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PTU drain plug

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Hey guys,

 

I finally got the combination of a nice day and free time to get this ptu fluid swap done. I took a few pictures. My 2012 edge is currently at 25,868 miles. It's definitely not as easy as an oil change, but isn't the hardest thing either. I kept the car on all 4 tires on the garage floor to keep it level, which makes for a pretty tight spot to get into. I started out by fabricating the zip tie dipstick as described by Znow above:

C3980000-EEF5-4D14-A727-F2BA30617016_zps

 

Once I got under the car, I figured the easiest way to access the ptu drain plug was up to the right of the exhaust flex pipe and left of the frame wall:

574E846F-197F-47EC-8CDF-D7FD697B0072_zps

 

After that I used a standard 3/8" socket wrench with no extension to undo the plug:

E56A67FC-2B6E-42A8-A1C0-5F1CE37B579E_zps

 

I stuck the dipstick in to see what I was dealing with:

3706C8F2-C385-4695-BC97-B8815732A065_zps

 

Thing was almost at zero fluid. Figures.

 

I tried to exract fluid with the hand pump everyone else has used and I couldn't get anything to come through. There just wasn't enough fluid in the ptu for the pump to suck anything.

 

Here is what the inside of the plug looked like:

02AA3D0D-0318-4B54-B5E9-A99B8914BC63_zps

 

The fluid had the same consistency of brake caliper lube. I imagine that the ptu is coated with this sludge.

 

I reversed the pump setup, and pumped in some synthetic motor craft 75w140 gear lube. Checked the level with the dipstick:

84B2FDD5-8E36-4369-BEFD-437257560E01_zps

 

It's higher than it was. We'll see how things go now. My guess is, I'm going to find a whole bunch of leaks in these junk seals now that there is actually fluid in it. I'll be sure to update.

 

 

Thanks for the great post with all the detail and the photos. I was in the same boat; nearly empty transfer case. My strategy was to change it several times to get it cleaned up. I filled it (after getting nothing out), then changed it in a week, then changed it again in a month. It started getting cleaner and leaking less.

 

I was filling to the fill plug, as I hadn't seen the process for using a zip tie until about a month ago when WWWPerfA_ZN0W first posted the zip tie measurement process (THANKS!). So, it was probably leaking a bit out the vent due to overfilling. But that probably also helped clear out the vent.

 

After 3 changes now, my next one is 6 months out, and it has almost stopped leaking. I get 1,2,3 drops about every three weeks, probably due to overfilling. Of course, this Edge is a 2007 with 140k miles on it so it has lasted a while.

 

Sad thing is, the dealer here said unequivocally that it needed to be replaced for $1600.00. That was 6 months ago. I think they're ripping people off left and right on this situation.

 

Jonathan

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Has anyone experienced actual PTU failure? Or develop a wine?

 

The PTU is basically a differential. When differential is worn it gets noisy and will humm at certain hwy speeds. It can be repaired by increasing the preload on the bearings or rebuilt. Metal paste on the drain plug is to be expected.

 

There is 97K mi on my GF's 09 Edge. Some of those miles are towing. No wine.

Is it sludgy? Probably. I'm getting ready to give it a douching this summer.

Right now it only weeps around the passenger side seal. No smoke / puking out the vent yet.

Edited by coronan

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What kind of wine is it?

 

Chardonnay or Chianti?

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Has anyone experienced actual PTU failure? Or develop a wine?

 

The PTU is basically a differential. When differential is worn it gets noisy and will humm at certain hwy speeds. It can be repaired by increasing the preload on the bearings or rebuilt. Metal paste on the drain plug is to be expected.

 

There is 97K mi on my GF's 09 Edge. Some of those miles are towing. No wine.

Is it sludgy? Probably. I'm getting ready to give it a douching this summer.

Right now it only weeps around the passenger side seal. No smoke / puking out the vent yet.

 

 

 

Mine was starting to puke/leak, but did not actually fail. No whine either. From what I've read online, I would suspect that by the time you have your amount of miles on it, the case is practically empty, having little or no oil left in it. That's the state mine was in. With low or no oil, I would think failure would be pretty quick.

 

To your point though; dealers want to replace them all the time just because of the leak. They wanted to replace mine for $1600.00. There are HUNDREDs of these transfer cases being sold online through ebay, amazon, etc. (some by Ford dealers) , so there are a lot of them getting replaced.

