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mypctechs

IMS or RMS leak - Thoughts?

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Hey all,

I just took my 2003 Boxster with 80K miles in for a routine oil change and got the dreaded call. The shop says they've detected a leak but won't know for sure ( IMS or RMS) until they pull down the transmission. The first thing that troubles me is I have a spotless garage and absolutely no signs of oil anywhere - is it normal to have a leak of this nature without oil in my garage anywhere?

Anyways, the quoted price to pull the transmission and detect the leak is $1,200.

To pull the transmission, replace the IMS with the retrofit, and replace the clutch is around $3,000 with parts. No mention was made of the RMS which surprises me, shouldn't I also replace that at the same time?

Also, what do you think of these prices? I definitely want to get this work done if it means I can avoid a catastrophic failure but wonder if there's not another place in town that can do it for less...

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Hey all,

I just took my 2003 Boxster with 80K miles in for a routine oil change and got the dreaded call. The shop says they've detected a leak but won't know for sure ( IMS or RMS) until they pull down the transmission. The first thing that troubles me is I have a spotless garage and absolutely no signs of oil anywhere - is it normal to have a leak of this nature without oil in my garage anywhere?

Anyways, the quoted price to pull the transmission and detect the leak is $1,200.

To pull the transmission, replace the IMS with the retrofit, and replace the clutch is around $3,000 with parts. No mention was made of the RMS which surprises me, shouldn't I also replace that at the same time?

Also, what do you think of these prices? I definitely want to get this work done if it means I can avoid a catastrophic failure but wonder if there's not another place in town that can do it for less...

The same thing happened to me when I first got my '99 Boxster. A mechanic pointed out a very small drop of oil and told me all the horror stories of IMS and RMS failure. I drove the car for another two years with no oil leaking out of it and decided to replace the IMS with the LN ceramic one. When the Tip trans was pulled neither the IMS or RMS was leaking but I went ahead and did the IMS conversion and had the RMS replaced which you should do if you've got the trans off and I would freshen up the clutch plates and throw out bearing if needed. The whole job, removing Tiptronic trans, LN bearing, RMS and reassembly was $1800 through an independent shop. I would get a second opinion if I were you.

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Oil filler tube? I'm not familiar enough though with the Boxster to know if any of the passages/cavities in the engine/trans mating might allow oil from the top to seep into the rms/ ims area... making it look like and rms/ ims problem when it is really just a $40 part???

Seems a bit much though to just pull the trans, I would get a second opinion/estimate.

Edited by logray

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Hey all,

it normal to have a leak of this nature without oil in my garage anywhere?

Anyways, the quoted price to pull the transmission and detect the leak is $1,200.

To pull the transmission, replace the IMS with the retrofit, and replace the clutch is around $3,000 with parts. No mention was made of the RMS which surprises me, shouldn't I also replace that at the same time?

Also, what do you think of these prices? I definitely want to get this work done if it means I can avoid a catastrophic failure but wonder if there's not another place in town that can do it for less...

It could be that you would not have a puddle on your garage floor because the under tray could catch a lot of oil but it most likely is not a severe leak. However if it is leaking you don't want to ignore it because it will cost you triple or more later. The prices are in line with dealer rates but I would find a shop familiar with Porsches and get a quote from them.

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I just went through a similar experience. Last month my wife's 2005 Carrera with 65K miles decided enough was enough and the IMS sheared apart. I took this as a wake up call for my 2001 Boxster and decided to have the IMS bearing replaced with one of the LN Engineering improved retrofit bearings. Since the car is 10 years old and everything was apart, I did the following as well: replace water pump (which turned out to be a good thing, as it wasn't spinning smoothly and was starting to leak, which the mechanic didn't notice until he pulled it out), installed LN Engineering lower temperature thermostat (which Charles Navarro strongly recommended along with the IMS bearing), replace the oil filler tube (since these are known to get brittle and crack with age), replace the coolant expansion tank (since I knew it already had a slight leak and it had already been replaced under warranty a long time ago), and replace the RMS seal with the latest version. My RMS seal wasn't leaking, but the labor to replace it was insignificant. I would have replaced the clutch (it had over 35K miles on it), but the mechanic said it looked almost new and still had the original printing on it. The dealer couldn't get their act together to order the LN Engineering parts ( IMS bearing, extraction tools, low temperature thermostat), so I just ordered direct and had overnighted to the dealer. None of the mechanics at the dealer had ever done the IMS bearing replacement before, but it was straightforward according to them and they didn't encounter any problems. I spent a lot of time there looking at what they were doing, but missed the whole extraction process. Parts from LN Engineering, including overnight shipping, was a little over $1K, and the bill from the dealer with discounts was about $2.5K. Parts from the dealer came to a little over a grand, and most of the labor involved removing and replacing the transmission. Not exactly cheap, but a lot less expensive than a replacement motor, and I'm no longer wondering if/when my engine will self destruct at a most inopportune time. I just got my car back last week and it runs great (if anything, the engine seems a little bit smoother)

