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Old 06-09-2020, 12:54 AM   #1
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Worth it to 'check' IMS bearing during clutch? Clutch recommendations?

Hi folks,

Newer 986 owner here. The car is a 99, and has had the IMS bearing done (or at least, claimed to have been done, there's an IMS bearing sticker in the boot lid).

My clutch is starting to slip, is it worth it to have the shop pull the bearing to check condition? Will the bearing puller damage the bearing/will this risk ruining it in some capacity? The car currently has 160k miles.

Also -- any heavy duty clutch or flywheel recommendations? The car will see track duty and generally will generally get driven aggressively.

Thanks!

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Old 06-09-2020, 05:49 AM   #2
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If you remove the IMS bearing, it is toast and cannot be reused. Pulling it destroys the races and ball cages.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:02 AM   #3
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Recall reading somewhere that some folks in the UK are removing the IMSB flange and outer seal to inspect the bearing without pulling it, and if ok, allowing oil to more freely circulate around it after reinstalling the flange.

I'm not advocating this approach since I don't know much about it (and I chose to replace my bearing, which I found to be in near-perfect condition after pulling it). As you know there's a healthy debate out there about oil from the sump and whether or not it's adequate to lubricate an open bearing without a direct, pressurized feed.

But worth looking into and deciding for yourself before you replace the clutch...
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:15 AM   #4
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As JFP in PA said once you pull the IMS bearing it can't be reused. I would think that if the last owner replaced the IMSB already, you should be good to go, and I wouldn't have it replaced while you're having a new clutch installed.

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Old 06-09-2020, 12:03 PM   #5
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As JFP in PA said once you pull the IMS bearing it can't be reused. I would think that if the last owner replaced the IMSB already, you should be good to go, and I wouldn't have it replaced while you're having a new clutch installed.

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Awesome, thanks folks. I think you just saved me a bearing or failure.


Looks like the Spec clutches are the new defacto 'go to' for heavier applications. I'm leaning on the stage 3 w/ lightened flywheel unless someone posts pushing me otherwise.

Any thoughts on having an additional strap added to the clutch>
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:41 PM   #6
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You don`t need to pull out the bearing for a simple inspection. After removing the flange you can rotate the bearing and can check for play. If it`s running smooth and with not much play you are good to go. You can even press the small shaft into the IMS, you can easily pull it back on using a telescopic magnet. Then you have a bit more room to inspect the bearing. You can stick your finger or a small piece of rag into the hole and see what you got. If you find oil and no metal debris, there`s not much to worry about.
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by geekdaddy View Post
Recall reading somewhere that some folks in the UK are removing the IMSB flange and outer seal to inspect the bearing without pulling it, and if ok, allowing oil to more freely circulate around it after reinstalling the flange.

I'm not advocating this approach since I don't know much about it (and I chose to replace my bearing, which I found to be in near-perfect condition after pulling it). As you know there's a healthy debate out there about oil from the sump and whether or not it's adequate to lubricate an open bearing without a direct, pressurized feed.

But worth looking into and deciding for yourself before you replace the clutch...
I think that is the third gen IMS, sure as heck not the first two generations. And yours should be the fist gen. Dual row. Given the miles on the car, any idea the miles on the car when the bearing was done? If an LN sticker, they may be able to tell you.

Last edited by mikefocke; 06-09-2020 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:31 PM   #8
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I think that is the third gen IMS, sure as heck not the first two generations. And yours should be the fist gen. Dual row. Given the miles on the car, any idea the miles on the car when the bearing was done? If an LN sticker, they may be able to tell you.
Unsure, but I should call LN with the number and see what the date was Do these bearings 'wear out'?

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You don`t need to pull out the bearing for a simple inspection. After removing the flange you can rotate the bearing and can check for play. If it`s running smooth and with not much play you are good to go. You can even press the small shaft into the IMS, you can easily pull it back on using a telescopic magnet. Then you have a bit more room to inspect the bearing. You can stick your finger or a small piece of rag into the hole and see what you got. If you find oil and no metal debris, there`s not much to worry about.
Is this applicable to 99?
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:42 PM   #9
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Yes, all IMSBs wear out. It's just a matter of when. If you're going to track the car, then perhaps you should install LN's IMS Solution. It's the most bullet proof of them all.
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Old 06-10-2020, 12:45 AM   #10
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Yes, all IMSBs wear out. It's just a matter of when. If you're going to track the car, then perhaps you should install LN's IMS Solution. It's the most bullet proof of them all.
Just for clarity...the car already has LN's IMS Solution, installed by one of the previous owners at unknown mileage.

Are you suggesting to preventively reinstall another?

Otherwise, what mileage are they good for?
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Old 06-10-2020, 09:03 AM   #11
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Is this applicable to 99?
I think it is. Mine is a `99 Boxster with a dual row bearing. I have an engine rebuild thread in show&tell, you can find pictures there if you want to compare.
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Old 06-10-2020, 03:51 PM   #12
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Is it crazy to just replace the IMS bearing whenever you replace the clutch? Since you're "in there" it may be worth the additional peace of mind. I know it adds another $700 or so to the price of the job but that seems like pretty inexpensive insurance.