Edited by akirby
fixed quote

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I have a 2008 Edge with 130k and my PTU has StB. It shakes the car at about 10mph, then calms down, and then whines big time as I accelerate. At this point it's not driveable.

I saw the updated versions of the PTU on eBay for $650.00 delivered. My question is this, has anyone done a straight up replacement with a new unit? Are there any proprietary tools involved in replacing it?

I can't find any tutorials anywhere on the Internet. I'm considering taking on the job because the Ford dealers in NJ are very expensive.

Thanks for the help guys!

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Hey ironpeddler,

 

I have seen a post or two that dealt with replacing them. If you search around you can find it. There are proprietary tools involved, if I remember correctly. I think they were usied in removing or seating the half shafts. If you look in Taurus or Flex forums, you can get an idea of what you're looking at. They have a very similar drivetrain to the Edge and share a lot of the same parts.

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Yes there are a few good ones online. I have gathered some of the links; here you go;

This is a gathering of notes related to my issues with our Ford Edge, 2007. Particularly the PTO (transfer case) issues. If any of you out there drive an all-wheel-drive Ford Edge, Flex, or 500 or Lincoln MKS be aware these have a time-bomb transfer case issue. When this fails (and it will) it will cost you $1600.00 more or less at a dealer. It’s due to a very poor design on the PTO unit, so that the fluid in the unit cannot be changed. So, it gets sludged up, blows oil out the vent, and fails.

What the PTO looks like after the oil dries up and turns into sludge, right before failure; PTO Photos

The new part, being sold on eBAY by the hundreds, by Ford Dealers; http://bit.ly/FordPTO

The authoritative forum thread on this issue; read the whole thing, especially NATRIX posts; http://bit.ly/FordEdgePTOFailures

Great forum post on the Ford Flex forum; http://bit.ly/FordFlexPTOFailure

Ford Edge (Flex) axle shaft problem / replacement with custom tools (this is a related problem and in the same area, with good photos) http://bit.ly/FordEdgeAxleShaft

These are just pasted from my collection here; http://jonathanlackman.com/blog/ford-edge-pdu-pto-transfer-case-issues-flex-500-mkx/

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I did another oil change following WWWPerfA_ZN0W directions about how to create a dipstick. My strategy, after being told by Ford that they wanted $1,600 to replace the PDU, was just to repeatedly change the fluid to clean it out and free up the vent. This recent oil change was the 4th change in the last 10 months. I did one initial change/fill (it was essentially empty), then #2 in a week, then #3 in a month, then just did #4 after 6 months. Now the oil still looks pretty dirty but it's at least fluid and not some pasty black grease.

 

Using the dipstick as described was pretty easy and kept me from overfilling it. Normally when filling to the fill plug, it would leak some blowing out the vent after filling it, but this time is has not. Probably due to not overfilling it, plus the vent probably getting cleaned up finally by clean oil. I've used Amsoil for the last few changes which I think will help clean up and dissolve the nasty grease.

 

I'm doing it again in 6 months, then probably will go to an annual change.

 

I think I barely caught mine just before physical damage to the unit and it seems to operate fine now.

 

I also counted the pumps on the new oil pump I am using to push the new oil into the transfer case. On the pump I'm using, 12 strokes/pumps is nearly the exact amount of oil needed. Then I double check with the dipstick and add more if needed.

 

I've also been using the same plug, cleaned and taped with Teflon tape with no issues.

 

JL

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Amsoil is good stuff. Many Ford nuts I know using it for the PTU/RDU are seeing results. Continued success, JL!

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Is there anyway u may get me numbers on the 2 needle bearings inside that 1 gear in transfer? Thanks

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Jlk was right. I drilled the drain hole for my ptu today and no oil came out. Everything was significantly more messy than a few months ago. Mostly from the vent not the seals.
I feel like no one has documented drilling the drain plug with the ptu in the car, so I snapped a few pics. These are from an 2009.
There is just enough room to work between the exhaust and motor mount. I drilled a pilot but not all the way through to keep the chips on the out side, until the end.
5/16 was enough to keep the 37/64 drill from walking. The casting is surprisingly thick. About 1/2". Do be sure to stop And oil the drill a few times. I left oil in the pan to push out the chips when I finally broke through.

