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Brian K

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About Brian K

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  1. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    Those 'sources' must be a national security secret lol. Maybe Wikileaks eventually.
  2. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    Most manufacturers recommend changing all fluids at prescribed intervals - including brakes, transmissions, rear diffs (RDU), and transfer cases (PTU's). And in my manual and at the dealership they do reference regular maintenance fluid changes of all sorts. Even the local dealership shop foreman agreed that changing the PTU fluid was a good idea and he wondered why Ford did recommend it. But you're right about a few things - there are things that don't show up in the manual for fluid changes like the A/C lines, ball joints. U-joints and muffler bearings. Apparently you agree with this 'hands off' approach and that may work for you - but it doesn't for me. But if you look at aftermarket control arms etc, they usually come with greasable bushing for longevity. How do I know that the new PTU's are or aren't better than the old ones - by reading the forums and hearing of others frustrating experiences. Of course the really new ones are not mentioned because if they fail, they would be covered by warranty and I doubt if there are any public stats on that. I went into a local Ford dealership parts department and asked to see a PTU so I could have a look at the vent to see if I could remove it easily which it was in the vehicle. He looked one up and said they are a pretty standard part number across multiple platforms and said "oh we have 3 of them in stock - I guess we go through lots of them that's why we have so many". From that I surmised they are a high failure item. Could you please possible explain what the 'good authority' you have it on, that makes you so certain that the PTU fails based on a one time heating event?
  3. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    Re broken spark plugs - yes - they did change the head design in late 2007 so they didn't have to use the 2 piece plugs. Others (Champion) came up with a 1 piece plug design to overcome the problem of the 2 piece plugs breaking - but Ford continues to push the 2 piece plug (in 05-07 V8's) with some anti-sieze on the snorkel that is prone to getting stuck. But the problem still exists for those that follow the recommended spark plug change interval and with warranty over at 60K the dealers just laugh at you when you come in and they tell you the cost could be $1000 if they change the plugs and they all break. No ownership of a crappy design. I really do understand that things break and eventually wear out and that is what warranty is for and my cost afterwards, but when a crappy design WILL result in a known problem, I have a problem with that. How would you feel if you took your vehicle in for it's 100,000 mile tune up and get told it isn't $300 but $1300 because the plugs broke off in the head which is a known issue design issue with your vehicle. Too bad you didn't bring it in sooner. hahahahaha - somehow the plugs breaking off is your fault because you drove it! Good thing there are forums to educate owners of potential problems. Aluminum Hood corrosion is still an ongoing problem with no remedy other than to buy an aftermarket fiberglass hood - or never get the hood wet in a rain or live in a humid climate. Because it is not perforated within the warranty period, they don't do anything. Yup that is what the warranty states, but lousy manufacturing methods (steel impregnated in the hood lip) causes this blistery galvanic corrosion with nothing done but sand and repaint perhaps which does nothing to remedy the problem or keep it from re-occurring. A great design! Fortunately Safety issues as a result of design issues result in mandated recalls. Waldo - you're right I don't know what they fix before it goes into production. But I see and read about the things they decide not to fix or remedy and for the life of me I can't understand why they wouldn't install a drain and recommend oil changes in the PTU when all other parts that require oil do have change/maintenance intervals and they refuse to change the oil without removing the PTU. Perhaps you can explain why in 8 years, they haven't improved the design of this PTU to make it last longer. Off topic but - I get laughed at by the Service Advisor when I asked about the cost to change spark plugs in my Mustang, nor did I receive a notice or recommendation at a service appointment that it would be a good idea to have a TSB performed on the plugs before they get so stuck in the heads that they break. In fact I had to tell the Service Advisor twice that Mustang had the 2 piece plug design. They did install PTU coolers on heavy use vehicles but people also seem to have issues with those too. Band-aid solutions rather than actual fixes - IMO.
  4. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    I also wonder what "good authority" is. Waldo could be 100% right but with all the gunky greasy sh!t I saw in a used, failed PTU, I don't think this was caused by a 1 time event but that is just my opinion from observation. I remember working with electric motors and transformers - the common saying was that for every 10 degree rise in temperature, the service life was halved. So temperature soaking was a time event - not a one time event. But then burn the toast once and it is burnt - validating Waldo's assertion. So who knows for sure except your hairdresser lol. As far as fixing problems, Ford's (and any other manufacturer's) only concerns are warranty repairs. Once warranty is over, they could give a rats a$$ about longevity. Same thing with the broken spark plug issue on 05-07 V8's and aluminum hoods on Mustangs etc. Cars are designed to be throw away after 5-8 years in spite of them telling everyone how 'Ford Tough' things are - and remember the better idea light bulb?
  5. Brian K

