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PTU Leak / Failures


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512 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   karpcbk

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 10:21 AM

Well I'm at the end of out 100,000 mile extended warranty and luckily the PTU started leaking again 900 miles short of expiration. The first replacement was at 33,000 miles. Dealer attempted replacing the seal and shaft but ended up replacing the entire unit due to internal damage. They also sent us back home with a broken boot on the lower ball joint. They had to replace that and the control arm; one piece construction. Leak appeared couple weeks ago. Dealer attempted to replace the seal (different dealer :shades: ). Upon pulling the PTU they found the housing cracked. Wonder if Ford will get this straightened out! We really love the car.







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#2 OFFLINE   akirby

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 10:51 AM

Well I'm at the end of out 100,000 mile extended warranty and luckily the PTU started leaking again 900 miles short of expiration. The first replacement was at 33,000 miles. Dealer attempted replacing the seal and shaft but ended up replacing the entire unit due to internal damage. They also sent us back home with a broken boot on the lower ball joint. They had to replace that and the control arm; one piece construction. Leak appeared couple weeks ago. Dealer attempted to replace the seal (different dealer :shades: ). Upon pulling the PTU they found the housing cracked. Wonder if Ford will get this straightened out! We really love the car.


Sounds like the both dealers F'ed up both repairs.

#3 OFFLINE   tarponbeach

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:50 AM

My 2011 Edge AWD is leaking as well. 30k miles. Taking it in to the dealer tomorrow. I'll report back on the diagnosis.

#4 OFFLINE   Ctrl-z

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:23 PM

My 2011 Edge AWD is leaking as well. 30k miles. Taking it in to the dealer tomorrow. I'll report back on the diagnosis.


My 2011 MKX was as well. Dealer recently replaced the PTU pinion seal. Leak developed after about 25K kilometers.

#5 OFFLINE   frozennuts

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:44 PM

Am I one of the lucky ones?

I have a 2008 Edge Limited AWD, which I have owned since new in Canada and had noticed the tell tail sign of the PTU problem from the bad stinkly drain like smell every now and then when I stopped but never any oil drops on the driveway, it was not very often so I chose to ignore it.

I have now moved to Finland and brought the Edge with me and the occasional stinky smell started to concern me and at 80,000km, I finally got it up on a ramp for an inspection and no signs of any leaks. Checked the oil level in the PTU and its still correct. Trans oil level is also correct and has never been topped up.

Is it possible that the smell is from a vent in the PTU?
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#6 OFFLINE   jp_2011edge

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 01:35 PM

9-5-12 I also have a 2011 Edge Limited AWD. Only 18,000 miles. Noticed a leak in my garage. Local oil change facility said it was transmission fluid. Took it to the dealer yesterday. Still haven't heard from them. Will post when They respond.

9-7-12 Dealer never called me. I finally followed up. I have two transmission fluid leaks! They won't have a hoist available til Monday to verify the exact cause.
Wow!

Edited by jp_2011edge, 07 September 2012 - 02:42 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   blankster

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:10 AM

Am I one of the lucky ones?

I have a 2008 Edge Limited AWD, which I have owned since new in Canada and had noticed the tell tail sign of the PTU problem from the bad stinkly drain like smell every now and then when I stopped but never any oil drops on the driveway, it was not very often so I chose to ignore it.

I have now moved to Finland and brought the Edge with me and the occasional stinky smell started to concern me and at 80,000km, I finally got it up on a ramp for an inspection and no signs of any leaks. Checked the oil level in the PTU and its still correct. Trans oil level is also correct and has never been topped up.

Is it possible that the smell is from a vent in the PTU?



my 2011 has an antifreeze smell on ocasion. maybe that is what you are smelling. Probably coming out of a breather somewhere.

#8 OFFLINE   DunePearlEdge

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:54 PM

Does anyone have a picture of what the leak looks like?

#9 OFFLINE   So-Cal Edge

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

I have just developed a leak on my wife's 2011 AWD. Noticed it on the driveway and when she came home, looked underneath. Could see a slow drip landing on the exhaust and it appears to be coming from the driver's side axle near the case. Called my local dealer and taking it in monday. Has 37,000 miles on it bought it in April w/ 34000. I will post back to let all of you know what the results are. Dune pearl, it will be a redish colored fluid and if you look under neath, just follow the axles to the transmission and if leaking, it should be visable.

Edited by So-Cal Edge, 11 November 2012 - 12:41 PM.

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#10 OFFLINE   AutoXRacer

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:05 PM

Hello,

Looking to see if anyone has experienced oil leaks in their Edge Sport...or any other Edge model for that matter.
My leak is coming from the passenger side by the front wheel.

I crawled under the truck and had the engine accelerated to 4,000 RPM and there are drops of oil coming out the (whatever it is) farthest pulley closest to the firewall. Oil is engine oil due to the clear yellowish color.

