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Old 11-03-2016, 10:11 AM   #1
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Pulled the Trigger on a Replacement Engine

What brought this on was the catastrophic failure of the engine in my 2003 Boxster S Tiptronic with 105k miles. All indications (out a nowhere the engine made a horrific clatter and spewed oil onto the gound) are that it was the IMS bearing that failed, although we haven't pulled the engine to confirm this.

Found an engine from LA Dismantlers out of an identical car with 41k miles. Delivered to my indie shop in Northern Virginia for $5k. Base install cost will be $2,800 plus $1k for an LN IMS bearing upgrade and a RMS for $100. Total cost will be $8,900. Right on the cusp of breakeven on selling the car as a roller. Engine comes with a Leak Down Test.

What tipped my decision to repair vs scrap was the overall condition of my car. In the last year i had put about $6k into repairs and service. New CV boots all around, fixed a weepy rear axle seal, new trans mount, flushed the trans, diff and coolant, new front brakes disks and pads*, new window motor and lock mechanism*. Plus additional work in recent years. And I do know that this is a sunk cost, but it was a sunk cost that gave me confidence about the rest of the car. (* = labor done by me). Plus work that was purely engine related (new plugs, secondary air system, etc) and thus has no value now


I learned a lot buying an engine.

Prices vary widely. First engine I found (needed an 03-04, and a Tip would make it easier) was on Ebay from a dismantler not too far away. 48k Miles. He was asking $8,395 + shipping. Interestingly, that same vendor offered the engine at $7k on its own website (as well as nationally via the salvage yard network).

Some questionable engines from private sellers that didn't pass my smell test. Had assumed that shipping from LA would be prohibitive, but that proved to not be the case. Although I never made an offer on other engines I thought the gap between their prices and LA-D was going to be just too large. Insurance auctions, btw, did not work. Although I have a friend in the business would could have bid for me, the cars wre either wrong year, had more miles on them then my car, or were the wrong engine.

And despite having had the car towed to the shop that had worked on it before, for an outlay of this size I shopped around. My shop was actually the cheapest (by $300 - $700). Except for one that was $1900 "or so". One shop's price was $3,500 as a "Good Starting point."

All these quotes were with LA Dismantlers doing the IMS bearing. When I agreed to my shop's bid they opted to do the IMS bearing at LA Dismantler's price, + another $100 for the RMS.

Wish me luck.

Carlos

Last edited by Cbonilla; 11-04-2016 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:41 PM   #2
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Good luck! Sounds like you did your homework. Here's to hoping you are back on the road (better than new with the IMS addressed) soon. As long as the engine is out, ask your mechanic about putting a new water pump on it and any other things (AOS?) that end up being periodic maintenance and might be easier to do with the engine out.
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:55 PM   #3
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Cbonilla,

Good move taking your time and doing research. I would think your knowlege base about taking care of your Box will serve you others.
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:28 PM   #4
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You could just save the 2800 and do it over a weekend, these things are super easy to work on it actually blows my mind that shops charge more to work on the best engineered cars as they are so much better to do than a Dodge or a Taurus etc..
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:07 PM   #5
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Good luck! Sounds like you did your homework. Here's to hoping you are back on the road (better than new with the IMS addressed) soon. As long as the engine is out, ask your mechanic about putting a new water pump on it and any other things (AOS?) that end up being periodic maintenance and might be easier to do with the engine out.
A water pump is on the table if we don't find any other problems. I know from experience having replaced them twice
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:11 PM   #6
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You could just save the 2800 and do it over a weekend, these things are super easy to work on it actually blows my mind that shops charge more to work on the best engineered cars as they are so much better to do than a Dodge or a Taurus etc..
Don't have the place to work on it, and more important, don't feel I have the ability. And there are issues like recharging the AC. Not to mention I don't want to struggle with manhandling an engine out and in. I will gladly do basic tasks - brakes, window motors for example, and have saved significant $ by this over the years - but this to me is more than a basic task. As for a "weekend," one shop quoted 20-24 hours, and they've done this before

Last edited by Cbonilla; 11-04-2016 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:24 PM   #7
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You could just save the 2800 and do it over a weekend, these things are super easy to work on it actually blows my mind that shops charge more to work on the best engineered cars as they are so much better to do than a Dodge or a Taurus etc..
Those of us who have had to R&R + rebuild (not refresh) an M96 would love to learn your secrets that make it so easy AND FAST. I could not find your build thread......

