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How to: PTU Oil Change (Tons of Pics) 2016 Explorer Sport

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Lexingtonian, May 14, 2017.

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    1. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      I'm no engineer but after seeing that, and it's your second fluid change, how could the engineers say its a lifetime fluid, no changes required?
       
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    3. Lexingtonian

      Lexingtonian Active Member

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      Astute observation and I agree with you. My belief is this.. Ford takes the position that the "lifetime" of the vehicle is at the end of the powertrain warranty. In that sense.. The oil may hold up till then but would be at the raggedy end of its life.

      Of course we get no admittal from Ford but we did get a drain plug introduced after 2014 model year. My last two vehicles I put more than 300,000 miles on. I plan on running this Ex past 200k. In that owner profile, I'm way outside of Ford's target client/market which forces me to take prudent longevity precautions that Ford didn't plan for.
       
    4. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      This very issue probably a big contributor as to why the PTU is gone for 2020
       
    5. Vink70

      Vink70 New Member

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      Back from the dead. I just changed the PTU fluid in my 16 Sport in under an hour today!

      I jacked up the driver side and put it on jackstands. Pulled the drain plug and let it drain until it stopped.

      Lowered it to the ground and jacked up the passenger side so as much of the fluid would flow to the driver side away from the drain, I went to menards with the drain plug and found a hose the exact size (7/16" OD clear tubing). I fed that through the passenger side fender well, near the axle, and straight into the drain hole on the PTU. Fit perfectly snug and didn't leak a drop. Also put some blue loctite on the drain plug.

      Was able to hold the Royal Purple gear oil by the wheel and squeeze the bottle and it flowed great into the PTU. Once I got the desired amount, I squeezed some air out of the bottle through the tube to clear it out and before it could backfeed into the tube I used some vice grips to clamp the line so it couldn't push the fluid back into the tube. VERY quickly pulled the tube out and screwed in the plug before any could leak out. Can't believe how well it worked!

      I took pictures of my plug as well as the fluid and I don't think it looked terrible but I think it should have about 55K on it. Not sure what happened with the fluid when the dealer fixed the PTU seal. Not sure if they replaced it or topped it off or what. Just feels good to be done.
       
    6. 15Limited

      15Limited Elite Explorer

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      Pics aren’t showing here??
       
    7. Vink70

      Vink70 New Member

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      I have not posted the pictures yet. I will soon. Been busy.
       
    8. Anabil

      Anabil New Member

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      Great post!
      Hello everyone, first post. sorry it's not in the new member forum. I've read dozens of posts so far and need to participate in this one. The PTU in this particular car will fail very early if we don't change the fluid very often like 15k miles or so. and as high oil quality s possible. I do believe this particular PTU needs it. your oil is the best evidence for it. btw i saw the video as well on youtube.
      mine is in great shape. changed the oil less than 5k miles ago, no issues so far. 2015 limited with 58K miles
      my first oil change was done in a maintenance center but no more of that for me. today i took a photo of it and since ford keep changing the plugs on that PTU every year. i need help. see the picture, please, and let me know is that strange 1/4" male thing the drain plug? or the fill plug. it seems too high to be the drain. what is that strange bottle cap looking thing above it? is that a fill plug for this model year? please check the photo and just explain what you see to me. what's what.
      thank you

      PHOTO:: Imgur
       
    9. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      Your photo does not appear to contain anything of interest (just casting and other marks). You may want to take a step back and do some more research before you damage something or hurt yourself.

      Further, there is no need to act alarmist and claim the PTU will fail early unless fluid is changed every 15K miles with as high quality of oil as possible. Fords recommendation is for a 30K interval under severe use and any OEM equivalent fluid should be more than adequate at that schedule. I would say that the probability is very high that the early PTU failures (<50K miles) were more likely due to defects or manufacturing issues than fluid.

      And now, back to the regularly scheduled programming...
       
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    10. Anabil

      Anabil New Member

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      That's what I'm doing right now, researching.....
      The unit does fail prematurely and I know personally a number of cars it did including my father's 2016 at 60k miles and a friend AR 70k
      Becsuse of the "lifetime oil"

      The photo does contain a plug. I just want someone who knows the ptu to tell me whether it's the drain. You don't know the part. Probably didn't need to comment about how interesting the photo is :).

