12 Volt Conversion

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: 12 Volt Conversion
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rod Barrett - Anderson, IN on Saturday, January 02, 2016 - 08:14 pm:

Without starting a big discussion as to the reason why one would convert to 12 volts, here is my experience.

I decided to convert because I wanted turn signals with LED Cowl Lights and they were not available in 6 volt. I drilled out the cowl light brackets and routed the wires so that they are completely invisible.


I also rewired the starter to reduce the speed and impact of the bendix spring. Here is the before picture:


Here is the starter after picture:


The hardest part of rewiring the starter was getting the terminals hot enough to get a good soldier joint. The starter works perfectly and it definitely spins faster and with more torque than the 6 volt did.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John T. Tannehill III, Hot Coffee, MS on Saturday, January 02, 2016 - 08:45 pm:

Rod nice work. In the future if you need 6v LED LIGHTS you can go to ledlights.com and buy all you want. Like you I converted one of my Ts to 12 volt because of lights until I found this place. John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rod Barrett - Anderson, IN on Saturday, January 02, 2016 - 09:19 pm:

Here a link to the cowl led lights I purchased:
http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/cowl-lamp-led-conversion.

I also tried LED's in the rear of the car but they had a problem. When I turned on the left or right turn signal without the tail lights on, they bled voltage to the tail light circuit. I switched the rear bulb to the standard type and cured the problem. I will need to try a different LED manufacturer in the rear.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Moorehead on Sunday, January 03, 2016 - 08:55 am:

Go to superbrightled.com All kinds of lights and bulbs but most if not all are 12 volt. I am going to check out the ledlights.com to see what they have too. Try an electronic flasher to see if it will solve the turn signal problem. Not the best cure, but a resistor can be use too for the turn signals. They are available at most big box auto parts stores.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rod Barrett - Anderson, IN on Sunday, January 03, 2016 - 09:36 am:

I have an electronic flasher installed. The fault is in the rear LED's. I have ordered different LED's to try and solve the issue. I will also double check the grounds on the rear sockets.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Moorehead on Sunday, January 03, 2016 - 05:49 pm:

I use LEDs on 3 cars and have no issues after installing the electronic/LED flasher unit. Two of the cars run on 6 volt with a 12 volt converter just for the LED stuff.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Sunday, January 03, 2016 - 06:57 pm:

My car has had a 12-volt system and a 12-volt starter for six years and no problems except this year, I had to replace the battery. _Yeah, it would be nice if the starter turned the engine over a little slower just appearances, but the engine always starts like a champ.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rod Barrett - Anderson, IN on Saturday, January 09, 2016 - 07:14 pm:

FYI: I just installed a new set of LED rear lights and they do not bleed from the turn circuit to the tail light circuit as the 1st set did.

Bad bulbs: http://www.ebay.com/itm/221764723656?item=221764723656&viewitem=&vxp=mtr

Good bulbs: http://www.ebay.com/itm/391328740472?item=391328740472&viewitem=&vxp=mtr

Here are the parts I used for the conversion:
5/16" Asphalt Cloth http://www.ebay.com/itm/121091040780?item=121091040780&viewitem=&vxp=mtr
1/2" Asphalt Cloth http://www.ebay.com/itm/121072897513?item=121072897513&viewitem=&vxp=mtr
Fun Projects 12v regulator http://funprojects.com/products/5055r.aspx
12v Beeper https://www.modeltford.com/item/T-SIGN-BEEP.aspx
12v Flasher http://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_model_t/turn-signal-flasher-12-volt-led.html
Turn Signal Wiring Kit http://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_model_t/turn-signal-switch-wiring-kit.html
Headlight Bulbs https://www.modeltford.com/item/6572-12.aspx
Rear Lights https://www.modeltford.com/pl.aspx?t=s&v=6593TL-L&page=1
Turn Signal Kit https://www.modeltford.com/item/T-SIGN-SW12.aspx
Cowl LED's http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/cowl-lamp-led-conversion


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rod Barrett - Anderson, IN on Sunday, January 10, 2016 - 06:53 pm:

Well, I was mistaken. I had to add diodes in the rear tail lights to remove the LED back feed.



Now all the turn signals work fine as long as I don't start the car or turn the key to battery. The minute the coils start to buzz, either on battery or magneto and I try the turn signals, they freak out! I'm thinking that I must have a bad ground somewhere.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garnet on Sunday, January 10, 2016 - 09:30 pm:

It has nothing to do with grounding ... it's electrical noise. Took me months to figure out a fix for my racer so they work 100%.

