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krazyk

Ceramic Hybrid Bearing Choices for DIY IMSB Retrofit

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Hi all. I purchased the Pelican $165 IMSB retrofit kit. It includes the cheaper $12 sealed OEM type bearing. I would like to try something a little different. I decided to use a CH bearing with the Pelican kit. I have heard both arguments for open (LNE) vs. sealed (Casper) but does anyone really know? Both are $45 bearings which makes it absurd to pay $300 to $600 for either. Im not dissing any of the versions including Pelicans but I think the bulk of the pricing is from the other parts of the kits, not the bearings which are not expensive at all.

LNE thinks the CH gets enough oil to survive while Casper (and Porsche) believe in the permanent grease sealed theory.Do you guys really think there is enough oil hitting the "open" bearing. What about potential contamination hitting a ball?Do the theories even matter if this is a 40K mileage item? To me the ideal kit would be the Pelican retaining stud, nut, updated flange seal, snap ring, oil seal, with the $45 bearing for @$100 total. Offer a kit for single and one for dual thereby making the kits cheaper.Almost all my parts are here. Any thoughts before I tackle this mess on mine? I know the IMS thing gets old but I have read numerous techinical discussions and theories here. I respect everyones opinion and appreciate any discussion.

My intention is to do a budget friendly IMSB retrofit (not including the cost of the clutch kit, RMS, etc. stuff) just to see if the off the shelf ceramic hybrid bearings are as good as the Casper/LNE ones.

Edited by krazyk

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Only addition I would make is Hartech in the UK also uses the no seal method.

I don't think we have enough samples of anything running in enough cars under enough conditions with enough mileage and sufficient data gathering to be able to tell what bearing is "better" or how long they will last and maybe by the time we have that info we won't care. All we know is the originals with the original lube method did have a high rate of early failures in some model years.

I think all we can know is how many of what kind have been installed to date and what their sellers are willing to tell us. So far only the LNs are out in significant numbers and lengths and only LN has been upfront in telling us results.

As to ball versus other types of bearings, materials, oiling vs lubing method, just filtered versus crankcase versus greese ... I think all we can do is listen to the reasonings they were selected and see if the reasons seem to make sense. The only thing that seems obvious to me is to not do what is already known to fail at relatively high rates.

Another trend we are seeing is towards professional installation as opposed to DIY. You are predisposed to take the risk because you want to experiment.

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Just removing the rear seal on an OEM bearing will get oil into it without issue, which is a common "stop-gap" procedure for the 2005 and later cars where the bearing cannot be swapped out without taking the engine apart. There is more than enough oil movement to accomplish this.

As far as design differences, LN has the installed base (literally numbering in the thousands installed and running), so they definitely have the proven experience edge.

While your post did not mention the car's year, from your member data, it appears you have a 2003 car, which would be a single row style bearing. Long before I would go experimenting with COTS ceramic hybrids, I would seriously consider Jake Raby's recently revealed pressure lubricated solution, which uses freshly filtered oil under pressure to lubricate a replacement with no moving parts, making it a permanent replacement. While not as cheap a fix as a mix of a COTS bearing and Pelican bits, it is a once and done proposition, so it has economic advantages of its own.

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I was under the impression that the LNE bearing is not an off the shelf item but was specially packaged based on specifications provided by Charles and a retired bearing Engineer( consulting with Charles) .

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I was under the impression that the LNE bearing is not an off the shelf item but was specially packaged based on specifications provided by Charles and a retired bearing Engineer( consulting with Charles) .

I believe that is correct, the COTS bearings are the ceramic hybrids introduced by other parties in an attempt to come up with something cheaper; but without the installed base and performance experience that LN has gained over the past few years, how good the COTS units are is an unknown..........

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I wasn't motivated to get up early today so I pulled the trans this afternoon. This is how bad it looked which kind of surprised me because I had no oil on shop floor where car stays parked. Anyway, any thoughts? Most of the other parts will be here next week. A really odd thing is the two clutch cylinder bolts were finger tight. The car had the trans mount replaced at dealers expense after my PPI revealed a bad trans mount. The bad part is the work was done by a top Indy with a great rep. Guess even the experts forget to tighten bolts sometimes.

Anyway, looking at pic; Some RMS and some IMS or mostly IMS leaking?

post-85078-0-85915800-1365390672_thumb.j

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I wasn't motivated to get up early today so I pulled the trans this afternoon. This is how bad it looked which kind of surprised me because I had no oil on shop floor where car stays parked. Anyway, any thoughts? Most of the other parts will be here next week. A really odd thing is the two clutch cylinder bolts were finger tight. The car had the trans mount replaced at dealers expense after my PPI revealed a bad trans mount. The bad part is the work was done by a top Indy with a great rep. Guess even the experts forget to tighten bolts sometimes.

