January 20, 2018 IMS Bearing and Rear Main Seal Replacement

It is a Saturday morning and time to replace the original small single row IMS bearing in my car with the “IMS Solution” kit. Jonathan Newhall, a trained former Porsche technician (current owner of his own business), did the actual replacement. The work was done at the Madison Automotive Apprentice Program (MAAP) affiliated with James Madison University. Six or seven students were also on hand to learn how the replacement is done. Cole Scrogham, the MAAP CEO arranged for Jonathan to lead the “class” and provide the technical know-how. My thanks go to Jonathan, Cole and Michael (Cole’s son).

The IMSSolution Installation Manual: 1511537486_IMSS_instructions-latest-05-16-16

IMS Solution Installation Instructions

After some research, I discovered that the replacement main seal is an upgraded product, so I decided that we would go ahead and complete the main seal replacement while we are at it.

IMS Bearing and Rear Main Seal – Ready to Start

The IMS bearing was first. This replacement doesn’t use a ball bearing, but instead reverts to a plain bearing with an oil feed and as stated earlier is intended to be a permanent solution to the IMS bearing failure problem. 

Following the directions, after getting the camshafts locked and removing the tensioners, the next step is to create an opening in the engine casing to permit the installation of the oil feed line fitting for the bearing. The instructions call for using a 1/8″ and then 3/8″ drill bit followed by cutting with a saw. Jonathan, who has done this before used a die grinder on an air tool to accomplish the same end. He positioned the new bearing to determine proper alignment before cutting anything. This image shows the final product:

Modified Casing for Bearing Oil Feed Line Fitting

After checking the fit of the oil line fitting in the newly cut notch, the original bearing center stud mounting nut was removed and then the three flange mounting fasteners were also removed.

Original IMS Bearing with Mounting Flange Removed

The photo above shows the snap ring bearing retainer. Jonathan carefully removed the snap ring to avoid accidentally dropping it in the engine casing! It was saved for the installation of the new bearing. 

Using the specially designed tools for this purpose, the original bearing was then removed from the engine. We inspected the bearing and it showed no signs of deterioration; however, once the seal was pulled out it was obvious that the bearing was no longer filled with grease – having been replaced with oil. 

Removing the Ball Bearing Seal for Inspection

IMS Bearing Filled with Oil

IMS Bearing Seal Replaced

After throughly cleaning the area around the IMS, the new IMS plug was installed. 

IMS Plug Installed

Per the instructions, a special tool is used to drive home the plug in the shaft. Care must be taken to insure that the plug is inserted in a square and straight fashion. Using the installation tool, the new IMS Solution bearing is then installed. Assembly lube is generously applied. The protective shim supplied in the kit is then installed followed by the snap ring. 

New IMS Bearing in Place with Snap Ring Installed

After applying thread locker to the oil line fitting, it was screwed into the new bearing flange. Assembly lube was then applied to the flange, the supplied “O” ring was slipped onto the shaft, and the flange was tapped home into the IMS until it was flush with the crank case. 

The three flange fasteners were then covered with thread locker and they were installed until finger tight. Then the IMS center stud nut was installed, but not yet torqued. 

The three IMS bearing flange fasteners were then torqued to 7 lbs. and then the center stud nut was torqued to 15 lbs.

The spin-on oil filter adapter supplied in the kit was then lubricated and torqued to 18 lbs. using a special SPOFA spanner wrench. The black oil line fitting with thread sealer was then screwed into the filter adapter and tightened. 

The stainless steel flexible oil feed hose is then attached to the bearing fitting and the oil filter adapter fitting.

Oil Hose from Filter Adapter to New Bearing Flange

Oil Hose from New Bearing Flange to Oil Filter Adapter

A pre-filled oil filter is then threaded onto the filter adapter. 

The installation was complete at that point, but we won’t be starting the engine to check out our work until a few other maintenance items are completed and the transmission is refitted. 

IMS Solution Installed

I should now be able to enjoy my 2005 Carrera S without having to worry about an IMS bearing failure!

Rear Main Seal Replacement

The next task for the day was the replacement of the rear main seal. To do this two small holes were CAREFULLY drilled into the old RMS. 

Holes Drilled for Rear Main Seal Removal

Once removed we could compare the old seal with the new. The new seal is on the left in the image below. The original has a spring in the seal while the upgraded version does not.

Upgraded and Original Rear Main Seals

The image below shows the end of the crankshaft with the Rear Main Seal removed.

Crankshaft with Rear Main Seal Removed

The new seal is installed. Fortunately, Jonathan has a bespoke tool just right for the job!

Upgraded Rear Main Seal Installed

Again, Thanks to Cole, Michael, Jonathan and MAAP for a productive Saturday!

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