Go Back   986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners > Porsche Boxster & Cayman Forums > Performance and Technical chat

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-18-2017, 03:41 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Diego Area
Posts: 16
Can I tell with the engine number whether IMS is problem?

I looked at a 99 Boxster this morning whose engine number was 65X15505 and manufactured on 4/16/99, according to the "Porsche Certificate of Authenticity". From what I have read the 99s switched from a two shaft design to a single shaft design(my terms are probably wrong) sometime in the 99 manufacturing cycle. Is there a way to look up this data on a web site and tell what this particular car has?

From what I remember this design issue changes the chances of incurring the IMS problem pretty dramatically. Is this correct?
jborchel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2017, 04:27 PM   #2
Motorist & Coffee Drinker
 
78F350's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 2,293
Garage
Quote:
Can I tell with the engine number whether IMS is problem?
Not really.

The engine number may show you what type of engine it is and if it has been re-manufactured. The engine number you gave is that of an original 1999 2.5L engine.



You should read this thread carefully. You may find it helpful:
IMS on a 99?
You were the original poster and it seemed like your question was answered.

To summarize... If you have an original 2.5L engine in your 1999 model it has a dual row bearing (unless it has been replaced). The dual row bearings do fail and the rate is often quoted to be about 1%.
__________________
I am not an attorney, mechanic, or member of the clergy. Following any advice given in my posts is done at your own peril.
78F350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2017, 04:46 PM   #3
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Diego Area
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
Not really.

The engine number may show you what type of engine it is and if it has been re-manufactured. The engine number you gave is that of an original 1999 2.5L engine.



You should read this thread carefully. You may find it helpful:
IMS on a 99?
You were the original poster and it seemed like your question was answered.

To summarize... If you have an original 2.5L engine in your 1999 model it has a dual row bearing (unless it has been replaced). The dual row bearings do fail and the rate is often quoted to be about 1%.
Sorry,

I'm old and I didn't remember having posted this question. Thanks for taking the time to update me on this. Looks like my risks are pretty low as this car has so few miles.
jborchel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2017, 02:49 PM   #4
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Sanford NC
Posts: 2,335
Low miles doesn't necessarily help as the car may have sat for long periods with old oil. Only evidence of at least yearly oil changes would reassure me.
mikefocke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2017, 09:40 AM   #5
Registered User
 
geraintthomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 822
Here we go again. So sick of this IMS rubbish. It's not your fault, it's just been blown widely out of proportion over the years and people naturally end up scared.

Echoing what Mike has said, low miles makes the issue worse. When the car doesn't get driven, seals dry up, then they crack, leak, then fail. Cars which are daily drivers and have lots of miles on usually outlive those with few miles in the IMS area due to the bearing being lubricated often. So unfortunately, having so few miles is a lot worse. I'd be super worried about buying a 986 with little miles on the clock due to the above reasons. The problem is very rare, but because it happened it gets all of the attention. You don't see many threads of "My IMS is fine today". Like a plane crash, you only hear of the worst, disregarding the thousands of flights every day.

People also still seem to be in this mindset that low miles is better? Maybe 40 years ago, certainly not today. Mine has 104,000 miles, it's mechanically perfect and cosmetically stunning, and I will never replace the IMS bearing. I met up with another owner a few days ago who had 40,000 on his, he's had endless problems and it looks like crap. Mileage has very little to do with condition on modern cars. Also don't forget, on a car with higher miles, parts that eventually wear over time (suspension bushes, for example) would have already been replaced, resulting in a car that's better than a lower mile counterpart.

So don't get stuck in the 'low miles is better' mindset, it's a load of nonsense. Look at a car, if it's in good cosmetic condition, good service history and drives the way it should, then buy it. If I saw one with 200,000 on the clock that was in better condition than mine, I would have bought that instead.

As I've said time and time and time again, this IMS issue is always blown out of proportion over and over again. Original IMS bearings have failed on people due to little use, but then keep in mind, people have been so hell bent on worrying if their IMS will fail that they've replaced a perfectly good bearing, only for the new bearing to fail. I've seen one person who had a bearing fail at 30,000 miles, and another who had 300,000 on his car and didn't even know what an IMS bearing was - it was still on the original. See my point?

The only risk is when buying as it's hard to see if there's an issue, so don't go purposefully looking for a low mile one, get one with no leaks, and get one with good service history. But when you have a Boxster that drives well, that has no metal flakes in the oil filter, and has no oil leaks, then make sure you drive it and enjoy it.