    PTU Leak / Failures

    When you change the oil in anything else, you drain and refill. No need to disassemble - but of course that would be ideal if you did - but not really worth the cost - IMO.
  6. Brian K

    PTU Leak / Failures

    If you can't find any place willing to add suck out oil and add or even just add to it, then do it yourself. All you really need are some ramps so you can slither under the vehicle with a 3/8" ratchett, a bottle of 75W140 oil, an oil pump that screws onto that bottle and get about 3 feet of plastic hose that slides onto the pump discharge. For the cost of these parts, if you don't have them, you will be paying still less than paying a place to do it for you. Find the PTU which is pretty easy, remove the fill plug on the passenger side of the PTU with the 3/8" ratchet (it is a square drive 1/2" plug with a square indent for the 3/8" drive), route the plastic hose into the hole and pump until it starts to overflow. Put the fill plug back in. Done. Not so hard was it. For shits and giggles, measure how much was in the bottle before and after - so you get some idea of how much you added to the PTU - but you will waste a bit because it will overflow out the drain hole a bit - but you'll have some sort of idea of how much you needed to add. To make it easier, do it before the exhaust is hot so you don't burn your arms. Driving the vehicle up onto the ramps won't heat up the exhaust that much if the vehicle was cold to begin with. My oil was horribly thick, pasty and black so the change was well worth it. As far as changing the Rear Diff Unit (RDU), I changed mine when I did the PTU. The oil in the RDU was pristine - clean and golden - so I will probably never change it again. It was like new - not like the PTU which I think gets cooked by the exhaust that goes right under it - but of course that is only a guess.
  7. Brian K

