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homesickalien

Thinking of buying a 2007 Cayman (base)

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Hi everyone, this is my first post. Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted a Porsche. 911 is out of my price range and although I think Boxster's are cool, I've never been a convertible guy. So, that leaves the Cayman.  I love the look of it and I test drove one yesterday and had a blast driving it. However, I'm very concerned about the IMS / oil starvation issues I've been reading about. The car has 48K miles on it and is listed at $23,999 (the price is somewhat negotiable). It would be my primary vehicle (I also have an 84 Toyota Landcruiser FJ60). However, I work from home mostly and only make one trip to my office weekly which is a round trip of about 90 miles. So, I'll be putting around 6K miles per year on the car. I read somewhere that the odds of actually having a failure in a 2006-2008 was something like 1 in 100, but I've read conflicting information on that.  I can afford the payments and to pay more for maintenance than I have on my other cars in the past (Ford, Nissan, VW, etc.), but a total engine failure would be devastating and I don't have that kind of cash lying around (without dipping into retirement savings or something crazy like that). So, does anyone know the real likelihood of failure and if there is anyway to easily determine if the DOF solution has already been installed? Also, anyone have an estimate on what it would cost to install the DOF? There also doesn't seem to be any clear info on rebuilt engines out there. I just see a wide range of estimates from $10K - $20K. 10K might not be TOO bad, but 20K...yikes...  If I can't feel confident in the 2007, I guess I'll just have to wait and maybe find a good deal on a 2009+. Thanks :)

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Welcome to RennTech :welcomeani:

 

First of all, do not buy anything with a DOF kit installed, and the DOF is not the IMS Solution.  The DOF pulls hot, dirty oil from the cylinder heads to overly flood the bearing and the IMS shaft, and has been known to cause VarioCam and valve train noise issues.  The IMS Solution system draws its oil feed from a spin on oil filter adaptor and feeds a solid bearing (no moving parts) which is in an IMS shaft that is plugged to prevent oil flooding, and does not cause any other issues.  One system has been proven to be the permanent fix for IMS related issues, the other not so much.

 

Secondly, if you purchase the 2007 Cayman you are looking at, all you really need to do is remove the rear seal from the IMS bearing so that it is mist lubricated by the engine oil and you are in business.  We have several customer's running this way for several years without any issues or the problems associated with the DOF.  Cost is about the same as doing a clutch job.

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Thanks JFP :) Hmmm... The video from Pedro on the DOF solution seemed pretty convincing. I think he even commented on removing the seal and said that the problem was that the oil would be immediately ejected from the bearing. However, if you are correct in just needing to remove the seal, that seems like that wouldn't be too bad. Would you say that I'd be looking in the $1500 - $2000 range for replacing the clutch (might as well right?) and removing the seal for that piece of mind?    Do you have an opinion on the cost of engine rebuild / replace in the case of total engine failure? Lastly, is there a list somewhere as a resource on this site to help me find someone who is qualified to either implement the IMS solution or remove the bearing seal? I looked at the theimssolution.com website and the closest installer to me is over 4 hours (and 2 states) away in Allentown, PA.

 



 

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....also, can I trust the dealer to be able to determine during a pre-purchase inspection if damage has already been done due to the IMS problem? ... it seems there isn't an easy way to check the condition of the oil without actually starting to drain the pan right?

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A lot of videos seem convincing, but what you should be looking at is installed base and long term performance; anyone can produce a slick video, but they can't fake results.

 

If memory serves, there is a LN preferred installer in Maryland, which is a lot closer to you.  Check their installer listings: Preferred Installers  As you are looking at a 2007 car, you cannot retrofit the IMS without an engine tear down (this applies to all 2005-2008 cars as well), so I would be looking to pull the rear seal.

 

Any decent PPI would include an oil filter inspection, which should reveal ferrous metal if the IMS was on its way out.

 

The exact number will vary from shop to shop, but you are in the appropriate range.  You want to do the clutch components and a fresh RMS while you are in there, and it is also a great time to update the AOS as it is out in the open and a 15 min. job with the trans out, rather than a couple hours with the car assembled.

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Thanks for your help! I agree, I don't believe everything I see of course, but in my research online, "Pedro" seemed to be thought by many to be a reputable source of information.  Unfortunately, I don't have access to numbers regarding the installed base and long term performance of any of these solutions and as you probably know there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Do you have access to any of those stats?  Have you seen any engine failures as a result of the IMS problem in your shop after removing the seal? Thanks again :)

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Hi HSA, I had an ims failure in my 911 last year, I bought the car and couldn't see it leave so we did a rebuild and although time consuming and expensive it didn't get too far - little etching on the first cylinder. Drove it about 6k miles did an oil change etc thing sounds like an animal and was the last year or the 996 (the car from the brochure I had going through puberty). Point is, every car has a story and while I don't think you should give up your search for the 911 (watched a few wheeler dealers featuring some beat up Porsches recently) you should go for it! Get the manual and do some things yourself and set aside a few dollars (more than you might expect) I don't think going higher mileage is necessarily a bad call either to save some dollars. With German engineering that tight suspension should stay tight well into the 100k+ mile range


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Thanks Ewest112, I appreciate that. Honestly, the more I look at Cayman's, the more I love them. So, other than not having the rear seat (which I rarely use in my existing car), I may even be starting to prefer the Cayman. I'd still love to have an older 911 (60's / 70's) as a second car, but I think I'd be totally happy with a Cayman. How expensive was your IMS failure?

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JPF wrote:  "We have not had any failures after removing the seal, nor have we heard of any.'

