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Old 06-23-2013, 06:22 AM   #1
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Does the IMS Guardian work?

IMHO I have a ways to go until my clutch has to be done, when I'll make the decision about the Retrofit or Solution or whatever happens to be available at the time.

In the meantime, I'd like some peace of mind, i.e. insurance, and am considering the IMS Guardian.

I think it's been out for a couple of years now, and I'd like to know what sort of results people have been getting. Does it do its job?

To users:

Has it gone off? What have you found? False alarm? Has anyone had their engine saved?
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:34 AM   #2
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Yes, they do work.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:17 PM   #3
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Thanks JFP. What I'm trying to get a handle on the results real world users are getting. Are you getting people coming in to your shop with Guardian having gone off?

I'd also like to know, assuming it's the IMS bearing that's failing, how much work will have to be done to the engine should the Guardian go off. Simple as cleaning out the pan and replacing the bearing, or is a teardown required?
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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A wide variety of problems can set off the Guardian, just about anything that generates ferrous debris in the oil. If the IMS bearing starts to fail and triggers the Guardian, the engine will have to come apart as it is most likely now full of abrasive debris, but at least it could be saved before total IMS failure reduced it to a boat anchor.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:19 AM   #5
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JFP....
But surely, if the IMS starts to fail and the "engine will have to come apart", the $$ cost will be nearly equal to the engine being a boat anchor to the average Joe anyway !!!

Its all very well the Guardian detecting ferrous debris, but in reality its probably too late when it does. I'm a real believer in being pre-emptive when it come to "possible" failures - the Navarro / Raby original ceramic bearing installed before failure being the better option in my (humble) opinion.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:15 AM   #6
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JFP....
But surely, if the IMS starts to fail and the "engine will have to come apart", the $$ cost will be nearly equal to the engine being a boat anchor to the average Joe anyway !!!

Its all very well the Guardian detecting ferrous debris, but in reality its probably too late when it does. I'm a real believer in being pre-emptive when it come to "possible" failures - the Navarro / Raby original ceramic bearing installed before failure being the better option in my (humble) opinion.
If the engine can be saved, it is often less money as many bone yards or rebuilders (including Raby at last count) now require a "viable core" in exchange; quite often, IMS total failures are not "viable" (heads of valves broken off and pushed thru cylinder walls, etc.). If your original M96 needs to come apart but is still intact, you are probably ahead on $.

The Guardian is still one of the limited options for those with the 05-08 M97's that cannot be easily upgraded, and would catch the situation before the grit has reduced the engine to scrap metal status.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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Thats a fair comment JFP re core engine values - I hadn't factored that in.
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:29 AM   #8
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I have recently bought a 2003 Boxter 3.2S Tip with 69k on it and have been reading about IMS failures on this forum. Where does one buy an IMS Guardian from - is it a Porsche supplied part or an after market product? Also is it fairly easy to install?
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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Cimpmunk, it is not a Porsche part but a product developed by frequent contributor Jack Raby. It is available in the UK and what follows is a link to at least one supplier/installer:

Wrightune Independent Porsche Specialists - Restoration


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Old 07-30-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
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Many thanks Brad. I have looked at their web site and sent them an email. I'll also give them a call tomorrow. Appreciate the help.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:35 PM   #11
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I have had the Ims Guardian installed two years now. Cost to buy was about $400 and close to $500 to install by my indy. I am not one to throw $$$ at my car at $30k miles so this is a compromise. Clutch is okay at now 41k miles and am not planning on replacing the ims until clutch replacement time if I keep the car that long.

I test the IMS guardian daily - loud squeal and red light when pushing button to test.
Does it do the job? Who knows? If it sounds I pull over immediately, shut engine off and have it flatbedded to the indy shop.

That is a good question and is well answered above. If it saves the block then it has done its job well. So far car has been great, no major problems and would install the Guardian again if the next car had an ims... although next would likely be a Cayman 2009 or newer.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:42 PM   #12
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So if the guardian goes off, what happens next? Automatic tear down? Is a false alarm possible as that'd be an expensive bit of tinkering?
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:38 PM   #13
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recycledsixtie, how often has it gone off while you've been driving?
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by chipmunk View Post
recycledsixtie, how often has it gone off while you've been driving?
The |IMS Guardian has never gone off while I am driving. No false alarms or anything.
So it certainly gives me peace of mind. So many will question if it cost me close to a $1000 installed why not get a new IMS installed. Well I hate replacing stuff that does not need it and if I went and got the ims replaced then I would get the clutch replaced etc etc and that would be $3000 to $4000.

If I was going to keep this car for say another six years and money was no object I would certainly look at the ims and clutch replacement. I stay within my budget of $1500 to 2000 a year expenditure on it and that has worked so far for me. If you want cheap motoring the MX5 Miata is the way to go but then that is like comparing apples to oranges. I will never go back to a Miata.

