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Don't know if it works or not. It has not be released to the public yet. I would bet it is just a fancy/hacked remote bar-b-que grill thermometer. Every bearing the I have had go bad gets hot first. But I also believe IMS failures are a small number.Just my 2 cents.

Edited by function12
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I've followed that thread over on Rennlist and while I think it's an interesting idea, I'm skeptical and won't be standing in line waiting to hand over my money. I mean, Flat 6 sells IMS upgrades, so isn't it in their best interest for you to think your IMS bearing is bad? And Jake strikes too much of a be-afraid-be-very-afraid tone for my taste. For chrissakes, he encourages you to flatbed your car to him for the upgrade -- don't drive it -- because it might lunch its engine AT ANY SECOND!! I'll pass.

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You have to understand that Jake Raby is an absolute perfectionist.

This is the very reason why he wants cars flat-bedded to him, he trusts his own judgement and very few others. There are a few proud shops out there ...

That being said, perfectionists can sometimes be very bright people, genius savant even.

Anyhow, I certainly believe in him and his products after following his technical posts. Often people refer to his knowledge as the epitome of excellence on forums such as these and Rennlist and even here. The "buck stops" there. And very few question his comments, rather "feed" off of them.

He stands by his word with this product and offers immensely generous guarantees that most companies wouldn't touch with a 1 million foot pole.

It is very sad in this day an age there aren't more companies providing this type of genuine guarantee from the soul heart and soul.

I believe the IMS "hype" and debacle is partially true and partially hype, whether spurred on by Jake or not. AND furthermore, for the record the upgraded bearing is developed and sold by Charles Navarro at LN engineering, and NOT Jake Raby. He merely is a "premier" expert in the subject matter. There clearly is a problem, but does it affect 5%, 10%, 15% or more of the 996? Obviously Mr. Raby runs a repair shop and is also a great innovator for these engines dealing with mainly disaster, so his viewpoint is going to be skewed towards failure rather than success.

Edited by logray
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Don't know if it works or not. It has not be released to the public yet. I would bet it is just a fancy/hacked remote bar-b-que grill thermometer. Every bearing the I have had go bad gets hot first. But I also believe IMS failures are a small number.Just my 2 cents.

I believe it will be some sort of variation of a magnet positioned so that it accumulates ferrous metal particles in the oil between two electrodes--thus closing a circuit that makes the buzzer/light turn on. For the price he is charging I am sure that it will be more than that. I think it may be a while before it is available in volume as he seems to still be making changes to the design.

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Regarding Flat6 Innovations, they seem to do very good work from what I've read, but Jake does tend to have "The sky is falling!" attitude. On LN Engineering's site, they say that the LNE IMS upgrade should be good for 5-6 years, or 50-60 thousand miles. In Jake's sales pitch for the IMS Guardian, he says that the LNE IMS bearing is good for 3-4 years or 40 thousand miles. Both estimates seem low to me, and Jake's seem very low. Think about it - the MTBF for OEM IMS bearings is probably at least 80k miles when you factor in all of the low mileage failures and the high mileage successes. So it stands to reason that an over-engineered, upgraded bearing should last longer than the "ill-conceived" and "poorly engineered" OEM bearing. Time will tell if this is true. If we start reading about failed LNE bearings in 3 or 4 years, I might buy the IMS Guardian, which incidentally is still being tested even though orders are being taken.

For the record, even though I think the IMS issue is over-hyped, I had the upgrade done for some peace of mind. The IMS Guardian, as described, wouldn't give me the same warm and fuzzy feeling. I'd always be wondering when the alarm would go off...on the way to a job interview, or a wedding, or to the airport for a business trip. Just my two cents.

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You've got to be kidding me. "IMS Guardian?" How exactly is this supposed to work? Let's see:

Idea #1: "Chip light." Two electrodes spaced apart, with a field on them. When enough metal in the oil closes the circuit, you know you've got trouble. Problem is, by the time you have enough metal to throw a chip light, you shut down the engine and overhaul it, so you didn't really save anything, it's just telling you that you're screwed (they're very helpful in aircraft engines, as if you throw a chip light, you want to shut down and secure the failing engine BEFORE it blows up, not so much the same level of importance on a car).

Idea #2: Timing deviation. You can't watch the timing deviation, as by the time that shifts, it's certainly too late.

Idea #3: Vibration analysis. You might, hypothetically (and I emphasize, hypothetically) be able to do vibration analysis. This is a common way of detecting problems in turbine engines during routine maintenance, and it works EXTREMELY well. However, I can assure you that if this technology were to be adapted to an automotive, piston engine, only a manufacturer would have the time and funds to get a large enough amount of data to plot to have any sort of meaningful use.

Idea #4. Bearing temperature. See "chip light," above. By the time this thing flashes, it's likely too late, as you've already sent metal on a round trip tour through the engine.

There is absolutely no denying that that the M96 engine suffers several engineers flaws, the largest being the IMS issue. The factory bearing is known to be junk, while the LN unit is light years ahead. Does it 100% remove the risk? Of course not, but as others have said, you'd sleep much sounder knowing that it's been done.

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But surely the point is that an IMS failure isn't going to happen to 90% of owners. Replacing the IMS bearing with a LN unit will protect you, but might be unneccesary for that 90%. The IMS Guardian makes sense to me, as it eliminates the "just in case" replacement cost. Just my £0.02.

