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I'm new to the group, having just purchased a running 1932 Model 67.  It's slow to crank and I found that someone installed an 8V battery in place of the typical 6V.  I really hate trying to charge 8V batteries, so I intend to buy a 6V battery.  But first I thought I'd check with the brain trust to see if this is a typical thing to do with older Buicks.  Thanks for any input!   Jim B.

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It is the typical thing to do if the car is messed up and hard to start and you don't know how or don't care to fix it properly.

 

First thing to check are the battery cables. Modern 12v cables are too small to carry the current needed for a 6v starter.

 

Next thing, a bit harder to fix, is a worn out starter. A worn out starter can bind on itself. If so then it needs rebuilding.

 

Note: If some PO tossed in an 8v battery they may have also adjusted the voltage regulator. So when putting it back right you should check the charging system and see if it is set up to factory specifications.

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As noted, proper battery acbles are a "MUST". I personally use "000" with soldered ends, although some use lesser cables - the heavier, the better in my opinion.

I do just fine with 6-Volts on all of our early cars, listed below

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We tried 8 volts for some museum vehicles. The ones they got were lighter than a 6 volt and while they started the car very nicely, they didn't last. I think they only made 2 years. Went back to 6 volts, everybody is happier. 

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I too use heavy cables for the 6 volt systems.  I use 000 welding cable because it is flexible and I crimp and solder the ends.  If you do this, you should not have a wiring problem.  Just be sure that the attachment points that the cables connect to are clean and electrically conductive.  A dirty contact point will not fix a new good cable electrically..

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  • 2 weeks later...

As Larry noted above, the attachment points where cables connect to chassis, engine block, restored starter, vehicle body, etc, MUST also be conductive.

 

This applies, not only to dirt, as Larry suggests, but also to paint and restoration work.

 

How many times have you seen electrical cables bolted to a BEAUTIFULLY PAINTED area - especially on a fresh restoration?

Guess what, folks - the beautiful thick paint, powder coat, or other gloss coating is not a conductor, and despite all the bucks you spent to make it beautiful, will not encourage (or even allow) the flow of electrical energy !

 

Be sure to attach those new, heavy, stranded 000 crimped and soldered cables to an area where you have scraped the immediate surface area down to bare metal.

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6 hours ago, Marty Roth said:

. . . How many times have you seen electrical cables bolted to a BEAUTIFULLY PAINTED area - especially on a fresh restoration?

Guess what, folks - the beautiful thick paint, powder coat, or other gloss coating is not a conductor, and despite all the bucks you spent to make it beautiful, will not encourage (or even allow) the flow of electrical energy !

. . .

 

 

Yep. The headlights on my old Plymouth didn’t work at all until I started removing paint where the fasteners that hold the headlights onto the fenders touch was cleaned down to metal. Should have know better when putting things together but it is so hard bring oneself to intentionally scrape a nice bit of paint work off of a newly restored part.

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On 9/29/2020 at 4:42 PM, ply33 said:

 

Yep. The headlights on my old Plymouth didn’t work at all until I started removing paint where the fasteners that hold the headlights onto the fenders touch was cleaned down to metal. Should have know better when putting things together but it is so hard bring oneself to intentionally scrape a nice bit of paint work off of a newly restored part.

 

+1 on this advice!

 

If you don't want to remove paint, you can add a ground wire, which I've done on several cars' headlights including my '29 Cadillac. It just needs to be a tiny wire that can usually be hidden. Good grounds are CRITICAL on a 6V car, for every system not just the starter!

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