Carrera S Blog: A Chronological Account of My Ownership

In this blog, I will endeavor to keep a running chronological account of the care and maintenance of my 2005 911 997.1 Carrera S. I will organize my posts by date and provide a narrative summary and photos of activities.

December 24, 2020

Just Another Oil Change

I have not added many miles to my 911 since the last oil change – 838 miles to be precise! I now have 11,091 miles on the Porsche. However, I like to keep fresh oil in the car so I replaced the oil and filter and added a new magnetic drain plug and copper crush washer while I was at it. As usual, I used oil sourced from Driven DT40 5W-40.

This is a list of items required to complete the process:

  • Drain pan
  • 9 quarts of oil
  • A funnel
  • Paper towels
  • New aluminum crush washer for the drain plug
  • Oil Filter
  • Ratchet with 8mm hex fitting
  • Small torque wrench
  • Nitrile rubber gloves
  • oil filter removal wrench
  • Blackstone Oil analysis sample bottle and mailer

Changing the oil in the 911 is a very simple process. I first opened the engine compartment lid and opened the oil filler cap to enhance drainage.

Movable Oil Filler Pipe with Cap Removed

I then closed the engine compartment lid, put the car on the lift and raised it to the height enabling me to easily get under the car. The image below shows the oil drain plug with the collection container under the car. Position the tank under the oil pan drain and loosen with the 8mm hex socket. Have the oil collection bottle for the Blackstone Oil Analysis ready to collect oil after it begins to drain from the pan. Wearing your nitrile rubber gloves is a good idea and have a few paper towels handy!

Porsche on Lift for Oil Change

This is the used oil collection tank I use.

Used Oil Collection Tank

Blackstone Oil Analysis Used Oil Collection Bottle

Ratchet with 8mm hex Fitting

After the oil has drained from the oil pan, reposition the used oil collection tank under the oil filter. Remove the filter by turning it counterclockwise and again be ready for some oil spillage. Visually inspect the filter and the used oil for any metal contaminants. 

Replace the oil pan drain plug and install a new crush washer. The photo shows an aluminum washer but I actually used a copper washer. Torque the aluminum drain plug to 19 foot pounds.

Aluminum Drain Plug with Magnet, Crush washer and Torque Wrench

Fill the new oil filter – I use the NAPA gold #1348 filter – about half full with fresh oil, add some fresh oil to the rubber oil seal and install. Hand tighten clockwise and then use a tool to tighten just a little more. Do not over-tighten. It is not shown in the image below, but I use a silver sharpie marker to write the mileage and date on the outside of the filter for future reference.

New Oil Filter Installed

Check one more time to make sure everything is tight and then lower the car to the ground. Open the engine compartment lid, free the oil filler pipe from its housing by lifting up firmly, you will hear it unsnap, and lift up the pipe to improve the fill angle. Using a funnel, pour 8 quarts of oil into the engine. I use Joe Gibbs Driven Racing oil, synthetic 5W-40.

Driven Racing Oil for 911

Filling the Engine with new Oil

Snap the oil filler pipe back into place and install the filler cap.

Oil Filler Cap

Wipe up any spills and you are just about done. I then start the engine to circulate the oil. In about thirty minutes, one can usually check the oil level with the electronic gauge on the dash after turning on the ignition to the accessory setting, but I like to wait until the next morning to check the level. I am usually a little low – I don’t want to overfill the oil! So, I end up adding about a half quart of oil, or a little more.

Then put your used oil sample in the Blackstone Oil Analysis shipping bottle and send off the sample for testing.

Blackstone Oil Analysis

The job is complete.

February 12, 2020 

Time for an Oil Change

With 10,253 miles on the car or 1,308 miles since the last oil change, I decided to go ahead and change the oil. I hurts to pour out expensive oil that has been used for so few miles, but I try to stick to approximately six to eight months for changes in spite of the low mileage. The steps followed in executing the oil change are the same enumerated in the August 25, 2018 post. Same Joe Gibbs, Driven Oil and same NAPA GOLD filter.

