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Johnny-5

Who makes the upgraded IMS Bearings other than LN Engineering?

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Most of you do NOT know me here, I understand that. I have been a member of another 986Forum with around 500 posts and just thought you guys might like this information over here. I have already been 'locked out' for the problems I had there. Shame on them!

Actually, some of us do know you, and are quite familiar with what happened to your thread on the 986 Forum, and why it happened. Stay within the published RennTech.org forum guidelines and you will not have a problem here, but a similar thread here will probably net you the same results.............

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Casper only makes the IMS bearing so you have to source the following from Porsche: IMS Cover or flange3 micro-encapsulated bolts to hold down the IMS cover/flangeNut to secure IMS Center Stud to IMS cover/flangeo-ring for IMS Center Stud

Sorry I can't reference the original eBay ad but for $323, you only get a new bearing, IMS cap, syringe then? Edited by alpine003

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For everyone to read, here is the original thread from 986forum concerning Homeboy's issues with the LN Engineering IMS Retrofit:

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/43558-deconstructing-lne-ims-installation-failure.html

There are some points that need clarification/correction:

Casper's bearing is a ceramic hybrid, just like ours. Both have ceramic balls with steel races.

Regarding bearing "feel", this is subjective and very dependent on the amount of oil in the bearing and even the thickness of the oil. A ceramic hybrid bearing with no lubricant in it feels/sounds horrible.

Our kit comes with detailed instructions designed for shops. No pretty pictures, but there are plenty of photos and even a video with the process on our website to go along with the instructions. Again, we've never had a single complaint with our instruction. If someone wants pretty pictures, those can be found in the factory manual.

The center stud is thicker without the o-ring groove since the factory stud is a known weakness. Even the Pelican kit doesn't resort to re-using the center stud knowing this is a problem.

There is nothing wrong with how we seal our IMS flange - the Curil T under the head of the nut and wicking loctite after torquing the nut was adapted from techniques used by most Porsche dealerships. One of my friends works for Porsche and they learned early on that an ounce of prevention goes a long way. The last thing you want is to have to re-do a 10-14 hour job because you have a leak.

If you add the cost of a new flange ($144.67 current retail price), o-ring ($2.42), nut ($2.78), and bolts ($3.48) you are at $476.35, not including the center stud, for the Casper kit. Shops won't reuse the original parts, they want new ones. Yes, that's cheaper than the LN kit, but figure shops won't even consider buying and selling a part without 20% markup. You're already at $595.44 before adding in the cost of the center stud. Now add in what the wholesalers have to make to distribute to the shops. I'll let you do the math.

We've sold almost 1700 tool kits to shops and wholesalers since the beginning and have made additions so that it is all inclusive with every tool a shop might need and the tools are made to last. We get nothing but positive feedback and complements. Never once have I been told they were too heavy.

And numbers do not lie. How many complaints do you see on all the forums? None.

We sell almost exclusively through wholesale channels and have made the decision to discontinue retail sale of the IMS Retrofit since 99.9% of issues with the IMS Retrofit are as a result of do-it-yourself installations. The only reason we did offer them for retail sale is some shops ask customers to buy them and provide them to the shop and why it was clearly posted that professional installation was recommended and no support was provided.

Casper has it right - we should have never sold the IMS Retrofit retail from the beginning. The IMS Solution will only be available through shops and not for retail sale.

Edited by cnavarro

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Charles, I am glad you have decided to only sell to Pro's who will then carry out installs!

Edited by logray

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Charles, I am glad you have decided to only support Pro installs!

Many of the procedures we have in place are to protect the consumer. It is a fact that most (if not all) of the failures of our bearings have been due to not following the IMS retrofit procedure as outlined.

With the IMS Solution, Jake and I are taking extra steps to ensure the installations are carried out properly by professionals only and we're even offering training and support to those who choose to be certified.

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I find it really sad and actually distressing that LNE and Flat6 have decided to turn their backs on the DIY community which helped support it for so long. Many of us have long worked on our own cars ( including Logray) and have more than enough capability to do this simple install. What possible excuse is there not to sell to us ther than elitism.

