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Old 05-28-2019, 02:47 AM   #1
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Unknown material in oil filter?

Recently aquired a 2001 Boxster 2.7 Tiptronic with 146,000kms on the clock.

The car has only done 5,000kms in the last 3yrs, and I don't think it's had an oil or filter change in that time.

When I dropped the oil and pulled the filter, I found a lot of what looked at first like metal in the filter and assumed the worst that the IMS bearing had failed. But after cutting the filter open and washing it and collecting all of the material in the filter, I found that it was not metal (ferrous or alloy). After running a powerful magnet over the material all I got was a few very tiny slivers of ferrous metal, and found no alloy at all. But the remaining material is a mystery, apart from a few pieces of what is obvioulsy cam guide pad material (light and dark brown), the rest of it's a dark green color and it's the consistency of hard rubber?

I pulled the transmission to check the IMS Bearing and the back of it was in perfect condition, so I decided that having come this far I might just as well pull it out and put in a new one. After pulling it out I found it in as new condition, no deterioration in the plastic and the bearing was as smoooth as?

So has anyone ever seen this type of material in a filter before, I have no idea where this dark green material could have come from. The only thing that has been replaced in the engine was the RMS at 120,000kms.

When I pulled the bottom right cam tensioner and cleaned and primed it, I noticed that it was allowing oil to steadly seep out of the plunger shaft, so guessing it's had it.

Picture shows cam pad material on the left and the mystery green material on the right.

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Old 05-28-2019, 03:15 AM   #2
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Water pump impeller material? Even though the color also seems wrong for that.

AFIK the chain tensioner pads and the impeller is the only plastic in the engine that can be ground to pieces and enter the oil.
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:49 AM   #3
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Is it spongy, like you could dent it with your fingernail? It might be chopped up sealant from an overzealous dealing job from a previous repair? Edit: Just saw consistency of hard rubber, so maybe?

Did you drop the oil pan cover and see, if it is this you may see some of this clogging the oil pickup screen.

Edit 2: Some possible causes here, (different than what i thought above)
My first REAL SCARE with the Boxster! need some advice..

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Old 05-28-2019, 04:54 AM   #4
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Cam chain adjuster. Pad (brown) and internal seal (green). Look at this:

P1325 & green rubber plastic bits in the oil - Is the end near?

Note TRK's post in that thread, not mine.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, I did drop the sump and it was pretty clean with only a few pieces of the green material in it and on the oil pickup screen. My money is on the cam tensioners as the culprits.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:24 AM   #6
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Water pump impeller material? Even though the color also seems wrong for that.

AFIK the chain tensioner pads and the impeller is the only plastic in the engine that can be ground to pieces and enter the oil.
How is the water-pump impeller going to end up in the oil filter?
I mean, if it did, then you've got MUCH bigger problems.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:36 AM   #7
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Cam chain adjuster. Pad (brown) and internal seal (green). Look at this:

P1325 & green rubber plastic bits in the oil - Is the end near?

Note TRK's post in that thread, not mine.
Yse, the green seal on the adjuster are well shown in the thread you provided.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:48 AM   #8
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How is the water-pump impeller going to end up in the oil filter?
I mean, if it did, then you've got MUCH bigger problems.
Ha ha, of course. Slip of the mind!
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:27 PM   #9
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Wow, that's a LOT of green material!

If you found that much from just one oil change, there must not be much left of that part.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:36 PM   #10
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Wow, that's a LOT of green material!

If you found that much from just one oil change, there must not be much left of that part.
Yes it was owned by an 82yr old guy and I don't think he drove it much in the last 3yrs he owned it (only 5,000km), and I reckon that it sat for long periods and that would have allowed seals and o'rings to dry and perhaps deteriorate and crumble?

Anyway I've decided to err on the side of caution and replace the variocam tensioners and timing chain tensioners just to be safe, along with the IMS bearing of course.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:17 PM   #11
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Anyway I've decided to err on the side of caution and replace the variocam tensioners and timing chain tensioners just to be safe, along with the IMS bearing of course.

