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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to share, I will be swapping the alternator from a 97 Nissan Maxima 110 amp into my 90 sentra (70 amp) this weekend, if all goes well and works as I believe it should I will post pics, this is a low budget swap, alternator cost me a whole $10, ( 50% off at junkyard), stay tuned..
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Alternator is in and working, have to adjust the belt a little tomorrow, was a little harder than I expected as the car I tried it in at the junkyard did not have A/C and mine does, so the alternator was hitting the metal A/C line. Had to make a bracket to bolt to the alternator but the rest of the factory adjuster is still in and functional. One of things I was trying to achieve was to be able to remove this alternator as if it was the stock one, in case I have to replace it, and the way I mounted it turned out that exact way. I did not take pictures as I did the swap as I only had 3 days to do all this and I was mostly concerned with getting it installed, will try to take some pics tomorrow .

As for the rest of the install, removed the Negative battery terminal, removed the lower plastic cover and the cover under the wheel well, removing the upper radiator hose made getting the larger alternator in and out very easy, I also removed the pass. side headlight plug and bulb, and the wiper reservoir bottle top pipe. After removing the stock alt. and wiring, I placed the wiring to the side out of the way, the Alt. is removed by removing the 2 lower bolts, (14mm) and the upper bolt, (12mm), I also removed the adjuster bracket from the engine block for more access. Removed stock alt. Placed new Maxima Alt. over lower mount, if car has no A/C Alt. mounting holes should line right up, I had to use the stock rear bolt in the front and bought a new shorter bolt for the rear, the stock front bolt is not re-used as it is too long, bolt thread is 10mm x 1.50 about 1.25" long, I re-attached the adjuster bracket and made a bracket that attaches to the alternator, (will try to get a picture of this bracket), the adjuster and spacer block went right back together, but in this order which I think is different than the stock setup, from pass. side moving to drivers side, new alt. upper mounting tab,spacer block, adjusting block (the one with the threaded and un-threaded holes in it), than the adjuster bracket, and the bolt can go in from the front or back, I did mine from the back and put a nut on the front side, the belt I used on my car that DOES NOT have power steering is a Dayco part # 5040370 which is 37" long, probably could have used a 5040365 which would be 36.5" long. After installing the new belt and setting initial tension I moved to the wiring. The stock Alt. wiring is as follows, the red/white wire goes to the light in the gauge cluster, and the white wire is the sense wire that eventually goes to the battery, I say eventually because if you look in the factory service manual it goes thru a fuse, the fuse block than to a 12 volt source.
the Maxima Alt. does use a different plug, the wire colors are: red/white wire goes to light in cluster same as stock and yellow/blue to 12 volts, so after cutting off the stock plug and ring terminal ( which is too small to fit over the stud on the Maxima alternator), I used butt connectors to attach the new Maxima plug to the stock wires, once again as follows: stock wire harness side red/white to new plug red/white, stock wire harness side white to Maxima plug yellow/blue. You will notice the white wire on the stock plug is a lot thicker than the yellow/blue wire so you have to use a yellow butt connector, the red/white wires are the same size so use a blue butt connector, the new ring terminal is a yellow terminal just make sure you use one that fits over the stud as the yellow terminals come in different hole sizes. after the new plug is attached you can cover the connection area with wire loom, I am going to use a spark plug heat wrap that my local auto parts store sells as the plug is close to the left side of the exhaust manifold, the heat wrap I found is made by DEI and includes 2 - 6" pieces for about $13. After plugging the plug into the Maxima alternator, place the ring terminal over the stud on the top of the Alt., now you must run a new cable from this stud directly to the positive on your battery, I recommend at least a 4 gauge wire, I used some car stereo power cable with street wires ring terminal connectors, these attach with a Allen set screw. After making up this cable, place one end over the stud on the Alt, and install the nut on to the stud and tighten, the other end goes to your positive battery terminal, after making this connection, you can re-install the Negative battery terminal. Once the cables are on, the plug is in the Alt and the belt is tight, re-install the upper radiator hose and you can start the car, I would recommend checking the belt and re-tightening the belt after a few days as the new belt will stretch, don't forget to re-install all the parts that were removed and tie the new power cable going from the Alt. to the battery out of the way, I ran mine across the top of the radiator. that should be it, if I left anything out or anyone has any questions feel free to ask. Total cost of this for me, (prices may vary depending on Alt. price, etc) used Alternator from junkyard 1/2 price sale $10, new pulley and testing $10 ( the Maxima uses a 6 rib pulley, stock is 4 rib, auto electric store owner said it would be fine using a 4 rib belt on a 6 rib pulley and they replaced the 6 rib pulley with another 6 rib pulley as he did not like how the pulley looked on the used alternator he said there were flat spots on the rib area, so the pulley that comes with the Maxima alternator can be used as long as it is in good shape) , piece of metal for bracket $0, new bolt $1.50, new belt $15, electrical connectors I had already, total cose for a 110 amp alternator aprox. $40
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Just wanted to add as I said the Alternator mounts almost as the stock one did so it can be removed very easily, this way if it fails or you want to use the 125 amp Maxima alternator, (the 1997 Maxima comes with either a 110 or 125 amp alternator), it will drop right in. if this alternator dies (it is from a 12 year old car so I don't expect it to last forever) I will probably buy the 125 amp version from the local auto parts store and than will have one with a warranty. Nissan has cars/trucks with larger amp alternators but most of these vehicles are usually too new to find in a junk yard and are even larger than the one I used, the titan has a 140 amp I believe, also the alternator from a 90 ish Infiniti Q45 is a high output but will not fit as the lower mounting "ears" are too close together, the 93 to 98 Nissan Quest or Mercury Villager uses a 110 amp but it is mounted on the back of the engine and is usually hard to get to). A good site for reference, specs, pictures and applications is: Beck / Arnley just enter the year, make, model, click on first part type (Alt) and engine size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
here are a few pics, not the best I would have preferred to take pics as I installed the Alt, but didn't.

First pic shows the bracket I made that bolts to the Alternator,yes it is mounted on the wrong side of the upper Alt mount, I did it this way to allow access to the stock adjusting bracket bolt,



second pic is view looking down showing the Alt. , that it is still in the stock location and also showing the wiring and the new 4 gauge cable that runs to the battery,

 
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