 

Well i just pulled apart my track car's motor (mostly stock 3.2 boxster motor). I put an LNE IMS bearing in 3 years ago.  Obviously, the LNE has no seals and is open to splash lubrication.  It was pretty much gone- very significant wear and play. Might it have lasted another season? Maybe.  My conclusion - removing the seals is NOT sufficient, at least for heavily track used cars.

 

I too am leaning toward the DOF, but want to take on board as much info as possible. I see in this post statements that it takes dirty oil, but Pedro's diagram clearly shows it coming from a galley directly after the filter, pump and cooler, which ought to be nearly ideal.

 

Grant

 

 

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Well, I ended up deciding not to buy this car just because there are so many mixed messages out there and my two local shops both warned against buying a 2006 - 2008 Cayman.  So, I'm searching for the right 987.2 now.

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1 hour ago, gfl said:

JPF wrote:  "We have not had any failures after removing the seal, nor have we heard of any.'

 

Well i just pulled apart my track car's motor (mostly stock 3.2 boxster motor). I put an LNE IMS bearing in 3 years ago.  Obviously, the LNE has no seals and is open to splash lubrication.  It was pretty much gone- very significant wear and play. Might it have lasted another season? Maybe.  My conclusion - removing the seals is NOT sufficient, at least for heavily track used cars.

 

I too am leaning toward the DOF, but want to take on board as much info as possible. I see in this post statements that it takes dirty oil, but Pedro's diagram clearly shows it coming from a galley directly after the filter, pump and cooler, which ought to be nearly ideal.

 

Grant

 

 

 

Sorry Grant, but I cannot agree with your assessment of the DOF.  The cylinder heads are both the hottest, and one of the dirtiest parts of the oiling system, which is one of the reasons so many people end up having lifter problems.  On rebuilds of these engines, if you were to take the lifters out and heat them in a pan of something like Marvel Mystery oil, they start to purge themselves of tons of black crud that has accumulated. Ultra sonic cleaning of the heads during a rebuild shows even more crap coming out of every oil passage as well.  So while diagrams may look cute, the reality is a totally different story, which is a major short coming with the DOF.

 

As for your IMS bearing, are you absolutely sure it is an LN bearing?  We have taken apart engines that were supposed to have LN bearings in them, only to find all steel bearings.  As you are taking your engine apart, I would also have your shaft tested by a good machine shop for concentricity while you are having the chain gears pinned or welded in place to prevent slippage (another well known problem).  We have also seen a lot of IMS shafts that do not rotate about their true center lines, resulting in constant wobble and the shaft literally beating the Hell out of the IMS bearing.  No bearing can survive that.

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Thanks for the info.  Yes, its an LN.  Unless magical mice got in there in the last three years, i pulled to old bearing, bought an LN, and admittedly gave it to the shop since my motor was, at that moment, covered.  And the bearing is a) large, b) open with the races of an LN, and c) has the larger threaded shaft of the LN unit, which is why its not in my hand now (need to get the proper thread for the puller before i can remove it).  It is most certainly an LN like race and not at all like the OE unit - so i seriously doubt there was a mix-up.

 

(follow up - its out, and it is most certainly an LN, and far deader after 3 years than the original was after 10+ years.  The LNE retrofit clearly wore much faster than the original did.)

 

So i KNOW this solution (the LNE ceramic bearing unit) is not a good one.  I'm not sure about the DOF, but i'd think that a stream of oil, even mixed with some truly dissolved dirt (not particulate matter) would still be a great improvement.

 

My main point though is that the LN deteriorated very rapidly.  track car. 3 years. Roughly 10 events per year.  Advanced run groups (flat out to keep up with the faster cars).

 

So an open bearing is not a complete solution, as proven here (unless the shaft is wobbly - we shall see).

 

GrantIMS even closer... and rocking.JPG

 

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40 minutes ago, gfl said:

Thanks for the info.  Yes, its an LN.  Unless magical mice got in there in the last three years, i pulled to old bearing, bought an LN, and admittedly gave it to the shop since my motor was, at that moment, covered.  And the bearing is a) large, b) open with the races of an LN, and c) has the larger threaded shaft of the LN unit, which is why its not in my hand now (need to get the proper thread for the puller before i can remove it).  It is most certainly an LN like race and not at all like the OE unit - so i seriously doubt there was a mix-up.

 

(follow up - its out, and it is most certainly an LN, and far deader after 3 years than the original was after 10+ years.  The LNE retrofit clearly wore much faster than the original did.)

 

So i KNOW this solution (the LNE ceramic bearing unit) is not a good one.  I'm not sure about the DOF, but i'd think that a stream of oil, even mixed with some truly dissolved dirt (not particulate matter) would still be a great improvement.

 

My main point though is that the LN deteriorated very rapidly.  track car. 3 years. Roughly 10 events per year.  Advanced run groups (flat out to keep up with the faster cars).

 

So an open bearing is not a complete solution, as proven here (unless the shaft is wobbly - we shall see).

 

GrantIMS even closer... and rocking.JPG

 

 

Grant, by your own admission, this engine had a lot of bad bearings when you pulled it apart, so I am not at all surprised that the IMS bearing was a bit loose with metal running around inside the engine.  I would also be willing to wager that if a DOF had been in use, it would have probably been even worse as you would have been needlessly pumping debris containing oil directly into it, rather than the mist based oiling system that the LN uses.  Open bearings are all susceptible to oil born debris; oil fed bearings are even more so.

 

We have taken apart multiple factory engines with the OEM sealed IMS bearings in place that had suffered rod or crank bearing failures, and every one had resulted in some level of damage to the IMS bearings, so it is not the LN bearing not holding up, it is the debris circulating in the engine that tears up the IMS.  This is the primary reasons that shops pre qualify every engine before doing an IMS retrofit; if there is already metal in circulation, the new IMS is not going to make it, no matter who's IMS bearing it is.

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