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

Fly Fish Idaho

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Well, made a mess of things. Got the new line in up top but couldn’t get the drain plug off. Used a 1/4” Allen but ended up stripping the drain plug. There isn’t a lot of room to tap it so I’m thinking i’m screwed. Any suggestions?

Hey Volksjager,
I hit the identical situation last month but finally made it over the hump. For TLDR -- weld a nut to the plug...

After rounding out the drain plug internal allen, I attempted another run at it with vice grips. This led nowhere quick and I recommend against even trying. Two more weeks went by as I pondered next steps. I decided I would drop the cat to create more room to work. Explorer had 66,000 mile on it at the time and the PTU had never been drained, so I was reluctant to try this originally fearing the cat would be very difficult to remove. Turned out to be pretty easy to remove the cat.
In preparation, I had bought a replacement drain plug, the 2 gaskets for the cat, 3 replacement bolts for the cat (recommended to be replaced according to Hayes manual). One cat stud ended up backing out so I needed to also get a replacement stud. With cat removed and room to work, a friend welded a nut to the drain plug. This took several attempts until the weld held and the drain plug backed out. It took significant torque to remove the plug, so my opinion is the red on the drain plug threads is red locktite. I felt less bothered for rounding out the allen recess in the original drain plug. The Ford replacement drain plug also had red on the the threads, which I removed with a wire brush. I used Permatex High Temp Thread Sealer on the drain plug, instead. I drained 12 oz of oil, which was easy to collect as the cat was out of the way. I put 16 oz back in via modified vent hose and plan on changing in a month and then making it a 30,000 interval maintenance item. Hope this helps, best of luck!

Only suggestion for others reading would be try heating the drain plug if it seems stubborn when attempting the first drain. If it remained stubborn, I would err on the side of additional heat over additional force to break the hold on the red sealant to prevent ruining the allen recess.
 



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Volksjager

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Hey Volksjager,
I hit the identical situation last month but finally made it over the hump. For TLDR -- weld a nut to the plug...

After rounding out the drain plug internal allen, I attempted another run at it with vice grips. This led nowhere quick and I recommend against even trying. Two more weeks went by as I pondered next steps. I decided I would drop the cat to create more room to work. Explorer had 66,000 mile on it at the time and the PTU had never been drained, so I was reluctant to try this originally fearing the cat would be very difficult to remove. Turned out to be pretty easy to remove the cat.
In preparation, I had bought a replacement drain plug, the 2 gaskets for the cat, 3 replacement bolts for the cat (recommended to be replaced according to Hayes manual). One cat stud ended up backing out so I needed to also get a replacement stud. With cat removed and room to work, a friend welded a nut to the drain plug. This took several attempts until the weld held and the drain plug backed out. It took significant torque to remove the plug, so my opinion is the red on the drain plug threads is red locktite. I felt less bothered for rounding out the allen recess in the original drain plug. The Ford replacement drain plug also had red on the the threads, which I removed with a wire brush. I used Permatex High Temp Thread Sealer on the drain plug, instead. I drained 12 oz of oil, which was easy to collect as the cat was out of the way. I put 16 oz back in via modified vent hose and plan on changing in a month and then making it a 30,000 interval maintenance item. Hope this helps, best of luck!

Only suggestion for others reading would be try heating the drain plug if it seems stubborn when attempting the first drain. If it remained stubborn, I would err on the side of additional heat over additional force to break the hold on the red sealant to prevent ruining the allen recess.
Thanks man!
 






realscot2

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2018 xlt 4x4
Brought my 18 XLT in to the dealer in early June 2020 with 33,400 miles. Told the service advisor that I want the PTU lube changed. He said I was the first person to ever ask him and didn't know why because they are lifetime lubed. I asked him if he had knowledge of ALL the DOCUMENTED failures and he said he wasn't aware.

Before bringing it in I spent 4 hours under the vehicle trying to snake a 5/16 dia flexible clear tube past the gears to reach the bottom without success.
My XLT is not water cooled and does not have a drain plug. I switched the hose to 1/4" dia and didn't have any success. I saw videos of guys doing this using a small transfer pump, which I have. I was able to get "maybe" 4" of lube up into the clear tubing, that was it. I doubted I would be able to get enough of it to make a difference so;

I told him I wanted it done regardless and he said he didn't have a code for that service so he didn't know what it would cost. He came back 15 minutes later after talking to the service manager and said it would be $217. I imagine having the vehicle up on a lift so you are comfortable and have better access, this transfer pump method is probably what the dealer used.

