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Okay, got the sh*t scared out of me this morning - need some help


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As many of you new already, i'm a newbie just picking up my first porsche, a 2002 C4 Cab, 6 speed. It's a beauty and i'm in heaven although i am frightened over the whole IMS issue, which i plan on addressing come the winter with the LN retrofit. The PPI, which was done by an Indy who specializes in Porsches, street and track, came back clean other than an A/C issue. The rear seal was replaced by the previous owner about 2 years ago. I purchased the car last month with about 37k miles on it and since than have added another 1,500 or so (what can i say, i love driving it!).

Anyway, my early morning scare. This morning, I started the car up, lowered the top, sat for about a minute in the garage, drove it about a 1,000 yards and no problems, than all of a sudden i heard a loud rattle (like marbles in a tin can) coming from the back of the car. I stopped the car and the noise then immediately stooped. I looked underneath the car to see if i ran something over and in the engine just to make sure nothing obvious was wrong and saw nothing. I got back in the car and went on my way and as soon as i started to move, i immediately heard the noise again and once again, stopped the car, got out and looked around for something in the street and nothing and of course, in the engine again and nothing.

Being only a 1,000 yards or so from the house, rather than leave the car in the middle of the street, i turned around to go back home nbut now the noise was gone so i went back on my way to the gym and drove for about 15 more minutes to get there and nothing, no noise or anything. After about an hour at the gym, i started it back up, came home and no noise at all. Very weird.

I was planning on getting the IMS done this winter but now i am scared to drive it. Should i begin crying now. If its the IMS, would it go immediately after the bolt breaks or can it take time. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

PS - As promised, i will get pic's up this weekend, assuming its not in the shop that is. :(

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Hey there.

The bearing can fail immediately, but we have heard that it can also "hang on" for a 100 miles or so before it totally blows up.

The rattle could come from something else though.

But just as a precaution I wouldn't drive the car until it is properly diagnosed.

Hopefully it would just be lose exhaust or a bad bearing.

Taking all of these precautions and having a shop look at it will be much less expensive than if it really is the IMS bearing gone south - and hopefully - it is probably something else. If it's not, you'll still have saved yourself a bucket load of money - if you catch the IMS early enough - no damage is done aside from having to replace the bearing.

By the way, soon Jake @ Flat 6 will be releasing his IMS guardian detection unit, which will be able to alert drivers (before) their IMS bearings fail so they can safely pull over and stop the engine before complete meltdown.

Edited by logray
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Roadsession: Three quick questions.

(1) Did you hear the noise when the car was in neutral or only when it was moving?

(2) How long from when you first heard the noise to when the bearing gave out?

(3) Did the noise ever go away after hearing it the first time or did it stay constant?

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Could be Catalyst - mine sounded like a can of marbles - and was intermittent to start with (resonates at some frequencies) when it went on my E320 .... but best to have it towed and checked by the indie ...you don,t want $20K engine repair bill if it is failing IMS - which can be fixed for 1/10 of that (or so) .... if it is CAT even less ....

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