Alternator upgrades on a Nissan Hardbody, Pathfinder, Xterra and Frontier  with a VG30 or VG33

updated 1/29/2011

The Nissan Quest  alternators put out more amps than the hardbody, frontier, xterra and pathfinder. There is 3 generations of Quests and all use 110-145 AMP versions. The w/d21 only has a 70amp. The big difference is the pulleys and mounting bolts/brackets. The v42 alternator from the 3rd generation Quest and is the biggest alt available and should fit wit the correct bracket. Its a different mounting style of all the 4 styles used. Here is the 4 bsic shapes and specs on each.

 

VG3x based vehicles (Only trucks, wagons and vans noted)  

87-97 - d21 = Hardbody - 70 amp
87-95 - wd21 = Pathfinder - 70 amp
93-98 - V40 = Quest and Mercury Villager - 110 amp
99-03 - V41 = Quest and Mercury Villager  - 120 amp 
96-00 - R50 = Pathfinder and Infiniti Qx4 as standard - 80 amp
99-04 - D22 = Frontier VG33e - 80mp
00-04 - WD22 = Xterra - VG33e - 80 amp

Some Quest facts. (Yes I own Quests)
93-98 - v40 = VG30E  = 1 sliding door made in TN = Mitsubishi 110 amp 
99-03 - v41 = VG33E = 2 sliding doors made in TN = Mitsubishi 125 amp
04-10 - v42 = VQ35DE = 2 sliding doors made in Canton MS = Valeo 130 is actually a 145 amp

Different upgrade paths:

1. To fit a V40/1 alt in a w/d21.

 I found 2 options to mount them.

  • Modify a  d22 or v40 or d21 bracket. Add a spacer, swap in V pulley, longer belt and longer bolt. Original idea.

  • Modify a  d22 or v40 or d21 bracket. Add a washer, smooth alt face. longer belt and longer bolt. Much better belt alignment, no rubbing on AC belt.

2. To fit a V42 alt from the VQ35DE in a w/d21.

  1. stock bracket. No spacer, stock belt and clocking bracket, no alt mods!!!.

3. To fit a V40/1 alt on the vg33 in a w/d22.

  1. Just swap the pulley.

Here is the 3 brands and style of alts used on most Nissans from 87 - today. 3 different brands are used. Hitachi, Valeo and Mitsubishi. The same alternators are used on various FWD or RWD/4WD vehicles with different mounting locations. Some use the V groove pulley some use the Multi rib. All use the same shaft diameter so pulleys swap back and forth with only minor modifications. 

1. To fit a V41/2 alt in a w/d21.

Parts needed:

  • 23100-0B000 Alternator for 93-98  V40 The V41 99-2003 110amp or 125 Amp. $30-40 ebay. 

  • Longer upper bolt.  40mm x 8mm 1.25 pitch. I get mine at Autozone.

  • 11715-4S100 VG33 Bracket W/D22 $5 online. You can modify this one Or make your own bracket using any VG bracket.

  • Pulley Spacer. - free. Just cut a slice off junk multi rib pulley or use a washer. A washer is easier to get flat.

  • Belt Autozone 17380 slightly longer than stock 17370.  $5.79

  • Original pulley from 70 amp alternator.

  1. loosen both upper bolts. loosen front adjuster bolt. Loosen adjuster 6mm bolt. Remove belt.

  2. Remove all bolts

  3. remove 17370 belt

  4. remove stock alternator.

Install steps

  1. remove pulleys from both alts.

  2. remove the upper housing 4 bolts on new alt.

  3. sand down the ridge

  4. install v belt pulley

  5. enlarge a washer and install on top of pulley, install nut.

  6. Modify the stock bracket.

  7. I installed the alternator on the stock upper bracket, This bracket also holds the AC compressor.

  8. install new longer upper frt bolt

  9. install 17380 belt and tighten.

  10. tighten all other bolts.

  11. enlarge or replace main feed power wire on harness. (new one is bigger)

  12. connect ground and plug in connector.

d21 bracket compared to V41. w/d22 bracket almost makes this a bolt on swap for the vg30, I had clearance issues with Steering box, so I shortened the bracket.

I had to push the sleeve back in to get it to fit.

V40, V41 and W/D21 brackets do not work in stock form. I had to modify to fit a 17380 belt.

 

W/D22 (VG33) Do fit but need a much longer belt. But the longer belt causes the alt to hit the steering box. This vg33 bracket needs to be modified. More to come on that issue.

