This write-up applies to all 2003-2007 1st gen MO's. Changing out the alterntor is a serious PITA so following this write-up will hopefully make your life a bit easier.
On 12/07/13 I decided to replace my alternator on my 2004 Murano SL AWD. I was reading less than 13 volts on the battery while the engine was running and was also getting excessive ripple voltage. I also had quite a few electrical issues like the SET light for my cruise control would flash, noise on the radio stations, etc. I figured I would change out the alternator first before I went to troubleshoot anything else. I went to AutoZone and had them test my charging system. The frist time I was getting a low voltage and excessive ripple reading. Shortly after that on a 2nd test a week or so later, I was getting a bad battery reading. It was definitely time to change the alternator!
As a reminder, the voltage across your battery, to get a good charge, should be ~14.5Vdc and the ripple relatively low. I'll post pictures of the before/after test on the new/old alternator to illustrate this. I used AutoZone's setup to test the alternators.
First of all, as stated before, let me say that this project is a serious PITA if you follow the instructions in the service manual, and the TSB. I'll elaborate further later in the post where applicable. Bottom line, to make your life easier, plan on removing the radiator. If you don't, you'll have to remove the heat shields on both the radiator side exhaust manifold and pre-cat. My MO has 140K on it and the majority of the heat shield bolts came out damaged or broke. Save yourself some hassle and just remove the radiator, trust me on this one!
There is a fantastic write-up for removing the alternator here:
2003-2007 Nissan Murano Alternator Replacement Procedure | Nissanhelp.com
I copied the pictures over to this thread just in case they get lost on the other site. I also provided a couple deviations to the instructions, so read on my friends!
First of all, tools: You'll need a set of metric open/box wrenches, various 3/8" ratchet extensions, both 1/4" & 3/8" sockets, a 3/8" socket elbow adapter, flat headed screw driver, 3/8" ratchet torque wrench, very long needle nose plyers, zip ties, plastic bags or saran wrap, wire cutters, etc.
And most of all, a S**T load of patience. The alternator is in a real tight space, and removing the bolts will be a pain
. You have been warned!
Second of all, a new alternator: ~$125 shipped TYC lifetime warranty alternator from RockAuto. RockAuto TYC 213826 Alternator 100 Amps
So, first step is simple, get the right front passenger wheel off the ground and remove the wheel.
Then remove the passenger Engine Side Cover (1.jpg) and Lower Engine Cover (2.jpg). Next loosen the Idler Pulley Lock Nut on the Idler Pulley (3.jpg). In order to get the alternator/ac/crank pulley belt off, you'll need to use a standard length socket with a 3/8" elbow and a long 3/8" extension. The adjustment nut is in a tight place so you will need the extra mobility of the elbow. Once on the adjustment nut, turn it clockwise to pull up the idler pulley to loosen the belt. I thought it was counter-clockwise so don't make my same mistake!
Once the belt is off, completely remove the Idler Pulley as it's in the way of the alternator Through-Bolt Nut.
Next you'll remove the A/C Compressor Harness (4.jpg).
PITA Experience #1:
Getting off that D**N alternator Through-Bolt Nut was tough! It's torque spec is 62 ft-lbs and it will not come off easy! Because the frame rail is so close to the area, there isn't enough space to get a deep well socket, impact wrench, etc on it. I had to resort to the following combination:
1) Standard depth socket
2) 3/8" elbow adapter
3) Long 3/8" extension
4) 3/8" ratchet wrench
5) Breaker bar
Make 100% sure the socket is fully engaged on the Through-Bolt Nut. You'll have enough space on the back of the socket to engage the elbow, but it will want to pull the socket back. If you try to break the Through-Bolt Nut with partial engagement of the socket, you'll run the risk of rounding it out. If there is a better tool out there, like a shorty deep well socket, then I suggest that. Otherwise, if you have the same tools I do, be careful and take your time, the Through-Bolt Nut WILL come off. It took some constant/increasing strength on my end but it eventually broke loose. Took me almost an hour alone trying different tool combinations to get it out. Hopefully my experience will get you through this step faster.
Now get out your screw driver and hammer on the alternator Through-Bolt a bit to break it loose so it will slide out towards the exhaust manifold. You'll need very long needle nose plyers to get out the bolt. Curse at the Through-Bolt and its Nut and and move on.
Next it's time to open some space up so you can get the alternator out. You'll remove the attery itself (self explanatory if you're tackling this job) and Battery Tray (7.jpg). You will have to remove the fuse box attached to the battery tray. There's a couple plastic tabs you can push in and the fuse box will come out. Quite easy!
Then it's time to prepare to remove the Cooling Fan Assembly. Drain the radiator coolant, remove the radiator side of the Upper Radiator Hose (8.jpg), there's no need to remove the other side from the engine. After the coolant is done draining, simply close the radiator drain valve. Then disconnect the 2 Cooling Fan Assembly Wire Harness Connectors (9.jpg) and all ties holding it down. My ties were all so dried out they simply broke off so during reinstallation I used standard zip ties. Easy!
Next remove the 2 screws that are holding the Cooling Fan Assembly to the radiator itself (10.jpg). Then remove the CVT fluid cooling hose form the bottom of the Cooling Fan Assembly.
Continued in the next post. Only allowed to attach 10 pictures per post! Plus there is a picture size limit of 100K, WTF?