      Waiting for a real reply, anyone? OP?
       
    11. Keith N

      Keith N Elite Explorer

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      Plug is in upper left it looks like. Others are casting marks.
      You need to figure out if yours has a drain plug on bottom or if you have to work thru the fill plug only, like your pic shows. Two totally different methods involved and both covered on this forum and others.
      I found this forum how to extremely helpful for my 2011 where you have to suck out and fill thru fill plug.

      Changing CX-9 transfer case gear oil (photos)
       
      Last edited: February 11, 2019
    12. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      Your pic is not very good and it is difficult to make out what the "plug" is or isn't. Is it a brass plug/fitting? There are loads of pics already online that show all the various PTUs and loads of details.

      Here's an explorer PTU with a drain plug (fill through sensor hole or vent hole):
      [​IMG]

      Here's yours:
      [​IMG]

      Here's 1 without a drain plug, but with a fill plug (different looking plug than your pic):
      [​IMG]
       
    13. Anabil

      Anabil New Member

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      Kay, thanks for the help. I did get a clearer view and found my drain plug. It's a 3/8" not a 1/4 in this one. And I'm looking for a fill plug right now, since I found the vent nipple and it is just a nipple with a metal vent attached to it and I could not remove that vent at all. Must be a fil plug somewhere. I'll take a photo of that vent it is impossible to remove, I think.
       
    14. Anabil

      Anabil New Member

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      Keith, I appreciate the help. I attached the photo here

      Imgur

      This is the 3/8 plug. You say it's the fill plug not the drain?
      Anyone knows how to remove the vent that's directly latched onto the nipple without any hose? It's so tough.
       
    15. Anabil

      Anabil New Member

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      Kaygee, please check the last photo. Do you think this is the fill plug and mine has no drain?
       
    16. 15Limited

      15Limited Elite Explorer

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      2015 and earlier had no drain plugs (unless they were Sports or PIU)...2016 to current received the ‘updated’ PTU with a drain plug.
       
      Last edited: February 13, 2019
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    17. Keith N

      Keith N Elite Explorer

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      You will have to suck or vacuum out old fluid and pump in new thru the fill plug. Follow the link on the Mazda CX-9 forum I gave earlier.
      It is dificult to pump cold gear oil so take it for a long ride to warm it up and keep the new oil warm in the house if you are doing it when it’s cold out.
       
    18. Anabil

      Anabil New Member

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      Keith, definitely will follow the cx9 link and read the full thing, thanks man.
      Ok so I just finished what I wanted to do now. I went to a friend's shop and got under the hole and did it. The fill plug was absolutely full of metal sludge. Did not change the oil as it is synthetic motorcraft and it's relatively new 7k miles. But I was adding the xado thing. Did both the ptu and the rear diff. Oil is already bretty dirty.
      I decided to drill and tap adrain plug in the rear diff. That's easy. And I'm not removing that cover and reapplying that gasket every oil change.
      But the ptu, would you guys recommend that? drill and tap?
       
    19. Anabil

      Anabil New Member

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      read that thoroughly. As you said, it's extremely helpful and some good insight from the O.P . it only made me want to drill a plug hole for it more.
       
    20. Keith N

      Keith N Elite Explorer

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      since some units fail at 20k miles, that to me indicates oil is not the only cause, but a manfucturing defect is also at play here. If you happen to have a failure due to a defect and ford seen a drain plug added, that would likely void any warranty. I would add the plug after the power train warranty. Suck it out and refill till then. Having access to a lift makes it even more appealing to add the drain plug, but after the warranty i suggest.
       
    21. Anabil

      Anabil New Member

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      car is already at 58k or so. so I guess should be no issue adding a plug then.
      I think I can safely drill and tap it. although I would love to get pointers from someone who knows where is the safest place to put it to avoid hitting one of the gears in there as the clearances in the ptu are so small unlike the rear diff.
       

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