I remember back in 2008/2009 when I had my cracked head/intermix. I spoke to the dealer where my car was purchased, my Indy and to Jake personally and they all told me that I would have to replace the engine. Jake personally told me that a cracked head could not be repaired. Well I pulled my head, sent it to California to have it repaired, reinstalled it and now have 21,000+ miles on the engine. And now the "pros" are doing what the DIYers did first.

So to now say that DIYers like myself can't by these parts is total BS! They will sell you the Nickies, pistons, intermediate shaft upgrade, etc, etc, that requires a total tear down and rebuild but won't sell you the IMS bearing kit. Give me a break!

Edited by Dharn55
  • Upvote 1

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I too find it sad, but as a small business man myself, I also recognize that occasionally businesses have to make fairly unpopular decisions based up circumstances that develop over time. From the very beginning, the DIY segment of the field retrofit for the IMS has been problematic from a support standpoint. I cannot even count the numbers of calls or emails we received from people that ran into trouble (and we are not a retail reseller of the product), and I can assure you that we are not in a position to spend an hour on the phone attempting to help someone 3,000 miles away that has run into trouble. And because the issues typically stem from the fact that the car owner simply did not follow the installation directions, or was ill equipped to even attempt it in the first place, I cannot imagine how LNE or Flat6 could provide detailed technical support when this happened.

Sometimes in business what at first seems like a really good idea becomes an overwhelming burden due to unforeseen circumstances; this appears to be one of those situations. And as a business person, you then have to face the facts and change direction before your business becomes swamped by these circumstances.........just ask Nissan about their "Leaf" electric car, or Honda's fuel cell vehicle, both of which are really neat ideas, but are also colossal commercial flops due to "unforeseen circumstances".

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I agree with Doug that it is sad for the competent DIY'er.

But I would also hate to see innovation hampered by negative press from bad installations (regardless of who is responsible for the fault).

This is why I'm happy for their decision and think it is the wise business choice, even though it sucks that now I have to pay someone in the middle to work on my car (which I am usually very hesitant to do). I don't even like handing my keys to the SMOG tech.

At least if they are forcing us to pay for professional services, I can chose walk away if the installer and manufacturer does not agree to be 100% accountable for their work.

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Have I missed something here or on other sites regarding many problems with people installing the IMS bearing kits. I read this site and several others on pretty much a daily basis and I think this thread is the only one I can recall talking about problems with installs. I have also not seen much of anything about failures of the LNE bearings.

Ian also Leary that the manufacturers and I staplers are ever going to be 100% accountable if a unit fails. Maybe if an nostalgia has problems.

I still think the bearing kits and the new IMS solution should be made available to the general public. If people need help with the install then charge then for the help. This is done for lots of products.

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Have I missed something here or on other sites regarding many problems with people installing the IMS bearing kits. I read this site and several others on pretty much a daily basis and I think this thread is the only one I can recall talking about problems with installs. I have also not seen much of anything about failures of the LNE bearings.Ian also Leary that the manufacturers and I staplers are ever going to be 100% accountable if a unit fails. Maybe if an nostalgia has problems.I still think the bearing kits and the new IMS solution should be made available to the general public. If people need help with the install then charge then for the help. This is done for lots of products.

+1

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I would think that the problem for LNE would be how to weed out the competent from the "not so much" group when it comes to the DIY segment. At the outset of the retrofits, even some otherwise competent shop and even dealer personnel got into problems with these installs because they tried to short cut the proceedures. But the shops quickly learned and did not repeat the problems they casued; while nearly every DIY is a first time installer.

Jake was offering a "for a fee" telephone support option, but I do not know what became of that. And at the end of the day, both LNE and Flat6 are truely small businesses without the staff to support something like that long term. At the end of the day, these guys are not like Bank of America with a room full of trained telephone operators waiting to take your call.

