Porsche Service and Repairs in South Oxfordshire

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IMS Guardian

Wrightune are sole UK distributors of the IMS Guardian system.

 Intermediate Shaft failures are well known on the M96 and M97 engines used in the 986, 987, 996 and 997 models, but if caught before major damage occurs can be repaired far more cost effectively than if the shaft becomes detached at the bearing, and flails around inside the engine.  This usually causes damage to the shaft itself, timing chains and sprockets, tappets, valves, pistons, cylinder heads and crankcase, often to the point where a replacement engine is required.

Whereas by no means will all engines suffer failures, and perhaps not during the period of ownership, it can be a significant worry to the owner.

The IMS Guardian is a brand new device for detecting metallic particles in the oil of an M96 engine, primarily caused by premature failure of the notorious Intermediate Shaft Bearing.  As the bearing begins to fail, slithers of the bearing cage are released into the oil, and are detected by a sensor in the sump.  Although the 987/997 engines can suffer from similar failures, this kit is only suitable for the 986/996 models.

The MCD sensor (Metallic Chip Detection) is fitted in place of the sump plug, and connected to a control box in the cabin.  A customised Porsche switch is mounted in the dashboard, and the unit contains a warning buzzer and light.

MCD technology is not a new concept, and has been utilised in the aircraft industry for many years.  A particularly successful application has been in helicopter gearboxes, where failure can be catastrophic.

How does it work?  The light on the switch is amber in normal operation.  Pressing the switch will perform a system check, to test that the system is fully functional, and the light will turn red and the warning buzzer sounds.  The light then turns back to amber.  In the event of the bearing starting to fail, ferrous particles are attracted to the sensor, and form a bridge between the two contacts.  This sets off the warning buzzer inside the car, giving the driver time to safely stop the car before any major internal damage occurs.  Once this happens, the cause of the debris can be investigated, and the fault corrected.

Why buy an IMS Guardian, when I could get a hybrid ceramic bearing fitted?

You should consider any upgrade on a cost/risk basis. Although there are no definitive figures available, perhaps 5% of engines may be affected by an IMS failure, which means 95% will not. The IMS Guardian gives you an early warning, which would give you time to stop the engine before a major failure occurs. This could potentially save you £3-4000 on the rebuild costs, compared to an engine which is driven to the point of total failure of the bearing. Keeping in mind that potentially 95% of engines will not suffer such a failure, investment in an IMS Guardian makes good economic sense.

LN Engineering (www.lnengineering.com) are the major suppliers of hybrid ceramic IMS bearings, which were developed in conjunction with development done by Flat6Innovations. LN say on their web site "(we) suggest that bearing replacement (or inspection at bare minimum) should be considered as part of the normal maintenance every 4-5 years or 50-60k miles, maybe even sooner with the case of the single row bearing." So for a single row bearing (MY02-05 M96 engines including some MY00-01) you could be looking at around 3-4 years and 40,000 miles. Therefore, it cannot be considered as a fit-and-forget solution.

Current UK pricing for the fitting of a retrofit LN bearing is around £1560 for a 996 Carrera 2, whereas a once-only fitting of an IMS Guardian is £275 as a DIY project.

IMSG Switch

MCD Sensor

 Price: £275 including VAT and UK delivery

To purchase the IMS Guardian online, please click the button below.

Buy the IMSG

 Note: This kit is only suitable for 986 & 996 models.

Wrightune Ltd, The Croft, Whitely Road, Hithercroft Industrial Estate, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 9RG
Tel: (01491) 826911   email: info@wrightune.co.uk    Registered in England, Company Registration No. 07821381