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IMS Failure


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The introduction of the M97 engine had the larger single row IMS bearing and larger thread size on the IMS hub carrier. The M97 engine is the 3.4 unit fitted to 2006/7 and later model year cars and the uprated 2.7 units for the same period. There is ne definitive answer as to why or how the IMS bearing or carrier fails but its generally accepted if its going to fail it will happen before about 55k miles , usually around the 40 -45k mileage regardless of age or how the car has been driven. It is also suggested that frequent oil changes (ie every 10K) may reduce the risk of oil contamination build up from short or infrequent use. The oil contamination be it carbon or absorbtion of water is also considered a potential contributor to the problem. My advice would be to drive the car for longer rather than shorter journies , ensure it fully up to operating temp before enthusiastic driving , and change the oil at 10 K intervals using a porsche approved oil be it Mobil 1 0-W-40 or 5-W-40 or similar (shell Helix, etc) depending on your location and severity of winter. Mobil 5-W-50 is only necessary for track use.

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The introduction of the M97 engine had the larger single row IMS bearing and larger thread size on the IMS hub carrier. The M97 engine is the 3.4 unit fitted to 2006/7 and later model year cars and the uprated 2.7 units for the same period. There is ne definitive answer as to why or how the IMS bearing or carrier fails but its generally accepted if its going to fail it will happen before about 55k miles , usually around the 40 -45k mileage regardless of age or how the car has been driven. It is also suggested that frequent oil changes (ie every 10K) may reduce the risk of oil contamination build up from short or infrequent use. The oil contamination be it carbon or absorbtion of water is also considered a potential contributor to the problem. My advice would be to drive the car for longer rather than shorter journies , ensure it fully up to operating temp before enthusiastic driving , and change the oil at 10 K intervals using a porsche approved oil be it Mobil 1 0-W-40 or 5-W-40 or similar (shell Helix, etc) depending on your location and severity of winter. Mobil 5-W-50 is only necessary for track use.

Wow, talk about misconceptions! First, the IMS bearing fails because it is a sealed unit by design, preventing any engine oil from getting into it. When the bearing seals begin to die, the internal lubricant leaks out, galling begins, causing the failure. Oil contamination is not a factor in how it dies. One of the early "fixes" was to remove the OEM unit and pull the seals off it so that the engine oil could lubricate it. While this helped, the basic components of the bearing were both undersized and the wrong materials; which is why the LN unit uses ceramic balls rather than steel.

As for oil and change intervals, this subject has been covered many times. Mobil 1 0W-40 is a poor oil choice for several reason, one being that it breaks down in a couple thousand miles. You should be using an ACEA A3, B3, B4 rated oil that UoA's have demonstrated holds up; there are 5W-40 and 10W-40 products readily available that more than do the job and fine for any climate other than the arctic, but should still be changed between 5-10K miles..........

Edited by JFP in PA
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JFP, could you elaborate without as much of the nomenclature, possibly with some examples of appropriate brands?

What is UoA? ACEA? I assume A3/B3/B4 are qualities of oil. Yes, I'll google it, too... but that won't give me the context of "oil in my porsche" as if you explain it.

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JFP, could you elaborate without as much of the nomenclature, possibly with some examples of appropriate brands?

What is UoA? ACEA? I assume A3/B3/B4 are qualities of oil. Yes, I'll google it, too... but that won't give me the context of "oil in my porsche" as if you explain it.

I guess I've been hanging around the BITOG site too much and assumed everyone was familiar with the terminology.

UoA= Used oil analysis. There are several commercial labs that run an extensive battery of tests on oil to help you understand how they are doing under use.

ACEA= European Automobile Manufacturer's Association (http://www.acea.be/index.php) based in Brussels. They represent all the gas and diesel vehicle manufacturers in the EU, and set the standards for various technical areas, including oils. What is unique about their oil rating protocols is that you must become a member to obtain a rating, the ratings are only performed by independant outside labs they have approved, the ratings sytem only tests and rates finished products, and any formulation changes require total requalifying (unlike the API which allows self testing by the manufacturers and other more slack rating qualifiers). They publish "Oil Sequences", which describe all of the required testing and what each rating lable stands for:

( http://www.acea.be/i...7_LD_and_HD.pdf)

Ratings basics (the full testing requirements are too long to get into for a basics discussion, but available on line):

A3/B3 Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance gasoline and car + light van diesel engines and/or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and/or for year-round use of low viscosity oils, and/or for severe (high temp/high shear) operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer.

A3/B4 Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance gasoline and direct injection diesel engines, but also suitable for applications described under A3/B3. Big advantage of the B4 rating is the inclusion of direct injection, which tends to cause higher fuel dilution of the oil.

So and "A3, B3, B4" oils are for "high performance" gas engines, can stand up to severe abuse and "remain in grade" (continue to demonstrate vis range characteristics as advertised) in applications like your Porsche................

Edited by JFP in PA
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JFP, could you elaborate without as much of the nomenclature, possibly with some examples of appropriate brands?

What is UoA? ACEA? I assume A3/B3/B4 are qualities of oil. Yes, I'll google it, too... but that won't give me the context of "oil in my porsche" as if you explain it.

Stef,

With the nice intro that JFP provided, contributing members have access to TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) on this site -- there's an approved oil listing that you can reference to see what other oils are recommended. For an UoA (used oil analysis), you can search my posts as I've posted a couple of UoA reports for my car.

Regards,

paul...

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Rather than depend upon the "approved list", which periodically adds and removes products without explanation; as well as "unapproves" products that were once golden, but now are no longer acceptable (again, without explanations), you will still find your self without much guidance.

There have been far too many discussions on this topic, some become quite heated (a lot like attempting to have civil discourse on politics or religion). I've already been down this road too many times to want to wonder through that mine field yet again. If you would like to know which brands and weights I think are good (and why), send me a PM and I will provide you with the benefit of my experience…..

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