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Intermediate Shaft Seal Leak Advice


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Hi All,

I recently had the RMS replaced on my 2002 base 986 (40k miles) at my dealer that I've been working with for over a decade. They replaced the RMS and did the intermediate shaft gasket. After a week, I noticed the car had the same leak.

The dealer has taken my car back today, removed the transmission and found that the new RMS is fine. However, they have noticed that the new Intermediate Shaft gasket/seal is still leaking. They will replace that gasket again and will also replace the intermediate shaft flange in order to hopefully completely stop the oil leak. They have told me that my engine case is fine as well.

However, is the failure of the brand new intermediate shaft gasket within a week a sign of "pending doom" of the intermediate shaft bearing? Or, am I worrying for nothing? I bought the car at 30k miles. I have changed the oil every 3500 miles, but the records show that the oil changes before my ownership were most likely done at the suggested Porsche intervals.

Any thoughts?

Jay

Edited by Jay H
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Take the opportunity to replace the IMS bearing with our retrofit kit while its all apart.. The dealer will tell you it can't be done but the article on my site proves them wrong..

The very first sign of IMS failure is oil leakage..

Now, remember that NO MATTER how often you change your oil, the IMS can still fail. Thats because the Engineers at Porsche installed a SEALED bearing for the IMS.. That means the oil you have been changing never comes into contact with the bearing that may be failing!!!

Once the permanent lube in the IMS bearing is expended failure is imminent..

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The very first sign of IMS failure is oil leakage..

Now, remember that NO MATTER how often you change your oil, the IMS can still fail. Thats because the Engineers at Porsche installed a SEALED bearing for the IMS.. That means the oil you have been changing never comes into contact with the bearing that may be failing!!!

Once the permanent lube in the IMS bearing is expended failure is imminent..

Hi Jake,

Thank you for your reply.

May I please ask if you would expand on your statement that oil leakage is the first sign of IMS failure? What is actually happening?

Best regards,

Jay

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The IMS bearing starts to shuffle as it wears and the nasty oil that has been trapped inside the IMS starts to seep past the center stud and around the outside of the flange housing..

I haven't seen a failed IMS yet that didn't have nasty oil leaking from around the flange.. Change it while you can! When it fails its too late.

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Jake,

Thank you again for providing more info.

The dealer is going to button up the car and return it to me tomorrow and claims that everything will be O.K. once they are done. They don't suspect there is any problem with the intermediate shaft bearing. Also, this entire repair is covered under Porsche's 2 year, 24,000 mile warranty, so they are very reluctant do to anything further on the car since Porsche is picking up the tab for the labor, IMS seal and flange. I do understand their position since the factory does not seem to offer any solution to this potential weak bearing and the motor runs exceptionally well.

However, Jake, I have an independant shop that I use frequently for my air cooled 911s that is quite good that may do the IMS upgrade that you offer. I'll be in contact in the near future.

Thank you!

Jay

Edited by Jay H
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Also, this entire repair is covered under Porsche's 2 year, 24,000 mile warranty, so they are very reluctant do to anything further on the car since Porsche is picking up the tab for the labor, IMS seal and flange. I do understand their position since the factory does not seem to offer any solution to this potential weak bearing and the motor runs exceptionally well.

So Porsche doesn't have YOUR best interest as a primary concern? They are too busy following directives that were established by the same team that created the IMS bearing issue in the first place.

I do understand their position since the factory does not seem to offer any solution to this potential weak bearing and the motor runs exceptionally well

Thats right.. If the factory offered a "fix" they would be admitting that their is a problem with the engines that requires attention.. Basically admission of guilt and they'll never do that. I had a dozen service writers and techs tell me that the bearing couldn't be changed but that didn't stop us..

The engine can and will run exceptionally and then all of a sudden without ANY advanced notice its all over.. The only advance notice it'll give you is an IMS bearing flange leak thats similar to what you originally described.

Right now you can save it, later you can't.. Once it fails, its screwed.. And when that happens is Porsche going to give you a new engine because they ASSUMED that the bearing was fine???

Get the car away from the Dealer and take it to someone that doesn't have rules to follow and has enough intestinal fortitude to tackle the issue.

the best way to determine if the oil leak is detrimental or not is if the oil thats leaking is a darker color than that the engine has in it's sump.. Compare the leaked oil to that of whats on your dipstick... The oil thats released from the IMS is usually much darker than whats in the engine's sump because it has been filling the IMS tube for a good while and is never released when the oil is changed...

Edited by Jake Raby
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the best way to determine if the oil leak is detrimental or not is if the oil thats leaking is a darker color than that the engine has in it's sump.. Compare the leaked oil to that of whats on your dipstick... The oil thats released from the IMS is usually much darker than whats in the engine's sump because it has been filling the IMS tube for a good while and is never released when the oil is changed...

Hi Jake,

Thank you for your post! Your last point above is of great interest to me. Unfortunately, I bought the car in November of 2008 and missed the "nose drip" leak that it had at that point. The drip was light brown in color and seemed to be in line with the fresh oil change the dealer did for me upon the sale. I watched the leak all winter and it never changed. This spring, the "nose drip" was still there, still with fresh oil leaking. I decided to have the dealer open the car up and figured it was the RMS.

They changed the RMS and put a new intermediate shaft gasket in. A month later, the same drip appeared in the same light golden oil color. The oil was not tar like or dark brown. Now, the dealer put in a new intermediate shaft gasket and intermediate shaft flange.

So, in summary, my leak has been going on since November (and presumably before that) and the oil coming off the motor has never changed in color. It appears to match the crankcase oil.

Any more thoughts?

Jay

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Folks:

Have a 2000 2.7 Boxster w/78,000 mi. Would the IMS bearing flange leak that may indicate impending IMS failure show up as drips on the driveway? I have no exterior indication of leaks or seepage such as spots on driveway, but the term "seepage" leads me to believe I would need to take a closer look at the underside of the car somewhere. Any advice on what I should be keeping an eye out for ? And where I should be looking for signs of leaks/seepage? Thanks for any any advice. I really enjoy my Boxster.

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Folks:

Have a 2000 2.7 Boxster w/78,000 mi. Would the IMS bearing flange leak that may indicate impending IMS failure show up as drips on the driveway? I have no exterior indication of leaks or seepage such as spots on driveway, but the term "seepage" leads me to believe I would need to take a closer look at the underside of the car somewhere. Any advice on what I should be keeping an eye out for ? And where I should be looking for signs of leaks/seepage? Thanks for any any advice. I really enjoy my Boxster.

If you have an oil leak from the area where the engine and transmission join - you won't know the cause until you remove the (transmission and) flywheel.

The leak could be either or both IMS and RMS.

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The leak could be either or both IMS and RMS.

My dealer does both the RMS and Intermediate Shaft gasket whenever they open up a M96 car. They can never give a definite answer as to what is leaking until the transmission, clutch and flywheel have been removed.

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Loren-

Thanks for the info.

Question: If I DON'T have a leak from where the engine & transmission join, would that be a fairly reliable indication that there is not a leak/seepage problem at this time?

Thanks again,

jotoole

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Loren-

Thanks for the info.

Question: If I DON'T have a leak from where the engine & transmission join, would that be a fairly reliable indication that there is not a leak/seepage problem at this time?

Thanks again,

jotoole

Correct. In the case of IMS or RMS there really isn't anywhere else it can come out at.

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