Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

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Ed Lijewski
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by Ed Lijewski »

Damn...isn't Carlisle like um in your "backyard"?

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DPDISXR4Ti
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by DPDISXR4Ti »

brokencase wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:19 pm Last time I made to the Ford show was when I went to one of the very early Merkur gatherings in the 90's
Your last was my first. 1999.
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brokencase
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by brokencase »

I think I went to two of the early Merkur gatherings. But the one in the photo was the first, not really sure of the year was that 99? Seemed like it was earlier...anyhow - it was epic.
I can remember there was this promenade drive to the location where we could take the group photo. Seemed like there were a zillion XR4tis. Group shot and parade photos below. The red arrow points me out.

The second one was a few years later and I just showed up at the fairgrounds. There was another fellow who had a white Scorpio just like mine and we spent the day talking about Scorpio issues. Thats the shot with the two white Scorpios. Might have been 2000 or 20001
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Bob Weir
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by Bob Weir »

Hi Dean

Those photos are from 2005, the 20th Merkur Anniversary. 236 Merkurs = best showing we ever had. The other white Scorpio probably belongs to Saul Rivkin, MCA Treasurer.

MCA Board is presently trying to do what it can to encourage people to drive their Merkur to Carlisle this year. Hope to see you there with or without your Scorpio.

Bob
PS Thanks for all your research and experiments with the alternator. Ironically, I found a related thread about improving headlight output [lumens] in older Ford Taurus / Mercury Sable. They have 16/18 ga wiring & lack of relays for headlights. What's Ford's logic for using such 16/18 ga wiring for something illuminating the road? Or do most auto mags do it?
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brokencase
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by brokencase »

Nope - The first two photos are pre-2000 for sure, most likely 1999. The last photo is no later than 2003 and I would say most likely 2000. I only owned my first Scorpio from 1997-2003.

The other white one in the last photo was not Saul's. I know Saul, even back then.
This guy was from NJ or PA and just showed up at the show field like myself. I remember he had a pinstripe on his Scorpio like mine did. His pinstripe was a little different than mine because this was a dealer installed option. My current Scorpio does not have a pinstripe.

He had darkly tinted windows and I was so impressed that I had window tint like that installed. Some time later I got pulled over and got a stiff warning from a local cop when I took a bunch of co-workers out to lunch one day. It was shortly after 9/11 and this cop says to me "How do I know if you guy aren't a bunch of terrorist inside there? I can see anything!" PA has a window tint darkness threshold. I told the cop that the car has a huge amount of glass and gets really hot and he seemed to understand and let me go. Never had a problem after that incident.

Anyhow I think you can see how I can clearly date these photos.

On my current Scorpio I installed window tint myself. I put that new, state of the art, IR blocking tint. It is not dark but it blocks the infrared wavelengths. I studied all the videos on youtube to learn how to install tint. Let me tell you.. installing window tint is a tricky skill.
I didn't do the rear window because it can be troublesome on the rear defrosting grid.

I had an estimate to install it and they wanted around $650. Doing it myself cost around $200.

Does it work? I actually tested the tint with a quartz heat lamp. It really does block the infrared. You can feel the radiant heat being blocked on your hand when you place the tint in between. But practically on the car? Not so much. The only way to keep a Scorpio cool in the summer is to park it in the shade!
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by Bob Weir »

Thanks for the corrections
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DPDISXR4Ti
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by DPDISXR4Ti »

DPDISXR4Ti wrote: Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:06 pm The only possible donor I found was from a '92 Ranger 2.9. It's a V-belt pulley with the correct shaft size and about right offset. Only issue is the O.D. of the snub is just a bit too large and interferes with the case. Should be an easy job with the lathe as it's just a clearance thing. I'll put it in the "Round Tuit" pile.

As Taylor suggested above, 90's Nissan Hardbody and Frontiers w/ the 4-cyl are probably the most common donor, but those are getting rare due to age.
This past Thursday it was sunny with highs near 50, so I found myself at Harry's Pennsburg. A '95 Nissan Frontier 4-cyl had arrived, so I went to work on liberating the alternator pulley from it (good thing for cordless impact guns). Indeed Nissan was still using V-belts on this application, but I'm not too optimistic that this pulley will work. It fits the 110A Nissan alternator perfectly fine, but it sits too far outbound from the alternator case. Also, it's meant for a smaller gauge v-belt, although I think that wouldn't be a deal breaker.

So I'm back to thinking the '86 - '92 2.9 Ranger/Bronco II pulley is the better answer. As I mentioned previously, it only needs the OD of the spindle pilot turned down a little. And since it's just for clearance purposes (so it doesn't interfere with the Nissan alternator case), it's not even a precision machining operation.
Here's a pic of the alternator in question - for reference I just now grabbed the pic of the alternator off eBay.
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P.S. I'm going to clear out some of the jibber-jabber from this thread unrelated to the topic.
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by DPDISXR4Ti »

Just to add a little encouragement to this thread, in messing around with the instrument cluster I've often checked voltage output at the battery and at idle found it to be 11.xx volts at initial start-up. This has been annoying at best, as it's left me thinking I killed an alternator when in fact I haven't.

What this experience has done is reminded me that I need to get on with swapping in the Nissan alternator sooner rather than later. I've sorta been bundling it in with a larger, "while I'm in there" project, but perhaps I shouldn't be doing that. I find when I do that projects often get put off for years! As you can see, this thread has been idle for just over a year now and I've scarcely done a thing on moving this forward. :roll:
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by Ed Lijewski »

I wonder if getting higher (more typical) voltage readings could be produced by installing a voltage regulator for an XR alternator. PNs for Scorpio and XR VRs are different, even though externally from every perspective the parts look identical.

