My PTU upgrade for easier maintenance

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VladM

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In different thread you guys are helping me out with my seized engine which I pulled out already and one of you mentioned that it's a good time to service PTU. I was like what's that...

As I spent more time with the engine and now I'm waiting to get it back from the machine shop I have some time to get fixed something else. PTU, obviously.

I spent so much time on the internet and from what I've seen so far it's always a disaster when anyone opens that thing up. I did it too.

As a first thing I did I removed the fill plug. I found a bad smelling "liquid metal" on its backside. I thought my PTU is gone. What a surprise when I pulled a passenger CV axle out and a brownish oil started draining out.

Then I removed the PTU cover with those gears and you can see how it looked like. There's a little bit of a transmission fluid sippage but anyway, I used a LOT of paper towels and then I spent almost whole bottle of JIG-A-LOO to dissolve that nasty black film on the inside walls of PTU. I didn't want to use any solvent. Then I pressure washed the cover&gears and again sprayed it with that JIG-A-LOO to protect it from corrosion, but I'll tell you - that black film covers it so well, even when it's so thin, that I'd probably be okay without that kinda anti-corrosion treatment. It's a MESS! It's probably a cancer material, it's so gross. Use gloves! Don't get it on your skin. Even I used gloves a had a little hole in two fingers, they were black black and I had so much troubles to wash them off. It's a mess.

My plan is to update it to a relatively easy oil change. I'll post some pictures later on about what I have in mind.

I have a question though - where that washer type part goes? You'll see it on the last picture. It came of when I pressure washed it. I'm pretty sure it goes backnon that middle gear, just wanted to double check with you guys.

Thanks a lot

(first 2 pictures are before a wash)
 

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BweegN

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1647608814979 1647608929275

Not sure if this is any help but maybe you can solve the puzzle graphically?


My car is completely disassembled atm so, I'm also planning a drain/fill setup for all of my driveline components. I just don't dare try anything until I can mockup the parts back in the car. That said, i'm thinking some type of fumoto valve where you can still put vacuum on the drain since that "fluid" is so nasty! Good Luck
 

VladM

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Peeeerfect! Thanks a lot! Well, I didn't know I need a new one.... Like all those gears looks pretty loose, not sure if it's gonna work without any weird noises. I don't have the money to buy a new PTU so I'll take my chances. But that drain plug will be there for sure! I'm planning on install it on the bottom of the cover, not on the body. I'm afraid of that.
 

BweegN

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I can't advise one way or the other BUT I'm guessing if that washer looks good, I would re-use it. Think about it...when we just drain and fill our PTU's, we do not open them up and replace parts unless there is a catastrophic failure. I'm guessing this is just common procedure it were in a Ford service shop to discard and replace that piece; Similar to an input shaft seal or something. Hopefully there will be some others to chime in as well.
 

VladM

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I can't advise one way or the other BUT I'm guessing if that washer looks good, I would re-use it. Think about it...when we just drain and fill our PTU's, we do not open them up and replace parts unless there is a catastrophic failure. I'm guessing this is just common procedure it were in a Ford service shop to discard and replace that piece; Similar to an input shaft seal or something. Hopefully there will be some others to chime in as well.
I searched internet a bit for that washer but I haven’t found it. I’ll try Ford and will see. It should not cost a lot so I’d replace it since the PTU is open.
 

VladM

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I think the question about the drain plug is answered and done. It’s time to upgrade the “fill it up” part.
 

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fordfanstan

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Even with a drain plug, it’s not easy to “fill,” just drain. If I had mine out, I’d drill a new fill hole and thread it on the top side, next to the vent hole. Then use one line ran up as a vent, and second as a fill. As of now, it takes forever to fill as you are filling from the vent and no air escapes.
 

BweegN

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Even with a drain plug, it’s not easy to “fill,” just drain. If I had mine out, I’d drill a new fill hole and thread it on the top side, next to the vent hole. Then use one line ran up as a vent, and second as a fill. As of now, it takes forever to fill as you are filling from the vent and no air escapes.
That's why I was thinking something like a fumoto valve side mounted if space allows. Then you could drain, vacuum drain, and pressure fill all from the same port with a handheld.
 

VladM

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Few months back I bought that drain plug for a different application but didn’t use it, so that’s why I used it now. I had an idea how and where to install it in that cover but I didn’t like the wall thickness. That’s why I installed it on the bottom of PTU. It’s like a 12 mm thick aluminum, half inch.

For filling - I’m gonna use that fill hole, no more drilling. And I will leave the vent hole as it is. The fill hole is a 1/2 inch NPT thread. I bought a 1/2 by 3/8 flare brass T and couple other brass fittings. It’s not done yet but the idea here is to stay as close as possible to the cover. That’s why I cut that T a lil but. Have to chase it with a die to make sure those threads will be fine because now when it’s cut I have a problem to screw it in there. Every fitting has a taper, it’s a bit smaller on the first thread and as you go further it is getting a bit bigger.

If you imagine you have to use a 3/8 ratchet to unscrew the fill plug. The fill plug sticks out off of the PTU a lot, it’s not flush. Then the size of the 3/8 ratchet. My clearance with that T is less than that.

