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2013 PIU 3.7L PTU fluid change questions

Nibroc99

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'13 PIU Base
Hey guys, got quite a few questions about changing the PTU fluid on my interceptor, a 2013 3.7L Base model.

- Firstly, I haven't had a chance to jack the thing up yet to see what PTU I have - is there a standard PTU used in all police models for that year, regardless of engine type? In other words, just by saying the model year, engine, and transmission I have, would you know what PTU I have (one with a drain plug, one with a temp. sensor, one with a cooler, all of the above, etc.)?

- Second, she's at 122k miles and about 10,530 total hrs on the clock (6,000-ish idle hours). How can I tell if the fluid's even ever been changed? I'm worried about the damn thing failing on me while I'm driving, so I want to get this fluid changed sooner rather than later and I can't wait to see what the fluid looks like that comes out of it (half-nervous half-excited to discover what comes out...)

- Third, should mine be a model that has a temperature sensor? If it does, will it likely notify me of a problem before a total failure happens, or does the system basically not work in detecting a problem based on your experiences?

- Fourth, does driving faster cause more problems with the PTU? My usual cruising speed is 80-90mph (please don't judge or argue about my abundant speed, I'm asking about the PTU here folks hehe!). Safety reasons aside, should I, mechanically speaking, not be traveling that fast for extended periods of time? I do a lot of road trips which often consist of 200 miles straight of high-speed highway driving. I've put about 2,000 miles on the vehicle already since I bought it last month. I also have a tendency to accelerate hard when getting on the highway. Just wondering if I should shorten my service interval for the PTU fluid exchange basically... People recommend every 30k miles but I'm thinking about doing it every 15k miles (which would be every 3-4 oil changes for me).

- Fifth, if I fill it from the vent hose, how do I know how much fluid to put in? Is it easy to fill it with too much fluid or is there a bit of play in overfilling it before it becomes a problem?

- Sixth, I've heard about newer model years having a cooler on the PTU - would mine likely have this? If not, is there a way to install a cooler, and if so, should I go through the trouble/is it worth it?

There is not much information out there from what I've seen about the 3.7L engine and its corresponding PTU. I've been searching literally for the past 3 hours almost on the dot, along with a few other long nights of looking around the interwebs, to find information about the PTU with the 3.7L engine and I haven't found much of anything. I know for sure that I have the 6F55 transmission if that makes a difference. I just want to make sure that I'm maintaining my baby as best as I can - this first fluid change has me nervous about what I'm going to find.

Thank you to everybody who has any sort of answers for me. Even better if someone with the same (or similar) model year, engine, and PTU could offer some advice for how I should go about changing the fluid, how much to put in, the easiest way you've found to do it for the model I have, etc.

I did find this thread but it left me with more questions than answers, really. It was the closest thing I could find to the info I'm looking for. I also know that the newer model years have a cooler installed on the PTU as I said and I'm not sure if mine has it. Also, sorry for so many questions... This is my first AWD vehicle ever, my first Ford vehicle as well, and to explain where I'm coming from, I have owned two of the same type of Jeep Grand Cherokee 2003 4.0l with selec-trac (locking center diff, a true/proper transfer case - not AWD) as my first and second vehicle that I've ever owned. I'm just so new to owning an AWD vehicle, and by extension, a vehicle from this decade, that I wanna make sure I tick all the boxes and maintain everything as absolutely best as I possibly can.
 


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peterk9

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I'm not able to answer your questions but did find another thread that you may or may not have seen. Perhaps it might provide some insight. I don't know if anyone with a 3.7L has done a change or not. Good luck and please keep us in the loop. Thanks.

Peter
 




Nibroc99

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I'm not able to answer your questions but did find another thread that you may or may not have seen. Perhaps it might provide some insight. I don't know if anyone with a 3.7L has done a change or not. Good luck and please keep us in the loop. Thanks.

Peter

Thanks Peter, I'm a huge advocate for posting detailed descriptions to help people in the future who might be wondering the same thing as me or have the same problems that I have so you can expect that I'll definitely post my findings. Thanks again for reaching out!
 




peterk9

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Thanks Peter, I'm a huge advocate for posting detailed descriptions to help people in the future who might be wondering the same thing as me or have the same problems that I have so you can expect that I'll definitely post my findings. Thanks again for reaching out!
Sorry, I just noticed I forgot to include the thread I mentioned. Although it's not on a 3.7, there may be some ideas; How to: - PTU Oil Change (Tons of Pics) 2016 Explorer Sport

Peter
 








Rob_I

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Nibroc99, I have nearly identical questions regarding the PTU of my '13. I eagerly await technical replies to your post 👍
 




Nibroc99

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Nibroc99, I have nearly identical questions regarding the PTU of my '13. I eagerly await technical replies to your post 👍
I will definitely report back if I find anything out, or if I just dive in blind then I'll take photos if I'm able to and provide clear details with my findings.
 




