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This is precisely why the lack of wear data is an issue. Other than the word "ceramic" whay reason is there to think thatt he LNE bearing is better/different/worse than the OEM part? From my reading I

I am doing the labor myself so yes the cost of the part is important to me. If I can pay half of the LN price for the same part and it is just as reliable then that is a no-brainier. My point is tha

My name is Bill Ryan, and I am the owner of Casper Labs, Inc.. Want to say I am pleased to see some very well written posts on the subject of our IMS kit. Let me try to answer your concerns. If s

According to the E-bay post....it is them:

About Casper Labs, Inc.

Casper Labs designs and manufactures engine parts under "component improvement programs". Production engine design deficiencies are analyzed, and improved parts are designed, tested, and sold to correct these problem areas. Best known for our general aviation engine products (we hold several FAA liscenses/authorizations for design, production, and servicing of piston aircraft engines), we also address turbine and power generation prime movers. Casper Labs products are produced in an AS9100/ISO quality environment."

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Only problem here is that you have no data on the quality,performance, or longevity for this kit, the LN unit has over 4,000 units installed in the field. I'm sure Casper knows their bearings, but I would be remiss if I did not note that LN and Jake Raby tested the Hell out of the LN unit before they made it available; I have seen no data on what level of testing this other supplier has done. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.....................

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I agree JFP. I would like to see the reliability of this unit. It would be nice for a little competition to bring the LN kit price down. A little capitalism at work can help the consumer. Just like we don't want Walmart to be the only department store!

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Only problem here is that you have no data on the quality,performance, or longevity for this kit, the LN unit has over 4,000 units installed in the field. I'm sure Casper knows their bearings, but I would be remiss if I did not note that LN and Jake Raby tested the Hell out of the LN unit before they made it available; I have seen no data on what level of testing this other supplier has done. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.....................

Do you have wear data on the LNE bearing? I have requested this data from Flat6 and was told that the wear data was LNE property and they are not sharing it. I believe that LNE would agree that the real problem is lack of IMSB lubrication not bearing quality. The contribution that LNE has made--without question--is the bearing puller that alows the IMSB to be replaced (in some M96) without tear down.

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Only problem here is that you have no data on the quality,performance, or longevity for this kit, the LN unit has over 4,000 units installed in the field. I'm sure Casper knows their bearings, but I would be remiss if I did not note that LN and Jake Raby tested the Hell out of the LN unit before they made it available; I have seen no data on what level of testing this other supplier has done. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.....................

Do you have wear data on the LNE bearing? I have requested this data from Flat6 and was told that the wear data was LNE property and they are not sharing it. I believe that LNE would agree that the real problem is lack of IMSB lubrication not bearing quality. The contribution that LNE has made--without question--is the bearing puller that alows the IMSB to be replaced (in some M96) without tear down.

No one does. As I mentioned, LN has a substantial installed base, but is still recommending replacing the bearing at typical clutch change intervals (40-60K miles). Wear pre se was never the issue with the OEM rear shaft bearing, they typically fail due to lack of lubrication (grease leaks out of the unit, engine oil that replaces the grease gets trapped and beat to Hell, bearing starts chewing itself to pieces). When you pull an OEM bearing that is on the way out, they tend to either have no lubrication inside at all, or are full of some really nasty motor oil that stinks to high heaven, indicating how beat up it has become. The LN bearings do not use seals, so the bearing is continually splash lubricated by the engine oil to reduce wear. The LN unit is also a ceramic hybrid style rather than steel like the OEM, so it is much harder.

LN has kept their data pretty close to the vest, which any small business man can understand. But the product seems to be working.

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I having been asking Pelican Parts about the IMS for over 1 year, but they keep saying not yet. I am beginning to think they aren't going to make it. Promises but no part!

No disrespect to Wayne, but as he already sells LN parts; I am surprised he would try to develop his own IMS retrofit. That said, to my understanding, his retrofit uses the same style bearing as the OEM (steel with seals), but employs a larger center bolt much like the LN unit. While the smaller center bolts on the OEM style can fail, I really do not think that the bolt is the primary issue, which is lubrication or a lack thereof.