Fun job.. I did mine over the winter. Pulled the motor to do it. Biggest PITA is laying the bead of sealant in the valve covers properly.

When you mention timing chain tensioners, are you talking about the four tensioning paddles or the three screw in tensioners?
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:41 PM   #12
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I will be replacing the ‘variocam tensioners’, the 3 screw in tensioners and the paddles that I can reach without splitting the cases. When I say I’m doing it that’s not entirely true, though I’ve removed the transmission and have the engine ready to drop out, I have a Porsche Mechanic doing the work on the engine.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:43 PM   #13
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No more rattle on start up!!

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I will be replacing the ‘variocam tensioners’, the 3 screw in tensioners and the paddles that I can reach without splitting the cases. When I say I’m doing it that’s not entirely true, though I’ve removed the transmission and have the engine ready to drop out, I have a Porsche Mechanic doing the work on the engine.
Finished replacing all the Cam and Timing Chain Tensioners, the ‘Variocam’ Tensioners were very worn and the lower pad (closest to the engine) was by far the worst. I dissected the Variocam Tensioner and found that the Phenolic Seals in the tensioners had worn the bore of the tensioner and was allowing oil to bleed past so that the tensioner couldn’t operate correctly. I checked the rest of the engine and everything looked good, some slight scoring on just one of the cam journals but none in any of the rest.
After doing the work and putting the car back together, it ran like new with ‘NO’ dreaded chain rattle at start up, and the performance was so much better than before the tensioners were replaced, found that one of the O2 sensors heating circuit was dead so have just ordered 2 new sensors, but even with the sensor the car goes and sounds so much better, and now it’s not embarrassing to start when people are around, before I had people ask me if it was a diesel!
Porsche should include all of the tensioners in the maintenance schedule, I’ve heard so many people on here complaining about the dreaded ‘Chain Rattle’, and have heard others say that it’s just normal, well it’s not! Since finishing the tensioners my car starts without any hint of a rattle at all!

Last edited by Liamray; 07-30-2019 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Add title
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:52 AM   #14
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Finished replacing all the Cam and Timing Chain Tensioners, the ‘Variocam’ Tensioners were very worn and the lower pad (closest to the engine) was by far the worst. I dissected the Variocam Tensioner and found that the Phenolic Seals in the tensioners had worn the bore of the tensioner and was allowing oil to bleed past so that the tensioner couldn’t operate correctly. I checked the rest of the engine and everything looked good, some slight scoring on just one of the cam journals but none in any of the rest.
After doing the work and putting the car back together, it ran like new with ‘NO’ dreaded chain rattle at start up, and the performance was so much better than before the tensioners were replaced, found that one of the O2 sensors heating circuit was dead so have just ordered 2 new sensors, but even with the sensor the car goes and sounds so much better, and now it’s not embarrassing to start when people are around, before I had people ask me if it was a diesel!
Porsche should include all of the tensioners in the maintenance schedule, I’ve heard so many people on here complaining about the dreaded ‘Chain Rattle’, and have heard others say that it’s just normal, well it’s not! Since finishing the tensioners my car starts without any hint of a rattle at all!
I get that chain rattle the first start of the day. Once the car is warmed up and driven ... I can park it for a few hours... return to start it... and very little to zero rattle. It's that 4-5+ hours of sitting there and the next "cold" start the rattle re-emerges.

If that repair a DIY or shop job?

Glad to hear your rattle is gone.

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:59 PM   #15
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I get that chain rattle the first start of the day. Once the car is warmed up and driven ... I can park it for a few hours... return to start it... and very little to zero rattle. It's that 4-5+ hours of sitting there and the next "cold" start the rattle re-emerges.

If that repair a DIY or shop job?

Glad to hear your rattle is gone.

