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Old 08-21-2020, 04:59 AM   #1
ahardb0dy
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Default Alternator and charging issues

Just wanted to share something I learned recently for anyone that was unaware of this. On the current generation Frontiers the alternator uses a variable charging system. what this means is a sensor that is on the negative battery cable (Halo sensor) determines the amount of load on the charging system and than a signal is sent to the ECU that tells the alternator to charge or not.


Normally on a "dumb" alternator the internal voltage regulator controls when the alternator is putting out voltage to charge the battery.


Nissan claims this was done to take the load off the engine to improve fuel economy,


Some signs of this working is when checking the voltage on the battery you may only see 13 or even 12 volts instead of the normal 14 volts.


There is talk online that you can unplug the Halo sensor on the negative cable with no ill effects and no trouble code.



When the ECU determines the sensor on the negative battery cable has failed it leaves charging to the internal regulator, So disabling the sensor reverts the alternator and charging system back to "normal".


There is another way to bypass this variable charging that requires cutting a wire going to the IPDM under the hood, people have done this mod as well with no ill effects and no trouble code.


Link to what wire to cut below, link is from Skibane from ClubFrontier forum:


https://www.clubfrontier.org/attachm...at-jpg.316156/




I discovered the variable charging last weekend when my truck would not start, I had to jump it than after I drove to where I was going and the truck sat for 30 minutes it again would not start. My truck is a 2017 and had the original Nissan Battery. I replaced the battery and it was good after that but I checked the voltage and noticed I was only getting 13.1 volts at the battery, than I started researching this as I thought the alternator was bad.


Stock battery is a Group 35 battery and is about 550 or so amps, I used a group 24F battery with 750 amps (Maxx from Walmart), the battery fits fine, still fits within the plastic tray under it and is only slightly longer than the group 35, make sure to get the right battery as there are 2 Group 24's a 24 and a 24F, the 24 the terminals are reversed.
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Old 08-21-2020, 09:32 AM   #2
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Good to know.
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahardb0dy View Post
Just wanted to share something I learned recently for anyone that was unaware of this. On the current generation Frontiers the alternator uses a variable charging system. what this means is a sensor that is on the negative battery cable (Halo sensor) determines the amount of load on the charging system and than a signal is sent to the ECU that tells the alternator to charge or not.


Normally on a "dumb" alternator the internal voltage regulator controls when the alternator is putting out voltage to charge the battery.


Nissan claims this was done to take the load off the engine to improve fuel economy,


Some signs of this working is when checking the voltage on the battery you may only see 13 or even 12 volts instead of the normal 14 volts.


There is talk online that you can unplug the Halo sensor on the negative cable with no ill effects and no trouble code.



When the ECU determines the sensor on the negative battery cable has failed it leaves charging to the internal regulator, So disabling the sensor reverts the alternator and charging system back to "normal".


There is another way to bypass this variable charging that requires cutting a wire going to the IPDM under the hood, people have done this mod as well with no ill effects and no trouble code.


Link to what wire to cut below, link is from Skibane from ClubFrontier forum:


https://www.clubfrontier.org/attachm...at-jpg.316156/




I discovered the variable charging last weekend when my truck would not start, I had to jump it than after I drove to where I was going and the truck sat for 30 minutes it again would not start. My truck is a 2017 and had the original Nissan Battery. I replaced the battery and it was good after that but I checked the voltage and noticed I was only getting 13.1 volts at the battery, than I started researching this as I thought the alternator was bad.


Stock battery is a Group 35 battery and is about 550 or so amps, I used a group 24F battery with 750 amps (Maxx from Walmart), the battery fits fine, still fits within the plastic tray under it and is only slightly longer than the group 35, make sure to get the right battery as there are 2 Group 24's a 24 and a 24F, the 24 the terminals are reversed.
Hey Tony,

How did you like the '93 Hardbody? I drove a '93 4cyl KC 2wd for 20 year's before getting a new '13 then selling the '93. The '93 was still running smooth and quiet when I sold it.

On the '13 Altenator Output, I've noticed that with my Scangauge II the Voltage start's out a little higher and then settle's to about 13.2 V. I only drive about 40 mile's every 2 weeks so not enought to keep the battery fully charged.

I use a Schumacher sp1297 3amp smart charger, every month or so to get the battery back to full charge. My OE Nissan battery 550 cca starting going out at about 6 year's, or at least I thought it was. I put a the Schumacher sp1297 on it and it charged for about 12 hour's and rejuvinated the battery. The OE battery then started holding a full charge. I think it may have lasted quiet a bit longer,, but I went ahead and replaced it with a Group 35 Champion AGM 650cca from PepBoy's. After putting a permanent pictail on the Battery for the Sp1297, that's when I noticed that the Altinator wasn't keeping the battery fully charged, watching the scangauge II.

I really don't like changeing the Settup by the Manufacturer, but it's something that I can do later on,, if I see the need to disconnect the Halo Fuse that you talked about. I also wonder if getting a higher capacity battery may take the altinator longer to fully charge the battery.

It's easy enough thought just connect the charge to the permanent pigtail on the battery though, so not much of problem for me.

I also have permanent schumacher battery pigtail's on the Tractor 840cca, and Lawnmower 250cca. Make's it quick and easy to hook up the smart charger on Every thing to keep the batterie's fully charged.

Here's a link to the SP1297 on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SP...55195512&psc=1

The SP1297 show's the State of Charge on the Battery in % before starting to charge. It's the Best Charger Maintainer that I've ever had and worth every penny to me.

Thank's for shareing the info about the OE Altenator.
Regards,

Last edited by Rubble; 08-24-2020 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:17 PM   #4
ahardb0dy
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My 93 was ok, I bought it not running and did a lot of work to it, but it was time for something bigger and newer so I bought the 17 Frontier used. The Frontier even with the bigger engine gets better MPG (bigger gas tank probably helps). I had my 87 for 14 years from new.


I just replaced my OEM battery with a Group 24F, more amps just a hair longer and it fits right in. I have not disconnected the Halo sensor, but I did for a minute to check the voltage and it was slightly higher.
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