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Is it Time for an IMS Bearing Upgrade for my Porsche?

Do you own a Boxster, Cayman or water-cooled 911 model Porsche? Then you have very likely heard about the issue with their engine’s intermediate shaft bearing.

Failures of the Intermediate Shaft Bearing – or IMS Bearing – in M96 engines have received extensive internet coverage over the last 20 years, but going online to research the issue is a minefield of contradicting opinions and information. The only consistent thing you will read is that when failure occurs, there is no warning at all, and that is what’s known as a “catastrophic failure.” At that point the engine must be replaced; you cannot rebuild an engine that has had this failure.

Models that are affected by the issue are 2008 and earlier Boxster, Cayman and water-cooled 911 models. We have been servicing these vehicles since they were new and our take on the situation is this – If the failure rate were as high as some on the internet would have you believe, our parking lot would be filled with these cars with failed engines … and, it’s not.

That said, over the last 20 years we have seen our fair share of these failures so they do exist, but probably not on the level some would have you believe.

An IMS bearing upgrade is something you should consider either as peace of mind or as insurance against the failure, or both. It’s a job we have performed many times with great success. We only use the LN Engineering upgrade as it was the first and is still the best. Information about their research and products they offer can be found HERE (

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anything be done to prevent a failure?

There are a few actions available to you. We recommend changing your oil every 5,000 miles or sooner and using a high viscosity motor oil that has additional anti-wear additives. Also, many owners will inspect their oil filters after a maintenance service to see if there are any metallic particles present. This can be an indicator of impending failure … or not. The very best solution to the problem is to replace the bearing before it fails.

Is this a repair I can do myself?

You can make the repair on your own with kits available, but we recommend having an experienced Porsche ASE certified technician perform the repair. At ArborMotion, the technician working on your Porsche is an expert and has performed many of these upgrades. As a result, you’ll have full confidence that this significant upgrade will be completed properly.

How do I know I need a Porsche IMS bearing upgrade?

Porsche IMS bearing upgrades are peace of mind repairs, so it’s a decision only you can make. Is it right for you and for your vehicle? Only you can decide!

IMS Bearing Upgrade on Porsche in Ann Arbor: We’re the Experts!

At ArborMotion, we’re passionate about offering high-quality care for the restored vintage car, the daily driver or even a race car. Your Porsche is our shared focus. Our Porsche technicians work to ensure that your vehicle is performing at its best.

If you’re interested in getting more information about the upgrade and our services, please call us at 734-761-1088, we’re happy to help you with your Porsche.

Happy Motoring!


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