Thanks!
Mine was the same, first start in the morning it would get the rattle and if I left it for a few hours same thing, as I said everyone seem to say that it was normal, but after replacing the tensioners I now get ‘NO’ rattle at anytime I start it.

If your handy on the tools and don’t mind buying the ‘specialist tools’ i.e. cam locks and timing tools, then you can do it yourself. If I was you I’d try just replacing the 3 Cam Chain tensioners which are pretty easy to do, and see if that makes a difference. If it still rattles I’d then look at either replacing just the ‘variocam’ Tensioner Pads, or replacing the entire ‘variocam’ tensioner (as I explained I cut my variocam tensioners in half so I could look at the bore of the tensioners and found them to be quite worn where the phenolic seal is in the bore which let oil bypass the seal and that was preventing the tensioners from doing their job properly). The mechanic that did my work asked me if my car idled rough at any time, which it did intermittently, and he said that could be an indication that variocam tensioners could need replacing. Actually after the work was completed on my car and we took it for a run, the mechanic turned my variocam tensioners off one at a time and the way the car idled was exactly the way it would idle sometimes before the tensioners were replaced.
If you decide to replace your variocam tensioners I heard some people say that it can be done without dropping the engine, but after doing this job I personally think it would be a pain in the ass to do with the engine in the car. This is the first Porsche I’ve owned and I’m surprised how easy it was to pull the engine and transmission out of the car.

Anyway best of luck with your car, hope this helps.
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Old 08-01-2019, 04:12 AM   #16
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Mine was the same, first start in the morning it would get the rattle and if I left it for a few hours same thing, as I said everyone seem to say that it was normal, but after replacing the tensioners I now get ‘NO’ rattle at anytime I start it.

If your handy on the tools and don’t mind buying the ‘specialist tools’ i.e. cam locks and timing tools, then you can do it yourself. If I was you I’d try just replacing the 3 Cam Chain tensioners which are pretty easy to do, and see if that makes a difference. If it still rattles I’d then look at either replacing just the ‘variocam’ Tensioner Pads, or replacing the entire ‘variocam’ tensioner (as I explained I cut my variocam tensioners in half so I could look at the bore of the tensioners and found them to be quite worn where the phenolic seal is in the bore which let oil bypass the seal and that was preventing the tensioners from doing their job properly). The mechanic that did my work asked me if my car idled rough at any time, which it did intermittently, and he said that could be an indication that variocam tensioners could need replacing. Actually after the work was completed on my car and we took it for a run, the mechanic turned my variocam tensioners off one at a time and the way the car idled was exactly the way it would idle sometimes before the tensioners were replaced.
If you decide to replace your variocam tensioners I heard some people say that it can be done without dropping the engine, but after doing this job I personally think it would be a pain in the ass to do with the engine in the car. This is the first Porsche I’ve owned and I’m surprised how easy it was to pull the engine and transmission out of the car.

Anyway best of luck with your car, hope this helps.
Thanks, Liam!

I got to "... cam locks and timing tools..." and knew the repair was going to be out of my league. If I had a garage... I might jump into it. However, a carport with a car on either side has it's limitations. That... and a carport cubby that's 5x3x8 (I miss my former 3-car garage).

I don't get the errant idle... just a purr.

Final question: At what point do you say: Time to replace those tensioners?

Thnak you for the great explanation.

Cheers!
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Old 08-01-2019, 04:25 PM   #17
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Thanks, Liam!

I got to "... cam locks and timing tools..." and knew the repair was going to be out of my league. If I had a garage... I might jump into it. However, a carport with a car on either side has it's limitations. That... and a carport cubby that's 5x3x8 (I miss my former 3-car garage).

I don't get the errant idle... just a purr.

Final question: At what point do you say: Time to replace those tensioners?

Thnak you for the great explanation.

