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Metal Shavings in Oil Filter

Also posted this on Rennlist...

Looking for some advice, please.

2000 Boxster S. 20K miles. Recently replaced the IMS bearing as a preventative measure. Some small gold specs in filter prior to change of IMS bearing. Now has the ceramic IMS bearing from LNE. Put Amsoil synthetic oil in after IMS replacement with the plan to change oil after a small number of miles. Less than 100 miles since IMS bearing replacement. Running fine. No overheating. No oil pressure warnings. No funny sounds or vibrations.

Drained the Amsoil to put in Joe Gibbs today. Very little debris on the magnetic oil pan plug. But, when I tore down the filter I found a large amount of non-ferrous metal shavings in the filter. Didn't put in the Joe Gibbs...Buttoned the car up and pushed it off the lift because I don't want to run it without figuring out what may have happened. Pictures attached. Thoughts? IMS bearing failure? Lifter? Sure hope this isn't the rebuild I was trying to avoid...


Old 05-24-2014, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yemington View Post
Also posted this on Rennlist...

Looking for some advice, please.

2000 Boxster S. 20K miles. Recently replaced the IMS bearing as a preventative measure. Some small gold specs in filter prior to change of IMS bearing. Now has the ceramic IMS bearing from LNE. Put Amsoil synthetic oil in after IMS replacement with the plan to change oil after a small number of miles. Less than 100 miles since IMS bearing replacement. Running fine. No overheating. No oil pressure warnings. No funny sounds or vibrations.

Drained the Amsoil to put in Joe Gibbs today. Very little debris on the magnetic oil pan plug. But, when I tore down the filter I found a large amount of non-ferrous metal shavings in the filter. Didn't put in the Joe Gibbs...Buttoned the car up and pushed it off the lift because I don't want to run it without figuring out what may have happened. Pictures attached. Thoughts? IMS bearing failure? Lifter? Sure hope this isn't the rebuild I was trying to avoid...

As long as the debris is not ferrous, or abundant, I would not be overly concerned. I would, however, switch the car to a spin on oil filter with a FilterMag on the spin on unit. The OEM filter is infamous for allowing oil and debris to bypass the filter, the spin on would put and end to that. Because all the oil goes through the filter several times an hour, the FilterMag will sweep up any ferrous debris that is so small it can pass through the filter media. I would also plan on changing the oil and filter more frequently to see how the situation develops.
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:01 PM
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Like said above , please put a magnet to the debris and see what happens. Need more clues here
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:40 PM
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I am dealing with a more severe version of your problem now.Like you the IMS had just been replaced and the LN spin-on filter fitted.
First be careful about describing the color of the debris. Even steel debris(silver) will look gold if it has new oil on it. So dry off a few larger flakes in a solvent ,allow to dry to see the color and test for magnetic attraction.
Is it possible this is debris from the old.failing IMSB? In my case the old IMSB was perfect and the debris was non magnetic.
So therfore it is likely to be bearings -but which ones? Camshaft ,connecting rod ?The answer is that it doesn't matter because IF the debris has bypassed the OEM filter and IF it distributed itself throughout the oil ways -it will eventually cause a catastrophic problem.
Drop the pan and look for more evidence.Look on the pick up screen for larger flakes.Photograph and post for comment.
All this happened within 1 week of purchase for me.So my 2001 Boxster S was instantly converted to a $4k roller !
The kicker is to know how good your gearbox is.....and make an economic evaluation.
That may explain why there are some really low priced Boxsters on Craig's List?
Good Luck and post often.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afterburn 549 View Post
Like said above , please put a magnet to the debris and see what happens. Need more clues here
All of the debris in the filter was non-magnetic. No debris on the magnetic drain plug.
Old 05-26-2014, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Scnell Gelb View Post
I am dealing with a more severe version of your problem now.Like you the IMS had just been replaced and the LN spin-on filter fitted.
First be careful about describing the color of the debris. Even steel debris(silver) will look gold if it has new oil on it. So dry off a few larger flakes in a solvent ,allow to dry to see the color and test for magnetic attraction.
Is it possible this is debris from the old.failing IMSB? In my case the old IMSB was perfect and the debris was non magnetic.
So therfore it is likely to be bearings -but which ones? Camshaft ,connecting rod ?The answer is that it doesn't matter because IF the debris has bypassed the OEM filter and IF it distributed itself throughout the oil ways -it will eventually cause a catastrophic problem.
Drop the pan and look for more evidence.Look on the pick up screen for larger flakes.Photograph and post for comment.
All this happened within 1 week of purchase for me.So my 2001 Boxster S was instantly converted to a $4k roller !
The kicker is to know how good your gearbox is.....and make an economic evaluation.
That may explain why there are some really low priced Boxsters on Craig's List?
Good Luck and post often.
Sorry to hear about your bad luck. I've owned this car since new. Well taken care of and always garaged.

