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Just wondering if anyone has tried the 12v battery with the 6v lug in the center and how well did that work out?

I will be buying a battery and a generator or alternator anyway.....checking out my options to stay 6v or go to 12v or the 12-6v battery.

 

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I know people like converting to 12V but properly maintained 6V systems work just fine.  What problem are you trying to solve with the center tap battery?  

 

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Looking at options, trying to keep costs down to a minimum,  will need to buy a battery and generator or alternator anyway, and these in 12v version may be cheaper than original.  I have converted 3 non-studebaker vehicles to 12v and have no regrets...bright lights, fast starting, later model components easier to maintain are just some of the reasons (really like the GM single wire alternator) .   I never considered a 6v tap battery on the other vehicles I converted... because 12v parts were available that fit and worked.   But the '39 has 4 things I might would like to keep 6v..... the OD solenoid, the fuel tank sender, wipers, and the heater blower.   Staying 6v remedies that but going to 12v means I need to address those items....going with the 6v lug might be an option?   

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You've also got the "problem" that your car was positive ground and I've never encountered a 12 volt positive ground.  Electricity is something "magic" to me so I I don't know how the polarity difference will effect what your trying to do but it's something you might want to investigate.

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The only thing I am not sure about on the polarity is the wiper motor (mine is not running) so I cannot test.  The fuel sender is frozen solid and will have to be replaced with something.  But...on a 51 Ford, the fuel sender worked just fine reversing the polarity...in fact it cannot tell if it is 12v or 6v...is has some sort of heater that cuts out to smooth out the sloshing and that mimmicks 6v.    The heater motor works fine and so will the starter.  The OD solenoid pulls in on either polarity.  I figure the relays will need replacing anyway, so I can get the 12v or 6v depending on the circuit.   Heck, I have been "yard driving " for years on the 12v neg. ground...but the other circuits have been disconnected because of the frayed wiring.   I have not priced the 12-6 v battery yet...so that alone might be a show stopper.    

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There is is nothing "illegal" about 12V positive ground but if your reason for converting is cheaper, more modern parts then you will not find any for 12V positive ground.  Most of the old electro-mechanical systems on cars did not care about polarity but modern electronics sure do. 

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I have no intention to go positive ground.    if I go to 6 volt or 12 volt, it will be neg ground.     I have not found anything on the car that cares if it is neg ground,...other than the voltage regulator ...which I will have to buy anyway and then polarize it.   

Still no replies on the 12v battery with the 6volt lug...anyone?     

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The 12 v battery with 6 volt lug is off the table, not willing to pay the price!.  The current generator (pun intended)  on the car is from a '40-48 Chrysler and it is not any  good.  I am leaning towards a 6v alternator now...seems to be cheaper than a refurbished Stude generator + a core.  anyone running a 6 votl alternator? 

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I put a single wire 6 volt alternator on my Pontiac twenty years ago and have never regretted it.  I do a lot of driving at night and when I changed the headlight bulbs to 50/32's instead of 21/21's or 32/21's the old three brush generator wouldn't keep up.  The only thing with a single wire alternator is you have to blip the engine at first so the alternator will kick in.  Once it has started charging mine will charge 40 amps at an idle (350 rpm).  The interesting was that the pulley for the alternator, in order to use my wide belt, cost more than the alternator.

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Tinindian....what year Pontiac?  neg ground?  where did you purchase the alternator?  I am running the single wire 12v in my 51 Ford F1 for 18 years now.  no regrets!  had to use the wide belt pulley too! 

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I purchased it from our local rebuilder.  I saw one in a magazine for a Ford at about $400.00.  Went in to our local guy and he built me one for $175.00 out of standard Delco parts.  He said he could make one any output from 40-125 amps, internal or external regulator in pos or neg ground.  Took him two days. He was also the guy that rebuilt my starter after 80 years of use, that took four days because he had to order the armature.  All Pontiacs were neg ground.  My signature says my Pontiac is 1930.  You didn't read my signature??? :)

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hey thanks...never thought about the alternator shops building one...I will give em a try.  