Mine has the LN solution (sticker + install records) but are they truly a "lifetime" replacement?
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Old 06-10-2020, 04:05 PM   #13
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Mine has the LN solution (sticker + install records) but are they truly a "lifetime" replacement?
That's what they claim, but they only guarantee it for 5 years.
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Old 06-11-2020, 05:44 AM   #14
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Is it crazy to just replace the IMS bearing whenever you replace the clutch? Since you're "in there" it may be worth the additional peace of mind. I know it adds another $700 or so to the price of the job but that seems like pretty inexpensive insurance.

Mine has the LN solution (sticker + install records) but are they truly a "lifetime" replacement?
To answer your question, yes, the IMS Solution is a permanent replacement, it never has to be replaced. This is just one of the reasons this retrofit is popular with Tiptronic owners.
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Old 06-11-2020, 05:46 AM   #15
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That's what they claim, but they only guarantee it for 5 years.
Which is actually longer than the warranty Porsche gave on your entire car when it was brand new.
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:21 AM   #16
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Unsure, but I should call LN with the number and see what the date was Do these bearings 'wear out'?
LN can tell you what their records indicate the bearing is. I had a Single Row Pro (dual row replacement for a single row OEM bearing) installed in my car by my shop at 42k miles. It failed at 77k miles. When I contacted LN, Charles Navarro said the number on my install sticker indicated the bearing was made before the Single Row Pro was introduced and that it was a single row bearing. My shop receipt said the LN bearing was the dual row Single Row Pro, and the shop owner showed me the remnants of the failed bearing and said it was dual row, so I left it at that. The remnants went back to LN for analysis and I never bothered to try and find out from them whether my replacement bearing was in fact dual or single row.

I now have the IMS Solution. I would say it is as permanent as the engine's crank main bearings. Based on my experience of one failed IMSB upgrade, I would recommend periodic replacement of any splash/mist lubricated ball or roller bearing IMSB on some periodic basis.
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:41 AM   #17
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Which is actually longer than the warranty Porsche gave on your entire car when it was brand new.
Point taken, but I don't recall Porsche claiming their car is the "permanent solution" for your car needs. Do you?

If they claim it's the "permanent solution", they should put their money where their mouth is and make it a lifetime warranty. They charge enough for the item. That's all I'm saying.

They do warranty it for unlimited miles, but you better get those unlimited miles in within 5 years.

They know that for most people these aren't their daily drivers, so they threw the unlimited miles warranty in there to make it look good, but knowing full well that most cars will get far less than 50k in those 5 years.

I'm not taking anything away from the product, but why not just guarantee it forever? Most likely something else will blow up the engine anyway.
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Last edited by piper6909; 06-11-2020 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 06-11-2020, 10:44 AM   #18
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Point taken, but I don't recall Porsche claiming their car is the "permanent solution" for your car needs. Do you?

If they claim it's the "permanent solution", they should put their money where their mouth is and make it a lifetime warranty. They charge enough for the item. That's all I'm saying.

They do warranty it for unlimited miles, but you better get those unlimited miles in within 5 years.

They know that for most people these aren't their daily drivers, so they threw the unlimited miles warranty in there to make it look good, but knowing full well that most cars will get far less than 50k in those 5 years.

I'm not taking anything away from the product, but why not just guarantee it forever? Most likely something else will blow up the engine anyway.
Simple: It would be a bad business decision. If Porsche would only give you a prorated 4 year warrantee on a $60K + purchase, why should someone offer you a lifetime warrantee on a less than $2K purchase. At the end of the day, you don't have to buy their products if you can find anything with a better warrantee than they offer. To my knowledge, most of the "me too" retrofits don't even approach what LN offers.
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:15 PM   #19
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Point taken, but I don't recall Porsche claiming their car is the "permanent solution" for your car needs. Do you?

If they claim it's the "permanent solution", they should put their money where their mouth is and make it a lifetime warranty. They charge enough for the item. That's all I'm saying.

They do warranty it for unlimited miles, but you better get those unlimited miles in within 5 years.

They know that for most people these aren't their daily drivers, so they threw the unlimited miles warranty in there to make it look good, but knowing full well that most cars will get far less than 50k in those 5 years.

I'm not taking anything away from the product, but why not just guarantee it forever? Most likely something else will blow up the engine anyway.
Nothing last's forever, Craftsman tools lifetime warranty is part of what sent Sears into bankruptcy !
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:33 PM   #20
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Simple: It would be a bad business decision...why should someone offer you a lifetime warrantee on a less than $2K purchase. ...To my knowledge, most of the "me too" retrofits don't even approach what LN offers.
Many companies offer lifetime warranties for items costing much less than that. Snap-on tools, Delta faucets, Raybestos brakes, ect. etc.

When they charge $1850 for a kit that cost them less than $100 to manufacture (yes, I understand a percentage goes for R&D, but not THAT much), and call it a "permanent solution" they should put their money where their mouth is.

If they won't ever fail then it wouldn't be a bad business decision, would it? They already pre-qualify the health of the engine before the "solution" gets installed, and only honor their current warranty if it is installed by an authorized mechanic, so DIYers are shut out. After all that, why would it be a bad business decision to offer a lifetime warranty?

EPS offers the same warranty as LN, but their product is less than 1/3 the cost of the LN "solution." And they don't void the warranty if an DIYer installs it.

I actually believe that the LN Solution may be a better product, so I'm not here to argue which is better. But at more than 3 times the cost, they should offer much, much better warranty, IMO.

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