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This post was moved from another thread so the quote won't apply here.

I mean, the latest beta Forscan with extended license does do firmware, but it's totally at your own risk.

You're close. I work in Shirley. I could just plug it in and do it for you. 😂
I would love to coordinate doing it with you and meeting up! And if we meet up, we can maybe discuss how to actually get to the vent for changing PTU fluid. 😂
 




Rob_I

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Do you know any small children?

(NOTE) I just realized how super creepy that sounded. I meant to get to the stupid vent!
 




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Do you know any small children?

(NOTE) I just realized how super creepy that sounded. I meant to get to the stupid vent!
Haha 😂 I went to the only Ford dealership near me that said they would be willing to change the fluid, but the showed me they can't get to the vent and it would take removing cat 1 to get to it (at least 6 hours of labor) and advised me against it.
 




Rob_I

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If the 14 is set up different from the 13, then I dunno. But I was able to actually see the vent if I took the air intake tube off, even more space with the upper manifold. Could also do it from the driver side below, behind the control arm with a mirror. Maybe a good time to change the plugs and pcv if you go from above. Relatively free access to the vent that way.
 




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If the 14 is set up different from the 13, then I dunno. But I was able to actually see the vent if I took the air intake tube off, even more space with the upper manifold. Could also do it from the driver side below, behind the control arm with a mirror. Maybe a good time to change the plugs and pcv if you go from above. Relatively free access to the vent that way.
I imagine they are set up similarly and the dealership was trying to take the lazy way out. I already have new plugs and a pcv after buying, but the changing the PTU fluid has sounded like such a difficult job it has intimidated me from even trying.
 




BrettS.

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Its not too hard to change the PIU fluid. I reached up and removed the vent hose and installed a hose of my own. You can't see it. Have to do by feel. Remove the drain, let empty, re-install plug. Use small funnel in longer hose and let it slowly drip in to prevent hydrolocking hose. I did it with my oil change.
 




Rob_I

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It's really not that bad once you get past the shock of how f'ed up it is. They were blowing smoke IMO
 




16vcabman

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I did the drain and refill through the vent on my 14. It wasn't that bad. Not sure about the 13 my.
 








scotbro

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How did you get to the vent? That's the intimidating part.
I removed the air cleaner and battery and was able to reach down and install a new longer vent hose and clamp on my 14. Be very careful with the drain plug, mine stripped and I had to take it in to get the plug removed. With the short days, I didn’t want to remove the exhaust and catalytic converter so I could get an extractor in the plug.
 




peterk9

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^^Welcome to the Forum. :wave:

Peter
 




16vcabman

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How did you get to the vent? That's the intimidating part.
Take air cleaner off and look at firewall. Should see tip of vent. I didn't have to remove the battery, but it's not that hard. Make sure you get the drain plug loose before you worry about the vent.
 


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Detfruit

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Don't know of I'm late or not.. I've done this on my 14 PIU. I installed an extension using a 5/16" barb fitting and another foot or so of the same diameter tubing to raise up the vent tube to around the top of the engine bay, and zip tied it to one of the lines up there. Drained from the existing drain plug using a 1/4" hex bit socket that I had to cut way down to fit, and then fished around with a syringe with a 1/4" hose attached to it to try to suck whatever was left out. Mine was very sludgy and didn't have alot of fluid left.. make sure to thread seal and co-witness the drain plug, then drop feed from the top. I just reattached the vent to the top of the extension

However, I did this because I was hearing what sounded like gear wear coming from the PTU when driving, like a whistle when accelerating. It worked for awhile but now I've realized it's just spitting out of the vent up top now :( I think I need to flush and maybe even install a proper drilled and tapped drain plug like I've seen mentioned here in the past, but I'm wary of -exactly- where to put it, would hate to mess that up.

I want to eventually attempt swapping a whole PTU myself on jackstands. Heard it takes about 10 hours and involves removing the cat, right axle, subframe, exhaust, etc.. even still I'd rather do it myself than the 2200+$ bill you'd get slapped with at the dealership :dead:
 




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