Filter Around Alternator? - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Filter Around Alternator?

Would it be possible to put a pre-filter style mesh around the alternator (not directly touching) in order to help attempt to prevent some of the dirt and debris that can kill the alternator in water crossings? Or would there be too much heat generated?


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Zach Clarke View Post
Would it be possible to put a pre-filter style mesh around the alternator (not directly touching) in order to help attempt to prevent some of the dirt and debris that can kill the alternator in water crossings? Or would there be too much heat generated?


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I think the water getting into it is the bigger issue vs dirt.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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I think the water getting into it is the bigger issue vs dirt.


I keep hearing mixed reports, some say itís the water, others say itís the junk in the water and your fine if the water is clear.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 02:10 PM
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Yeah good question, I suppose if the alt was that sensitive to water they wouldn't have mounted it at the bottom of the the accessories. Idk then, I've always done my best to keep water out of mine and never once even tried to keep dirt out and it's lasted 163k. The one time I really did submerge it was in a really swampy section of a powerline road but it was really low mileage at the time and maybe that kept it going.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:01 PM
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I don't think the mounting of the alternator down low was because the alternator is not sensitive to water. It is unsealed electric component.

Dirty water is certainly going to be worse than clear from the abrasion side of things. I had a 2013 Xterra that the front end was dunked into water and the engine died out immediately (not water intake into engine) the vehicle was then drowned and written off. I believe if the electrical system was more water proof, I would have had a fighting chance to restart my engine and save my rig. Anyhow, that's my opinion.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 12:59 PM
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I think you need a skid plate if your'e worried about debris


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 09:34 PM
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Itís the suspended mud and sand in the water that can cause problems.

I go through nasty water all the time and havenít had an issue but Iíve seen several alternators go bad on the trail. I do carry a spare alternator, but thatís mostly because I usually wheel 7 hours from home.

I have also seen a mud/stagnant water hole that ate 3 alternators in a row.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:09 PM
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I've had an alternator go bad on the trail, so pulled it & put in the spare. When I got home, I took it all apart and cleaned it out. After cleaning, I brought it down to Autozone for them to test & it functioned just fine. So I now carry that one as my spare ;-)

It's the dirt & debris that makes it's way into the brushes on the backend of it and the electromagnet-thing that spins around inside the coils.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by JOSX2 View Post
I've had an alternator go bad on the trail, so pulled it & put in the spare. When I got home, I took it all apart and cleaned it out. After cleaning, I brought it down to Autozone for them to test & it functioned just fine. So I now carry that one as my spare ;-)

It's the dirt & debris that makes it's way into the brushes on the backend of it and the electromagnet-thing that spins around inside the coils.
Looking back do you think that it was fixable on the trail with something like electrical contact cleaner? I remember when I was kid and loved driving my RC car through puddles, it would eventually stop working and I'd take it to my dad who would use some magic spray on it that brought it back to life (found out later it was that cleaner).


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:51 PM
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Looking back do you think that it was fixable on the trail with something like electrical contact cleaner? I remember when I was kid and loved driving my RC car through puddles, it would eventually stop working and I'd take it to my dad who would use some magic spray on it that brought it back to life (found out later it was that cleaner).
It's definitely worth a shot not like you're gonna break anymore than it already is LOL

I'd still keep a spare tho. It's quicker to just replace it...then clean out the bad one later on. Rather than pull it...take another 15-20-some-odd mins to take it apart/clean/reassemble, then put it back in.

Tho I didn't use electrical contact cleaner. Just water and a brush.

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