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  • Moderators

More to the point, if whatever Jake developed actually works, and I have no reason to think it does not, it would be very useful to anyone with an M96/97 from late 2005 on until the introduction of the shaft less replacement. On these engines, the IMS bearing cannot be changed without totally disassembling the cases, which ain't exactly cheap, pretty much eliminating "preemptive" IMS replacements. But if you owned one, and there are a fair number of them, and this system has warned you of an impending failure, you would be thankful for the information, and then able to take appropriate steps to save the engine...................

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Just curious, does anybody have some info on how long the original IMS will hold out, or when it should be replaced, if it did not fail yet.

Thinking in term of miles/years, did Porsche recommend a time for replacement?

Have 104000 on a 2002.

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It is possible that your bearing will last forever. It is also possible it will not. I don't believe there are solid statistics out there.

Those that sell the replacement bearings and have studied the strength of the original suggest that even the replacement bearings that are much stronger than the original should be replaced at an interval - say every 40-60k - to avoid total bearing failure.

There are also those that have 100+ k miles and have no clue as to what an IMS is, and may never know...

FWIW, when I replaced the bearing on my '99 996 at 65k'ish it seemed in great shape.

I don't believe Porsche has officially acknowledged the problem, other than eventually increasing the size of the bearing (as well as making it impossible to replace without complete engine teardown) and then even more recently eliminating it from the engine design.

+1to JFP's comment, this is great news for our cars in that now you just install a simple detection device and may never need to install the bearing if yours is sound and lasts the life of the car.

Edited by logray
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"it would be very useful to anyone with an M96/97 from late 2005 on until the introduction of the shaft less replacement. On these engines, the IMS bearing cannot be changed without totally disassembling the cases..."

Good point. I don't think I've read about any IMS failures with those cars, so maybe the improvements have addressed the problem. If I had one, I would probably buy the IMS Guardian as there is no way to proactively upgrade the bearing.

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"it would be very useful to anyone with an M96/97 from late 2005 on until the introduction of the shaft less replacement. On these engines, the IMS bearing cannot be changed without totally disassembling the cases..."

Good point. I don't think I've read about any IMS failures with those cars, so maybe the improvements have addressed the problem. If I had one, I would probably buy the IMS Guardian as there is no way to proactively upgrade the bearing.

The post 05's also suffer the failures.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just got my car back from Jake's shop about a month ago. I have an 04 40th Anniversary Edition that had 12K miles when I bought it 2 years ago - it now has 19K. I had the kit installed for peace of mind due to the potential for failure. Jake and his team are awesome, and I sleep better at night now. I also had some "while you are in there" items replaced like the AOS, water pump, Variocam wear pads, clutch, RMS (some of these replacement items are part of a package).

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I'll shortly be selling my own protection device. It prevents communists, Big Foot, and aliens (space, not illegal) from crawling up your exhaust pipe. PM me for details about the Early Adopter's discount.

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Since the factory bearing can fail below 20,000 miles or survive beyond 100,000 miles I suspect we will find out at some point that the bearing (sealed or open race) is not the true culprit. I think others have commented on eccentricity in the IM shaft itself as the likely root cause. The LNE external retrofit doesn't address the shaft itself. I believe that Flat6 offers a more extensive retrofit if the IMS is sent to them for re-machining. I assume they take care of IMS eccentricity as part of that process.

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  • 5 weeks later...

The IMS Guardian has been completely described in the 2011 volume of Excellence Magazine in the Tech Forum.

Most of you will have this publication in the coming week.

Think what you want about the "sky is falling", but come answer my phones for a week and you will see what we experience on a daily basis.

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off-top

I just got my car back from Jake's shop about a month ago. I have an 04 40th Anniversary Edition that had 12K miles when I bought it 2 years ago - it now has 19K. I had the kit installed for peace of mind due to the potential for failure. Jake and his team are awesome, and I sleep better at night now. I also had some "while you are in there" items replaced like the AOS, water pump, Variocam wear pads, clutch, RMS (some of these replacement items are part of a package).

at 19k miles you repalced all that in order to sleep better? dont think you can do that. think of radiators, break pads, sensors, old navi maps, cup holder wear-out, protective bra, glass-spray coating, leather treatment, belt, all filters :)

JR, will wait for the article

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This week I am instructing another of my M96 101 engine rebuild schools.. During a break in class on Thursday I passed the IMS Guardian sensor around the classroom and no one knew what it was or how it could possibly work.

When I used two sentences to explain it their eyes lit up and jaws dropped. Partly due to how simple it is and also because of how logical it is. Then came the congratulations..

All the patents are filed and a provisional has been issued, trademarks are registered as of last week. Due to the USPTO it will take the better oart of the next year to receive the full patent.

We have been assembling units at our facility non stop and will soon be filling the 376 pre orders that we have (as soon as Porsche sends us every seat heater switch in the world, that's all we lack)

Edited by Jake Raby
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  • 2 months later...

I beleive what is being described has been in use for many years in the aviation community, Out of repect for Jake I will not elaborate as he secures patents etc. I am familiar with this techology being used in turbine engines and main rotor transmissions in helicopters. It is reliable and robust. I will be ordering one.

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I beleive what is being described has been in use for many years in the aviation community, Out of repect for Jake I will not elaborate as he secures patents etc. I am familiar with this techology being used in turbine engines and main rotor transmissions in helicopters. It is reliable and robust. I will be ordering one.

Over the years the best Porsche mechanics I've known were all former aircraft mechanics.

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