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I still think the bearing kits and the new IMS solution should be made available to the general public. If people need help with the install then charge then for the help. This is done for lots of products.

Perhaps you'd like to spend your personal time dealing with DIY install issues? The latest situation where the IMSR bearing was described as "failing during installation" was the final straw in the decision to only sell these units to shops, because the bearing did not fail and the installer didn't know enough about the bearing, or the kit to realize this. Onlookers do not know this, all they see is " IMS" and "failure" and then the snowball starts.

Dharn55,

I remember taking time from my day to help you, even though your car was never sent to me. I did not have your components in hand and the engine was not in my care and control, so I defaulted with my recommendations to "NO" to remain neutral. We were the very first group to ever deal with cracked cylinder heads with these engines and the crack that your head experienced had proven to have a recurrence possibility after being repaired, so we still default NOT to carry out that particular repair. You have had good luck, so someone did something right, or you have had good luck, or both.

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

This is just another classic example of why I am very leery about helping people and why unless a car or engine is put into my care and control I will not offer any recommendations, opinions or comments.

If people need help with the install then charge then for the help. This is done for lots of products.

I have been offering this for several years now. It also does not work because people complain about paid support and expect it for free because they feel it should have been provided when the product was sold and rolled into the cost of the kit. When someone makes a mistake and they compromise their valve timing, they cannot rectify the situation without the use of specialized tools. This further pisses them off and they never blame themselves; they always blame us and expect someone to ship them tools over night and for free and then sit on the phone with them for hours while they try to solve the issue.

So to now say that DIYers like myself can't by these parts is total BS! They will sell you the Nickies, pistons, intermediate shaft upgrade, etc, etc, that requires a total tear down and rebuild but won't sell you the IMS bearing kit. Give me a break!

I didn't stop with the IMSB kits in regard to selling to DIY'rs. I closed my entire online store and we are in the process of taking it all off line this week.

Hell, years ago I told Charles that these units should not have been sold to anyone other than trained shops and that we should have patented both the extraction tool and the retrofit procedures. He resisted and it has taken 5 years for enough people to prove that my mindset was correct.

Nothing is perfect; but everything is expected to be. Don't be pissed at us, police yourselves and pull your peers aside and lock their asses on. They are the ones that caused the problems and you are suffering from it.

Another consideration is the insurance that we have to carry and how particular the companies have become about DIY installed components. A few years ago I was forced to cancel my engine kit program because the insurance company stated that they'd cancel my policy if these products continued to be sold. No one else was willing to accept the policy, either.

Edited by Jake Raby

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I find it really sad and actually distressing that LNE and Flat6 have decided to turn their backs on the DIY community which helped support it for so long. Many of us have long worked on our own cars ( including Logray) and have more than enough capability to do this simple install. What possible excuse is there not to sell to us ther than elitism.I remember back in 2008/2009 when I had my cracked head/intermix. I spoke to the dealer where my car was purchased, my Indy and to Jake personally and they all told me that I would have to replace the engine. Jake personally told me that a cracked head could not be repaired. Well I pulled my head, sent it to California to have it repaired, reinstalled it and now have 21,000+ miles on the engine. And now the "pros" are doing what the DIYers did first.So to now say that DIYers like myself can't by these parts is total BS! They will sell you the Nickies, pistons, intermediate shaft upgrade, etc, etc, that requires a total tear down and rebuild but won't sell you the IMS bearing kit. Give me a break!

Not elitism. Practicality. Even well known and highly regarded shops in the Porsche community have botched installs, so consider for a moment if you have techs with that level of experience having problems, just imagine the magnitude of issues we see from first time installers. Although we don't sell the IMS Retrofit direct anymore, Pelican still carries them and they can provide you support (just make sure you own Wayne's projects book).

The reason you don't see most of the problems is that most of these people aren't on forums or if they are, they realize their mistake and aren't going to post about it.