Cheers!
At your next oil change (if you do them yourself) I’d pull the 3 Cam Chain tensioners out and check them, it’s pretty easy to tell if they need replacing when you get them out. Firstly pump the tensioner to get the old oil out, then put the tensioner in a small container with fresh oil in it, make sure that the oil covers 2/3 of the tensioner and pump the plunger on the tensioner till it goes hard and you can’t depress it, then pull the tensioner out of the oil and put pressure on the tensioner, it should stay firm and not depress, if it slowly depresses then the tensioner should be replaced. They aren’t expensive and now that I’ve experienced the results of replacing them I’d replace them as part of scheduled maintenance, or whenever I heard the rattle on a regular basis.

There are a few good vids and instructions online regarding replacing the tensioners, just make sure that you get the correct tensioners, once they’re out you can compare the ones that have to the ones that you’re buying.

The ‘variocam’ tensioners and pads are a different story, and if you don’t have a workshop or garage then I’d get a quote from a Porsche mechanic to replace these. But if you’re not getting a rough idle at anytime them they’re probably fine (my car would idle rough after driving for half an hour or so and then pulling up, when I’d stop I’d notice that my car was shuddering slightly and I’d notice that the idle was rough, but this was an intermittent thing).

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:15 PM   #18
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At your next oil change (if you do them yourself) I’d pull the 3 Cam Chain tensioners out and check them, it’s pretty easy to tell if they need replacing when you get them out. Firstly pump the tensioner to get the old oil out, then put the tensioner in a small container with fresh oil in it, make sure that the oil covers 2/3 of the tensioner and pump the plunger on the tensioner till it goes hard and you can’t depress it, then pull the tensioner out of the oil and put pressure on the tensioner, it should stay firm and not depress, if it slowly depresses then the tensioner should be replaced. They aren’t expensive and now that I’ve experienced the results of replacing them I’d replace them as part of scheduled maintenance, or whenever I heard the rattle on a regular basis.

There are a few good vids and instructions online regarding replacing the tensioners, just make sure that you get the correct tensioners, once they’re out you can compare the ones that have to the ones that you’re buying.

The ‘variocam’ tensioners and pads are a different story, and if you don’t have a workshop or garage then I’d get a quote from a Porsche mechanic to replace these. But if you’re not getting a rough idle at anytime them they’re probably fine (my car would idle rough after driving for half an hour or so and then pulling up, when I’d stop I’d notice that my car was shuddering slightly and I’d notice that the idle was rough, but this was an intermittent thing).

Hope this helps.
What kit did you use for the cam/crank locks?
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:48 AM   #19
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At your next oil change (if you do them yourself) I’d pull the 3 Cam Chain tensioners out and check them, it’s pretty easy to tell if they need replacing when you get them out. Firstly pump the tensioner to get the old oil out, then put the tensioner in a small container with fresh oil in it, make sure that the oil covers 2/3 of the tensioner and pump the plunger on the tensioner till it goes hard and you can’t depress it, then pull the tensioner out of the oil and put pressure on the tensioner, it should stay firm and not depress, if it slowly depresses then the tensioner should be replaced. They aren’t expensive and now that I’ve experienced the results of replacing them I’d replace them as part of scheduled maintenance, or whenever I heard the rattle on a regular basis.

There are a few good vids and instructions online regarding replacing the tensioners, just make sure that you get the correct tensioners, once they’re out you can compare the ones that have to the ones that you’re buying.

The ‘variocam’ tensioners and pads are a different story, and if you don’t have a workshop or garage then I’d get a quote from a Porsche mechanic to replace these. But if you’re not getting a rough idle at anytime them they’re probably fine (my car would idle rough after driving for half an hour or so and then pulling up, when I’d stop I’d notice that my car was shuddering slightly and I’d notice that the idle was rough, but this was an intermittent thing).

Hope this helps.
I do my own oil changes... and will look into the procedure you described. Thanks!!!!!
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:05 PM   #20
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What kit did you use for the cam/crank locks?
I actually made my own cam locks, but the mechanic brought the cam timing gear with him, and after watching him do the cam timing I realised how easy it is to do.

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