Anyway, looking at pic; Some RMS and some IMS or mostly IMS leaking?

That look mostly like the IMS is leaking, but I would still replace the RMS with the PTFE version anyway.

Be sure that you use both the Loctite Flange sealant and Green wicking Loctite on the stud when doing the IMS (you will find the details in the LN IMS instruction which can be found online).

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Thanks JFP. I had ordered the RMS and Porsche tool anyway and will replace it, along with clutch kit. Im trying to narrow down which CH bearing to use in place of the included Pelican one from their kit.

I know I will be using a CH 6204 series bearing but you think having an open design (no seals on either side) would allow the best flow of oil. I want to prevent any trapped on the tube side and would think that no seals would be better than sealed on one side. I have also seen where some are now plugging the tube. What do you or others think?

Edited by krazyk

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Skip the bearing retrofit, the headache, question about viability of other solutions, possibility of failure, and the need/expense to do it again in 40k miles.

If it were me and I had a single row car at this point the only option I would consider is scheduling the once and done with it solid bearing retrofit, a.k.a. the IMS solution.

Just my opinion though, I do not work for the company that makes the IMS solution, or have any affiliation with them or other shops. I am just an enthusiast who has rebuilt my own engine, and has also been following the IMS debacle from the beginning (and has retrofitted my own car twice!).

Edited by logray

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Thanks JFP. I had ordered the RMS and Porsche tool anyway and will replace it, along with clutch kit. Im trying to narrow down which CH bearing to use in place of the included Pelican one from their kit.

I know I will be using a CH 6204 series bearing but you think having an open design (no seals on either side) would allow the best flow of oil. I want to prevent any trapped on the tube side and would think that no seals would be better than sealed on one side. I have also seen where some are now plugging the tube. What do you or others think?

You can get enough oil in the bearing with it not having a seal on the flywheel side. I'm not really sure that oil getting in the tube is that much of an issue other than lowering the total amount of available oil.

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Logray and JFP,

I appreciate the opinions of those who actually wrench than the "must go to dealer" guys. So you agree with plugging the tube or oil allowed in and out causes no balance, drag, capacity, or other problems? I simply refuse to pay $3500 for the "solution" under the premise we are too dumb to install the parts and must have it installed at an "approved" shop. Seriously, a bushing and oil line? Complicated install? No disrespect to JR as I think hes fantastic and a great business man.

Im perfectly fine with doing an IMSB with every clutch.

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That price does seem steep, and yeah it really sucks the DIY community is left out... but on the flip side I would like to believe that cars with the IMS solution should hold their value better, and possibly even demand more at resale time.

Say you take a gamble on a less-widely adapted bearing and/or make a mistake with installation, you are risking much more than $3500.

Then again, if you are competent and the install is flawless, then you are certainly better off retrofitting with a stronger bearing than the original (single row cars), regardless of provider.

My biggest concern with the Pelican solution is the shorter life-cycle and changing more often, the risk of a mishap goes up the more you perform the procedure, not to mention possible insertion/extraction wear/tear on the tube and coolant guide/oil pump console.

Although I've read and re-read the Casper thread many many times over, it's still a slight head scratcher why they don't include a strong center stud, despite them saying there's no need for one. LNE has a larger install base, and it seems to me if center LNE studs were failing we would have seen a post about it by now... but LNE does mention failure of the OE center stud... doesn't something seem out of place there?

Maybe there is a little bit of "if it costs more it must be better" anxiety to overcome. I just have a hard time doing that with a $15,000 engine, and shelled out the extra few hundred dollars for the solution that is widely adopted and has very few instances of failure (not attributable to the installer).

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Logray and JFP,

I appreciate the opinions of those who actually wrench than the "must go to dealer" guys. So you agree with plugging the tube or oil allowed in and out causes no balance, drag, capacity, or other problems? I simply refuse to pay $3500 for the "solution" under the premise we are too dumb to install the parts and must have it installed at an "approved" shop. Seriously, a bushing and oil line? Complicated install? No disrespect to JR as I think hes fantastic and a great business man.

Im perfectly fine with doing an IMSB with every clutch.

Jake and Charles are going on the basis of how many DIY installs come to grief when compared to those done by someone with both knowledge and experience. Very early on, judging by the number of phone calls we got from some pretty distressed car owners, all of Charles and Jake's efforts to make the install as idiot resistant as possible was not working, as it became obvious that God had sided with the idiots. We got calls from people that had no idea they needed to lock the cams down with the engine at TDC before pulling the IMS flange off; calls from people that tired to bump the engine into TDC using the starter after removing tensioners and the IMS flange; and I don't know how many calls from people that had just shut the car off and pulled it apart without locking down anything, only to now find that the IMS shaft was off to one side and they could not install the new bearing. My personal favorite was the guy who had actually suffered an IMS failure, had an engine full of metal, and still did the refit even after multiple experienced installers told him not to do it. Once back together, the 996 did not make it another 20 miles. And in every case, the car owner somehow found a rationale to blame Charles or Jake for their problems. I can't imagine what Jake and Charles call logs must look like........