Steering is red
Transmission is red
Brake fluid is clear-yellowish-gold
Engine fluid is clear-yellowish-gold

As soon as the engine idles, the oil drip slows down to a slight seep.
I also figured its engine oil since the oil was a little low when I checked it.

Just looking to see if anyone has come across this condition.

Thanks.

#11 OFFLINE   tlim66

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:56 PM

mine just started to drip on my 2009 Sport... Have an appointment with Ford next week to have it looked at. How long does the repair/service take, a few hours/days.......

#12 OFFLINE   Steve Perez

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:30 AM

I have a 2007 AWD Edge and at 65k I noticed black grease drops on my driveway very small and not consistent. I am at 80k now with larger spots took to Transmission shop and they determined where the PTU connects to the Transmission the seal has failed therfore leaking grease from the PTU. It was up on the Rack so they pointed out the problem to me. Repair cost $1600 called the dealer they quoted me over $4K??? . It appears upon further research this is common in AWD Edge's and is a faulty design on Fords behalf Built Tough? I would rather say Built quick and Cheap as the 2007 was the first generation and Ford wanted to cash in on the Crossover SUV. I love the Car but geez I have had nothing but problems since I bought it :-(
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#13 OFFLINE   So-Cal Edge

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:32 PM

Ok. It took the dealer two times :banghead: to fix the leak but it appears they did. Seal kit #8T4Z 7275 DD was used. Tlim66 repair time for me was two days but I think the tranny guy was backed up.

Edited by So-Cal Edge, 25 November 2012 - 10:34 PM.


#14 OFFLINE   the_natrix

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:37 PM

Hi all

 

long time lurker here, owned a 07 ford edge awd since 2011.

 

I am a pretty stong audi mechanic, and I refuse to drive anything not AWD as my personal vehicles.

 

Anyways cut the crap and into the meat and potatoes of the issue.

 

There are 3 failure modes for leaking of the PTU.

First the Shaft seal will leak from the output shaft seals on the Passanger side of the vehicle. Ford pretty much has this covered as updated parts, and proceedures to replace the offending seals with newer design units and ensure a leak free setup. I'm not really going to go into it much since everyone and their brother has done so before.

 

Second, the compression seal between the PTU and Transmission can go. From what I do know this is a pretty rare event. The seal is held between the transmission and PTU pretty securely and no debris can really make their way there. If you EVER remove the PTU for whatever reason, replace that seal!

 

Last, and the one i want to focus some effort on is the VENT leak.

This is where the PTU will start vomiting up fluid from the PTU case vent.

I had this happening to me with reasonable frequency to cause concern. It normally only happens when I am driving over 60mph/100kph and leaves a nice immeadiate puke once parked or stopped but never leaves puddles in the driveway (mostly cause i slow down to well under 60mph long before I get home)

It causes the stinky smell when the gear oil drips onto the exhaust at stoplights.

 

Anyone looking at their PTU and seeing alot of black stains and fluid on it can clearly distinguish a VENT VOMIT from the fact there appears to be no leaks around the Pass Side Shaft seal. It make confuse you to think it is a compression seal, but it is not as the stains proceed up higher on the PTU. If you have a small mirror and flashlight you can confirm it by looking above and down onto the PTU.

 

Ford may say that the PTU is overfilled and causing this, however that is only true if it actually is overfilled. By design the transmission cannot leak ATF directly into the PTU so this is implausible, and I know most owners are not running around overfilling their PTU's just because..... sooo....

 

I bought a shot PTU on eBAY to disassemble and see WTF is going on.

I will post pictures but that will wait for tomorrow.

 

The problem is the vent case is setup with its own little oil/air separator. However the problem is this is defeated because of the gear oil selection ford has chosen. No big fault in them other than saying the PTU is filled for life. IMHO the PTU should be flushed after the first 15K with new fluid, and this means installing a drain plug in the PTU (easy and something I plan to do).

 

Anyways the gear oil gets a moly additive which is great! but the gear oil also seems to be of a quality not high enough to stand usage in the PTU for the real life of the vehicle (7-10 years in my opinion). What is worse, is if you actually do develop a low gear oil event due to a seal leak, and the PTU takes a beating from it, well now you have even more crap that the oil has to deal with and will definately plug up the case vent system.

 

What is going on is there is a large ring gear to finally drive the center shaft, this gear spins right beside the VENT. Now before all you jump on board and say this is a design problem it is not. There is nothing wrong with this and once i post pics you will understand. The problem is when the vent system does fail this ring gear will act as a pump and force lube up into the vent system for it to vomit forth all over the ptu and exhaust.

 

What is causing the vent system to fail then? debris. normal break in debris, metal filings naturally caused during the normal wear in process, along with the moly additive acting like glue, and lastly the lower quality gear oil used.