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I've been driving with an RMS leak for 6 years. It has only seeped a little at a time and I keep up with my maintenance like clockwork, everything much earlier than recommended by Porsche. Anyway, I have only driven my Boxster about 20K in those years but surprisingly no issues. I refrained from driving it much for a long time but finally decided that I needed to start having fun with it. I would like to fix it but shortly after I identified the leak I had quit my corporate career and bought a business. I now have 3 and made a decision that they were more important so all my cash goes to them. I hope to have it replaced by the end of the year and am crossing my fingers it will not become catastophic. Anyway, my Indy initially told me not to freak out about it however I have gone far far longer than he recommended to go.

As far as pricing is concerned, Jake Raby (who is the Man!) quoted me $3500.00 for the IMS, RMS, Clutch, Labor. Dealer type prices but I would never have to worry again. I am planning on taking it to him, plus I live about 10 miles away from his facility so that means a lot as well. Best of luck to you.

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I've been driving with an RMS leak for 6 years. It has only seeped a little at a time and I keep up with my maintenance like clockwork, everything much earlier than recommended by Porsche. Anyway, I have only driven my Boxster about 20K in those years but surprisingly no issues. I refrained from driving it much for a long time but finally decided that I needed to start having fun with it. I would like to fix it but shortly after I identified the leak I had quit my corporate career and bought a business. I now have 3 and made a decision that they were more important so all my cash goes to them. I hope to have it replaced by the end of the year and am crossing my fingers it will not become catastophic. Anyway, my Indy initially told me not to freak out about it however I have gone far far longer than he recommended to go.

As far as pricing is concerned, Jake Raby (who is the Man!) quoted me $3500.00 for the IMS, RMS, Clutch, Labor. Dealer type prices but I would never have to worry again. I am planning on taking it to him, plus I live about 10 miles away from his facility so that means a lot as well. Best of luck to you.

Hi faserjames, thanks for the input!

As an update my situation, I decided to have the work done from the same place that gave the original quote. I got quotes from others in the area but the local place that I use for repairs is very good at what they do and have done good work for me in the past. Overall the price was similar no matter where I would have taken it.

This was my RMS leak:

post-43308-0-94577000-1306379436_thumb.j

Clutch Disk:

post-43308-0-39275000-1306379489_thumb.j

When all was said and done I decided that, if they were going to pull out the guts anyways, I might as well get everything done while in there. I ended up replacing the RMS, upgraded the IMS, replaced the AOS, replaced the flywheel and clutch. It's amazing how easy the clutch pedal is now. :)

Total for all of this was around $3,300.

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What ever happend to the Carrera? Did you have to replace the engine?

