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Old 09-29-2008, 08:48 AM   #1
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Blown Engine 550 Spyder AE

The incident occured at 10,100 miles and 10 days before the warranty expires. I was in traffic, steady speed about 2200 rpm. It sounded like I ran over in bag of coke cans but there was nothing in the road. The motor died instantly. Heavy oil leak under the car. Dealer service rep says it's going to need a new motor, they're not certain what happened and it'll take a while. The dealer has loaned me a Cayman S and is taking good care of me so far...
I am concerned that I don't know how to confirm the replacement engine is the correct 264 HP version specific to the 550. If anyone knows how to tell if it's the right engine I'd really like to know.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:51 AM   #2
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be glad you are under warranty and they are giving you a nice loaner.

us "off warranty" guys cringe every time we see a thread like this....

bad luck to have it happen - but it's better it happened NOW than in 11 more days....
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:17 AM   #3
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Pretty astounding this is still going on.

Please keep us posted.

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Old 09-29-2008, 09:25 AM   #4
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Pismo, just ask the dealer to show you paperwork showing the type of motor ordered and received for the car.

It does not benefit the dealer to put a different motor in your car. In fact, it would be more work they would not be paid for considering every motor has a computer setup and your ECU is not going to be swapped out.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:37 AM   #5
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Wow. You have GOT to be so thankful this happened while still under the warranty umbrella. Whew!
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brucelee
Pretty astounding this is still going on.

Please keep us posted.

Not suprised at all.

It will continue to occur, engine failures are still happening.. Most of them never make it to the net.

I doubt you have to worry about getting theproper engine, but a trip to a chassis dyno would be a good way to quantify what you do get.

Be glad this happened under warranty, most of the people that call me don't get this lucky... Always remember that even the replacement engine that you get is not immune to future failures, those occur as well.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:51 AM   #7
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Just heard the new boxster will get the all-new motor that won't have the same issues as our motors have now. I bet they'll have different catastrophic problems though

Mr. Raby, you will be in business for a very long time, guaranteed!
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:54 AM   #8
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Is the extra power the engine or other things like the 987 style intake?
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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Does anyone have a source to find the differences between the standard S motor and 550 AE? Sometimes mistakes are made and corners are cut. I'm a "Trust but verify..." kind of person.
I don't think I can say I could tell a 258 HP motor from a 264 by the seat of my pants in normal driving and I've found Dynos come up with substantial differences in what are supposed to be identical motors. At an MBCA dyno pull, 3 stock well maintained '91 190E 2.6s had a spread of over 15 HP on what are supposed to be 158 HP motors.
Based on Jake's remarks I am now looking towards getting an extended warranty, any suggestions? The car's original warranty expires Oct. 4th.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:38 AM   #10
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"Just heard the new boxster will get the all-new motor that won't have the same issues as our motors have now. I bet they'll have different catastrophic problems though."

Whats the word on the new Boxster engine, DFI or what?

Ed

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Old 09-30-2008, 10:58 AM   #11
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Pismo, ask your service advisor at the Pcar dealership which aftermarket warranty gives them the least hassle and pays out the most consistently. In fact, call a half dozen Pcar dealerships' service department and ask.

Some will tell you they're great to have, others say put the $2000-3000 of cash you pay for one in the bank and save it and you may never spend that much on the car for the time you own it.

ed, rumor has it the next boxsterS/caymanS motor will have DFI and no intermediate shaft. However, I think the base models still have the old motor. Not totally sure on this, but I seem to remember reading it somewhere.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:58 PM   #12
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You got very lucky. It is too bad to hear that they still haven't fixed the IMS problems. You should try and negotiate an extended warranty at a discount because of this.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:05 PM   #13
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The 550's engine is basically the same engine as the Boxster S for 2004.
The HP difference comes from a larger airbox/air filter (from the 987), a more efficient exhaust system and a different ECU mapping.
When the dealer replaces your engine, they won't replace the airbox, the exhaust or the ECU, so you should have your original HP.
The car may feel a little more sluggish than before, and that can be explained because you are getting a new (tighter) engine that needs to be broken-in again.
Once the engine has a few thousand miles on it it will get smoother and faster.
Don't worry about the new engine.
Be happy that it's now covered by a full 2 year warranty with no mileage limit.
Happy Boxstering,
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:22 PM   #14
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Pismo--

Has your dealer identified what caused the engine failure ?
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:01 PM   #15
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Do a proper engine brake-in with the new motor:

1) Keep RPM's <4,200
2) For about 2,200 miles
3) Don't lug engine
4) Don't run for extended periods in the same gear
5) Change the oil and filter at about the 1,000 mile mark (not required by Porsche, just prudent advice)
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:35 PM   #16
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Exclamation

The new engines will also have their issues.. Any "new" engine developed in todays world with less than adequate practical application and high mileage usage and observation will take several generations to perfect... As the factory solves one issue they create 2-3 more.. The manufacturers are also always fighting the accounting department, no portion of the company has more power than accounting- not even Engineering.

The factory can't "fix" the IMS issues on the old engines without serious expenditures... The way they look at it, the **majority** of engines make it through warranty and thats all they care about- just the first owner and making it through warranty.

Our billet IMS would cost MILLIONS of dollars for Porsche to implement in large production runs, thats not the case with our small production runs of engines that are updated and have the issues remedied.

If the factory saves a Nickel on every part that saves them millions of dollars.... This is not the 1970s and no manufacturer is concerned with more than taking money and making it through the warranty. Your loss is their gain.