BTW...the small amount of lube I saw in the tube was a light gray in golor at 33,400. I have since purchased a new OEM water cooled PTU with drain plug that is waiting patiently for the day this one fails.

The only OTHER issue is that Damn internal water pump, with documented failures starting around 60,000. I guess I'll be checking my oil levels religiously once a month to catch that before engine failure......What sucks, and I know most of you will agree, other than these two issues, I love the explorer and haven't had an issue
 






peterk9

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..........................................
I have since purchased a new OEM water cooled PTU with drain plug that is waiting patiently for the day this one fails..........................................
You know of course that now that you have the 'spare', the OEM one won't fail. I had a '64 Caddy that kept cracking the distributor cap so I bought a spare cap. I still have it. :)

Peter
 

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Volksjager

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Brought my 18 XLT in to the dealer in early June 2020 with 33,400 miles. Told the service advisor that I want the PTU lube changed. He said I was the first person to ever ask him and didn't know why because they are lifetime lubed. I asked him if he had knowledge of ALL the DOCUMENTED failures and he said he wasn't aware.

Before bringing it in I spent 4 hours under the vehicle trying to snake a 5/16 dia flexible clear tube past the gears to reach the bottom without success.
My XLT is not water cooled and does not have a drain plug. I switched the hose to 1/4" dia and didn't have any success. I saw videos of guys doing this using a small transfer pump, which I have. I was able to get "maybe" 4" of lube up into the clear tubing, that was it. I doubted I would be able to get enough of it to make a difference so;

I told him I wanted it done regardless and he said he didn't have a code for that service so he didn't know what it would cost. He came back 15 minutes later after talking to the service manager and said it would be $217. I imagine having the vehicle up on a lift so you are comfortable and have better access, this transfer pump method is probably what the dealer used.

BTW...the small amount of lube I saw in the tube was a light gray in golor at 33,400. I have since purchased a new OEM water cooled PTU with drain plug that is waiting patiently for the day this one fails.

The only OTHER issue is that Damn internal water pump, with documented failures starting around 60,000. I guess I'll be checking my oil levels religiously once a month to catch that before engine failure......What sucks, and I know most of you will agree, other than these two issues, I love the explorer and haven't had an issue
My water pump didn’t go out till 15k total hours and 115k miles
 






texsn95

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'17 Sport
I just did my PTU fluid at 69k, since I'm about to drive from Houston to Denver in March I figured it'd be a good time. I had a 5/16 hose barb and bought some fuel line hose and was going to do the hose splice method, since I don't see how any hands could fit around the PTU and reach the top.
When trying to remove the existing vent cap, it broke, and the barb was left in the hose. It took me a few hours and with some creative tools, I was able to cut that part off. There's not much room to work. So great, now I shortened the existing hose by an inch. As I could barely hold the tube steady, my barb wouldn't insert, so I had to grind the ridges off one end, essentially creating a straight tube. With some grease on the fitting, I finally got that ******* inserted and my wrist was all scratched up trying to get down to hold it steady. Here's my new vent, it fits perfectly onto the new hose

It took about 3 hours for the fluid to slowly make its way down, I put in 18oz of Lucas oil and set the bottle in a pot of hot water to heat it up.

Here's what I got out, I'd say there's less than 12oz there. The drain plug loosened after a few bangs with my hand on the allen, and I can tell it had never been removed. The plug had a little ball of material on the magnet, I'd say 2x BB sized, so not too bad.
One thing I noticed, every so often I'd get a slight hesitation if I took off really slowly, say backing out of the driveway, then to D, it'd buck a little bit then smooth out. That seems to be gone. Maybe it was the extra friction in the gears due to low fluid. I'll see if it's really gone this weekend.

ptu.jpg
 






MattMPA

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I realize I a m late to this party, but a couple of tips I have found to make this job easier. I have a 2018 SHO and '16 Police Utility.

When draining oil, PTU fluid, etc...I used aluminum foil to make a "ramp" that directs the fluid into the pan. Foil holds shape, is cheap...and disposable.