This turns the gear oil into a tar/grease that plugs up the designed in oil/gas separator in the vent for the PTU. With that oil gas separator gone and the ring gear now starting to pump oil right next to the vent is the reason it is being forced out the vent.

 

The solution is if you know your PTU is good 2 fold. Clear/clean the vent system, and replace with high quality gear oil.

 

1. you could just do successive fluid changes until all that grease is disolved away. Time consuming and maybe annoying too. but it would eventually work.

 

2. you could also install a drainplug and with the car in the air, pop the vent cap off and spray brake clean in there hoping it works. While your at it you will also be spraying any debris back into those lovely taper bearings:D so I do not recommend this.

 

3. You could do what I recommend. and disassemble the PTU. This is tedious but easy. Once it is off the car, it is mandatory that you knock off the deflector, but you do not need to remove the seals (although why you wouldnt replace them at this points baffles me).

 

I beleive it may even be possible to disassemble the PTU on the car, but you would still need to replace the Pass side shaft seal/deflectors.

There are a few 10mm bolts holding the casing half on, spin those off after you shatter off the deflector and the rest is simple physics of tapping and wiggling the case cover off it's alignment dowels.

 

Once you see the PTU you can remove the large ring gear and or all the gears and rinse it down. I normally use paint thinner or parts cleaner, but do not use water based stuff, you want to avoid rust. make sure you do not lose track of the bearings positions or any shims, if you do your in for a big annoying time. Clean all the gunk out and inspect the output gears to the center shaft. My eBay unit suffered galling on the hypoid gears due to lack of lubricant, no big surprize considering where I bought it, but I knew it was for disection purposes.

 

If yours has been quiet but has minor gear wear, we might as well just keep going. You could get a new unit if you have warrenty or feel like spending the money, but in the mean time your original unit was working despite the damage, why stop now?

 

anyways assembly is reverse of removal, do not forget to seal up the case half with Ultra Grey sealant or ford sealant. Same they use on all their drivetrain stuff. I prefer the ultra grey and have been using it on Audi's for years with no issues.

 

I hope to improve this post with photos from the donor/experimental unit and then again update them with photos of my own PTU job on my Edge over the christmas holidays.

I will also provide people with the correct location for a 1/2 NPT drainplug  on the PTU so they can make their own mods and improvements.

 

NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING should ever be  "Filled for life"  total bullshit.

Ford, Audi, Rolls Royce, does not matter. everything needs a fluid change interval.

 

YMMV


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#15 OFFLINE   WWWPerfA_ZN0W

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:53 PM

^ Interesting info.  Looking forward to your updates after disassembling the failed PTU.



#16 OFFLINE   the_natrix

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:06 PM

Here are the pictures, Sorry, for some reason photobucket doesnt want to work here correctly

 

http://s159.beta.pho...y/Ford Edge PTU

 

However, let me go over this breifly.

 

With the PTU on the bench, the deflector removed from the pass side and unbolt all the 10mm bolts, carefully and gently pry the case halves apart after tapping the casing free.

Be aware there are dowels holding the casing in alignment.

 

http://i159.photobuc...zps657541df.jpg

 

this is what you are left with, a nasty sludge filled mess.

 

 

Anyways, back to the gears and what we need to see

 

http://i159.photobuc...zpsd9e7afbc.jpg

 

As you can see the gear rotation patterns in normal driving will cause the back half of the hypoid ring gear to kick up oil and feed it to the vent / separator unit.

 

The faster you go the more oil is pumped there by the gears.

 

If the separator tube (basically a horizontal tube, capped on one end, with the vent on the top and the drain on the bottom) is plugged at the drain, and has alot of sludge, the sludge will form a ramp scooping the oil into the separator with nowhere to do since the drain is plugged. it must be pumped out of the vent.

 

http://i159.photobuc...zps24f9b30f.jpg

 

You can see that there is no visable light out of the tube's drain.

 

http://i159.photobuc...zpsaacff766.jpg

 

In this photo you can see the drain has been fingered clear.

 

http://i159.photobuc...zps9e722462.jpg

 

Thats the barfing issue. Its not the engineers fault, blame the accountants for the shitty lubricant, sludging and plugging the vent separator system.

 

Finally here is the drill location if you want to drill your PTU for a drain.

 

On the bottom of the PTU  you will find this location.

 

Next to the bottom disassembly tab, you will move back from the front of the PTU to one bolt location on the casing bolt pattern.

 

http://i159.photobuc...zpsa1d99c9f.jpg

 

you will clearly see this location and it is the SAFEST location to drill and tap for a plug. It will leave about 3/16" (3-4mm) of undrained oil, but you can just double flush to get it 100% gone.