Garnet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Barker, Somerset, England on Sunday, January 31, 2016 - 09:09 am:

I too have discovered that the T's environment is incompatible with a solid-state flasher. I don't know if it's the RF field from the coils or a 'dirty' 6v system (i.e. lots of AC with the DC), but a friend's 1928 Morris Cowley had the same problem.
I reverted to a hot-wire 6v flasher and only have LED flashers at the front. 18W tungsten at the rear which load the flasher adequately.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garnet on Sunday, January 31, 2016 - 02:54 pm:

Hello Chris.

After months of only being able to spend small amounts of time actually working on the problem I found that my LED turn signals would work just fine with the engine running if powered from a separate battery - I used a cordless drill battery. When I wired the circuit back up to the car's 12v system they went crazy with the engine running. The coils do indeed throw noise into the wiring. I ended up using the flasher that Snyder's sell in the Model A section of their magazine. I found it had to be mounted in the small trunk of my racer to work with the engine running. I'm sure all the other electronic flashers that I had tried and failed would also work if placed in the trunk.

Regards,
Garnet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rod Barrett - Anderson, IN on Saturday, February 06, 2016 - 02:42 pm:

Here is my experience to date. I have tried to no avail to get two different electronic flasher units to work with the engine running. I was somewhat successful with the newer CEC unit, but it is still a piece of junk!

I have given up and ordered a 50 watt 6 ohm resistor from Ebay. I will wire one of them from ground to the yellow wire (L) on my flasher unit.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor - Kenilworth, NJ on Saturday, February 06, 2016 - 10:32 pm:

The Model T electrical environment is rather extreme when it comes to electrical noise and Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI). Good to know more folks aware of that and have an appreciation of the challenge to make an electronic accessory function reliably.

A electronic directional signal (flasher) only need control a flash once or twice every second. The E-Timer electronic ignition has to calculate engine RPM and ignition timing delay for all four cylinders up to 1250 times a second and get it right every time or you will notice a miss or drop in performance.

I did a design for an electronic directional/flasher a while back but never finished it thinking there would not be sufficient interest. The design supported use of conventional bulbs or LED bulbs, Negative (Model T) or Positive ground (Model A), 6V, 8V, 10V and 12V, Hazard flashers (aka 4-ways) and automatic timed shut off and/or beep options for folks who sometimes forgot to turn off the directional :-) The inputs were a momentary toggle switch (L or R) and brake light switch. Tried to keep it generic with simple terminal block hookup so it would easily hookup to an existing system by transferring connections over; wire by wire. Let me know if this sounds like something of interest to folks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rod Barrett - Anderson, IN on Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 05:41 pm:

To use the standard thermal flasher, I added a 6 ohm, 50 watt resistor to the left and right turn signals to ground. Notice the horn resistor.

Now the system works great with the car running. I really like the LED's and the head lights are nice and bright.

Here is the finished product.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Hoshield; Oak Park MI on Saturday, October 01, 2016 - 02:50 pm:

Rwading with interest.

I have Snyder's electronic flasher A-13311-12 ( yeah... I converted to 12 v) in the attempt to run led flashers... wanted brighter lights with low power draw.

No instructions on the box... does the attached pigtail get connected to vehicle ground?

Before I read about getting the electronic flasher, I had already purchased the load resistors... so I have those if needed, as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Hoshield; Oak Park MI on Saturday, October 01, 2016 - 03:22 pm:

I'm reading it with intrest, also!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bruce Spainhower - Portland, Oregon on Saturday, October 01, 2016 - 03:58 pm:

You don't need load resistors with the proper flasher. This one for $12.95 works perfectly with my LED turn signals.

Also, you don't need to convert the entire car to 12 volts just to run 12 volt LED's. Leave the wiring stock 6 volt, then add a small 6 volt sealed lead-acid battery in series just for the LED's. If you're running just LED turn signals, you'll need to charge the secondary battery only about once a season. If you run LED headlights, tail light, and turn signals, and drive a lot at night as I do, charging it once a month during driving season more than covers it.

