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Thread: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

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    Angry IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Hello everyone,



    I most recently posted on Rennlist and was recommended this board as well for more guidance!

    I have a 2005 Porsche Boxster (987) with 51,000 miles on it - and have just had an IMSicon failure. The failure occurred at a traffic light, after 15 minutes of highway driving. The car was not moving when the failure occurred. I had no previous indication of imminent failure - no CEL, etc. The clutch was engaged and suddenly the car stalled. I attempted to restart the engine (because I was in the middle of an intersection) - and got it started, hearing now mechanical clunking/metal on metal. Immediately I turned off the engine, wanting to conserve energy until the light changed. Once the light turned green - I gave her one last start, and got up to about 20mph before turning her off and cruising to a stop. This was absolutely necessary, otherwise I would be blocking traffic in a major intersection. Once off to the side - I called roadside and did not attempt to restart the car.

    Once the flatbed arrived, as soon as the car was in a vertical/upright position being loaded onto the bed - OIL came pouring out the back, at this point I was in shock and horror - knowing that the problem must be engine related, as I did not hit anything prior to cause such a leak, etc.

    The car was towed to the dealer - and by Monday I had the news - "Intermediate balancing shaft came apart". They proposed to rebuild the engine - for 10k

    2,799 in Parts
    48hrs/45 -- in labour
    7,650
    -------
    $10,449

    That's a dealer rate of nearly $160 an hour! OUCH.

    Now, knowing that this was a crazy estimate - I wanted to get an IMS specialist on the job. I had the car moved to an independent shop with lots of IMS experience. As my car was a single row bearing design, he removed and replaced the IMS from LNEngineering - this mechanic is one of the few certified directly from the company, so I trust his work. Upon restarting the car after the upgrade, he reported that there was still too much metal moving around in the engine - and that the engine was officially blown/dead.

    The value on the car right now is 21k in good working order, without the engine I understand that I will only be able to salvage 3-4k at best. I have read all the options, and just about every forum post on the topic of IMS failures - but still don't have a clear idea of what the next steps to take are.

    Here are my trouble points:

    1. If the engine is replaced, I understand it to be about 18k for a "new" one from Porsche, or somewhere in the 15k range for something used. (This is including labor costs).

    Is it worth it to do this on a 2005 car? Other options?

    2. I have fallen madly in love with this car, and have babied it from day 1. So the interior/exterior are in perfect shape. Also, there is no other car on my short-list for now that I would be interested in. This was it.

    What model/year Porsche would you replace with so that this can NEVER happen again? (I understand only 2009--later)

    3. Is the dealer serious that they could "rebuild" the engine for that price? Or will they end up increasing the estimate once they take it apart?

    4. The car is out of the CPO warranty by about 1 year. The dealership says it's only a 5 year warranty - when stated on the website it claims 6! The dealer says warranty was finished on 4/15/2011. Is there any chance in Heck that they would honor a "Goodwill" replacement or adjustment - as we also own a 98' Boxster as well.

    Car Location : Bay Area California

    All Advices/Insights/and Remarks are welcome!


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    Really sorry to hear that. I don't have any advice but was wondering which engine you have?
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    Welcome to the cursed club of Porsche engineering! You're not alone here with many unfortunates to follow as long as there are 987.1 on the roads.

    I along with few others chose to rebuild the engine with higher displacement; 3.7L. It did cost me 22k USD but I know some got better jobs done at better prices. I'm sure they'll join this thread soon.

    I don't recommend having Porsche rebuild or replace the engine... It would still be a ticking bomb.

    Good luck!
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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    I thought the dealer sounded too good to be true anyway!

    I got a quote from Flat6Innovations for $19,750 to rebuild. -- not including tax+shipping, etc.

    Currently looking at a 2007 Z4 M Roadster around, $26.

