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How to replace alternator in Nissan Sentra GXE 1997 model

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For Replacement of '96-'99 nissan sentra GXE alternator.

  • Disconnect the battery negative (ground)wire.
  • Disconnect the three alternator wires(two are plug on,the other is a screw on)
  • Disconnect the upper radiator hose leading from the radiator to the engine(its black and approx. six in. long) it blocks the removal of the Alternator. Looking down into the engine compartment at the alternator you will see a bracket fastened to the alternator with a bolt. The other end of the bracket is attached to the engine block.Remove BOTH of these bolts.Store these and all other bolts etc. in a safe place.
  • Jack up the car high enough so you can use a creeper to work under the car.(PLEASE USE JACK STANDS TO SUPPORT THE CAR BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO GO UNDER IT!!)
  • Go under the car and remove the Cardboard splash shields. There are TWO that have to be removed,one on the wheel well, and one under the front of the engine. When you have removed the splash shields the alternator will be visible from beneath the car.
  • Using a good drop light locate the TWO lower alternator mounting bolts,they are on opposite sides of the alternator.Remove both these bolts and save.
  • The alternator is now bolt free and can be moved to and fro.Rock the alternator until there is "play" in the belt attached to the alternator pulley.Remove this belt(if you have a splined/grooved pulley, you may need to use a pry bar to get the belt off).Note the way the belt is sitting on the remaining pulleys;draw a diagram if you have to, this will save you problems later in the installation.Remove the alternator from the top of the engine compartment.Its a tight fit but if you play with it awhile you'll get it out.
  • Once you have the alternator out, remove the plastic shield held on by three screws.This is a cooler and will need to be installed on a rebuilt alternator.
  • Install alternator from the top of the engine compartment(the same place you removed it from.Go under the car and LOOSELY mount the two alternator bolts.While under the car reinstall the fan belt.
  • From the top of the engine compartment,reattach the top alternator mounting bracket(rock alternator to & fro to line up the front bolt.Tighten both of these bolts.Reinstall the two plug-in and the one screw held alternator wires.Reinstall the Radiator hose.
  • From under the car,tighten Both alternator mounting bolts.Check fan belt for proper alignment if you have a grooved alternator pulley.Reinstall the splash shields.
  • Reinstall the negative battery wire.Make sure its tight.
  • Check the radiator fluid level(I'm sure you lost some fluid when you disconnected it)top off as needed.
  • Recheck ALL your work,make sure you don't have any left over nuts or bolts that may come back to haunt you later down the road.Are all bolts tight? are all wires connected? Is the fan belt aligned in the grooves? If you can answer yes to all these questions,lower your car off the jacks and go for a ride!!

Posted on May 01, 2010


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