 

I needed a spacer to clear the housing. I used the multi rib pulley. I cut off a slice. This does not work to good. Its hard to keep the pulley flat. I was getting a wobbly pulley.

  


1. To fit a V40/1 alt in a w/d21. The better way.

Modify a  d22 or v40 or d21 bracket. Add a washer, smooth alt face. longer belt and longer bolt. Much better belt alignment, no rubbing on AC belt.

Remove the cover via the 4 screws. Clearance the housing sand down the big ridge so the V belt pulley fits. So much nicer fit. Very easy to remove cover and sand down. This is a stock and modified covers.

I enlarge a washer (forgot the size) and put a washer on the TOP of the pulley.

You can see the offsets here. D21 has the opposite offset from what is needed.

I cut up the V40 bracket since it pushed the alternator way out there. It would require a LONG belt. I cut out the bent part. Then lapped the three pieces. No bending. 

Here is the vg33 modified bracket.

 

VQ35DE Alternator (2004-2010 V42 Quest)

The alternator is same basic same as the v40 and v41. Same connectors in different locations. The pulley is same and can easily be replaced with V pulley. No spacer or machine work needed. So that is better. The nut is the same pitch as Hitachi also. The adjuster ear is in a new location compared to the above to styles. There labeled 130 AMPs. But apparently puts out up to 145amp.

No machine work needed to fit the pulley. No spacer needed either. V groove pulley bolts right on. Same nut pitch as hitachi.

With the same 1" longer than stock belt I was not able to get the belt on. So I did some minor grinding to the steel bracket on the block and now the belts fits nicely. I have a d22 vg33 oil pump on this mockup motor. This is creating a clearance issue if I want to use a stock belt.

I just dont see the room needed for the adjuster to clear the steering box. So I decided what really needs to happen is the alternator needs to be clocked. This way stock belt and adjuster may work.

To the clear quest oil pump filter mount will require some extra work. Or a 17375 belt. A 17380 fits but gets close to steering box on the Mitsubishi alt.

 Parts needed; 11916-8J100- bolt alt/max/murano/quest
v41 adj bar 11715-0B000-(you should have one already if you have a vg30)

This is still bench testing different mounting options.

 

 

 

12V WIRE GAUGE TABLE

 

Length

Max Amperes

3'

5'

7'

10'

15'

20'

25'

7 Amp

18ga

18ga

18ga

18ga

18ga

18 ga

16ga

8 Amp

18ga

18ga

18ga

18ga

18ga

16ga

16ga

10 Amp

18ga

18ga

18ga

18ga

16ga

16ga

16ga

11 Amp

18ga

18ga

18ga

18ga

16ga

16ga

14ga

12 Amp

18ga

18ga

18ga

18ga

16ga

16ga

14ga

15 Amp

18ga

18ga

18ga

18ga

14ga

14ga

12ga

18 Amp

18ga

18ga

16ga

16ga

14ga

14ga

12ga

20 Amp

18ga

18ga

16ga

16ga

14ga

12ga

10ga

22 Amp

18ga

18ga

16ga

16ga

12ga

12ga

10ga

24 Amp

18ga

18ga

16ga

16ga

12ga

12ga

10ga

30 Amp

18ga

16ga

16ga

14ga

10ga

10ga

10ga

40 Amp

18ga

16ga

14ga

12ga

10ga

10ga

8ga

50 Amp

16ga

14ga

12ga

12ga

10ga

10ga

8ga

100 Amp

12ga

12ga

10ga

10ga

6ga

6ga

4ga

150 Amp

10ga

10ga

8ga

8ga

4ga

4ga

2ga

200 Amp

10ga

8ga

8ga

6ga

4ga

4ga

2ga

 (AWG) sizes may be determined by measuring the diameter of the conductor (the bare wire) with the insulation removed. The lower the number the bigger the wire. Choose a wire gauge by the distance and the max amperage it will be expected to carry. You can always use thicker wire (lower gauge number) than is recommended.

Ohms Law

V= Volts I-current R=Resistance

V x I = Power (Watts)

Rx I = V (Volts)

V/I=R (Resistance)

V/R=I (Amps)

I wanted a bigger alternator for all the extra lights I run at the same time. I also winch occasionally. Lights are normally rated and sold in Watts. But that is not a valid Resistance load value. For example Halogen lights use about 1/3 the current (Amps) of incandescent bulbs. For example 100Watt off road Halogen lights don't use 8 amps. 100/12= 8.3.  100watt / 12volts = Amp draw. You can not measure a light bulb with a DMM or VOM because its not accurate. The best way is to use a Amp meter.