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Author Topic:  Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS  (Read 48126 times)

Offline MDesign Performance

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Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« on: July 07, 2014, 10:34:10 AM »
I picked up my vehicle bone stock with 22,000 miles on the clock, due to this the car always seemed crisp in both acceleration and shifting from the moment I got it. After getting tuned and doing a couple other supporting mods the instant power and smoothness of how it came on was magnified even more. Fast forward to 10,000 miles of spirited driving and I've began to notice the car getting sluggish.

At first I thought it was due to carbon buildup so I had a complete intake manifold cleaning done via the 3M Tune Up Kit. This brought back some power but the most notable difference was swapping PTU fluids. I picked up a bottle of Royal Purple 75w140 gear oil locally for $18 and a Penzoil hand pump for $9, best $27 I ever spent. Immediately I noticed the power and crispness come back.

Now I honestly believe everyone who owns a PTU equipped vehicle needs to swap the fluid at least once a year. I remember hearing people on here state that the car is quicker in Auto v.s manual shifting via the paddles, though I recall when I first got my vehicle that using the paddle shifters made the car drive noticeably better. Not only do you have more control it just felt more powerful, and swapping fluids to the RP definitely brought this back.

So my consensus? Driving the car hard (as in any other driving style aside from grandma style) put's accelerated wear on the oil in the PTU. When I swapped the fluid, the PTU case was significantly hotter than anything else on the car (engine, down pipe cats, etc.) and upon unscrewing the fill plug there was a quarter inch of sludge/grease on the end of the plug. The fluid was pitch black and smelled horrible, almost nauseating, as compared to the sweet smelling, more fluid and translucent purple color of the Royal Purple oil. Not only was the "lifetime" fluid destroyed it was probably around 40% empty.

You have to pay to play, no other way around it. If you want to do yourself and the future owner of your ecoboost powered vehicle a favor then spend the sub $100 a year to get this done.

Royal Purple 75w140 Gear Oil = $18-20
Penzoil Fluid Pump = $9
Labor = $0-80

All you need to do this is a socket wrench and 1-1.5 feet of extensions and the items listed above. It took me 15 minutes to unplug the screw, then 5 minutes each to suck out the old fluid and pump in the new. If you buy all the items above and go to a local mechanic with a photo of the drain plug I doubt they will charge you more than $40 to perform this 15 minute service, especially since having a lift would be much easier.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 10:37:14 AM by Spartn27 »
2011 MKS EcoBoost: MDesign Carbon Cold Air Intake; SP-534 Plugs; Power Stop C/S Rotors

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Offline SHOdded

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 10:46:47 AM »
The PTU is fragile when compared to the transmission.  Keep it happy and enjoy your ride :D
2007 Ford Edge SEL, Powerstop F/R Brake Kit, TXT LED 6000K Lo & Hi Beams, W16W LED Reverse Bulbs, 3BSpec 2.5w Map Lights, 5W Cree rear dome lights, 5W Cree cargo light, DTBL LED Taillights

If tuned:  Take note of the strategy code as you return to stock (including 3 bar MAP to 2 bar MAP) -> take car in & get it serviced -> check strategy code when you get car back -> have tuner update your tune if the strategy code has changed -> reload tune -> ENJOY!

Offline MDesign Performance

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2014, 10:51:06 AM »
The PTU is fragile when compared to the transmission.  Keep it happy and enjoy your ride :D

It can also confuse one to think they have transmission issues. I recently thought that there was a TSB not done or a developing issue with the transmission, completely went away after the PTU fluid swap. It make sense when you think about it, the PTU sends the power to all the wheels!
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Offline IHeartGroceries

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2014, 11:32:49 AM »
Excellent write up. Important topic for sure. And when the oil capacity of the case is no more than a tease, no wonder it overheats so badly.

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Offline wasinger3000

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 12:27:29 PM »
Glad to hear this. I'm at 22k now so I better change it. Do you have a picture of where it's at? Or is it just the farthest rearward gear box.   
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Offline PokerMunkee

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 12:36:50 PM »
Hopefully the PTU cooler on the Performance Package helps.

