Ford 'Confident' It'll Have the Transfer Cases It Needs

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

As it woos the UAW with health protocol and assesses suppliers to ensure their readiness when production resumes (whenever that ends up being), Ford Motor Company says a crucial component it needs for a great number of big-ticket vehicles will be there, too.

Hoping to get all of its ducks in a row before Michigan opens itself up for business, Ford had employees working feverishly in a state that contains no Ford plants.

As you’ve read here, BorgWarner’s plant in Seneca, South Carolina suffered massive damage during a mid-April tornado. Produced inside the shattered facility were transfer cases for Ford’s F-150 and Super Duty, Transit, Explorer, and Lincoln’s Navigator and Aviator. You know, just a few unimportant products. Dearborn would be just fine without ’em…

Obviously that’s not true, which is why an immediate effort got underway to salvage what could be salvaged (the Ford-owned equipment was reportedly okay) and expedite a solution. Earlier this week, BorgWarner announced it would be able to begin limited production in early May.

Via Automotive News, Ford manufacturing boss Gary Johnson says the two companies have made good progress, despite Ford notifying the Securities and Exchange Commission that the twister damage could lead to a pickup and SUV production hit.

“The recovery that BorgWarner’s been able to do, with us supporting them, has been fantastic,” Johnson said. “I’m extremely confident that when we start up our systems in the U.S. and North America, BorgWarner will support them. The risk is dropping every day.”

Ford was left with no other option than to send a team to SC to help out. “We can’t re-source it,” Johnson said. “The decision was made to help retrofit the plant to make it viable to come back.”

Work included rebuilding the plant’s missing roof and having Blue Oval IT guys rebuild the plant’s computer rooms.

Other recipients of the plant’s four-wheel-drive wares are Toyota and the Ram brand, though little is known of their involvement in BorgWarner’s recovery.

[Image: Lincoln Motor Company]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • S197GT S197GT on May 02, 2020

    Ford transfer cases... sore spot with me. LOVED our 2011 Mazda CX-9. The Ford transfer case failed at 75k miles and was replaced under a goodwill extended warranty from Mazda due to all the failed PTUs. Then, right at 150k miles, it started to leak again: $1300 out of pocket. Only major issue we had in 120k miles. Traded it in when I learned about the internal water pump issues of the Ford Duratec engines. One design flaw I can handle, two are a hard NOPE! Those PTU issues are also known in the Taurus, Flex, etc. Kept me away from a Taurus SHO or Fusion Sport when I bought my new car.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on May 03, 2020

    I'm 'extremely confident' my abs will be completely ripped after another month of sitting on the couch. /S

  • SCE to AUX 08 Rabbit (college car, 128k miles): Everything is expensive and difficult to repair. Bought it several years ago as a favor to a friend leaving the country. I outsourced the clutch ($1200), but I did all other work. Ignition switch, all calipers, pads, rotors, A/C compressor, blower fan, cooling fan, plugs and coils, belts and tensioners, 3 flat tires (nails), and on and on.19 Ioniq EV (66k miles): 12V battery, wipers, 1 set of tires, cabin air filter, new pads and rotors at 15k miles since the factory ones wore funny, 1 qt of reduction gear oil. Insurance is cheap. It costs me nearly nothing to drive it.22 Santa Fe (22k miles): Nothing yet, except oil changes. I dread having to buy tires.
  • AZFelix 2015 Sonata Limited72k when purchased, 176k miles currentlyI perform all maintenance and repairs except for alignment, tire mounting, tire patching, and glass work (tint and passenger left due to rock hit). Most parts purchased through rockauto.com.Maintenance and repairs during three years of ownership:Front rotors and all brake pads upgraded shortly after purchase.Preparing for 17th oil change (full synthetic plus filter c.$50), one PCV valve.Timing & accessory belts, belt tensioner.Coolant full flush and change.Fibrous plastic material engine under tray replaced by aftermarket solid plastic piece $110.One set of tires (c.$500 +installation) plus two replacements and a number of patches due to nails, etc. Second set coming soon.Hood struts $30.Front struts, rear shocks, plus sway bar links, front ball joints, tie rod ends, right CV axle (large rock on freeway damaged it and I took the opportunity to redo the rest of items on this list).Battery c.$260.Two sets of spark plugs @ $50/set.Three sets of cabin and engine filters.Valve cover gasket (next week).Averages out to c.$1400 per year for the past three years. Minor driver seat bolster wear, front rock chips, and assorted dents & dings but otherwise looks and drives very well.
  • 3-On-The-Tree 2014 Ford F150 Ecoboost 3.5L. By 80,000mi I had to have the rear main oil seal replaced twice. Driver side turbo leaking had to have all hoses replaced. Passenger side turbo had to be completely replaced. Engine timing chain front cover leak had to be replaced. Transmission front pump leak had to be removed and replaced. Ford renewed my faith in Extended warranty’s because luckily I had one and used it to the fullest. Sold that truck on caravan and got me a 2021 Tundra Crewmax 4x4. Not a fan of turbos and I will never own a Ford again much less cars with turbos to include newer Toyotas. And I’m a Toyota guy.
  • Duke Woolworth Weight 4800# as I recall.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X '19 Nissan Frontier @78000 miles has been oil changes ( eng/ diffs/ tranny/ transfer). Still on original brakes and second set of tires.
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