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The stock 00-04 Nissan Xterra alternator puts out 80amps of electrical power. Although this may be enough for most, once one starts to install high drain aftermarket components (lights, winch, fan, stereo equipment, etc.) a need for more power arises. The alternator keeps the battery replenished and full of power as needed. If you have a increased electrical drain your alternator may not be supplying your battery with the level of power is needs. Therefore, your current alternator and battery will be working overtime to cope with the additional load, thus shortening both battery and alternator life.

With that said...

Stock= 80amps

Quest= 125amps

That is 45 amps of more power to your electrical system!

The upgrade alternator in question comes from a Nissan Quest Minivan which uses the same VG series of engine. The reason the alternator is more powerful on the Quest verses the Xterra is that the engine is mounted cross ways thus requiring a high amp electric cooling fan to cool the engine.

Benifits: More power for your electrical devices. Your sound systems bass will thump louder as more power will be on tap at any given moment. Longer battery and alternator life then stock with high drain devices. More consistent power output. Its a fairly cheap upgrade.

Parts Needed::
1. Alternator from a NISSAN QUEST 1999 2000 2001 2002 or MERCURY VILLAGER 1999 2000 2001 2002. I found mine on ebay for $50 shipped with 65,000 miles on it.

2. One M5 screw about 10mm long.

Optional: longer bolt for the top mount.

Tools needed:
1. 12mm wrench
2. 12mm deep well socket
3. 12mm socket
4. 10mm wrench
5. Phillips screwdriver
6. Grinding tool or file


Install:

1. Remove negative battery cable from the negative battery terminal. Important: Failure to do so could cause arcing, lighting your hair on fire, cursing and blowing of the fuse-able links so just do it.



2. Remove your skid plate, locate your alternator at the bottom of engine (right next to the oil filter). Nissan must of had a brain fart then they installed it at this location but that's for another thread.



3. Remove red terminal on alternator from above. Its a stud coming out of the alternator hold the boot back use a 12mm wrench to remove the nut and terminal.


4. Remove the ground terminal I used a shorty 10mm wrench as the area was pretty tight.


5. See that red circle in this picture, that is the alternator bolt. Reach around down there for the top of the alternator and remove the upper bolt that holds the alternator on.


Tool in place

This is the wrench I used in the above photo though a normal ratchet and socket will probably do the job equally as well. It's tight so I preferred my Gear wrenches high engagement. It's a gear wrench with a 3/8 adapter and a 12mm socket if you must know.


6. Remove the front bolt near the fan. I found the best way was from the bottom. Deep well 12mm socket is what I used. Possibly a normal socket with extension and a ratchet would have been the better tool for the job.


7. Completely remove the lower bolt from the bracket.


8.The alternator is now loose, rotate it around until you can get a good pinch on the signal wire connector's release tab to work it loose.


9. Shove the alternator back up in the frame and remove the lower bracket completely. I did it in this order as the bracket had prevented the heavy alternator from smacking the teeth out of my face when it slipped out of my grasp while removing that signal connector. Use the oil filter to hold it back its a balancing act so hold your face clear of the fall path.




10. HA! halfway there. Compare your alternators, Quest on the right.


As you can see the Quest is a little larger and the mounts are in the same places.


The connectors are the same though they are not in the same locations.


The Quest has more beef on the upper mount this is where a longer bolt is a reasonable option. I found one out of my drawer that was just a hair longer. Though you could still use the stock bolt.
Stock


Quest with stock bolt.


11. I would recommend shaving or grinding this area flat a bit as it is very hard to get the belt over the pulley without grinding here as the alternator bottoms out on the oil filter mount.


Another angle of the trim.


12. Place the alternator back in the balancing area.


13. Install your lower bracket then plug the signal wire in. Slide a bolt through the lower bracket after connecting the signal wire.


14. Use a phillips screw driver to line the hole up.


15. Install the front upper bolt first and tighten it some what snug. Then install the rear upper bolt. Slide the belt over the pulley. Install the red terminal then the ground wire with your new M5 screw. The rest bolts up as you removed it.


