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Old 03-30-2021, 08:30 PM   #1
D20
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Ford F-53 Recall 21S17 March 24, 2021: Inadequate rear axle oil fill volume

“March 24, 2021

Ford Recall # 21S17

NHTSA Recall # 21V202

Description: Inadequate rear axle oil fill volume

Safety Risk: In the event of rear axle or driveshaft failure customers may experience loss of vehicle motive power loss of transmission park function and loss of parking brake function increasing the risk of a crash

Remedy: Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a ford or lincoln dealer all vehicles will be inspected for lubricant level and evaluated to determine if bearing replacement is necessary there will be no charge for this service ford is excluding reimbursement for costs because the original warranty program would provide for a free repair for this concern ford will forward a copy of the notification letters to dealers to the agency when available.”



The recall information posted does not specify an affected production date range or chassis model year. I have a 2020 F-53 chassis built in November of 2020 and my chassis is affected. I have checked several other 2020 model year F-53 chassis VINs that I found on RVTrader and most, but not all, are affected as well. It seems early 2020 production is not affected, but I can not confirm that.

The best thing to do if you have a 2020 or 2021 F-53 chassis is to go to https://www.nhtsa.gov and enter your VIN #. A generic search for recalls on the 2020/21 F-53 chassis does not list this recall. This recall will only show up by searching with your specific VIN number.

I checked the oil level in my rear axle and found it to be about 1 1/8” low. It took 4 quarts to fill it. I didn’t think to fill the wheel ends before I had put all the oil I had into the pumpkin. On an axle that has the wheel end plugs will the oil in the sump make its way to the bearings? I have to think that the manufacturer filled the wheel ends and just shorted the pumpkin. I have been trying to get an appointment at my Ford dealer to address this recall but they are not very responsive. I figured that while I am waiting around for Ford, I better get some oil in there. When I do eventually get into Ford, I will let them know what I found and the techs can then make a decision on whether to inspect the bearings or not.
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Old 03-30-2021, 08:55 PM   #2
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Dang. This is not good news. Even the thought of rear axle bearing replacement makes me cringe. These Dana 135’s or 150’s or whatever they are, are expensive axles. I can’t imagine having my coach in for an axle bearing replacement job.

Props to Ford for stepping up but how the heck could this happen in todays world of checks and rechecks.
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Old 03-31-2021, 02:48 PM   #3
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Ford F-53 Recall 21S17 March 24, 2021: Inadequate rear axle oil fill volume

Just talked to the local dealer about it. He said this is an advance notice and the official recall is expected to be issued in 3rd quarter.

I asked if it would be prudent for me to go ahead and check the level myself and if low fill it, and surprisingly he said no. That if I took it on myself to correct the issue before the formal recall came out then it might not then be covered under warranty and the burden would be on me. Rather unsettling.

So I think I might talk to a different dealer and see if I get the same response.

The local dealer doesn’t have a big enough lift so of course he wasn’t even interested in doing routine oil changes. I guess mechanics today are too precious to get down on a creeper.
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kluffinator View Post
Just talked to the local dealer about it. He said this is an advance notice and the official recall is expected to be issued in 3rd quarter.

I asked if it would be prudent for me to go ahead and check the level myself and if low fill it, and surprisingly he said no. That if I took it on myself to correct the issue before the formal recall came out then it might not then be covered under warranty and the burden would be on me. Rather unsettling.

So I think I might talk to a different dealer and see if I get the same response.

The local dealer doesn’t have a big enough lift so of course he wasn’t even interested in doing routine oil changes. I guess mechanics today are too precious to get down on a creeper.
The recall is pretty formal already. It has a NHTSA recall number assigned and my Ford App is flashing red at me. Not sure how much more formal it can be.

Owners are allowed to maintain fluids. If my engine oil level was found to be low on my pre-trip checks, I am going to top it off. Same with coolant or any other fluid. Including differential fluid. I am not sure why your dealer would say to do nothing and risk damaging your bearings.
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:46 PM   #5
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D20,
What is the build date on your chassis. I ran my VIN and also checked my App, my unit is not flagged for the recall. My chassis build date is 2/2020. I'm not really concerned about this as I had a weeping pinion seal replaced under warranty in November and the fluid was checked/filled at that time, so I should be good either way.

Edit
D20,
Sorry about the question on your build date, I jusr reread your initial post andsaw that you mentioned it there.
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:38 PM   #6
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Agree. That’s why I’m going to call a different dealer. One that deals in Ford heavy Trucks.
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:23 AM   #7
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Documents now posted include affected production dates.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls?nhtsaId=21V202
Attached Files
File Type: pdf RCLRPT-21V202-4521.PDF (210.7 KB, 28 views)
File Type: pdf RCMN-21V202-2663.pdf (142.2 KB, 22 views)
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Old 04-01-2021, 07:01 AM   #8
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The Ford docs say chassis build dates from July 2020 to February 2021 are affected. I checked my VIN and my rig is included - no surprise, it was built in late 2020. FWIW it’s a 26K GVWR 252” wheelbase chassis. Edit: Total population of about 16K F53 and F59 chassis. Estimate is that 75% are affected.