 

This location will allow you to drill and hit NO gears however I recommend you do not let the drain plug extend into the casing more than 5mm. If you know how to properly drill and tap NPT then this is no problem. Use grease on the tap to eliminate chips, and a drill collar to prevent drilling deeper than necessary. Drill depth should not go beyond 3/4 inch into the casing but for the love of god, DRILL CAREFULLY!

 

feel free to browse the album for any more info. :)

however......

YMMV


Edited by the_natrix, 16 December 2012 - 05:06 PM.

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#17 OFFLINE   WWWPerfA_ZN0W

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:33 PM

Great photo history!  You mentioned using a high quality gear oil.  Since the Ford specified oil is unsatisfactory, what did you have in mind?

 

The NPT tap ... Would the engine oil drain plug fit in there safely?

 

Is there any way to flush the PTU without disassembling it?  For example, use the vent with some appropriate flexible tubing for the flush?

 

Looking forward to your experience with the "live" PTU :)



#18 OFFLINE   wlepse

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:25 AM

NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING should ever be  "Filled for life"  total bullshit.

Ford, Audi, Rolls Royce, does not matter. everything needs a fluid change interval.

 

I agree, but to be fair filled for life is accurate and valid. You are just looking to increase the service life that they have designed into the part. Everything does need a fluid change interval if you want it to last. But this is not always the goal of a manufacturer. Coming from several OEM's; I have had management complain that an improvement I made to the design cost them consumable business. While I don't think they intend on this being a consumable, they may be banking on this part starting to fail around the time someone might be thinking of a new vehicle. They get you in for service and offer you a nice trade and have you back in the fold. It seems I am part of the minority that keeps their vehicle for a long time...haven't had a car for less than 125k and one to 270k. But I am not the type of person the auto industry likes. They want those people coming back every 3-5 years.

 

Thats the barfing issue. Its not the engineers fault, blame the accountants for the shitty lubricant, sludging and plugging the vent separator system.

 First, I appreciate the effort you put into the teardown. But I think the statement above is flawed. While it could be that a cost based decision was made initially to use a lower quality oil; one would think the warranty costs incurred would be far more at this point. In the quantities Ford buys lubricants the cost differential wouldn't be much at all. So I suspect the lube may not be the biggest issue. I think the lack of scheduled maintenance or ability to easily do this is more of a problem. Which to be honest I am surprised they have not addressed. I do like the idea of being able to drain the PTU but would really like to see a fill port like I am sure you are used to on the Audi rear diffs. Not only does it make refilling easier it also limits your chances of over/under filling. Any chance there is room in there for a fluid level fill plug?



#19 OFFLINE   the_natrix

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:32 PM

there is a fill plug already included it is on the passanger side. 3/8 square head drive, standard american fill plug.

 

i agree with your statements but I can only see one reason why the fluid is turning into grease/tar in there based on the current design and that is due to lubricant quality AND ability to service said fluid.

 

I will have my edge in the garage next week so I hope I can get to the PTU. The first things are shocks/struts and wheel bearings. Then with that out of the way i plan on getting to the PTU last then an oil spray.

 

I have been keeping my PTU filled/topped up like a freak (one advantage of owning a hoist) so hopefully that will have paid off. but if not, cest la vie.



#20 OFFLINE   the_natrix

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:50 PM

good news!

 

the PTU is fine. very minor scuffing on the hypoid gears.

 

Im happy as a clam!

 

Pics will come

 

but to address the lubricant questions.

 

Considering the rear end is a hypoid set and is mandated a 85w140 there is a reason for this.

Hypoid sets are bevel gears with their drive axes offset.

This causes sliding against the gear teeth. This sliding action is by design but requires a good lubricant.

 

The hypoid set in the rear has less drive axes offset than the PTU. This means it is more efficient and produces less sliding on the gear teeth.

 

The hypoid set in the PTU  by contrast has a bigger offset than the rear end, this causes more sliding, less efficiency and requires a lubricant that has better shear stability and better pressure resistance.

 

Just on completely stupid logic alone, considering both are hypoids, they both see the same loads, they both see the same RPMS, they should both use the same gear oil.

 

I am refilling mine with 85w140 100% synthetic, and adding a bit of moly.

 

I plan to also provide mine with a YEARLY change interval for the gear oil since I am installing a drain plug.

 

Considering the amount of sludge my PTU had, and infact some lubricant paths were plugged with sludge (including the vent separator system), I recommend anyone with the capability do so to theirs at earliest convinience to install a drain plug and do the lubricant changes.

 

I beleive a fill of 75% gear oil and 25% ATF can effectively desludge most of the PTU in 3 changes - probably 6 months or a year of moderate driving.

 

However you also need to inspect the PTU to verify that it is fine. I found a very EASY way to do this.

 

I'll elaborate more tomorrow when I am done and I get all my pictures up :)

 

Cya soon.


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