I traded emails (and posts on Rennlist) with Jake Raby. Re-posted here for reference:


The original bearing was not in bad shape. Still turns freely and quietly. When I drained the oil to do the bearing there were some gold flecks in the filter upon close inspection but only on very close examination. No debris in the pan. I still have the filter element and the original bearing. There was no indication of failure at the previous oil change (~2000 miles). None. So, in my mind this was preventative and met the requirements. BTW, first flush was before it was off the lift--not BR--30W.

At this point I'm going to pull the pan again and see if there is any debris. I also will run several changes of oil and filters through it while it is on the lift to clean it out. At this point I figure I'm playing with house money...any miles I get out of it are on the house. There isn't any chance of putting a new motor in it or rebuilding it. Other priorities will get the budget including my 1970 2.4L racecar. Hate to part out the Boxster because there isn't a nicer one. But, I'm angry enough to crush it.

Damn shame Porsche dropped the ball on this motor.
Old 05-26-2014, 07:20 AM
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I wish you luck on the ominous flakes.
I really like the car-particularly the mid-engine layout.But I share your disappointment with engine problems.It is compounded by Porsche's inexplicable refusal to remedy all design defects in later models .If Jake Raby can develop & implement fixes for "24 modes of failure",why can't/won't Porsche?
I realize the M96/97 engines are low volume and do not benefit from application in higher volume sporty sedans(like BMW M3 for example) but Porsche would have far more resources than Flat 6 Innovations ! And Subaru(also 3.3L flat six) have avoided many of these problems. So the solutions are available ,Porsche just won't apply them. Why? Surely the damage to reputation ,warranty claims expense,class action suits would justify a fix of the fundamental defects?
The other problem is the cost ,frequency and complexity of the repairs. A car like yours (or mine) that was a $15k++ car is instantly rendered a $4k roller/parts car.Who puts a $10-15+k rebuilt engine into a $4k roller? As the cars age the bad reputation & plummeting resale value just make matters worse.
I am just grateful that Pelican,Raby and others support the car even though Porsche fails to.Ironically the abundant used parts situation does not help much - I am very reluctant to buy a used engine,used gearbox because of the inherent problems.A used engine may be O.K. but it could easily be just a few thousand miles from another disaster.
Thank goodness for the aftermarket vendors and Forums like this who do so much to support Porsche's deservedly tattered reputation.So all we can do is support these Forums and their sponsoring vendors.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:00 AM
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Wander over to a Subaru forum and you'll see they have their designed-in problems too.

Every car and motor does. And would you believe they actually show up on a 14 year old car with just north of 100 miles per month use?! Imagine how oil starved every start of that car has been.

Had a friend's brand new car (not a P-car) in my driveway the other day and the trans sounded like a bag of bolts with just 20 miles on it.
Old 05-26-2014, 10:04 AM
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Not sure why a magnet would not attract if it was a steel bearing.
So it must be something else?
( I assume it is a steel bearing for IMS)
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefocke View Post
Wander over to a Subaru forum and you'll see they have their designed-in problems too.

Every car and motor does. And would you believe they actually show up on a 14 year old car with just north of 100 miles per month use?! Imagine how oil starved every start of that car has been.

Had a friend's brand new car (not a P-car) in my driveway the other day and the trans sounded like a bag of bolts with just 20 miles on it.
I agree with you that the fault free car has yet to be produced but....
the issue is the huge cost of repairs in our water-cooled Porsches out of warranty relative to their declining value. It seems relatively inexpensive fixes in the design could have prevented the problems. For an insight into how expensive/complicated these fixes are in the aftermarket others may like to visit Raby's site or Hartech.
Thank heavens there are such vendors working on these issues.And that Pelican has the parts.
Example: Nice Boxster-engine issue -$2900 obo
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/pts/4483619475.html

http://www.hartech.org/docs/buyers%20guide%20web%20format%20Jan%202012%20part% 205.pdf

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Old 05-26-2014, 10:58 AM
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But look at most 14 year old cars and who is fixing them when a serious failure occurs. At least ours have significant salvage value, I sold a Mazda 626 last year of the same era in running condition for $200.

I think the problem is people are expecting 911 value retention and these cars just weren't expensive enough when first bought and were produced in large numbers so they aren't rare. The market doesn't value them and so they aren't worth fixing in most owner's eyes. As the cost to buy a used Boxster declined, more and more people bought them who can't afford to replace an engine. When a failure occurs, they feel emotionally betrayed. After all, they bought a "Porsche".

There are people buying Raby big engines so there are people putting $20k engines into their old cars. Individual choice.
Old 05-26-2014, 02:18 PM
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Mike,
You are using a mundane sedan to support your case?
Let's focus on the O.P's. issue-and mine .You start with a $15-20k car,it becomes a $3-4k roller in an instant.Then you need to spend $10-18k to repair it.And that is just the engine.Many of us just don't have the $15-20+10-18k to recreate a car worth $15-20k.The math is simple and sad.
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:41 PM
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But look at most 14 year old cars and who is fixing them when a serious failure occurs. At least ours have significant salvage value, I sold a Mazda 626 last year of the same era in running condition for $200.



