Confused over wiring of my new 26 fordor. It has none to the front, only the dash and starter is wired and it's connected to a 12 volt battery.
My question is can I change it back to 6 volt without changing things like the starter. I'm going to wire the whole car
If the starter is an unmodified original then it is a 6V starter and I personally would change the car back to 6V negative ground if it was my car.
It all depends on whether the starter was changed to a 12 volt or not.
David -- You can send it to Ken Kopsky in Texas, and he can determine which way it's wired (6 or 12-v) and correct it if need be. Ken has rebuilt several starters and generators for me and converted some of the starters to 12-v for T's which have a 12-v system.
David - Not to hijack your thread here, but this might be a good place to ask a question that I've always wondered about and that does seem to sort of "fit" here:
I'm old enough (72) to have had a lot of opinions formulated during the the last few years of the 6 volt period in automotive history. My interest in cars (including old "A" and "T" Model Fords) started as a kid growing up in the '40's and '50's.
One of the fastest "nearly total major changes" in the auto industry came in 1955, when nearly the entire industry made the change from 6 volt to 12 volt automotive batteries and electrical systems. What I find interesting is that I don't recall anyone, even during the early '50's, complaining about 6 volt electrical systems in cars. Seems like we were doing just fine with 6 volts, even with big Cadillacs, Lincolns and Chryslers with lots of electrics! I think it was strictly a change made by the auto industry for THEIR benefit,.....NOT because car owners were complaining about their 6 volt systems. Now, so many Model T (and Model A) owners feel the need to convert to 12 volt systems and alternators in cars with even less electrical demands than cars of the early '50's. Why??? Other than the fact that it's probably easier to get a fresh 12 volt battery than a 6 volt battery, I just don't see the advantage to 12 volts. (???)
The reason auto makers switched to 12-v systems was not that they worked better, but to save money. Cables and wires half the size could carry the same amount of power (watts) at twice the voltage. Half the size is a lot of copper saved.
I agree that six volts is fine for a Model T. In fact, I start a truck, a tractor, and a car on six volts with no trouble. After all, a car that starts with no battery at all should be perfectly satisfied with six volts.
I'm no electrical expert, but the explanation I've heard for the conversion to twelve volts in the fifties was the proliferation of electric accessories in cars. With the increasing use of air conditioning, power windows, and other juice-sucking devices in the luxury models, I suppose across-the-board conversion to twelve volts was most convenient.
6 volts works fine, it just has less room for error, meaning voltage drop due to bad connections
You can check if the starter has been modified to 12 by looking at the way the fixed coils are wire. If the terminal on top goes to both coils, then it is 6V, if it only goes to one, then it is probably 12V.
My 41 Oldsmobile and my 49 Plymouth are both 6 volt and other than a little generator problems here and there Iv never had any problem starting them. Now that said all my T's Iv switched over to 12 volt but only because I do take long trips with them and I like to use my GPS as a speedometer and other 12 volt accessories. I cant hide a small 12 volt battery in the T's like I can in the more modern cars. Iv had folks tell me my 6 volts lights are brighter in my 49 Plymouth than in my daily drivers.
I would suggest just rewiring the car with the assumption that the starter is still set up for 6V. If it spins really slow, then it's either 12V or needs rebuilding. If works good, let it be.
You can check the starter right now with a good 6v battery. Just fit one and press the button.
Don't expect it to 'spin', just turn over OK.