2002 Boxster Engine Maintenance

Going through this little Boxster before the end of the year. With almost 100k miles on the clock, I noticed some pretty significant plastic chain tensioner debris in the oil filter when the customer brought it in for an oil change, along with some out of spec camshaft deviation numbers, which tells us we are getting play in the chain system as the pads erode. Along with a significant oil leak coming from the IMS area, it was time to get in there and get this motor back up to par before something major failed. We have seen these chain tensioners come apart as low as 25k miles, and of course we all know the IMS bearing issues. Since I wanted to catch up on a bunch of other little things on the motor that were past due, I pulled it down onto a table to make working a bit easier.

Dropping the oil so I can pull the pan and make sure we don’t have anything major in there going on. Before jumping into this project and dropping the motor, we need to run down a checklist to make sure we don’t have any reason to think there is something more major going on inside.

As you can see, we have a significant amount of oil on the bottom of this car.

And the sump plate removed. A little piece of chain tensioner material up in the pickup, hard to see. The pickup screen isn’t designed to filter anything, but it does help keep the bigger debris in the pan.

And a few small particles found on the sump plate. All collected in one little spot.

More oil mess to clean up.

And the motor/trans assembly down on the table.

Hard to see, but we had a leaking oil fill tube as well, so a bit of oil on top of the motor as well.

And the bank 1 cam cover off.

Here you can see the top chain tensioner pad, there is also one on the underside which we can’t see until the cams are removed.

And with the flywheel removed, we can see the IMS flange is leaking pretty badly. A small leak from the RMS, but not bad, obviously it will get replaced while in there. Someone has already been in here for a clutch and replaced the RMS as it is not installed at the correct depth. If everything looks as I expect it to with the tensioner pads, and everything else checks out, then and only then we will install an IMS solution.

To replace the chain tensioner pads, you must first remove the camshafts/tensioner assembly from the carrier, then you can remove the tensioner from the cams. Special tool 9632 and 9632/1 will help you relieve the chain tensioner pressure so you can get it slide out from in between the cams. You can improvise other solutions to do this, but the right tool makes it much easier and faster. I started working and forgot to take pictures.

Here we have the tensioner disassembled so we can look at the pads. Pads should be nice and smooth.

Here they are off the tensioner. Notice the extreme difference between the top and bottom pads.

Bottom pad is actually cracked! Glad we got in there when we did. This is why you need to be cutting open your oil filters every oil change and inspecting them. We not only do this on all cars, but we also note camshaft deviations on every oil change so we can monitor the engine as it ages, and catch things before it happens.

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