Anyone ever get that $300 - $500 quote
to have your alternator replaced? One word of advice: Don't fall into that trap.
The new Hitachi (Nissan OEM) alternators run about $220 and have a limited
warranty. Another alternative is to purchase a higher line remanufactured
alternator, which is much cheaper. They utilize the same Hitachi case, offer
similar reliability, and in most cases, come with a lifetime warranty. I
purchased my remanufactured alternator for $80.
I have installed remanufactured
alternators on both of my Maximas with good results. Two months ago, I put one
in my black Maxima, these are the instructions I followed. They are mostly from a
Tune-Up & Repair Manual designed specifically for the 1989 - 1990 Nissan
Maxima. I use this in conjunction with my Factory Service Manual. I do not
guarantee or warranty results, please do this at your own risk.
These instructions include the removal
and replacement of the air conditioning and power steering belts as well. These
extra steps are in red. You will need:
- power steering, air conditioner,
- Jack, jack stands
- 10 mm, 12 mm, and 14 mm sockets
with short, medium, and long extensions, and a ratchet
- eye protection
Step 1: Disconnect the Battery.
- disconnect the negative, then the
positive battery terminal.
Step 2: Loosen the
nut in the center of the air-conditioning belt idler pulley.
- it’s the top
most pulley, located on the right end of the engine.
- Two or three turns
is all that is needed.
- This will allow
the belt to loosen when you loosen the tensioner bolt
Step 3: Loosen
the air-conditioning belt tensioner bolt
- This 12 mm
adjuster is located above and to the left of the pulley
- Loosen around 15
turns or enough slack to remove and install a new belt.
Step 4: Raise
and support the front of the car
- Use caution with a level ground,
appropriate jack and jack stands.
- Turn the front wheels to the right
after jacking up the car.
- Do not use the spare tire jack.
Step 5: Remove
the lower right splash shield
- From beneath the car, unscrew the 10
Step 6: Remove the splash shield
from the right wheel well.
- The shield is again, held in place
by 3 10 mm bolts and a push-in clip.
- The bolts and clip are located
behind the right wheel.
- It is not necessary to take off
the wheel – I did not.
- Personally, I question whether it
is necessary to take off this shield.
Step 7: Remove
the Air conditioning belt
- take it off the
crankshaft pulley first, and then the air conditioning compressor pulley.
Step 8: Loosen the bolt on the
alternator belt tension rod.
- On the bottom of the alternator,
you will see a bolt and a metal device that it is in. Loosen the nut that
is holding the bolt. (the nut facing the right tire).
Step 9: Loosen the alternator pivot
- There are two of these bolts, and
they are at the top of the alternator (one on each side, in line with each
Step 10: Relax
the tension on the alternator belt.
- Loosen the alternator belt adjuster
and squeeze the belt together to move the alternator toward the engine.
- Note: the alternator may be hard to
move, just keep working it, until it loosens
Step 11: Remove
the alternator belt.
Step 12: Unplug the large connector.
- Press in on the tab on the
connector and pull it out of the alternator
Step 13: Disconnect the wires from
the rear of the alternator.
- Unscrew the nuts that attach the
wires, and pull the wires off their studs.
- Watch for falling debris in your
Step 14: Free the alternator harness
- Remove the 8 mm bolt that attaches
the clamp to the rear of the alternator.
Step 15: Remove
the adjuster bracket from the alternator
- Unscrew the bolt that attaches the
adjuster rod and bracket to the bottom of the alternator.
Step 16: Remove
the alternator pivot bolts.
- There is a second bolt at the rear
of the alternator (identical to the easier viewed one), directly in line
with the front one.
- Remove both, securing the alternator
with your hand so it doesn’t fall on you.
Step 17: Remove
- I had trouble getting mine out and
had to push back and forth until it finally came loose.
- At this time you can remove and
replace the power steering belt. The tensioner is in view.
Step 18: Install the new alternator.
- Install the bolts above the
alternator, finger tight at first.
- Do not tighten these until the
alternator belt tension has been adjusted.
Step 19: Attach the lower adjuster
- Screw in the bolt that attaches
the adjuster rod and bracket to the alternator
Step 20: Connect the large wire to
- It mounts on the upper stud.
Step 21: Connect the small wire to
the rear of the alternator.
- The small wire mounts on the lower
Step 22: Attach
the alternator harness clamp.
Step 23: Plug
in the large connector
- Press the connector into the
alternator until the tab locks it in place.
Step 24: Install
and tighten the alternator belt.
- Tighten the adjuster nut until you
can deflect the belt ¼ - ½ inch midway between the pulleys.
Step 25: Tighten
the pivot bolts.
- again, the bolts above the
Step 26: Install
the air conditioning belt.
- assure that the
grooves and ridges in belt match up with the grooves on the pulley.
Step 27: Install
the splash shield on the right wheel well.
Step 28: Install the lower splash
Step 29: Lower the car.
Step 30: Adjust the air conditioning
- from the top, turn adjuster bolt
clockwise until you can push the belt inward about ¼ inch.
- Again, this adjusting nut is 12 mm
just above the air conditioning idler pulley.
Step 31: Tighten
the pulley bolt.
- this locks the tensioner and
prevents it from loosening.
Step 32: Connect
- connect the positive first.