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

Lexingtonian

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I Decided to tackle the PTU change on my 2016 XSport. My truck has 16,521 miles today. Got motivated around 9:30pm to do the job. Its now 2am as I type this. I went very slow and was deliberate about everything. Had several resets on the PTU vent hose routing. Tightening the hose clamp was a bit of a bear. Like an idiot I wasted 30 minutes and wicked hand cramps trying to tighten it with a straight blade screwdriver before I switched to a socket setup (DUH). I learned a few things and came up with a trick or two I hadn't seen yet. I'd like to thank this gent for putting up the YouTube Vid on how it looks in a '14 Police Interceptor.



A few things changed since the '14 and they are:

1. The Hex PTU Drain Plug is 1/4" (not 8mm or 3/8 drive) on 2016. This was HUGELY convenient for reasons you'll see in a bit.
2. The PTU Vent Hose has a different clip that you see in the Video Clip above for the '14. It pulls out easily. The hose looks shorter as well. It pulls off the PTU nipple very easy by the way.
3. The hose you should purchase is 5/16 i.d. Fuel Line (not the clear vinyl crap, get the good stuff) as pictured below. 2 feet is perfect, you'll end up trimming off approx 6 inches when complete.



A couple Photos of the OEM Piece next to the 5/16 fuel line.

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This is approximately what is poking out when properly routed (of 2ft 5/16id fuel line)


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To orient you here, on the bottom right of the photo is the top of the PTU and you can see the new PTU Vent hose (Fuel Line) hanging with the Hose Clamp. The top of the photo is the firewall shielding. I'm laying in a creeper nearly fully rolled under the truck (I'm 6' 2") looking up to get this view from behind the PTU. On top of the PTU you can see two aluminum coolant lines (think that's what they are) running parallel to one another. Behind that is where the nipple is. Taking the factory vent hose off, putting the new on one and tightening it down is a 100% blind operation. It can only be done from the ground working up. Don't even attempt it from the top on the explorer, there is no way to get to it. I tried. (trust me)



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I managed to get a photo of the nipple you'll be installing the fuel line on. (it was tricky)


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...Here's where about an hour of head scratching and thinkin' came to bear. I knew as soon as I pulled the plug the casted races on the PTU under the drain plug would fill and oil would find multiple pathways away to the ground. I really didn't want that. I filled the indented races with foam like you'd seal a window or door with and ensure it was in there pretty solid. You can see that pictured here.


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Then I used duct tape to build a dam and predictable drain race for the oil once the plug came out. Next few photos is me building it. One of the O2 Sensors in the Cat is RIGHT FREAKING UNDER the drain plug, the photos do a poor job of demonstrating just how close and just how dead-nuts center that darn O2 Sensor is. I knew if I dropped the plug it'd end up all.over.my.exhaust. I just freaking didn't want the mess. Without further adieu... My solution..
 
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Lexingtonian

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Solution worked beautifully! Here's a video for a little more perspective with the gear oil draining down the duct tape -





Here's what ended up in the bucket. I allowed the drain plug to fall down the duct tape chute and lie in the bottom of the fluid in the white bowl till it slowed way down. Took about 45 mins for the fluid to slow to a very slow drip. When I got ready to take the photo of the oil and the plug, I used a neo magnet to pull the plug up out of the oil so I could grab it. ...and lookee yonder... It has a little "hair" on it. There was quite a bit of metal in the fluid I show that in a couple of the fluid photos. You can see the sheen of the steel shavings. I was able run that powerful magnet under the bowl and see the steel change in reaction to the magnet. More metal than I'd like.

I also show the plug up close along with the color of the fluid as drained on the paper towel next to the black crap from the magnet. Fluid looks clean'ish while draining, but in the white bowl, looks a little darker -




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The rest of the post is at post #14 below.
 
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Lexingtonian

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(removed to keep things tidy)
 
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reserved50

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yea the link is much easier to follow. I would stick with your interval or increase it to 20-25K, fluid isn't too horrible yet. Every 2nd or 3rd oil change isn't a bad idea to be on the safe side. Should be lifetime but do to some design screw up the fluid turns into a metallic gel starting at around the 50K mark :thumbsup:
 
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Sgt1411

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Thanks for doing that write-up, that's outstanding.