All things considered, the primary costs for an IMS retrofit is not the price of the bearing; by far, most of it is labor. After paying all the labor hours, wouldn’t you want to install the strongest and most proven bearing you could lay hands on?

Including LN, there are now four possible alternatives either in the market, or close to entry. Some appear to be copying LN, others going the “low cost alternative” approach, and one that supposedly uses bearings within bearings in conjunction with a “knock sensor” to catch a failure developing. While I am confident that the market place forces will eventually result in “shake out” of the lesser players, it is an interesting example of what happens when someone finds a way around a profound problem that the OEM says cannot be done (Porsche still insists that the bearings cannot be changed without splitting the cases, and this remains the “official line” at many dealerships), and the concept quickly turns into a multi million dollar aftermarket business...............

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I having been asking Pelican Parts about the IMS for over 1 year, but they keep saying not yet. I am beginning to think they aren't going to make it. Promises but no part!

No disrespect to Wayne, but as he already sells LN parts; I am surprised he would try to develop his own IMS retrofit. That said, to my understanding, his retrofit uses the same style bearing as the OEM (steel with seals), but employs a larger center bolt much like the LN unit. While the smaller center bolts on the OEM style can fail, I really do not think that the bolt is the primary issue, which is lubrication or a lack thereof.

All things considered, the primary costs for an IMS retrofit is not the price of the bearing; by far, most of it is labor. After paying all the labor hours, wouldn’t you want to install the strongest and most proven bearing you could lay hands on?

Including LN, there are now four possible alternatives either in the market, or close to entry. Some appear to be copying LN, others going the “low cost alternative” approach, and one that supposedly uses bearings within bearings in conjunction with a “knock sensor” to catch a failure developing. While I am confident that the market place forces will eventually result in “shake out” of the lesser players, it is an interesting example of what happens when someone finds a way around a profound problem that the OEM says cannot be done (Porsche still insists that the bearings cannot be changed without splitting the cases, and this remains the “official line” at many dealerships), and the concept quickly turns into a multi million dollar aftermarket business...............

This is precisely why the lack of wear data is an issue. Other than the word "ceramic" whay reason is there to think thatt he LNE bearing is better/different/worse than the OEM part? From my reading I gather that the pre-production testing was in the form of driving--specifically the miles put on Jake's wife's 996 after LNE retrofit. A small sample size for sure. With a $20,000 repair bill wieghing in the balance I would have expected to see legitimate MTBF calculations based on comparisons of "zero hour" bearings to failed bearings. I asked for that--request denied. I suspect that data may not exist. My personal view is that the real contribution made by F6/LNE is the extraction tool and flow, not the particular IMSB.

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The LN bearing uses a Timken silicon nitride bearing assembly that is both ultra low in internal friction and demonstrates a higher strength over a wider temperature range than steel counterparts, and the ability to withstand higher structural loadings as well. It also has outstanding wear characteristics under marginal lubrication conditions.

Unfortunately, I lent someone my copies of the “Excellence” magazine article on the subject, which contains more details of the bearings materials of construction, and have not gotten them back yet (another example of why you should never lend out stuff). Perhaps you can locate copies of the two part series they did on the subject about 2 years ago.

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I having been asking Pelican Parts about the IMS for over 1 year, but they keep saying not yet. I am beginning to think they aren't going to make it. Promises but no part!

No disrespect to Wayne, but as he already sells LN parts; I am surprised he would try to develop his own IMS retrofit. That said, to my understanding, his retrofit uses the same style bearing as the OEM (steel with seals), but employs a larger center bolt much like the LN unit. While the smaller center bolts on the OEM style can fail, I really do not think that the bolt is the primary issue, which is lubrication or a lack thereof.

All things considered, the primary costs for an IMS retrofit is not the price of the bearing; by far, most of it is labor. After paying all the labor hours, wouldn’t you want to install the strongest and most proven bearing you could lay hands on?

