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scotchsoda

IMS... Peace of mind?

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Hello!

 

This is my first post, so go easy!

 

I recently made an impulse decision to buy a 2005 Porsche Boxster 2.7 (987-1) after test driving it and falling in love! Bought it on the spot resting assured that it seemed immaculate, it only had 55k on the clock and had a full 10 year Porsche service history.

 

Naively; It wasn't until I'd taken delivery of the car, moved my plates over to it and so on that I started researching a bit more. And then I came across the IMS issue. The 'cot death' of the baby Porsche is probably the most accurate description I've seen.

 

So in 2015... is this issue still rife amongst Boxster owners? 

 

I've read that 20% of M96/M97 engines will see IMS failure - I've also read that 5% will and for that matter I've read 1% too. Trying to gather genuine statistics on what models, years, mileages and ages 987 Boxsters have had IMS failure is impossible. If you search for the issue, you'll find those owners who jumped online and reported the issue they had (scary), but the other owners that never signed up for a forum and have never had an issue, well there are no posts from them are there.

 

Likewise the search engine listings are littered with copy-pasted information on the IMS issue - Text originating from the company profiting from the issue - LN Engineering. Don't get me wrong I'm sure their product is great and I'm not insinuating they are misleading people in any way... But when any company markets a product, they will always identify a need. And what need is stronger than this? When the overwhelming majority of search engine results bring you back to marketing material - You should always take it with a pinch of salt.

I've been in contact with numerous specialists (UK) that offer the LN Engineering Retrofit bearing and none of them offered an ounce of peace of mind. Every company I called gave me Retrofit prices without me even asking.

 

Of everybody I spoke to, who were the most helpful? Well... Porsche actually. I spoke to a lady with 17 years of experience with Porsche Cardiff, in Wales - She said in all of her time with Porsche she personally has known of only two incidences of Porsches with IMS failure. She stated that admittedly she would not necessarily of known of every incidence but when the issue was 'rife' they expected more issues than they ever saw. She invited me to bring my Boxster down to Porsche Cardiff whenever suited me, so they can put it on a ramp and have one of their technicians give it a full inspection. Not a huge amount can be done to check the IMS, but she said it'd give me a chance to talk to the technician and pick his brain, get some peace of mind/advice as well as having the rest of the car looked at too free of charge.

 

Taking a sceptics view on that - Of course they will treat me right, give me some time and send me on my way - If they know there is a 1/5/20% chance of failure, the chances are they'll never see me again. And who knows if I've been fed porkies about there only being two incidences of failures in her experience. So another pinch of salt required here. That said, I really appreciate the gesture as I was half expecting a scripted legal response from them. 

 

So back to my question; In 2015, is the IMS issue still taking out cars left right and centre?

 

The annoying thing is no matter how much you read up, the uncertainty still exists. But let's be realistic here.

 

How many of you 987-1 owners specifically have had issues? Or no issues? What preventative measures do you live and drive by? I'd love to collate some up to date data on this, if you have time hit reply and fill in the following points with your information.

 

IMS Failure - NO

Retrofit IMS - NO (that I know of....)

Model - 987-1

Engine - 2.7

Bought - Last month, Feb 2015

Model Year - 2005

Current Mileage - 55,500

Original Mileage - 55,500

Still owned by you - YES

Blank for copy-pasting;
 

IMS Failure - 

Retrofit IMS - 

Model - 

Engine - 

Bought 

Model Year - 

Current Mileage - 

Original Mileage -

Still owned by you -  

 

 

I hope you can appreciate I'm new to this brand, this model, this issue and this forum. I know there are a million threads on this already but I'm hoping for a more positive up to date perspective here. If you have any questions or advice for me in regards to me taking my car down to Porsche on Tuesday, please feel free to get in touch. 

 

Thanks for reading, 

 

Mark

 

PS. Here's a shot of my Boxster... Photos make threads better!

 

post-100940-0-33015300-1427904821_thumb.

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First, welcome to RennTech :welcome:

 

While you are waiting for others to respond, let me assure you that the IMS problem is not a figment of someone's over-active imagination.  There have been a substantial number of failures in the M96/97 engines, currently estimated to be somewhere around 1% of all dual row style IMS bearings (1997-2000) and upwards of 10% for all cars produced with single row bearings (2000-2005).  These are Porsche's own numbers from the class action lawsuit settlement, which you can locate online if you search.  The 2005-2008 cars, which use yet a third design IMS bearing also suffered failures, but the actual rate has yet not been published, but it is worth noting that Porsche eliminated the IMS shaft and bearing from all their engines with the 9A1 design engine starting in 2009.

