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Old 01-29-2018, 01:25 PM   #1
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Seal removal on Dual Row IMSB

After much time I have finally decided not to replace my IMS bearing even though I am replacing clutch/flywheel and RMS.
Mine has the dual row bearing with very low failure rates and I don't want to replace what I think might be a perfectly good bearing. I just don't like the idea of messing about with something and potentially creating more problems.
I will however remove the flange and have a look at it (and replace the bearing if it appears to be about to fail) and I would like to remove the outer seal to allow better oil flow. Flange seal to be replaced too.
Baz from Hartech posted a good essay on his thoughts and I agree with what he says but he goes into some detail about removing the seal here and I am not totally sure what this means...

Removing the outer seal of an existing bearing is a good option (if the existing bearing seems OK) and the only danger then is to make sure the spindle is not strained when aligning the out spider carrier back into the location hole. This spindle has a weak spot where an "O" ring is fitted and is it unfortunate that at precisely the point that the spider fits on to the spindle the outer diameter of the spider fits into its location hole and both need the IMS to be pulled sideways to pull against the chain tension (even with the tensioners relaxed) to locate both in their respective holes.

Has anyone done this?

This is the whole thread on Pistonheads. https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=1564383

Last edited by Troutman; 01-29-2018 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:12 PM   #2
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After much time I have finally decided not to replace my IMS bearing even though I am replacing clutch/flywheel and RMS.
Mine has the dual row bearing with very low failure rates and I don't want to replace what I think might be a perfectly good bearing. I just don't like the idea of messing about with something and potentially creating more problems.
I will however remove the flange and have a look at it (and replace the bearing if it appears to be about to fail) and I would like to remove the outer seal to allow better oil flow. Flange seal to be replaced too.
Baz from Hartech posted a good essay on his thoughts and I agree with what he says but he goes into some detail about removing the seal here and I am not totally sure what this means...

Removing the outer seal of an existing bearing is a good option (if the existing bearing seems OK) and the only danger then is to make sure the spindle is not strained when aligning the out spider carrier back into the location hole. This spindle has a weak spot where an "O" ring is fitted and is it unfortunate that at precisely the point that the spider fits on to the spindle the outer diameter of the spider fits into its location hole and both need the IMS to be pulled sideways to pull against the chain tension (even with the tensioners relaxed) to locate both in their respective holes.

Has anyone done this?

This is the whole thread on Pistonheads. https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=1564383
Many times.

He is refering the the center bolt which he calls the "spindle", and he calls the flange cover a "spider carrier". The factory center bolt has a rather severe undercut which is where the bolt oring sits. It is also the most likely point where the factory center bolt fails, so he is telling you to be careful with it. The LN bearings come with a completely different center bolt specifically to address this weakness.
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:20 PM   #3
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If you have a flange bolt that is of suspect design for my money you replace the bearing, put in the latest technology in flange bolts and as long as you have gone that far incorporate direct oil feed. I just replaced my double row IMS on my 2000 S. The bearing I took out was, as it turns out, in good shape. Nevertheless, I put in a new double row bearing, new flange bolt and direct oil feed. It seems you either go that direction or just leave the whole thing alone and hope for the best.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:34 PM   #4
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So pulling the flange off to replace the seal is not as easy as it sounds?
I would leave the whole thing alone but because my RMS has sprayed oil everywhere I don't know if the IMS flange is leaking too...I suspect it is, but not nearly as much as the RMS.

For me the whole IMS thing is blown way out of proportion, there are lots more ways an engine can fail other than that bearing..a broken cam chain would do the same..but for me I have snapped off 8 of the 12 header bolts removing the exhaust system to change the RMS.
I had to take the headers off because the 3 bolts at the next join were non existent and no way of drilling out what was left of them. I nearly scrapped the car because of these and they are not something mentioned regularly.
In the UK, my car a 99 2.7 70k miles full PSH 1 owner, perfect condition is worth about £5k. A dealer offered me £3k p/ex because of the oil leak from the RMS.
Here she is..£5k!
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:37 AM   #5
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In order to pull the flange and get at the seal, the engine has to be prepped as though you were going to pull and replace the IMS bearing( locked at TDC, cams locked, tensioners pulled, etc.).
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:43 AM   #6
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I went ahead and ordered a complete tool kit from a company that make them in Sheffield for £100. Stainless steel too.

https://www.i6automotive.co.uk/workshop-tools/porsche-ims-bearing-removal-puller-tool.html

I figure I can sell it afterwards and get most of the money back.
Cover will be off soon so I can have a look at the bearing and make a decision. If it's firm and solid I'll pul the outer seal off, if it's wobbly at all I'll replace it, LN or EPS , I haven't decided yet.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:02 AM   #7
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I'm no expert in this matter, but a visual, although better than nothing, will only tell you so much. And I think you'll be only able to tell only if there is extreme wobble/wear. Inspecting the oil filter for magnetic metallic flakes is probably going to tell you more too...

