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Old 11-06-2016, 05:29 AM   #1
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Arrow Opinions are welcome on IMS issue. ...I know

It's been beaten to death so consider this a revival

986 in question is new to me - one previous owner , 53k miles ,2002 base 2.7
Since having it (2-3 weeks). I had the following done
Tuned up ,plugs ,tubes filters etc. oil & gear oil changed , front brakes rotors /pads / flushed fluid and added braided lines
Just put on continental DWS06 tires (want to drive it in winter -no snow )

So I've put a few $$ in already. All just regular maintenance things that should be done

That IMS bearing issue is still looming. Like a buzzard circling What I don't get is the car is 14 yrs old with 53k miles and runs great !

I'm wondering how many owners have chosen to just drive with original bearing and enjoy the car as is ? I know the #s. Single row 8% failure etc.
so I guess the question is. " do you feel lucky". There is a 90% chance of good times

The $2100 for the job is the issue. If it were $500 it's done. The other factors are additional "while we're in there". Clutch ,flywheel , RMS Etc.

I guess we are or were in the same boat. Just how you handle it

Last edited by mfm22; 11-06-2016 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:42 AM   #2
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I had a 2001 boxster s which I traded for an '06 (126,000 vs 32,000 miles). Anyway I was told that if your car has made it past the 50,000 mile mark it's a safe bet the ims is fine. Just make sure to do oil changes regularly, I do every 6 months, and if you want to change out the ims wait until you need to replace the clutch. You'll save on labor.

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Old 11-06-2016, 05:43 AM   #3
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Plan for it when you do the clutch.

Do clutch ASAP.

No more worries.

Done.
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:54 AM   #4
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I've had mine for 15 yrs, and haven't replaced the IMS. Change oil every 2 yrs. Original engine and clutch. I'm at 72k miles now. Besides oil changes and brakes, have only had to replace an engine mount, coolant tank and water pump. Not going to replace IMS. I've even heard of peoples' engines blowing up AFTER an IMS replacement that wasn't done right. I'm of the if it ain't broke camp.
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mmassey0125 View Post
I had a 2001 boxster s which I traded for an '06 (126,000 vs 32,000 miles). Anyway I was told that if your car has made it past the 50,000 mile mark it's a safe bet the ims is fine. Just make sure to do oil changes regularly, I do every 6 months, and if you want to change out the ims wait until you need to replace the clutch. You'll save on labor.

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I would not bet on that mileage claim; we have seen too many 50k+ IMS failures om single rows to agree.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:12 AM   #6
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Do not buy into the "If it was good at 30K, it will be good at 230k" IMS bearing. Mine went out at 105k just a month ago. I made the difficult decision to replace the engine in a 13 year old car. In my defense, my car is a Tiptronic so I never had the chance to piggy back an IMS replacement on a clutch job. Do it, if only for the peace of mind

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Old 11-06-2016, 06:15 AM   #7
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Had mine replaced at 103,000 miles. No worries now.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:23 AM   #8
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Ummm... it's a little late to ask now.

This is what you signed up for when you plopped your $$$ down on your car. Members told you what it would cost to get your car up to the proper maintenance and it sounds like you've spent the money on the appropriate things. But if you can't afford an IMS change, why ask? There will be 9 ppl who say all this IMS stuff is hokum. Then the 10th person will come in and say it cost him $10K. So far there hasn't been a pattern as to who gets hit with it and who skates by. Do you spend $2K to possibly save $10K? Not if you don't have the $2K.

If this is bothering you after 1 mo of ownership, then you need to do one of the following:
1. Put the car away until you can afford an IMS upgrade.
2. Drive the car and don't worry about it.
3. Sell the car because this will eat you up. Boxsters are meant to be fun, not worrysome.

Sorry, this is kind of blunt but the question gets old. I would recommend searching on IMS but it will probably depress you even more.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:43 AM   #9
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I searched the issue before purchasing car ,I'm well aware .