I have seen a couple dozen different modes of failure and now things are starting to occur that weren't a couple of years ago, or last year.. Now we are seeing rod bolts break right out of the blue on stock engines.. The worst part is the rod has to be thrown away because its non-rebuildable. This will continue as fatigue, age and wear take their toll.

My engines use the least possible Porsche parts.. Soon we'll be able to build an entire engine and only use Porsche seals, gaskets and chain tensioners...

As for warranty, don't put much stock in it... I have customers who have had 2-3 failures and the warranty didn't pay for all the parts and labor. Read the fine print!
The warranty doesn't keep the engine from failing, more than anything it gives a false sense of security that you won't have a problem- not true.

I have put my effort into eliminating the issues that create the failures that lead to warranty engagement. I have several people who came to us simply because they were tired of the red tape, fine print and BS associated with the "warranty".
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by previously_boxsterz
Jake, what's your warranty on your motors?
Totally dependent on the engine and it's intended usage. My warranty is very specific, but not written in fine print and there are several responsibilities that the customer has during the warranty period.

Typically we rival the factory warranty on engines that are stock, and that are installed on premises by our team. Engines that are designed for performance are only covered by a warranty while under our care and control, during the lab testing. Risk comes with mechanical manipulation and higher performance and thats just part of playing the power game. Always has and always will be.

I am working on an "extended warranty" program for the stock and performance engines, but the one mandate is that we must install the engine and give it the seal of approval (as well as the sub-systems supporting the engine) for any engine to be eligible.

One good thing about my program is no break in period. All engines are dyno tested in my lab and ran for a minimum of 12 hours, so you install it and drive it as hard as you want immediately after ensuring the installation job is correctly completed.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:12 AM   #18
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Jack, I have an '01 S model that just turned 15,000 miles last weekend...Yes, she is my baby and as garage kept as possible.

I am the second Owner and purchased the car last Feb. with 13,000 on the odo. Car has complete mainatenance history attached and was adult owned / maintained to the hilt.

The original owner was from Sacremento, CA and the car lived out there for almost 6 years, prior to coming east.

Whan I purchased, I had Jim Ellis in Atlanta do the PPI and everything came back clean. In fact, they asked if the car had ever seen rain and I said the original Owner may have been caught a couple times in, but not any serious driving at all.

I am a little concerned about what i have been hearing with regard to the IMS failures. If it blows, it blows, but I would like to know what protective measures I can do now to prevent such a chaotic experience. Is there something you can do to the existing engine that will bulletproof it, or should i just wait for a possible explosion to occur...

Just don't have 20 - 25k laying around for a new conversion if this happened tomorrow, but have some cash available for preventive measures.

The warranty is obviously gone, and I don't think these aftermarket company's are really going to cover this kind of loss...as they know the game.

Thanks for any responses you have. Jon Clark.
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:29 AM   #19
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Jwade,
The beauty of our program is that no longer is an engine conversion the only way to enhance reliability and performance.. The conversion engines also have their share of issues and can fail in their own ways... None of the M96 engines are totally bullet proof from the factory.

Lots of people are worried by what they read and they should be. NO CAR is immune to these issues, no matter the mileage! In fact, it seems that cars that are driven easy and taken care of will fail MORE than those that are well taken care of and driven harder! Very seldom does any engine fail at a DE or on the track, most happen in city driving.

I am working on an article and DVD now that will outline what a Boxster owner should know about troubleshooting, diagnosing and engaging with preventive maintenance to note IMS issues before they create failures. The truth is that sometimes these things go "pop" with no warning at all and not a single symptom... Kind of like a Brain Aneurism.

The only way to absolutely avoid the issues is to update the IMS when you have the time and money, along with the cylinders, oil system and the 13 other issues we have taken action to solve/ prevent.

You may be like me and may have gotten a really good engine that won't scatter even if you try... I have been trying to kill the test car for the past year with total abuse and neglect, but it runs better now than it did before... Thats even after driving it 2 miles at a time against the rev limiter and not doing any service to it at all, just observation.

Look for the article that Excellence did on our program and the M96 engine issues. It will be coming out in January 09 and details lots of the modes of failure and how they are being addressed.... Very informative.

Owning an M96 powered Porsche (as factory) is like playing Poker, every time you turn the key you are dealt a new hand.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:58 PM   #20
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Thanks for the response. I drive the car as it should be driven, not crazy, but do run it as I have never babied anything with a motor.

Usually, I keep it geared in the 3-4000 rpm range as I like the sound. Very rarely do I let gearing take me below 2500 in this car, but will run out the gearing on the backroads, but never over rev.

Hopefully it won't blow, but if it does, it does, and then I'll go into cardiac arrest knowing I basically just bought a new car for what it will cost to fix this one...

Still I absolutely love the entire boxster platform and have been a Porsche buff since I was a kid. I remember back in College when the Boxster prototype came out.

From then on, I wanted one and now as my family is growing up, I have a little more financial flexibility, as well as growing my professional career, I figured go for it and bought one.

Just couldn't ever afford one growing up and didn't exactly have parents just ready to fork over that kind of cash......hell, mine from the factory in '01 was nearly 70k after taxes paid in California...

Those things you recommended sound good and I have looked on your website. You guys really have done quite a bit of research here.

What do you think a modest pricetag be on some internal upgrades would be?

Thanks, Jon
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