Don't garage queen it, that's when things go wrong.
__________________
P O R S C H E . B O X S T E R . S
Bi-xenon Headlight Upgrade | 987 S 18" Anthracite Alloys | Android Head Unit | 5000k 55w HID's | 5000k Cree DRL's | 5000k Cree number plate lights | Cree LED Indicators | One-touch & on the move roof operation | Bypass exhaust pipes | Parking sensors | Courtesy & ambient footwell lighting
geraintthomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2017, 10:00 AM   #6
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Diego Area
Posts: 16
Thanks for the lengthy explanation. I see your point and remember watching some of the videos about problems with cars that sit too much of the time. Based on your thoughts and the guy who was selling it I think I will pass. If there is anyone out there following this thread and might be interested the ad was in the Sacramento Craigslist. It was a 99 for $12,950, red in color, and about 21,000+ miles. It was pretty flawless in appearance and drove nicely; although the clutch chattered ever so slightly.

Edit: I just looked at it again. He dropped it to $11,500. Also, if it makes any difference, he had a McClaren 12C, a new Cayman, and a RR parked next to the Boxster.

Last edited by jborchel; 09-22-2017 at 10:04 AM.
jborchel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2017, 11:45 AM   #7
Top down
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: California
Posts: 65
Garage
Send a message via Skype™ to Pastor T
I would not even consider a low mileage 986 at this point. Think about it. A 2000 is 17 years old. Lets say it has 34,000 miles. That's 2k miles a year. That's 160 miles a month. That's not enough to keep the bearings lubricated. That's if they are driving it regularly. Most like this don't. They take it out once in a while. Boxsters like to be driven. And driven hard. Not left to rot in the garage. Its tragic what people have done with these great little cars.
__________________
every day is a great day when you are driving a Boxster
Pastor T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2017, 12:40 PM   #8
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: It's a kind of magic.....
Posts: 5,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastor T View Post
I would not even consider a low mileage 986 at this point. Think about it. A 2000 is 17 years old. Lets say it has 34,000 miles. That's 2k miles a year. That's 160 miles a month. That's not enough to keep the bearings lubricated. That's if they are driving it regularly. Most like this don't. They take it out once in a while. Boxsters like to be driven. And driven hard. Not left to rot in the garage. Its tragic what people have done with these great little cars.
An example of the glaring hole in your theory is my rainforest green/savanna beige 2001S. It has less than 12K miles on it and is absolutely perfect. Every time I have it out, someone approaches me to find out if it might be for sale. Oh yeah, it is also one of the very first dual row cars retrofitted with an IMS Solution outside of Jake’s shop.

Not all low mileage cars are the same............
__________________
Anything really new is invented only in one’s youth. Later, one becomes more experienced, more famous – and more stupid.” - Albert Einstein
JFP in PA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2017, 04:48 AM   #9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Diego Area
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
An example of the glaring hole in your theory is my rainforest green/savanna beige 2001S. It has less than 12K miles on it and is absolutely perfect. Every time I have it out, someone approaches me to find out if it might be for sale. Oh yeah, it is also one of the very first dual row cars retrofitted with an IMS Solution outside of Jake’s shop.

Not all low mileage cars are the same............
Which solution outside of Jake's Shop is this? Why would you want to replace a dual row. I thought that was the best design. It's not?
jborchel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2017, 07:12 AM   #10
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: It's a kind of magic.....
Posts: 5,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by jborchel View Post
Which solution outside of Jake's Shop is this? Why would you want to replace a dual row. I thought that was the best design. It's not?
Jake developed the single and dual row IMS Soluitions before he developed the ceramic hybrid. When the single row Solution was released for sale to other shops several years ago, the dual row IMS Solution could only be obtained if the car was done in Jake’s shop. About a 2 years ago, the dual row Solution was finally released to the general public for installation in other shops; mine was one of the first ones done outside Jake’s shop.

Dual rows fail just like single rows, only in smaller numbers. But the result is exactly the same, a totaled engine.
__________________
Anything really new is invented only in one’s youth. Later, one becomes more experienced, more famous – and more stupid.” - Albert Einstein
JFP in PA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 02:44 PM   #11
Registered User
 
geraintthomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
An example of the glaring hole in your theory is my rainforest green/savanna beige 2001S. It has less than 12K miles on it and is absolutely perfect. Every time I have it out, someone approaches me to find out if it might be for sale. Oh yeah, it is also one of the very first dual row cars retrofitted with an IMS Solution outside of Jake’s shop.

Not all low mileage cars are the same............
Okay, your example is completely flawed as you've already replaced yours with an aftermarket solution. If you had the original in there with it being a 2001 Boxster, with only 12k miles on the clock, you'd more than likely have issues at this point. Not all are the same, but an old, low mileage Boxster is usually asking for trouble due to the bearing not being lubricated to the amount it needs to be, causing premature failure in comparison to daily drivers. You can't really argue with that point, and that's all we've been saying.

