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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. asull85

      asull85 The Storm Chaser Elite Explorer

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      Mid-2016 Ford modified the PTU...again

      Mine is a March/April '16 build. The PTU's were modified again around June '16 so yours probably has the updated PTU.

      Yes from the sounds of it. My city's police department had three of their five '16 Interceptors have their PTU's go bad. Theirs were built around the same time as mine, two of them were district cars and one was a detective car so not driven as hard. The PTU issues along with the Carbon Monoxide leaks caused them to switch to Tahoes. Now they use the Interceptors as detail/spare cars.
       
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    3. Adrian Gitch

      Adrian Gitch New Member

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      I serviced my PTU at 85000 the other day because of all the good info on this forum. It's a '15. The gear oil surprisingly looked pretty good. This one just has the fill plug so I had to pump it out. The plug had a few shavings on it. I purchased this explorer with about 50000 miles. Kind of wondering if the PTU was replaced before I got it.
       
    4. RhinoQuartz

      RhinoQuartz Elite Explorer

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      Don't take what I wrote as gospel, I might be remembering wrong. At least for the first few years of this generation, Ford adamantly called it a "lifetime" fluid. However, the further along it got, the more they added ease of access to it. The timeline given above goes along with the visual changes they did to the Exp, and is my (possible) faulty memory to equate the two.

      Remember that it wasn't guaranteed to fail, only that there was a higher chance. If yours wasn't driven in rough conditions and actually had the oil replaced, it would be fine. Also, just because there are a few members here who've had catastrophic experiences does not mean everyone will.

      You can always check what yours should be like by looking at autonation white bear lake - parts section. Or the service manual, which you can get a PDF version for under $200 (or a 3 day online sub to Ford's service website).
       
    5. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      The ptu updates have nothing to do with any facelifts/midcycle ehancements/minor model changes. I would assume the changes below apply to all explorer ptu's, but I haven't physically checked them to be sure the retail units were updated on the same timeline. Fill/drain plugs are a different story. I haven't seen a definitive chart/timeline identifying which ones have them and when they got them.

      The power takeoff unit (PTU) has been a service concern on some PI Utilities. There may be an excessive oil smell when driving, the AWD may not work properly, or the PTU housing may be cracked, leaking or noisy. The cause of the PTU damage is the excessive torque loading of the idler gear, which causes the bearing to walk (move) into the housing.
      In January 2014, a Full Face Thrust Washer, FFTW, was introduced. This new washer was designed to prevent the idler bearing from walking into the aluminum case. In October 2015, a second change was made, in this case a loose-fit idler bearing. In dynamometer tests, this bearing design change showed a twice life improvement over the FFTW design.
      In June 2016, a third change was made. In this case, a new bearing design, one without drawn cups, was installed. This eliminated the walk mode of damage. Dyno testing shows a three to four times improvement over the FFTW design.


      It seems that underfilling was common and my have continued into 2017 or even until today - only way to know for sure is to drain your fluid and see what comes out. They can hold about 18 ounces - underfilled units only had around 10-12 ounces in them.


      Stop wondering. If it was replaced prior to 50K, it probably was done under warranty and your dealer should be able to look that up and confirm. If it was customer pay for some reason, you would probably have to look at the part and see if it has any markings that might indicate it was replaced at some point.
       
    6. Adrian Gitch

      Adrian Gitch New Member

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      Yeah definitely not going to look into it. I figure all I need to do is stay on top of it and pick a reasonable service interval for it.
       
    7. RhinoQuartz

      RhinoQuartz Elite Explorer

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      Thank you for the clarifying info, this sounds like what I read.

      I know the facelifts are separate from internals, I had just forgotten the timeline of PTU design changes and thought it matched up with the facelifts.

      Where did you find this information? A simple Google search, TSBs or something else?
       
    8. bigtexan99

      bigtexan99 Active Member

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      For people that have had the PTU replaced since June 2016, have there been repeat failures or is the new part 'bulletproof'?
       
    9. 613GT500

      613GT500 Well-Known Member

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      Too early to tell.
      When I had the EX, it failed under 30K miles and just shy of 3yrs from delivery.
       
    10. ExPlat

      ExPlat Elite Explorer

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      My 2016 had less than 30k miles when the PTU failed and was over 3.5 years from delivery. It now has 32k miles and the new PTU still works - hooray! :thumbsup:
       
    11. RhinoQuartz

      RhinoQuartz Elite Explorer

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      Something to bear in mind is that June 16 is when 17MY started to built:

      06/05/2016 - 2016MY Job Last Date
      06/06/2016 - 2017MY Job #1 Date

      Per this post over in the BO forum - 2017 Explorer Production Info

      So, PTUs for 17MY will be different from 16MY, as asull85 mentioned above.

      I'm actually having mine drained and refilled tomorrow; bought mine used, and have no idea what service was done on it, selling dealer (who ordered it for 1st owner) didn't provide me with anything and since winter has been pretty rough I figured I might as well.
       
    12. 613GT500

      613GT500 Well-Known Member

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      But the PIUs would have come from the factory with the watercooled PTUs.
      The watercooled version shouldn't be failing prematurely.
       
    13. RhinoQuartz

      RhinoQuartz Elite Explorer

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      But watercooling wouldn't stop bearings walking in and destroying the PTU.
       
    14. 613GT500

      613GT500 Well-Known Member

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      In which excessive heat is the major contributor?
       
    15. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      I'm not sure I've seen it stated definitively if the dates are vehicle production dates or PTU production dates. If the PTU itself was updated in June 2016, it is possible it could take weeks/months for that part to hit the vehicle production line depending on various factors.


      A lot of people seem to be overlooking this. Heat can be mitigated to an extent by monitoring temps and altering fluid change intervals. Design/manufacturing issues that lead to catastrophic failures are going to require more than an alteration of fluid change intervals to mitigate.
       

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