AS I always do, I used the oil change as an opportunity to visually inspect conditions in the the engine bay and under the rear of the car. Everything looked good and I concluded this work with a light cleaning of both areas.

April 6, 2019 

Time for an Oil Change

I am a little late with this oil change in terms of elapsed time since the last change in August. Mileage on the car is now 8,945, or 1,041 additional miles since the last change. The steps followed in executing the oil change are the same enumerated in the August 25, 2018 post. I did not send the used oil for analysis this time, but will at the next.

The Blackstone Oil Analysis 05 CARERRA-180822 from the previous oil change discovered nothing problematic.

I closely inspected the engine bay for any signs of issues and found none. Conducted a light general cleaning and had the car ready for the road once again.

August 25, 2018 

Time for an Oil Change

Approximately six months have passed since the oil was changed when the IMS Solution was installed, so it is time for another oil change. The odometer reading is 7,904, or approximately 600 miles since the IMS Solution installation. Jack Raby, owner of Flat Six Innovations, recommends that the oil be changed and inspected every six months or 5,000 miles. The inspection is to determine if there is any change in the chemical make-up of the used oil including the ferrous metals.  

January 20-February 27, 2018 

Continued Maintenance Items

The car remained at MAAP for the rest of January and almost all of February. Following the installation of the IMS Bearing fix, the next step was to reinstall the transmission. It was first filled with three quarts of Mobilube PTX 75W-90 gearbox oil part # 000-043-204–20L. This gearbox oil is a special formulation for Porsche and is special ordered.

Mobilube PTX 75W-90

Other than being being heavy and hard to handle the process went fairly smoothly.

Gearbox to Engine Bolts and Torque Values

Reinstallation of the slave cylinder was another matter! We had removed the slave from the bell housing leaving it attached to the hydraulic hose so that we would not have to bleed the clutch. However, it proved impossible to reattach the slave cylinder while connected to the hose. After disconnecting the hose and following the procedure in the service manual success was achieved although in the future, the slave cylinder should be left on the bell housing when the transmission is removed. Lesson learned. 

Carrera S Tranny LH Side

Carrera S Tranny Front

Clutch Slave Cylinder and Bleeding Service Manual

After purchasing the proper hydraulic fluid, the clutch was bled, tested and functioned properly.

The shift cables were reconnected and all mounts were properly tightened.

A small section of heater hose had been replaced by the original owner at some point and some pretty ugly hose clamps were used in place of the original clamps. A new hose was ordered, but we were not successful in replacing one of the original Porsche clamps so a “Jubilee” clamp was used. This are high-end British clamps!

Replacing the heater hose part # 997-106-612-03 also meant dumping the coolant for the system. However, I was planning to flush the coolant anyway. We ordered new Porsche Coolant part # 000-043-305-75 from Suncoast Motorsports and a new reservoir coolant cap Part # 996-106-447-04 was installed following filling of the system.

A new engine air cleaner was installed part # 996-110-131-52 and a new cabin air filter part # 997-571-219-01 was also fitted.

The plastic belly pans were cleaned and reinstalled.

New Porsche wiper blades part # 996-628-901-08 were also fitted.

The car is now ready for the road again with no more worries about the IMS bearing failure!!!


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!January 19, 2018 

While waiting to complete the IMS bearing replacement, I decided to do a little cleaning underneath and at the rear of the car. A little cleaning is all that is necessary, because with so few miles the car is very clean anyway. Some of the cleaning involved removal of the cosmoline in specific locations. As time permits, I will do more of this type of cleaning in the future.

Here in an example of before and after:

Carrera S Underbody Cleaning – Before

Carrera S Underbody Cleaning – After

Carrera S Underbody Cleaning – Heater Pipes and Axles

Carrera S Underbody Cleaning – Cosmoline Removal

January 10, 2018 

IMS Bearing Replacement

As mentioned in an earlier entry, I need to remove the transmission and clutch from the car to determine which bearing was installed in my Carrera S. So, today Cole and Michael Scrogham at Madison Automotive Apprentices Program (MAAP) removed my transmission! As expected, because of the October 2004 production date combined with the total originality of my 911, we found the small single row bearing #2401. Bad news, it is the bearing most likely to fail. Good news, it is the bearing that is easiest to replace. We will install the LN Engineering IMS Solution to address the issue. We are borrowing tools and talent for the job so it may be a little while before we can get back to the fix.