I have a factory reman 2006 3.2 with the big bearing and can not replace it easily, so I pulled the outer seal for better lubrication. Then again, I drive that car hard, and I don't worry too much about it.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:35 AM   #8
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My IMS removal kit arrived today, it looks good but I don't think the cam lock is going in the slot in the cam properly. Does anyone know the actual width of the slot in the cam and whether it's a square slot or tapered.? Mine is a 5 chain engine so only 1 slot.
Same for the bank on the right... the steel plate they are made from is 6mm thick.
Do I need to lock both side?
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:16 AM   #9
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So I removed the flywheel and there was some oil spread about the rear of the engine, some had gone out the gaps in the bell housing and covered the right rear of the engine.




Not really obvious if the IMSB flange seal was leaking but I reckon it might have been weeping. The RMS oil must fling out when the engine is running and spread everywhere.

Cleaned it all up.

So I locked up the cams after modifying the tools I got. Pulled the tensioners and pulled the flange.
As I thought the bearing looks perfect with no movement on it whatsoever...It looks like it was just fitted. Dual row.





So now I'm thinking leave it in, get a new type flange from Porsche and fit new clutch/flywheel, RMS ..job done....right?
Well I just don't know what the races/balls are like.probably like new no doubt.
Need to make a decision.
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:09 PM   #10
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So now I'm thinking leave it in, get a new type flange from Porsche and fit new clutch/flywheel, RMS ..job done....right?
Well I just don't know what the races/balls are like.probably like new no doubt.
Need to make a decision.
Troutman, must be easy to spend some body else's money, but if I were on your position I would definitely buy a new dual row bearing from LN Engineering, because if your IMS bearing fails you will have to do it all over again (IF the engine is salvageable..)

Good luck with your project!
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:51 PM   #11
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So I removed the flywheel and there was some oil spread about the rear of the engine, some had gone out the gaps in the bell housing and covered the right rear of the engine.




Not really obvious if the IMSB flange seal was leaking but I reckon it might have been weeping. The RMS oil must fling out when the engine is running and spread everywhere.

Cleaned it all up.

So I locked up the cams after modifying the tools I got. Pulled the tensioners and pulled the flange.
As I thought the bearing looks perfect with no movement on it whatsoever...It looks like it was just fitted. Dual row.





So now I'm thinking leave it in, get a new type flange from Porsche and fit new clutch/flywheel, RMS ..job done....right?
Well I just don't know what the races/balls are like.probably like new no doubt.
Need to make a decision.
You spent all the time and effort to get at it because you were concerened, so it makes no sense to just leave it there as you are now about 10 min. from pulling it and replacing it with something that you can forget about for a long, long time. Choice is yours............
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:21 PM   #12
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You spent all the time and effort to get at it because you were concerened, so it makes no sense to just leave it there as you are now about 10 min. from pulling it and replacing it with something that you can forget about for a long, long time. Choice is yours............
Not exactly..I did all this to replace the RMS and stop oil being thrown everywhere. In the UK oil leaks are recorded on your MOT (online for everyone to see) as well as any other concerns the tester has with your car.
It's hard to sell a Porsche with an oil leak , registered on the internet.
The IMSB was always going to be an inspection first approach.

I know what you mean though...it's the £700 that gets me, when a new Sachs clutch and LUK DMF is £490...if it was say £200, no problem.I definitely am not replacing this dual row with a new single row, just doesn't make sense at all.
I might go down the EPS route.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:02 PM   #13
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I might go down the EPS route.
You would be better off to leave your factory bearing in place.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:31 PM   #14
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When I pulled the seal off my dual-row bearing I found no grease at all -
Only the oil that had found its way past the seal.

The question that no one can answer is how long will the bearing last if you leave it as is?

I decided to pull the bearing and replace it with the Pelican Parts kit. Yes, it's a single row bearing, but that wasn't a concern because I'll be replacing mine regularly. It's a maintenance item.

The other thing the Pelican kit gives you is the upgraded 'bolt'. The factory one has that cutout for the o-ring. When you see it in person you can see why this design is prone to failure.

Lots of ways to blow up your M96. I found a used 2.5 for $1000 and I keep it tucked away just in case. I sleep really well at night now.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:56 PM   #15
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I'll be replacing mine regularly. It's a maintenance item.
I don't think you're going to replace that bearing regularly are you? It's not a set of brake pads.

