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Negative or positive grounding on a 1933?


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Hey friends and more knowledgeable people! 

Short intro; I inherited my fathers Buick 1933, S50-57 some years ago and he was the petrolhead, I'm a carpenter. So, I'm handy with stuff and not afraid to try stuff, but I know nothing about engines other than the general basic stuff of course. 

However, I am now in the process of upgrading the electrical stuff, adding a breakerless system (enter gasp of horror from puritans, sorry gang) and to buy the correct stuff it's needed to know if my car is positive grounded or negative grounded. 
I've tried to search the internet for info and _most_ info points at negative grounded.. yet I don't want the "I guess". I want the "I know for a fact..." ^_^ 

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It should be negative ground.  Look at your battery.  The negative terminal should  woven, flat non insulated that goes to a bolt on the transmission.  The positive cable will be insulated and go to the starter motor.  A volt meter on the battery terminals will confirm the polarity.

 

Buicks were negative ground from at least 1916 on.  That is my earliest knowledge on Buick electrical systems.  Others may confirm earlier dates.

 

Bob Engle

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Number one, you've got to get a shop manual. Asking questions here is great and you will find many smart and patient people. Also start using the "search"  feature at the top right of the screen to look up specific questions. It takes a little practice wording your search to get the most helpful answers. Welcome. Good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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On 4/9/2021 at 1:18 PM, HrodgarSWE said:

However, I am now in the process of upgrading the electrical stuff, adding a breakerless system (enter gasp of horror from puritans, sorry gang) and to buy the correct stuff it's needed to know if my car is positive grounded or negative grounded. 
I've tried to search the internet for info and _most_ info points at negative grounded.. yet I don't want the "I guess". I want the "I know for a fact..." ^_^ 

 


Upgrading the electrical stuff..........

 

Buick was built by General Motors. The most advanced company in the world when it came to technology......no one else was even close to GM in research, design, materials, metallurgy, ect.........no one. What’s the reason for you to change it? Upgrading is impossible.........altering it for a specific purpose........? Sure, will the changes be done using basic engineering techniques? Do you have an understanding of electrical circuits? Do you understand Ohm’s law? Know how to pick the correct wire size for the load? 
 

Please explain what you would like to modify, and why. Plenty of people here are helpful and have good engineering backgrounds. I’m curious as to why you want to make alterations. Most people here are purists, as you stated. Looking forward to your response.

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Do yourself a favor and not change the car.  If you fix everything to factory specifications, the car will perform fine without any "upgrades"  When individuals start "improving" their car you can end up with a Frankencar.   Will only work if you have an impeccable memory and if you are out on the road and something happens you can remember what you changed a particular part to.  Edinmass is absolutely correct about keeping it original for multiple reasons. 

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Car show cruise-in's are full of Frankencars, and people just walk right past them. Nobody cares how some random dude ruined a good car by upgrading everything. You want people to stop and look at your car, even big crowds of onlookers cheering.......keep it original!

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I am one of those purists, but....  When you upgrade as you mention you have just created a one off unique car. This may be OK or not...  If the upgrade fails on the road you will not be able to band aid fix it to get you home with a few low cost spare parts and a minimal tool kit. Just my $.02.  Your car so it is your choice.....

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