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vdo

IMS Concerned Potential 996 owner

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I am very interested in owning a 996 given that the 99 model can be had for under 20k.

However, the IMS is a big concern for me and a deal breaker. Given that said, what are ways to prevent it from happening? I really want to stay away from a 15k engine swap.

Any experience with the LN engineering IMS upgrade? How much does a tech charge to install this? Does this work? I am looking into getting a 99 with 80k miles. Can I expect to squeeze another 80k from the engine with a IMS upgrade? Thanks

http://www.lnengineering.com/ims.html

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no one knows man.

you're taking a risk. i'd personally never buy a $20K porsche. there are better options out there at that price point.

lots of little things will add up.

coil packs good?

clutch switch ok?

battery ok?

RMS/ IMS leaks? history?

starter ok? alternator?

suspension parts ok?

oil sending unit ok? maf ok?

sure, a PPIcan help to see if these components are working, but even then you'll only know for sure if those things have been replaced on a decade old car. unless this particular 1999 vehicle has been well loved and cared for, i would never ever touch it. heck, i'd begin with a 3.6 MK2 996 before i ever looked at an Mk1 996. so it's not just the IMS piece, it's the overall state of the car that i recommend you take a look at very closely. get a $30K 996 with everything in tip top shape than trying to work from the bottom up is my best advice.

don't stretch for this car. it does cost quite a bit to maintain.... correctly w/ care.

just so you know i'm not spewing things out of the side of my head... i'm actually going thru some needed and preventive maintenance right now on my very clean '02 C4S. in fact, it's currently at the shop for the following:

-air mass sensor $274

-air oil separator $35

-fuel gauge sender $229

+ labor

+ coolant flush

+ as part of this work, just found out the driveshaft guibo or something is torn and porsche doesn't sell the guibo separately so you have to get an whole new driveshaft $550 + 1/2 labor

now mind you not all the repair work was necessary, but anyone who really wants to have a clean ride will get it done.

my bill on wednesday that i thought was gonna be around $1500 will be nearly double.

and this is a CLEAN C4S.

Edited by Benjamin Choi

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I am very interested in owning a 996 given that the 99 model can be had for under 20k.

However, the IMS is a big concern for me and a deal breaker. Given that said, what are ways to prevent it from happening? I really want to stay away from a 15k engine swap.

Any experience with the LN engineering IMS upgrade? How much does a tech charge to install this? Does this work? I am looking into getting a 99 with 80k miles. Can I expect to squeeze another 80k from the engine with a IMS upgrade? Thanks

http://www.lnengineering.com/ims.html

Where are you located -- I have a complete upgrade in my rebuilt '00S Boxster (he has a picture of mine installed on his website)

and I plan to do 4 retrofits over the next month. 3 in 996 engines, and one in my replacement engine

for the IMS that went in a '99 2.5L I just bought.

After getting some experience with the process, I plan to offer the upgrades and a clutch install for less than what a dealer would charge for just the clutch.

Mike

Lone Star RPM LLC

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If you don't plan on touching your engine then maybe the maintenance would be on the high side. Otherwise I think you can achieve your mileage goals as some members on this forum have documented over 160k on 1999 original 3.4 engines. I have 118k on mine and bought it like you at 80k miles. As Benjamin listed yes you will have the normal component repairs with coil pak, o2 sensors, starter, engine mount yada yada. All easy to do and you learn a lot about your car in the process. Or you can pay someone a bunch of bills to turn a few wrenches. Best of luck in your decision!

Edited by bmohr

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I am very interested in owning a 996 given that the 99 model can be had for under 20k.

However, the IMS is a big concern for me and a deal breaker. Given that said, what are ways to prevent it from happening? I really want to stay away from a 15k engine swap.

Any experience with the LN engineering IMS upgrade? How much does a tech charge to install this? Does this work? I am looking into getting a 99 with 80k miles. Can I expect to squeeze another 80k from the engine with a IMS upgrade? Thanks

http://www.lnengineering.com/ims.html

I had my '00 modified with the IMS bearing retrofit earlier this summer. My IMS seal was leaking and the shaft was filled with oil, though there were no signs of it until the engine and tranny were separated. I got lucky with the timing.

