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EA82 Alternator Upgrade


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20 replies to this topic

#1 jj421

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:06 PM

So, thanks to "peacewize," I now have under-the-bumper fog lights. They're mounted a bit low, which I feel like won't be great if I go offroading. Not to mention I don't think they're street legal, especially if I have all six of my lights on at one time. Also mounted pretty far back. Like right in front of the tires. But I don't mind. Now there isn't much I can't see on the road. Just need some roof rack mounted 100 watts and... :cool:

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Anyways, I digress. With all these lights, I need a new alternator. Idling at 750 RPM with all six lights on, well....

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Not to mention if I add brake lights, turn signals, heat, rear defrost, wipers, rear wiper, radio, etc.... Once I rev it above 1250, the voltmeter gets into the "healthy" range.

So, I would say I need an alternator upgrade, haha. I've done some reading already, and our stock alternators seem useless once you add any accessory. I've read there are two swaps to do: the Maxima swap and the GM swap. The GM seems easier since from what I've read, you only need to figure out how to mount it. The Maxima swap, you have to change out the pulley, wiring, and mounting.

I'll probably do the GM swap since it's easier. But what I'd like to know is what specific car is the best for the swap. Is there one car that has the most alternator output, easiest to install, and easiest to find? Thanks!

#2 AKghandi

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:52 PM

the maxima alt is actually the easier of the two. you just need the twin belt pulley and the spacer that goes behind it. you file the spacer down a little and then mount it up. the wires and mount work perfect.

the GM one is cheaper. but you may not be able to go back to stock.
i think its a 70's buick riviera? i cant remember..


that being said i just picked up a HUGE alt to put in my car, 140 amps, i need the non A/C alt brackets but it will mount up after that. I'm planning on a winch, a bunch of lights and a full stereo so i need the power lol

here it is next to a 12.oz redbull

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#3 wakingtowinter

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:45 AM

jj421, if it isn't too much trouble, could you post a couple pics showing how you mounted those lights? I'm actually more curious about how you did the ones on your bumper, but I'd also like to see how you mounted the ones underneath too. I have some 7" halogens that I need to get on my wagon soon so I'm looking for ideas

#4 jj421

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:06 AM

Oh, I should've mentioned that I am not going to be buying a brand new alternator. I'll be pulling it off of a junkyard car. An alternator from a Maxima and an alternator from a GM will cost the same, haha.

To change out the pulley, do I just take off the one from my current alternator? Or do I have to get another one from somewhere else? I have the inboard alternator and outboard A/C compressor, and I took out the compressor, so I believe I have a few mounting options since the compressor brackets aren't being used.

Wow, that is a big alternator! I am only really running lights, since I don't do anything extreme enough to require a winch. :-p

wakingtowinter, I'd be happy to take some pictures for you, tomorrow, when it's bright outside. :D The ones on the bumper I basically just drilled into the bumper. The mounting didn't quite drill in easily, so I have four screws drilled into the bumper keeping it in place, haha.

#5 AKghandi

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:18 AM

you need the pulley from the loyale dual belt set up
like this one
http://www.oreillyau...01468&ppt=C0330

then you just switch the pulley, theres a spacer that goes behind the dual pulley, you need to file it down to 11mm, IIRC then just bolt it to the maxima alternator. and put it on.

#6 djellum

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:24 AM

neat trick for cutting something round like a pipe or tube (or spacer) is get a wide band zip tie. secure it tightly and it will make a straight edge all the way around about 75% of the tube (just have to rotate the clasp around when you get to that side). hacksaw, dremel, whatever up to the line. you can even just use it as a guide for grinding to make sure you stay even.

#7 ferox

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:25 AM

I've read there are two swaps to do: the Maxima swap and the GM swap. The GM seems easier since from what I've read, you only need to figure out how to mount it. The Maxima swap, you have to change out the pulley, wiring, and mounting.


Depending on your tools and skill set, the Nissan alt upgrade is easier for most people. It involves the spacer and pulley swap mentioned earlier, but no mounting mod. The GM swap (#7157) does not require the pulley swap but involves a a narrowing modification of the rear of the main alt bracket and a 1" angle iron extension of the tensioner bracket (pictured on an ea81). Clearances and measurements may be slightly different on an ea82.

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If you are really drawing amps, then either upgrade should also be accompanied by a wiring upgrade (upsize), but both alts are essentially wired the same as stock.

#8 jj421

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:26 AM

Yeah, I have the dual belt setup on my alternator that's in my car right now. So basically I just get the Maxima alternator, take off the pulley that's on that one, move the pulley and spacer from my alternator to the Maxima alternator, then mount the Maxima alternator in my car?

Oh, and what year Maxima would I be looking for? And is there a way with a multimeter to test the alternator at the junkyard to see if it's any good?

Ferox, thanks for the pictures. Yeah, it seems like the Maxima swap would be easier for me. I just don't know how to get the pulley off. Isn't there some tool to stop the pulley from turning so you can loosen the bolt/nut? Or can I do so by just holding it by hand?

Edited by jj421, 10 December 2012 - 01:29 AM.


#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:36 AM

Impact for the pulley nut. Cordless works fine usually. They aren't that tight.

File/grind spacer down to ~8-9mm thick for the maxima alt.

Testing an alt in the junk yard is not possible without spinning it and an excitation voltage source. With a jump pack, a bit of wire, and a drill motor you could do it but in practice you assess the viability based on the appearance of the alt and the car it came from.

