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IMS bearing replacement or not?

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Keatesy
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Keatesy PCGB Member
2019/01/29 20:26:53 (permalink)

IMS bearing replacement or not?

Need some help please anyone ... I've owned my 2002 996 Carrera 4 Cabriolet with c78k miles for about 3 years now, it has pretty much a full service history with OPC's, I think just one Specialist service/attention along the way. Since ownership I have had Exeter Porsche OPC look after it each year who tell me its a very sound car, sailed thru recent MOT etc.
My budget for spend on the car is reasonably limited, I cannot be sure whether the IMS bearing has ever shown any signs of trouble or even been replaced - I suspect not.
Although I have owned a 40 year old MGB and sort of restored it and therefore capable to a certain level I cannot even think of undertaking any work on this 996!!
I only run the car for c2,500 miles per year (yes I know I should 'Drive' it)! but I have a real nervousness now kicking in that the IMS may collapse and I have no car as I cannot afford to replace the engine.
So ...
1. Should I sell it?
2. Risk continuing to drive it?
3. Or goodness knows how pay a ridiculous amount of money to have the IMS replaced by a specialist, as OPC is out of the question with their rate of costs?
4. If I need to get the work done who should I take it to - any recommendations?
All help and guidance much appreciated
Keatesy     
  

19 Replies Related Threads

    ralphmusic
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    ralphmusic PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/29 20:59:51 (permalink)
    Talk to SCS Porsche in Honiton also

    Modified Reg - Asst RS
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    Pete Ansbro
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    Pete Ansbro PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/29 22:44:22 (permalink)
    Honestly?
     
    Do you know why you're thinking this way? Do you know someone, anyone to whom IMS failure has happened? I don't mean some guy who wrote to a magazine but someone you know?
     
    1. Spend less time at general motoring internet fora where "net knowledge" is convincing you that your car is simply choosing the worst moment to self-destruct. Put your time in instead at Porsche specialist fora like this one or 911.com 
    2. Listen to what Porsche OPC and reputable indies have to say. Have you even asked Exeter OPC for their advice?
    3. Worry less and drive more but if you can't do that after attending to 1. and 2. maybe it's time to move on.
     
    FWIW I bought a 2002 996 Cab in 2013 with about 60k on the clock and with a similarly full service history. Since then I have driven it pretty much every day and I have about doubled the mileage. The IMS hasn't failed. 
     
    I can't promise that your IMS won't fail but you have no real reason to think that it will.
     

    996 Cabrio big smiles.
    Keatesy
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    Keatesy PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/29 23:10:34 (permalink)
    Thanks ... really appreciate the honest feedback!
     
    I’ll worry less & get on and drive it more ... with the big smile I had the day I bought it and continue to have each time I take it out.
     
    Cheers
     
    Keatesy
     
    robgroves
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    robgroves PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/29 23:16:34 (permalink)
    Im sorry to add confusion! I had a full engine build on a '99 C2 due to cracked head, the IMS was replaced as it was already being dismantled and it was perfect, this was at 115k miles. However a friend has an '02 C2 cab and the IMS went badly just before xmas, its still in the IP being rebuilt, probably £10 - 12k cost. This was around the 100k miles. Now as I understand the bearings in the early models as mine were dual row bearings, but then changed to single row which I think is in the 02 plates? If your car is a manual, at some point if the near future it'll probably need a clutch and flywheel, the dual mass flywheels  do need replacing, I would add in the cost of the IMS at the same time, while the box is out, whole job probably about £2500? Certainly cheaper than an engine build trust me, been there.
    Zeusy
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    Zeusy PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/30 11:08:36 (permalink)
    I had my 996 C2 clutch replaced by an indie 2 years ago (its an early car - 1st reg April '98 ) and they said the IMS was sound. Its done 7000 miles since then and still seems to be running fine at 102000 miles. Yes - there are horror stories to read about but I don't know of any cars that have suffered. I am fettling another 996 C2 (1st reg Aug '98) showing 52000 miles - if the IMS is ok on this one it will be staying in. Lots of people like to kick 996's and they have generally suffered a bad press - like all cars they have their faults but 996's are fun motors to drive so worth having. If you know your car is a good one why not start putting some money aside and gradually build up a pot to fix it whenever you need to? If you buy another car it may not be as good as the one you already have. Spending £2.5K (its a fair chunk to find) should easily sort yours out if you want to feel happier about using it. Hope this helps. Regards. Zeusy.
    D911ARK
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    D911ARK PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/30 11:17:16 (permalink)
    Because of the horror stories (although when you do get into the detail, like I did, you find it is a small percentage it affects), in my search for a 911, when I was buying a 996, the IMS had to have been done, so I had peace of mind. So, for my two cents and what it's worth:
     
    If you plan on keeping it, and can't afford (like I know I couldn't afford) for it to go wrong and a engine bill, when you do the clutch, have the IMS done at the same time (as post above suggest, maybe put some money aside to have this done each month) As has been suggested, the bill for it to be done on it's own, is a bit too much.
     
    If you plan on selling, you may get less than an identical vehicle that has had it done, so bear that in mind
    Is there an available warranty that covers IMS failings?
     