The SHO PTU doesn't have a drain plug...so it's drained with a brake bleeder and refilled with a bottle top pump. I wrap the foil around the exhaust to protect it from drips of lube.

On the Interceptor, I did a similar thing with foil and drained into a paint mixing cup. Then, filled with the same a mount drained via a small funnel through the extended vent. When making the extension....I found it easiest to remove the vent from the vehicle...then slice the hose where the vent is attached. It's easier to get off of the hose that way.
 






peterk9

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texsn95

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When I click on that link I get;

TOOOPFU 12mm Air Filter Cold Air Intake Filter Breather Turbo Vent Air Intake Filter Cleaner Black Universal compatible with car and Motorcycle​


Peter
Yup it's just a small breather.
 






PlatinumOwner

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Just changed the fluid on my new PTU, the latest part for Sport/Platinum/EcoBoost PIU models DG1Z-7251-F. This is what it looks like after only 16,000mi!

5-CFBD59-C-F145-4-DE7-961-B-8124-B450-CC45.jpg

1-F72-F221-268-B-43-E3-ACF7-9672-DD526-E13.jpg
 






PlatinumOwner

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FYI, I used the vent tube method described in this video and got about 15oz of fluid out. Replaced with AMSOIL Severe Gear.

 






texsn95

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How much did you get out on your initial drain? I was stunned that I had at most 12oz in the pan, it looked like 10 or so really.
 






PlatinumOwner

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How much did you get out on your initial drain? I was stunned that I had at most 12oz in the pan, it looked like 10 or so really.
about 15oz, but it took a long time to get to this amount.. maybe two hours or so?
 






texsn95

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about 15oz, but it took a long time to get to this amount.. maybe two hours or so?
Gotcha. I didn't wait that long, maybe 45min or so, so I'm sure a bit more could have come out, but it still would have been really low. So far there's hasn't been any fluid puking out of my breather cap so that's a plus. I'm about to take a 3k mile road trip in March so I feel more confident in it.
 






Shortys7777

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I'm about to do this on my 2016 3.5. Crawled under and have the 3/8 plug. Hoping to suck out what I can and pump in what I can. 86k. Wish I knew about these when I bought the car. Hoping for the best.
 






Lexingtonian

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I'm about to do this on my 2016 3.5. Crawled under and have the 3/8 plug. Hoping to suck out what I can and pump in what I can. 86k. Wish I knew about these when I bought the car. Hoping for the best.
Very hard to suck it out unless it’s hot. It’s super sticky and viscous. You’ll do great. I also have a 2016 3.5 Ecoboost. Never heard of a 3/8 plug on the AWD PTU from that year. Hoping you have the right plug.
 






MattMPA

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Very hard to suck it out unless it’s hot. It’s super sticky and viscous. You’ll do great. I also have a 2016 3.5 Ecoboost. Never heard of a 3/8 plug on the AWD PTU from that year. Hoping you have the right plug.
I hace a 2018 Sho that has the plug up top....but no drain hole. I pump the PTU fluid out with a vacuum powered brake bleeder. We tried with a Mityvac hand pump....but that didn't work...
 






MarioMatos

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This is a very good article about PTU change list
 






skepticon

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Swapped out the vent hose and changed my PTU fluid this past week. What an ungodly pain in the ass it was getting that drain plug off and back on with a 1/4" ratchet. Next time around, I'll be much better prepared. Got myself a battery ratchet with a ratchet wrench extender. I'm almost looking forward to the next PTU fluid change now :cool:

Does anyone have a part number for that drain plug? I'd like to have a spare on-hand just in case I ever need it, and I've had no luck finding it with Google.
Thanks.

20220306_220540.jpg
 



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PlatinumOwner

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Swapped out the vent hose and changed my PTU fluid this past week. What an ungodly pain in the ass it was getting that drain plug off and back on with a 1/4" ratchet. Next time around, I'll be much better prepared. Got myself a battery ratchet with a ratchet wrench extender. I'm almost looking forward to the next PTU fluid change now :cool:

Does anyone have a part number for that drain plug? I'd like to have a spare on-hand just in case I ever need it, and I've had no luck finding it with Google.
Thanks.

View attachment 427084
The drain plug is DG1Z-7H398-A. Thread sealant should always be used if you are not replacing the drain plug with a new one with the red thread sealant.
 






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