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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I know my voltage regulator is bad, and I needed it replaced. A call to the nearest Nissan Dealer yielded a 70-100 dollar part (along with other automotive part stores).

So I did the next "best" thing. I went to the junkyard and hoarded all the voltage regulators from sentras near my year and hoped the combination of them will last me the time I have my car.

While salvaging the voltage regulators, I noticed that they don't look the same (see picture).



My car is a 87 Sentra Coupe. In the picture you see it is a silver box with three wires. you can't see anything inside, the other side is just black coated and wires come out of it.

The black box with heatsink built in also has 3 wires, the dimensions fit exactly. the only difference is that its black with heat sink and the other side you can actually see the circuit board. These came from 86 to 87 Sentra 4-doors automatic and manual. The difference in gauges were that they had no rpm meter (even the manual).

I took a 88 sentra 4-door and the voltage regulator was completely different. the thing looked like it was just completely attached to the back of the cluster, and no wires at all.

anyways I have 3 of the black ones with heatsink on them. my question is, if I swap my silver one for the black one (assuming the black one works), it should be ok? hoping the specs (voltage regulation?) are the same regardless of how it looks and won't fry out my cluster in anyway. (silver one is dead, I'm swapping out to the black one).

any comments or answers most appreciated! thanks!
 

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Right on! I figured it would work for you okay. I was just
thinking that sometimes things like that will work for a
brief period and then die..because of a tiny difference in
power.

I just did a search for a cluster and I can't find one within
driving distance. All 300 miles or more. Nissan is crazy for
charging what they want for that part. We all know its
a dollar part..max. That's a hell of a mark up. I need to
get into the voltage regulator business!

I can deal with it not working until I go on a road trip or
whatever. That's when I start getting nervous about
temp and fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yea. its really an unjustifiably expensive part. the regulator I got was from a sentra that had like 60k miles, and mine failed at 140k, so I figured it'll last for a while. the other two one was from 120k and the other was from 200k, but they probably are working. I think that heatsink helps. my original one didn't have a heat sink. anyways I don't expect to have the car forever, so I think the ones I have will last long enough.
 

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there are 3 different voltage regulators used on the sentra's, you have pictures of 2 of them, as you know their is the smooth case silver one with long wires, the black heatsink looking one with shorter wires, and the 3rd type looks like a transistor attached to a silver heat sink, (my 90 "e" sentra had the 3rd type), I spoke to a parts manager back home about the 3rd type and she had never even seen one like it before,



 

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that's straight from the factory, pain in the as- it was, when I needed one someone on one of the nissan forums gave me the part number to get it from an electronics catalog it was like $2
 
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