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Old 02-16-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
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IMS Failure is not a Myth.

We just caught this one. The customer called me saying there was a bad noise coming from the bell housing.

I told him to not run the engine any more and then went to get it with my trailer.

I just got started, but look what I found in the filter:





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Old 02-16-2012, 10:31 AM   #2
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In the pan:

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Old 02-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #3
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Series9, Will you do me a favor when you inspect the bearing, will you tell me if there is any traces of grease in the bearing?
What year and mileage?
Thanks
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:54 AM   #4
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Series9, Will you do me a favor when you inspect the bearing, will you tell me if there is any traces of grease in the bearing?
What year and mileage?
Thanks
I'll have the bearing out tomorrow and will take pictures.

2003 118k.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:58 AM   #5
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Thank you Sir
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:31 AM   #6
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2003 with 118K...not bad for going that long and now having IMS bearing going out. At 118K this engine should have a major overhaul.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #7
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Bad news. The engine has been previously replaced and this bearing isn't serviceable.

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Old 02-16-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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If it's not a 3.2, now's the time for change. Let's see...03 with 118K on it with a crapped out engine...$2500- $3500 for the bones. A decent used engine $5500-$8500. Guess the time is now for this owner to look for a newer boxster.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:12 PM   #9
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If it's not a 3.2, now's the time for change. Let's see...03 with 118K on it with a crapped out engine...$2500- $3500 for the bones. A decent used engine $5500-$8500. Guess the time is now for this owner to look for a newer boxster.
Sorry, I should have been more clear. This is a 2003 911.

The engine was replaced at 67k miles with an IMS failure. This is number two for this vehicle.

Those of you who think this is a 3% thing are dreaming.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:33 PM   #10
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Series 9...................
Why isn't the bearing Serviceable. Not disputing...just have never heard of that before.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:41 PM   #11
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double tap....ooops

Last edited by coreseller; 02-16-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:42 PM   #12
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Series 9...................
Why isn't the bearing Serviceable. Not disputing...just have never heard of that before.
Newer designed bearings require splitting the engine case for removal, older / original IMS bearing designs could be removed with a puller while the motor stayed intact / assembled while in car. Man, 2 motors kaput in a 911, that'd be enough for me.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #13
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Those of you who think this is a 3% thing are dreaming.
Well, no one thinks that the IMS failure is a myth. Its real and it happens. No doubt about it.

However, with over 200,000 Boxsters sold, if the failure rate is 5% or greater then there should be something like 10,000+ cars failed.

LN hasn't sold anywhere close to 10,000 replacement bearings. Sure, maybe some people part out the car rather than repair it but then you also have to take into account that some large percentage of LN bearing sales go to cars that have never had a bearing failure in the first place (preventative replacement). Other owners might find a salvage engine from a car that was totaled in an accident but there aren't 10,000 of those either. And last, if the numbers were that high then the aftermarket/eBay would also be flooded with failed engine Boxsters and we just don't see any of this happening.

The only conclusion is that the engine failure rate is much less then 5% (or failed Boxsters are with all of the socks that disappear from the dryer).
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:06 PM   #14
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And some people still claim that the "final solution" large diameter IMS bearing used from 2005 on (and in replaced/rebuilt engines after 2005) "solved the problem" and won't fail......... Right, just keep drinking the Kool Aid..............
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:11 PM   #15
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With over 200,000 Boxsters sold, if the failure rate is 5% or greater then there should be something like 10,000+ cars failed.

LN hasn't sold anywhere close to 10,000 replacement bearings. Sure, maybe some people part out the car rather than repair it but then you also have to take into account that some large percentage of LN bearing sales go to cars that have never had a bearing failure in the first place (preventative replacement).

With more than 10,000 cars suffering failed engines, the aftermarket/eBay would also be flooded with failed engine Boxsters and we just don't see that.

The only conclusion is that the engine failure rate is much less then 5% (or failed Boxsters are with all of the socks that disappear from the dryer).



As the owner of an independent Porsche shop, I have to respectfully disagree.

This single VIN has experienced TWO failures in 118k miles.

All I can report is what I see. What I see is between 10 and 20 percent.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:17 PM   #16
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As expected, each individual shop will see different numbers. Its the aggregate that makes up the big picture.

But please do not take my comments out of context. For the owners of cars with failed IMSB, the fact that it happens at all (and twice to one car) is obscene and Porsche really should do something about it.

And thanks for the pic's. Very informative.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:40 PM   #17
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When I was at the 'New' 911 opening there was an engineer/mechanic there to answer questions. We talked for a long time and he was very knowledgeable. The one thing he was strictly not allowed to talk about was IMS. He couldn’t even enjoy my story about recently changing mine...I guess that would have been considered acknowledgement.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:44 PM   #18
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As the owner of an independent Porsche shop, I have to respectfully disagree.

This single VIN has experienced TWO failures in 118k miles.

All I can report is what I see. What I see is between 10 and 20 percent.
While I respect your expertise as a Porsche mechanic (an expertise I absolutely do not share) I have to ask you to respect mine as a statistician. And I have to say this doesn't make any sense.

I'm not saying it's NOT 10-20 percent; I'm only saying that unless all 200,000 Boxsters are regularly serviced at your shop, you can't possibly have any idea what percentage of the total Boxster population is affected by IMS woes. Yes, perhaps 20% of the Boxsters you see have IMS failure. But is your clientele a representative sampling? Perhaps you have a reputation as a great IMS bearing expert, so everybody within 100 miles of you who has an IMS failure comes to see you. Then you would be seeing 100% of the problem cars in your area, and every other shop would be seeing 0% of the problem cars. (I'm exaggerating for emphasis.) So if we asked them, the failure rate is 0%, and if we ask you, it's a huge number.

I went to Jim Ellis Porsche last year to ask about an LN install on my '04. They are LN authorized installers. I was basically saying, "Tell me I need to do this and I'll give you $3000 or so to do it." The Service Writer talked with me a long time. He had been there 4.5 years. In that time they had dealt with 5 M96s with failed IMS bearings, and two of them were late model 997s. His words in conclusion? "If I was buying an 03 or newer Boxster right now there's no way on earth I'd have the IMS replaced unless the car was showing signs of needing it."

So your two stories are wildly different. I don't believe either of you is lying or even leaving part of the truth out. I believe neither of you has enough of the story to draw any sort of statistically relevant data.

thanks,
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:51 PM   #19
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^ I agree with you completely. This has been discussed to death and no one really knows the numbers except Porsche and they aren't talking.

But I'd also caution about trusting the company that created the problem in the first place and has ignored it since then. Always remember that your service writer's paycheck has "Porsche" written at the top.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:57 PM   #20
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The one thing he was strictly not allowed to talk about was IMS.
Strictly from my own perspective ? I find this pathetic.

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