Including LN, there are now four possible alternatives either in the market, or close to entry. Some appear to be copying LN, others going the “low cost alternative” approach, and one that supposedly uses bearings within bearings in conjunction with a “knock sensor” to catch a failure developing. While I am confident that the market place forces will eventually result in “shake out” of the lesser players, it is an interesting example of what happens when someone finds a way around a profound problem that the OEM says cannot be done (Porsche still insists that the bearings cannot be changed without splitting the cases, and this remains the “official line” at many dealerships), and the concept quickly turns into a multi million dollar aftermarket business...............

I am doing the labor myself so yes the cost of the part is important to me. If I can pay half of the LN price for the same part and it is just as reliable then that is a no-brainier. My point is that LN has had a little bit of a monopoly and it's time for a little competition to bring the price down. $600 for a bearing? I think that is a little pricey. I wish Pelican or Casper Labs would come through for the ones of us who want reliability but without getting gouged! I agree with J_beede, where is the data for LN.

JFP in Pa, where is the data that you claim LN has, " the strongest and most proven bearing you could lay hands on". Where would I find that information? There is no question that it is our only option right now. Do you have a report that we can read to back your statement. I am very interested.

Edited by valley996
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There is certainly a lack of data, and there is no central point to collect it. Although pro shops are ASKED to register their customers retrofits with LNE in order to honor a warranty claim, I believe most will do this.

What is good is that there are probably thousands, perhaps ten thousands of cars with the LNE retrofit bearing over the past several years. Which in itself it "some" data that there are a lot of units on the road, even if we don't have the long term results or many stats behind it. The short term is that since they've been selling and installing the LNE bearings, only 3 have been known to fail (although they are still unclear whether it was their bearing or otherwise). And of course those are "reported" failures, perhaps there are some who have not reported.

I think it is good there is competition coming on the market, especially for the DIY individual who perhaps doesn't mind having a stock bearing (many of which have proven to be reliable well over 200k). And since it's their own time they don't mind changing it out every 30 or 40 or 50k. Sometimes competition spawns innovation and better products. While I agree with JFP, if you are paying someone, why not go for the best option currently available? Would you really want to risk a $20,000 engine on a bearing from another provider who has not proven themselves by selling installing thousands of units thus far?

Clearly this is a point of the engine that is prone to failure, it's just anyone's guess at this point what percentage of cars it affects - and the best estimate given so far was the 10% in 90,000 mile figure by the retired bearing engineer. Whether that is classified as a guess or estimate requires more data.

It's too bad LNE didn't make it some sort of requirement that everyone register their purchase and document installation - DIY or shop regardless - perhaps then there could be some more solid data.

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I had the LNE bearing installed at 37k about 16 months ago after reading about it on the various forums. As my car is a Tip, there was no offsetting the labor with a clutch replacement, and the net result was a bill of around $2k. LNE says that 3 failures have been reported, which presumably occurred far earlier than the 90k mtbf estimate of the oem bearing. I'm not sure what that says about the longevity of the new bearing. I do know that I would be furious if I paid to replace my functioning ims only to have the "improved" bearing grenade my engine shortly afterward.

Another point is that I don't believe that the cause of the oem ims bearing failures was ever definitively identified. Why did some fail at less than 30k miles while many others exceed 140k? With the lack of information from Porsche, we can only speculate. Maybe the design of the bearing isn't the problem. Maybe it's an issue with the ims shaft that puts extra stress on the bearings in some cases. In that event, changing the bearing before it fails is the key, not whether it's ceramic or oem. It will be interesting to see how forthcoming LNE is with statistics as time goes by.

I'm only putting about 5k miles/year on my car so i have time before the next suggested bearing change. Hopefully by that time significant real-world data will be available to help me decide.

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I having been asking Pelican Parts about the IMS for over 1 year, but they keep saying not yet. I am beginning to think they aren't going to make it. Promises but no part!