Charles and Jake are small business owners, they do not have a huge staff to take product support calls all day long. Yet they tried to help all comers when the installs went bad; which quickly became an all consuming effort that left little or no time for anything else. Based upon this history, I can full appreciate why they have moved away from the retail sales market for these products; relatively few "professional" installers had problems, and those that did were willing to spend what was necessary and learn what their mistakes were, and how not to have the same issue again rather than arguing that the product/installation instructions/tools/procedures were at fault. And based upon the number of successful refits done since the products were introduced, there is nothing wrong with the system Charles and Jake created. But basic human nature found ways to make it not work.

That price does seem steep, and yeah it really sucks the DIY community is left out... but on the flip side I would like to believe that cars with the IMS solution should hold their value better, and possibly even demand more at resale time.

Say you take a gamble on a less-widely adapted bearing and/or make a mistake with installation, you are risking much more than $3500.

Then again, if you are competent and the install is flawless, then you are certainly better off retrofitting with a stronger bearing than the original (single row cars), regardless of provider.

My biggest concern with the Pelican solution is the shorter life-cycle and changing more often, the risk of a mishap goes up the more you perform the procedure, not to mention possible insertion/extraction wear/tear on the tube and coolant guide/oil pump console.

Although I've read and re-read the Casper thread many many times over, it's still a slight head scratcher why they don't include a strong center stud, despite them saying there's no need for one. LNE has a larger install base, and it seems to me if center LNE studs were failing we would have seen a post about it by now... but LNE does mention failure of the OE center stud... doesn't something seem out of place there?

Maybe there is a little bit of "if it costs more it must be better" anxiety to overcome. I just have a hard time doing that with a $15,000 engine, and shelled out the extra few hundred dollars for the solution that is widely adopted and has very few instances of failure (not attributable to the installer).

Single row bearing car are the largest "at risk for a catastrophic IMS failure" segment of all the cars produced. The Pelican system is basically a new OEM bearing on a stronger center bolt (the OEM bolt can and does fail). Worse yet, the Pelican system replaces an OEM dual row bearing with a single row and a spacer in engines that were OEM dual rows. Yikes! Why you would want to take out a bearing because you had no way to predict when it might fail, and then replace it with another one with the exact same potential for failure is beyond me, much less to replace a better bearing with it. The cost argument simply eludes me; your $15-20K engine, not to mention the resale value of the entire car, is riding on that one part. Why wouldn't you spend just a bit more to get something that is proven to work better (LN ceramic refit), rather than a product little to no proven history and a very limited installed base? Just to save a couple bucks? Someone is always going to copy a successful product with something "almost as good, but cheaper", but that "almost" can quickly come back to haunt you........

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Cutting corners on a $15,000 engine leads to $$$ headaches.

Edited by logray

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Cutting corners on a $15,000 engine leads to $$$ headaches.

Headaches called "rollers", which sell at near scrap metal prices...........

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From the drawing on this link http://forums.rennlist.com/rennforums/996-forum/555781-porsche-996-reliability-lets-get-better-info-2.html , about half of the bearing is riding on this center stud (for a single row bearing).

I think Casper argues that since there's no axial load on the bearing, the sole purpose of the stud is to sit the bearing onto the IMS flange.

My thinking is in case the bearing starts to wear and there's some axial load exterted on the stud, a stronger stud will hold the compromised bearing a little longer hence higher chance of saving the engine. However, you may also argue that the CH bearings are so bullet proof that they will not be compromised in the first place hence a stronger stud is not needed...

post-5282-0-75897600-1365466192_thumb.pn

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If I had to guess, I would think the OEM broken retaining bolt/studs seen were the result of a failing bearing rather than a broken ret. bolt/stud causing the bearing to fail.

Do you guys think a Ceramic Hybrid with a working temp of 250 degrees is fine? I would assume this limit is for the seals health and not the bearing itself. It may not be an issue as I plan to remove the seals anyway. Ideally I want oil to be able to go through both ways and not ever be "trapped" on the other side if the front seal starts to fail.

Im not sure you guys get one Im trying to do. I will not be using the cheapo Pelican bearing. Im only using their HD ret bolt/stud, seals, snap ring, etc. from their kit. Im using a ceramic hybrid 6204 2RS $75 bearing with similar specs as the LNE Timken. There is nothing special about LNE's other than a few things they optioned with Timken. Most major bearing manufactures will let you customize a few aspects of their CH bearings. I read the details about LNE's and get what they did. They did not build the bearing, they had Timken customize a few of the things about it.