I thought you have to drop the exhaust to access the drain hole?  Maybe only on '13 PP SHOs?  I'll add this to my 30k service intervals.
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Offline MDesign Performance

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 12:59:27 PM »
All I did was look at the photo in the how-to, its located next to the down pipe cat, and then lift the car with the included jack and removed the wheel. After that you'll maneuver the extensions through the sway bar/o2 sensor, if you get a flashlight it'll be the only bolt with the square socket type hole.
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Offline wasinger3000

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 03:49:07 PM »
So is the rear diff the acting force that moderates awd? Does the PTU always spin? I havent lifted all four wheels off the ground to see how it all comes into play.
13' SHO, Non-PP, Tuned by Torrie, Meth injection, 3 bar, 170* stat, custom axle back exhaust, Prosport Boost gauge.
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Offline ecoboostsho

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2014, 03:51:35 PM »
So is the rear diff the acting force that moderates awd? Does the PTU always spin? I havent lifted all four wheels off the ground to see how it all comes into play.
I believe previously it was determined that the PTU always spins and there is an electrically modulated clutch in the rear drive that engages the rear wheels based on various inputs (wheel speeds, throttle, etc...)
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Offline wasinger3000

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2014, 03:56:42 PM »
So is the rear diff the acting force that moderates awd? Does the PTU always spin? I havent lifted all four wheels off the ground to see how it all comes into play.
I believe previously it was determined that the PTU always spins and there is an electrically modulated clutch in the rear drive that engages the rear wheels based on various inputs (wheel speeds, throttle, etc...)
Excellent! I was hoping for it to work that way. I wonder if it's a wet clutch of some kind in the diff. I also wonder if it can modulate which wheel gets power. So many questions hah.

13' SHO, Non-PP, Tuned by Torrie, Meth injection, 3 bar, 170* stat, custom axle back exhaust, Prosport Boost gauge.
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Offline ecoboostsho

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2014, 04:39:54 PM »
So is the rear diff the acting force that moderates awd? Does the PTU always spin? I havent lifted all four wheels off the ground to see how it all comes into play.
I believe previously it was determined that the PTU always spins and there is an electrically modulated clutch in the rear drive that engages the rear wheels based on various inputs (wheel speeds, throttle, etc...)
Excellent! I was hoping for it to work that way. I wonder if it's a wet clutch of some kind in the diff. I also wonder if it can modulate which wheel gets power. So many questions hah.



There is a discussion on another forum about it previously.  I PM'd you.
2013 White SHO w/PP, Gearhead Tuned, 3 Bar, 160T, Plugs...Mess with the Bull and you'll get the Horn. :)
 Previous 2011 Tuxedo Black SHO w/PP - 12.89 1/4 Mile

Offline 68_GT

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2014, 07:36:45 PM »
good luck on '13 PP PTU's...... I tried and gave up. I took it to the dealer they told me it was not servicable, and to leave it alone. They suggested I go to a more performance oriented dealer. I don't know what to do. I'm at 38K miles, and mine runs strong though. Maybe the cooler on the PP helps !?
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Offline jmr061

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2014, 10:13:55 PM »

good luck on '13 PP PTU's...... I tried and gave up. I took it to the dealer they told me it was not servicable, and to leave it alone. They suggested I go to a more performance oriented dealer. I don't know what to do. I'm at 38K miles, and mine runs strong though. Maybe the cooler on the PP helps !?

That's poor service from the dealer. The PP even has a drain plug.


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Offline jmr061

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2014, 10:15:15 PM »
Oh and I should add the factory service manual details how to change the fluid.


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Offline crash712us

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Re: Power Transfer Unit (PTU) Equipped Vehicles*** READ THIS
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 10:26:11 PM »
It does, it says the PTU has to be removed. I had found much of the same findings the OP had when I 1st changed mine, the PTU was much hotter then anything else under there. Even the cat was cooler then the PTU. For all you 13+ PP cars I am sure someone will eventually post  a how-to. I personally don't see it being no more harder to do, then the earlier cars. But since I haven't personally done one that is easy to say.

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