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Converting 6v to 12 v or not

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  • Ben Bockover
    Is converting my 6 volt system to a 12 volt a good idea or not. I also thought of running both but can i even do that?
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 20, 2006
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      Is converting my 6 volt system to a 12 volt a good idea or not. I also
      thought of running both but can i even do that?
    • Jerry Brown
      Ben, Depends. If you are restoring a Cadillac you should probably leave it 6v. for authenticity. If you have a driver or a street rod its likely a good idea
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 20, 2006
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        Ben,
        Depends. If you are restoring a Cadillac you should probably leave it 6v.
        for authenticity. If you have a driver or a street rod its likely a good
        idea if done correctly.
        The main reason is better starting, better charging and better lights at
        night. There is also better availability of things like 12v solenoids,
        coils, lights etc.

        If you are not sure about the rewiring involved get competent help. Its
        better than having your wiring or possibly your car burn up because things
        weren't done right.

        Some leave difficult-to-replace bulbs like in the instrument panel by
        putting a step down device just ahead of those lights that converts 12v to
        6v. If you have 6v electric power windows you may wish to leave them by
        using a step down voltage device.

        There is no point that I can see in running a true dual system, i.e., having
        a 12 and a 6 volt batteries and systems since its not difficult to use the
        step down devices.

        Things you need to change if you are going to run a 12v system: Battery,
        Alternator, starter solenoid, coil, head and tail lamps, turn signal lamps
        and relay and there may be other things that I'm not sure about like the
        condenser in the distributor and wiper motor though if you are 6v that may
        be a vacuum operated. If so it should be converted to electric also.

        Re. the starter. I've been told numerous times by shops that do electric
        work that only the solenoid needs to be changed and not the whole starter.
        I've converted a couple of older machines like tractors and bulldozers to
        12v by just changing the starter solenoid on the theory the starter doesn't
        care how much voltage is running through it but the starter solenoid is
        sensitive to voltage and needs to be converted. I've never had a problem
        doing that. Others may disagree.

        I will say if you are going to the trouble to convert you should pull the
        starter and have it checked and possibly rebuilt as the bearings/bushings do
        wear and can cause significant dragging, overheating and even a dead short.

        You can get rid of the voltage regulator if you go to an alternator. Voltage
        regulators are a PITA and no one cried when they went away. I think most
        car makers converted to 12v around 1955 or 56 and to alternators instead of
        generators about the same time or possibly a few years later. So you might
        look for things like alternator mounts and battery trays for the earliest
        12v Cadillacs to use in mounting your 12v alternator and battery.

        Jerry Brown


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Ben Bockover" <spark_coil@...>
        To: <Cadillac_Performance_Association@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 6:08 AM
        Subject: [Cadillac_Performance_Association] Converting 6v to 12 v or not


        > Is converting my 6 volt system to a 12 volt a good idea or not. I also
        > thought of running both but can i even do that?
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