GD

#10 jj421

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:43 AM

Testing an alt in the junk yard is not possible without spinning it and an excitation voltage source. With a jump pack, a bit of wire, and a drill motor you could do it but in practice you assess the viability based on the appearance of the alt and the car it came from.


That's what I figured. Just would hate to come home, put on the alternator, and realize it's failing/faulty.

I don't have an impact wrench. I want one, but I don't have the money to spend on one right now. Oh well, I'm sure I could get it off.

#11 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:48 AM

Chain wrench and an old belt..... Hysteresis is your friend. It's quite easy to loosen things if you understand some of Newton's laws.

GD

#12 jj421

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:56 AM

Hahaha, I guess so.

I just read your write-up about doing the swap. I wish the pictures were still there, but yeah, seems pretty straight forward. So it looks like I'd need an alternator from a late '80s, early '90s Maxima, correct? I might head to the Pick-N-Pull tomorrow. They have six Maximas ranging from 1987 to 1993.

#13 jj421

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

jj421, if it isn't too much trouble, could you post a couple pics showing how you mounted those lights? I'm actually more curious about how you did the ones on your bumper, but I'd also like to see how you mounted the ones underneath too. I have some 7" halogens that I need to get on my wagon soon so I'm looking for ideas


Alright, I went out and took some pictures. Like I said, the top lights basically have 5 screws holding them down. One in the center of the bracket, and four around it. Seems to work pretty well.

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The bottom lights were just placed in one of the empty holes in the fender.

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However, this morning I decided to move my lights to where I originally wanted them: under the bumper, in between my two other lights and my headlights. These are the BEFORE shots.

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These are the AFTER shots.

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Because you're interested in the mounting, I figured I would share how I did the bottom lights. It might give you some ideas if you need 'em.

So, the way the lights mount, I could not drill straight into the bumper like I did the top lights. So what I did is I bought this $5 door hinge from my local Ace Hardware.

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Then, using that thing in the middle and pounding on the ground, I managed to punch out the pin in the middle and separate the two parts of the hinge.

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Then the plan was to put the light through one of the holes and use the other two holes to drill into the bumper. With a stroke of luck, the mounting screws on the lights were the exact size as the holes for the door hinge. Just had to thread the door hinge on the screw like screwing on the nut.

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Then I took the light/hinge combo out to my car, and drilled it into the bottom of my bumper. I could only use one of the two remaining holes, but that's all I needed. They seem solid enough that they won't move, but loose enough that I can easily adjust them if the need be.

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And then, of course, I have this switch inside the "cockpit." It's a dual rocker switch that I bought from O'Reilly a while back for under $10. I have the green one wired to my new fogs and the red one wired to the center driving lights. It doesn't mount really well, but unless I build a switch panel, there isn't really another place to put it. And since I only have two additional switches, I don't feel the need for a switch panel... yet.

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#14 AKghandi

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:37 PM

you can mount some switches in the pop out pannel to the top left of where the switches are now, you might need some different switches. but it looks really clean when your done.

#15 grindolf

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

where is the pick and pull you are thinking of going to near sammamish?

#16 jj421

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:50 PM

Yeah, that's what I was thinking of doing. I was gonna get a Legacy fog light switch and put it there, but it didn't fit. I might try fabricating something for that spot soon.

where is the pick and pull you are thinking of going to near sammamish?


I always head to the one up in Lynnwood. If I feel like making the drive, I go up to Arlington. They usually have more Soobs there, and they usually have more stuff on them (I see a lot more D/R transmissions, roof racks, etc.). I haven't been to the one down in Tacoma, but they hardly have any older Soobs.

Edited by jj421, 10 December 2012 - 06:58 PM.


#17 wakingtowinter

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:13 AM

awesome pictures man, thanks a bunch. that's exactly what i was looking for. when you drilled into the bumper, did you have to use a tap or anything? is there any metal in there or is it just styrofoam inside of the plastic skin?

sorry i'm kinda hijacking your thread with these bumper questions lol

#18 Señor Brat

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:15 PM

Would the Maxima alternator swap fit on an EA81 w/ AC? From what i've gathered, theyre basically the same size as OEM subaru Alts, correct?

Edited by Señor Brat, 13 December 2012 - 03:15 PM.
clarification


#19 jj421

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

awesome pictures man, thanks a bunch. that's exactly what i was looking for. when you drilled into the bumper, did you have to use a tap or anything? is there any metal in there or is it just styrofoam inside of the plastic skin?

sorry i'm kinda hijacking your thread with these bumper questions lol


You're welcome! I didn't have to use anything. I just drilled into the bumper with regular wood screws, haha. If you go back far enough (too close to the grill), like any farther back than my lights on top are, there is metal and you won't be able to [easily] drill there. But from that point forward, you can just drill straight in without any problems. I don't think it's styrofoam, but it's definitely not metal. :D

Would the Maxima alternator swap fit on an EA81 w/ AC? From what i've gathered, theyre basically the same size as OEM subaru Alts, correct?


I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that EA82 and EA81 alternators are slightly different, especially with the mounting, so I'm not entirely sure if it'll work.

#20 92_rugby_subie

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

If you search GeneralDisorders original post, he does have some pictures in the posting.... Im 99% sure the maxima alternator was first done on his EA81 Hatch.

#21 Señor Brat

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

If you search GeneralDisorders original post, he does have some pictures in the posting.... Im 99% sure the maxima alternator was first done on his EA81 Hatch.


Just re-read the post. they're buried around page 9 or so, but yes, you CAN do the swap on ea81's w/ AC, and from what I gathered, you can use the stock pulley on the oem alt, only needing to file down the spacer a little more than with the double pulley.
:brow:




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