No disrespect to Wayne, but as he already sells LN parts; I am surprised he would try to develop his own IMS retrofit. That said, to my understanding, his retrofit uses the same style bearing as the OEM (steel with seals), but employs a larger center bolt much like the LN unit. While the smaller center bolts on the OEM style can fail, I really do not think that the bolt is the primary issue, which is lubrication or a lack thereof.

All things considered, the primary costs for an IMS retrofit is not the price of the bearing; by far, most of it is labor. After paying all the labor hours, wouldn’t you want to install the strongest and most proven bearing you could lay hands on?

Including LN, there are now four possible alternatives either in the market, or close to entry. Some appear to be copying LN, others going the “low cost alternative” approach, and one that supposedly uses bearings within bearings in conjunction with a “knock sensor” to catch a failure developing. While I am confident that the market place forces will eventually result in “shake out” of the lesser players, it is an interesting example of what happens when someone finds a way around a profound problem that the OEM says cannot be done (Porsche still insists that the bearings cannot be changed without splitting the cases, and this remains the “official line” at many dealerships), and the concept quickly turns into a multi million dollar aftermarket business...............

I am doing the labor myself so yes the cost of the part is important to me. If I can pay half of the LN price for the same part and it is just as reliable then that is a no-brainier. My point is that LN has had a little bit of a monopoly and it's time for a little competition to bring the price down. $600 for a bearing? I think that is a little pricey. I wish Pelican or Casper Labs would come through for the ones of us who want reliability but without getting gouged! I agree with J_beede, where is the data for LN.

JFP in Pa, where is the data that you claim LN has, " the strongest and most proven bearing you could lay hands on". Where would I find that information? There is no question that it is our only option right now. Do you have a report that we can read to back your statement. I am very interested.

Again, I would look for the "Excellence" articles (there were two) from 2010 on the subject. I think Charles Navarro may have also addressed the relative strength characteristics of the LN bearing to the OEM style online at one time or another. That would also be well worth a search.

As for how much these things cost, price out an OEM replacement IMS bearing, you just might be surprised............

I also have to say that in defense of small business owners that spend both their time and money developing and sourcing what at least appear to be superior replacement components, I cringe when someone uses words like “gouging”. You do not have to purchase these products, you can continue to run the OEM unit, or even replace it with another OEM unit.

Edited by JFP in PA
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As mentioned, the only "sanctioned factory method" for replacement is engine tear-down and a new IMS tube (with bearing) from Porsche.

Current IMS tube discount pricing:

$272 each 99610501563 1998 - 2000 (roller style chain)

$1071.69 each 99610590100 <= 2000 (tooth style chain)

$573.27 each 99610590102 => 2001 (tooth style chain)

You could certainly buy a tube with the OEM bearing and extract it, but this would probably only work with a single row and you would have to source a new spiro lock somehow. Trouble is, with some (dual rows) having the internal lock, you couldn't reinstall the bearing again. So only option would be engine tear down.

As for strength from the LN eng IMS site:

"Engines replaced or vehicles purchased in or after MY2006 should have the revised, larger single-row IMS bearing, identifiable by a larger 22mm nut in the center of the IMS hub flange. This uses a very large 6305 single-row bearing with a load rating similar to the dual row 6204 bearing compared to the earlier single row 6204 bearing which has about 2/3rds the load rating of the 6305."

"While an engine is apart receiving repairs from an engine failure or as an upgrade, to better address the known IMS problem, we have engineered our IMS Upgrade with a billet chromoly steel hub flange, an increased diameter bearing support/retainer (also manufactured out of chromoly), also providing increased bearing area and dynamic load capacity of almost 5,000 lbs. with our triple bearing - compared to 2200 lbs. for the single, 3060 lbs. for the dual row, and 3650 lbs for the MY06 and later single row. "

"WE DO NOT USE CHINESE BEARINGS - BEWARE OF HIGH FAILURE RATES ON CHINESE CERAMICS!"

"Recent improvements in purity and grain structure have given silicon nitride a high stress fatigue life equal to, or better than, that of bearing steels. Some tests have shown life 3 to 5 times that of M-50 steel. Performs up to 15 times longer in poor lubrication environments (like suggested by the bearing analysis above) as compared to steel."