But that was his whole point, the car he was looking at didn't have an uprated bearing, so we're warning him of the possible dangers of buying an old, low mileage Boxster. The fact you have an older model with low miles makes absolutely no difference to the point being made as you've changed your bearing, so I'm not sure what you're talking about with his 'glaring hole' in his theory.
__________________
P O R S C H E . B O X S T E R . S
Bi-xenon Headlight Upgrade | 987 S 18" Anthracite Alloys | Android Head Unit | 5000k 55w HID's | 5000k Cree DRL's | 5000k Cree number plate lights | Cree LED Indicators | One-touch & on the move roof operation | Bypass exhaust pipes | Parking sensors | Courtesy & ambient footwell lighting

Last edited by geraintthomas; 09-28-2017 at 02:49 PM.
geraintthomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 03:37 PM   #12
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: It's a kind of magic.....
Posts: 5,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by geraintthomas View Post
Okay, your example is completely flawed as you've already replaced yours with an aftermarket solution. If you had the original in there with it being a 2001 Boxster, with only 12k miles on the clock, you'd more than likely have issues at this point. Not all are the same, but an old, low mileage Boxster is usually asking for trouble due to the bearing not being lubricated to the amount it needs to be, causing premature failure in comparison to daily drivers. You can't really argue with that point, and that's all we've been saying.

But that was his whole point, the car he was looking at didn't have an uprated bearing, so we're warning him of the possible dangers of buying an old, low mileage Boxster. The fact you have an older model with low miles makes absolutely no difference to the point being made as you've changed your bearing, so I'm not sure what you're talking about with his 'glaring hole' in his theory.
And the "flaw" with your argument is "an old, low mileage Boxster is usually asking for trouble due to the bearing not being lubricated to the amount it needs to be, causing premature failure in comparison to daily drivers." The factory bearing is sealed on both sides, and even when the seals fail, the bearings do not get regular forms of lubrication, which is why they die. Age or mileage has nothing to do with it. Over the years, we have seen engines of all levels of mileage lose their IMS bearings; 10K miles or 110K mile made absolutely NO difference. Once the grease was gone, and no real lubrication was taking place, they died.

When we compiled our data from years of exposure to the issue and did a statistical analysis, mileage show a very low correlation with IMS failure; when we added in the data from two other shops to increase the sample size, it only got worse.
__________________
Anything really new is invented only in one’s youth. Later, one becomes more experienced, more famous – and more stupid.” - Albert Einstein

Last edited by JFP in PA; 09-28-2017 at 04:15 PM.
JFP in PA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 06:14 PM   #13
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Sanford NC
Posts: 2,335
I thought JFP was objecting to the absolute nature of the statement against not buying a low mileage car.

His example is a well maintained, low mileage car with the added advantage of the best bearing known (I'll be disputed by someone, I know). So you'd be smart to buy it even knowing that there are parts that can age-fail as well as wear-fail. Plastic and rubber parts, for example, seals, weatherstripping, windshield mounting rubber, etc.

Every used car is a crap shoot. Choose your mechanic before you choose the car. Get a PPI. Know the motivation of the seller. Keep some money in reserve for the possibilities. They are wonderful cars.
mikefocke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 12:36 AM   #14
Registered User
 
geraintthomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
And the "flaw" with your argument is "an old, low mileage Boxster is usually asking for trouble due to the bearing not being lubricated to the amount it needs to be, causing premature failure in comparison to daily drivers." The factory bearing is sealed on both sides, and even when the seals fail, the bearings do not get regular forms of lubrication, which is why they die. Age or mileage has nothing to do with it. Over the years, we have seen engines of all levels of mileage lose their IMS bearings; 10K miles or 110K mile made absolutely NO difference. Once the grease was gone, and no real lubrication was taking place, they died.

When we compiled our data from years of exposure to the issue and did a statistical analysis, mileage show a very low correlation with IMS failure; when we added in the data from two other shops to increase the sample size, it only got worse.
How can it have nothing to do with mileage?

Yes there have been some that have failed even in higher mileage and daily cars, but seals will fail due to little use resulting in them drying up, which leads to a brittle seal, which cracks and fails. This is far more likely to be found on low milers than ones which are driven daily.

So let's just get this clear a second for everyone:

Are you saying that if one person bought a 14 year old Boxster with 12,000 on the clock, and another person bought a 14 year old model with 120,000 on the clock, the chances of problems with the bearing are going to be the same between both? That blows my mind if you think that.
__________________
P O R S C H E . B O X S T E R . S
Bi-xenon Headlight Upgrade | 987 S 18" Anthracite Alloys | Android Head Unit | 5000k 55w HID's | 5000k Cree DRL's | 5000k Cree number plate lights | Cree LED Indicators | One-touch & on the move roof operation | Bypass exhaust pipes | Parking sensors | Courtesy & ambient footwell lighting
geraintthomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 06:12 AM   #15
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: It's a kind of magic.....
Posts: 5,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by geraintthomas View Post
How can it have nothing to do with mileage?