Small Single Row Bearing 2401

Some owners also replace the rear main seal (RMS) when undertaking the bearing replacement, but we decided against the replacement given the condition of the original seal. Everything was absolutely bone dry with no evidence of any leakage. So, I will save this job for the time when an oil leak appears or in conjunction with the clutch replacement when that time comes.

Rear Main Seal Dry at 7,300 miles

Here are also a few shots of the transmission after removal. Amazing condition for 12 years old, but, again only 7,300 miles!

Carrera S Tranny LH Side

Carrera S Tranny RH Side

Carrera S Tranny Front

Carrera S Tranny Rear Mount

Thanks to Cole and Michael! Chapter 2 to follow.



December 20-24, 2017 

Wheel & Tire Cleaning and Polishing

I cleaned each wheel carefully with a three step process. I thoroughly cleaned each wheel with a wheel cleaner liquid and elbow grease. This was then followed with Griot’s Garage polish compound using their 3″ random orbital buffer. Finally, two coats of a Pinnacle’s Diamond Wheel Coating was applied to each wheel.

Pinnacle Diamond Wheel Coating

The image below is a “Before” photo:

Wheel Before Cleaning

These are two images of the front and rear sides of a wheel when finished:

Wheel After Cleaning Inside

Wheel after Cleaning – Outside

In addition, while I was at it, I thoroughly cleaned each wheel well (inner fender), the suspension components, and the brake calipers. This is one example:

Wheel Inner Fender After Cleaning

December 6-7, 2017 

Touch-up Paint

My 997.1 is in remarkable condition, but like all Porsches without protective clear bras, and even with its low mileage mine was the victim of stone chips on the front clip and hood. It is difficult to take a photo of a black car but this shot does show some of the chip damage:

Road Rash Rock Chips to Touch Up

To repair the damage, I first cleaned the surfaces with soap and water and then carefully rinsed. I then cleaned the area again with Griot’s Garage Speed Shine product.

Griot’s Garage Speed Shine

With a tiny touch-up stick I then cleaned each spot requiring touch-up paint with isopropyl alcohol.

Isopropyl Alcohol

I then used a special tool to apply the Porsche #041 Black paint to the spots to be repaired. A small quantity of paint is used to fill the tool’s reservoir and then tapped against a fingernail to get the paint flowing. The tip can then be tapped against the spot to be painted until the location is filled with paint.

Porsche Black 041 Touch Up Paint

Paint Touch Up Tool

Paint Touch Up Tool and Cleaner

After touching up all of the damaged areas that I identified, I then let things dry for 24 hours. The next day I wet sanded the spots that had been painted along with the surrounding areas, first with 2500 grit wet/dry sandpaper and then with 3000 grit. This is scary stuff, because the hood looks absolutely terrible when this is done! The photo below shows the hood following sanding:

Paint Touch Up Sanded

The photo below shows the hood after much of the hood has been polished. I used a 6″ and 3″ Griot’s Garage Random Orbital Buffer. with their three levels of polishing compound. On a few places I had to use the more aggressive compound and then worked my way through the mid-level to the finest. Following compounding all of the surface area I finished the job with an application of Griot’s Garage “Best of Show” liquid wax. 

Paint touch Up After Polishing

My work isn’t perfect by any means but the car looks much better than it did and I am pleased with the results!

December 3, 2017 

First Oil Change

It became very clear after reading about the problems with the IMS bearing, that one key to enhancing incident free operation of the Carrera S with the small single row bearing is to change the oil more frequently than Porsche recommended. Jack Raby, owner of Flat Six Innovations, recommends that the oil be changed and inspected every six months or 5,000 miles. The inspection is to determine if there is any change in the chemical make-up of the used oil including the ferrous metals. 