How much? Roughly the same as a clutch installation. Whatever that costs where you are is probably the ballpark.

Does it work? It's manifestly beefier and better sealed than the original piece. Otherwise, once it's in, there is obviously zero observable difference.

Will it get you 80k more from the engine? The truth is that nobody knows yet. The piece is too new. And while it's better, it doesn't alter the fact that the engine still has an intermediate shaft, the underlying design decision that created the problem in the first place. Based just on common sense, I'm telling myself that I've reduced the risk radically and that along with good maintenance (lubrication in particular) and driving habits (keeping those revs up, for example), the car is much more likely to last a long time. But if you want an ironclad guarantee, it doesn't exist.

If you can live with that, go for it. IMHO, this motor is otherwise bone reliable for what it is, we're seeing some huge mileage on some, and there's a growing community of aftermarket support for the engine. In other words, it's a Porsche. ; )

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Regarding Ben's comments: I guess it goes without saying that you should invest in a thorough PPI regardless of what you buy.

With 996s, I've observed that the cosmetic condition of the car and its mechanical health have nothing to do with each other. The 996 was an easy car to live with compared to previous 911s, and so was probably the most leased 911 ever. Then, depreciation was bad enough that people bought these things used who couldn't/wouldn't give them the care they needed beyond wax and tire dressing. Get somebody under it who knows what they're doing, and insist on the service history. They're cheap Porsches to buy, but no Porsche is cheap to own.

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My opinion is this. I have an 01 Boxster S, my third Porsche after 2 911s. It has been well maintained and is a great car. While the IMS is a known issue, I don't loose sleep over it. I figure there are several hundred thousand Boxsters out there and while you read about IMS horror stories on these boards, you don't hear from the majority who haven't had issues. Maintenance is the key to any car. People hate Land Rovers because they say they break all the time. My 01 Disco has been rock solid with absolutley no issues, but I take care of it. I also use it as it was intended in the hills. I also take the Boxster to autocrosses, DE Days, and long weekend trips. Both the Porsche and Land Rover are not garage queens.

Bottom line is used cars are a crap shoot. Do your home work and buy the best you can afford. Drive it, and take care of it. The rest is pure luck regardless of whether its a Porsche or a Pontiac.

That said, I wouldn't buy a used 99, 996. Too many other great Porsches out there for the same price point.

Good Luck.

Edited by TKE878

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If you really want a 99' Search for one with a Porsche reman 3.4. Not a guarantee of no problems but a better engine.

Like Benjamin said spend more money and get a better car. A Porsche that has been loved can be a very reliable trouble free car to own. One that has not been loved can be a financial nightmare.

Look at LOTS of cars. Be patient and have cash in your pocket.

A 99 with 80k miles is probably not a good idea. Although my 99 had 72k when I crashed it and it was perfect and needed nothing. But I loved my car...

Spend more... get more...

Good luck...

Edited by phillipj

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My advice if you want a 996, get one that is heavily documented and has never had an oil leak. It is my belief that a given 996 either leaks or doesn't and if it leaked once it will probably leak again. I am on my 3rd RMS/ IMS fix.

If $20k is what you can afford to pay, you may not be able to afford to own the car unless you are a DIY kind of person. These aren't Honda's, they do require maintenance other than oil changes and parts will occasionally fail. Both parts and labor are expensive and you go through expensive tires. Figure an average of a couple thousand a year in costs over time.

Edited by deckman

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on a somewhat related note

and i hope no one takes this the wrong way, but most likely due to my insecurities, i could not ever respond to people by telling them i drive a porsche (why lie?) and they get in the 911 then or later only to witness the typical dog Sh1t interior of your regularly optioned 996... esp bad in the 1999s. are you kidding with those plastics? it looks like something they used in the gym floor at my local 24hour fitness except it's hard plastic and not rubber.

this is where my long time argument continues to live on... i'd much rather have a $20K E46 M3 than a similarly priced 996.

