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Old 05-28-2015, 08:18 AM   #1
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IMS failure

Wow!!! Just learned of this issue with the Boxster engines. My fault for not doing my homework before buying. I've got 118K on a 02 Boxster S. Are there any signs to tell me the bearing is going?
Should I try to sell it before it happens (if it hasn't already)?
I do have some experience with engines, I rebuilt a Volvo B18 in my P1800, when I was young and eager with lots of time on my hands, with good results. So is this something that can be tackled without being an experienced tech? Help!!!
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:44 AM   #2
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IMSB threads are up there with oil and tires as to their frequency. Search is your friend. Get ready for a novel-length read though!
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:03 AM   #3
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Let the screaming, wailing, hair pulling, garment rending, spitting, teeth gnashing, eye gouging, general vitriol and lines in the sand begin.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:08 AM   #4
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Looks like JR and the Gang landed another big one!

Last edited by particlewave; 05-28-2015 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:47 PM   #5
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Show me any engine with 118k miles on it or even 118km that doesn't have the potential for some form of failure. I've had to replace 2 engines and 2 transmissions in the last 20 years, none of them Porsche.

Are the cumulative risks of some other form of failure greater than the probability of an IMS failure? Probably

Are there risks in having a first time installer doing a IMS install? Yes.

Are there risks with any kit you might use despite all the hype behind it? Yes. Some more than others.

Are there tools you need to do the job that aren't in your toolkit and which aren't cheap? Yes.

Could you do it? Yes.

Do you know anyone with the tools and experience?

After all, you are considering doing this to reduce risk, not increase it.

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Old 05-28-2015, 04:08 PM   #6
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It's easy to change the bearing. It's easier to screw up changing the bearing. It has to be done following particular steps or the job can become very complicated.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:30 PM   #7
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Forget about it. Drive it until it needs a clutch, then throw a new bearing in at that time. Don't waste a minute of your Porsche time thinking about it before then.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:03 PM   #8
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Forget about it. Drive it until it needs a clutch, then throw a new bearing in at that time. Don't waste a minute of your Porsche time thinking about it before then.

+1... what he said.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:36 PM   #9
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At 118K, your probably close to needing a clutch replacement if your on the original one. So when you do go to replace the clutch add an IMS replacement to the job. Total out the door about $3K for both.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:18 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, that's all good advise and consistent with the advise I got from a local Porsche teck. The other thing he advised, as he does with all his Boxster clients in this category is to install a magnetic drain plugs and practice frequent oil changes 5-8000K depending on how it's driven and keep a close look for any evidence of breakdown. So thats what I did along with the 100K service and just going to enjoy.
Thanks again!!
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:48 PM   #11
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Get the LN Engineering oil filter adapter. It stops the filter bypassing and allows the use of off the shelf oil filters. Sold by the same group that makes magnetic drain plugs.

Last edited by BFeller; 05-30-2015 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:50 PM   #12
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^^^ What he said
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:38 AM   #13
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Wife's Boxster,
you are now aware of an IMSB failure. If you've done more research you should have found there is not always signs as to when/if your IMSB is about to fail.
I will assume you now have a good working 3.2 ltr engine that has not had its IMSB changed so change it. The cost and inconvenience to change it now is peanuts to what it could be if the IMSB fails.
Find an Indy shop that does these replacements on a regular base's, then ask for reference's. Us Boxster people love talking about our cars.
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:48 AM   #14
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IMS failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISP357 View Post
Forget about it. Drive it until it needs a clutch, then throw a new bearing in at that time. Don't waste a minute of your Porsche time thinking about it before then.

This is your answer. It is also commonly argued that getting the engine in the higher rev range once warmed up from time to time is good for it. Ims failures seem to be most common in cars that sit and rarely go above 3k rpm. Those that drive the cars (somewhat) hard seem to have far fewer failures.

Last edited by BIGJake111; 06-03-2015 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:58 AM   #15
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This is your answer. It is also commonly argued that getting the engine in the higher rev range once warmed up from time to time is good for it. Ims failures seem to be most common in cars that sit and rarely go above 3k rpm. Those that drive the cars (somewhat) hard seem to have far fewer failures.
Unless you don't know how your ~100k engine has lived for the past 10-15 years. With any luck the OP will get to clutch time without having to find out.

To the OP, this engine shares little in the way of layout with the B18 (great engine btw) - The M96 has four cams, five cam chains, three oil pumps, no replaceable bearings where there should be (cams), some parts you've never even contemplated (vario-cam and foam separators) and the most absurd method of assembly I have ever seen - but the basics of crank bearings, rods, wrist pins, rings, valves, etc will carry you should you need to split momma's car open.

Think of it as a series of projects, each something you can wrap your head around as you go. Anytime I found myself lacking confidence over the next thing that needed to be done I would clean the work bench, put tools away and sweep the garage floor.

With apologies to people who are weary of declining book values, I find it hard to stay out of some threads.


...is not an approach to problem solving where I come from.

For those that like to quote "10% for single row, 1% for double row", if the product my employer makes failed 0.1% there isn't a one of you who could board an aircraft without hurling your breakfast and most would elect to take ground transport.

As an engineer I feel that one percent failure is poor execution, ten percent is damn near criminal. If 10% of KIA engines failed (they don't) no one would buy them.

If anything I design ever resulted in 10% of our customers on our door step I would be hard pressed to find a job flipping burgers.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:17 PM   #16
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Just to affirm what pjg says,your wife's car is probably a single row (based on the year) so it is in the highest risk category.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:07 PM   #17
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I find it amusing how so many people take the IMS 'issue' so personally. Do it or don't do it. Roll the dice (either way is a dice roll).

But I guess it keeps these boards interesting....without the IMS worries, what would we do all day? (ack....maybe go out and actually drive our cars?!?!)
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISP357 View Post
Forget about it. Drive it until it needs a clutch, then throw a new bearing in at that time. Don't waste a minute of your Porsche time thinking about it before then.
+1

Every Boxster I have owned I had done the IMS because I bough each with an engine or tranny issue. That's about 6 Boxsters and a 996.

My last Boxster is my track car with 100k miles on it. I didn't do the Ims retrofit on it until I was ready to split the tranny and engine apart.
I put 5000 miles, most of that hard high revving track miles.

Didn't want to take the car out of service.

This spring I did do the Ims, but only because I was upgrading the clutch and putting in a Lwfw

I'm a strong believer in the retrofit, but even I was willing to weigh my odds until I was in there anyways.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:18 PM   #19
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There are lots of theories out there and lots of anecdotal advice based on those theories. Here's my actual experience.

My 01S is my daily driver. I changed the oil regularly at 5K intervals and never saw a metal flake in the oil filter. I was told that once my engine reached 100K, I had probably dodged the IMS failure bullet. Nonetheless, I replaced the clutch at 125K and decided to replace the IMS at the same time because of the labor savings. Here's what I found

The OEM IMS look pristine. It spun freely and didn't show any wobbling. I thought I had wasted my money. Then I removed the seal. To my surprise, the grease was completely washed out. Oil leaking through the seals was providing the lubrication. Would the bearing have lasted much longer - 5K, 10K 25K or 50K. Who knows. I'm just glad I caught the problem as the bearing was beginning to go down the "it's just a matter of time before it fails" path.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:33 AM   #20
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Don't start your engine. It might break.

Regards from germany
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