IMS (Intermediate Shaft) Failure

January 10, 2013

All German Auto would like to inform you about a common issue with the intermediate shaft bearing on the following Porsche models: 1997-2008 Porsche Boxster, 911 and Cayman (excluding 1997-2008 Turbo, GT2 & GT3 models).

In short, a bearing for the intermediate shaft fails and causes severe damage to the engine. If the issue takes place, the repair can be very costly with either engine damage or replacement occurring. It’s not a matter of if it will fail but rather when it will happen. This repair can be done in conjunction with a clutch replacement or just as preventative maintenance. We have done our research and seen the issue first hand with customers whose engines have failed so we thought we would pass the message along!

Call (760)738-4626 today for more information!

Here are a few simple things that can be done the next time you’re having your vehicle serviced to provide you with some peace of mind before you need to invest in the IMS Retrofit kit:

  • Bare minimum- simply add a magnetic drain plug that allows for easy inspection for IMS debris, inspect the IMS bearing at regular intervals (whenever an RMS leak is being fixed or a clutch is being replaced).
  • When doing an oil service, check the filter and magnetic drain plug for any debris. If any sparkly metallic/ magnetic debris is found you should stop driving the car and install an IMS Retrofit kit. This is the first sign that your bearing is failing.
  • If your vehicle has any leaks at the rear of the engine, they should be immediately checked out because a failing bearing will cause the IMS flange seal to leak. Revised non-serviceable Single row 3605 bearing IMS (shown below):

Shown below is a typical IMS failure [Photo courtesy of LN Engineering]:

  • One of the best preventative measures that you can take would be to stay on top of your maintenance schedule. Change your oil more regularly (we recommend every 5,000 miles or 6 months) and use a higher viscosity motor oil (5w40).
  • Another tip is to drive your Porsche the way it was meant to be driven. It’s recommended to keep your revs above 2,500 rpm because the higher rpms provide better protection than lower rpms for the IMS bearing.

The aftermath of a dual row IMS bearing failure - complete disassembly and a rebuild is your only recourse at this point.


  • The exact reason for the IMS failure is unknown and most shops have been unable to see what the bearing looks like in its final stages.

IMS Upgrade shown on both the later gear-type (above)

Timing is everything! If you wait too long, a catastrophic failure may preclude the ability to replace your IMS bearing causing an engine rebuild to be your only option. The new bearing in the IMS Retrofit kit uses Porsche’s revised seal to ensure leak free operation and we permanently seal the IMS tube to prevent it from filling with oil allowing us to use open bearings for improved cooling and lubrication.

*Photos courtesy of LN Engineering