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JohnCT

PTU replacement hints and info

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One of the confusing things about replacing the PTU was whether the intermediate shaft seal was also required when replacing the PTU as the procedure for installing a new PTU says to replace it anytime the PTU is removed. Here's the conclusion; if you buy a new PTU from Ford, it comes with the intermediate shaft seal pre-installed.

The Edge, Explorer, Flex, and Taurus are front wheel drive based platforms with transverse engines. The left side of the automatic feeds the left wheel directly with the typical axle arrangement you'd find on any FWD car, and this is the same for the FWD or AWD versions.

In the case of AWD, the PTU/transfer case is bolted to the transmission right over the output where the intermediate shaft would normally be. The intermediate shaft goes straight through the PTU and into the transaxle. There are two splines on the intermediate shaft: the first spline connects the shaft to the transmission, the second spline connects the shaft to the PTU. So the intermediate shaft transfers power from the transmission to both the PTU and the right side axle.

If the intermediate shaft is ever removed, the seal in the PTU must be changed if the PTU is not replaced. Again, the new PTU comes with the shaft seal installed, so you don't need to buy the intermediate shaft seal... or do you?

Here's where it gets weird: Ford has a "tool" which is a 0.50 cent plastic slip guide and a grab handle which is first inserted into the shaft seal before the intermediate shaft is installed. The intermediate shaft slides into the tool and into the PTU and the seal is protected from damage from the spline by the plastic tool. Once the shaft is most the way in, the tool is pulled out. The only way to obtain this tool is by buying the intermediate shaft seal (the one the new PTU has preinstalled). So if you buy the PTU, you must also buy *another* intermediate shaft seal just to obtain the tool. Once the PTU is installed, you'll have the tool (you can use it more than once IMO) and an extra shaft seal. I'm not sure if was dumb of Ford not to include the protective tool with the new PTU or if they figure you'll need another shaft seal in 25K miles anyway.

As for the job, it took me almost 10 hours on jack stands. With a lift it should be much less. The complete exhaust must come out first. Then the right side axle. Disconnect the drive shaft u joint from the output of the PTU and wire off to one side. The cat must be removed, and I had to drop the back of the subframe to allow enough clearance to remove the cat and PTU. I wasted too much time trying not to drop it. It only takes a few minutes to drop the subframe so my advice is to do it that way. Leave the front bolts in the sub and remove the rest. I used a floor jack to help support the sub in order to loosen and then reinstall the subframe.

There is a mounting bracket on the cat that's in the way and would be easy to remove to provide more exit clearance except the bolts go through the top side where they are inaccessible. If the catch nuts were welded on the top side, it would be two minutes to remove the bolts from the bottom. Giving this some more thought, you can probably bend the bracket to get the cat out, then swap the catch nuts to the other side (tack weld) and install the bracket after the cat is remounted.

 

The intermediate shaft support bracket has 5 bolts, two of which are very difficult to get to.

I did a post-mortem on the old PTU apart to see what happened, and *every* gear had almost every tooth knackered or chipped. Chunks were missing, yet no large pieces were found, mostly powdered iron. There was no oil, just sludge. Looked like moly grease inside. I put the gears through a parts cleaner to get a better look, and they are absolutely blasted. I can email pictures to anyone who wants to see them. Strangely, none of the bearings seemed damaged. This looks like a straight gear set failure.

My original plan was to drill and tap the new PTU for routine servicing, but I've since replaced the car with a new Jeep and gave the Edge to my sister. My wife just didn't trust it. I had gone away from Ford in the 90s but took a chance on this car as a "probationary' Ford. If it got through 150K miles without a major systems failure, I'd buy another. Good chance it would have been the MKX. But I'm done. The 66 Mustang in the garage is the last Ford I'll own, but I digress.

If anyone has any questions about replacing the PTU give me a shout and I'll help you the best I can. The procedure for the Explorer, Flex, MKX, and Taurus should be almost identical.

