Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Scorpio / Scorpio Cosworth Discussions - Questions, problem resolution, general talk, technical tips and modifications.
brokencase
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by brokencase » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:42 pm

My 2004 Titan alternator has arrived. This is the 130 amp unit with the "straight grills". There was a little snaffu. The guy shipped the first one and it ended up somewhere in western PA. He sent me another. This one had 91k miles instead of 71k. Still looks good.

I opened up the unit and the brushes look like they have plenty of meat left. The little sealed bearing on the brush side felt a little iffy so I pulled it off and ordered another. You have to use a small puller to get the little bearing off. Search ebay for "Alternator Bearing 10x27x11" for a replacement. The big bearing is fine.

A 15/16" socket will get the pulley nut off. It is standard CCW removal. I used a pipe wrench to grab the pulley.

FYI, there is a little hole in the brush side casting where you can insert a stiff wire to hold the brushes in the retracted position for re-assembly.

I didn't get a harness chop. So I ordered a plug off ebay as well. Had to scrummage in the "ye olde N&B box" for a nut to fit the big stud.

Did a little cleanup - Nothing crazy.

DPDISXR4Ti - I'm right behind ya...

brokencase
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by brokencase » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:48 pm

Connector and bearing arrived and installed. I think I will test this out by connecting to a spare battery I have here and then spin it with a drill.

I'll simulate the dash bulb circuit of the Scorpio and confirm that the alternator is working, bulb goes out, measure voltage, etc...
Safer than experimenting on the car.
Last edited by brokencase on Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DPDISXR4Ti
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by DPDISXR4Ti » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:37 pm

Look forward to the progress updates. :headbang
Brad

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by Merkurfast » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:39 pm

Cant wait!

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by brokencase » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:08 pm

Bench test success. Just hooked up the Hitachi to the battery with jumper cables. Ran the sense wire and soldered up a dash lamp. Spun the drill and the lamp went out as expected. The nominal voltage on this battery was 12.4. The voltage jumped to 12.7 while I spun the drill.
This was just my rechargeable drill - it probably was not even spinning close to what it would be even at idle in the car.

I bought a 51" long, 4 gauge battery wire at Walmart. It has a lug on one end and a battery post connection on the other. But I see that I can cut off most of the battery post connection to fashion another lug. After looking things over I've decided that I'm going to connect this wire in parallel with the existing wire that goes from the alternator to the battery on the Scorpio. This will leave everything undisturbed in case I ever want to go back to original. I'm not going to worry about a 130 amp fuseable link on the big wire. For the SENSE wire I have an inline fuse holder that accepts standard bladed fuses. I'll have the fuse up by the battery post.

FWIW - on the Hitachi 130 amp alternator, with the 2 pin connector, the wire closest to the big stud is the LAMP wire. Not sure of the situation with Brad's unit with the curved cooling vents.

Its pretty hot outside today. I might get this installed later today or I will work on it tomorrow morning when its cooler.

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by brokencase » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:03 pm

Well....sad to say.

It is not the "super easy drop in" that we had hoped for. There are two (possibly three) issues:

1) I've machined the Bosch's pulley to fit onto the Hitachi. I also had to machine a sleeve spacer to go behind the pulley.
However the pulley sits too far forward. Normally with V belts there is some latitude with respect to alignment. However in this case it causes the alternator belt to foul with the rear power steering belt. It's not much, just needs to move back a few millimeters.

Solution: I'm going to have to take some material off the back side of the front alternator mounting ear in order to set the alternator back to bring the pulley into better alignment. Alternatively, I might be able to do some more creative machining of the pulley to set it back further.

2) There is some interference around the Scorpio's mount that is limiting the "arc of swing" such that I can't take up all the belt slack.
The new alternator swings some amount and if I had a smaller alternator belt it would probably work.

Solution: Once I have identified what is hitting some grinding of the Scorpio mount and/or the alternator will probably address this issue.