I think the problem is people are expecting 911 value retention and these cars just weren't expensive enough when first bought and were produced in large numbers so they aren't rare. The market doesn't value them and so they aren't worth fixing in most owner's eyes. As the cost to buy a used Boxster declined, more and more people bought them who can't afford to replace an engine. When a failure occurs, they feel emotionally betrayed. After all, they bought a "Porsche".



There are people buying Raby big engines so there are people putting $20k engines into their old cars. Individual choice.
Not about choice. About selling crap. I have two other German cars of the vintage of the boxster and about same price. 170k miles between them and no catastrophic design flaws. The value of the boxster is significantly reduced because of the threat of failure. And by the abundance of broke cars on the market. Sure they made lots. BMW made lots of E46 M3s and you don't see them blowing motors unless they were overheated. /rant.

Last edited by yemington; 05-26-2014 at 02:45 PM.. Reason: Clarity
Old 05-26-2014, 02:42 PM
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Is there an easy way to add an oil pressure gauge? What is the pressure supposed to be?

Last edited by yemington; 05-26-2014 at 02:49 PM.. Reason: Error
Old 05-26-2014, 02:45 PM
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There is one small positive action that may help with the cost of the parts but not the labor.A similar problem to the water cooled Porsches exists with some Jaguars - particularly the V12 XJS .One man, Kirby Palm did more to help than all the Jaguar apologists and armchair mechanics. He published a comprehensive PARTS INTERCHANGE LIST. Many GM parts fit or others could be modified to work better than the original.Other parts were also sourced direct from the supplier to the OEM.
For example, the OEM supplier for M96/M97 lifters is INA(I think) -that is why if you buy them with a BMW part number they are cheaper than Porsche.I think Pelican do a fine job of sourcing such items. Another is the DMF -buy a LUK and save a buck(actually several 100!).
Is there a comprehensive parts interchange list for the Boxster? For example - pistons and piston rings -on old 911's there was a direct substitute of Toyota piston rings available !
Hopefully Pelican is working on this to reduce the pain of engine rebuilds. Sadly there is very little diy help for gearbox 2nd gear dogs and bearings.
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:55 PM
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Oil pressure - can't help but in my case what saved me from further damage was the LN spin-on filter installed by the P.O. It filters 100% of the oil instead of ??% with the OEM. An oil pressure gauge would not have been as useful because the rod bearing failed so quickly.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:01 PM
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The OP's car I was using as an example wasn't a $15-20k car in my market (I sold my perfect '01S for less 2 years ago). And acceptance of risk in buying a 14 year old used car is a fact of life. Do I wish Porsche made a perfect engine? Yep. Does it hurt if it happens to your car? Sure does. Happen to everyone? Not even close. Every year more crash than engines blow. (Wait till you see the body shop estimate for fixing what on a Honda would be $2.5k. Makes a Raby big block look almost cheap.)

But have the issues been known for many years? Yes. Fixes available for most of the serious ones available for years? Yes. So due diligence and preventative maintenance could have reduced the probability. But when you don't...then you are accepting risk. (I did and got away with it but I also documented and posted all the known problem areas I was aware of at the time and it is web available so I wasn't fooling myself. I also bought at a price point where I could afford the worst.)

Raby rebuilt engines aren't the only ones out there and lots replacement engines go for less than you are citing. I've seen people buying engines from wrecks for half the price of their car's running condition value.
Old 05-27-2014, 10:13 AM
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Buying an engine from a wreck($ 4000+ -) misses the whole point about the design defects.An engine from a wrecked M96 has the same defects that got us in to this financial mess in the first place.
Raby's site has an excellent anecdote on that very subject -even he got caught with that mistake.
Broken Hearts and Blown Up Parts: Tales of a bad decision
Better to spend the $4k+ repairing and upgrading(if reasonably possible) the original engine
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:22 AM
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Update: dropped the pan

After I got over the shock of the metal in the filter I made a plan:
1) drop the pan and check it
2) Operation Metamucil: do a couple of quick (5 minutes;around the block) oil changes to flush the garbage out as much as possible
3) Put in Joe Gibbs 10w40
4) Put in an oil pressure sensor and gauge
5) watch the oil pressure gauge for signs of the apocalypse.

Step 1 complete. Pictures attached. Good news: very little in the way of debris. A piece of the snap ring from the original IMS bearing removal. Looks like it didn't make it through the screen on the oil intake. Indeed, looks like it may have just dropped into the pan. The big chunk is a piece of silicone/gasket. Some fine ferrous material piled up by the corner of the plastic slosh-gaurd. All in all not the yard-sale I had feared. BTW, got the filter out that I saved from the IMS bearing change. Those gold flecks were ferrous and not gold after the oil came off. As mentioned before the old IMS bearing was in one piece when removed and didn't show any signs of having lost material.

Thanks for the advice and ideas. I'll update this again after the oil pressure sensor/gauge are in.

Old 05-29-2014, 07:09 AM
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:18 AM
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