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Old 12-17-2010, 07:44 AM   #1
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Question about reman engines and IMS

I am looking at a 02 s with a reman engine 2 years ago. He says it has the updated IMS. Does this mean I won't have to worry about it going bad, or is there still an issue with Porsche's IMS from 2 years ago?

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Old 12-17-2010, 08:01 AM   #2
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As long as you have an M96 motor with a IMS you should keep the bearing in the back of your mind. But it has not been sitting in used oil for 4-8 years now. As long as you keep your oil changed at least once a year you should be good. For total confidence in the bearing it can be replaced each time the clutch is done.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:16 AM   #3
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I’d be more concerned about who’s updated IMS it is; if it is Porsche’s, it would be a “deduct” from the price. If it has the LN Engineering unit, it would be a plus. Porsche never found a true “fix” for the issue, and eventually engineered the shaft out of the engine entirely. You also need to be aware that around 2005, Porsche went to an over sized version of the IMS bearing, which still failed, but cannot be updated without total disassembly of the engine; so if the engine in question has that unit in it, it is still at risk of failure, but cannot be upgraded to the LN unit, and the “update” would be a major negative…………..
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:14 AM   #4
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It is a factory re manufactured engine
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:26 AM   #5
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Then it probably falls into the last category with the oversized IMS bearing that cannot easily be updated with the LN unit.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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Good luck convincing the seller that the IMS bearing question warrants any sort of price deduction. Basically, the ignorant don't care until there's a problem...
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:41 AM   #7
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All the seller knows is “It has a new factory engine” and will act accordingly. If he/she is not interested in talking, then it is time to walk away and let someone else pay too much for it……………. The problem with most car sales, new or used, is that too much is based upon emotion, not cold, hard facts……….

Another poster asked about a really clean 99 car he found that the buyer was asking $19,000 for; only problem is that any 99, even a pristine example optioned to the limits is only worth $10-12K, max. Unfortunately, the facts could not dissuade the seller from an emotion-based price they will never get……..
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Last edited by JFP in PA; 12-17-2010 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:20 PM   #8
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And by the way

a later motor can be updated with the LN bearing...it is just that you have to split the case and take the shaft out and send it to LN to get them to redo the shaft for it all to work.

There is no way to tell what that engine the car has in it is...the '02 version which can be updated with the LN bearing assembly next time the clutch is replaced without removing the engine.... or some new block with the later IMS assembly... until you have the clutch out and can look at it. Some original engine cars from the same model year have as many as 3 different IMS designs in them.

JFP's original point is certainly valid. If it is a Porsche remanufactured engine, it has an inner seal and a Porsche sourced IMS and some small percentage of both go bad over time which is very expensive.

So in this case, because of the uncertainty and the potential for about double the expense to install a better IMS bearing design, the factory replacement engine is not a plus to a knowledgeable buyer even though the seller thinks it is.

And any engine from any manufacturer will have weaknesses...it is just we know a lot and talk a lot about ours. And we have third party parts to replace ours.

Last edited by mikefocke; 12-18-2010 at 08:07 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input.
I was hoping it would be better to have the remaned engine, but it sounds like it is worse.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:21 PM   #10
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Engine overhauls depend on what's done.

option 1- you pull the engine and decide to go thru it and replace only the worn parts...rings, timing chain guides, seals, main and rod bearings, engine colded dipped to remove all sludge, all gaskets, etc. Magna-flux heads, refinish the valve seats and valves, cam bearings, etc. This can be done for around $2000, engine only. The removal and re-installation will cost more. I would say maybe you will get another 30-40K miles on it.

option 2- do everything above and replace the crank, rods, pistons, chains, etc. Add new heads, since I would not trust old rebuilt heads that have several years of driving on them. Remember, they are made from an aluminum alloy and heat will cause them to crack, usually at a water jacket or exhaust valve guide area. Now you are looking at a $10-12k motor.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
I am looking at a 02 s with a reman engine 2 years ago. He says it has the updated IMS. Does this mean I won't have to worry about it going bad, or is there still an issue with Porsche's IMS from 2 years ago?
All Reman engines from 2006+ have the later 997 style IMS bearing. This bearing is not removable as it is larger than the access port in the crankcase. When this bearing begins to fail, the engine is issued a Death Certificate because it cannot be replaced without complete engine disassembly.

The 997 series bearings are beginning to fail more frequently and we are beginning to see them now that those cars and engines are coming out of warranty and the issues are becoming more apparent, just like the older engines did.

I have some pics of failed 997 series bearings I'll be posting on my site soon. Only time will tell how serious the issues will be with the later bearings.

Until an engine is fully updated it will have inherent issues that may or may not ever kill it.. A fully updated engine can't be sourced from Porsche.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby
All Reman engines from 2006+ have the later 997 style IMS bearing. This bearing is not removable as it is larger than the access port in the crankcase. When this bearing begins to fail, the engine is issued a Death Certificate because it cannot be replaced without complete engine disassembly.

The 997 series bearings are beginning to fail more frequently and we are beginning to see them now that those cars and engines are coming out of warranty and the issues are becoming more apparent, just like the older engines did.

I have some pics of failed 997 series bearings I'll be posting on my site soon. Only time will tell how serious the issues will be with the later bearings.