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_987 View Post
    Really sorry to hear that. I don't have any advice but was wondering which engine you have?
    The engine is standard 2.7L

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    This thread may help you meet the rest:
    Do you have a Blue Paint Engine?
    "Remember, it only took Marty Mcfly 88mph to travel through time in the DeLorean! I would hate for you to accidentally land in a time without petrol!" ...JB

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    sounds like a perfect time for a power upgrade?!?
    ********IF IN DOUBT, GO FLAT OUT!!*********

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    I was going to suggest checking with Jake but it sounds like you've already done that.

    Can you clarify? My interpretation is you took your Box to the Indy mechanic and he took out the factory IMSicon bearing and put in a LNE bearing? It was a factory IMS design that failed? I haven't heard of any LNE bearings failing, although there could be some out there.

    As far as goodwill from Porsche, don't count on it if your CPO has been expired for a yr. A month maybe but not a yr. CPO adds 2 yrs of warranty but it doesn't necessarily mean 6 yrs of warranty. If the car is out of factory warranty, you get 2 yrs from when you buy it. The logical math says a CPO would have expired in 2011 - 2005 + 6. I'm sure your Porsche dealer doesn't care that you have a 2nd Porsche either.

    Were you aware of the IMS issue? Were you aware that your 987 could have the IMS replaced? Have you had the IMS replaced in your 98?

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Quote Originally Posted by husker boxster View Post

    Can you clarify? My interpretation is you took your Box to the Indy mechanic and he took out the factory IMSicon bearing and put in a LNE bearing? It was a factory IMS design that failed? I haven't heard of any LNE bearings failing, although there could be some out there.
    No, first the IMS failed/broke at a traffic light. Then to dealer for estimate, then to indi to have him attempt recovering the broken bearing and installing the new LNE design. -- He installed the new LNE design but engine still had too much debris in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by husker boxster View Post
    Were you aware of the IMS issue? Were you aware that your 987 could have the IMS replaced? Have you had the IMS replaced in your 98?
    NO, I was not aware of IMS issue before purchasing the car.

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    It comes down to your personal point of view as to how much you love the car and are willing to put into it at this point knowing:
    1) warranty is past and you will be covering the cost
    2) what your aversion to the future risk is
    3) that it could happen again

    Although hard to do, the least path of resistance and angst may be to walk away. Regardless - Good Luck!

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Futurama56 View Post
    Hello everyone,



    I most recently posted on Rennlist and was recommended this board as well for more guidance!

    I have a 2005 Porsche Boxster (987) with 51,000 miles on it - and have just had an IMSicon failure. The failure occurred at a traffic light, after 15 minutes of highway driving. The car was not moving when the failure occurred. I had no previous indication of imminent failure - no CEL, etc. The clutch was engaged and suddenly the car stalled. I attempted to restart the engine (because I was in the middle of an intersection) - and got it started, hearing now mechanical clunking/metal on metal. Immediately I turned off the engine, wanting to conserve energy until the light changed. Once the light turned green - I gave her one last start, and got up to about 20mph before turning her off and cruising to a stop. This was absolutely necessary, otherwise I would be blocking traffic in a major intersection. Once off to the side - I called roadside and did not attempt to restart the car.

    Once the flatbed arrived, as soon as the car was in a vertical/upright position being loaded onto the bed - OIL came pouring out the back, at this point I was in shock and horror - knowing that the problem must be engine related, as I did not hit anything prior to cause such a leak, etc.

    The car was towed to the dealer - and by Monday I had the news - "Intermediate balancing shaft came apart". They proposed to rebuild the engine - for 10k

    2,799 in Parts
    48hrs/45 -- in labour
    7,650
    -------
    $10,449

    That's a dealer rate of nearly $160 an hour! OUCH.

    Now, knowing that this was a crazy estimate - I wanted to get an IMS specialist on the job. I had the car moved to an independent shop with lots of IMS experience. As my car was a single row bearing design, he removed and replaced the IMS from LNEngineering - this mechanic is one of the few certified directly from the company, so I trust his work. Upon restarting the car after the upgrade, he reported that there was still too much metal moving around in the engine - and that the engine was officially blown/dead.

