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M97 IMS Bearing Failures?

I posted this topic many months ago to see if there was any experience out there with M97 IMS bearing failures. The chatter on various sites about M96 IMS bearing failures seems to be picking up in intensity, especially on some of the boards that cater to the UK Porsche crowd. But I have not seen much chatter about M97 failures.

Does anyone out there have any firsthand experience with any M97 failures? If so can you give us some background?

Thanks!

Matt
Old 10-13-2011, 07:34 PM
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:58 PM
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We are directly aware of a couple of 997 failures, the large diameter IMS bearing is susceptible to the same type of failure as the earlier 996/986/987 style unit. The fact that there have not been as many web postings or reports on the subject is more related to timing than design; as many 997 are still under warranty, Porsche has been covering the lost engines under warranty. As more time passes, and more cars come off warranty, you will start to hear more about them. Bigger issue is that there are no economically realistic preemptive steps that the owner can take with these cars, as total disassembly is required to update the unit with the LN upgrade. Your only real option is to buy one of the new “Guardian” warning units from Jake and try and catch it before it turns your engine into a boat anchor.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:50 AM
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hi - sorry for the hijack. i'm looking at putting a m97 in my early boxster and am curious as to m97 vs m96 failure modes as well. specifically, does the m97 have the same AOS issues as the m96, or have subsequent revisions/updates to the part cured that issue?
Old 10-14-2011, 11:09 AM
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The differences of the AOS system from the M96 to the M97 would have to be called “evolutionary” rather than “revolutionary”; the newer AOS units still seem to suffer failures due to the deterioration of the materials of construction over time; so, yes, it still is a problem. And the IMS issue remains as well, but is harder to deal with, depending upon the model year. The IMS issue was not resolved until the new DFI motors, which do not carry an intermediate shaft, were introduced; but the DFI adds an entirely new can of worms for transplants into 986 bodies.......
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Last edited by JFP in PA; 10-14-2011 at 11:56 AM..
Old 10-14-2011, 11:50 AM
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Thanks JFP. I don't have any data to point to so this is purely subjective, but it seems like the frequency with which we hear and have heard about 2004-2006 M96 IMS failures is higher than what we are seeing from the 2006-2007 M97 cars that are coming off or have come off of warranty. Two of my cars are M97 and I purchased an extended warranty on one and plan to purchase an extended on the other (when it comes off of the factory warranty), so while the topic has greatly piqued my interest I am still exercising the cars the way the engineers intended. Having lived through broken dilivar head studs and $15K resulting rebuilds the idea of an IMS problem while dissapointing, is not surprising.

In the two M97 failures you heard about, was a root cause established or guessed at? I am curious if the same root cause applies to the larger bearing. I suspect it does but have not seen any data on any blogs or websites.

Thanks!

Matt
Old 10-14-2011, 05:48 PM
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On tear down, they had failed IMS bearings and mulitple piston to valve contacts (valve heads broken off and pushed into the pistons, heads, or cylinder walls; classic cam timing movement that ended very badly.

The "reporting" on the M97 is dampened somewhat by there still being factory warranties in effect on many of the cars; given some more time, you will hear more about it.............
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:10 PM
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