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Hi which model and year car are we talking of ?  I imported a '28 Commander  to the UK which came with an 8 volt battery which needed replacing but before I did  I put the volt meter on the dynamo out put wire and it was reading 19 volts so I moved the third brush which reduced the Voltage ,I removed the primary electrical  supply wire and tried a 12 volt battery obviously the motor was spun faster but not dangerously so , I then changed bulbs etc and have now been running on the 12 Volt battery for some years it has made it easier to fit such things as an LPG system .Bill

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hi bbv,  I have done several 12v conversions on daily drivers with no regrets.   But on the '39 commander,  I needed to buy a battery and the generator is missing, so that is what got me to thinking about 12v.  But all of the electrical devices, relays, solenoids, gauges still work !!  And  I think the 6v system will help keep some of the car's character.  So I have decided to stay with the 6v system....  However, I think I will go negative ground and 6v alternator.

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Why negative ground?  For the alternator?  If so just order a negative ground alternator.  They come both ways. 

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yeah I know they come both ways and I have struggled which way to go, but I thought I would go neg ground just in case there was a 6 volt device I wanted to add...most likely it would be neg ground too...like a radio?  

Is there any reason to go pos ground other than that is the way it came?    (the industry eventually did go to neg ground for a reason...corrosion)

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No, it was totally arbitrary.  Corrosion is the same either way.  A circuit is a circuit and the electrons can be set up to flow either way.  In the 6V days both + and - ground were used but eventually most makes settled on + ground just by convention.  When the 12V standard was adopted (I think it was an SAE standard, but I am not sure) - ground was firmly decided upon.  Probably just to be different from the old convention but I am just guessing there.  The point is that most 6V accessories were in fact positive ground.  Many 6V radios of the era work either way.  So by going neg ground you are both assuming all the problems of the conversion and making adding accessories more difficult.  Many very smart engineers designed and built your car and it worked just fine for almost 80 years.  Why screw with it?

 

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I wonder if the original manufacturers started with positive ground vehicles knowing that the flow through a DC circuit is from negative to positive?  So flowing out of the battery through the load into the ground. That just makes better sense from a visualization perspective.  Doesn't really matter from a practical sense.

Scott

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After much more pondering on this + or - grounding...  I am still struggling... Any more compelling arguments to go one way or the other?  

A part of me is now telling me to go positive ground like it came from the factory and keep the old girl closer to being original. 

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On your car, the only things that really care are certain components that are grounded through the housing....like a starter.  You would have to internally rewire that if you switched ground polarities. Light bulbs don't care. Not sure if running your wiper motor in reverse matters unless it has a park position....otherwise right/left cleans as well as left/right :-)

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I had 6volt issues on the 1930 President  that I posted on site today.

I installed a 8volt Mallory.Got it from "Batteries Plus"

Spins like a 12 volt.

I set the generator to 9.3volts with 3'rd brush.

Bulbs are still 6volt

So far,so good

 

Ken

 

 

 

 

 

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I doubt i  will go 8volts...but I am curious about the 3rd brush...how is this done?   

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GOOGLE is your friend.  Simple search "3 brush generator adjustment" and/or "how does a 3 brush generator work"

dy.gif

generatorcharging.jpg

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I have another question for all you gear heads....or least those who have a 39 commander or similar stude.....

I am looking at the 6v GM alternators, and they offer various pulley widths.  I measured the outside of the stude fan pulley and crank pulley and I get 3/4"..the belt appears to be 11/16" , it sits in the groove nicley.  The 3/4" wide pulley the alternator folks offer is 2.5" dia.  This appears to me to be a tight bend for such a wide belt.  In fact, on my other non stude vehicle, it has the 5/8" belt around a similar small diameter alternator pulley and after a few thousand miles the belt broke.  So I replaced it with a belt that has what looks similar to teeth on the underside to allow the belt to take a sharp radius..after tens of thousands of miles the belt still looks good.  I just think the wide belt is in so much stress trying to go around such a sharp radius.   

So, Is anyone out there running a 2.5" pulley with a 3/4"  wide belt and had any issues?   and just checking...what is the stock belt width...3/4" wide or is it 11/16" ?   or is anyone running a 5/8" belt in the 3/4" studebaker pulleys?  I test fitted a 5/8" belt and it sits a little lower but still has plenty of room underneath before bottoming out.  thanks all.  

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