Another thought comes to mind after purchase is how fool proof is the "fix".
What are the possible cons to replacement

I can find the $ and do replacement now , just wondering what the general consensus is on an informed source like this forum

Asking any Porsche shop will yield the same answer .... better to spend 2k than 10k on new engine
It's like asking a Surgeon about arthroscopic knee surgery. That's what they do for a living

Last edited by mfm22; 11-06-2016 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:14 AM   #10
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I have a 2003 Boxster S 19,228 miles for 3 weeks (posted in Tech thread on 3-Oct-16 miles as of today 20,323 miles). Local Porsche inde on PPI pulled pan nothing, cut open filter no metal some green rubber bits said no worries wouldn't do anything at this time. When time for a new Clutch 45-50K would also due pressure plate, flywheel, seals-bearings, IMS-Pro for 3K and guides if needed will add to cost but might be a good time while they already in their have a lot exsposed. He also put in a Mag plug. Yesterday went out on a 200-mile drive. The thought of pop goes the weasel is running around in the background.

So today I called two shops one from L&N & the other from Flat6 approved/Cert installers for their list in different states. All I told them I have a 2003 Boxster S 19,228 miles for 3 weeks and had concerns about IMS failure and what would be there recommendations’ Their 1st ?’s were how many miles did I think I would drive a year and city, Hwy or both. Said 500 to 800 a month-both. Both said Change oil every 5k if doing less in a year and it would make you feel better 6 months. Cut open filter & inspect plug each oil change. The first time any mental in filter or Mag plug pull pan and give them a call. Mostly likely if 1 or 2 little pieces would have you clean, fill and drive recheck 1.5 to 2k and call back. The green stuff nothing to worry about. Now go enjoy your car. When the clutch is ready to be replaced have it done then, and also AOS.

So 3 respected shops gave me the same advice when they could have just made $$K. I feel much better about the plan, will be vigilant and start oil analysis on next oil change.

Last edited by fanguy; 11-06-2016 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:16 AM   #11
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An IMS Guardian is the middle road solution. I fitted one of those to my 03 986. Gave me some piece of mind.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:19 AM   #12
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How long do you plan on owning the car? Do you want every drive to start with the thought - "I hope the IMS holds out".

I personally would never change out the IMS -the value for money isn't there IMO. Instead, I drove it for a couple years then swapped it for a 987.2

But if you are keeping her for a long time, then the dollar cost averaging of the part isn't all that bad and the piece of mind might be worth it.

Ultimately - there is no right or wrong answer. Go with your gut. It's your money and your anxiety level.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by chipmunk View Post
An IMS Guardian is the middle road solution. I fitted one of those to my 03 986. Gave me some piece of mind.
I put on a Guardian when I first bought the car at 72,000 km (45,000 m). Picked it up on Kijiji from a guy in Calgary who never installed it on his 911. I have since done the IMS along with a full clutch job and I put the Guardian back on. I also change oil every 5000 km (3000 m) and cut open the filter running a magnet through it. This may sound like overkill but while I drive I have no thoughts of the bearing toasting my engine. I am now at 95,000 km (59,000 m). I knew when I bought the car that regular vigilant maintenance would not be cheap, but this is my baby and I plan on keeping her for a long time.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:13 AM   #14
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To me, this whole issue comes do to: what do you plan to do when the IMS fails
  1. Buy a new car and sell the old as a roller
  2. Find a used engine and swap the used one for the failed one
  3. Rebuild the failed engine and hope for the best
  4. Replace the IMS, change the oil and hope for the best
All four choices involve time and money. Depending on which option you choose should help you decide two things:
  1. Whether to replace the IMS before it fails
  2. Which of the IMS options to choose
In my case, I installed an IMS Solution when it came time to replace the clutch. I'll never get the cost the Solution back if I sell the car, but the potential search and labor costs of experiencing a premature IMS failure far outweighed the cost of the part.