    I'm a bit of a worrier and more risk averse than I used to be, so, I don't know if I'm actually helping here! :)
     
     
     
     
    paul lowen
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    paul lowen PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/30 12:09:38 (permalink)
    I agree with all of the above ... trouble is if there is just a hint it can happen it will put you off driving. I brought my 996 with very low miles in sept last year.  I am lucky enough to have the spare cash to get rid of the doubt. I sent mine to Autofarm had the RMS IMS & a clutch done. Indeed it actually needed the clutch , the RMS was leaking , but the IMS was as good as new! I was told or read I cant remember that more often than not these  fail due to the bearing seal disintegrating & oil washing the grease out, & that when it happens it takes very little time to fail &  cause catastrophic damage. The retro fit IMS bearing is pressure fed from the pump, takes away the worry. BUT there are a huge amount of high mile 996's on the road which have never had an issue. Having spent a long time building F1 engines myself I have seen 1st hand what happens when this sort of failure occurs. I did worry .... but not now. Cant really say which way to go ... depends on you. But I'm glad mine is done 
     
     sorry that doesn't seem much help 
    tim92gts
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    tim92gts PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/30 12:18:32 (permalink)
    120k miles on our '03 car and it's still fine. I thought a lot of the failures were at low miles implying less but not zero risk if you got to say 50k miles?

    tim92gts
    jamesekirby
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    jamesekirby PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/30 13:10:50 (permalink)
    Mine is an 04 at about 56k miles. I will need to get a new clutch done as it's beginning to show signs of wear. At the same time, I will ask Northway to look at the IMS and either replace it or just let me know the current status.

    996 C2 Coupe 04 plate, Manual, Arctic Silver w/ Metropole Blue.
    Wokingham, R19
    robgroves
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    robgroves PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/30 13:24:54 (permalink)
    I would suggest you change it as you do the clutch, it is impossible to assess the condition of the bearing in the car, it will give you peace of mind and will add value to the car as being replaced should you come to ever sell it. The bearing kits are about £500 so if the gearbox and clutch is coming out it seems silly not to.
    997Mike
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    997Mike PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/30 16:39:46 (permalink)
    When I bought my 997 (2006 )my engine number suggested I had the 3rd generation bearing fitted which is the larger bearing ,but in the back of my mind I need it checked so I did ,it cost less a grand to have this mod done at a IP in Brackley so I can now drive and not worry...………….the moral of this story is if in doubt get it checked
     
    Some interesting reading
     
    IMS bearing failure rates at the time of the Eisen class action lawsuit for the single row bearing used from 2000-2005 was 8%[4]. The earlier dual row and later non-serviceable bearing has a reported failure rate of 1%, however as vehicles age, it is expected failure rates could exceed 10%. To reduce the chance of an IMS bearing failure, it can be replaced as a service item using one of several technologies including but not limited to ceramic hybrid ball bearings or cylindrical roller bearings. These have a finite life and require replacement at frequent intervals that vary depending on the technology employed. A plain bearing conversion is available that backdates the engine to an oil fed IMS bearing like a Mezger engine. With replacement engines or vehicles built in or after model year 2006 through 2008, removal of the grease seal is considered good practice pioneered by Hartech in the UK. Without a grease seal present, the IMS is submerged in engine oil, providing adequate lubrication
     

    MY 2006 to MY 2008 cars[edit]

    Cars made in 2006 to 2008 model years (potentially anything manufactured from 1 January 2005 to the end of the 997 model life) received an unserviceable bearing type. For these cars it is recommended to remove the bearing seal to allow oil to lubricate the bearing
     
    Mike
    andywill
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    andywill PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/01/30 17:53:16 (permalink)
    Hi Adam
    Most cars have there Achilles heel and all Porsche’s are no exception, try to put it out of your mind but if it’s always there and stopping you enjoying your car then just replace it.
    The last time I asked my local independent stated a clutch & replacement IMS would be about £1500 to £1600.
    That said lots of independents will say just leave it alone and enjoy the car, but it’s always prudent to cut and inspect the oil filter for metal fragments on every service which most independents now do.
    Andy.

    Andy Willis.
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    Figment
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    Figment PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/02/01 11:44:48 (permalink)
    I bought a 4S 2002 whilst in America in 2014 . 87K miles . Had the IMS bearing changed,  new clutch and flywheel and low temp thermostat all whilst gearbox was out . The IMS bearing was fine but it gave me peace of mind and assisted when I sold the car 3 years later .
    If you did have IMS changed go to a specialist with experience like Dove House and get a fixed price . The question is how much is piece of mind worth .
    Regards
    Mike  
    wibble
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    wibble PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/02/01 20:30:35 (permalink)
    As many have mentioned above it's about your peace of mind.
     
    Mine is original IMS on a 3.4 Gen1 100K.  I've experienced a cracked head, quite rare now from early castings. I fixed it myself with my fascination of taking things apart, lots of research and advice from specialists and this forum. I decided not to replace the IMS due to the small the percentage of failures in comparison to production numbers.  For peace of mind I fitted a magnetic sump plug, change my oil every 6 months and keep an eye on the oil filter contents and levels.
     
