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6V or 12V

Guest Zach 16

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Guest Zach 16

I am currently in the process of restoring my '50 super riviera coupe (which in the end i was able to acquire) and was wondering whether to convert it to 12 volts or keep it a 6 volts?, thanks in advance,Zach.

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Convert it to 12 volts, and you will automatically lose 25 to 35% of the potential buyers when you get ready to sell the car. Happened to me when I tried to sell a 1954 Chevrolet that the previous owner had already converted to 12 volts. A buyer and I had already agreed on a price, and then when I told him it was 12 volts, he left and was no longer interested. When you convert to 12 volts, you have to replace every single bulb, every electrical accessory (radio, heater blower), and get ready to replace your starter and generator, too.

Leave it at 6. It was good enough in the car for the last 59 years.

Just my opinion, and yes, I am a purist.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

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An old phrase comes to mind "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". As long as you are not having any issues with the car, I'd keep it 6 volts. Just my 2 cents

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The company that provides a 6v alternator is:

Finicke Auto Electric, Inc.

3127 E Washington Avenue,

Madison, WI 53704

(608) 243-8730

(608) 243-1414 Fax

I was going to have them put one in because I thought I had generator problems, but they tested my generator and said it was putting out fine. Turned out to be something else. A 6v alternator will look like an alternator, not a generator. It is more reliable and does a better job of recharging the battery than generator technology and doesn't require swapping bulbs, etc. On the other hand, generators work perfectly well and have for decades. I ended up putting that money into a Pertronix Ignitor for electronic ignition instead - seemed like more bang for the buck, and easy to revert to points and condensor in an emergency (since anything can fail). Plus, I just had to have the '46 towed because of two condensor failures within a few weeks. One was the condensor of undetermined age that came with the car, then the next failure was its replacement. But I digress. If you convert to a 6v alternator, you'll have to either fashion a different bracket or rig a collar on the existing bracket to take up the difference.

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Guest Zach 16

Thanks, I was intending to leave it at 6v but since i'm having to completely dissasemble and rebuild the car anyway i was just wanting to make sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest simplyconnected

The biggest problem with generators is, they don't produce unless your engine speed is fast. Consequently, your battery will never be fully charged unless you maintain 35-mph most of the time. At traffic lights, the generator field DRAINS your battery, characterized by that red 'GEN' light that comes on when you idle. 6-volt cars take MUCH longer to restore battery power, so most never get a full charge and that's what kills a battery.

12-v alternators output 100-amps (five times the power of 6-v) and they charge during idle.

I am not a purest. I wouldn't think of putting my family on the freeway with bias-ply tires or without seat belts. I use an electric w/s wiper that's hidden under the dash. It beats the crap out of the Trico vacuum motor that stops working going uphill.

You can connect two 6-volt batteries in series, charge them with a 12-volt alternator, and use just 6-volts for your original accessories. That way, everything under the dash maintains originality, but you benefit from having 12-volts for all the accessories available, today. I use an inverter for 115-vac. Good luck finding one made for 6-v. Want a good trouble light? Pull one out of your garage and plug it into an inverter.

One good thing about 12-volt... you can always revert to 6-volt, to sell the car. The guys that supposedly 'lost a sale' could have, too. Nothing is destroyed, not even the original wires.

46chris, your Pertronix system makes solid sense, especially if you intend on driving far from home. Points work, but not nearly as long.

Dave Dare

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Guest simplyconnected


•One Wire Operation

•75 Amps–60 Amps Idle

•Heavy Duty Regulator

•Designed to fit generator bracketry.

<span style="color: #000099">Of course, all the 12-volt alternators don't indicate GND polarity, but the only 6-volt alternators I see are POSITIVE GROUND:</span>

Ford PowerGEN ©

75A Ford ‘39~’48, 12V 282011 82011

75A Ford ‘39~’48 6V Pos. Grd 282016 82016

Ford PowerGEN (D)

75A Ford Strap Mtg. ‘49~’53, 12V 282021 82021

75A Ford Strap Mtg. ‘49~’53 6V Pos. Grd 282026 82026

Ford PowerGEN (E)

75A Ford Swing Mtg, 12V 282101 82101

75A Ford Swing Mtg 6V Pos. Grd 282106 82106

Universal PowerGEN (F)

75A “Universal”, 12V 282091 82091

75A “Universal” 6V Pos. Grd 282096 82096

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