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Dual 12v and 6v electrics

I'm restoring a 1926 six cylinder.
Six volt electrical components are difficult to source in europe.I am toying with the idea of fitting two 6v batteries in series(12v)and just using one 6v to supply starter and ignition.

Everything else ie.lights,wipers,fuel pump etc.(not using vacuum tank)runs
on 12v.My problem is charging both batteries together or independently. Any advice would be much appreciated

Re: Dual 12v and 6v electrics

Peter,

It's been my experience with cars from this era that if you switch from 6 volt to 12 volt do it all the way and rebuild the generator for 12 volt output. These starters should work fine under 12 volts and may even last a little larger since they tend to generate less heat.

Rick

Re: Dual 12v and 6v electrics

Rick,
Many thanks.I will take your advice.
Can you tell me what's involved in converting the generator?

Peter

Re: Dual 12v and 6v electrics

Peter: let me add a word of caution to what you are planning on doing. As Rick said it can be done but I would not do it without a little more thought in how. Here is my experience. The starter will usually take it for a while but will eventuly burn out on twelve volts. The generator will usually charge the battery but it will take a while. The coil and condensor will have to be changed to twelve volt and they need to be matched up. If you run tweleve volts to the points they will burn up so you need to put a dropping resister in place. I would think that all parts for a 6 volt are readily except your wiper motor and fuel pump
Thanks
Jan

Re: Dual 12v and 6v electrics

Jan,
Many thanks for responding.I was aware of the ignition situation and can get around that.

I'm having difficulty finding someone to modify the generator. My next thought was to fit a 12v alternator,but I'm afraid this would spoil the aesthetics.

Possible damage to the starter now has me worried.
I'll just have to give the whole situation a bit more thought.

Peter

Re: Dual 12v and 6v electrics

Peter: This type of discussion has gone on for years with people who own Model T Fords. If you try this link you can get some idea of how various individuals have approached the problem. http://mtfca.com/eforum/discus/show.cgi?6/5912

Jan

Re: Dual 12v and 6v electrics

Jan: Thanks again.I'll keep you advised of developments.
Peter

Re: Dual 12v and 6v electrics

While I'm a fan of keeping my Durant 6 volts, I have seen many 12 volt conversions to cars from this era.
My own experience with Model A Fords has proven to me that starters will work fine since they then to start the engine faster and thus create less wear. Mu local chapter of the Model A Ford club provides seminars to its members on how to perform this. They drive 1000's of miles a year with no ill effects.

Having said that, I think keeping a 6 volt electrical system in a Durant/Star is cheaper than converting to 12 volt in many cases. 6 volt coils are easy to find, just buy a Model A Ford coil. Points, condenser, plugs are still all available
as we have the part numbers listed on the Tech page. In this case, you stated that your lights, wipers, fuel pump, etc were already 12 volt units. Lights can be easily purchased from sources here in the USA for either 6 or 12 volt. A very good source of 6 volt lights is from a family business located in Australia, see the parts and services page. 6 volt fuel pumps can also be purchased from a company here or on eBay. But Vacuum tanks are still plentiful and don't need electricity. As far as wipers are concerned, they never were very good when new, so 6 or 12 volt wipers aren't a big deal, I think the hand operated wiper made for the Model A Ford is the only good one one out there.

In the end, I prefer to stay with 6 volts, but if 12 volt is more practical for you then go with it. Look for a generator rebuilder that is recommended by your local Model A Ford chapter or other Oldtimer club. Everyone has their own opinion on this subject,
but in the end, it's your car and you should be able to enjoy it.

Rick

Re: Dual 12v and 6v electrics

Peter,

I posted this message or thought I did last night. Here goes again.

There are several things you need to have a good six-volt system.

The engine must be properly timed. Time with a timing light if possible.

The carburetor must be correctly adjusted.

Spark fully retarded.

The cables from the battery to the starter switch and starter switch to the starter must be large to carry the current without voltage drop. Use 1/0 or 2/0 cables. A good source of 6-volt battery cables is a Model A supply house. If you have to cut the length be sure you solder the lug back to the cable, crimping won't hack it.

You must have a good ground and I mean good at the battery and at the starter. A separate heavy cable from the battery ground point to the starter is better. You must have as low resistance as possible to reduce the voltage drop.

A good battery and generator to keep it charged.

I have driven my 27 Star for 20 years on six-volts and the original vacumn fuel pump and I have never had any starting proplems. Even after long idle periods it starts before 2 or 3 turns of the engine.

Bob

Re: Dual 12v and 6v electrics

Peter: It has been said several times in this forum about the absolute value of good wires. I make my own battery cables out of welding cables and have never had one fail yet. I also grind off all paint and any rust on the frame before I mount the ground cable. As Bob says I have never had a problem when I set up my ignition this way.
Jan

 

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