PTU and Water Pump failures for 2012/2016-up Explorers? | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
  • Register Today It's free!

PTU and Water Pump failures for 2012/2016-up Explorers?

metroplex

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 29, 2000
Messages
509
Reaction score
61
Location
Detroit, MI
City, State
Detroit, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 Ford Explorer XLT
I tracked down the part #s and service cut-in dates for the latest parts and found that Ford used the same AT4Z-8501-B water pump from 2 JAN 2012 and newer. Doing Google searching, a lot of the water pump failures were related to pre-2012 engines. Has anyone with a 2013 or newer Explorer (or Taurus/MKS/Flex/etc...) experienced water pump failures?

For the PTU, Ford had several different parts. One for N/A w/o Cooler (DT4Z-7251-G) and it seemed to be for 15 JUN 2016 and newer. I recall one of the police fleet maintainers here saying Ford cut-in a change to the internal gears in June 2016 for the PTUs to prevent the idler gears from walking into the case (which I assume overheats the fluid). It still seems early to see if there are any 2017 Explorers with PTU failures but so far I haven't heard of any. I have heard of 2015 and 2016 Explorers with PTU failures.

The other PTU is for turbo with cooler, DG1Z-7251-F, which had more confusing cut-in service dates, it seemed like it was used only up to JAN 2016, but I can't find one for 2016-up.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





peterk9

Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
December 28, 2010
Messages
35,149
Reaction score
3,462
City, State
Russell, Ontario (Ottawa area)
Year, Model & Trim Level
2020 Aviator Reserve
Callsign
VE3
I tracked down the part #s and service cut-in dates for the latest parts and found that Ford used the same AT4Z-8501-B water pump from 2 JAN 2012 and newer. Doing Google searching, a lot of the water pump failures were related to pre-2012 engines. Has anyone with a 2013 or newer Explorer (or Taurus/MKS/Flex/etc...) experienced water pump failures?
If you check out this thread Water pump failure leads to dead engine you will find there are at least two 2013 Explorers and one 2014 that had the failure. The model years are shown in the margin but I didn't go through all the posts.

Peter
 






metroplex

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 29, 2000
Messages
509
Reaction score
61
Location
Detroit, MI
City, State
Detroit, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 Ford Explorer XLT
I found that earlier. It's a huge thread, and the OP had a 2011. A lot of the comments were made by people that owned 13-up but referenced 2011 or earlier models. I think I only saw one reference to a 2013 Taurus with a failure but I didn't have time to go through the entire thread. Again, it almost seems like the majority of failures were pre-2012 models.
 






mcpcartier

Member
Joined
October 17, 2015
Messages
44
Reaction score
10
City, State
SoCal
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Ex Limited 4WD






613GT500

Explorer Addict
Joined
September 28, 2015
Messages
1,527
Reaction score
115
City, State
Ontario, Canada
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 XC90 T8 R-Design
MY2016 EX Sport owner here and I have had nearly all major components replaced (PTU, tranny and ETB).
Engine seems to be holding well, no leaks etc...
 






thefranchise713

Explorer Addict
Joined
April 22, 2016
Messages
1,246
Reaction score
165
City, State
Buffalo, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
'18 Toyota Prius Prime
For anyone interested: I had my PTU gear oil analyzed at Blackstone. Results are in. Unit had 50,200 miles on it at time of removal.

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 6.38.18 PM.png
 






metroplex

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 29, 2000
Messages
509
Reaction score
61
Location
Detroit, MI
City, State
Detroit, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 Ford Explorer XLT
Wow, that's very interesting. Low wear metals but the insolubles suggest the oil is getting subjected to a lot of heat cycling? I found this screen shot from a Ford demo on YouTube showing the temp delta for the PTU with and without the cooling. It doesn't seem like the coolant is adequate to reduce the temperatures... but I always wondered about switching to a Reische 170F t-stat on my Fusion Sport, which would send colder coolant into the PTU and trans (I know, different car, but the Explorer Sport gets coolant into the PTU). With the stock t-stat, the ECT is kept around 200-203F. With the 170F t-stat, it's usually around 180F-185F, so a delta of 20F from stock. That should be worth something right?

2018-02-26 (2).png
 






thefranchise713

Explorer Addict
Joined
April 22, 2016
Messages
1,246
Reaction score
165
City, State
Buffalo, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
'18 Toyota Prius Prime
I think mine is vented, but not cooled. I don't see a coolant flow on the 2.3L's PTU as shown in the 2017 service manual.
 












Odrapnew

Explorer Addict
Joined
December 27, 2013
Messages
1,155
Reaction score
173
City, State
MN
Year, Model & Trim Level
2014 Explorer Sport
My report said @ 60k miles, the fluid was more representative of a 30k mile fluid.
I must be too easy on it.
 






thefranchise713

Explorer Addict
Joined
April 22, 2016
Messages
1,246
Reaction score
165
City, State
Buffalo, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
'18 Toyota Prius Prime
An epilogue of sorts to this.

I went back and forth with Blackstone--they noted that the pre-2017 PTUs they've analyzed fluid from were often MUCH worse than my sample.

I asked for permission to share this, and they approved:

Yes indeed, most pre-2017 Ford PTU samples we saw looked really rough -- in the worst cases we'd fine metals as high as ~9,000 ppm. And we did some research and a few sources noted that even minimal overheating would cause a lot of problems.

It does appear that things got better in 2017, probably due to the design change. But pre-or-post 2017, get those PTU fluids changed!!!!!!!
 






metroplex

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 29, 2000
Messages
509
Reaction score
61
Location
Detroit, MI
City, State
Detroit, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 Ford Explorer XLT
Just wanted to see if there are any updates to this. Have any 2017-2019 Explorers w/ 3.5/3.7 engines experienced PTU failures?
 






FordSVTGuy

Member
Joined
June 22, 2020
Messages
25
Reaction score
7
City, State
New Hanover, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2017 Ford Explorer XLT
Just wanted to see if there are any updates to this. Have any 2017-2019 Explorers w/ 3.5/3.7 engines experienced PTU failures?
At 43,000 miles, my 2017 with 3.5 NA still going strong. I did a PTU fluid drain and refill last summer and the fluid was still amber colored. The plug had a lot of shavings though. I have the tow package which is why I think I have the extra air baffle that directs cool air onto the PTU housing. I’m guessing that helps quite a bit…
 






metroplex

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 29, 2000
Messages
509
Reaction score
61
Location
Detroit, MI
City, State
Detroit, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 Ford Explorer XLT
At 43,000 miles, my 2017 with 3.5 NA still going strong. I did a PTU fluid drain and refill last summer and the fluid was still amber colored. The plug had a lot of shavings though. I have the tow package which is why I think I have the extra air baffle that directs cool air onto the PTU housing. I’m guessing that helps quite a bit…

They've had that air duct for years. They also use engine coolant to cool the PTU on the Explorer Sport and Police Interceptors but those still failed.

Ford supposedly made a third engineering change to the PTU idler gears in June 2016, so they should have made it into the 2017s which is what made me curious if any 17-19 PTUs have experienced failures or really dark oil. It's good news that yours at 43k miles had fluid that looked amber. My 2014 SHO at 20k miles was pitch black.
 






jason46

Active Member
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
53
Reaction score
11
City, State
Traverse City
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 Explorer Sport
Just posted in another post, don't need an analyzer to tell me there is substantial metal in the fluid, although I'm a bit curious to have it analyzed.

102,000 miles in 2015 sport.
 






jason46

Active Member
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
53
Reaction score
11
City, State
Traverse City
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 Explorer Sport
I ordered an Blackstone kit for my ptu fluid
 






Top