Ford PTU's and Oil choices

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9
Location
Denver, Colorado
Thread starter
I have a 2016 Ford Explorer Limited with the 3.5 NA v6. I need to change my PTU fluid. It calls for 75w140 but due to the huge heat load and small filling capacity of this unit I was wondering if you guy would advise using something different. Maybe a synthetic 80w140 or even Redline Lightweight Shock proof? The unit is known to hit 250-290F temps. I plan to change the fluid every 25k miles.
 

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
I would use Redline It's a pain to change fluid and the capacity is too low. If you have a look at the exhaust … it can be very close to the PTU with some cheap little attempt at a heat shield. I wrapped mine with Header Tape and stainless (hose) clamps … easy, cheap, effective
 
Messages
9
Location
Denver, Colorado
Thread starter
I had planned on Redline regardless of weight. Would you advise 75w140, 80w140, or Lightweight Shockproof. As you said its going to be a pain to change without a lift or even a compressor for a decent vac pump. I would prefer the best option for the longest fill I can get.
 

4WD

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13,507
Location
Texas
Redline GL5 gear oil is ester based … mainly looking for the correct viscosity but with the extra ability to fight heat based oxidation
 

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
good chance by the time he does this job he will want to get 50k OCI if possible … I regret not submitting mine to the worst design thread …
 
Messages
305
Location
Ohio
Use the weight called for, and change it often (30,000 miles MAX). I'm running Valvoline Synthetic, and just changed it out in my 2018 Explorer. Get yourself a hand held suction pump. It really isn't a bad job at all. Suck out all the old fluid you can, then fill with the new fluid until it starts out the fill hole. I went to Lowe's and picked up some clear plastic tubing of the diameter that fit my suction pump, then cut it to the lengths that worked best. Get a smaller diameter for sucking out the old fluid, as it allows the tube to work around inside the PTU a little easier. Then put on a larger diameter for the fluid bottle you end up buying. At 30K intervals, any quality synthetic fluid will work fine. Z-
 
I'd say at the 30k interval recommended here, any synthetic will do just fine. I'd personally skip the Redline with that OCI, and save the extra for your inevitable water pump replacement/engine replacement. Not trying to be a jerk, just realistic.
 
Messages
9
Location
Denver, Colorado
Thread starter
Ended up going with the Redline 75w140. @ $17.99 a bottle it was cheaper than the Motorcraft stuff. If I get more than 25-30k out of it I will be very happy.
 
Messages
303
Location
VA
Originally Posted by 4WD
Have you done these yourself ?
I have. Many times. My wifes car has one too. I have 5 police interceptor sedans (Taurus) and 4 police interceptor utilities (Explorer) in my fleet at work with all wheel drive. The police PTU is slightly different though. It has a 3/16 drain plug but no fill plug. Where the fill plug is supposed to be, they put a temp sensor with an o-ring to seal it. I unplug the sensor an take it out to fill the PTU then put it back every 25-30k miles. I've used mostly Motorcraft 75w140 but lately I've been getting Mag1 full syn 75w140 because it's about half of the cost. My wifes car is easy. It has a drain plug and fill plug. The ones you suck out are a lot easier if you can get that fluid warm first. Good luck.
 
Originally Posted by 4WD
Have you done these yourself ?
Nope; as I stated a couple weeks ago, I never buy a 1st year model of anything, and I watch for horror stories of vehicles I "may" at some point be interested in buying. If early adopters and/or extended information shows either really difficult maintenance or multiple indicators of poor engineering, I stay clear. The last part is, I speak and believe the fact that no oil or transmission fluid can fix an engineering gaffe in its respective equipment, so that's why. I wasn't arguing your point that Redline is probably the best fluid in this case; just the fact that even Redline isn't going to correct the issue of the differential running hot.
 

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
For sure … I was doing the transmission on my Z71 a few days ago … looked up at the huge transfer case, oversized drain and fill plugs … and all the room in the world around it … Adios PTU … There is not a single fluid hard to change now that I put a drain plug in the trans pan …
 
Messages
9
Location
Denver, Colorado
Thread starter
Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
I'd say at the 30k interval recommended here, any synthetic will do just fine. I'd personally skip the Redline with that OCI, and save the extra for your inevitable water pump replacement/engine replacement. Not trying to be a jerk, just realistic.
Yeah I hear you, I end up putting about 5k miles a year if that so hopefully can avoid the water pump issues but never say never. Thanks for the reply's everyone! been a log time member but never really posted before. I will be sure to update this post with a rant about how much of a ***** this fluid change is.
 
Messages
4,612
Location
The Garden State
Originally Posted by Mekks
Thanks for the reply's everyone! been a log time member but never really posted before. I will be sure to update this post with a rant about how much of a ***** this fluid change is.
It's ironic that our 2017 2.3 EcoBoost Explorer's PTU holds almost 24 oz, more than the 3.5 NA and Ecoboost. Plus it has a drain plug and the exhaust is not right on the PTU. I had the dealer change the factory fill of the PTU at 9,000 miles and I changed it again at 22,000 miles using Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-140. I ran the Amsoil for 22,000 miles and drain and refilled with more Amsoil. I sent it to Blackstone and it showed to be in excellent condition. I'm going to run the Amsoil for 35,000 mile intervals. Whimsey
 
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