June 13

2000 Porsche Boxster IMS Bearing Replacement

Auto Repair, Porsche


Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Generation, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience and they can back up that claim. They are 16 times winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their clients. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Porsche Boxster, there was some sort of bearing failure or replacement you did. What’s going on sounds pretty serious?

Bernie: Well it is. So the intermediate shaft bearing on this Boxter failed which is a common issue on many of these early 2000 and mid 2000 Porsche engines. Yes, so yeah definitely a very serious issue.

Mark: So what’s a IMS bearing?

Bernie: Yeah, the IMS bearing stands for intermediate shaft and this is a very, very common failure on this vehicle. The intermediate shaft basically is a, as the name implies is intermediate between the crankshaft and the camshafts is a chain that drives the intermediate shaft and that in turn drives the camshaft timing chains.

Mark: Wow, does that, so that failure internally in the engine, does that require or necessitate a full engine overhaul?

Bernie: Well generally yes once the bearing fails it generally does. This particular customer was lucky in that the bearings started making a squeaky noise and did not completely fail. This is the bearing still intact although it did wear to the point of putting a few metal particles into the engine but very minimal, I mean they do fail to the point of you know the, the bearing completely blows apart. I don’t have any pictures to show you of that but if you look on the internet you’ll see some really nice photos of these bearing where they completely fail and of course at that point I mean, it’s, it’s game over for the rest of the engine so that’s, you know, so these folks were lucky, the bearing started making a squeaking sound before it completely failed.

Mark: So you’ve had a whole bunch of debris in the motor, how long in your engine going to last with that running around inside there?

Bernie: Well it’s kind of difficult to say, I mean from what we can see there’s very minimal amount but it’s never a good thing for the engine, you know and at this point but it seems to run fine so we’ve left it you know, but I’ve given the owner a warning that you never know how what sort of incurrence you’ve got left in it, you know basically the replacing this bearing it’s always important to do it before it fails, that’s kind of the key.

Mark: So do you think it’s a good idea to change this bearing as a regular service item, a maintenance item?

Bernie: Absolutely, I mean that’s, that’s the key issue, it’s really important to replace it, I mean they’re probably good for you know, 75,000 kilometers. There’s various you know, opinions on it, that seems to be about the sort of average. When you were asking is it wise to do this as a maintenance item and yes it absolutely is, I mean any time a clutch wears out on, on one of these vehicles it’s important to do the intermediate shaft bearing. It does add a substantial cost but the cost of replacing an engine on this vehicle is horrific, you know and on a 2000 Boxter the vehicle is actually very good value, they’re not very expensive but you know a complete engine job in one of these vehicles is worth more that the whole vehicle so you really to make sure you do your maintenance and replace this. Now if your vehicle is an automatic you just want to automatically remove the transmission at a certain point and replace the IMS bearing. It’s like a maintenance item like a timing belt, you would change it at certain intervals; the IMS bearing is the same thing. So there’s our bearing, if you look where I’ve got this pointer here you can see a few meal filings and bits and pieces that, that is metal that’s actually leaked out of you know bits that leaked out of the bearing so that’s not a good sign but the bearing and seal are intact so just a very minimal amount of debris left this bearing. This is a photograph of the opening, the back of the engine where the bearing sits and that’s right with the bearing pulled out of the engine so the new one is pressed in, we buy them from a company called LN Engineering, they’ve developed an amazing product where you can actually replace this bearing, just from Porsche it’s not available as a separate replacement piece. So those are some of our photos.

Mark: Can you show the car again?

Bernie: Yeah, there’s an example it’s a 2000 Boxter, it’s an example of a vehicle that has an IMS bearing in it.

Mark: So which models and years does this affect?

Bernie: Definitely from 99 up to, to the late 2000 model year in 911’s and Boxters and the only thing, up until about I don’t have my years exactly correct, up until around 2006 you can put these replacement kits in but after that you, after that, after that you’ve actually got to disassemble the engine to replace the IMS bearing and after around the 09 model year they stopped using it all together which is a good thing.

Mark: This must affect Caymens as well then.

Bernie: Yeah it does, yeah certainly it does. Yeah, yeah, so it’s important to check again if you own a Porsche you know, check with your mechanic, find out you know, which model year it is. Find out whether you have an IMS bearing, it really it’s important to know whether it’s ever been changed, if it hasn’t been it’s worth looking into doing it.

Mark: So are there any other stupidly engineered engine parts in horizontally-opposed Porsches, I guess it just really applies to mid-engine and rear engine Porsches.

Bernie: It does, yes there is nothing like this found in the front engine or the V8 models. You know off the top of my head I can’t think of anything else, I mean this is really a you know, for such an amazing car that’s really a kind of a dumb piece of engineering on their behalf but yeah there’s nothing else that’s really that you know, that’s so key and critical as let’s say it’s like a timing belt on an engine, you just need to replace it at the right interval you know or you risk blowing your engine, so in this case it’s much more expensive than you know breaking a timing belt so if you own one of these cars make sure you either replace the IMS bearing or you know that it’s being replaced in the recent future and then say it’s a maintenance item, you have to do it.

Mark: So if you’re looking for a reliable place to look after your Porsche or any other vehicle pretty much they do it at Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Give him a call 604-327-7112 to book your appointment or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com, they have years’ worth of videos and blog posts and all kinds of interesting information on there. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: You’re welcome Mark

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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