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Discussion Starter #1
Okay guys here's the thing when I purchased this truck my friend didn't attempt to hide the fact the alternator was bad. When I first got it home you could pull a battery cable off while it was running and it stayed running that was only for a day or so. The next time I attempted it it would fall dead. I changed the alternator yesterday gave it a boost. Let it run a bit at higher idle. Killed it and the truck wouldn't start back. I put a good hot battery on it today just Checking and had 12.86 volts. Started the truck and with it running I still had around the same voltage at the battery post once started even with the weak battery the alternator had no problem powering the entire vehicle with ease. I read about the battery light and when I first bought the truck a few weeks ago even with it running the battery light would be on. Seems like it went off about the same time the truck officially stopped charging after getting it home. Although I've got some cluster issues (sometimes the cluster works sometimes it don't) anytime you turn the key to the on position the battery light stays lit. Sorry for so many post but I really need this truck going. Any help or directions are more than appreciated. It's a 1998 Frontier by the way.
 

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you could pull a battery cable off while it was running
This is a great way to ruin an alternator. This Gomer/Goober "test" only is safe with GENERATORS, not alternators.

A real way to test a charging system is to attach 0-20 DC voltmeter leads to the battery, then start the engine. A good charging system will be about 3.5 to 14.5 volts at about 1500 rpm.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just did some checking one the two cables coming to the positive one of them are damaged several strands broken. I didn't notice before due to tape it stays around 12.24 volts at 2500 rpm or at idle. Even with the head lights and blower fan on high. However the battery terminal in the under hood fuse box is a solid 14.1-14-6 while the vehicle is running. I know I need to either make a proper repair to the positive cable. But can anyone make anything of this?
 

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I'd fix the cables properly first, including all of the grounds. You may find you have no more issues after that. But yes don't pull either cable off while the engine is running.
 

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2004 Nissan Frontier XE KC KA24DE
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But yes don't pull either cable off while the engine is running.
The only time I've done that was when I had no jumper cables but did have a Good Samaritan that allowed me to pull their battery to get my truck started.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What I don't get the alternator is putting out plenty of power to run the truck great but still just 12.8 at the battery running or not. Like it uses the battery to start it and then uses the alternator to power it but isn't recharging the battery. Is there anything that can cause this?
 

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if your wires are messed up, you can get low numbers. think of a wire as a garden hose, if the hose is crimped (wire is broken) then less water (amps) goes through. so your battery will stay low on the v/o meter. also, corrosion and loose connections can do the same thing.
 

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So, in other words, fix the damaged cable and make sure all connections are free of corrosion and then post an update.
 

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Make sure the light/sense wire that plugs into the alternator is in good condition as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Make sure the light/sense wire that plugs into the alternator is in good condition as well.
Please be gentle this is the first Nissan anything I've owned. Where would that wire be located? I know when I turn the key to on the battery light stays on. But one issue I haven't gotten to because I was assuming it was a fuse is no dash lights when I turn on the head lights of any kind
 

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Please be gentle this is the first Nissan anything I've owned. Where would that wire be located? I know when I turn the key to on the battery light stays on. But one issue I haven't gotten to because I was assuming it was a fuse is no dash lights when I turn on the head lights of any kind
It's normal for the battery light to stay illuminated when the key is only turned to "on" but not started.

The 2 wire harness that plugs into the alternator is what I'm referring to. See attached pic.

Check the tail light fuse. The lights for the instrument panel are powered thru the tail light circuit.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's normal for the battery light to stay illuminated when the key is only turned to "on" but not started.

The 2 wire harness that plugs into the alternator is what I'm looking c.

Check the tail light fuse. The lights for the instrument panel are powered thru the tail light circuit.

I'm about to check that particular wire. Checked my voltage at the battery I'm 11.84 volts in the battery. What drives me crazy once you start it it runs great even powering everything. It's just something not letting it send power back to the battery.
 

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Have you checked the alternator fuse in the under hood fuse block?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I managed to make alot of progress today, I wanted to check all the fuses and when I got to the 80 Amp battery fuse (which they could have made much simpler to remove) the screw facing the passenger side fender was so lose you could turn it with your fingers. There fore causing a lose connection.the copper prongs were actually black on that side due to a lose connection. ( no damage to the socket or wiring. A 4 dollar 80 Amp battery fuse from auto zone. And you could actually hear the alternator wining charging the battery. Now with head lights and ac on its still getting 13,4- 14 volts to battery thanks guys. Now to figure out why I have to straight wire my clutch to get ac to work.
 

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I managed to make alot of progress today, I wanted to check all the fuses and when I got to the 80 Amp battery fuse (which they could have made much simpler to remove) the screw facing the passenger side fender was so lose you could turn it with your fingers. There fore causing a lose connection.the copper prongs were actually black on that side due to a lose connection. ( no damage to the socket or wiring. A 4 dollar 80 Amp battery fuse from auto zone. And you could actually hear the alternator wining charging the battery. Now with head lights and ac on its still getting 13,4- 14 volts to battery thanks guys. Now to figure out why I have to straight wire my clutch to get ac to work.
The pressure switch may be activated due to too low or too high system pressure.
When activated it won't allow the clutch to cycle in order to protect the compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The pressure switch may be activated due to too low or too high system pressure.
When activated it won't allow the clutch to cycle in order to protect the compressor.
A
Although it sat a few years I know it has some freon in it. The neon green in fact. Some may have escaped (but not from a leak) when you tie into the single hot wire going to the compressor the clutch engages and it runs good. But even driving it don't seem as cool as it should be
 

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A
Although it sat a few years I know it has some freon in it. The neon green in fact. Some may have escaped (but not from a leak) when you tie into the single hot wire going to the compressor the clutch engages and it runs good. But even driving it don't seem as cool as it should be
Low pressure / low on refrigerant.
The neon green is dye that's used for leak detecting.
 
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