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-   -   2001S Boxster Oil Leak (http://babblers.org/showthread.php?t=12842)

zodman October 16th, 2013 01:52 PM

2001S Boxster Oil Leak
Salutations all,

I've been away for a few years(+3). Had a few health issues/upgrades to attend to. After getting some strength back in my body(surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm), I knew the next thing I needed to do was do an oil change when I did my brakes and rotors. The first thing I noticed was the tell-tale leak between the transmission and the engine, but after tearing apart the oil filter and dropping the oil pan, I failed to find any ferrous bits in either. I did find two tiny aluminum flakes in the oil pan, about the thickness of ten sheets of printer paper, a quarter of an inch long and tapered...kind of giving me the impression of a cast-off from the casting process. Also had a few small nubs of a material that reminded me not of the cover for a bearing, but an improperly set thickness of a gasket bead that tooled around the oil pan. The engine itself runs great, no odd noises one would expect from a pending IMS failure though I do lack a Durametric Tester. Thus, it leads me to believe it's the RMS, but we know what it really means>RMS+IMS+Clutch+Sparkplugs as it is currently at almost 89k miles.

I've done quite a bit of work myself on the car, changing the rear struts(pre surgery), the AOS, Reserve tank, water pump, serp. belt and replacing the plastic top with a glass top. With only the fuel pump and tires done by outside vendors.

And here's the question(s)....

1. Obviously, I'll likely need to change the RMS and the IMS Bearing, possibly the clutch, and while I'm at it, the spark plugs could use a cheap thrill, (I'll likely get the ceramic bearing from LN Engineering.) but how high should I lift the car using standard floor jacks as the support? If for whatever reason I'll need to drop the engine, what clearances should I be looking for for that as well?

2. Even though they only cut me in half, I'm feeling stronger from my surgery date(Jan 2013) but somedays it seems another set of eyes and hands can help. Though I know I can get help from many friends I have, none have a Boxster or a Porsche. Is there someone here in the Bay Area that has done the DIY of removing the tranny and replacing the IMS bearing? Most likely it's that moment of time it takes to carefully lower the transmission and later reposition it to reinstall it. It's only about 100lbs., but am just thinking aloud in case someone else has been through it.

If you have the bearing removal tools, I could comp you for the use of the tools, and perhaps the time to guide drop and then later reinstall the tranny.

p.s. Aye the Porsche settlement....Alas her trouble free years and VIN didn't make her eligible.

baxter October 16th, 2013 07:10 PM

first of all, welcome back and congratulations on your recovery.

i am confused by your p.s. it doesn't sound like you have had an ims failure, at least not yet. so why would the settlement apply? if you had had an ims failure, trouble free years or vin # aside, i would still contact the law firm handling the case. my mechanic at the dealership who has done all the work on my car tells me that after so many miles (i am at 75000) i shouldn't worry about ims anymore. having said that, it will probably blow up tomorrow.

i hope you can find someone in your area to help you with the work you want to do. let us know how it goes. and again, welcome back.

zodman October 16th, 2013 08:08 PM

Thanks Baxter!

Correct, no actual IMS failure. I should have worded it more carefully, I meant to say with a spot of drool humor that the car has been running very well overall. I almost felt like I stepped through a wormhole of time as I was unaware that there was a lawsuit at all, much less Porsche finally crying Uncle. Though reading about the case seems to me that Porsche got off with a slap on the wrist.

I strongly suspect the RMS causing the leak, as after switching to another Porsche approved oil that was a bit thicker seems to have abated most of the leak.

Still, I'll swap out the RMS and the IMS just for the peace of mind. Kinda like that chunk of Dacron fiber and change in diet keeping my Aorta from an early grave, I have to have my car in Zen sync with my body it seems.

BoxsterBob - San Carlos October 25th, 2013 02:58 PM

Regardless if you are planning to replace the the IMS or not, another development this side of the worm hole is the DOF (Direct Oil Feed) IMS add on. Pedro was involved in the project and it seems to make sense. I have no experience or involvement with it, but throwing it out there since you will be performing the work anyway.


My father-in-law survived an abdominal aortic aneurysm a few years back, congratulations, you're in a rather exclusive club!

God luck!

thom4782 October 26th, 2013 04:29 AM

My opinion is that DOF addresses a problem that is very low risk. Unsealed replacement bearings, which are lubricated by sump oil alone, almost never fail. So lubrication isn't a problem in cars that replaced their OEM bearings with ones with no outer seal. If you do decide add DOF, keep this in mind The standard DOF flange isn't compatible with the LN Retrofit. You need to order a special one from the developers.

BTW: your 01S is likely a single row bearing car. The IMS Solution is a plain bearing fix to the IMS problem that costs a couple of hundred bucks more than DOF + an LN Retrofit. Worth checking it out.

zodman October 27th, 2013 07:00 AM

Thanks BoxsterBob,
I've seen the DOF setup and it looks like a well thought out unit. Esp. for the cars that have the larger IMS bearing that requires cracking the engine in half to get to it. (Providing there are no signs of wear to the bearing.)

I think that my bearing is a double row, leaving both the IMS Solution or the DOF options unavailable.

zodman October 27th, 2013 07:04 AM

Thanks thom4782,

I'm about 99% certain the bearing is the double row not the single row as my car and engine were made in the first quarter of the year of 2001. Other engine numbers right before and right after also appear to be double row, but I'm only a few bolts away from finding out for certain. I'll know either way as soon as I pull the transmission out on Monday.

