Convert 6-volt car to 12-volts

Shel_B

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What's involved in converting a 6-volt car to 12-volts and replacing the generator with an alternator?

I'm not planning to do such a thing now, but I'm just curious to know if it's difficult and very expensive. Would $3,000 or so seem a reasonable and fair amount?

Thanks!
 
Your starter will still work (likely). Your distributor will still work but you will need to change the condenser and coil. You will obviosly need to change out the generator to a 12V alternator and voltage regulator. Then you will need to change out all the electrical things, blower motor, light bulbs, etc.

If it has an old OEM radio you want to keep - I would look into a way to drop the voltage back down to 6V. I would have to assume there is such a device.

How much will it cost - that really depends on how easy it is to get all the mentioned things to fit.

Why do you want to go to 12V? 6V is fine - if you can keep it running - ie can still find parts, etc.
 
What's involved in converting a 6-volt car to 12-volts and replacing the generator with an alternator?

I'm not planning to do such a thing now, but I'm just curious to know if it's difficult and very expensive. Would $3,000 or so seem a reasonable and fair amount?

Thanks!
If it was something that you wanted to keep original, the starter and generator can be rewound to 12V. Change the coil, condenser, bulbs, and deal with the other 6V accessories as necessary.

I debated doing the 12V conversion on my 1941 John Deere. I decided to stay with 6V and put in an Optima 6V AGM with 800 CCA. It has no problem starting it. I don't even use the compression releases. It seems the biggest problem with 6V systems was crappy 6V batteries.

Ed
 
Your starter will still work (likely). Your distributor will still work but you will need to change the condenser and coil. You will obviosly need to change out the generator to a 12V alternator and voltage regulator. Then you will need to change out all the electrical things, blower motor, light bulbs, etc.

If it has an old OEM radio you want to keep - I would look into a way to drop the voltage back down to 6V. I would have to assume there is such a device.

How much will it cost - that really depends on how easy it is to get all the mentioned things to fit.

Why do you want to go to 12V? 6V is fine - if you can keep it running - ie can still find parts, etc.

If you use 2x 6V batteries, it should be easy to have 6V for those systems you really don't want to replace.
 
Don't forget the wipers and washers. Wiper motor can be a tough one. The gauges in newer cars use a electronic voltage regulator. Assuming it doesn't have AC so now worries on the clutch coil.
 
I always found the most difficult thing to be fabricating a mounting bracket for the alternator. It can be very time consuming and at todays labor rates expensive. If you can DIY then just time consuming.
YMMV
Smoky
 
6v vehicles were so basic, there’s not a lot TO change. all the big items are already mentioned. As to gauges, most would have been mechanical, except for the fuel gauge, if it has one. id bet there’s a classic auto site with pre-made voltage regulators for the few items needing help. The OP asked if $3000 was enough…. That was more than most of these cars were worth new. We had a converted 6v beetle… it didn’t need much.
 
Thanks for all the input and ideas. If I do get the old car of my dreams, I now have some good info and ideas for proceeding.
 
Never converted a car, but an old Allis Chalmers WD that was running fine. It would really spin fast, but not start until you let off the starter and the engine was slowing down would it start.

Had to put stiffer advance springs in the distributor. It was advancing the timing too much for a cold start.
 
I did a 47 Mercury flat head V8 for under a grand, VW beetle conversions are under $500. Get a kit from a supplier like this one..

Great info ... the car I'm dreaming about, and which I have about a 20% chance of getting, fits into this catagory.
 
The 50 is one I would like, keep the flat head and put Offenhauser finned aluminum heads on it.
I prefer the '49 (Mercury, just to be clear), but the '50 and '51 will do. As for the flathead with Offenhauser heads ...(y)

Even a mild lead-sled would do ...
 
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