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Jake, Automotive Technician
Category: Porsche
Satisfied Customers: 3899
Experience:  Experienced collision repair technician, Pulaski Tech graduate and DSM hobbyist.
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I have had a catastropic engine failure due to the IMS

Customer Question

I have had a catastropic engine failure due to the IMS defect in my 2002 911 carrera cabriolet. What are my options?
JA: How many miles are on the car? Is it an automatic or a manual transmission?
Customer: 43k tiptronic
JA: Are you fixing your 911 Carrera yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No its in a shop. This is the 2nd failure. Engine was replaced previously in 12/2014
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: The replacement was an aftermarket rebuilt engine from Vertex
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Porsche
Expert:  Jake replied 3 months ago.

I would think your first point of action would be to contact Vertex auto about the rebuilt engine to see if it had any warranty with it.

Some rebuilders will use an IMS bearing fix in their rebuilds that guarantee the IMS for the life of the engine. If that's the case then the premature failure of an IMS would warrant a replace engine once confirmed.

if there was nothing of that nature written or implied in the rebuilt engine then your options are certainly limited at this point aside from replacing or rebuilding the engine again.

The 2002-2006 year models were by the far the riskiest and worst years for IMS failure rates at 8%, this rate was so high due to small single row bearing they used. Regardless to have 2 IMS failures is pretty rare regardless of the year.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The shop that installed the Vertex engine has contacted them. Their warranty was for 12 months and I'm now at 29 months, 4500 miles. They have offered to provide another replacement for $6500 but I no longer have confidence in their product. I understand that Porsche now offers a new shortblock engine for $15,000 (+installation) as a concession to individuals like me who were affected by the IMS failure. I'm unsure what my next move should be: the shortblock, dump the car as is, another Vertex product or something that I haven't considered.
Expert:  Jake replied 3 months ago.

Thanks for the clarification, the Vertex engine having a faulty IMS is certainly concerning with so few miles. I couldn't imagine you feeling at ease with another $6500 purchase that may or may not last another 10k miles.

I think the most important thing when purchasing an engine is what your plans are from here on out. It's common knowledge by most Porsche technicians and enthusiasts that these M96 cars that are RARELY driven are the most prone to IMS failure. So if this car is one you rarely want to drive it's going to increase your rate of failure, versus driving the car more regularly and more spirited. So if you want to keep the car indefinitely without any concern of IMS failure, then you need the IMS solution completed. This completely removed the sealed bearing and replaces it with an oil lubricated bearing like the GT3 has which doesn't fail.


There are some different retro fit kits out there for a good 60,000-75,000 mile service life, but the IMS solution will completely eliminate it.