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Old 04-06-2012, 07:41 AM   #1
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About to change clutch- might not replace IMS!

Like most of you I'm very worried about the IMS problem. However with even the new ceramic units failing (which % failures is probably greater then the factory unit) I might choose to keep my 100,000 mile unit in. I subscribe to the theory that if a boxster survives to the 80,000 or so mile mark the inner seal has failed sufficiently for engine oil to start lubricating the bearing. As long as the engine sees high revs and keeps the oil pressure up the bearing will be ok. So if I change my bearing I might be removing a bearing thats in a good spot. Am I completely foolish? It just doesn't seem like you hear about a lot of high milage boxsters with failed IMS bearings.

Side note. I spoke with the owner of Luftechnic(a porsche only race and repair shop) here in Richmond and he told me that he does frequently replace failing IMS bearings but the failure is rarely catastrophic. Normally the cars arrive running poorly or making a terrible noise. Everything you hear about these bearings is conflicting, its frustrating.

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Old 04-06-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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This is just my opinion but if you are changing the clutch I would upgrade and replace the high mileage IMS bearing. Bearings are a wear and tear item and they do wear out. It's a small price to pay to protect yourself from potential catastrophic failure and the added piece of mind is priceless.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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I don't know why you say that the failure rate of ceramic bearings (LN units) is higher than factory steel ones. We all have heard of factory ones failing, I know of only one ceramic bearing that has failed out of 4000+ installed that wasn't from improper installation or from some situation where something else in the engine failed first and pieces of that part took out the entire engine including the IMS bearing. There were 3 in the not-caused by the IMS itself category. 1 in 4000 in 3+ years possibly due to the LN IMS bearing itself sounds like a much better failure profile than the factory unit.

Preventative maintenance choices are hard. You'll kick yourself if you don't and it fails but you can go broke trying to prevent every little thing. Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by truegearhead View Post
Like most of you I'm very worried about the IMS problem. However with even the new ceramic units failing (which % failures is probably greater then the factory unit) I might choose to keep my 100,000 mile unit in. I subscribe to the theory that if a boxster survives to the 80,000 or so mile mark the inner seal has failed sufficiently for engine oil to start lubricating the bearing. As long as the engine sees high revs and keeps the oil pressure up the bearing will be ok. So if I change my bearing I might be removing a bearing thats in a good spot. Am I completely foolish? It just doesn't seem like you hear about a lot of high milage boxsters with failed IMS bearings.

Side note. I spoke with the owner of Luftechnic(a porsche only race and repair shop) here in Richmond and he told me that he does frequently replace failing IMS bearings but the failure is rarely catastrophic. Normally the cars arrive running poorly or making a terrible noise. Everything you hear about these bearings is conflicting, its frustrating.

Cheers,
I believe a PROPERLY INSTALLED LN imsb will outlast any M96/7 engine. I believe many M96/7 engines are doing ok with 15,000 mile Mobil 1 oil changes. I believe it is a wise investment to change oil every 5k miles with oil superior to Mobil 1, & have the imsb changed to LN as soon as you can afford to do so & replace worn clutch parts at that time.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:27 AM   #5
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However with even the new ceramic units failing (which % failures is probably greater then the factory unit) I might choose to keep my 100,000 mile unit in.
Say what? Four (4) known failures out of more than four thousand installs, and at least three of those were due to poor installation or being destroyed by engine debris from other sources, and you think that is "greater than the factory unit"?

I'd suggest you give Charles at LN a call before you make such declarative statements, I'm sure he would be more than happy to set you straight..............
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by truegearhead View Post
Like most of you I'm very worried about the IMS problem. However with even the new ceramic units failing (which % failures is probably greater then the factory unit) I might choose to keep my 100,000 mile unit in. I subscribe to the theory that if a boxster survives to the 80,000 or so mile mark the inner seal has failed sufficiently for engine oil to start lubricating the bearing. As long as the engine sees high revs and keeps the oil pressure up the bearing will be ok. So if I change my bearing I might be removing a bearing thats in a good spot. Am I completely foolish? It just doesn't seem like you hear about a lot of high milage boxsters with failed IMS bearings.

Side note. I spoke with the owner of Luftechnic(a porsche only race and repair shop) here in Richmond and he told me that he does frequently replace failing IMS bearings but the failure is rarely catastrophic. Normally the cars arrive running poorly or making a terrible noise. Everything you hear about these bearings is conflicting, its frustrating.

Cheers,
To answer your question.... Yes.... According to the manufacture of the bearing, it has a life span of 1000hrs at 10,000 rpms, 2000hrs at 5000rpms and so on. Plus at if you idle alot in traffic that is hrs at 0 mileage, heat and contamination also plays a role. You do the math on the way you drive, but the average mileage is approx 125,000 before the bearing is completely toast. YMMV.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:12 PM   #7
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To answer your question.... Yes.... According to the manufacture of the bearing, it has a life span of 1000hrs at 10,000 rpms, 2000hrs at 5000rpms and so on. Plus at if you idle alot in traffic that is hrs at 0 mileage, heat and contamination also plays a role. You do the math on the way you drive, but the average mileage is approx 125,000 before the bearing is completely toast. YMMV.
I believe the rotating speed of the IMS is less than engine speed. I have not checked the gear ratios myself, but have heard that it was about 2/3 of engine speed. So, the average IMS bearing speed should be something like 2000 RPM, which should give a pretty long L10 life.