3) Possibly because of item two above the alternator tensioning bracket is not going to work. It needs to be more "C" shaped.
However the bracket may be fine once I can swing the alternator further.

BTW - A useful trick to getting the alternator into the Scorpio - Put a big zip tie loosely around the alternator and up over the mount casting.
Push it up from below and get it into position with one hand, then take up the slack in the big zip tie. Now you go up top to fiddle it into final position and push the long bolt through. When your done. cut the zip tie off.
Last edited by brokencase on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by brokencase » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:42 pm

Little further along....

I set up the air die grinder with a carbide bur and went at it. Made progress to the point where I'm confident things will eventually work.
I'll post some pictures shortly. I still think I may have to modify the adjusting bracket, or find another.

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by Ed Lijewski » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:50 am

Kudos for pursuing this.

But I'm going to repeat what I noted away above here in another thread, just to tweak you: given that the Scorp alternator has to be installed from below, one handed at that, it would be far easier to use a mule (2.9 out of the car), or starting with a Scorpio alternator bracket in hand, to adapt any other alternator to it. (I learned that from changing several Scorp alternators in pursuit of higher voltage readings under average current draw).

You'll get it to work, no doubt. Fingers crossed it will still be a drop-in.

YMMV
Last edited by Ed Lijewski on Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by taylor0987 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:47 pm

brokencase wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:08 pm
...
After looking things over I've decided that I'm going to connect this wire in parallel with the existing wire that goes from the alternator to the battery on the Scorpio. This will leave everything undisturbed in case I ever want to go back to original. I'm not going to worry about a 130 amp fuseable link on the big wire. For the SENSE wire I have an inline fuse holder that accepts standard bladed fuses. I'll have the fuse up by the battery post.
...
On my Scorpio, I replaced the positive cable from the battery to the alternator.
If I remember correctly, the existing wire had a splice to a smaller wire somewhere along the way. Sorry I didn't figure out where it went, rather I connected it to positive elsewhere. If you just bypass the existing wire then you won't have this connection...

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by DPDISXR4Ti » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:11 pm

I saw some very minor interference issues when I mocked up my alternator. I figured a little work with a carbide burr would solve. Not sure if the 130A unit might be a little physically bigger or not.

The pulley was my biggest concern going forward, but I've not done anything more on this project since the initial mock-up. I wasn't figuring to do anything until after I acquired one of the Honda pulleys. It's on my junkyard list, but I tend not to do Summer junkyarding trips. Too damn hot and no trees to hide under!
Brad

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by brokencase » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:13 am

Ed - Certainly having a motor on a stand with all accessories mounted would be nice but it just isn't going to happen.
I've become pretty proficient at installing/removing the alternator at this point. Really builds your hand and forearm strength.

Brad - if your going to modify the mounting casting you have off the car - Grind around the web that approaches the boss from the passenger side.
Just situate the casting as it would be on the car and swing the alternator away from the engine side and you will see where it hits.

I'm really blown away as to how far off the tensioning bracket is. Its like 2 inches too short and needs more of a "C" shape to it.

By some weird twist of fate I have found that I have a spare tensioning bracket. I found it in one my nut and bolt boxes yesterday. It's weird. I don't know where it came from. I never messed with the alternator with my previous Scorpio. I wonder if it is common to some other Ford application. Anyhow - This allows me to keep the original and I am going to modify the spare. So I was tracing on some 3/16" plate tonight. Will be firing up the MIG at some point.

I am trying to approach this such that if somehow things don't work out I can still fall back to the original alternator.
But I think all this will work out. It's just not a "drop in" when you are grinding, welding and turning things on the lathe.
That being said, I still think this is the best option to an upgraded alternator

Its a fun hobby though - isn't it?

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by Ed Lijewski » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:01 am

What would we do without you...

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brokencase
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by brokencase » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:02 pm

Mr. Gasket saves me some hassle....