I just went through a similar experience. Last month my wife's 2005 Carrera with 65K miles decided enough was enough and the IMS sheared apart. I took this as a wake up call for my 2001 Boxster and decided to have the IMS bearing replaced with one of the LN Engineering improved retrofit bearings. Since the car is 10 years old and everything was apart, I did the following as well: replace water pump (which turned out to be a good thing, as it wasn't spinning smoothly and was starting to leak, which the mechanic didn't notice until he pulled it out), installed LN Engineering lower temperature thermostat (which Charles Navarro strongly recommended along with the IMS bearing), replace the oil filler tube (since these are known to get brittle and crack with age), replace the coolant expansion tank (since I knew it already had a slight leak and it had already been replaced under warranty a long time ago), and replace the RMS seal with the latest version. My RMS seal wasn't leaking, but the labor to replace it was insignificant. I would have replaced the clutch (it had over 35K miles on it), but the mechanic said it looked almost new and still had the original printing on it. The dealer couldn't get their act together to order the LN Engineering parts ( IMS bearing, extraction tools, low temperature thermostat), so I just ordered direct and had overnighted to the dealer. None of the mechanics at the dealer had ever done the IMS bearing replacement before, but it was straightforward according to them and they didn't encounter any problems. I spent a lot of time there looking at what they were doing, but missed the whole extraction process. Parts from LN Engineering, including overnight shipping, was a little over $1K, and the bill from the dealer with discounts was about $2.5K. Parts from the dealer came to a little over a grand, and most of the labor involved removing and replacing the transmission. Not exactly cheap, but a lot less expensive than a replacement motor, and I'm no longer wondering if/when my engine will self destruct at a most inopportune time. I just got my car back last week and it runs great (if anything, the engine seems a little bit smoother)

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What ever happend to the Carrera? Did you have to replace the engine?

I just went through a similar experience. Last month my wife's 2005 Carrera with 65K miles decided enough was enough and the IMS sheared apart. I took this as a wake up call for my 2001 Boxster and decided to have the IMS bearing replaced with one of the LN Engineering improved retrofit bearings. Since the car is 10 years old and everything was apart, I did the following as well: replace water pump (which turned out to be a good thing, as it wasn't spinning smoothly and was starting to leak, which the mechanic didn't notice until he pulled it out), installed LN Engineering lower temperature thermostat (which Charles Navarro strongly recommended along with the IMS bearing), replace the oil filler tube (since these are known to get brittle and crack with age), replace the coolant expansion tank (since I knew it already had a slight leak and it had already been replaced under warranty a long time ago), and replace the RMS seal with the latest version. My RMS seal wasn't leaking, but the labor to replace it was insignificant. I would have replaced the clutch (it had over 35K miles on it), but the mechanic said it looked almost new and still had the original printing on it. The dealer couldn't get their act together to order the LN Engineering parts ( IMS bearing, extraction tools, low temperature thermostat), so I just ordered direct and had overnighted to the dealer. None of the mechanics at the dealer had ever done the IMS bearing replacement before, but it was straightforward according to them and they didn't encounter any problems. I spent a lot of time there looking at what they were doing, but missed the whole extraction process. Parts from LN Engineering, including overnight shipping, was a little over $1K, and the bill from the dealer with discounts was about $2.5K. Parts from the dealer came to a little over a grand, and most of the labor involved removing and replacing the transmission. Not exactly cheap, but a lot less expensive than a replacement motor, and I'm no longer wondering if/when my engine will self destruct at a most inopportune time. I just got my car back last week and it runs great (if anything, the engine seems a little bit smoother)

The engine was toast. Two years almost to the day out of warranty (6 years after we first bought the car). Porsche picked up a new remanufactured engine and labor. I paid for the diagnosis. New engine in the Carrera included everything attached to the engine as well, like water pump, fuel injection, AOS, etc. It runs better than new and has all the latest engine upgrades, such as bigger IMS bearing bolt. Very unlikely this engine will fail

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Actually, there are failures even in the last design of the IMS from Porsche. It still uses an inferior bearing and the inner seal design that depends on lifetime lubrication from the grease initially installed in the bearing.

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... Very unlikely this engine will fail

Actually, there are failures even in the last design of the IMS from Porsche. It still uses an inferior bearing and the inner seal design that depends on lifetime lubrication from the grease initially installed in the bearing.

All the M96/M97 engines with the IMS design are susceptible to IMS failure (as well as plenty of other parts failing prematurely), including the latest and greatest ones. I am operating on the assumption it is very unlikely (but still possible) my new motor in the Carrera will fail. For my Boxster with the LN bearing, even though their IMS bearing is much beefier and better designed than the OEM, there's also a chance it will fail at some point in the future, too. It hasn't been out long enough on enough cars to have a statistically significant feel for the failure rates, but I am assuming (perhaps foolishly because the only truth I know is what I read on the Internet) that my Boxster engine with the LN bearing is less likely to fail than if I hadn't replaced the IMS bearing

I'm sure once the new engines design without IMS bearings have been out for a while, some of them will fail as well - it just won't be the IMS that fails, because the engine doesn't have one

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