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I knew that Porsche only sold the bearing with the tube (after all, the factory still says you cannot remove the bearings without splitting the cases); which just exacerbates the cost issue as well as the complexity..... Strange how $600 does not sound all that bad in light of this; LN's and Jake's work have altered the "value proposition" somewhat.

From a marketing prespective, those that now offer a cheaper alternative will need to work to address the question of "Is their's as good?"

Edited by JFP in PA
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Anyone ever heard of IMS bearing made by Casper Labs? They are on ebay.

You got your answer that few have heard or much less tried this new bearing. If you are trying to save $300 for something that might work vs. $600 for something that mostly works, go for it.

JFP is just trying to tell you that it is not worth the risk (and I agree). Can the Casper Labs bearing work? Probably, but you will have to risk your engine - they even mention that in the ebay ad. It is a simple game of statistics:

LNE - thousands out in the field, 3 failures (not sure where the number came from)

Casper - ??? out in the field, ??? failures

Try it out and report back to us how it goes.

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The actual current number is four; three failed from either poor installation techniques (failure to fully install the spiral lock retainer) or the bearing ingesting debris from other sources (broken chain tensioner paddles, etc.). Only one appears to be the bearing itself, Jake Raby has been dissecting the engine to figure out what happened................

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I read through this ebay listing and a couple things stand out as "suspect".

1.) "This listing is for a dual row bearing upgrade kit for most of the first generation Boxster/Carrera engines 1996 up through 2001. It can be identified with the 20MM bore, 47MM OD, and no external retaining snap ring (after removal of the three bolt support piece under the crankshaft seal). The word "most" is underlined because many of these engines were serviced/replaced by Porsche, and could be carrying later revision parts."

Where do they get this data from? And this is contrary to what LNE is saying that the single rows are more susceptible/higher rate of failure.

2.) "we offer this kit without warranty of any type (express or implied)."

On the contrary LNE provides a warranty for pro installs who register their installs.... "PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION RECOMMENDED and required for limited warranty."

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Anyone ever heard of IMS bearing made by Casper Labs? They are on ebay.

You got your answer that few have heard or much less tried this new bearing. If you are trying to save $300 for something that might work vs. $600 for something that mostly works, go for it.

JFP is just trying to tell you that it is not worth the risk (and I agree). Can the Casper Labs bearing work? Probably, but you will have to risk your engine - they even mention that in the ebay ad. It is a simple game of statistics:

LNE - thousands out in the field, 3 failures (not sure where the number came from)

Casper - ??? out in the field, ??? failures

Try it out and report back to us how it goes.

It was a question, xmac. I posted to see if anyone knew anything about it. I did not order and do not plan on it at this point. I was interested in an alternative to LN and if it as good as theirs. I don't doubt LN has a better product than the factory option, but I would like to see more data from them and not what they choose to put on THEIR webpage.

xmac, the point is, can someone make and sell a product that is as good or better than the LN option, but with lower price. That's just business and capitalism.

I know nothing about Casper, but I have to admit I am intrigued. Also, if Pelican Parts ever comes through that will be interesting.

Edited by valley996
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It was a question, xmac. I posted to see if anyone knew anything about it. I did not order and do not plan on it at this point. I was interested in an alternative to LN and if it as good as theirs. I don't doubt LN has a better product than the factory option, but I would like to see more data from them and not what they choose to put on THEIR webpage.

xmac, the point is, can someone make and sell a product that is as good or better than the LN option, but with lower price. That's just business and capitalism.

I know nothing about Casper, but I have to admit I am intrigued. Also, if Pelican Parts ever comes through that will be interesting.

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I think the real obstacle is that LNE/Raby will not sell the required extraction tool as a standalone item--it is only available for purchase if you also buy their ~$600 IMSB kit. Still a bargain compared to P-Service I suppose. Maybe someone who bought the extractor can comment on whether some sort of purchase agreement precludes the resale or loan of the tool?

Edited by j_beede
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