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/mr- ... 7CL3*15576

Ordered online last night and picked it up this evening. It will work. It needs a hole drilled and to be cut down. $12 & change (25% discount)
Easier than welding...

Looks like some rainy afternoons over the 4th break. Should have this alternator conversion wrapped up and some other things like...
O2 sensor, I bought a NOS replacement off of ebay a while back for $8. There is one at rock auto right now for $2.77!
Alternate Front ABS sensors
Sunroof seal replacement (located source from UK, Cost was around $70) I'll start a new thread about this.

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by DPDISXR4Ti » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:13 pm

brokencase wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:13 am
I am trying to approach this such that if somehow things don't work out I can still fall back to the original alternator.
But I think all this will work out. It's just not a "drop in" when you are grinding, welding and turning things on the lathe.
That being said, I still think this is the best option to an upgraded alternator
I take the same approach. First, I want to be able to fall back to the original part, whatever it might be. A second set of brackets helps with that as you have indicated. With the new part, I want to be able to use it in it's original form, as much as possible. Part of the end-goal for the replacement part is that I can get one on the shelf at AutoZone/Pep Boys/Advance/whatever on a Saturday night at 9PM. If modifications to the part are required, that somewhat defeats that goal. Of course, if the new part is a more reliable one that doesn't ever fail (in theory), that makes that a little less of a requirement.
Brad

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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade

Post by brokencase » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:38 pm

In "like Flint"...

Image

Not my best rodeo. But I am happy with the results.

At idle and with A/C and headlights on I am getting 13.7 volts. The old Bosch unit would often drop below 12.0 volts under similar conditions.

I had to bend the universal alternator bracket to get a tighter bend in it. Mounted the straight portion in the vise and pounded on it. I did this before cutting it to length with several trial fits under the car. I don't know why they chrome plate these brackets. They just get hacksawed and drilled anyhow. I'll paint it black later after shakedown testing.

Using a 4" die grinder with cutting disc, I cut back the front of the cast iron alternator mount on the Scorpio to move the pulley alignment back a bit. This was in combination with cutting some of the boss on the front lobe of the alternator. If I were to do it again I would probably just cut more off the Scorpio mount instead of buggering up the alternator. YMMV, depending on what pulley you end up using. Figure on cutting about 1/4" off the cast iron mount. It does take some courage, skill, and strength to use a die grinder to cut that section off from beneath the car.

A spacer is made to fill the corresponding gap that is now introduced on the rear mount. I used Loctite cyanoacrylate to hold this spacer in place during installation.

You use the stock mounting bolt from the Scorpio but the hole is too big on the front lobe. A small spacer/insert is made to fit in that hole that is sized to the Scorpio mounting bolt.

You can see my big zip tie in the above pic that eases installation.

Some additional grinding of the alternator casting is unavoidable around where the adjustment bracket tightens down. Not too bad.

Wiring was a breeze compared to the mechanical challenges. Here you can see that I still used the existing big wire on the Scorpio and the new wire runs in parallel up to the battery. If you use the aftermarket Hitachi 2 pin connector - the yellow wire on that connector goes to the Scorpio's green LAMP wire. GREEN is sense and goes up to positive on the battery through an inline fuse.

Image

Image

Some concerns remain. I tightened the pulley nut very tight and used locktite. The Hitachi pulley just relied on the nut torque to secure the pulley. I'm thinking the Bosch's keyed shaft was a better solution. I might revisit that someday. I will drive it locally for a while and keep an eye on it to make sure the pulley doesn't slip loose on me.

Costs:
Alternator $35.00 from ebay - used
New little side bearing for alternator $11.88 ebay
Alternator 2 pin connector $9.77 ebay
Mr. Gasket Bracket ~$12.50 Advance Auto parts
4 gauge cable from Walmart ~$10
Can't remember what i paid for the inline fuse holder.

Blood, sweat, and tears I give freely.

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