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Username Post: 12 volt conversion        (Topic#108668)
1953 Chevy 
Member
Posts: 94

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 05-06-04
08-04-05 09:55 AM - Post#753928    

Hello everyone. I decided to convert my 6 volt to a 12. I just have some questions regarding parts and technical info. My first question is, can I use my stock ignition switch/starter, or need new one? Second, do I need to buy a new wire harness for the car? Third, can I somehow use my stock 6 volt radio? If anyone here has experience in converting a 6 to 12, please tell me your about your experience and knowledge. Thanks everyone!

-Mike

 
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rrausch 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 10547
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-04-05 12:20 PM - Post#753929    
    In response to 1953 Chevy

I've converted two '54 Chevy trucks and a '50 Farmall tractor from 6V to 12V, and am currently converting my '53 210 to 12V. Generally all the switches will be fine. The wiring harness and starter will be fine on 12V if they were fine on 6V. If the wiring harness is frayed or junky, I'd replace it. The starter will spin faster on 12V, but as long as you don't crank on it for extended periods of time it will be OK. I ran a 6V starter on all the vehicles I've converted to 12V and they all worked great. The keyed ignition switch & light switch and dimmer switch all will work just great on 12V--better actually than on 6V since the amperage will be cut in half. The Amp gauge will work fine on 12V. You will have to change all the light bulbs to 12v bulbs. However, the gas tank sending unit and gas gauge will require a resistor, or they WILL burn out on 12V--many vendors sell that little resistor. On my first truck I used a big volta-drop type resistor on the radio--it didn't work well. Then I bought a Ron Francis solid state converter and used it for the radio--it worked just great. One day that converter actually exploded, but oddly enough continued to work just fine! It never failed me, it just blew up and then kept right on working! I never figured out why it exploded, but there was a crater in the mass of plastic insulation about the size of a quarter afterwards, but it didn't affect the working of the thing. My next '54 truck I had the radio converted internally for 12 volts. This was done by an old guy who must have been about 85--he could barely walk out to his shop which was out behind his house, and he took a long time but that radio still works just great and he converted it 12 years ago. Which heater do you have? On my trucks I just bought a new 12V heater fan motor and controlled the fan speed with a rotary switch, however on my '53 210 I have the delux heater, and it has a small 2-speed switch in the heater-controls housing itself. I've not disassembled that switch, but I have assumed it will work just great on 12V. Maybe someone with some experience can comfirm that.
1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
babaloo54 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 35

Age: 79
Loc: new york state
Reg: 10-24-04
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-04-05 02:48 PM - Post#753930    
    In response to 1953 Chevy

Hi Mike
I just converted my '54 chevy 210 to 12 volts. The best & easiest instructions I got was from Bob Hayden. He gives you a parts list, tools to use, and the procedure. I recommend it. I just Googled Bob Haydens 6 to 12 volt conversion and got it.

Bob B.
'54 210 a work in progress

 
Bob_Hayden 
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Bob_Hayden
Age: 67
Loc: Indianapolis, In. USA
Reg: 07-17-01
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-04-05 03:58 PM - Post#753931    
    In response to babaloo54

Keith Hardy has the procedure on his web site.
Bob Hayden's 54 Chevy, 350 Engine with TH400 Tranny and 94 4X4 Blazer Rear End with 3:23 gears.(FINISHED PICS) </a> My 54 Albums


 
Bob_Hayden 
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Bob_Hayden
Age: 67
Loc: Indianapolis, In. USA
Reg: 07-17-01
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-04-05 05:48 PM - Post#753932    
    In response to Bob_Hayden

Here is the link to it. 6 to 12 Volt conversion
Bob Hayden's 54 Chevy, 350 Engine with TH400 Tranny and 94 4X4 Blazer Rear End with 3:23 gears.(FINISHED PICS) </a> My 54 Albums


 
rrausch 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 10547
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-04-05 06:19 PM - Post#753933    
    In response to Bob_Hayden

Wow! That is SO complete--I coulda saved all that thinking & typing if I'd have known Bob Hayden's list existed!!
1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
Bob_Hayden 
"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 6135
Bob_Hayden
Age: 67
Loc: Indianapolis, In. USA
Reg: 07-17-01
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-05-05 03:49 AM - Post#753934    
    In response to rrausch

Well, now that I have all this praise heaped on me, I must say that I got the list from somewhere else. I didn't write it myself.
Bob Hayden's 54 Chevy, 350 Engine with TH400 Tranny and 94 4X4 Blazer Rear End with 3:23 gears.(FINISHED PICS) </a> My 54 Albums


 
2blu52 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 14104

Age: 80
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-05-05 04:56 AM - Post#753935    
    In response to Bob_Hayden

Quote:

Well, now that I have all this praise heaped on me, I must say that I got the list from somewhere else. I didn't write it myself.




