If you own a Porsche 911 996, Boxster 986 or a very early Boxster 987, Cayman 987 or 911 997.1
3.6 or very early 3.8 , with the exception of Turbo, GT2 and GT3 models. You may have read some
of the horror stories about IMS bearing problems. It’s easy to scare yourself on the internet and find horror stories on Porsche forums, but in reality it is probably around only 10% of these earlier Porsche's that suffer catastrophic engine failure.
The 996 and first generation of 997 shared a similar flat-six naturally aspirated engine (engine codes M96.01-M96.05 and M97.01). This engine was also fitted to the 986 Boxster, early 987 Boxster up to 2006 and very early production 987 Caymans have also been known to have this M96 engine (although these are very few in number).
There is no obvious pattern to the failures in terms of mileage, with some owners unfortunate enough to experience IMS problems at less than 20,000 miles and others thinking they were safe only for the bearing to fail at 130,000 miles. In short, if you own or are planning to buy one of the models with the weaker bearing used from 2000 to late 2005, you need to be aware of the potential for problems.
Here's a quick check on your engine, you can do on your Porsche.
Have a look on your registration document and have a look at the engine code and number
Engine numbers up to M96/05 69507475 has the smaller IMS bearing and engine numbers from M96/05 69507476 has the larger revised bearing.Engine numbers up to M97/01 68509790 has the older IMS bearing and numbers from M97/01 68509791 has the larger revised bearing.
There may not be any obvious symptoms of a developing issue while you are driving, it's not until you hear a loud rattling noise when you start the engine or accelerate – and by this point, the car is close to suffering very costly major damage.
Fortunately, there are excellent bearing replacements available in the form of the EPS Dual Row Upgrade bearing .
Our own dealer trained Porsche technicians have extensive experience of installing the upgraded IMS Retrofit bearing, They are tried and tested solutions, which are proven to be significantly more durable than the original factory fitted bearings and may well extend the life of your Porsche by years, and at the same time increase the resale value of your Porsche.
Many of our customers who opted for the peace of mind of having the bearing replaced had the work carried out at the same time as having a new clutch fitted. Both jobs require the transmission to be removed, so there is a big saving on labour charges to have them done together.