Installing an IMS bearing and doing a complete rebuild are two completely different things. Some people believe since they can change their own brake pads that they are qualified to do a bearing install. Same person usually is smart enough to realize that an engine overhaul is outside their area of expertise. If and when a do it yourself-er decides they want to tackle such an undertaking, we go through great lengths to dissuade them from doing so. If they still insist, we try to schedule them into our engine rebuild course at Flat 6 Innovations (only if they have prior engine building experience) and we have had many people choose this route. There have even been a few that after taking the course decide just to have Jake build the engine.

The point I'm trying to make is we can take the time to weed through potential customers looking to do a rebuild and gauge whether or not they should or shouldn't tackle such a project, but there is no way we can do this with the IMS Retrofit and now the IMS Solution.

The paid support service by Flat 6 doesn't work as Jake mentioned. Shops are typically the ones who use the service when they mess up their first install which usually ends in the shop having to buy more parts to correct their mistake. Customers are pissed if they have to pay for support and even more so if they have to buy more parts or tools to get them out of the mess of their own making.

Yes, there are exceptions, but they are not the norm and unfortunately, I'm not available 24/7 to personally handle each situation. I had to come up with directives so that my staff can remain productive and allow me to work on the back end to ensure we continue to deliver a quality product and so I can focus on R&D. Without a shift to almost exclusively wholesale distribution, there would be no time for R&D and the IMS Solution, for example, would have been many more years in the making.

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Same person usually is smart enough to realize that an engine overhaul is outside their area of expertise.

Then the car arrives here with the engine disassembled in the trunk. We call that a "trunk job".

Without a shift to almost exclusively wholesale distribution, there would be no time for R&D and the IMS Solution, for example, would have been many more years in the making.

If it wasn't for all the support that people demand the IMS Solution would have been on the market years ago and my book would already be in people's tool boxes with dirty finger prints all over the pages. Instead, its just now getting finished.

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I might be wrong but I think Pelican is still selling the Ceramic Hybrid, OEM type bearing, and tools. Guess I better hurry and buy mine because there is no way in hell I would pay any shop to do this job. Correction, I did order so I know they still sell them.

Edited by krazyk

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The wise man knows what he can do, what he can learn to do and what he is better off paying the professional to do.

I've been following the IMS issue on 8 Boxster forums, 3 continents, daily for over 5 years and publishing web pages on it, talking to all sides and challenging every provider to try to ascertain the facts particularly in the area of testing and thus probable long term reliability. Yea, I was rather pointedly challenging Jake and Charles, Casper, Wayne, etc on-line and by private exchanges. I published comparison charts that were vetted and listed every supplier I could find here.

Yes, I've seen lots of failed attempts and postings from some who should never have attempted an IMS replaceemnt in the first place. Are some DIY'ers successful, undoubetedly. It's the ones who don't have a clue that can't read directions, who ignore important steps that get in trouble. I've seen JFP and others try to help...frustrating.

If I'm paying that much for something, I want one with good instructions, good support, good reputation, from an outfit that is liable to be around, and which comes complete. I don't want to be piecemieling a kit together myself or trying to fabricate tools, that is why I'd only be willing to pay for a complete solution with tools, well developed proceedures that have gone through multiple revisions and incorporate lessons learned, installer training and support, etc.

And those things cost money to develop and support. I don't expect something for nothing. I've been the manager with responsibilty for a low volume product both production and support and I understand the pricing and the time demands issues involved in putting out a product to a first time user. I'd rather discount to someone doing his 20th than sell one at full price to the first time user. You lose your shirt and your reputation on the first timer.

I've said from the begining that I want the heart doctor who has been doing these for years to be doing mine, not some intern. (When I had a serious health issue, I chose someone with records of the last 12k proceedures his group had done and who required a year of specialized training in just one simple proceedure before letting a doctor loose on a patient unsupervised. Some were doing the same proceedure after a weekend seminar.) Likewise messing around with my engine internals. I've had an engine let loose at speed, something I now try to avoid lest I be in front of an 18 wheeler at the time it hapepns.

And in the end, your car, your money, your risk, your choice. Good luck in whatever you decide.

Edited by mikefocke

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