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Anyone add a 12V Deep Cycle Battery to their Car?


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So just playing with some ideas here, I know I can add a 6V to 12V up-converter to be able to charge cell phones and so on to my 1927 Buick.

 

However, I am playing with some ideas of adding  so additional 12V lighting to the car and might want to use some 12V accessories that might tax the 6V generator a bit too much!

 

So that leaves me with the idea of “maybe” adding a 12V Deep Cycle battery to the car that I can charge up before I go anywhere and the deep cycle battery should give me days of use before I’d need to think about charging it again!

 

Not sure if I am overthinking this but it is an idea I am paying with.  Anything I do will not take from the car, I am not having the car judged for points at Hershey other than just “showing the car” at local events that aren’t points based.  So I am not modifying the car to hurt is value or anything like that!  
 

I have an extra battery box/tray that I’m hoping will hang next to the existing factory one, it if doesn’t no biggie I can place the battery elsewhere and still have access to it to charge it when needed!

 

I value you fine folks and your thoughts and opinions so I figured I ask you all what you think or some ideas you might have kicked about for this?

 

Picture is for reference and not looking for thoughts on this brand, just thoughts on the idea!  I know some folks have positive and negative opinions of this brand, again the picture is for reference only...

 

 

4E7E8705-908B-4D9C-A6EF-27B5B4F877ED.jpeg

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Never mind the brand, that particular exact battery in your post above will not leak on anything, and a first generation Toyota Prius vent fitting/hose will plug into it to vent the battery to the outside, if you wanted to do that because you mounted it in common airspace with the passengers. It is also deep cycle, though I don't think it would need to be.

 

Tiny alternators are available. The Geo Metro one is real small, and a Kubota tractor one is even smaller. You could run a whole separate system, negative ground (never mind which ground the 6v system uses). I have considered doing this in the past, but I just don't need any 12v negative ground accessories anymore, so I haven't tried it. I've a hunch that it would be a much better solution than a 12v conversion (those are almost always crap).

 

YMMV

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I like it I like it!!  I’d want a super small alternator that would almost disappear in the engine compartment!!  I didn’t consider two systems but that’s actually a great idea as it’s totally reversible and making up a longer leather belt would be easy!

 

Ive been wanting to try my hand at casting parts at home so making a bracket to hold the alternator shouldn’t be too hard!

 

 

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Maybe even add a motorcycle stator/rectifier inside of the generator?  Is there enough room inside of the generator to place a Stator on the shaft?  Sure would be nice to hide everything!!

 

hey maybe I found my $ million penny idea that will make me less poor!! 😂😂😂😂

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5 hours ago, Crazyfamily said:

Not sure if I am overthinking this but it is an idea I am paying with.

I think you are over reacting to a relatively simple need with a very simple solution.  Buy a 12 VDC  jump starter with a plug-in for the accessories you want.  Then, install 6VDC LED bulbs for your lights and you're done. 

 

I use a jump starter to run 12 VDC systems on my brass Buicks.  And, it has an air pump that comes in handy too. 

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Of course I appreciate the input weather someone agrees or not, however I am looking for something a little more permanent than adding a jump box.....maybe!

 

I have not decided, obviously, on how I am going to proceed as I am just gathering info and. research at this time.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Crazyfamily said:

Of course I appreciate the input weather someone agrees or not, however I am looking for something a little more permanent than adding a jump box.....maybe!

 

I have not decided, obviously, on how I am going to proceed as I am just gathering info and. research at this time.

 

 

 

 Crazy, I think you should just get it installed. Then you can tell us.:D.

 

  Ben

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10 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

I think you are over reacting to a relatively simple need with a very simple solution.  Buy a 12 VDC  jump starter with a plug-in for the accessories you want.  Then, install 6VDC LED bulbs for your lights and you're done. 

 

I use a jump starter to run 12 VDC systems on my brass Buicks.  And, it has an air pump that comes in handy too. 

 

12V jump box here too.

 

Move it from car to car and remove it when you don't want it.

 

Bring it in the hotel room for an overnight charge.  But it will run two phones for weeks.

 

Heck, have used it in the house when the kids visit and only bring car chargers for their phones.