The best part is the duct tape drain trough, custom designed and fabricated for the PTU oil drain.

Nice Work!
 
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613GT500

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Great write up, I was confused a bit, with the removal and replacement of the vent hose; but I think I will be able to tackle this as a DIY weekend prokect.
 
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Lexingtonian

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Great write up, I was confused a bit, with the removal and replacement of the vent hose; but I think I will be able to tackle this as a DIY weekend prokect.

Happy to answer questions on that. What confused you? (So I may improve the post) Did you watch the first video from the the guy that did the '14 Interceptor? That shows the reason for the vent hose. It's being replaced to create a convenient fill tube. In my XSport you'd have to take the exhaust down to get at the recommended fill point. That point has a sensor that is behind a metal shroud. It's easier to fill down through the vent. That's the only reason for the vent hose upgrade.
 
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613GT500

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Happy to answer questions on that. What confused you? (So I may improve the post) Did you watch the first video from the the guy that did the '14 Interceptor? That shows the reason for the vent hose. It's being replaced to create a convenient fill tube. In my XSport you'd have to take the exhaust down to get at the recommended fill point. That point has a sensor that is behind a metal shroud. It's easier to fill down through the vent. That's the only reason for the vent hose upgrade.

My confusion, is where the other end of the vent hose connects to?
Is the nipple end visible, while laying under the EX and looking up?
 
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Lexingtonian

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Finally figured out the images thing.. Now I have to split the post into more posts. This "no more than 10 images per post" thing is utterly ridiculous. Can we get this changed PeterK9? Trying to help the community here and the forum makes it take much more time than it should. My time is money here too - Thanks!
 
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Lexingtonian

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My confusion, is where the other end of the vent hose connects to?
Is the nipple end visible, while laying under the EX and looking up?

It is not visible, you have to reach up beyond the parallel coolant lines to feel it and find it. You can see the original vent (although I didn't get a photo of it) and follow it down to the nipple. Completely blind. I suppose someone could get a mirror up in there and see it just fine, but I was comfortable with the blind op. Let me edit the photo to show approx where. Gimme 5 mins and take a look at the nipple photo and the one before it.
 
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Lexingtonian

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Thanks for doing that write-up, that's outstanding.

The best part is the duct tape drain trough, custom designed and fabricated for the PTU oil drain.

Nice Work!

Yeah, thanks! I must admit I was pretty proud of it. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most elegant. I really racked my brain on how to drain without making a "melluva hess." It's pretty tight working in there for sure! The nice thing about the duct tape is it's malleable so it'll move with you a bit as you're loosening the plug. Not knowing how far out I needed to back out the plug I put the tape up early in the process. Next time I'll back out the plug about half way then do the tape. With the amount of metal that was in the oil/fluid, I'm definitely going to do a drain/flush/fill once more soon. Most likely this coming weekend. Want to give the magnet time to catch a few more things and try to get the metal out.
 
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peterk9

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Finally figured out the images thing.. Now I have to split the post into more posts. This "no more than 10 images per post" thing is utterly ridiculous. Can we get this changed PeterK9? Trying to help the community here and the forum makes it take much more time than it should. My time is money here too - Thanks!
I don't know why that restriction is there. Any changes, if possible, would have to be made by the Rick, the site admin. I believe even Elite members are bound by that restriction. One thing to keep in mind is that only pictures, videos, etc. posted using the "Upload a File" button (requires Elite membership) are saved to the Forum's servers. All others could and have disappeared over time.
When attempting to assist members with directions to existing posts I have found many posts where the pictures are no longer available. In some cases I have asked the OP to see if they could repost them.

Peter
 
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Lexingtonian

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I don't know why that restriction is there. Any changes, if possible, would have to be made by the Rick, the site admin. I believe even Elite members are bound by that restriction. One thing to keep in mind is that only pictures, videos, etc. posted using the "Upload a File" button (requires Elite membership) are saved to the Forum's servers. All others could and have disappeared over time.
When attempting to assist members with directions to existing posts I have found many posts where the pictures are no longer available. In some cases I have asked the OP to see if they could repost them.

