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PTU Problems

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by GeoMimi89, December 9, 2012.

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  1. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    Recently rebuilt my PTU and it was a pain in the driveway. Took a full day to get it out (control arms were my biggest hassle), the better part of day to clean it up (clean out sludge, put in new seals, drill a drain hole), and the better part of a day to put everything back in. My problem was no 11 mm wrench, incorrect seal installer, snapped one of the exhaust flange studs, no drill with bigger than 3/8" chuck to drill drain hole. A bunch of time wasted on lack of preparation.... Next time I'm sure I could easily do it in 2 days....I'd say a long day (10 hours) to pull and rebuild it (new seals), and a 6 to 8 hour day to put it back, top of fluids, etc.. Experience of what to remove, how it's connected, what tools you need are the time savers. Doing this on a lift would make it so much easier/faster.

    My costs were about $85....seals were about $50, stud kit for exhaust manifold as about $15, and geal oil. Some other minor incidentals like a bit/tap, kerosene to clean out the PTU, RTV, 11 mm wrench, etc.. I did to a transmission fluid change at the same time...but that was my choice so I count that as a separate cost. Though you will loose some tranny fluid doing this so you do need a few quarts at minimum.
     
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  3. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    Not sure what shops are quoting.....but I could see this being pulled out in 4 hours, rebuild a couple of hours...install 4 hours. Maybe I'm just slow...but 6 hours seems really fast. Drain tranny fluid, disconnect driveshaft, drop exhaust, remove right side axle, drop subframe (control arms, tie rods, steering connection, harness disconnect), remove exhaust manifold/cat, remove mounts connecting PTU to engine, remove PTU......rebuild.....then put it all back in, top off fluids...

    I did waste a few hours trying to do a better tranny fluid change but eventually gave up and did the useless 3 drain/fill approach. I'll figure out how to work around the thermal bypass unit next time.
     
    Last edited: July 10, 2018
  4. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    I do a lot of repairs on my vehicles that take me a lot longer than book time. I'm in no hurry though as I'm not racing against the book to make a paycheck - sometimes I stop for a bit and grab a bite or just take a break or get busy with something else while waiting for fluids to drain... After I do a repair a time or two, I like to think I learn something that makes it easier/faster the next time.
     
  5. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    Trust me....same over hear. Get the neighbors swinging by asking what i'm doing, grabbing a brew, family interruptions....it never ends. I say I'd do it in 2 days but generally is slides into a 3rd day due to lack of focus/distractions/life in general....seems like my back/knees need more rest time that they used to...more help from my son when dealing with larger items (e.g. sub-frame positioning/securing).
     
  6. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    There is nothing to rebuild, the ptu is replaced.
     
  7. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    I understand its officially not a "serviceable" component. But I chose to clean mine out and replace all the seals (which I referred to as rebuilt).

    My gear oil had started turning into sludge which plugged the vent....pressure would build up and it would eject the sludge via the vent all over my driveway. Rather than replace the PTU I decided to service it and see if that would save me the $800 or so. If it dies then I'll have to replace it. What I did was open it up and cleaned out the old gear oil, replaced the seals (five seals, a guide or collar, and a dust cover), added a drain plug, assembled, filled with new gear oil and reinstalled it. It's only been 1000 miles so far, but all is good. Part of that 1000 miles was a 600 mile trip to Lake Mead/Hoover Dam last week at 117 degrees....so they weren't easy miles. Planning on changing the gear oil at 5000 miles and then annually. So far so good....she ran like a champ the entire trip. Not a drop of gunk on the PTU/driveway.
     
    Last edited: July 10, 2018
  8. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    While that may be true for dealers, there are companies that do rebuild them and source components from some some of the same companies that make the units for the OEM.

    For an individual, it is definitely possible to R&R the unit to clean it and replace bearings and seals. If one is sourcing a used unit to save money, it probably wouldn't hurt to do this also.

    It is also possible to mix and match good parts from multiple units to create a working unit.
     
  9. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    When blwnsmoke mentioned "There is nothing to rebuild, the ptu is replaced." I believe he was solely referring to Leviticus' situation and not PTU's in general.

    Peter
     
  10. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    I would hope that is not the case as he quoted the post from mcpcartier.

    In general, there are a lot of items that are "not rebuildable" that can technically be "rebuilt" assuming one has the knowledge, tools, availability of replacement parts, and so on...
     
  11. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    That is because mcpcartier started to post about 'rebuilding' based on the other member's problem with his PTU and having the dealer replace it. He even quoted the post by Leviticus in his reply.
     
  12. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    You are correct, when I said I could see $700 in labor for 5-6 hours of work to replace it and the other member stated he sees 4 hours to remove, 2 to rebuild and 4 to replace, I said there was no rebuild in that, dealers just replace. So yes $700 sounds fair at what they charge per hour for the job.

    So thanks!!
     
  13. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    I did mention in my "rebuttal" that while that may be true of dealers, it is not true in general (in case others wanted to try their hand at "rebuilding" a dirty/non-damaged PTU like mcpcartier did).
     
  14. SunnysMama

    SunnysMama New Member

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    I have a Ford Explorer XLT 4WD and we purchased the extended warranty. A couple weeks ago I noticed black fluid leaking from under the transfer case/transmission. Took it into the dealer and they just replaced my PTU at a little over 39,000 miles. The dealer also replaced all of the fluid in my transmission. There was a little mishap at the dealer when they drove one of the wheels into the rack, damaging a tire. So we now have a new PTU, a repaired wheel, and two brand new tires on the front. We have no idea what caused the PTU failure, but the gears inside had failed and had come apart. We have always had regular maintenance and rotated the tires. The dealer declined to state it was necessary to replace all 4 tires, but after reading everything on here, I'm thinking we should replace the other two tires, especially since it is 4WD. Also, do you think the new PTU installed is a better design? I love my Explorer; it is the best car I have ever owned and driven, but I am extremely disappointed knowing Ford did not design a better system and we already had a major drive train component failure at under 40,000 miles.
     
  15. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum.:wave:

    Peter
     
  16. SunnysMama

    SunnysMama New Member

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    Thank you, Peter. :)
     
  17. 613GT500

    613GT500 Well-Known Member

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    Another victim of a PTU failure over here.
    MY2016, just shy of 30K miles.
    PTU broke with a loud bang, as I was taking off at a stop light.
    I pulled into a strip mall right away and as soon as I stopped...the stench of propane was apprent.
    Got it towed to the dealership, no questions asked and replaced with part# DG1Z7251F.

    After the replacement, during the test drive, the tech was experiencing shuddering and sudden loss of power.
    Now, it's getting a new tranny and ETB... might as well build the EX again.
     
  18. metroplex

    metroplex Active Member

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    Sorry to hear about this!!
    When was your 2016 Explorer assembled? Someone here posted that in June 2016 Ford had a new PTU design that prevents the gears from walking into the case that would cause overheating issues.

    So far I haven't heard of any PTU failures on 2017s and 2018s, but it is still early to tell???
     
  19. 613GT500

    613GT500 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, mine was built in Nov 2015.
     
  20. thefranchise713

    thefranchise713 Well-Known Member

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    50k on mine, PTU is getting the fluid changed on Friday.

    Tempted to do a Blackstone analysis.
     
  21. SunnysMama

    SunnysMama New Member

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    Just curious how are you changing the PTU fluid? My service advisor told me it was not a serviceable part. Are the newer PTUs serviceable? I did end up replacing all 4 tires & the Explorer is driving like a dream again. Taking it on a road trip this week & hoping all is well.
     

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