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Old 12-13-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
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Feedback...IMS Guardian owners/potential owners

The IMS Guardian by Flat 6 Innovations has been around a while now and many of you have likely completed the installation. However, I have not noted much feedback here.

If nothing else, please describe how the installation went. And it would really be super if someone could report on a failure detection and just-in-time IMS bearing repair.

IMHO it appears to be a good idea but I'm not sure I want to invest in it. If it fails top do the job, you're screwed. If it accomplishes its mission and detects failure about to occur, you'll spend what you would if you just replace the IMS bearing in the first place (plus the price of the IMS Guardian, of course).

Checking oil filters for bearing debris is really smart but only if the failure begins just before the oil change.

Please share opinions and experiences with this product with the rest of us......
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #2
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I don't have one but I do have an opinion .

Until it was fully described what the product was, I didn't see the logic in the extra cost of the guardian over just replacing the bearing.

However, I think the product is just marketed incorrectly. It's really an engine guardian that can detect any abnormal wear of all the bearings and ferrous metal contact surfaces within the engine. It should be marketed as such and should be marketed to ALL passenger car makes and models. Then your talking about a device that will give early warning of insufficiently lubricated pins, guides and bearings in any car.

It's much more valuable and useful than the AFR gauges and oil pressure gauges the people put in their cars but don't know what they mean. I'm now a convert.

Last edited by blue2000s; 12-14-2011 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:06 PM   #3
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I've installed three of them ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobiam View Post
The IMS Guardian by Flat 6 Innovations has been around a while now and many of you have likely completed the installation. However, I have not noted much feedback here.

If nothing else, please describe how the installation went. And it would really be super if someone could report on a failure detection and just-in-time IMS bearing repair.

IMHO it appears to be a good idea but I'm not sure I want to invest in it. If it fails top do the job, you're screwed. If it accomplishes its mission and detects failure about to occur, you'll spend what you would if you just replace the IMS bearing in the first place (plus the price of the IMS Guardian, of course).

Checking oil filters for bearing debris is really smart but only if the failure begins just before the oil change.

Please share opinions and experiences with this product with the rest of us......
... already, and one in my personal car.

The installation takes a good 2 - 2.5 hours, but it's not overly complicated. And that includes removing the oil pan cover and cleaning out the oil pan completely.

I chose to install mine (rout the wiring) a bit differently than what is suggested in the video, just for simplicity. I found it much easier and quick to punch a 3/4" hole next to the aluminum access plate rather than use an existing grommet which was harder to access.

If you follow the instructions, it's pretty straightforward.

Some people have asked me why I installed it in my car when I already did the ceramic IMS bearing upgrade from LNE and my answer is that I track my car constantly.
If something starts to wear out in my car, I'd like a preventive warning as soon as possible rather than when the engine lets go.

The one gripe I had from day one, and I called Jake about it, is that with the top down, the warning signal is drowned out by the rushing air and the red warning light is washed out by the brightness.
Therefore, I decided to have one of my unused idiot lights on the dash light up with the IMSG warning, just like the CEL. If it ever comes on I can clearly see it.

Jake also told me that they're working on the sound (making it louder) and the red light (making it brighter) as we speak.



Happy Boxstering,
Pedro
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:38 PM   #4
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I received my ims guardian...

about one month ago and it took about a month to arrive at my doorstep in Canada. No regrets here. It took about 4 hours to get installed by my indy garage. To me it is cheap insurance to get warning of an ims failure and subsequent engine failure. It seems like a sound product. I dont believe in spending money on a new ims unless there is a problem with it(there may never be a problem with it). Chance of ims failure is in the order of 6 out of 100 or about one in twenty or thereabouts. I am not willing to go unprotected for that 6% chance. Each one to their own.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:32 AM   #5
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I read all the IMS posts I could find before I bought my 2002 4 summers ago with 45k miles. I knew the chances of failure were small, but the concern was always somewhere in the back of my mind. My car has about 90k miles now and I don't expect to need a clutch anytime soon, so I didn't expect to have the opportunity to replace the bearing with most of the labor already covered by the clutch job. I have also read about some very high mileage cars with the original bearing, so I couldn't quite justify the $2-3000 expense of IMSB replacement.
I followed the IMSG posts on a few forums with interest, then signed up early and paid $365. I think of it as a magnetic oil plug that is being continuously monitored, and it cost a lot less than other mods I have done in the last few years (Litronics and an AerokitII will not warn me of engine failure). I hope it will also give me some added peace of mind as I read any IMS failure posts that may come up. I installed the sensor when I did the year end oil change, and I will finish up the wiring before the snow melts in Minnesota.
Similar to a warranty or insurance, I viewed this as a cost/benefit decision. I am sure everybody has different and valid views, but I decided it was worth it for me. Now I hope I never need it!
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:03 PM   #6
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Indeed, it is interesting we haven't heard much if anything since they started shipping. Haven't seen any DIY write ups with photos, etc. I remember shortly after the Dension unit was released it was a race b/w people to see who could document the best DIY install and fastest.

Pedro, aside from the 3 installs plus your own, have you sold many units? Your sales numbers would be a good gauge for mainstream enthusiasts interest/reception on the device.


