Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner

How-to: Dual Battery Install - Under the Hood - PBR

86783 Views 79 Replies 45 Participants Last post by  roXterra
I’ve had several requests to write a 'How-to' for my Dual Battery set up and I finally got it put together. Thanks to ChrisHaynesUSA for keeping my Butt to the Fire, and the others that have encouraged me to write it up. I hope this helps!

A Couple of Things to Keep in Mind:
1. This project is really two projects in one, moving the power steering fluid reservoir and adding the additional electrical.

2. The electrical changes are not particularly difficult but anytime you work around batteries there is a hazard associated with it. Be careful.

3. Because I’m that kind of person, I installed a high-end version that is completely unnecessary, so I will try to differentiate what is really important vs what is actually necessary.

4. Because there are about 40 pictures associated with this write up, I had to link to my Photophucket Album instead of interleaving the pictures with the text. Sorry. That also made it easier for me. Go here for the pictures: Dual Battery Install by Dave Croker | Photobucket > Corrected: Old Navy inserted photos where required.

OK, let’s get to it….


1. Remove the Battery.

2. Lift the PSFR off the Bracket. It is tight, but it should go. I forget if I had to remove any tabs or ties.

3. Unclip Voltage Monitor from Bracket. That let’s you remove the bolt from the top that holds the main Battery Ground Bracket to the Reservoir Bracket. Remove Ground Bracket from Reservoir Bracket and remove the Ground Bracket from Main Ground Cable, (leave the Clamp on the Cable) - (All 10mm).
4. Remove the 3 bolts that hold the Reservoir Bracket, and save them, (All 10mm).

5. Time to remove the PSFR and Hoses. You’ll need to have two empty 16oz Water Bottles handy to collect the Power Steering Fluid that will leak out. I removed the Supply Hose, (the smaller of the two), from the Reservoir first. Quickly place a bottle under the Reservoir Nipple and let it drain, meanwhile holding the Supply Hose up so it doesn’t leak. Once the Reservoir is mostly empty, I put a piece of Duct Tape over the Nipple to prevent more dripping. I then removed the Return Hose, (the larger of the two), from the Reservoir and added a piece of Duct Tape to that Nipple too and set the Reservoir aside. Next I removed the Supply Hose from the Metal “Hose” coming from the Pump, (just to the right of the Battery Tray). This effort is the first place where 'swearing might occur', because it is a tight fit. I had my wife help by holding the free end of the hose while I worked on getting the hose free. I had the other empty Water Bottle down inside the Engine Bay nearby so I could quickly throw it on the Metal Hose End once the Hose was off. A few drops of fluid came out the newly freed end of hose before we could turn it up to prevent more leaks. Then we emptied the Supply Hose into the first Water Bottle and set those aside. The second bottle remained on the end of the Metal Hose until I was ready to install the new hose. Eventually there was about 2-3 ounces of fluid drip into it before I was done. The last step is to remove the Return Hose from the Engine Block. I had no fluid drips with the removal of this hose. I then placed another piece of Duct Tape over the Metal Nipple on the Engine so no foreign particles would accidentally fall in. The two hoses cannot be reused. I don’t have any pics of this step because;

a) I was too occupied with hoses leaking fluid
b) my hands were too slimy


6. Find the unused Slotted Bracket by the Manifold and drill it out to ¼”, (circled in photo below)

7. Find a Bracket that you can use for a Riser for the PSFR Bracket about 1.5” to 2”. I used a Simpson Strong Tie Bracket I had laying around, (see photos and others later). Drill out the Riser Bracket to hold the PSFR Bracket and so it can also attach to the Slotted Bracket from Step 6. Install as in;

So that you can measure for another Support Bracket shown in the Step 8 photos.

8. Cut, drill and bend additional Support Bracket.

I used a Plated Steel Strap 1” wide by 1/8” thick by 4 1/8” long. One end attaches to the PSFR Bracket and the other end to a Threaded Hole that is not being used closer to the front of the vehicle.

This hole accepts 10mm bolts.

9. Assemble the original PSFR Bracket, the Riser Bracket, and the additional Support Bracket with ¼”-20 SS bolts, (mostly 1” and ½” long). Mount Bracket Assembly to the vehicle using a ¼”-20 bolt at the Slotted Bracket from Step 6 and one of the 10mm bolts you removed in Step 4. Final Bracket Assembly here;

10. Remove the large Wiring Bundle from the Restraining Clamp shown in;

and the Bracket that holds it in. You’ll use this same hole (from the Bracket) for your own Hose Clamp in Step 12. Also remove the Ground Lug, (two Black Cables from large Wiring Bundle—also in photo above). Bend the Wiring Harness back to give you more room to route new hoses.

11. Attach the new Return Hose, (9/16” ID, 15/16” OD; P/N Gates 85965F—difficult to find—which is actually Hydraulic Fluid Hose), to Reservoir and measure length allowing for bends and clamps. Mine was 21”. Attach the new Supply Hose, (3/8” ID, 11/16” OD; P/N Gates 350010F which is regular Power Steering Hose), to the Reservoir and measure the length allowing for bends and clamps. Mine was 29”. Note: I allowed for slack in both hoses to allow me to still slip the Reservoir out of the Bracket for future access to the Engine. Cut hoses to length. Once the hoses are the correct length, put Reservoir in its Bracket and feed the hoses through a final time. The Return Hose will slide on easily, but the Supply Hose will not. Lube up the Supply Hose with a little Power Steering Fluid and get ready to 'swear' again. The Metal Hose is loose enough I blocked it with a Wood Block to allow me to push harder without damaging the Metal Hose. Note: Make sure you have the Spring Clamp on before you do this! Secure all Hose Ends with the original Spring Clamps and secure the Reservoir in its Bracket, (I used one long Tie Wrap around the whole Assembly to get it to sit down).

12. Secure the new Hoses to the Frame with Rubber-insulated Clamps, (1” size for return hose, 5/8” for supply). Use the 10mm bolts that you’ve saved to attach the Clamps to the Frame.

13. Protect the new Hoses with Flex Tubing where necessary to avoid unwanted Rubbing.

13a. Refill the PSFR! It took about a bottle and a quarter for me.
See less See more
1 - 1 of 80 Posts
very nice! such a clean set up. I like this location over OZs dual battery setup where he put his AUX battery in the rear cargo area. I want to save this spot for my on board air.
1 - 1 of 80 Posts