    PTU Leak / Failures

    As suggested take it to a small oil change place and tell them that there is a fill plug like those in a Diff on the passenger side of the PTU. Ask them to suck out the old oil (like they do to differentials) and pump in new 75W140 oil. Fill it until it comes out the fill hole. If they can't get much out because of gear interference, then at least top it up because it will be low because it cooks to a grease. As you might have seen in many previous posts, I drilled a drain hole and did about 10 drain and fills. The oil gets cooked and greasy and stops lubricating. The greasy paste also gets thrown up to the top area where there is a vent. After a while this area gets plugged and can't relieve the system pressure due to heat build up and then the greasy goo gets pushed out the vent and then it drips down until you can see it on the driveway - all this of course is only my opinion after looking at a used PTU internally which had LOTS of greasy paste stuck all around the inside - with only 120ml of oil instead of the required 530 ml. . As with anything - changing the oil can only help. Good luck.
  8. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    If you strapped yourself under the Escape and went for a drive and took a video - you'd be eligible for a Darwin Award! LOL It sure would be interesting to know exactly why these PTU's are failing other than speculating over and over. Even in Canada where it is generally colder (and maybe less of a heat issue for 6 months of the year anyway) the tranny shops and Ford say lots of them fail. Mine has 80K miles and the oil was pretty think and gooey. I changed the oil multiple times (I put in a drain) this summer and the oil is still nice and is staying much thinner than it was - but still pretty black. Not sure I buy into 'the overheat once and it cooks the oil' theory and am more inclined to see it as multiple heat soaks but again - just guessing on my part. A temperature probe would be a nice mod.
  9. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    No evidence that maintenance prevents failures????? One failure story does not make a pattern and certainly should not persuade people not to do regular oil changes on their PTU if they have the know how. There always will be few that fail prematurely regardless of maintenance intervals. After installing a drain plug and draining and filling mine about 10 times, my vehicle does feel smoother and the oil is getting cleaner - but is still pretty dirty. I also added more tin to the heat shield that is there to hopefully prevent as much heat soaking of the PTU from the Cat. I just used a piece of tin siding and screwed it to the little OEM shield. It is a bit of a battle to get out, but once I learned what to do, it is much easier now. You have to admit - new clean oil in the PTU can only help prolong it's life and not adding/topping up/changing will most certainly reduce it. That is just common sense.
  10. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    I was looking through the owners manual and noticed that it said the PTU took 12 oz. (0.35 liters). Then I looked in the Ford Factory Service manual and it said 18 oz. (0.53 liters). I wondered if the liter conversion and numbers of .35 L and .53 L could have been a typo and the 12 and 18 oz. could have been a conversion from liters - so I took both manuals to the Ford service department at the local dealership and asked the service manager which was correct. He asked a mechanic who said the Factory service manual would be more accurate and that more oil is better. I told them I had installed a drain so I could change the PTU oil and they said that was a great idea and kind of rolled their eyes when they talked about Ford's lack of a drain and no recommendation on servicing it and that they change lots of PTU's.
  11. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    Time to top it up. There is only 0.53 liters (a little over a cup) if it actually was full to begin with. It is easy to do. Just get some 75W140 fluid and a little hand pump that screws into the oil bottle with some plastic hose and refill it via the 1/2" fill plug on the passenger side. A 3/8" drive ratchet removes the plug. Could be when you fill with new fluid it will run a bit cooler and not leak - maybe. Worth a try so you don't have to buy a new PTU. PTU seals are changeable too but if you're not seeing any fluid on the ground or smelling it burning on the exhaust then not much is leaking.
  12. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    ++1 John and Akirby. As far as changing the design as the years go on, isn't that one reason why you should generally not buy the first of a new model year - so you give them a chance to get the bugs out. However Ford doesn't seem to want to do that even after 10+ years with this problem - I guess as you pointed out that means liability. Still though - Rear Diff's can get the fluid changed by sucking them out with a vacuum and re-filling. Why not do/say the same for the PTU and put that in the owners manual. Then the onus shifts completely to the owner to maintain it. Seems like a "no brainer" to me. I guess the 'Design of the Vehicle' project gets closed so no new changes or charges can be accepted and of course Manufacturing doesn't want to accept re-design costs either so nothing is done. A friend once said "Companies are built by Engineers and Technical people, then run (into the ground) by Accountants, then shut down by Lawyers". I see some truth in that life cycle everywhere I look. Of course then there are the bonuses that people get paid to keep costs down and profits up - in the short term anyway. I also added a heat shield extension to the one that is there - about 3" x 5" above the exhaust pipe. Hopefully that helps. I wonder if anyone has correlated PTU failures to location. The hotter the climate - the more failures? I'm in Canada with much colder winters than in the southern US. Cold weather keeps the bugs down lol. Maybe it also keeps the PTU bug from biting as much too.
  13. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    No not really. I understand parts breaking after the warranty period is over - wear, abuse or whatever and if it is not serviced as recommended, then the onus is on the owner to repair obviously. But when there is a known design issue that they refuse to acknowledge and correct, that is what is annoying. The PTU is very good example. They continue to use the same design of this device and refuse to service it (easily and inexpensively) when a simple drain and service interval would correct the 'flaw' as well as an improved heat shield to minimize the cooking of the oil. Yes it does last for most beyond warranty, but simply maintenance would make it last far longer (IMO) but of course that is not in Ford's and their dealers economic interest. Recently I changed the RDU oil and PTU oil. Similar designs - the RDU oil looked pristine after 90,000 miles (probably because of no heat source nearby) and the PTU was horrible. Which do you think needs a design mod?
  14. Brian K

    PTU discontinued by Ford

    Ford doesn't seem to stand behind their design screw-ups nor do they admit there is a problem. My 07 Mustang has an issue with 2 piece spark plugs that break off in the head and they actually came up with a Broken Spark Plug Removal Tool to extract the broken parts. This problem is the same in 05,06,07 Triton 4.6 and 5.4 liter engines. Then they changed the design. A dealer quoted me up to $1000 to replace the plugs if they all broke and laughed. Thanks to forums I did it myself, took it really easy, and none broke. Fortunately Champion makes a 1 piece plug that doesn't break off. Then there is the aluminum hood corrosion issue which was due to steel filings or some contamination in an aluminum fold on the front lip of the hood which eventually causes galvanic corrosion - and of course because it is not perforation but kind of a surface cancer, they don't cover it under warranty. I think there is a problem brewing for all those "military grade aluminum F-150' owners. It seems they go out of their way to pi$$ off their customers. Seems 'Built Ford Tough' has gone by the wayside and the light bulb has burned out. Just my 2 cents...
  15. Brian K

    PTU Leak / Failures

    How do you measure or check the pattern with gear marking compound? Everything is very black and sludgy inside so cleaning it out will be a royal PITA - more than a few flushes with new gear oil or tranny oil could ever possible accomplish. Perhaps brake clean will do a good job of it but there really isn't much point in cleaning it out for the fun of it. The gear lash I was talking about was easiest to feel by turning the rear output shaft to see how much it turned before it turned the input shaft on the Drivers Side. It was barely noticeable but there was just a bit - I know that is not technical enough - but I'd say 3-4 degrees of movement. It sure was interesting to see just a few gears and bearings inside and nothing really damaged.
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