Unfortunately, it seems there are other factors the math does not account for. From what I have read the anecdotal info seems to imply that "generally" if they make it past 45,000 miles they are "probably" good for 100K miles, but I would not push my luck beyond that.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:28 AM   #8
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I am going to rebuild my gearbox and will be putting the Pelican IMS bearing in since I am right there anyway. I like the $165 price tag, I think it is a fair risk/reward at that price. I simply do not wish to buy the LN bearing because I strongly disapprove of Flat Six's hysteria based marketing strategy and it is guilt by association for me, sorry LN.

Here is the link to the Pelican part.

Pelican Parts - Product Information: PEL-IMS-1
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:09 AM   #9
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All marketing is hysteria based, if your breath isn't going to ruin everything your choice of the wrong speedstick surely will just as slathering yourself in Axe will get you laid. I did get a chuckle out of your assessment though, they were going to tell me what was wrong with the roller I sold them, never a word, just a join my linkedin from one of the businessmen.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:13 AM   #10
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I am registering my discord the only way I can, word of mouth and how I spend my money.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:36 AM   #11
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I am registering my discord the only way I can, word of mouth and how I spend my money.
I thought I was going to do this with Porsche but instead ended up spending the most I ever have for a car, funny how things turn.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:28 PM   #12
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Like most of you I'm very worried about the IMS problem.
Look, if you do not want to replace the IMS on every Boxster that you buy, that's fine. Just disclose it to the next owner.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:50 AM   #13
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If I were already in there, I would replace it. The very least i would do is check the IMSB for play. I believe you can do this by pinning the crank at TDC, removing the IMS and bank 1 tensioners and the IMS cover center nut. Then check the bolt for play. I'm not sure if this is the EXACT procedure for checking play, so check around, but you can do it fairly easily.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:18 AM   #14
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it will be obvious if it is tight or not, mine showed no symptoms at 66k miles,but after it was pulled you could wiggle the center shaft around and the races were pitted.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:54 AM   #15
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Alright man. Lets say something really fast. I don't even feel like reading what everyone else has already said. Just a quick story.

You can go buy an LN Engineering bearing for about $600-700 and be at peace of mind. They RARELY ever fail and most defiantly have no where near the fail rate that the factory ones do. Put it in since you're pretty much already there, and be done with it....

Now, if you don't. You might save yourself that $600, but if it is going bad, or if it starts going bad in 10k miles, you're screwed. All of a sudden, BANG! New motor time... My 2002 S, got a new motor at about 100k miles do to an IMS failure and he paid for a new S motor from the factor and to get it installed. $19,000 out the door. If only he had changed the IMS bearing.... Don't let that be you!!
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:01 AM   #16
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I have read the reports about two guys (One one on Pedro's board) that have gotten over 200,000 miles just with regular maintenance on their cars; with the engine untouched. The main contention for people not wanting to change their IMS is cost. I will be changing mine when I get the pelican IMS for a fraction of the price.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:45 PM   #17
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4000 LN's @ $600-$700 per pop ?= $ ????? If I had Danger's Cash it would not be an issue. I would change it daily.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:49 PM   #18
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So 2 years development costs, 2 years documentation improvements, 5 years helping folks who can't read and have to ask for help over the phone, manufacturing costs, inventory costs, packaging costs, documentation costs, web site maintenance and updating, risking several cars to prove your theory works, developing special tools, developing additional supporting parts, legal costs, insurance....all against uncertain sales.

All to be at the mercy of someone who posts on a forum that he knows more and thinks you should sell it for less.

Aren't we lucky someone will do this for our cars...and in our case several people.

(I say this as someone who designed a product that was intended to sell 200 a year and cost $10M to develop. The parts cost was trivial when compared to the development and support expense. And you are never sure you'll sell the first one let alone a bigger number.)
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:11 PM   #19
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Obviously there is a need for a lower priced option in the market and Pelican has moved to fill it. This sort of thing happens every day in the real world whether people talk about it in a forum or not.

So you are sensitive to the issue because of a bad experience you had with your own product. Personally it pisses me off when Walmart and Eckerds sell photos for $0.11 each. I only lost seven figures on that market change. Free markets don't give a crap and customers have no loyalty at all. It is just the way it is.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:23 AM   #20
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Personally, if my M96 had lasted, I would have thrown the cheapest bearing in with every clutch and considered it akin to changing the belts on an overhead cam interference engine; cheap insurance. Land, I lost my entire career based on some of those same principles and never had seven figures in play, it's all perspective. I can assure every one of you on here being physically able to live independently is the greatest gift you are enjoying today, no bank account or indestructible bearing will change that fact.
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