    The value on the car right now is 21k in good working order, without the engine I understand that I will only be able to salvage 3-4k at best. I have read all the options, and just about every forum post on the topic of IMS failures - but still don't have a clear idea of what the next steps to take are.

    Here are my trouble points:

    1. If the engine is replaced, I understand it to be about 18k for a "new" one from Porsche, or somewhere in the 15k range for something used. (This is including labor costs).

    Is it worth it to do this on a 2005 car? Other options?

    2. I have fallen madly in love with this car, and have babied it from day 1. So the interior/exterior are in perfect shape. Also, there is no other car on my short-list for now that I would be interested in. This was it.

    What model/year Porsche would you replace with so that this can NEVER happen again? (I understand only 2009--later)

    3. Is the dealer serious that they could "rebuild" the engine for that price? Or will they end up increasing the estimate once they take it apart?

    4. The car is out of the CPO warranty by about 1 year. The dealership says it's only a 5 year warranty - when stated on the website it claims 6! The dealer says warranty was finished on 4/15/2011. Is there any chance in Heck that they would honor a "Goodwill" replacement or adjustment - as we also own a 98' Boxster as well.

    Car Location : Bay Area California

    All Advices/Insights/and Remarks are welcome!

    Couple of things:

    1) What is controlling for your warranty is the paperwork you signed, not a website, not a dealer's word. You need to review the written document and see how long the warranty is good for.

    2) You can ask for a goodwill replacement if you have a good relationship with the dealer and they do have $$ from Porsche to put towards such a thing, all dealers do, but some want to keep the $$ or just don't use them.

    3) A used engine can be had for less than $10K installed from the right sources, and I would suggest going with a 2008 engine (last of your series), you cannot go with a 2009 because your car and that engine are not compatible. (Actually your car is a 3.2 and the 2008 would be a 3.4, but I suspect only a different flash is in order to make it work) I would probably go this route as opposed to trying to rebuild yours as a quality rebuild will easily be $20k if done right... if you get a shoddy rebuild you'll be no better off.

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Go with option 3, the "used engine", but add the LNE upgrade before installation.

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Quote Originally Posted by K-Man S View Post
    Couple of things:
    3) A used engine can be had for less than $10K installed from the right sources, and I would suggest going with a 2008 engine (last of your series), you cannot go with a 2009 because your car and that engine are not compatible. (Actually your car is a 3.2 and the 2008 would be a 3.4, but I suspect only a different flash is in order to make it work) I would probably go this route as opposed to trying to rebuild yours as a quality rebuild will easily be $20k if done right... if you get a shoddy rebuild you'll be no better off.
    What sources are you referring to here? We (me and the indi mechanic) found a used engine (same year/spec) for $9k, with 55k miles on it - cost excludes labor.

    Where and how do you come up with $10k installed?

    Even a cheap 48 hours @ $100 for install = 14k

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    I'm surprised at two things, one that the motor restarted and ran and that an indy with Porsche experience would replace the bearing and try to start the engine after telling him the story of it failing like you did here (assuming you did). Not a criticism just an observation. Considering your options I would go with the dealer rebuild only if they will warrant their work and will give you the estimate in writing. The other route I would consider is an upgrade to a low mileage 911 motor of the same year.

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    I agree with BadToTheBox's points.

    The following may not seem extremely sympathetic, but you've decided to take it to the 'net and have therefore (probably unknowingly) invited any and all comments.

    I would not have started, or tried to start, the car twice after metallic banging noises... even at an intersection. It wasn't "absolutely necessary", as the car could've been pushed along. It's not even uncommon, as I've seen this happen in the past 2 weeks (car in front of me - battery died). Your engine could possibly have been OK if you did not do this.