For instance my 2.7 has circa 80k on it and it's 19 years old..still on the original bearing and clutch/flywheel, I know this because I have a FPSH from the PO. RMS was changed in 2000 under warranty.
Changing the bearing is not something to be taken lightly, it's a big expensive job and it can cause other problems bashing a new bearing into that precision part called an IMS.

On a car that's worth £5k I'm struggling to justify replacing what appears (and I know what that means) to be a perfectly good bearing with another product for £700 and the risk entailed with removing the old one and fitting the new one. Remember..these engines were not designed to have that bearing replaced.ever!
These bearings didn't fail very often (mine is 1%) and something else caused them to fail, lack of grease and no oil or misalignment, could be an unbalanced IMS, who knows!
No matter what I do, I can't win (unless I keep the car for another 10 years and it doesn't fail and I save £700.. big deal!)

Thanks for the help anyway.Much appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:53 AM   #16
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If you're looking for a budget-friendly solution you could pull that bearing (since you already bought the tool) and replace it with a good quality 3204 2RS C3 (SKF or FAG, $70). You will need to source a 47mm ring clip and 3.13mm center bolt spacer to account for the new bearing being narrower without a retaining wire groove. In my opinion you can reuse the center bolt if you don't use it to pull the old bearing out (obviously it was not designed for that). You can buy an updated triple seal flange or reuse your old flange and fit a viton x-type seal for a little leak insurance.

I did all this on my car 5k miles ago and it hasn't blown up or leaked yet (Yay! One data point...). My factory dual row bearing was tight after 18 years and 65k miles, so I plan to replace it every clutch service. My opinion is that if you have a dual row, you have a maintenance item (sealed ball bearings are service items in any application). If you have a single row car, you have a design deficiency and need to upgrade your bearing to an after market dual row or plain bearing. PM me it you want to take this route and I can give you specific links to what I bought.
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:39 PM   #17
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Well thanks for the tip but I caved in and went ahead and bought an LN dual row as well as clutch, DMF, RMS etc etc...
Ironically if I was keeping the car, and I might after all this expense, i would have left it, it was more if I was going to trade it in for a 997, much easier to sell a car that's had the IMS/RMS done together.
The tools I bought were junk, they are going back, the puller has an ID of 47 mm, the same as the OD of the bearing..impossible.
I'll do another post when I get the bearing changed.
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Old 02-01-2018, 04:20 PM   #18
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Well thanks for the tip but I caved in and went ahead and bought an LN dual row as well as clutch, DMF, RMS etc etc...
Good move............
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:52 PM   #19
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I don't think you're going to replace that bearing regularly are you? It's not a set of brake pads.

For instance my 2.7 has circa 80k on it and it's 19 years old..still on the original bearing and clutch/flywheel, I know this because I have a FPSH from the PO. RMS was changed in 2000 under warranty.
Changing the bearing is not something to be taken lightly, it's a big expensive job and it can cause other problems bashing a new bearing into that precision part called an IMS.

On a car that's worth £5k I'm struggling to justify replacing what appears (and I know what that means) to be a perfectly good bearing with another product for £700 and the risk entailed with removing the old one and fitting the new one. Remember..these engines were not designed to have that bearing replaced.ever!
These bearings didn't fail very often (mine is 1%) and something else caused them to fail, lack of grease and no oil or misalignment, could be an unbalanced IMS, who knows!
No matter what I do, I can't win (unless I keep the car for another 10 years and it doesn't fail and I save £700.. big deal!)

Thanks for the help anyway.Much appreciated.
Replacing the bearing with just another bearing doesn't fix the underlying issue of the grease in the bearing being washed away by the engine oil.

Yes, I will be replacing,mine on a regular basis. Plan is to replace it next summer. I do my own work and won't be bashing in the new bearing. (I've seen some of those videos on YouTube).

Yes, these engines weren't designed to have the bearing replaced, but that doesn't mean that it can't be done safely.

If you don't want to replace the bearing regularly, then I believe you need to invest in a solution whereby the bearing is fed by oil (DOF, EPS, or LN Solution).
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Old 02-03-2018, 04:33 AM   #20
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Well thanks for the tip but I caved in and went ahead and bought an LN dual row as well as clutch, DMF, RMS etc etc...
Ironically if I was keeping the car, and I might after all this expense, i would have left it, it was more if I was going to trade it in for a 997, much easier to sell a car that's had the IMS/RMS done together.
The tools I bought were junk, they are going back, the puller has an ID of 47 mm, the same as the OD of the bearing..impossible.
I'll do another post when I get the bearing changed.
Please post when you replace the original dual row bearing, curious to see its condition.
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