IMS Solution Retrofits
Story and pictures by Jake Raby
All content within this article is copyright 1997-2013 Raby Enterprises Inc. Duplication or redistribution is strictly prohibited without written permission from Raby Enterprises Inc.
I will begin this article by stating that it is not our goal to "scare" anyone into an IMS Retrofit procedure. With Porsche recently "settling" a class action lawsuit on this topic, the handwriting is on the wall in regard to the probabilities of IMS Bearing failure impacting your engine. For years people wouldn't listen to our experiences and the experiences of their peers who have endured IMS Bearing failures, but today the industry is much different. People are now taking the steps to resolve their issues before they encounter them, and if thousands of them would have thought this way previously; so many engines could have been saved.
As you read these pages you will constantly see the words "catastrophic" and "failure" and we'll be pointing out that these things can happen to your car; because they can and they do. Please do not mis-understand the main objective of this article as it is not our goal to "scare" anyone into the IMS Retrofit procedure. If you choose not to update your Porsche's IMS Bearing thats fine, just drive the vehicle and enjoy it. The words you will be reading here are firm, because the failures are real and they happen more often than most people can imagine. In short, its not our goal to scare you, but rather to provide you with very clear, easy to read and comprehend information to best inform you of the reality associated with the IMS Bearing failure.
The intermediate shaft retrofit utilizing the IMS Solution is one of Flat 6 Innovations most common procedures carried out at our Cleveland, GA location. One reason for this is because we have pioneered the internal repair of the M96 engine and have developed in some way every M96 innovation that if well-respected in the industry. Sure there have been a few companies who have folowed in our foot steps and have produced their own "fixes", unfortunately for them none have earned a reputation as solid as ours.
The IMS Solution retrofit procedure is one that can be done on MY01 through MY05 Porsche Boxster and 911s to improve the longevity of the engine and hopefully prevent future catastrophic engine failures associated with the intermediate shaft bearing. If you have a MY06 through MY08, you can stop here. None of what is written here applies to you. Your IMS requires a complete teardown to be serviced due to its design. This also pertains if your vehicle is outfitted with a Porsche REMAN or NEW engine that was purchased after 2006 as these engines also feature non-serviceable IMS bearings.
Having invented the IMS Solution and developed the procedure, tools, and ims retrofit kit itself in conjunction with LN Engineering, there is no facility better equipped or no team as experienced to service your Porsche's IMS. Flat 6 Innovations also has experience in resurrecting engines with catastrophic IMS failures and as such, many have shipped their Porsche Boxster or 911 to us from around the United States for our specialized service. Our ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome is what separates us from the rest when it comes to a catastrophic failure of your Porsche engine. Currently I am a Worldpac Training Institute Instructor that trains a few hundred technicians all across the USA about the M(^ Porsche engine through the M96 Engine Mechanical Class, and my very own "M96 "102" Engine Assembly School". I am also currently writing the book on the M96 engines that will assist thousands of other technicians all across the World with understanding these engines.
If you have read the IMS Solution Website www.theimssolution.com, you are probably already familiar with the procedure and retrofit kit itself. The website provides an excellent description of what the ims retrofit kit is, why it was developed, and how it improves upon the original IMS bearing design by eliminating 11 wear components and simplifying the design. The purpose of this page will be to explain when and why you should consider sending your Porsche to us to have the IMS retrofit procedure done by our expert staff and state of art, specially prepared facility. If you haven't read about the IMS retrofit procedure, visit www.theimssolution.com
Generally, the intermediate shaft bearing's life expectancy can be directly correlated to how a vehicle is driven and maintained. Lower mileage cars not driven hard or often enough are typically the cars that experience IMS failures. Most of these cars also do not get the oil changes as often as cars driven year round, daily. But even cars that are driven like they are stolen and have had oil changes every 3,000 miles since new can and still do experience IMS bearing failures. Every M96 engine needs an IMS bearing retrofit kit, or at least those to which this technology can be applied.
Just because your Porsche has been exceptionally maintained will not keep it from falling prey to the IMS bearing failure, all M96 powered vehicles are susceptible to the IMS failure, even those with exceptionally low mileage, have never been tracked and etc. The IMS Bearing failure is not prejudice, it can happen without symptom when driving 55 MPH, or it can happen at 130 MPH at wide open throttle on the track. We are often asked "what year cars had the issue?" My answer is "all of them".
Now we will go over some reasons why the Flat 6 IMS Bearing Retrofit Service, utilizing the IMS Solution is unparalleled. The procedure developed by Flat 6 Innovations and LN Engineering was the first of it's kind to be made commercially available to the general public in "kit" form. We have a more thorough understand of the IMS, its issues and both primary and secondary failures associated with it than anyone else in North America. This is due to our R&D coupled to our exposure to failed and failing engines in all stages of IMS Bearing failure.
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