is NO WAY to tell via VIN, engine serial number, etc. Sadly if you have one of those years, there is no way to tell FOR CERTAIN which you have. You have to pull the exhaust/tranny/clutch/flywheel and look. Having said that the vast majority of 2000 cars have the dual row IMS bearing.

The engine serial number is pin-stamped on a raised flat spot on the passenger side of the engine.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 818BoxsterS View Post
Thanks for all the input. As I see, the LM bearing is reliable but I still have one more question: Can I rely on my oem bearing to not fail since it has gone 100k+ miles without an issue or are these failure just a matter of time?
It's kind of beside the point. I changed mine at 70,000 miles and it was in perfect condition. Still full of grease even, which is rare. However, every time I hit the key I was waiting for the *BOOM*. It's all about your tolerance for uncertainty. A 100K Boxster is worth not much more than a roller anyway. You could keep driving it until doomsday finally arrives and then wash your hands of it, if you're so inclined. But if it's ruining your *enjoyment* of the car (which is really kind of the point), then change it.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:01 PM   #16
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Hehe...I'm going to drive mine until it blows up, then go electric.

OP, there is no way of knowing. It's a roll of the dice. The real question is, "are you a gambling man, or the play it safe type?"
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:51 PM   #17
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What YEAR is your car?

The 2000 and 2001 crossover years may have mixed up single row and dual row IMS bearings, and it turns out there is NO WAY to tell via VIN, engine serial number, etc. Sadly if you have one of those years, there is no way to tell FOR CERTAIN which you have. You have to pull the exhaust/tranny/clutch/flywheel and look. Having said that the vast majority of 2000 cars have the dual row IMS bearing.

The engine serial number is pin-stamped on a raised flat spot on the passenger side of the engine.
2001, sigh!
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:55 PM   #18
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Simple answer. I purchased my Boxster to enjoy driving it. I did not enjoy driving it before installing the LN bearing. I now can't wait to drive it as often as possible.
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:33 PM   #19
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The big question for those of us with the non-removable-without-opening-the-engine bearing (I have a 2003 S with a 2006 engine) is what to do, or not to do.

I've decided that about all I can do is drive it and forget about the IMS bearing. I drive the hell out of it, and love to get in and go anywhere. 95,000 miles (60,000 on the new engine) and so far so good. When (or if) the engine blows up, I'll ship the car to Jake Raby !
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:20 PM   #20
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I think it comes down to how you feel about the risk of it failing. My 04 Tip with low miles seemed a high risk to me (at 8% failure rate), so I had the IMS Solution installed almost a year ago. Since then I have had much more enjoyment from driving the car, so to me it was worth the considerable expense. If I had a car with the dual row or later single row bearing, I probably would not have done the upgrade. And my old single row bearing was still OK, but fairly dry and did not spin freely, so I suspect it was on the way to failure.

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