Until an engine is fully updated it will have inherent issues that may or may not ever kill it.. A fully updated engine can't be sourced from Porsche.
Just what I didnt want to hear!!! I am leaning more and more towards handing my 08 cayman s back in at the end of the lease next year. My buyout is $40,000. Its a scary thought to spend that much buying it only to have a $20,000 engine go.

I sure wish porsche would get their act together with these engines.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:30 AM   #13
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ALL Cayman engines have the non-serviceable IMS bearings.. Rumor has it the earliest had the older style, but I have never quantified that.
What you don't want to hear and what you need to hear in order to make wise decisions are two different things.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:07 AM   #14
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Jake, what year did they start with the 9A1?
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:26 AM   #15
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Late in 2008..

I expect to begin seeing problems with those too.. Their is a reason why every flat 6 since 1964 used an "Intermediate shaft"... Removing that component was a mistake if you ask me.. Earlier engines used a plain "layshaft" bearing that didn't fail, but the shaft was still there.. Just like in a 964 based GT3 or Turbo engine.

We will be tearing apart our first engine of the new design in a couple of months. We are proudly voiding its warranty at 4K miles to get started on development and a big bore arrangement.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:40 AM   #16
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Maybe I'm ignorant (which is very possible since I've never personally rebuilt a Porsche engine) but why do you feel that an intermediate shaft is so necessary? At the risk of comparing apples and oranges, Subaru doesn't use an intermediate shaft (on their 4 cylinders, or their 6 cylinders) and IMO, they are better off for it. Why add another system to fail?. Reminds me of the Mitsubishi 4G63 motors with their balance shafts. "Enthusiasts" remove the shafts all together because they aren't necessary and its just one more system that can cause timing belt issues.

Last edited by kcpaz; 12-22-2010 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcpaz
Maybe I'm ignorant (which is very possible since I've never personally rebuilt a Porsche engine) but why do you feel that an intermediate shaft is so necessary? At the risk of comparing apples and oranges, Subaru doesn't use an intermediate shaft (on their 4 cylinders, or their 6 cylinders) and IMO, they are better off for it. Why add another system to fail?. Reminds me of the Mitsubishi 4G63 motors with their balance shafts. "Enthusiasts" remove the shafts all together because they aren't necessary and its just one more system that can cause timing belt issues.
Not quite the same thing.

What you are referring to is removal of the balance shaft, not an intermediate shaft. The makes you point out use a rotating mass to dampen vibrations. The IMS in a M96 Porsche is not there for this purpose, the crank turns one end of the IMS, the other end turns the camshafts; remove it and the engine will not operate..................
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
Not quite the same thing.

What you are referring to is removal of the balance shaft, not an intermediate shaft. The makes you point out use a rotating mass to dampen vibrations. The IMS in a M96 Porsche is not there for this purpose, the crank turns one end of the IMS, the other end turns the camshafts; remove it and the engine will not operate..................

I didn't say they were the same, I was using that as an example of eliminating an unnecessary system that over complicates an engine. I understand that the M96 does not use a balance shaft. What I said was the Subaru engines which are also horizontally opposed and also come in 4 and 6 cylinder version do not use an intermediate shaft and have no reliability issues because of it.

And Subaru does not use balance shafts either.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:59 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone for all this valuable info. I'm the guy selling this car and there is a lot I just learned here as well. There seems to be many different opinions on the subject. I worked for SKF bearings for over 30 yrs both in USA and Europe. I have been in touch with the bearing application engineers involved and have had discussion with Charles at LN. I don't agree that an open bearing is the answer. The bearing is designed to be sealed with a specific grease. The problem has been the seal failing and the grease purging which causes the bearing to fail. There are many cars here that have 100K miles plus. I think that if the RPMs are kept up and proper warmup is allowed then that should help minimize the problem. Question is how many of these cars have failed? Which design did they have? I don't think Porsche wants all that made public but I still think the % is very low. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:37 PM   #20
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But kcpaz raises a good question

because of course Porsche designed the 2009 and later Boxster/Cayman/911 engines without an Intermediate shaft. So it could be done. Why wasn't it way back when?

And if I recall the story, it was because the engineers were familiar with that design and the company was strapped for cash so they were reusing every bit of engineering in an attempt to get a new car out the door quick and cheap. And it isn't as if all IMSs fail (far from it) or that they all fail quickly so any fool could know the design was faulty. Consider that every 911 and Boxster would use this engine in '96/'97, it isn't as if the engineers wanted it to have problems...they were betting the company on the M96 engine.

We are now looking at the problem with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight and about 16-18 years of experience (from initial design of the engine till now). It seems obvious to us, but I'll bet few at the time were seeing the potential for problems especially faced with the economic realities of the time.

Every design is a compromise between the available time, budget, schedule, the technology of the time, the knowledge of the designer, the limits placed on the testing, the wishes of the thought-to-be potential customer, manufacturing costs, expected maintenance costs, internal company politics, etc. Get any one wrong and you lose the company if you were Porsche in the '90s.

As one who once had total product specification responsibility, it isn't that easy to get it right. Nor is it obvious it was right until perhaps years later. In my case 6 years after I wrote the specification and millions of investment dollars later...

Plus what you'd choose today in materials might well be very different than the materials available in the 1992 time frame which was probably about the time the M96 engine was being designed. New materials and new knowledge about how to use those materials are available now that weren't available to the designers back then.

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