The F53 owners manual lists 4 different rear axles with varying fluid capacities. Presumably they are used on the different chassis GVWRs. I wonder if only one of the axles is impacted?

Ford sure doesn’t seem very worried if they’re planning on getting the docs describing the recall procedures out by end of the 3rd quarter.
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Old 04-01-2021, 07:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D20 View Post
“March 24, 2021

Ford Recall # 21S17

NHTSA Recall # 21V202

Description: Inadequate rear axle oil fill volume

Safety Risk: In the event of rear axle or driveshaft failure customers may experience loss of vehicle motive power loss of transmission park function and loss of parking brake function increasing the risk of a crash

Remedy: Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a ford or lincoln dealer all vehicles will be inspected for lubricant level and evaluated to determine if bearing replacement is necessary there will be no charge for this service ford is excluding reimbursement for costs because the original warranty program would provide for a free repair for this concern ford will forward a copy of the notification letters to dealers to the agency when available.”



The recall information posted does not specify an affected production date range or chassis model year. I have a 2020 F-53 chassis built in November of 2020 and my chassis is affected. I have checked several other 2020 model year F-53 chassis VINs that I found on RVTrader and most, but not all, are affected as well. It seems early 2020 production is not affected, but I can not confirm that.

The best thing to do if you have a 2020 or 2021 F-53 chassis is to go to https://www.nhtsa.gov and enter your VIN #. A generic search for recalls on the 2020/21 F-53 chassis does not list this recall. This recall will only show up by searching with your specific VIN number.

I checked the oil level in my rear axle and found it to be about 1 1/8” low. It took 4 quarts to fill it. I didn’t think to fill the wheel ends before I had put all the oil I had into the pumpkin. On an axle that has the wheel end plugs will the oil in the sump make its way to the bearings? I have to think that the manufacturer filled the wheel ends and just shorted the pumpkin. I have been trying to get an appointment at my Ford dealer to address this recall but they are not very responsive. I figured that while I am waiting around for Ford, I better get some oil in there. When I do eventually get into Ford, I will let them know what I found and the techs can then make a decision on whether to inspect the bearings or not.
Here’s a link to a Dana Spicer axle maintenance manual that I googled up. It specifies filling procedures for axle ends with and without fill ports. Apparently all you have to do is tip your motorhome to the left for one minute, then to the right for one minute, and your axle bearing are assured of lubrication. OK, totally tongue in cheek but I’m guessing you are correct. The wheel ends take only one-half a pint of lubricant so it would seem a bit difficult to short them without leaving them dry.

http://media.spicerparts.com/cfs/fil...store=original
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Old 04-01-2021, 02:43 PM   #10
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So I called the dealer in town that deals with Ford Heavy trucks and they were much more helpful. He said that they had just gotten the recall and that they already had 4 RV's in their yard with ruined rear ends and were trying to figure out what was going on when the recall came out. He is getting more download from Ford about what specifically is the issue, pumpkin or axle ends, and promised to call me back tomorrow. I got the sense from him that he thought the issue was the fill level in the pumpkin and and he said that if that overheats it can makes it's way down to the bearings. Pretty much advised me not to drive it until I could get get in in for inspection but also said that if I have the ability to inspect the level to do so.

What a mess.
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:06 PM   #11
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So I called the dealer in town that deals with Ford Heavy trucks and they were much more helpful. He said that they had just gotten the recall and that they already had 4 RV's in their yard with ruined rear ends and were trying to figure out what was going on when the recall came out. He is getting more download from Ford about what specifically is the issue, pumpkin or axle ends, and promised to call me back tomorrow. I got the sense from him that he thought the issue was the fill level in the pumpkin and and he said that if that overheats it can makes it's way down to the bearings. Pretty much advised me not to drive it until I could get get in in for inspection but also said that if I have the ability to inspect the level to do so.

What a mess.
Yes, a mess for sure. I am interested to hear what details he comes back with.

I would think the bearings would have let go on the 1200 mile delivery from newmar to my dealership if they were dry. But I understand that the bearings are pretty robust so maybe they can run dry for that long without showing any ill effects. I don’t know.

Anyhow, I am hoping the bearings sumps had been filled properly at the factory. I further hope that the now filled pumpkin will feed the wheel ends.
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:18 PM   #12
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The F53 owners manual lists 4 different rear axles with varying fluid capacities. Presumably they are used on the different chassis GVWRs. I wonder if only one of the axles is impacted?
I was not able to identify my rear axle as the identification tags had been painted over. I have the 26K 252” chassis as well.
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:37 PM   #13
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I was not able to identify my rear axle as the identification tags had been painted over. I have the 26K 252” chassis as well.
I have not been able to find the current spec sheet but I would guess axle specs have not changed since this was published.
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Old 04-01-2021, 07:18 PM   #14
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I have not been able to find the current spec sheet but I would guess axle specs have not changed since this was published.
Good info. Nice to see the axle vs chassis specs.
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