Many on the Rennlist Forum recommended that the original paper oil filter be replaced with an adapter and a spin-on oil filter. After some poking around the internet, I concluded that the best source for a spin-on oil filter and adapter was Charles Navarro’s LN Engineering I also decided on purchasing the oil they sell, a magnetic drain plug and a magnetic canister wrap to help trap any metal in the oil.

LN Engineering Oil Filter, Adapter, Filter Mag, Magnetic Drain Plug and Aluminum Crush Washer

Joe Gibb’s Driven Synthetic 5W-40 Racing Oil

Changing the oil on the Carrera S is quite easy and can actually be done without jacking-up the car.  However, since I have a lift, I used it to access the car from below. The drain plug is located centrally and is removed with a M18x1.5 socket. I first drove the car around the block to warm the engine oil to encourage the draining of any contaminants in the oil.

Blackstone Laboratories does oil analysis and was recommended to me by my friend Steve Thomton who used them for oil analysis for his Porsche Cayman. I had contacted them earlier and they had mailed an oil collection kit to me. One collects the oil upon an oil change, mails it to Blackstone and not long afterwards receives a detailed report of their findings.

As the oil drained, I collected a sample for the Blackstone Analysis.

Blackstone Oil Analysis

After the oil was drained, I removed the original plastic filter cover with a Porsche tool designed for the job.

Original Oil Filter Canister and Removal Tool

I then cut the paper filter to examine it, but did not find anything unexpected. No metal bits! Good sign.

To install the LN Engineering Oil Filter Adapter, I lubricated both rubber “O” rings with clean engine oil and screwed the adapter onto the engine by hand. Once fully engaged, I used a 26mm socket and torqued the adapter to 18 ft/lbs. I then oiled the filter gasket and filled the filter with oil before installing. The NAPA gold 1042 filter was installed to the adapter and once snugged by hand, turned another 3/4 to 1 full turn. 

I then installed an LN Engineering billet aluminum hard-anodized magnetic drain plug in place of the original Porsche plug. The plug has a 3/8″ rare-earth magnet and is accompanied by a O.E. sealing ring Porsche part number 900 123 106 30. Once hand tightened, the plug was torques to 19 ft/lbs.

Finally, I freed and lifted the oil filler pipe from its retainer and with a funnel added 8-1/2 quarts of oil to the engine. I always use a sharpie to put the date and mileage on the filter as a reminder for the future. I don’t know what I was thinking in this case because I wrote 17, 225 rather than 7,225 but I returned and removed the first digit later!

Oil Filter Install Date and Mileage

After buttoning up everything, I then put the car back on the road, again drove it around the block to warm the oil and then checked the oil level on the dash gauge with the ignition on. I found it to be slightly low so I added a little more oil and checked the level again and found it to be full. 

I received the oil analysis from Blackstone Labs. Their report indicated that everything was within “normal” specifications. 05 CARERRA-171203 .

November 19, 2017 


While Porsche has an enviable reputation for engineering excellence they seemed to have stumbled on at least one issue when they transitioned from the air-cooled engines to the water-cooled variants. The engine in the 996 (the first water-cooled model) and the 997 used an intermediate shaft to transmit motion from the engine crankshaft to the cams. One end of the shaft uses a lubricated journal-type plain bearing similar to what was used in the air-cooled engines (second image below), but at the other end a ball bearing was installed. This did not apply to the GT3 or Turbo cars.

The image below shows the flywheel/transmission end of the engine.

M96 & M97 Porsche Engine IMS

The image below shows the end (front) of the engine opposite the flywheel/transmission.

M96/M97 Plain Bearing – Front of Engine

The failure of the ball bearing results in catastrophic consequences and the rate of failure, while relatively low, is high enough to cause grey hairs and nightmares for owners of 996 and 997.1 and 997.2 Porsches.

During the production run of the these models, three generations of intermediate shafts with different ball bearings were used. One would think that engine numbers and/or VIN numbers might tell the owner which bearing is in his/her engine; however, experts agree that the only way to know for sure which bearing is in the car is to do a visual inspection. This, of course, means dropping the transmission.