My gut feelings say it's the RMS and crankcase bolts leaking, and if it is a double bearing, the IMS Solution or the DOF would be moot considerations as the LN double bearing should be good for at least the next 50k.

thom4782 November 18th, 2013 05:42 AM

Did you replace the IMS? Was it double row?

Recently, Charles Navarro, one of the IMS Retrofit developers, opined that he expects LN dual row bearings to last the life of their engines.

LN only suggests inspecting its single row bearing every 50,000 miles becuase it has less load carrying capacity.

zodman November 25th, 2013 07:24 PM


Originally Posted by thom4782 (Post 64852)
Did you replace the IMS? Was it double row?

Recently, Charles Navarro, one of the IMS Retrofit developers, opined that he expects LN dual row bearings to last the life of their engines.

LN only suggests inspecting its single row bearing every 50,000 miles becuase it has less load carrying capacity.

Hi thom4782,

The mystery of whether it was single or a double row plagued me for a bit as I had one pesky flywheel bolt that had separation anxiety issues with the flywheel, but after sacrificing some red DNA from my knuckles (twice) on my flywheel, I then sourced a cheaply made chinese*17mm socket and some hammer time, the last bolt came off.

The IMS cover plate appears to be the original one when the car was first made, though I haven't removed it yet. (Waiting for all the parts to be ordered and arrived) But the bearing cover is a Double Row bearing cover.

In prepping the car for the impending implant surgery, I took off the cover behind the seat and I was surprised to find another leak. This time it is in the area of the camshaft just off of the first cylinder. My first thought was to check the spark plug, but it was dry. My next thought was that maybe it was a head gasket leak - however - the head-gaskets on these cars are pretty robust. Potential D-Chunk? Nay...since the car is a 3.2 very unlikely. Cam cover leak? Possible, but I'd likely see more wet oil on the bottom area of the engine in that region and the sides where it attaches rather than the top of the engine There was more wet where the head gasket is rather than the cam cover.

So it's a mystery I looked further into. An oily substance is on top on the area around cyl 1 on the camshaft section. There appeared to be a drain overflow hose from the power steering pump, *but the pump doesn't appear to be missing any fluids from the last time I checked. The Throttle body was cleaned when I replaced the AOS which was at least 15k ago. The resonance tube looked grimy - not the dry dust but that moistened grime. I don't remember cleaning the resonance tube before, and after I removed it, it is looking more like the culprit of the leak as there was wet oil inside of it. OR a little known part known as the "Positive crankcase ventilation valve" is causing the problem, leading to a leak in the region of the top of the camshaft in the area of the 1st cyl. (Behind the [US] drivers seat.)

To get to the bottom of that leak and to clean the area, I elected to remove the Intake Manifold for cal 1-3….How hard could it be…It's fairly straight-forward except for one thing that stands in your way off pulling out the IM…The hose that runs across the engine that connects to the*positive crankcase ventilation valve. There's not much flex to it, and only a few inches of play within the area of the manifold. In considering its removal, I also removed the AOS which gave a little bit of flex, but not as much as I'd hoped. I deduced some room could be gained if I removed the oil cooler---what's the harm in trying...I'd already drained the oil....
Good thing I'd already covered and masked out the Intakes.
The oil sep still had a healthy dose of coolant in it as well as some oil. After cleaning up that fiasco, and chiding myself for forgetting to also drain the coolant for an impending flush, I noticed two fairly large pieces of plastic that were stuck in the coolant portion of the Oil Cooler. in the rear portion of the unit...about the same thickness and curve of a water pump blades.


Up until that point in time I had the time to devote to the car stuff, but I had also volunteered to help build a wood-fire kiln for a local pottery studio I belong to…While taking a week to help build a kiln I steeled myself for having to potentially drop the engine and having to face tearing fully open to go on a scavenger hunt for pieces of my last water pump.

It took my old bones longer than I thought it would to recover from handling bricks and motor before I could return to my motor…during that time I pondered my new dilemma.

I drained the fluid for the coolant, removed the thermostat and water-pump. The water pump blades were intact, just like the last time I replaced the water pump….and the composite blades were brown. So logically that meant the blade pieces I found in the Oil Cooler were from a previous owner.

Instead of dropping the engine and tearing it apart, I'm gambling that the 6 years I've had the car those were the only missing fragments. I backward flushed from the Oil Cooler port towards the waterpump to remove any further bits, and will replace the Oil Cooler as a precaution. Maybe even do another flush in the near future.

There was also another pool of oil (or what I thought was oil) in the divot under the powersteering overflow hose. I originally blamed the resonance tube boot, but after actually sticking my finger in it, a green greasy type of goo trailed off from it. Thus I'm sure some PS fluid had leaked out from the first time I accidentally overfilled it just after I bought the car. Apparently, the turkey baster extraction method didn't pull it all out.

In summary, I'm about to order all the parts for my Boxster Baby:

IMS Bearing
The IMStool kit (Unless someone will lend/rent me theirs)
Flywheel, clutch kit
Spark plugs and tubes
Oil Cooler
160 Thermostat
Positive crankcase ventilation valve
and all the bolts, gaskets and seal accoutrements

I had hoped the flywheel still had some life in it as the pressure plate and even the clutch still had life in them…As I had planned on just replacing the throwout bearing and the clutch disc, but the flywheel didn't have any play left in it.

Oh….and the leak that started this snowball?

That was the RMS….I'll get it too…and it's little dog too.

lizbee September 29th, 2020 08:51 AM

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