    You have a 1998 986 and weren't aware of possible IMSicon issues???? IMO, ALL 986/996 should have their IMS upgraded once there's a decent amount of mileage on them. Take this opportunity to look into an LN IMS upgrade for your 986.

    IMS bearing was updated in cars from 2006-2008. 2008 cars got a 2nd upgrade. IMS failure in these cars are extremely rare. 2005 Boxster is a crapshoot; some have updated IMS bearing while others dont.

    To what extent did your dealer assess the engine before stating that a rebuild is do-able? Why did your indy do an IMS upgrade after a known failure?
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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Quote Originally Posted by the_vetman View Post
    I agree with BadToTheBox's points.

    I would not have started, or tried to start, the car twice after metallic banging noises... even at an intersection. It wasn't "impossible", as the car could've been pushed along. It's not even uncommon, as I've seen this happen in the past 2 weeks (car in front of me - battery died). Your engine could possibly have been OK if you did not do this.

    2 Turning lanes of traffic at a big 4x4 intersection in California - let me tell you it wasn't safe to jump out and start pushing.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_vetman View Post
    IMSicon bearing was updated in cars from 2006-2008. 2008 cars got a 2nd upgrade. IMS failure in these cars are extremely rare. 2005 Boxster is a crapshoot; some have updated IMS bearing while others dont.
    Mine was very early delivery 2005. So still had single row bearing.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_vetman View Post
    To what extent did your dealer assess the engine before stating that a rebuild is do-able?
    I do not believe they removed anything - rather just used the microscope to check for damage. They gave me a parts list and the quote above -

    Quote Originally Posted by the_vetman View Post
    Why did your indy do an IMS upgrade after a known failure?
    Because the extent of the damage was considered (at the time) to be so little, that it may be repairable. He removed the transmission, removed the failed IMS, cleaned what he could - replaced it - then hand cranked the engine to check, before starting. Upon starting reported there was too much metal/metallics/bearings still clunking around inside, and at this point it was considered dead.

    I am not a mechanic, so this is a little bit like the game of telephone when one person hears it, and another tries to relay the message - so please excuse any inconsistencies, I will be happy to clarify.

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Following this on Rennlist as well. My vote is to replace the dead 2.7 with an '07 or '08 Cayman S 3.4.

    If thats too much bother I'm a buyer!
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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Here is what we are trying to save!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!-36387_10150223657895221_6896262_n.jpg   IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!-36387_10150223657890221_3692902_n.jpg   IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!-36387_10150223657875221_5997296_n.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Futurama56 View Post
    What sources are you referring to here? We (me and the indi mechanic) found a used engine (same year/spec) for $9k, with 55k miles on it - cost excludes labor.

    Where and how do you come up with $10k installed?

    Even a cheap 48 hours @ $100 for install = 14k
    My own replacement engine was $10k installed.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

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    Re: IMS Failure at 51,000 miles - NOW WHAT?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Futurama56 View Post
    Mine was very early delivery 2005. So still had single row bearing.



    I do not believe they removed anything - rather just used the microscope to check for damage. They gave me a parts list and the quote above -



    Because the extent of the damage was considered (at the time) to be so little, that it may be repairable. He removed the transmission, removed the failed IMSicon, cleaned what he could - replaced it - then hand cranked the engine to check, before starting. Upon starting reported there was too much metal/metallics/bearings still clunking around inside, and at this point it was considered dead.

    I am not a mechanic, so this is a little bit like the game of telephone when one person hears it, and another tries to relay the message - so please excuse any inconsistencies, I will be happy to clarify.
    Not trying to start an argument but when your car makes the noises you claim it did, oil runs out of it and you find out you had an IMS failure you assume the engine is toast and work backward. Paying for that IMS change was a waste of your money based on everything you've stated here. Personally I'd find someone else to confer with as it is starting to sound like you are getting taken for a ride. No pun intended.

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