A 16mm socket and extension holds the back of a 3/8" npt tap and allows me to reach past the exhaust. Use grease so the chips stay on the tap and out of the case. I run npt taps about 2/3rds in. I was taught the plug should go in about 2 turns by hand before you need a wrench. And tightened an additional 2 turns with a wrench. It takes a little back and forth. Do Not cross thread the tap when putting it back in.
I picked up a magnetic drain plug from mcmastercarr.com. but i'm sure amazon has them too.
Do not cross thread the drain plug when putting it in.

post-26463-0-89903100-1433725135_thumb.jpg

post-26463-0-12554200-1433727499_thumb.jpg

Edited by coronan
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Interesting results so far.

 

My solvent of choice for this is BioDiesel. Great cleaning properties while maintaining lubricity.

 

The i measured out 800 ml. The case only took 400ml before spilling out. The rest of the volume must be sludge.

 

Installed 2 magnetic drain plugs.

I wanted to agitate the case like a good dish washer. So That means spinning the output shaft with a drill. Or putting all 4 wheels in the air and putting it in gear.

OR Drove it around the block. Let it sit 1 hr. Repeat 4 times.

Drained. I found metal sludge on the upper plug, same as before and METAL FLAKES on the lower plug! :shrug: Glad I chose to drill the lower drain plug. I'm not pulling the unit until it makes noise.

 

Lesson of the day. Measure the volume that drains out and refill with the same volume.

 

BioDiesel came out back as night. But only 400ml. I've got a lot more desludging to do.

 

Refilled with 200ml synthetic gear oil +200ml BioDiesel. I'll change it again at the end of the week.

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Hey guys,

 

I finally got the combination of a nice day and free time to get this ptu fluid swap done. I took a few pictures. My 2012 edge is currently at 25,868 miles. It's definitely not as easy as an oil change, but isn't the hardest thing either. I kept the car on all 4 tires on the garage floor to keep it level, which makes for a pretty tight spot to get into. I started out by fabricating the zip tie dipstick as described by Znow above:

C3980000-EEF5-4D14-A727-F2BA30617016_zps

 

Once I got under the car, I figured the easiest way to access the ptu drain plug was up to the right of the exhaust flex pipe and left of the frame wall:

574E846F-197F-47EC-8CDF-D7FD697B0072_zps

 

After that I used a standard 3/8" socket wrench with no extension to undo the plug:

E56A67FC-2B6E-42A8-A1C0-5F1CE37B579E_zps

 

I stuck the dipstick in to see what I was dealing with:

3706C8F2-C385-4695-BC97-B8815732A065_zps

 

Thing was almost at zero fluid. Figures.

 

I tried to exract fluid with the hand pump everyone else has used and I couldn't get anything to come through. There just wasn't enough fluid in the ptu for the pump to suck anything.

 

Here is what the inside of the plug looked like:

02AA3D0D-0318-4B54-B5E9-A99B8914BC63_zps

 

The fluid had the same consistency of brake caliper lube. I imagine that the ptu is coated with this sludge.

 

I reversed the pump setup, and pumped in some synthetic motor craft 75w140 gear lube. Checked the level with the dipstick:

84B2FDD5-8E36-4369-BEFD-437257560E01_zps

 

It's higher than it was. We'll see how things go now. My guess is, I'm going to find a whole bunch of leaks in these junk seals now that there is actually fluid in it. I'll be sure to update.

Nice workbench in the photos. I see the jar of Hodgdon, and some very sizable rifle projectiles and some fat handgun rounds...

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Jlk was right. I drilled the drain hole for my ptu today and no oil came out. Everything was significantly more messy than a few months ago. Mostly from the vent not the seals.

I feel like no one has documented drilling the drain plug with the ptu in the car, so I snapped a few pics. These are from an 2009.

There is just enough room to work between the exhaust and motor mount. I drilled a pilot but not all the way through to keep the chips on the out side, until the end.

5/16 was enough to keep the 37/64 drill from walking. The casting is surprisingly thick. About 1/2". Do be sure to stop And oil the drill a few times. I left oil in the pan to push out the chips when I finally broke through.