 

I already had a good 12V air pump but the jump box powers it well. 

 

Good Karma too.  Helped lots of people with it and the pump but never used it for a flat yet.  

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Cell phones and USB are ~5V. You should be able to buy or even make a charging port that will be compatible with your 6V system. I believe there's someone here on this forum who made his own USB charger that would work with his ancient car, although I'm sorry, I can't recall who it was. I thought about making one for myself when I saw his--it didn't seem very difficult. It might be Ply33 here on the forum, he's done some clever things with 6V electrical systems.

 

Extra lights are always difficult, but your generator is probably capable of putting out 25-30 amps at full charge. Since it's a third brush regulated generator, it's probably set to a figure much lower than that just to keep from boiling the battery when all that extra juice isn't needed. For example, my 1929 Cadillac is set to about 10 amps, whereby the headlights and generator just about fight to a standstill. There isn't even enough extra electricity there to fire the overdrive solenoid but I don't really worry about it--I turn off the headlights, put it in overdrive, then turn them back on.

 

My point is, you can adjust your generator's output to accommodate more lights and/or use LEDs everywhere you can to help conserve current. There are also solid state voltage regulators that fit inside the original generator's case that will allow it to make full output when needed and then go down to near 0 when the battery is charged and there's no load. I have one for my Cadillac that I've never installed but I've always thought it was a good idea--I just don't drive the car much anymore. That might be an option if you add lights and need more juice. But honestly, how much night driving do you really do?

 

If, however, you're looking to install a modern radio or something like that, I'd argue that a small set of wireless speakers powered by batteries and/or USB with a Bluetooth connection to your phone is a better solution. There's all kinds of tech out there that will give you what you're looking for without the need to re-engineer the car, and much of it runs on  USB so an adapter unit in your car should do most of the work. Or just charge the batteries periodically, which you were planning to do with the deep cycle battery anyway. We use a little wireless speaker for music in our showroom and need to charge it about once a month. That's pretty impressive, both in terms of sound output and battery life.

 

Finally, you can add a second electrical system but I bet the unshielded 6V system is going to induce a lot of noise into it if they're sharing a ground. A radio will probably be sketchy. You're also installing new parts that will alter the look of the car since your generator is powered by a chain on the crank and/or the water pump (I don't recall on the early Buicks) and an alternator will need to have some kind of belt drive installed that doesn't affect the cooling fan.

 

I guess the bottom line is how desperately do you really need the things that you're planning to install to make the not insignificant modifications worthwhile? We have radios in three of our old cars but I can't say that I ever use them. I rather enjoy just the sounds the car makes, even on long trips. I've never been so bored in one of our old cars that I felt the need to turn on the radio. I even added a Redi-Rad to my 1941 Buick's radio so it could play music from my phone or iPod but I've only used it once and then lost interest. It's a bit distracting in an old car, to be honest.

 

Just some thoughts. Hope it helps.

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Great ideas and all valid points!  
 

I am ok adding a Bluetooth speaker system, while I don’t mind adding and hiding some tech to the car (again I am not going for points in shows or anything like that!) and I know the charging system should be able to handle charging a Bluetooth speaker and a cell since the draw is relatively small.

 

My thoughts are that I’d like to add some 12V lights and having a secondary (totally separate) charging system or power source to run things would be a great idea.  
 

If I added a small, even a micro 12V tractor based secondary,  alternator that I could run lights and some accessories and maintain a relatively stock look.  Obviously having a small alternator under the hood would be easily seen by an experienced classic car enthusiast however powder coating it black to blend in w things and it be totally reversible would be the idea.  
 

My second thought was maybe a stator/rectifier off a motorcycle would be better, while I’d doesn’t produce quite the high output as an alternator, it does come in a smaller form factor and might be easier to hide!

 

I have a set of Trippe Speed Driving Lights on the car that I’d like to make 12V and have some bright lights in them!  While I’ve been told they don’t go with the look of the car and should be left to the 1930’s models, I like them!  So far running 12V power to the Trippe lights, a few cell phones, and a Bluetooth audio system would be my focus.