 

John

Edited by JohnCT
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Definitely, send me the pics of the carnage etc. Great tips on the PTU.

 

I'm going to see if I can post them here. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to get pictures off this stupid LG Nexus 5 phone. None of the online procedures match my phone's menus.

 

One way or the other I'll get them up and/or emailed.

 

John

 

Edit: here's a link to the pics. http://imgur.com/a/ylvKS

Edited by JohnCT
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If you are trying to post from the mobile site, you will have to tell the browser to go into the full desktop site version to see the MORE REPLY OPTIONS that actually allows you to add attachments.

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Here are some pics of the inside of the PTU after the gears were run through a parts washer.

 

Enjoy.

 

The damage is quite extensive, and the chunks of gears breaking off explain the loud banging and severe jolt in the car as this started coming apart. Considering that there's no shear pin in the torque path, I'm fortunate that the PTU didn't destroy the transmission. Acceptable at 50K miles? You tell me...

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Yikes! I would call that completely destroyed and certainly not acceptable for 50k miles. Looks like flaking pot metal. I would think you might have an excellent case for Ford footing the bill for the new PTU.

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Ouch. Makes one wonder if the gears were heat treated properly.

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Yikes! I would call that completely destroyed and certainly not acceptable for 50k miles. Looks like flaking pot metal. I would think you might have an excellent case for Ford footing the bill for the new PTU.

If this failure happened at ~50k miles, wouldn't Ford cover it under warranty?

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If this failure happened at ~50k miles, wouldn't Ford cover it under warranty?

 

 

 

Came with a 5/60 power train. Under mileage but over time...

 

John

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Here are some pics of the inside of the PTU after the gears were run through a parts washer.

 

Enjoy.

 

The damage is quite extensive, and the chunks of gears breaking off explain the loud banging and severe jolt in the car as this started coming apart. Considering that there's no shear pin in the torque path, I'm fortunate that the PTU didn't destroy the transmission. Acceptable at 50K miles? You tell me...

Is it alright with you for me to post these photos on my FB group?

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Is it alright with you for me to post these photos on my FB group?

 

 

Sure, they're fair game..

 

John

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My 2013 Ford Edge PTU fluid was like sludge.  Before it had a chance to break, I had my mechanic (Bettcher's Auto, Edmonton) machine drill a hole into it in the bottom so it could be drained.  They had suggested this as they had several customers with the same issue and they had researched the problem.  They had also watched a you tube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFwgCJoS3M0) where a person machined a hole into the bottom of their PTU to be drained properly and found that it worked for them.  I now take my vehicle in every 3-4 months to have the PTU drained and I have not had a problem since.  

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I Brought 07 SEL to dealership service dept. they did not want to change PTU and rdu fluids ,does anybody know the amount and what kind of motor craft fluid I should buy.they 1st quoted me $250 which you guys told me was high anyway,Im going to buy PTU fluid and bring to a knowledgable shop and have sucked out and changed due to no drain plug.

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2 hours ago, Engr146 said:

I Brought 07 SEL to dealership service dept. they did not want to change PTU and rdu fluids ,does anybody know the amount and what kind of motor craft fluid I should buy.they 1st quoted me $250 which you guys told me was high anyway,Im going to buy PTU fluid and bring to a knowledgable shop and have sucked out and changed due to no drain plug.

The PTU holds almost a quart.

 

Why don't you consider the post directly above yours - a drain plug?

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Had same problems with the PTU, sounded like a lawn mower driving over nails... had a new one installed, it lasted 120 miles when that not so faint aroma of cooked oil wafted through the car... IMG_0523.thumb.jpeg.a1924aeacc0949b73421fd1241b9bef2.jpegFord now says that it could possibly be the rear axle... I asked my mechanic to just take the driveshaft out from the PTU to the rear wheels... running on 2WD now... Has anyone else tried this? Have a 250 mile run tomorrow... hoping it makes it. The only other problem I've had with this car had been the #5 cylinder coil... replaced 2 times within 3 months... Still really love this car, 138,000 miles on it.