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on a somewhat related note

and i hope no one takes this the wrong way, but most likely due to my insecurities, i could not ever respond to people by telling them i drive a porsche (why lie?) and they get in the 911 then or later only to witness the typical dog Sh1t interior of your regularly optioned 996... esp bad in the 1999s. are you kidding with those plastics? it looks like something they used in the gym floor at my local 24hour fitness except it's hard plastic and not rubber.

this is where my long time argument continues to live on... i'd much rather have a $20K E46 M3 than a similarly priced 996.

You are correct. The cheap plastic in the M3 is much nicer than the cheap plastic in the 996. Glad you clarified that for everyone

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on a somewhat related note

and i hope no one takes this the wrong way, but most likely due to my insecurities, i could not ever respond to people by telling them i drive a porsche (why lie?) and they get in the 911 then or later only to witness the typical dog Sh1t interior of your regularly optioned 996... esp bad in the 1999s. are you kidding with those plastics? it looks like something they used in the gym floor at my local 24hour fitness except it's hard plastic and not rubber.

this is where my long time argument continues to live on... i'd much rather have a $20K E46 M3 than a similarly priced 996.

wow. With friends like that....... :( - someones got the bling complex it seems.

Edited by bmohr

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Topics get closed? Come on, kidding right?

This topic should be closed, but as we would like to show our support to noobs we will continue to help them. yes, whats been said is enough. It is really up to you and what you seek for your dollar. PPI is your only insurance on a used car. History provides added transparancy.

Obviously on the PPI. Choice of who does it. This is where people mess up. I know I have. I have been lucky, and am thankful. You can too.

A well optioned/maintained/upgraded 996 is a very nice ride. If you want an inexpensive 996 and seller is truthful, then it passes PPI, you can find a nice car.

Good luck!

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Topics get closed? Come on, kidding right?

It's an example of why I like this forum, personally. This kind of aggressive moderating is what keeps the forum so focused and useful.

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Agreed. Post for post this is really the most useful forum for owners. It may not have the entertainment value of the others, but when you need solid technical information this is where you should turn.

I still think if you are looking at a 996 try to find one that has no history of IMS leaks.

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lol post up a pic of your interior and i'll do the same for my e46 m3. we can compare visually.

I had an M3 as well. The interior is no doubt nicer than any 996.

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lol post up a pic of your interior and i'll do the same for my e46 m3. we can compare visually.

I had an M3 as well. The interior is no doubt nicer than any 996.

If the 996 is optioned up, it is much more special than the E46 M3 and even the new E9X M3 which I think isn't as nice as the E46.

To stay on topic, I had my tranny dropped for the AOS install yesterday. IMS/ RMS was dry now at 62K miles. Car feels fantastic. Still not bored with it after almost 3 yrs!

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Hi,

I bought my 1999 Carrera 4 convertible at 44000 miles currently 65000 miles. It did not have any service records, but I had to have it.

I've done all the repairs by myself except the clutch that I needed help with to put back on. I haven't bought any special tools or I have never taken it to a shop. Except for the new top and wheel change. I haven't worked on cars before at all and I've done all the work with the DIY instructions on this site. I've only bought a under plastic panel from a dealer,because they had a sale and it was the best deal available. I buy all my parts at Ebay, Pelicanparts, Sunset Imports or Autozone.

I even got a core return on my alternator on Autozone, so it ended up costing me $160. I also got my wheels 265/35R18 Bridgestone Potenza RE750 for $200 a piece from Samsclub with special order...

This is all the work I have done on my car so far in two and a half years. The car is a daily driver

Tires

New top with glass window

clutch

flywheel

RMS seal

starter

alternator

battery

reverse switch

spark plugs

coil packs

evaporation tank

water pump

three pulleys

belt

All parts were very reasonable in price and mostly easy to do yourself. The only thing I have to do in the near future is the brake pads, which should be pretty cheap and easy to do too...