 

I am also working on incorporating some 12V turn signals that would not change the look of the car to the untrained eye as well.....
 

Hiding a marine deep cycle battery might be the way to go and then just charge it when needed.  If I was in a situation where I needed extra light output I could use it to power the Trippe lights and light up the next town!

 

We live out in the country so driving at night is something I’d like to be able to SAFELY do.  I know there are led headlights available in 6V however for normal driving I do like the warmer soft glow of the “candle power” rated stock bulbs!

 

I can hear some now, “oh so he wants his cake and eat it too!!”...... exactly!😁

 

keep the ideas coming please!!  I value all of your thoughts and ideas!

 

Merry Christmas!!

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Why do all those things need to be 12V? There are 6V turn signal systems that use LEDs that don't take any juice at all. 6V Trippes will throw plenty of light--again, how much high-speed pitch-black night driving are you planning in a car that really isn't happy going more than 40-45 MPH? I've never felt that I was over-driving the headlights on my 1929 Cadillac at night, even at 50 MPH with the overdrive. I have a single driving light, too, but I don't think I've ever felt the need to use it. People drove out in the country when your car was new--in fact, it was probably a lot darker back then because there was so much less light pollution.

 

I'm not suggesting you don't do it, I'm just wondering why bother? The lights won't be significantly brighter on 12V because you're still limited by the wattage of the bulbs and the design of the reflectors. Is it worth the extra work to install two separate electrical systems and alter the look of the car just for lights that are 20% brighter? Meh.

 

12V isn't a cure-all. Putting your original equipment into top form will do 80-90% of what you want without the need for significant modifications, money, and time. But it seems like you really like the idea, so we'll be curious to see what you come up with.

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Very valid points and I am not 100% sold on the idea yet but wanted to hear everyone’s thoughts and experiences dealing w these issues.

 

I know I can also get a 6V to 12V converter for using cell phone chargers and charging the Bluetooth speaker so that will suffice in the meantime...

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I bought and wired in a 12v step up converter and it didnt last long, I wired my cigerette lighter for 12 v for cell phone/usb use. Also used the 12 volts for a second hidden fuel gauge.  I agree with Others above, time,money,energy spent vs reward would point to not installing a 12valternator and a secondary system.  How about running one of the new lithium jump start packs ( they are very small) with a plug in to your trippe light switch and your cigerette lighter to pwr phone etc.. remove the pack when not in use. Velcrow it up behind the panel. Matt is correct 6 v trip lights are fine. You can now get 6v led for all your out side lights. 

I have the optima 6 volt battery, and not real impressed, the battery maintains voltage longer than a lead acid battery but the cranking amps drops faster. Best to have 2 in paralel for max cranking amps if you need that much. 

lastly I just purchased a small alternator for my 15 hp mitsubishi tractor, about $ 160.00, its not that small! I've smaller on aviation applications like a rotax, but 3 time the price. I'm with Matt and Bob Shaw, Keep it simple, and make it portable, just my thoughts.

Steve 1932 model 96s. 

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https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/ProductDetail/A-14306_USB-CHARGING-PORT

 

I also found the reference I was thinking of before and it is indeed Ply33's awesome and EXTREMELY helpful website: https://www.ply33.com/Repair/cellphone

 

Ply33 mentions this device in case you don't want to build your own like he did: https://www.lightobject.com/Electronics/DC-Power-Module/DC-to-DC-power-module-step-up-Input-35V10V-Output-12V-125A-New-version

 

Hopefully he'll chime in here with more details--he's smarter than I am!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/ProductDetail/A-14306_USB-CHARGING-PORT

 

I also found the reference I was thinking of before and it is indeed Ply33's awesome and EXTREMELY helpful website: https://www.ply33.com/Repair/cellphone

 

Ply33 mentions this device in case you don't want to build your own like he did: https://www.lightobject.com/Electronics/DC-Power-Module/DC-to-DC-power-module-step-up-Input-35V10V-Output-12V-125A-New-version

 

Hopefully he'll chime in here with more details--he's smarter than I am!