Don't be bashful now!
"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
1953 Chevy 
Member
Posts: 94

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 05-06-04
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-05-05 07:13 AM - Post#753936    
    In response to rrausch

Thanks everyone for the input. I already found Bobs list and it is most help (Thank you Bob). Here is what I was thinking about the starter and ignition. What if I used a 12 volt starter from a later 235 engine(ie 57-up). Would that work? Also I thought that when changing volts, new wiring has to be installed because of incorrect gague. Thses are just some question I need your input on. Thaks again.

Rrausch:
The heater I using is the stock unit for 1953. I don't know the type of model number. I

 
1953 Chevy 
Member
Posts: 94

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 05-06-04
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-05-05 07:18 AM - Post#753937    
    In response to rrausch

Thanks everyone for the input. I already found Bobs list and it is most help (Thank you Bob). Here is what I was thinking about the starter and ignition. What if I used a 12 volt starter from a later 235 engine(ie 57-up). Would that work? I thought that when changing volts, new wiring has to be installed because of incorrect gague. Thses are just some question I need your input on. Thaks again.

Rrausch:
The heater I'm using is the stock unit for 1953. I don't know the type of model number. Is it possible I could use my 6 volt heater motor and setup using a reducer, or a 12 volt is required? I was just on NCA and just found out that they want 200.00 for a 12 volt wiper motor! What have I got myself into . Thanks again.

 
babaloo54 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 35

Age: 79
Loc: new york state
Reg: 10-24-04
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-05-05 02:05 PM - Post#753938    
    In response to 1953 Chevy

Reguarding the heater in your '53, the motor is a 6 volt. So as long as you use a reducer; it will work o.k. The switches (stock) will handle the 12 volts. As for the wiper motor, if it's stock, it is powered by vacuum from the manifold. You can buy a double action fuel pump that will work better. That would be a lot cheaper than the electric. I hope this helps you.

Bob.B
a '54 chevy---a work in progress

 
rrausch 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 10547
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-05-05 03:35 PM - Post#753939    
    In response to babaloo54

The 6V systems used thicker wire (heavier gauge) than is needed for a 12V system, so if the wire is in good shape it will work. However, if the wire is original it has been in the car over 50 years, and the insulation is probably worn in some places. When I pulled the main harness out of the dash of my '53, the insulation was gone in many places. I've also seen a lot of old wire where the insulation is brittle and crumbles easily--you really don't want to burn your car up from bad wiring.
1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
Robert_May 
Old as Dirt Member
Posts: 6939

Loc: San Marcos, CA USA
Reg: 01-03-02
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-05-05 06:09 PM - Post#753940    
    In response to 1953 Chevy

The 12V starter won't work as is. You may be able to replace the motor on your present starter system with the motor from that 12V starter.
The problem (from what I've heard from others) is that the tooth profile and count is different between the 6 and 12V starters. Go ahead and use your 6V starter on 12V after you replace the solenoid which I think is interchangable. The 12V solenoid has the R terminal which you will want for the ign. system to provide 12V when starting to the coil.
The fan motor for the heater can have a resistor put in series with it. I don't know the value but it will be a big one physically as I think the fan takes about 10amps which means that you'll probably be wanting a .5 ohm resistor of at least 10W at the minimum. If you've got the two speed fan then the low speed will be a bit higher than it was.
Robert May Fat? Eat less and you will get thinner!


 
Robert_May 
Old as Dirt Member
Posts: 6939

Loc: San Marcos, CA USA
Reg: 01-03-02
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-05-05 06:13 PM - Post#753941    
    In response to rrausch

Quote:

Then I bought a Ron Francis solid state converter and used it for the radio--it worked just great. One day that converter actually exploded, but oddly enough continued to work just fine! It never failed me, it just blew up and then kept right on working! I never figured out why it exploded, but there was a crater in the mass of plastic insulation about the size of a quarter afterwards, but it didn't affect the working of the thing.



RRaush, the crater is probably where a cap used to be. They sometimes blow up for various reasons. Apparently it was a filter cap, probably on the input side as you aren't getting any buzzing from the radio. Then again, the frequency of the switching in the unit is probably so high that the radio just filters it out.
Robert May Fat? Eat less and you will get thinner!


 
rrausch 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 10547
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
Re: 12 volt conversion
08-05-05 06:51 PM - Post#753942    
    In response to Robert_May

Thanks Robert. Yeah, this one just decided to blow one day--it's nice to hear what the problem was. Thanks.
1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
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