 

 

            dscn4610.jpeg

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Welcome to RennTech.  If I can second what a very knowledgeable poster is already saying, don't drive yourself insane trying to collect stats or read sites until you are blue in the face.  The most reliable statistics are probably derived from the class action suit but it's really hard to generalize it down to one single % or whatnot. There's a lot of nonsense written out there ranging from one end of the spectrum (the world will end tomorrow) to the other ( IMS is a lie, it's all a marketing scare).  Is it a very serious design flaw?  Yes.  Are you sitting on a ticking time bomb that's about to blow up in your face at any second?  Probably not.  But it's like investing or anything else in life -- you have to consider how much risk you want to take and suck it up if you wind up on the losing end because you decided to roll the dice.  The retrofit is very expensive, in my opinion, I agree with you -- but it does work. Many folks will drive their Porsche and never know what an " IMS" is -- especially those that don't read Internet posts.  But there is a reason Porsche moved away from the design.  My background is in engineering and when I first realized how the IMS design was constructed, I couldn't believe they would take something like that to production on a high-end sports car.  I'm still confused by it.  Like JFP said though, they have since moved away from it ......... so enjoy your car, but in the long run you should decide how you want to address it.

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Hi, I have also read too many postings and articles after I bought my Cayman 2007 model two years ago. I have concluded with that the IMS is a risk, but would like to know more about this risk.

Is it just random, or are there some patterns or warnings?

Any milage where it is more likely to. happen, or is it just higher risk the higher milage?

Van More frequent oil shift help?

More likly depending on usage? Eg when used on tracks or for racing ?

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Unfortunately there aren't any warning signs or patterns.  The only warning sign would be if you see ferrous metal in the oil (but by that point it may be too late anyway).  Two only two courses of action are really to go with the LN product, which works but is expensive, or to stick with the OEM bearing knowing that you are potentially at some level of risk.

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Hi, I have also read too many postings and articles after I bought my Cayman 2007 model two years ago. I have concluded with that the IMS is a risk, but would like to know more about this risk.

Is it just random, or are there some patterns or warnings?

Any milage where it is more likely to. happen, or is it just higher risk the higher milage?

Van More frequent oil shift help?

More likly depending on usage? Eg when used on tracks or for racing ?

 

As you have the last design IMS bearing, which cannot be changed without totally disassembling the engine, your options are limited to removing the rear seal on the IMS bearing so that it can get splash lubrication.

 

Typically, IMS bearings fail without any warning, taking the engine with them,  As Silver_TT noted, you occasionally find ferrous grit in your oil during the early stages of failure, but even then the engine had to come out and apart to clean all of the debris out of it.

 

The design bearing you have are more prone to track failure than daily driving, but they still occasionally die on street driven only cars as well.  Like removing the rear seal, more frequent oil changes help, as does the use of a high quality ZDDP rich oil like the Joe Gibbs Driven product.

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All very good points.  While not exactly a belt and suspenders approach, my understanding is that the splash lubrication option actually works quite well.  JFP, is this still the conventional wisdom ?  Probably not nearly as many folks taking this approach but have you heard of any problems using that solution?

 

Also curious if you had more information on the single row bearing being more prone to track failure.  If you already have a problem, driving it hard could exacerbate the issue, but is there anything specific about tracking driving which causes the failure?

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All very good points.  While not exactly a belt and suspenders approach, my understanding is that the splash lubrication option actually works quite well.  JFP, is this still the conventional wisdom ?  Probably not nearly as many folks taking this approach but have you heard of any problems using that solution?

 

Also curious if you had more information on the single row bearing being more prone to track failure.  If you already have a problem, driving it hard could exacerbate the issue, but is there anything specific about tracking driving which causes the failure?

 

We have pulled the rear seal off of several of the third generation bearings and all of them are still going fine as far as I know.  The single row bearings used between 2001 and 2005 were by far the worst based upon Porsche's own numbers from the class action lawsuit, and they tended to be worse amongst the street use only vehicles, while the third generation failures were just the opposite and had more failures amongst cars with lots of track use.  I'm not really sure anyone has been able to identify why this dichotomy exists.

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I think Jake had explained before the 3rd gen bigger bearing when stronger at regular street driving rpm, the ball speed will be too high at higher rpm (track use). Bigger bearing means the balls will have to travel faster around the IMS at the same rpm.

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I think Jake had explained before the 3rd gen bigger bearing when stronger at regular street driving rpm, the ball speed will be too high at higher rpm (track use). Bigger bearing means the balls will have to travel faster around the IMS at the same rpm.

 

That is one possibility.  Bigger ain't always better.

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