Start your Xterra Up and enjoy more Electrical power!!
 

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awesome write up!!

on a note...... if anyone plans on doing the timing belt any time soon..... it's way easier to get to the alternator when the front half of the engine is disassembled!!
 

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some people will have to grind here to get the alt onto the x, i did

 

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Great job on the write up! The grinding is as Dustin said on a case by case basis. I just put the new one in in like 10 minutes, no grinding. This is way easier with a body lift, no fenders and no fender liner and no "splash guard".
 

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i know anthony didnt have to grind his either
 

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Oh sweet! I was just thinking about that today! Thank you so much for doing that and great write up! :D
 

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Great write up! Thanks! I have to get on this project as well. Will probably wait for spring and warmer weather.
 

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dannypoo
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thanks for this write up! i will definitely be using this once i get my new one. which will be inevitibly soon.
especially if stevin has anything to say about it.
 

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FYI, there are 2 different alternators that came out of the Quest. You can also pull it from a Mercury Villager. I BELIEVE the years you want are 99-02. If you get the 105/110 amp alt., then it will not be right. I have heard of people pulling the pulley. IF YOU REMOVE THE PULLEY, YOU ARE BASICALLY VOIDING THE MODIFICATION!!!
 

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FYI, there are 2 different alternators that came out of the Quest. You can also pull it from a Mercury Villager. I BELIEVE the years you want are 99-02. If you get the 105/110 amp alt., then it will not be right. I have heard of people pulling the pulley. IF YOU REMOVE THE PULLEY, YOU ARE BASICALLY VOIDING THE MODIFICATION!!!
I think what hes trying to say is to not take off the pulley...
not sure though

hhahahhaha
 

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crap. i was just getting on the forums looking for info on how to mount a panel switch in my x, when i stumbled on this thread. i have a 250watt amp powering two 12" subs, a cb radio, a cd/dvd pioneer, two 6" KC's, two off brand driving lights (for backing up), and plan to install four 6" hellas on top. im pretty sure i know the answer to this, but do i need to make this mod?
 

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crap. i was just getting on the forums looking for info on how to mount a panel switch in my x, when i stumbled on this thread. i have a 250watt amp powering two 12" subs, a cb radio, a cd/dvd pioneer, two 6" KC's, two off brand driving lights (for backing up), and plan to install four 6" hellas on top. im pretty sure i know the answer to this, but do i need to make this mod?
Sure wouldn't hurt to do it. You should go all out and do dual batteries as well!
 

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cant. i still live with my parents (going through college) and my dad goes crazy any time i try to spend money. he doesnt even think its a good idea to do the switch, even though i actually might need it.

so hard to make mods to a vehicle when you arent actually allowed to mod the vehicle...
 

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If you use all the roof lights (you don't mention the watts of the bulbs...), lets say 6 at a time, and 100 watts each, thats 600 watts at 12 volts, or about 50 amps.

If you are maxxing out the 250 watt amp, that's ~ 21 amps.

If you are also firing off the 2 other lights at 100 watts each, that's ~ 17 amps more.

Add the 50 + 21 + 17 amps, and that's ~ 88 amps.

So, you're using ~ 88 amps without headlights, parking lights, or any other electrical loads.

Food for thought...for the $ that six 100 watt roof lights would cost, you could get a set of 2 HID lights for the roof instead that would be brighter, and use only 35 watts each (About 6 amps for the pair...) instead of ~ 50 amps, etc.

You could also use the savings to get a mean green 180 amp alternator meant for the X.

:wink-big:
 

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only 4 roof lights, at about 55W each. not 6.
but i get your point. kinda. still dont think i'll be able to swap the alternator.
 

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only 4 roof lights, at about 55W each. not 6.
but i get your point. kinda. still dont think i'll be able to swap the alternator.
LOL

Consider eating more carrots.

:D
 
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