 

A 16mm socket and extension allows me to reach past the exhaust. Use grease so the chips stay on the tap and out of the case. I run npt taps about 2/3rds in. I was taught the plug should go in about 2 turns by hand before you need a wrench. And tightened an additional 2 turns with a wrench. It takes a little back and forth. Do Not cross thread the tap when putting it back in.

I picked up a magnetic drain plug from mcmastercarr.com. but i'm sure amazon has them too.

Do not cross thread the drain plug when putting it in.

 

 

Coronan; what size drain plug did you go with? It looks pretty big...

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The case only took 400ml before spilling out. The rest of the volume must be sludge.

As per the Owners Manual, the capacity of the PTU is only 350 ml.

 

post-24673-0-99962600-1433822148_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the correction. Earlier I read .8. But forgot it was pints.

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Hi Well, thanks for all the info. I've had my used 2007 edge for about 1.5 years and 50,000km. I am now at 175k and well guess what I am doing. I read awhile ago about PTU issues and checked mine about a month ago while I was doing my rear diff. First off when I went to check it getting anything in to check it or suck and fill it was so hard as a piece of the casting blocked most of the fill hole. I could not get a level so I added 400 ml of fluid cleaned the magnetic plug and drove it for 1500 km. I brought it to a tranny shop to have them try and flush it. They couldn't and there was even more wear metal on the plug than before.

 

I also have a nice humming around 60 and 110 km/h ( most common speeds I drive at).

 

Suffice to say I am having it changed out next week, as I can not afford a failure that could damage the output shaft of the tranny. I love my edge but... this kind of sucks. If the manual at any time had anything about changing this fluid I would have. I am going to ask for the OLD PTU back to do some failure analysis.

 

I also really want a new one as I am doing a camping trip soon (3000km round trip) and towing my travel trailer!

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Yeah I am taking it in stride, This is why I buy used I guess LOL. I am still pretty happy with it overall! other than only getting 22L/100km while towing.

 

Also stick the the ford stuff, as I assume the 75-140 stuff is full syn? or use a brand name full synthetic?

Edited by windaddiction
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Yes, the Motorcraft/Ford fluid is full synthetic. BUT, if you want the best fluid, it will be most likely Amsoil, a TRUE full synthetic. Emerging data from people who race their cars and maintain them properly points in that direction. Royal Purple is another favorite brand.

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Hi Well, thanks for all the info. I've had my used 2007 edge for about 1.5 years and 50,000km. I am now at 175k and well guess what I am doing. I read awhile ago about PTU issues and checked mine about a month ago while I was doing my rear diff. First off when I went to check it getting anything in to check it or suck and fill it was so hard as a piece of the casting blocked most of the fill hole. I could not get a level so I added 400 ml of fluid cleaned the magnetic plug and drove it for 1500 km. I brought it to a tranny shop to have them try and flush it. They couldn't and there was even more wear metal on the plug than before.

 

I also have a nice humming around 60 and 110 km/h ( most common speeds I drive at).

 

Suffice to say I am having it changed out next week, as I can not afford a failure that could damage the output shaft of the tranny. I love my edge but... this kind of sucks. If the manual at any time had anything about changing this fluid I would have. I am going to ask for the OLD PTU back to do some failure analysis.

 

I also really want a new one as I am doing a camping trip soon (3000km round trip) and towing my travel trailer!

 

 

Yeah, unfortunately it is very difficult to get a drain hose or plastic tie fill level check into the fill plug. The suction line I used is very small hard plastic maybe 1/8" OD. You hit some gears or castings straight in, so you have to try to point it down, and a little towards the front of the vehicle. I finally got a little better at it after changing the oil 5 times now (this year) to get the sludge cleaned out.

 

I'd like to see some photos and hear about what you find out from the old case when you get it!

Good luck

-JL

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So new part in AT4Z-7251-D Can feels much smoother, the vibration and hum is gone! so that is a plus. I have the old PTU in my shop and will take it apart sometime... and take pics. I did turn the old PTU by the rear shaft and it was very hard to turn, and hung up in spots. I don't know if I can blame ford, It does say to check the fluid. I have a feeling if you did that this part would not fail, as long as the oil is there and good. Still super happy with the car overall!

 

Of note, the service guy said it comes with a 2 year unlimited millage warranty! so that's awesome, and he said yes it covers seals as well! So something to consider if you want to do it or have it done at a dealership. He also said all major Ford parts now come with that 2 year warranty.

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