I've had an interior voltmeter on my red XR for several years. V readings in initial years were where one would expect them to be at every rpm and load scenario. I installed a rebuilt alternator and V readings were marginally or a lot higher at every rpm and load scenario.

I installed a rebuilt alternator on my '88 Scorpio with no meaningful difference in V readings.

V is controlled by the voltage regulator. A larger amp alternator doesn't produce higher voltage.

YMMV
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brokencase
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by brokencase »

I tried the aftermarket adjustable voltage regulator on the stock Bosch unit. It was a wasted effort. I always thought the XR4ti and Scorpio used the same Bosch alternator.

The stock alternator is just too marginal. The main issue is that it doesn't put enough out at low rpms.
Like when you are in stop and go traffic with the A/C on. I've monitored the voltage for this case with stock and the Hitachi alternators and the difference is night and day. With the Bosch it would drop down to 11.3 volts at the traffic lights. The Hitachi always stays above 13 volts regardless of the loads.

Take any new vehicle with a V-6 and I think you'll find that they typically come with a 115-130 amps alternator.

Truly one of the better mods for the Scorpio.
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by Ed Lijewski »

Dean, you're right. I'd pay for a Hitachi unit fitted for my quick installation. I'm not into the effort to find and adapt one to fit (but I really appreciate your research and fitment work on that). I'll stay with the OEM unit, which hasn't resulted in battery draining/failures for me, at least, over close to 100K miles; nor from FB posts by Granda Scorpio owners either as far as we can tell.

The voltage at low idle differences likely are from the type of stator winding used in the OEM Scorpio versus the Japanese/Hitachi unit. The latter-there are two types-apparently produces steady higher voltage at idle with power-using accessories on, but otherwise each works the same.

The Scorpio and XR Bosch units appear to be identical other than mounting ears. So it's hard to understand how on my XR with the voltage meter voltage at low rpms and power draws runs higher than the Scorpio unit.

Just for the hell of it:

'88 Scorp VR #s: Echlin VR506, SMP VR 474
'88 XR #s: Echlin VR 1062, SMP VR 179.

YMMV
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brokencase
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by brokencase »

The Bosch alternator has known issues.. This guy has made a business out of addressing the issues..
https://www.prancingmoose.com/AdjustableVoltage.html

In fact, there was an article in one of the magazines back in the 90's that described how to adapt an old style external Ford regulator to it to address it's problems.

Discussed here...
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/archi ... 760--.html

Things get exacerbated when you try to put additional demands on the alternator, like getting rid of the mechanical fan and converting to an electric cooling fan.

The stock electric fan on the Scorpio almost never runs. But when it does, it draws over 20 amps. The Bosch alternator can't keep up with it.

As I discussed previously - I removed my original electric fan and installed a modern aftermarket electric fan of similar diameter. The new fan only draws 6 amps. I then made the modification such that the fan runs whenever the A/C clutch is engaged. This extra cooling really helps the A/C performance on hot days when you are stuck in traffic. Even this slight extra burden the Bosch alternator cannot handle.
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by Ed Lijewski »

Externally the Scorpio and XR Bosch alternators are identical other than angle of mounting ears.

I think this pic from inside my red XR was from start-up [outside temp indicates 49F) or if not then after restarting from a short errand. No load on the battery. Voltage would lower after driving awhile to upper 13s. When the electric cooling fan powered on voltage might drop to mid 13 or so; ditto for night driving with headlights on and even with fogs on. In summer both radiator and condenser cooling fans on in daytime voltage would read ~13.2.

So nothing presented here nor in any link that I've seen so far explains why Scorpio voltage readings under the same scenarios differ so much.

One possible contributing factor re Scorpio versus XR voltage is the rats nest power leads at the Scorpio positive battery terminal each sapping small but cumulatively significant decimal point volts. The Scorpio ABS pump inevitably activates often, more so than when new, to maintain system pressure as accumulator diaphragm and pump seals lose their when when-new robustness. The XR wiring at the battery has no similar rats nest of positive leads.

The assertion that the Bosch alternator, probably identical in XR and Scorpio,has problems doesn't square with my experience in the XR.
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YMMV

Edit to add a second photo.
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by DPDISXR4Ti »

brokencase wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:40 pm The Bosch alternator has known issues.. This guy has made a business out of addressing the issues..
https://www.prancingmoose.com/AdjustableVoltage.html
In fact, there was an article in one of the magazines back in the 90's that described how to adapt an old style external Ford regulator to it to address it's problems.
Was it in European Car magazine? I think I may have that issue and even the kit that was shilled as part of the article. It wasn't the Prancing Moose kit, something else that I believe used the Ford external regulator. I never installed it. Perhaps I should go look for it!

Regardless, I'm inclined to think it's not just a VR issue, but something inherent in the design which allows the more-modern Japanese alternator to "throttle up" quicker.
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Re: Alternate Alternator Upgrade - Nissan/Infiniti

Post by Ed Lijewski »

Secind pic waiting at bank drive thru, in park w/injun running, blower on low, radio on, no other load on battery.

First pic driving from bank @~25 mph, blower on low, radio on, (actual V registered when I clicked the photo was 13.6v).

YMMV
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Descartes: "Cogito Ergo Sum"
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