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Old 12-14-2011, 12:59 PM   #7
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So it is a magnetic oil plug that lights up when it gets too much stuff stuck to it?
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:40 PM   #8
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So it is a magnetic oil plug that lights up when it gets too much stuff stuck to it?
Basically, it's a couple of magnets that have different electrical potential. As metal bits bridge across the two magnets, the resistance between them reduces. The plug is tuned to throw a warning when the resistance meets a certain level.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:22 PM   #9
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As long as it works
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:42 PM   #10
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I installed one of these instead...

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Old 12-14-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
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I installed one of these instead...

A fat guy?
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:37 PM   #12
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Indeed, it is interesting we haven't heard much if anything since they started shipping. Haven't seen any DIY write ups with photos, etc. I remember shortly after the Dension unit was released it was a race b/w people to see who could document the best DIY install and fastest.

Pedro, aside from the 3 installs plus your own, have you sold many units? Your sales numbers would be a good gauge for mainstream enthusiasts interest/reception on the device.


The system is so straight forward to install that it doesn't offer much glory.. Its not blingy or flashy.

We have sold around 350 units... Whats limited that is how many units we can produce as they are built in house here at our facility. Its not a mass production type of Chinese assembly line, just one dedicated soul building each unit by hand and testing it. Thats the way we do things here, lower volume, higher quality and all done in house.. Printed circuit boards are the only part that we have imported for the units.
We tried the whole "factory" approach and doing so put us way behind and did nothing but disappoint me.
We sold 3 units to Pedro, because thats all we could spare because all the others were spoken for.. We just finished a few units today and have a few in stock that aren't spoken for right this minute. Every time we have a few completed they are gone in just a day or two.

Our Australian and UK distributors placed huge orders and that slammed us... Once those are filled we will be able to build up a nice stock and do more advertising. That should be just after the New Year.

The most recently updated version of the system has a dozen small enhancements made based on feedback from buyers and installers.. We have added a weather pack connector at the MCD, lengthened the MCD sensor wires, made the buzzer louder and rewritten the instructions to cover some complications that installers have experienced, that we never did...

I received my first IMS Alert Support phone call from an owner of the side of the road last week... My newborn Baby was in the NICU after surgery to correct a spinal defect, but I still answered and helped the driver.. He had a full blown alert and the engine is being inspected at his local Indy shop to see where the huge fragment of material came from.. I hope to have our first testimonial from him soon with a positive outcome if his engine is saved. We will know more later.

Yes, personally I am developing systems for Hot Rods, passenger cars, fleet vehicles and heavy equipment as we speak... My Engine R&D Dyno lab has turned into a specialty MCD development and test area... We developed this to solve a specific issue for the Porsche engine, but it belongs in every car on the road.. Thats when the tagline "Engine Guardian" is employed. Trust me, its underway.
We have found a couple more "factories" to produce the Engine Guardians for us for other applications and we are testing and critiquing their product now... BUT we will continue to build the Porsche units on site at Flat 6 Innovations.
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Last edited by Jake Raby; 12-14-2011 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:49 AM   #13
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Jake said.......

Jake said "We have added a weather pack connector at the MCD". I suppose that is the plastic wire connector that is shown in Pedro's photo above. I was about to ask how long Jake expected the unprotected connector to last before succumbing to dirt and corrosion under the oil pan.

I'd like to know if a connector failure is picked up immediately by diagnostics or at least each time the car is started. Even protected connectors can fail.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:49 PM   #14
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If a connector was to experience a failure, the system would fail the "press to test" evaluation.

The connectors that we used previously are sealed.. we had to seal each one at assembly.

We also have extended the MCD sensor pigtail, which places the more bulky weather pack connector further from the engine sump, so it can be secured neatly out of the way.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:45 PM   #15
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A fat guy?
Yeah, works as an oil baffle and a metal detector in one! Installation is kind of time consuming as you might expect.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:24 PM   #16
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It's nearly 7 years later. May I ask what does the data show? How many have been installed? How many alerts have there been? How many engines were saved or not saved? Sounds like a great invention. I have a new to me 2004 Boxster S so of course I am interested. Thanks! Rick
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:49 AM   #17
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It's nearly 7 years later. May I ask what does the data show? How many have been installed? How many alerts have there been? How many engines were saved or not saved? Sounds like a great invention. I have a new to me 2004 Boxster S so of course I am interested. Thanks! Rick
Don't bother. The idea is great, the product not so much. I have gone through 2 of the oil plug detectors and both of them had issues with teh wires coming out of the unit fraying and tearing. I don't think they are even selling them anymore.
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:25 PM   #18
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A fat guy?
I just choked on my drink 😄
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:43 PM   #19
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Don't bother. The idea is great, the product not so much. I have gone through 2 of the oil plug detectors and both of them had issues with teh wires coming out of the unit fraying and tearing. I don't think they are even selling them anymore.
They're also notorious for cracking/leaking.
That, and by the time you have enough metal on the plug to set the alarm, serious damage is likely already done and engine will require complete tear down. It may save you a bit over buying a replacement engine, but tear down and rebuild is costly in itself.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:13 PM   #20
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Thanks for the follow-up Intel. Appreciate it - Rick
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