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I am writing from Athens Greece where unfortunately Porsche is quite reluctant to offer any advice and their parts are about 3 to 4 times more expensive than those in the US! Recently I was told by my mechanic (US trained) that I need a new clutch...the current one is slipping. I have gone ahead and ordered from Sunset Porsche the following:

Clutch Kit


The 8 bolts that hold the flywheel

The bolts to the pressure plate

Guide Sleeve/Tube

Clutch Release lever and bushings (2 pieces)

Small plastic lever in the ball housing of the intermediate shaft (3 pieces)

Sunset as usual was very helpful. Somewhere I read about an IMS upgrade (LNE) and when I went to their site it was mentioned that if there is no problem with the IMS to at least perform an IMS retrofit. Can someone please explain what they mean by that as I am reluctant to spend what appears to be 800$ for an IMS upgrade I may not need.

Thanks in advance for all the help because I am quite lost here.


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You didn't state the year of your car but I am assuming it is a 99-04... You have three options with regards to replacing your IMS. Options 1 and 2 are replacement bearings offered as a retrofit for the single and double row bearings and can be replaced without disassembly of the engine. The 3rd option, called an upgrade, requires disassembly of the motor and is beyond the ability of the average DIY unless you have all the special tools and are very mechanically inclined and experienced. As for whether or not you need it, thats a crap shoot. Depending on who you talk too it could happen tomorrow or never. However, considering 18-20K for a new motor, 500 bucks its pretty cheap insurance, especially if you do the work yourself.

Hope this helps, Tom

PS: If nothing else, call or email Jake Raby. He is the expert...

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Several weeks ago my wife's 2005 Carrera made a horrible noise. It had about 65K miles and I've always had the oil and filter changed every 7,500 miles. The car was driven regularly. She had it flatbedded to the dealer, and the diagnosis was failed IMS bearing. The dealer (where I bought all three of our Porsches and have all maintenance done) went to bat with Porsche and got Porsche to goodwill a replacement motor and labor, even though the car was two full years out of warranty. The bolt end of the IMS bearing that snapped off is a joke, and it's amazing more don't fail.

I took this as a wakeup call for my 2001 Boxster and my car is now at the dealer having the LN Engineering IMS retrofit bearing installed. After 35K miles, my clutch is still in great condition (printing is still visible on the surface), so pulling the transmission ended up being just to replace the bearing (and RMS seal while they're at it). It's going to be expensive with all the labor, and it's the first time my local dealership has done one of these, but I figure in the long run it's cheap insurance since I plan to keep the car, and certainly cheaper than a replacement engine. When I saw the bearing they took out, it looked fine and spun smoothly. It's going back to LN Engineering for further analysis. I'll post more details when I get the car back (I'm out of town this week and it wasn't ready last week).

I suggest you contact Charles Navarro directly, who manufactures the bearings. He is extremely responsive. The bearing cases are made in Japan, so availability is an issue right now. His email is charles@lnengineering.com

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Off hand, what would the cost be for the parts. I forgot to mention that the car is a 2003 996 4S. It is a 6 speed with roughly 65000 klm on it. All the work will be performed by a friend of mine who is a car mechanic and quite trustworthy ( I think he will be charging me roughly 400 euros or close to 600$ for all the work).

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Details are at http://www.lnengineering.com/ims.html According to the web site, you have the single row bearing, which is US $519. You'll also need the tool to extract the bearing, lock the cams, etc, which is another US $167. While everything was being done, I also replaced the RMS seal to the latest version which is less prone to leaks and got the lower temperature thermostat from LN Engineering and replaced the water pump. For me, labor was the significant cost, so I figured for a 10 year old car replace a lot of the wear items when access was easy and the mechanic was already in there

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Considering that the car has only 40K miles would it be standard procedure to go ahead with the upgrade at this point? I guess my other option is to have the transmission pulled and if the IMS bearing is questionable to then have it replaced.

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This is just my opinion but if you are going to have the car apart I think it is foolish to not replace the bearing. I have an 02 C4S and the motor was replaced under Porsche warranty at about 45K because of a failed IMS bearing... I'd hate to see you back here in 6 months with "Darn, I should have done this" comments...

Again, just my 2 cents worth!

Edited by goldenwarrior1
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Thanks for all the input..........Tom, how do I get in touch with Jake Raby? Also Geoff, my mechanic has access to Porsche tools. Will it be necessary to purchase the tool from LNE to extract the bearing, etc? Once again all the input is greatly appreciated.


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Take a look at http://www.flat6innovations.com/ for info on how to contact Jake. He occasionally lurks around on rennlist.

There are a ton of threads though on the IMS replacement if you search. Some think it is a small percentage that fail. Others feel it is a chronic problem. My opinion is that no one really has enough data (not even porsche), so on a lot of the forums you'll read about horror stories (of course the people with problems and those that sell the products usually only see/write about the bad stuff), and not read a lot of people praising how well their IMS bearings are still working.

For me, it was just piece of mind. At 68k miles and 10 years when I removed my bearing, it was fine and would have probably lasted another 200k miles. But now I can sleep better at night.

As for the extraction tool, it is possible to extract with a heavy duty bearing extractor, but I highly recommend going with the extraction tool 1ST time (it made the job much easier for me). Some people who use regular extraction tools and break something (perhaps even the tool) have to go in with more aggressive methods or tools and spend more money. Worst case would be a complete engine tear down.

For locking tool, if your engine has single row bearing and 3 chains you can't get around that.

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Thanks for all the input..........Tom, how do I get in touch with Jake Raby? Also Geoff, my mechanic has access to Porsche tools. Will it be necessary to purchase the tool from LNE to extract the bearing, etc? Once again all the input is greatly appreciated.


My mechanic at the Porsche dealer told me to order the bearing extraction tool along with the retrofit bearing (and low temperature thermostat). The LN pro tool kit comes with cam locking tools which are functionally equivalent to the factory Porsche tools but not as nice, and my mechanic used his. You should check with Charles Navarro about alternatives for the bearing extraction tool, but I suspect it's part of the price to play. As more and more of the bearings are replaced, mechanics will have the tool, but until then I expect just ordering the extraction tool is the fastest and most reliable way to get the bearing out

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