So, for under $30, you can have LED's where you want them, and protect the starter and Bendix by leaving them at their original 6 volts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Saturday, October 01, 2016 - 04:17 pm:

I use that battery in my 1915 to buzz the coils for starting, and charge it off the mag. No LED's yet but they draw so little current that I don't expect any problem with them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Hoshield; Oak Park MI on Saturday, October 01, 2016 - 05:36 pm:

Hmm... good to know! If the CEC doesn't work .. I'll try that flasher! Thanks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Bergmann Sydney - Australia on Saturday, October 01, 2016 - 09:28 pm:

Bruce - Regarding LED headlights in the above post, would you be able to advise which units you use? Thank you. Tom


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Moorehead on Saturday, October 01, 2016 - 10:40 pm:

Be careful where you place the resistors. I melted some wire insulation due to the heat generated by the resistors, especially the ones that are gold colored and metal. I have since removed the resistors and use the properly sized flasher. Now all is well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Troy Todd on Saturday, October 01, 2016 - 11:29 pm:

I was curious about what battery you guys were using. I think I'm in need of a new one for coils only while hand cranking. I'll give that one a look.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Saturday, October 01, 2016 - 11:45 pm:

I used a headlight bulb as a resister one element for each side. It provided enough load to operate a standard flasher unit with LED signals. I just hid it under the dash. PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Hoshield; Oak Park MI on Sunday, October 02, 2016 - 10:56 am:

Finally got all the lights installed (except the the head lamps... having a devil of a time getting the retaining ring off from one of them).. and do have the bleeds over issue to opposite side brake lamp.

Pat.... by each side... do you mean just turn signals, or brakes also (that latter needing 4 bulbs

tail flashers

cowl flashers


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim williams Baldwinsville NY. on Sunday, October 02, 2016 - 11:35 am:

I had the same problem with led signals and electronic flasher
So I just used a regular old flasher and put a single fillament
Bulb in the circuit no more jitters with engine running jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Sunday, October 02, 2016 - 11:40 am:

I used it on the turn signals. PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Hoshield; Oak Park MI on Sunday, October 02, 2016 - 11:57 am:

Very good, thanks...

When braking... do/should the amber turns light too?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bruce Spainhower - Portland, Oregon on Sunday, October 02, 2016 - 01:45 pm:

Tom B: Here are the latest LED's I have in for headlights in my '15. They have a single-contact 1156 base. Besides being bright enough to actually use at night, they also stand up well to the vibration. I'm still waiting for someone to produce the double-contact lamps needed in later T's.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Jorgensen, Batavia, IL on Sunday, October 02, 2016 - 03:45 pm:

Bruce, do you run the above headlight bulbs from the magneto on your 1915, or do you run the headlights off your battery?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bruce Spainhower - Portland, Oregon on Sunday, October 02, 2016 - 05:21 pm:

Off the battery. Authenticity is nice, but decent headlights, turn signals, and stop/tail light are a must for driving at night on modern roads, which I do a fair amount of. I'll be adding a Regan magneto charger soon to complete the package. The nice thing is, nothing's permanent. I have a set of original Mazda lamps, and it's easy enough to switch back if the need arises.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Bergmann Sydney - Australia on Monday, October 03, 2016 - 07:07 pm:

Bruce S.
Thank you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Hoshield; Oak Park MI on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 07:21 pm:

Got the turn signals, and stop lights on with the throne signal lit at wiring harness. All appears to be wired properly. I have the electronic flasher in.... and as folks stated... I get a dim red brake light flashing when the opposite turn signal is applied. I got 2 single filament dockets and bulbs t I put in line, and will revert to the 'standard' flasher, as others have suggested. For the most part everything seemed to be fine, until I got to higher RPMs, when the emi apparently really gets bad. The bulbs and flasher addition/change should help...or fix the problem.

Questions on the turn signals, though... should both orange and red lights flash when signals are applied? Both lamps flash.... but I don't get voltage on both ... well... with the test lamp, anyway.

Just curious. I'm going to put the load lamps in, and see what happens then.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rod Barrett - Anderson, IN on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 08:27 pm:

Read above about adding diodes and resistors to the turn signals. The Model T ignition puts out too much interference for the solid state flashers.

If you choose LED's turn / brake lights, you will need to add diodes to prevent the current from bleeding into the running lights.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Hoshield; Oak Park MI on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 10:54 pm:

I added the loads, and using std flasher.... I think that got rid of the sporadicness...but still, both amber and red light up if voltage is applied to either tail light lead.

One thing I apparently missed ... is that the brake and turn signals both use the same lamp?.... and running lights woukd use the other?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Jorgensen, Batavia, IL on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 11:28 pm:

You are correct.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Hoshield; Oak Park MI on Thursday, October 06, 2016 - 12:09 am:

That's my confusion... I would think tail and brakes should be red and turns, yellow. So,n these are an odd mix....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Thursday, October 06, 2016 - 01:23 am:

I used a three to one converter. It allows brake/turn signal on the same bulb. Turn signal gets priority over brake. PK


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