If your are a 1997 to 2008 Porsche owner by now you’ve heard stories of the fabled Porsche death rattle. A engine failure related to Intermediate Shaft Bearing (IMS) that has plagued close to 10% of the following Porsche vehicles:
- 911 Models 1997 to 2008
- All Boxster Models 1997-2008
- All Cayman Models 2006-2008
The IMS failure is characterized by an ominous engine rattle that occurs when the bearings begin to fail and come apart. Once heard, the end of the engine is near and the start of a costly rebuild process begins, and in n some cases not covered by the warranty. But fear not, it can be stopped. By paying careful attention for any leak at the IMS hub flange (which in many cases can be improperly identified as a rear main seal (RMS) leak), and noticing early signs of a failing bearing, then replacing it before it comes apart. Since not all engines have had this problem it is not recommended to do an IMS retrofit immediately, instead paying careful attention to the IMS hub flange at short intervals when nearing the 30,000 mile mark on the odometer. An IMS change can also be done at the same time as an RMS leak repair as the majority of the labor is identical to that of performing the RMS service.
There are retrofit kits designed for the the 986, 996, 987, 997, IMS intermediate shaft bearing for single and dual row IMS with sizes and with similar load ratings, that can be done without engine dis-assembly. These replacement retrofits replace faulty sealed bearings with a heavy duty ceramic roller ball bearing for a more reliable performance under higher temperatures and are in used in place of the factory IMS flange hub, bearing support, and fastener with a stronger, revised billet chromoly assembly. It is important to note that these have presented cases of failures and come with the same 12 month /12,000 mile warranty as a factory part, without much savings in cost
Not all engines have had this problem, but for those who do a proactive approach with a properly trained Porsche mechanic may be the only way to avoid costly repair work, as once the death rattle is heard there is little that can be done to save the engine.
Things to look out for while searching for a mechanic:
- If the mechanic asks if your engine is Single or Dual Row (Dual row is always a better choice, always upgrade to dual row if its not already)
- If the shop doesn’t have the correct IMS Bearing Puller… Run
- Never attempt a job like this at home
- Beware of any willingness from the mechanics to cut corners on the job
Do you own or planning to buy a 1999 to 2008 Porsche? We recommend you drop by for a detailed consultation to explain the process and show the options available. From diagnostics to repair we have the experience and training to make this job a simple fix. Our service techs are experts at them. Extended warranties are worth considering when purchasing one of these cars. Inquire about our prices, you may be pleasantly surprised.
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