 

 

I read your posts with interest and am pretty sure I am dumber than you are. For one thing I am dumb enough to leave outdated information on my website. :)

 

The original device I built suffered from the problem that if you let the metal outer shield on the end of the USB cable touch a metal part of the car you destroyed the regulator. So I moved on to using a 6v+ to 12v- inverter/converter from Custom Autosound like this one: https://www.classiccarstereos.com/positive-ground-6v-to-12v-converter.html I bought mine directly from Custom Autosound instead of a reseller but the price was about the same. I've mounted it in the same location under the dash shown on my web page (I reused the same bracket) and use it to power a lighter/accessory outlet clamped to the bottom of my dash. I then plug a standard automotive 12v USB adaptor into that. In the last year I also ran a direct set of wires from the converter to the windshield header where it powers a dash cam too.

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4 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/ProductDetail/A-14306_USB-CHARGING-PORT

 

I also found the reference I was thinking of before and it is indeed Ply33's awesome and EXTREMELY helpful website: https://www.ply33.com/Repair/cellphone

 

Ply33 mentions this device in case you don't want to build your own like he did: https://www.lightobject.com/Electronics/DC-Power-Module/DC-to-DC-power-module-step-up-Input-35V10V-Output-12V-125A-New-version

 

Hopefully he'll chime in here with more details--he's smarter than I am!

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's neat and pretty reasonably priced for such a niche item, might get one and run it off the back of the cigar lighter in the cad. Any idea on how 'dirty' the power is and if it would cause issues - I haven't had much luck with LED flasher cans and I'm assuming it's because there is fluctuations

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8 hours ago, Brian_Heil said:

I tried adding a plug to my 6V car thinking it would charge a 5V phone car charger. Nope.  
 

The cord needs about a minimum of 10V to produce 5V. 

 

 I used a unit similar to this for a cigarette lighter charger for my gps and phone to convert from 6 volt positive ground to 12 volt negative ground and it seems to be working. Obviously you need to use a cigarette lighter base that is isolated from the car. I used a generic plastic cigarette lighter and added it under the dash. I'm cheap and $10 seemed good to me even with buying a lighter base from Autozone.

https://www.amazon.com/KNACRO-DC-DC-Converter-Module-Waterproof/dp/B0759Y6WWW/ref=sr_1_26?keywords=6+volt+to+12+converter&qid=1577153637&sr=8-26

 

Carl

 

Edited by 1937-44 (see edit history)
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My 1941 Cadillac has a pair of Optima 6Volt batteries in Parallel so I have 2000 Cranking Amps, but still everything is 6 Volt-

EXCEPT:

We have a power inverter connected to a Cigar Lighter so my 6V Positive ground is inverted to 12 Volt Negative ground. With a triple tap on a cord, I can drive while running the GPS, Radar Detector, Dash Cam, Cellphone Charger, etc, 

But in the other cars  we just use a Jump box -

The KISS method !

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On 12/23/2019 at 12:43 PM, Brian_Heil said:

I tried adding a plug to my 6V car thinking it would charge a 5V phone car charger. Nope.  
 

The cord needs about a minimum of 10V to produce 5V. 

 

I have a female  trickle charger plug-in in my 29 McLaughlin Buick, equipped with 2 Optima batteries in parallel, and it will charge / run a phone's GPS.

 

Maybe because it's a McLaughlin Buick (When better Buicks are made McLaughlin will be making them) ???

 

Bill McLaughlin

1929 McLaughlin Buick Roadster

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USB, used by most phones to charge, is a 5 volt supply.

 

While it is true that many chargers designed for 12v probably do not work, getting a regulated, clean 5v from a 6.3v is not a technical impossibility. One would have to pay special attention to the design, and probably use more expensive parts than in a typical cheap charger. 6.3 volts is cutting it real close when you have to regulate the voltage and also clean it up enough that solid state electronics won't be harmed.

 

The 7.2-7.6 volts of a running, charging, 6 volt charging system allows more headroom than a bare 6.3v battery. It shouldn't be that hard to accomplish.

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1 hour ago, Jack Worstell said:

Bloo      ....do you ever give seminars at Buick meets.......talk about auto electrical systems and

electronics ?

 

Jack Worstell                      

 

 

Haha no, at least I never have yet.

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