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Old 11-06-2016, 08:48 AM   #15
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There is one fallacy that is seldom admitted by the "frequent oil change+filter inspection" advocates(like me!!).
An IMSB may fail within your oil change interval.It may deteriorate quickly. Ferrous debris will spread throughout the oilways. Then you need a total dismantling of the engine. Probably catastrophic damage will also occur.
So we need an,experienced person like JFP to advise us of his experience with hundreds of M96 engines - how reliable is the 3kmile oil +filter change in detecting IMSB failure to prevent engine damage ? Let's assume we have a magnetic drain plug,LN filter and magnets on the full-flow filter . Would The Guardian improve the odds much?
Even though some of us have rebuilt an M96 and studied the IMSB & Modes of Failure issues diligently, our basis of experience is so small ,we should acknowledge that weakness when we offer advice on the IMSB.Most of us are noobs !
The other idea seldom discussed is also attributed to JFP - is it wise to install a plug behind the new IMSB (like The Solution has) . If you are doing a rebuild and pinning the sprocket like I did, it seems a no brainer. If I had them, I would have done that !If it is a Retrofit. a simple piece like a core plug may be effective?

Last edited by Gelbster; 11-06-2016 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:19 AM   #16
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What I find particularly disturbing is that a supposedly knowledgeable shop told one of the posters above to run it until metal shows up in the oil and then call them. According to both Jake and LN dictum, once you have any signs of ferrous metal in the oil, the car is no longer a viable candidate for a retrofit. If that poster called my shop, he would be told as much.

The retrofit concept is one of being pro active; doing the retrofit before any metal shows up in the filter or pan. Once it is there, we would never retrofit the car.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
...
The retrofit concept is one of being pro active; doing the retrofit before any metal shows up in the filter or pan. Once it is there, we would never retrofit the car.
That reminds me of when I first read about the IMS Guardian. At first it made a lot of sense to me, like a chip detector in an aircraft, see the signs of a failure before it becomes catastrophic.
Then I realized: In an aircraft it may give you a warning in time to safely get to the ground, the engine or transmission is still going to need a rebuild. In an M96, it just lets you know that you are screwed and gives you a chance to pull over before you leave engine parts and oil in the road. You are still just as screwed as you would be finding metal in your filter at an oil change.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:37 AM   #18
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Posts 15,16,&17 above, if stated years ago, may have saved a lot of wasted bandwidth on the IMSB subject :-).
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:39 AM   #19
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What I find particularly disturbing is that a supposedly knowledgeable shop told one of the posters above to run it until metal shows up in the oil and then call them. According to both Jake and LN dictum, once you have any signs of ferrous metal in the oil, the car is no longer a viable candidate for a retrofit. If that poster called my shop, he would be told as much.

The retrofit concept is one of being pro active; doing the retrofit before any metal shows up in the filter or pan. Once it is there, we would never retrofit the car.
It is for this reason I question the value of the Guardian. IMO by the time enough metal has accumulated to trigger the Guardian your engine is already disqualified for IMSB retrofit.

78F350 Beat me to it!

Last edited by 911monty; 11-06-2016 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:56 AM   #20
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No one of us has the same risk tolerance or pocketbook as you.

Worst case is about 1% failure probability per car year. Unlike in a casino, some few lose big.

There are something like 28 modes of failure. Which should be addressed and which ignored is one of those great unknowns.

Imagine these scenarios:
1. You do the IMS and crash the car 2 weeks later totaling it.
2. You don't do the IMS and the engine fails.

Both can happen. Which will cause YOU the most angst?

I didn't do the IMS and got away with it. BUT I also had enough spare cash to replace the engine with a rebuilt/improved one (~$32k) should I need to, I have a high risk tolerance and I had another car I could drive for the months the new engine would involve. (That '01S is at 93k last I heard. But keep in mind that is a sample quantity one. Meaningless.)

Last edited by mikefocke; 11-06-2016 at 11:37 AM.
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