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Thanks for the tips!.. truly excellent ,.....MY 16’ Edge PTU housing just  CRACKED IN HALF!

At 35mph shifting from 3rdto4th gear, normal Speed acceleration. Just heading to dinner after a movie.

slight thump/3second grinding sound , ‘puff of grease smoke&smell simultaneously Thru the vents,...then nothing.

Noticed slight vibration at high speed “coasting” in traffic on way home that same night.

-79,000 miles,

-2nd PTU ,

- never figured the whole casing would crack open like an egg, no warning or indications of an issue up to then. 

holy crap on your gearset...

unreal...

 

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I stopped at Miller Ford in Lumberton, NJ on my way back after a 250 mile "jaunt" after taking drive shaft out. Asked the Service guy if he knew if any problem with drive shaft out, he brought out 2 of their mechanics to answer my question. First they never heard of a PTU lasting 136,000 miles... I think folks should be aware of this a bit more... but they also said that taking out the driveshaft should "most likely" be ok, just to remember I only have 2 wheel drive now... Took car back to my mechanic, he drained the oil and cleaned out what was left after the burning from the week before with the driveshaft still installed, which seems to have gotten the "aroma" out of the car. I have enjoyed this car since I bought it, MY FIRST FORD EVER... Engine is fantastic, mileage is tolerable, I'd love to upgrade at some point and purchase a newer Edge, but I guess the big question will be, "have you replaced the PTU, and at what mileage?"

Ford should correct this problem immediately on all sold Edges, and new models better have a better warranty on this part until they fix the problem parts.

I guess I'm "lucky" it ran as long as it did... but now my all wheel is a front drive only car... if I'd wanted only two wheel drive car I'd have purchased a 2 wheel drive car... but on the good side, my mileage is easily 2-3+ miles per gallon better right now and I have accidently gotten the front tires to squeal from a standing start... (damned good engine).

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By the way, the folks at Miller Ford were fantastic... did not expect the courtesy and help they gave me... needed the confidence to drive the car and after hearing them, I have it. No more AWD, but I can live with that for another hundred thousand miles...

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Hey you guys, 

 

I have a 2007 Ford Edge SEL with 175,000 miles on it. PTU was replaced at 130,000 miles in December of 2012. Recently I discovered what appears to be a slow ATF leak (the liquid is translucent red) at the intermediate shaft/PTU cover. I don't see any thick black liquid (PTU gear oil) so I am not sure what I have on my hands here. Is this just a replacement of the intermediate shaft seal and cover seal?

PXL_20210503_001019177.jpg

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On 10/3/2020 at 23:20, Don Ferry said:

Tuve los mismos problemas con la PTU, sonaba como una cortadora de césped pasando sobre clavos ... tenía una nueva instalada, duró 120 millas cuando ese aroma no tan débil de aceite cocido flotaba a través del auto ... IMG_0523.thumb.jpeg.a1924aeacc0949b73421fd1241b9bef2.jpegFord ahora dice que podría posiblemente sea el eje trasero ... Le pedí a mi mecánico que simplemente sacara el eje de transmisión de la PTU a las ruedas traseras ... funcionando con 2WD ahora ... ¿Alguien más ha probado esto? Corre 250 millas mañana ... con la esperanza de que lo consigas. El único otro problema que he tenido con este auto ha sido la bobina del cilindro # 5 ... reemplazada 2 veces en 3 meses ... Todavía me encanta este auto, 138,000 millas en él.

HELLO GUYS, WANT TO KNOW IF THE PTU INTERNAL GEARS ARE SOLD SEPARATELY, OR JUST THE COMPLETE  PTU?

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only the idler gear is sold separately.  otherwise, complete ptu.

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