Hope this all makes sense. Im not cutting any corners on parts. Im paying $0 for labor. As always thanks to all you guys for a great technical forum.

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Not so sure this is an apples for apples comparison .The LNE kit has 3 basic components -the bearing -the improved stud and a new flange or hub .I would assume that Jake and Charles designed the hub and stud to avoid another failure point .If you accept that the hub and stud have value then your reverse engineered solution isn't that much of a bargain .Yes I installed the LNE solution myself 2 years ago

Dave

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The flange "improvements" are probably referring to improvements over the older flange design with the inferior seal. The single rows should all have the newer flange design unless Im mistaken.

If it makes you feel better paying $600 for a bearing retrofit, thats fine. I just took IMRe's research and applied it to my single row. I dont know how LNE's price breaks down but I assume the "updated" flange accounts for roughly $150 leaving the rest for a CH bearing, ret. stud, and misc. parts. $450 is not even close to the price of a Timken bearing, even a customized one. So I would think they are expecting you to pay the "Porche Tax" or for their R&D costs, which I understand since they are a business.

But, dont publish all the details about how you developed the bearing specs and not expect people to extrapolate where and how you sourced the bearings for your retrofit kit.

Again no disrespect to JR, LNE, Casper, or Pelican, thanks to all these guys for what they have done. Im just a cheap @#$%!@# out of necessity. Also I and many others like to figure things out. Remember Porsche told JR you couldnt replace the bearing but he did it. So dont tell me I cant find the bearing your using in your kits.

Edited by krazyk

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"The [ OEM] center bearing support stud was manufactured with an o-ring groove cut into it, reducing its cross-sectional thickness to less than the diameter of the threads used to secure the IMS bearing assembly. As such, it is common to have the center bearing support stud break during operation, resulting in a large oil leak, and is often an indicator of a failing or failed IMS bearing." - http://www.imsretrofit.com/ims-101

"If you add the cost of a new [ OEM] 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." - http://www.renntech.org/forums/topic/41886-who-makes-the-upgraded-ims-bearings-other-than-ln-engineering/page-2#entry235909

But, dont publish all the details about how you developed the bearing specs and not expect people to extrapolate where and how you sourced the bearings for your retrofit kit...

The original LNE IMS website did publish some of these details, including the mfg they sourced the bearing from and the capacities of each kit.

The flange "improvements" are probably referring to improvements over the older flange design with the inferior seal. The single rows should all have the newer flange design unless Im mistaken.

If you go for the LNE IMS Upgrade (i.e. tube out of car), I believe the LNE flange is revised to accommodate the triple row, although now that they offer the IMS Solution I'm not sure the IMS upgrade is an option unless you have a dual row or larger unserviceable bearing.

Edited by logray

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Logray, I found where they do state that the bearing in the LNE retrofit kit is a $100 ceramic hybrid bearing, which answers my question. Your mostly paying for the flange, other misc. parts, and R&D. Thanks.

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It's all very well there is the $1400-$1500 Solution + install, but it has to be installed by authorised shops.

What about Porsche owners outside the States?

I'm stuck with 'lifed' LN's IMS at $650 for 40,000 miles/4 years, or using KK's method (Pelican + CH bearing) which might cost up to $250 with the same replacement period.

Note all costs quoted above are in US dollars, which has an exchange rate of US$0.8 to NZ$1

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I'm sure there will shops overseas that are interested in becoming involved, that happened after the first retrofit introduction. You may want to drop Jake a line to see if there has already been any interest in your area.

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Yup JFP, I'll be talking to the indie where I've just booked my car for water pump and low temp thermostat replacement.

While they've done LNE bearing replacements I don't think they had done LN's courses out there in Georgia(?).

Wellington (NZ) is such a small place (pop 400,000) and it might not make economic sense to invest so much money with such a small Porsche population here.

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Yup JFP, I'll be talking to the indie where I've just booked my car for water pump and low temp thermostat replacement.

While they've done LNE bearing replacements I don't think they had done LN's courses out there in Georgia(?).

Wellington (NZ) is such a small place (pop 400,000) and it might not make economic sense to invest so much money with such a small Porsche population here.

If they have done LN retrofits, they are good candidates for the new product. I've been told by the source that the installation tools are the same and the procedure only varies to account for the oil line that comes off the spin on adaptor and into the bell housing area to feed the new insert. So your indie is half way there already. I'm not sure how Jake and Charles will be handling the training, but I'm sure that they can come up with some accommodation like a DVD course or the like for the really long distance installers like yours.

More years ago now than I care to mention, I visited both Wellington and Christchurch on a business trip, you have one magnificent country; I hope to again have the chance to see it.

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