This is a big list of parts, but if you shop around and do it yourself, it's not that bad at all.

Kristian

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I am very interested in owning a 996 given that the 99 model can be had for under 20k.

However, the IMS is a big concern for me and a deal breaker. Given that said, what are ways to prevent it from happening? I really want to stay away from a 15k engine swap.

Any experience with the LN engineering IMS upgrade? How much does a tech charge to install this? Does this work? I am looking into getting a 99 with 80k miles. Can I expect to squeeze another 80k from the engine with a IMS upgrade? Thanks

http://www.lnengineering.com/ims.html

Just to let you know, I have a 1999 996 with 128,000+ miles (purchased with 50,000). It's been the best Porsche I have ever owned. It's my daily driver.

Yes, I've done the normal things - Clutch, RMS, Brakes, Struts, airbag seat sensor, etc...

but it has been a GREAT car!

Jim

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I am very interested in owning a 996 given that the 99 model can be had for under 20k.

However, the IMS is a big concern for me and a deal breaker. Given that said, what are ways to prevent it from happening? I really want to stay away from a 15k engine swap.

Any experience with the LN engineering IMS upgrade? How much does a tech charge to install this? Does this work? I am looking into getting a 99 with 80k miles. Can I expect to squeeze another 80k from the engine with a IMS upgrade? Thanks

http://www.lnengineering.com/ims.html

My mechanic would charge about $1750 to do the IMS/ RMS and standard 996 Clutch replacement.

M

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Hi,

I bought my 1999 Carrera 4 convertible at 44000 miles currently 65000 miles. It did not have any service records, but I had to have it.

I've done all the repairs by myself except the clutch that I needed help with to put back on. I haven't bought any special tools or I have never taken it to a shop. Except for the new top and wheel change. I haven't worked on cars before at all and I've done all the work with the DIY instructions on this site. I've only bought a under plastic panel from a dealer,because they had a sale and it was the best deal available. I buy all my parts at Ebay, Pelicanparts, Sunset Imports or Autozone.

I even got a core return on my alternator on Autozone, so it ended up costing me $160. I also got my wheels 265/35R18 Bridgestone Potenza RE750 for $200 a piece from Samsclub with special order...

This is all the work I have done on my car so far in two and a half years. The car is a daily driver

Tires

New top with glass window

clutch

flywheel

RMS seal

starter

alternator

battery

reverse switch

spark plugs

coil packs

evaporation tank

water pump

three pulleys

belt

All parts were very reasonable in price and mostly easy to do yourself. The only thing I have to do in the near future is the brake pads, which should be pretty cheap and easy to do too...

This is a big list of parts, but if you shop around and do it yourself, it's not that bad at all.

Kristian

This story very much sounds like mine.

I got my 2000 996 C2 after a thorough PPI (based on the 996 buyer's guide you can find on the web) and have done most work myself.

In the end it is all about (preceived) risk and how you deal with it. With experience and confidence that you are able to deal with most or all of the potential trouble that this car can throw at you, the financial downside of a mishap decreases. On the flipside I have a fantastic car that puts a grin on my face everytime I drive it hard (on or off track). In the past I changed cars every 1.5-2 years. Going on alsmost 3 years, this one won't be replaced anytime soon. I am just making it better!

JP

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Buying a Porsche... any Porsche... isn't a rational decision. If you are really worried about reliability, and about living with a 911 as your primary mode of transportation, then you shouldn't buy one. They are impractical, they are expensive to fix and maintain, and they are more likely to cause you problems than a Honda or Toyota.

If you're willing to make a car purchase that isn't rational such as a 996, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful, unique car that puts a smile on your face every time you drive it. In the world of high performance sports cars, the 996 is actually quite reliable (I'm a former Alfa Romeo owner, so I speak from experience). The price of this experience is the unkown risk associated with the IMS, and other potential catastrophic failures. Ultimately it all comes down to your personal tolerance for risk.

My 996 is about to roll 86,000 miles, and I don't worry about it. If it fails, it fails.

Good luck with your choice!

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