I do my own oil changes and this way I can see if there is metal in the filter. So far none. If there is enough metal in the oil the IMS Guardian will do its job of detecting that metal. So far I am pleased.

Last edited by recycledsixtie; 07-30-2013 at 02:25 PM. Reason: too much info
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycledsixtie View Post
I have had the Ims Guardian installed two years now. Cost to buy was about $400 and close to $500 to install by my indy. I am not one to throw $$$ at my car at $30k miles so this is a compromise. Clutch is okay at now 41k miles and am not planning on replacing the ims until clutch replacement time if I keep the car that long.

I test the IMS guardian daily - loud squeal and red light when pushing button to test.
Does it do the job? Who knows? If it sounds I pull over immediately, shut engine off and have it flatbedded to the indy shop.

That is a good question and is well answered above. If it saves the block then it has done its job well. So far car has been great, no major problems and would install the Guardian again if the next car had an ims... although next would likely be a Cayman 2009 or newer.
I will add that the guardian is designed to be a DIY.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:52 PM   #16
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There are assertions it works and I've been told in testing Raby put in a known failing bearing and drove the car till the detector detected.

Has anyone else gotten the signal and then looked at the bearing and had the failure confirmed?

Yes the theory is sound as it has been used in aircraft for decades.

But what evidence independent of the developer do we have that it works in this application?
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mikefocke View Post
There are assertions it works and I've been told in testing Raby put in a known failing bearing and drove the car till the detector detected.

Has anyone else gotten the signal and then looked at the bearing and had the failure confirmed?

Yes the theory is sound as it has been used in aircraft for decades.

But what evidence independent of the developer do we have that it works in this application?
Good questions Mike. Eventually somebody will report in to this forum that their IMS Guardian sounded the alarm and the teardown will begin providing evidence of what caused the alarm to go off. I believe that the Guardian is relatively new but it is just a question of time before somebody reports in. I would think that enough of them have been sold by now to increase the probability of an occurrence.....
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:19 PM   #18
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Well I have just ordered mine from Wrightune here in the UK. The car goes in for fitting on the 13th Aug. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:51 AM   #19
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Well I have just ordered mine from Wrightune here in the UK. The car goes in for fitting on the 13th Aug. I'll let you know how it goes.
What you can expect! The test button/light is one that goes on the dash is similar to the convert. top switch. The oil plug that incorporates the metal sensor replaces the standard oil drain plug. After mine was fitted I had a small leak coming through the sensor so I put the old plug back in and sent back the sensor and they sent me a new one. Keep an eye out for oil leaks after it has been installed. When doing an oil change look up in the instructions what you should do because the oil plug/pigtail does not accommodate a normal socket for tightening it up. If you don't do the oil change yourself then let your indy/Porsche shop know you have the Guardian installed. There are instructions in the Guardian manual about manually(with a regular wrench - don't overtighten) doing it as opposed to a special torque wrench attachment. I feel that you will have a sense of relief after having had it installed. To me it is well worth it. I am not a poster boy for the Guardian but for me it does spell relief! Let us know what you think after you have driven it a couple of weeks with it installed. I have no regrets at having the my indy shop do the work. They are not cheap but what they do they do well.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:26 AM   #20
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Last March I bought a 2001 S that had 41k miles on it. The clutch was replaced at 32k so there was no way i was going for a clutch/Ims replacement.

Having read in a few places that the IMS was more likely to fail at lower mileages I was plenty paranoid so I sourced an IMS Guardian from Wrighttune for £250.00.

Fitted it myself when I did Oil change a couple of months ago which was pretty straight-forward (and I'm no mechanic though I usually do the routine maintenance stuff).

Like a couple of other people I also found that the oil plug was leaking after fitting. I think my kit was old stock as I didn't get the socket with the cut out they now supply so couldn't torque it up properly. As per instructions I didn't tighten it up too much, so when I found I had the leak I got under and added another 1/4 turn on and that seems to have sorted it.

I initially installed the unit with the audible indicator at the bottom of the center console but found travelling at any speed or with any music playing it could not be heard. Also I had to install the switch with the visual indicator on the drivers side of the dash and found it was totally obscured by my hands and the steering wheel when it's in its's most comfortable position for me. So just yesterday I moved the audible unit into the service-book wallet holder which is much louder, (but still not loud enough really). I also fitted a cheap strip of LED's that I got off fleabay under the speedo/revcounter and wired them in using the auxillary connections on the sender unit. This is far more successful and there is definitely no chance I'll miss it if goes off. (touch wood that it never does).



Must admit that ever since I fitted it I have felt less anxious about the engine letting loose and being left with a beautiful static piece of sculpture. I know this is purely psychological but it's true never-the-less and for that reason alone I would recommend fitting one.

PS.
For all those thinking of purchasing a Boxster .... Do it!........ but don't read anything on-line about IMS failures you will sleep more soundly.
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Last edited by hossuk; 08-20-2013 at 06:51 AM.
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