How to Change the Alternator on a Hardbody Truckby Russell Wood
The alternator in your Nissan Hardbody creates electricity from the drive belt of the engine, and transfers that energy to the electrical system in the vehicle, including the battery. If it goes out, your battery will eventually drain, and then you'll have to replace both the alternator and the battery. Fortunately, swapping out the alternator on your Hardbody isn't very difficult, and can be done at home with basic tools.
Pop the hood and disconnect the positive terminal from the battery using an open-end wrench. Then pull off the boot on the back of the alternator and unbolt the battery wire using an open-end wrench. Unplug the wiring harness leading to the alternator as well.
Unbolt the mounting bolt on the alternator, the one that's held in place on a slotted hole, and pivot the alternator up and into the engine, which will allow you to pull the belt off of the alternator.
Unbolt the alternator from the engine using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket, then pull it out of the mounting bracket. Place the new alternator in the mounting bracket and bolt it in place. Place the belt back over the alternator pulley and make sure the belt is routed according to the sticker under the hood.
Slide the alternator down so that there is tension on the bolt. Tighten it down to the slotted mount on the bracket using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.
Reinstall the wiring to the back of the alternator using an open-end wrench. Use a wrench to connect the positive terminal back onto the battery.
Start the vehicle and make sure that the voltage gauge reads 14 volts and that everything is functioning correctly.
Things You'll Need
- Replacement alternator
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
- Open-end wrench set
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.