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Questions re 8 Volt Batteries


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No. Not unless you increase the voltage from the generator. A 6 volt system needs around 8 volts from the generator to keep a 6 volt battery properly charged. The 8 volt would need about 10.5 . Remember that 6 volt systems need double the wire size as a 12 volt to carry the load. Do not buy generic parts store battery cables as they are not nearly heavy enough. Have big heavy ones made or try the DB suppliers. Also if you starter is not up to par (most of those 6 volt 4cyl DB's are NOT!) spend the bucks to get them properly rebuilt which may mean new expensive end plate and center plate to make them work like new. Going to higher voltage is a band aid and another downfall is shortened bulb life, as they will burn brighter but....

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Try an Optima 6 volt battery first. It has a lot more oomph than the old 6 volt battery.

Clean all the wire connections too. They have to be clean and tight, the wires have to be twice as large as a modern 12 volt, if someone has installed the common parts store wires that alone can cause a problem.

If that fails you may need to rebuild the starter. If everything is right the 6 volts works fine.

To answer your original question. Yes you can use an 8 volt battery. They are made for tractors. All you need to do is adjust your voltage regulator up a little. Push it up from 7.2 volts (normal 6 volt setting) to 9.5.

But the Optima will work just as well without changing anything.

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Also, make certain end fastening are CLEAN. I had a uh, other make, car that for years I would fight getting it started once the engine warmed up. Turned out to be too much paint where the ground cable fastened to the engine!!! Cleaned the paint off one day, and voila!! no more starting problem. Put up with that for years!!!! Also rebuilt the starter twice, second time with "high output" field coils. .. all that headache over a little over restoration. . . (and, yes, this was a 6 volt system)

Sometimes the simplest solutions. . . .

David D.

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Guest Backyardmechanic

Hey There,

I have been running my 37 with a 8 volt battery When i first got it took it for a ride the batter went dead lucky it just happen near a starter generator shop I went in ask for a jump the owner came out with a jumper unit ask if i addjusted the volatage regerator so the generator would charge the 8 volt bettery.I just look at him as to say duuu he left came back with a volt/amp.tester and a screw driver set up the volatage on the regerator.

went for a 1/2 hour drive went back he check the battery and it was comeing up on the charge (about 3/4 charge. that was about 4 years ago never had any problems with it since.


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Guest Plymouthy

good clean connection on a good charged 6 volts is the best place to start...second item of issue would be to ensure that the cables on the battery are not internally corroded at the battery clamp or distant mounting terminal. The cable should be minimum of 1 guage but it is my opinion that 0 is minimum and 00 is even better...use of good quality weld lead for cable application would be ideal. Third, do not rule out an enlongated rear starter bush which will allow the armature to 'cock' to an angle under torque and drag thus increasing current drain..excessive current drain to the starter motor starves the ignition and results in long grinds and poor starts as the ignition is not developing the secondary voltage as it should...this is an inexpensive oillite bushing that is a quick fix..

Going to 8 volt is a bandaide only..you need to assess the condition of your electrical..something is amiss..find it, fix it...you could easily go to 8 volts and tweak the regulator output to match but most folks find that bulbs are short lived in this application..

good luck..

Edited by Plymouthy (see edit history)
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