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Where do I find a battery with the lead bracket for my quick fire orpin battery switch?


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I have a 32 Chevrolet with a quick fire orpin battery switch built in my battery. It has lead mounting brackets inserted in the battery. Never seen a set up like this before. This is my first old car I’m restoring. I’ve shown a couple of battery places my battery set up and they have no clue what I have. Where can I find a battery place who can restore this battery my car has. I don’t want to change anything the car has. Need help guys. Where I can just have this rebuilt. The same way it is.. 

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I have never seen anything like that either, and unless it's been changed to 12v I don't think a Group 24 battery is anywhere close to correct for a 1932 Chevrolet.

 

It's like someone modified a 12v battery case to make a pair of 6v batteries in that case.

 

What little I can find on the Orpin switch indicates it was patented in 1958 by Automatic Battery Corporation of America which is apparently out of business.

 

I'd put the correct 6v battery in it along with properly sized cables and not look back.

 

 

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I doubt that can be rebuilt. That switch is the sort of thing used in some older big trucks, usually fire trucks, to start on 12v and run on 6v. It appears that they opened up a battery and modified it to use only one 12 volt battery as 2 6 volt batteries. That was possible because it was a tar top battery, and those can be taken apart and rebuilt. I doubt you could find anyone to do that today. It is academic because your battery case is broken. It probably sat out in the cold while discharged and froze.

 

It doesn't belong on a 1932 Chevrolet anyway. I suggest getting some 00 battery cables and a 6 volt battery and hook it all up like Chevrolet did.

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I don't think you're going to find a special battery like that today, you will have to get an original type battery and the change the wiring back to the stock 6 volt system. Back in the 1970s I bought a 1949 Olds 88 that had an identical battery with the Orpin switch. It started the car on 12 volts then went back to the stock 6 volt system and it worked great. When my battery went dead I bought another one with a new Orpin switch nearby from the Lancaster Battery Co. in Lancaster PA, it was the only place I could find that sold them. It was my impression they manufactured the batteries right there at the facility but the place is long gone. It came with a small white booklet similar to Mike 6024's post that had instructions for installation in any kind of 6 volt car. I don't remember seeing very many of these installations back then and I certainly haven't seen one of these set-ups for a long, long time.  Sorry I can't be of more help. 

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I agree with the idea of returning the car to a stock configuration. However if you really want to have the 12 volt start you could salvage the Orpin switch from your battery and wire in to two 6 volt batteries like the diagram above. If you use Optima batteries they would fit into the stock battery box. You would just have to have custom cables made and mount the switch near the batteries. If you choose this option, test, test and test the Orpin switch again. If it is bad you are wasting your time....

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I don't think you are ever going to find one of those batteries. It's getting hard enough finding a six volt battery. It's obviously someone that had starting issues with 6 volts and used the 12 volts to start the car and then switched over to 6 volts while running. As others have said, if all your wiring is in good shape and all the grounds are clean and secure the car should operate fine with six volts. I showed your pictures to a guy I know that has an old time starter/generator/battery supply and he said he hasn't seen one like that in 40 years.

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There is nothing inherently wrong with a six volt automotive electrical system, PROVIDED it is in good condition. The wiring needs to be good, appropriate size, and all connections and especially ground connections clean, tight, and good. The problem with a six volt system, is that any corrosion in any connection drops the voltage, just as it does with a twelve volt system EXCEPT that the voltage drop is roughly equal (not exactly, do not argue semantics!). A given amount of corrosion, rust, looseness, will drop the voltage by maybe one volt. Or maybe two volts. With a twelve volt system, a one or two volt drop is not really serious. But with a six volt system, that same one or two volts is dropping the voltage to four or five volts (as opposed to the twelve volt system dropping down to ten or eleven volts). One should be able to understand the problem.

As cars aged, and connections were infected with corrosion, people wanted to blame the antiquated weak system, instead of fixing the problem. Hundreds of bad patches were invented and sold with grandiose claims of how they would solve all your problems. None of them really did much good. And switching antique automobiles over to twelve volt systems often create more problems than they solved.

Most people that resolve to 'fix it right' are rewarded with surprisingly reliable and trouble-free antique automobiles (at least electrically?).

That isn't original to your Chevrolet. So no need to be concerned about 'changing' it. I would recommend to fix it right.

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I installed one of those battery's in a car (that was fitted previously) about 25 or 30 years ago. Can't seem to find anyone that makes them any longer. Agree there there is nothing wrong with straight up 6 Volt when everything is right with the system. The 6 volt system was good and reliable when created years ago and is still good today. Dandy Dave!

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Thinking back I got the Battery from Antique Auto Battery that was in Ohio. They are now out of business. I see on the web it was last Jim's antique auto battery. Not sure if that is still in business either or even if they continued to make a 6/12 battery. None found on google at least. The car the 6/12 battery was in was a 1941 Packard Clipper and the owner insisted on keeping the 6/12 system at the time. I later bought the car, got it running and driving, and then sold it still with the 6/12 Battery and system that was in it. Dandy Dave!

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5 hours ago, Dandy Dave said:

I found this former topic. 

 


From that thread link …

 

59B4D2D9-6E08-4331-9D23-2C208F8D6DB0.jpeg.c6a700c2f40548d0f1195335884e0267.jpeg

 

I just called the 800 number and there 

is a recording for “ Jim’s Batteries “.

 

 

Jim

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have recently had to use Battery Central Mall in VA.  They have long lead times though so you may have to wait a while.  If you google Battery central mall they have an interactive web sight that will allow you to order online but it will charge your credit card right away.  If you call them and give the order they will bill the card when they ship I think.

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Back on topic.  The 6/12 battery setup you have in your Chevy is not original.  Just replace your battery with a 6 volt and you will be back to original.  Disconnect the other wires connected to the switch in the center of the battery.

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