Let's start with your speedy method of measuring the cylinders for ovality and taper ? The precision required for a meaningful assessment is +/-1/10 of 1 thou." You need to measure at exactly the same point in least 3 positions x 3 depths of all 6 cylinders ,replicated 3 times with no significant variation in measurement at a constant temperature. But you knew that .
This is almost FAA standard of work that is required on the M96.
Really , I am all ears because rebuilding an M96 correctly is a daunting ,expensive task for the few of us that have done it.The special M96 tools cost as much as an entire used Ford engine!
Do it sloppily and you'll need to rinse and repeat with a re-buy on many of the parts and most of the machining. Suggesting it is easy and fast may mislead some into a huge waste of time and money. That would be unkind.
Even replacing an IMSB has 19 pages of single spaced imperatives to follow.But you know that ?
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Old 11-03-2016, 06:13 PM   #8
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Those of us who have had to R&R + rebuild (not refresh) an M96 would love to learn your secrets that make it so easy AND FAST. I could not find your build thread......

?
I think he was referring to my. swapping the replacement engine myself, not rebuilding the dead engine. Neither of those tasks are ones that I feel confident to do. Rebuilding even more so
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Old 11-03-2016, 06:20 PM   #9
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Here is a series of videos on the M96 engine R&R . It is way more complicated than an "up & out" for a conventional car. Doable but a lot of planning and equipment and M96-specific knowledge required.
The videos will give you an idea of what is involved:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZvWOZTa42E
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:30 AM   #10
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Gelbster - very informative videos on engine removal. $2800 seems a bargain now. Confirms my belief that, at least for me,, this is not a DIY job
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:31 PM   #11
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Don't have the place to work on it, and more important, don't feel I have the ability. And there are issues like recharging the AC. Not to mention I don't want to struggle with manhandling an engine out and in. I will gladly do basic tasks - brakes, window motors for example, and have saved significant $ by this over the years - but this to me is more than a basic task. As for a "weekend," one shop quoted 20-24 hours, and they've done this before
Yeah, shops like to quote high so they are covered for the unforeseen like rusty bolts which there won't be any on a Porsche. A buddy was quoted $1100 labor for a clutch on his 2002 911, it didn't take us 4 hours total and an hour was spent on the multipiece silly plastic undercovers on and off. Oh and yes that included doing the flywheel which was shot. Hey if you are not comfortable and short on tools, don't do it because once you are in it no one will take over the job. Sounds like you budgeted for it so it's not a problem for you.
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:51 PM   #12
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BWDZ - I certainly hadn't planned on this outlay, and I agonized on spending these $ on older car
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:52 PM   #13
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Very good. I can't agree with your decision more. Keep us posted. Also, I have bought a lot of parts from LA Dismantlers; they are great folks.
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:32 PM   #14
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I'll let you all know how this turns out. I have some trepidation about this.
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Old 11-05-2016, 05:48 AM   #15
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Good job on the purchase...our stories and cars are very similar. Mine is a 2003 S, had 105,000 miles on it when the engine failed, my new engine has about 30,000 miles. Have him check everything accessible while he is in there. My flywheel had lots of play in it, have your indie check yours. Also the clutch, and if you have any wheel bearing issues, now is the cheapest time to fix them because its easier to do from the inside while the axles are off the trans axle.
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:42 AM   #16
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I have some trepidation about this.
I bet. Completely natural until about a month after the car is back on the road and you can once again relax and have some faith in the car's reliability. You're on the right track.
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Old 11-05-2016, 07:19 AM   #17
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What does a typical IMS bearing replacement cost in Canada?
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Old 11-05-2016, 07:54 AM   #18
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And if you have any wheel bearing issues, now is the cheapest time to fix them because its easier to do from the inside while the axles are off the trans axle.
+ 1 on the wheel bearings..

These are reasonable priced (Pelican) and now would be a great time to replace them.
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Old 11-05-2016, 08:15 AM   #19
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What does a typical IMS bearing replacement cost in Canada?
I paid just over $1800 five years ago, but take into consideration that the LN IMSR kit price and my shop's labour rate have gone up since I had this done. The car had been driven a tad over 75,000km, ~ 47,000 miles.
Dual row bearing, pilot bearing and RMS were done together.
Clutch was replaced by original owner shortly before I bought the car and flywheel was within spec when it was opened up.
No charge for an oil change as I sent oil and a filter along when the shop did the job.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:02 AM   #20
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^ The shop I think he might be referring to (on Bridge St.?) quoted $2,500 to me earlier this year for the LNS bearing.

Word of advice to Cbonilla, make sure the shop has experience with these cars, otherwise they will **************** it all up.
- Make sure they use the special service tool to install the rear main seal (RMS), otherwise it will leak again.
- Make sure they don't remove the exhaust manifolds from the new engine because there is a strong possibility they will snap the bolts off into the head and then charge you for the repair.
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