The first generation of intermediate shafts began in 1997 and ran through the middle of 2000. The shaft has a dual row chain sprocket. In mid-2000 the factory upgraded the IMS to use an internal tooth chain, a wider and quieter chain. In 2006-08 a third generation shaft was used. It was essentially the same as the second generation (very similar chain sprocket); however the diameter of the bearing housing of this shaft was a larger diameter than the second generation. This shaft was was used through 2008.



The information above relates to the three generations of Intermediate Shafts, the image below shows the three generations of Intermediate Shaft Bearings:

Three generations of IMS Bearings

So, now we know about the three generations of intermediate shafts, and the three different types of bearings that were used from 1997-2008. We also know from the research that was conducted for the class action suit against Porsche regarding bearing failures that the cars with the #6204 smaller single row bearing are the most likely to encounter IMS bearing problems.

My 2005 Carrera S is an early model, having been manufactured in October of 2004. It is a low mileage (7,200 miles) very original car with no record of significant engine maintenance or replacement. All of this information points to my car having the bearing most likely to fail. 

Therefore, the only thing to do in my judgement is to pull the transmission, inspect the bearing flanges and then based on the confirmation of what bearing I have then choose one of three courses of action:

1. Leave things as they are but change my oil frequently, test the oil for contaminants (metal and/or plastic every time I change the oil, and pray;

2. Replace the bearing with an upgraded ceramic ball bearing; or,

3. Replace the bearing with the “IMS Solution” developed by Jake Raby and Charles Navarro. The “Solution” replaces the ball bearing with a plain bearing and provides for a oil feed to the bearing. The ceramic bearing and the “IMS Solution” are sold by LN Engineering.

What will we look for when the transmission is removed and the engine can be visually inspected? 

My car, based on production date and engine number should have this smaller single row bearing:

Small Single-row IMS Bearing

This bearing was preceded by a dual row IMS bearing that while small in diameter was more robust than the small single row bearing:

Dual Row IMS Bearing

Sometime later in the 2008 production run (probably after my car) the small single row bearing was replaced with a larger (and more durable) single row bearing. Very few instances of problems have been reported with this larger bearing:

Large Single Row Bearing

More to come to come, when the transmission is dropped and the bearing is inspected!

November 18, 2017 


Saturday, November 18 was “clean up” day for the Carrera! It smelled a little musty (not damp, just closed up) from being stored. Apparently, that is how it had spent most of its life since 2007, as that was the last sticker on the Connecticut license plate.

I first vacuumed everything then I shampooed the carpets and the mats (which were in excellent condition), used Lexol leather treatment on the leather seats, wiped down all of the surfaces with Griot’s Garage interior cleaner, and cleaned the glass inside and out.

I inspected the new Pirelli tires and made an appointment to have them installed at Mid-Atlantic Motorwerks on Monday November, 27. The front tires are 235/35ZR19. The front tires were inflated to 33lbs. and the rear tires to 39 lbs. per Porsche specifications.

Front Tires

And, the rear tires are 295/30ZR19XL

Rear Tires

I then did a little photo shoot of the car. At this point the Porsche had not been inspected and with no windshield sticker I am hesitant to take her out on the road. Of course, the drive will be the true test, but I must say that I am extremely impressed by the condition of the car. This is one time where a car purchase actually exceeded expectations!

I then did a little photo shoot of my new (to me) 997.1.

Side View

Front Quarter

Rear Quarter

“Lobster Claws”

A Very Clean Engine Bay

Front Interior

Rear Interior – Seats Fold Down


November 17, 2017 

The Trip Home and Registration in Virginia

I woke up around 4:30am and got an early start for the trip home. All the travel was uneventful. I arrived about 12:30 pm and before taking the car off the trailer, Judith and I headed for DMV to see about getting the car titled, registered and licensed. That process took a little while but wan’t too painful.

Initial Drive and Wash

After getting home and taking the car off the trailer I, of course, had to take it for a little spin around the block and then wash her before going in the garage!


A Little Cleaning Before the Garage

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