Peter

I deeply appreciate the reply. At least I know about little more about it. I wont delete the photo bucket photos ever, but my guess is at some point Photobucket would cease to exist. I'd much rather house them on the server. I understand the need to for paid membership to do so -

Thanks Peter!
 
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Lexingtonian

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Picking up where we left-off above..




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Notice the sheen in the oil, that's steel folks and you want that crap out of your PTU -




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Lexingtonian

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Now for a neat trick, since the drain plug is 1/4".. You can use any of your fancy drill accessories with a 1/4" socket to help give you possibilities on how to attack the drain plug. I began removing the plug using two different lengths 1/4" hex keys. That crap got old quick. Then I got my kung-fu together.. (that, along with a stubby socket wrench..)



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In the end, heres the tools I used to remove/reinstall the PTU Drain Plug.(all 1/4")



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Draining the oil into an old Mobile1 Bottle so I could measure what I caught. You can see where the drain plug was -


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I ended up catching about 12 ounces. I put ~3 ounces in the Blackstone Labs bottle and saw around 8ish ounces in the Mobile 1 Bottle. I ordered both tests from Blackstone on the PTU Oil. Looking forward to seeing how it comes out. I refilled about 15 ounces just to ensure it wasn't under-filled.




When refilling from the top, it takes a while! about an hour or so. The oil drains slowly down the tube, gets hydrolocked then bubbles then drains some more. I recommend having a bit of space in funnel as there are times when it gurgles quite bit and pushes some of the fluid back up as it occurs. Here's one of the bubbles... and finally the 5/8 i.d. fuel line with the ford vent inserted in it.



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It was kind of a pain, but now that I know how to do it I could probably do the work in about an hour. Cheers gents, hope this helps someone - my plan is to drive it a week or so and drain/refill again. Might wait till I get the Blackstone Report and do a flush with the drain plug out.

Lex -
 
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mwittman77

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As a new XSport owner, may I ask what motivated you to change the PTU oil at only 16K miles? Is this a known issue? Just curious. BTW, nice write up! Thanks for sharing.
 
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Machine090767

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I hope the OP isn't that guy who still thinks oil changes need to be at 3,000 miles....
 
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613GT500

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I hope the OP isn't that guy who still thinks oil changes need to be at 3,000 miles....

If you only knew.
Lifetime gear oil for the PTU is misleading and false.
Did you not see the metal sheers he drained out of the PTU?
 
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Lexingtonian

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As a new XSport owner, may I ask what motivated you to change the PTU oil at only 16K miles? Is this a known issue? Just curious. BTW, nice write up! Thanks for sharing.

Yes the PTU oil is an issue. A huge one. A glaring one. Just look at the metal sheen in the oil I dropped at only 16,000 miles. Ford says this oil is a lifetime fluid and does not need maintenance, but at 16,000 miles my drain plug magnet is saturated with metal along with the oil. Ford says "Lifetime" which begs the question, how long is a lifetime? Much speculation that lifetime means 36,001 miles. It is well documented that folks at 30,000 miles plus have drained only to get black sludge. One gent had his oil analysis come back and say his oil was on the verge of becoming abrasive. Do some searches on "Ford PTU Oil Analysis" or "Ford PTU Failure" and you'll come up with a myriad of articles. It becomes clear that Ford is taking a poor position on this and why those of us in the know should do the maintenance Ford isn't.

Lastly, I'm just happy Ford gave us the option to drain it. Could you image if the PTU was designed without a drain plug at all?
 
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Lexingtonian

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I hope the OP isn't that guy who still thinks oil changes need to be at 3,000 miles....

There's always one in the room huh.. Suppose that'd be you today. Congrats... Did you even read the post? See the metal in the oil? See the saturated metal shavings on the drain plug? Or see where I packaged the oil for Blackstone Labs to analyze?

...and yes. I'm aware of what an oil change interval is, and what a proper suggested and tested oil life interval is for dino oil, synthetic blends, full synthetics and PAO Class IV Synthetic oils. But you weren't really curious were you?
 
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