Now, the bottom is a flare 3/8 where comes a flare 3/8 cap. That’s when you fill it up too much, unscrew the cap and the oil will drain out. On that top 3/8 flare end I’ll install a coupling and then a barb connection for a 3/8 hose which will end up somewhere on top of the engine with a plug. Since I didn’t change anything with the vent, I should have a nice oil flow into the PTU.

When it’s all done and the time for the oil change would come, open the drain plug, and possibly the fill plug on 3/8 hose for better air venting.

Close the drain plug, pour the oil into a metal container, warm it up enough on a portable heater so it will flow better, pour it using a funnel into that 3/8 hose. Venting is still there so it should be fine. Not super fast but relatively fine. To check if the PTU is full - open the bottom 3/8 cap. It will be accessible from the bottom, easy, nothing like a tight access between the PTU and the exhaust...

Couple of fittings from a local hw store and that’s it.

I’m just waiting when I’ll try to fill it up for the first time how it won’t work LoL
 

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BweegN

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These Little jewels just arrived. Hoping I can make something work for a vac drain and double as a pressure fill.
20220329 210036
 

VladM

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These Little jewels just arrived. Hoping I can make something work for a vac drain and double as a pressure fill.
View attachment 83571
Nice! Where are you gonna drill the hole?

There's a lot of aluminum shavings associated with it though. Some of them can drain out with the oil if your drain plug is on the bottom, but I believe most of it stays in there. They can get chewed up with those gears but what if some of them get into the seals? The worst part is you can't catch them with the magnet, damn aluminum, right?

I got lucky because I have my engine still out so I have a very easy access to PTU, drilled the hole and then cleaned up all of that shaving mess.
 

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BweegN

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Nice! Where are you gonna drill the hole?

There's a lot of aluminum shavings associated with it though. Some of them can drain out with the oil if your drain plug is on the bottom, but I believe most of it stays in there. They can get chewed up with those gears but what if some of them get into the seals? The worst part is you can't catch them with the magnet, damn aluminum, right?

I got lucky because I have my engine still out so I have a very easy access to PTU, drilled the hole and then cleaned up all of that shaving mess.
Yes, we should definitely throw out a disclaimer here that I'm strictly speaking of doing this when the device has been split open. Mine is sitting on a bench top right now, for example otherwise I don't know if I would have the balls to pull it off, LOL.
I suppose you could hope for the best and Shop-Vac everything while you are drilling but I agree that there's a major risk involved when you break through.
 

Ta2dResqr

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Nice! Where are you gonna drill the hole?

There's a lot of aluminum shavings associated with it though. Some of them can drain out with the oil if your drain plug is on the bottom, but I believe most of it stays in there. They can get chewed up with those gears but what if some of them get into the seals? The worst part is you can't catch them with the magnet, damn aluminum, right?

I got lucky because I have my engine still out so I have a very easy access to PTU, drilled the hole and then cleaned up all of that shaving mess.
Shop vac can help a lot as the shavings will be all external until you break through the case. Another trick is once you are getting close, pack your drill bit (and later your tap) with grease (axle, bearing, brake, etc.). The shavings will get stuck in the grease and come out with the tool. Hopefully, any remainder comes out with the fluid.
 

VladM

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Yes, we should definitely throw out a disclaimer here that I'm strictly speaking of doing this when the device has been split open. Mine is sitting on a bench top right now, for example otherwise I don't know if I would have the balls to pull it off, LOL.
I suppose you could hope for the best and Shop-Vac everything while you are drilling but I agree that there's a major risk involved when you break through.
Post some pictures about your install when you're done. I'm gonna stick with my idea even though having the fumoto valve would be nice
 

BweegN

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Nice! Where are you gonna drill the hole?

There's a lot of aluminum shavings associated with it though. Some of them can drain out with the oil if your drain plug is on the bottom, but I believe most of it stays in there. They can get chewed up with those gears but what if some of them get into the seals? The worst part is you can't catch them with the magnet, damn aluminum, right?

I got lucky because I have my engine still out so I have a very easy access to PTU, drilled the hole and then cleaned up all of that shaving mess.
Just sitting here thinking....I'm not going to drill a hole...I'm going to use the existing hole from the drain. Hence why I needed the ability to pressure fill from the same hole. The catch will be matching the valve threads to whatever the PTU is...this is me hoping it's 12x1.75 to match what I already have!
 

VladM

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When I removed the original plug I simply tested it against a 1/2" brass elbow I have as a leftover from a plumbing work I've done at home recently, and it fits. So I was looking for something with a 1/2" thread.

Then I bought 1/2" NPT fitting:

Anderson Metals Brass Tube Fitting, Tee, 3/8" Flare x 3/8" Flare x 1/2" Male Pipe https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B001ATFBHW...l_i_QP0D39RECSZ638EWXKS3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


The truth is that it grabbed just first few threads and then it stopped. I believe it happened because it has tapered threads so I rethreaded it to make it even with a 1/2" die set. Now the fitting goes in easy and also the full length, but, it's a bit loose so the plumbing tape would make it work.

I don't know if NPT is the same as 1.75 but the 1/2" size should work.
 

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