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Is a 1998 Boxster with no IMS replacement an issue?


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Hi all, considering buying a 1998 build Boxster, 165,000 km, full service books all stamped.  IMS and RMS NOT been done but the engine runs and sound really great. Tiptronic transmission works ok. Car recently serviced and all seems great.  Should I worry about the IMS?  Given its done 17 years and 165,000 km is it likely to fail now?  Would experienced Boxster owners get it changed straight away?  Are there warning signs?

Can any recommend a good, trusted indi Porsche specialist near Ryde in Sydney who won't gouge you on costs if I get the IMS done?  Looking for a good job at a fair coin. I have been told it's a $2500 job is this true?


Thanks for any advice.



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G'day Pharma, in reality, there is no time frame for the IMS to go.

however there is a school of thought that the more k's the car has on it the less likely it is going to let go.

believe that or not at your peril.    

Servicing etc is no advantage.    Some say the less you use the car, the more chance it is of letting go.

others say if you don't drive the car like you should drive a sports car, with spirit it will let go.

Truth be known....I don't think anyone can tell you when, why or will it.

there are no real warning signs as such.   It apparently all happens pretty quick.

within seconds....driving along enjoying the Boxster and then kabooey.

hopefully your not paying too much for the 98 model, and you should factor in the two and a half grand, or a tad more to have it upgraded, if not look for one that has been done.

the owners service book should have a sticker in it with a serial number of the upgrade bearing.

i had mine done at about 130k or thereabouts from memory.   Mine is a tiptronic, and I think it was a smidgen over 2.5k.

never had a RMS problem.   Wouldn't be too concerned about that unless of course it is leaking.

AUTOHAUS respected Indy, who contributes to the forum, might be worth a phone call.

good luck with it.

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There's no warning signs.  Maybe pull out the oil filter and see if any shards of metal in it - only thing you can do to check to see how things are going.

Would I swap out the OEM for a LN Bearing fit out ASAP?  HELL YES.. small outlay compared to cost of a Porsche engine rebuild. Too  many have failed to not take this seriously.


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Hi Amanda and Nico, thanks for the advice.  Do you think a PPI helps??  I am planning to get one done I think this week before I decide to buy.  Dealer (no workshop) has had it inspected by his independent mechanic (not part of his business) and he reported a minor oil leak from the "valve cover" - assume he means one of the rocker covers? The dealer reckons the cars A1 as they all do.  It looks immaculate and has clearly been well cared for an regularly serviced (books stamped and up to date). Pretty major service by an indi Porsche guy just 3,000 km ago.  I am tempted to but but want to get the IMS done....you reckon it will be $3K at Autohaus Hamilton Nico for a tiptronic?



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Hi Pharma, I am also in the market for a Boxster: manual S. To some extent I consider it to be a "no brainer" just get it done for peace of mind.

Other considerations:

1. If the car is dealer purchased shouldn't it be part of statutory warranty, or extended if supplied (purchased) in the event of a failure? I'm investigating this further.

2. I have been told second hand S motors are only worth $3500ish (without alternator, a/c unit etc) from a wrecker so a replacement is not a lot higher than doing IMS. Problem being back to stage one, will my IMS fail on replacement should I upgrade?

I think at the end of the day I'll get done for peace of mind, good chance to check clutch, RMS at the same time.

just IMHO

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PPI definitely worth doing.   If it's coming from a car dealer, even more.

if the major service was done for the owner, before it went  to the car dealer, a phone call to him may also be worth doing, you have nothing to lose.  

But definitely get it done.

depends how much your paying for the car, but be prepared to walk if the PPI raises too many issues.

pay too little at the start...it will cost you in the long run

pay a lot at the start.....hopefully it won't cost you too much in the long run.

Cant tell you what the IMS will cost you but it will be between 2.5 and 3 I would think

(Without pushing the barrow....if your deal falls through I can point you in the direction of an excellent 986 S Tip)


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PPI won't tell you if the IMS is about to fail tho.  But will tell you if the rest of the car is good.   So its totally worth doing.

I replied to your other thread as well with this link  http://imsretrofit.com/

Statutory Warranty - only applies with cars up to a certain age and under 160,000 km too - that is from memory, so maybe google it just to be sure.

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Thanks everyone.  There is no warranty.  Amanda is correct; th car is 17 yrs old and > 160,000 km so no warranty at all, not even 3 months in NSW for cars of this vintage and Km.  Its buyer beware for sure.

Nico - where is the 986 Boxter S tip??  how many k's?  I assume the IMS done on that on?  How much?

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You have the best IMS design with a 1998 (assuming it is the original engine, there were lots of factory replacements in early '97 and '98 cars).

There are no reliable statistics on first generation IMS failures.

It has gone many km. So have other parts. And 17 years.

You could crash the car next week. Or suffer some other failure that would take it off the road.

The engine itself has around 28 known failure points.

You aren't going to proactively address any of the others, why this one?

Drive it frequently, use a good oil, change it every 5,000km, let the engine get warm before you stress it. Most of all, enjoy it.

(A contrarian view from someone who has followed this issue for 7 or 8 years on many forums. Owned both a '99 and a '01S. I've over maintained more cars than I've under maintained in the last 56 years and lost money on every one I did it to. )


Yes to a PPI. Yes to the LN if you do it.



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