Yes there have been some that have failed even in higher mileage and daily cars, but seals will fail due to little use resulting in them drying up, which leads to a brittle seal, which cracks and fails. This is far more likely to be found on low milers than ones which are driven daily.

So let's just get this clear a second for everyone:

Are you saying that if one person bought a 14 year old Boxster with 12,000 on the clock, and another person bought a 14 year old model with 120,000 on the clock, the chances of problems with the bearing are going to be the same between both? That blows my mind if you think that.
It is not "what I think", it is what the data says.

And we have seen absolutely no evidence to support your conjecture that "seals will fail due to little use resulting in them drying up, which leads to a brittle seal, which cracks and fails. This is far more likely to be found on low milers than ones which are driven daily". We have pulled IMS bearings out of cars with as little as 6K miles on them on 10+ year old cars, and the seals looked brand new, and were soft and pliable. We have also pulled IMS bearings out of daily drivers with over 100+ miles, whose seals were dried out and cracked.
__________________
Anything really new is invented only in one’s youth. Later, one becomes more experienced, more famous – and more stupid.” - Albert Einstein

Last edited by JFP in PA; 09-29-2017 at 06:17 AM.
JFP in PA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 11:08 AM   #16
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Diego Area
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
It is not "what I think", it is what the data says.

And we have seen absolutely no evidence to support your conjecture that "seals will fail due to little use resulting in them drying up, which leads to a brittle seal, which cracks and fails. This is far more likely to be found on low milers than ones which are driven daily". We have pulled IMS bearings out of cars with as little as 6K miles on them on 10+ year old cars, and the seals looked brand new, and were soft and pliable. We have also pulled IMS bearings out of daily drivers with over 100+ miles, whose seals were dried out and cracked.
I've found another Boxster to look at. It has 100,000 miles and is very clean. Can you point me to the new fix that is available? Does this new fix have certain engineered characteristics that substantially lower the possibility of future failure if the car is maintained regularly? Is the fix low enough in cost to do it even if there are no signs of pending failure?
jborchel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 11:13 AM   #17
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: It's a kind of magic.....
Posts: 5,146
My preferred retrofit is the LN Engineering IMS Solution, available in both single and dual row configurations. It is an oil fed solid bearing replacement for the ball bearing factory unit, and is the only permanent (never has to be replaced) retrofit on the market. There has never been a failure with the solid bearings as there are no moving parts, and it gets a constant feed of freshly filtered oil. Check LN's website for details.
__________________
Anything really new is invented only in one’s youth. Later, one becomes more experienced, more famous – and more stupid.” - Albert Einstein
JFP in PA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 01:18 PM   #18
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Diego Area
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
My preferred retrofit is the LN Engineering IMS Solution, available in both single and dual row configurations. It is an oil fed solid bearing replacement for the ball bearing factory unit, and is the only permanent (never has to be replaced) retrofit on the market. There has never been a failure with the solid bearings as there are no moving parts, and it gets a constant feed of freshly filtered oil. Check LN's website for details.
Thanks. Do you basically replace a single or dual row with a like for like? About how much is the part and the labor to do it?
jborchel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 01:37 PM   #19
"50 Years of 550 Spyder"
 
10/10ths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: The Road
Posts: 785
My experience so far...

....I bought a 2004 Boxster S "50 Years of 550 Spyder Edition" in 2015.

She had only 25,000 miles on her.

I shipped her on a flat bed to Flat 6 Innovations and had Jake Raby install the "IMS Solution" plain bearing that Jeff talked about above.

The car now has 45,000 miles on her.

I've driven her 20,000 miles on the "IMS Solution" in two years.

My original IMS was absolutely fine.

I am still absolutely thrilled with my decision.

Just factor in the cost for an IMS Solution retrofit into the purchase price of the 986, no matter what the vintage or mileage and start enjoying these wonderful machines.









__________________
550 SE #310---"It's more fun to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow."
10/10ths is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 02:08 PM   #20
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: It's a kind of magic.....
Posts: 5,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by jborchel View Post
Thanks. Do you basically replace a single or dual row with a like for like? About how much is the part and the labor to do it?
You change "like for like", staying with whatever style bearing was in the car.

Parts prices you can get from LN's website, labor costs are very similar to doing the more standard hybrid ceramic retrofit, with the exception of an additional hour or so of labor time to install the oil line running from the spin on filter adaptor to the IMS flange; otherwise the process is exactly the same.
__________________
Anything really new is invented only in one’s youth. Later, one becomes more experienced, more famous – and more stupid.” - Albert Einstein
JFP in PA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page