    There is no way to inspect internally or externally the IMS bearing without taking it apart, at which point you may as well replace it with the 997 bearing revision or aftermarket. I am sure many indies have made lots of money replacing the IMS as a consumable part much akin to a oil filter or air filter service. The original IMS was designed by Porsche as a lifetime part and is not a serviceable item.
     
    These cars need to be driven and spirited where speed limits allow. Every time you turn the key, it is to be enjoyed and not feared.

    Tony
    1999 996 Carrera 4 - Ocean Blue
    Past:
    1990 944 Turbo - Guards Red
    JamesHenfrey
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    JamesHenfrey PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/02/02 11:43:49 (permalink)
    If the worry of the IMS failing is stopping you from enjoying these fantastic car then either pass the car on to the next lucky owner or have it replaced at a reputable Porsche specialist.
    It was a concerned about this myself when purchasing my 996, so i had it done along with RMS and Clutch kit a week after buying the car at Cavendish Porsche. Some will no doubt tell me it was unnecessary, but it gave me piece of mind I needed. 
    People telling you to 'stop worrying'  will not actually stop you being concerned, In my opinion, get it booked it at a reputable specialist for the IMS and enjoy the car! If you do pass the car on the IMS replacement will help sell it, so its not money wasted. 
     
    Jim. 
    Cayman295
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    Cayman295 PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/02/03 16:30:33 (permalink)
    All
     
    I have a 996 C2 45,000 miles purchased from OPC in November 2017 since then I have spoken with several Porsche OPC and they have rarely seen an issue.  There advice is to leave as originally installed.  However as they are not allowed to fit anything other than the revised larger bearing and shaft they would.  Also its not them stuck with the big bill when it fails.
     
    In September I had the water pump fail suddenly the noise and the speed at which it happened made me think it was IMS.  This was enough to make me think about IMS
     
    Having run the car now for over a year and enjoyed it I now feel its the right time to carry out some safe guarding to my car brought on by the above.
     
    Although not worried I feel its always in the back of my mind and always glad when I get the car home now without a problem.
     
    As a result I will shortly be:-
     
    1) Fitting IMS LN Upgrade (Not sure which one)
    2) RMS Oil Seal ( Not leaking but precautionary)
    3) Low temperature thermostat  ( Reduce risk of scored bores)
    4) Clutch etc (Due to mileage)
     
    Steve Bull Devizes Porsche Specialist suggest total price around £1800.
     
    So although not a small amount of money its a lot less than an engine rebuild and will stop me listening for every slight noise
    As most things in life prevention is better that cure. 
     

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    Dombo63
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    Dombo63 PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/02/21 10:23:55 (permalink)
    All Porsches had some horror story or other. There is a good article on the PCA site highlighting the issues with each model going back to pre-964. All of which worse than the IMS. The IMS issue has been blown out of proportion because the 996 came in at the same time as the internet taking off, so forums were awash with tales of woe. Nobody posted to say all was fine but suddenly everyone and their dog who knew a bloke who had a mate whose car had blown up went online to tell the world.
    My car, a 2003 cab, has done similar mileage, around 75k. Every year my indy changes the oil filter and checks it for signs of metal flakes. When I check the oil level I wipe the dipstick on my fingers and check for any grittiness (incidentally the car barely uses any oil doing about 3k miles a year). I also check under the car for leaks or sweating - there's nothing.
    Chances are after 70-odd thousand miles of nothing happening, nothing will. I understand your concerns though, I somehow got a stone in one of the brake disc vents which made an indescribably horrific noise when I braked. My CEL light came on a few months after I'd replaced the exhaust - another cold sweat and brown trouser moment that turned out to be a lambda sensor reading or some other nonsense easily fixed.
    They are great cars - let them warm up before spirited driving and change the oil every year and you'll likely be fine for years to come.
    thirteeneast
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    thirteeneast PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/02/21 23:41:38 (permalink)
    Pete Ansbro
    Honestly?
     
    Do you know why you're thinking this way? Do you know someone, anyone to whom IMS failure has happened? I don't mean some guy who wrote to a magazine but someone you know?
     
    1. Spend less time at general motoring internet fora where "net knowledge" is convincing you that your car is simply choosing the worst moment to self-destruct. Put your time in instead at Porsche specialist fora like this one or 911.com 
    2. Listen to what Porsche OPC and reputable indies have to say. Have you even asked Exeter OPC for their advice?
    3. Worry less and drive more but if you can't do that after attending to 1. and 2. maybe it's time to move on.
     
    FWIW I bought a 2002 996 Cab in 2013 with about 60k on the clock and with a similarly full service history. Since then I have driven it pretty much every day and I have about doubled the mileage. The IMS hasn't failed. 
     
    I can't promise that your IMS won't fail but you have no real reason to think that it will.
     



    Well said.



    geoff lane
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    geoff lane PCGB Member
    Re: IMS bearing replacement or not? 2019/02/22 00:04:50 (permalink)
     
    Agree with Ralph
     
    Talk to Andy at SCS Porsche at Honiton he is a good knowledgeable guy

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