How to Change the Alternator on a 1997 Nissan SE Pickup

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If your 1997 Nissan SE pickup will not start, your vehicle's alternator may be to blame. An alternator is a mechanical device that generates alternating current to power other parts of your vehicle, including the starter, lights and computer system. If you have determined that the alternator is the problem, you will have to replace it. Replacing an alternator in a Nissan pickup is not an easy task, but doing it yourself can save you labor and markup costs.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Vehicle jack
  • Jack stands
  • Metric wrench set
  • Replacement alternator
  • Locate the alternator on the bottom of the truck on the right side. Remove the positive battery cable going to the starter and the alternator to prevent electrical shock while you are replacing the alternator.

  • Lift off and remove the drive belts with the edge of a flat-blade screwdriver. Remove the air conditioner belt first, followed by the power steering belt and the alternator belt.

  • Place a jack under the front of the truck. Jack the front of the pickup up and secure it on jack stands.

  • Remove the three wires from the back of the alternator. One of the wires has a plug that you can simply disconnect with your fingers, while the other two are secured by 10mm nuts. Use a 10mm wrench to loosen the nuts and remove the wires.

  • Remove the three bolts securing the alternator to the frame. One is located on the bottom front of the alternator; one is on top at the back of the part, and one is on top at the front.

  • Pull the old alternator loose and position the new one. Replace the bolts to secure the alternator to the frame. Reconnect the alternator wires.

  • Replace the drive belts in the reverse order of removal. Reconnect the battery cable. Test the alternator to make sure the vehicle starts and runs smoothly. Remove the jack stands and lower the truck to the floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always work on a hard, level surface to ensure the vehicle is stable while on jack stands.
  • Wear eye and hand protective gear to avoid injuries while completing this task.

References

  • Nissan/Datsun Pickups and Pathfinder: Pickup 1980 Through 1997, Pathfinder 1987 Through 1995; John Haynes; 2001
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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