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Rob1960

8 volt battery? Anyone familier with? Would it harm a mid 30's

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Is anyone familier with an 8 volt battery? I have a 1936 Dodge that must have a new battery this week. It has its original 6 volt system. I've been told an 8 volt battery can provide more amperage and cranking power, but will not harm a 6 volt system? Apparently they're used frequently in older tractors. Can somebody give me more information on this?

Also, I'm told my car should have an adjustable voltage regulator. Is this correct? How does one determine where to set it?

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This is a common trick. 8 volt batteries are available from farm supply stores as they are used in many old tractors.

The 8 volt gives a little more "oomph" for starting, brighter lights etc. I don't know of any downside except have heard it can be hard on radios.

All mechanical voltage regulators are adjustable. The normal adjustment on a 6 volt system is 7.2 volts. With an 8 volt battery you would reset the adjustment to 9.6.

You can do this at home with a volt meter and screwdriver if you know how. If not, any old time auto electric shop can do it in 5 minutes.

In the case of your Dodge if it has the original 3 brush generator the adjustment would be to the 3d brush but the principle is the same.

Incidentally you can get the same result (improved battery power) simply by buying an Optima 6 volt battery. I know people who swear by them. They cost a little more than a regular battery but are well worth the money.

No special adjustments are required. The Optima simply replaces your old battery.

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Then you will need to buy an eight volt battery charger when you store it! Just make sure you have the right size cables and any 6 volt will do the job.

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The biggest problems with 6 volt systems are that people use battery cables that are too small in size (I like 2/0 cable) and that the connections are corroded or dirty. Poor ground affects light brightness. Would suggest fixing the issues at hand rather than masking them with an 8 volt battery.

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as has been said above, put everything in proper working order, right sized cables (not 12V replacement cables) get an Optima battery and she'll crank over and start just fine.

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I did the 8 volt thing on a couple of old rigs over the years and I had trouble with the light bulbs too. I suggest that if it was working with the 6 volt you stay with that.

The optima battery is in every vehicle that I own. Not fool proof, but still the best for the money.

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Rob:

Best is a 6 volt with the highest cranking amp rating you can find, this might be the Optima. Sam's Club carries an Optima type dry cell battery that is a few bucks cheaper.

Back in the '50's the use of 8 volt batteries was pretty common for the additional cranking power. I can remember putting a screw in the cell connectors in order to connect and charge 3 cells (6 volts) at a time with my 6 volt trickle charger.

However, today's batteries are better quality and a good quality 6 volt with properly sized and clean cables and connections should take care of your problem.

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---but the 6 volt (traditional wet cell) batteries we have available to us today are made for ag equipment or material handling, not car usage, and don't have the cold cranking amps of the Optima.

I really, really like the optima battries.

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I bought a commercial 6v battery from NAPA about three years ago and it works very well for cranking the engine and it evens holds its charge considering I drive the car infrequently. A few things I've done to keep it working well is using HUGE battery cables. I think they are gauge OO

They are probably 3/4" thick. But the number one thing I've done to help keep the batteries power up, is installing a battery disconnect switch. I disconnect the battery after I drive it and I can come back a month later, reconnect the battery and it still has gobs of cranking power.

Before I installed the battery disconnect I had to charge the battery almost every time I wanted to drive it and I had to replace the battery every year.

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No question ... clean terminals... heavy guage cables as original. and get the group 2 six volt battery.. there is lots of room in my 34 for the group 2 and it has more staying power. The one I am using is over 5 years old and never lets me down.

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