I am looking to replace my battery in my 27 T .. I know it is 6 volt but is there a type or amp. that is right for the Model T or a brand that is better then others .... thanks for any help... Joe
The house brand from your local farm supply will last for several years. I have no idea where you are, but you may have Orscheln, Fleet & Farm, Farm & Fleet, TSC, or some other such store. In some parts of the country a local co-op will have it. It will probably cost less than the national brand at an auto parts store.
If you're in California, AutoZone, O'Reily's or Interstate Battery Company also carry them.
Joe, the now modern standard battery is classified as a Group 1 battery. It is a common 6 volt battery and is the closest fitting battery to fit in the stock T holder.
As pointed out, most farm supply stores will most likely have them, some auto part stores may not as they tend to base their stock on sales volume of a particular part. But irregardless, it should be easy enough to obtain even if they have to get one in for you.
Worst case is a shop that has it on the shelf but rarely sells any, so it's been sitting for a long time. John Regan has shared some advice on how to choose a battery at the store - bring a volt meter in your pocket and check so it's at least 6.35 volts. If not - don't buy it.
Here's from one post by John:
"You can buy a bad battery at a good dealer but no often. A good dealer will buy batteries no faster than he sells them. He will keep them fully charged by "topping them off" at least every 60 days or more. You do not want to buy a battery from a company who rarely sells them. It is equally bad to buy a 6V battery that comes in via "special order" since it could very well have come from a warehouse where it has sat for a long time. This is likely if the warehouse is not in the farm belt where 6V Group 1 batteries are not "moving" quickly to farm tractors and the like. Learning to read the date code is very important as pointed out here and then taking a voltmeter with you is also very good advice. Do not tell the dealer you are coming since if he just charged the battery you might be fooled. 6.35 is ideal to find on a battery sitting on the shelf for a few days at least and with a "new" date code. Be leery of a battery that measures very high since it obviously has just been charged. That could be good or bad depending on the company policy about topping off the batteries in stock. Many dealers just charge them when a customer is coming or tell you to come back later in the day to pick up your battery since the dealer wants to top if off for you before you pick it up. It is not a good idea to take such a battery."
We went 8v battery in my model A when the restoration was finished. Works great.. Are there any issues when I buy my next battery for the Model T if I replace it with the 6volt or 8volt?? I have very little model T knowledge. Thanks in advance for the advise. Tim
8V is not necessary nor a good idea. While my company does make and sell 8V regulators to those who have installed them in their T, the charging voltage on that setup is going to be over 9V and that spells very short life to any 6V light bulb and perhaps other 6V devices. When you get all done you will have installed a nuisance and all you got for it is a slightly faster spinning starter which really isn't necessary. With good cables, battery, and starter, your T will spin plenty fast enough to start. Remember that Ford was using 6V to start V8 motors in 1955 and they started just fine. I had a 55 Ford in high school that was hopped up and it still started OK. T has no where near as much compression as that 312 V8 Y block Ford had.
A group 1 6 volt battery at your farm supply store is fine for a Model T.
At the TSC here in Waco they go fairly fast. A LOT of older Ford tractors and equipment use this size of battery which probably is a good reason why they are still popular.
FYI: Where ever you get your battery, make them load test it BEFORE you leave. I got two 6v Group 1 batteries a couple years ago that were fresh(Made within 1 month of purchase date). Put one in a car and it would not crank it. Did all kinds of stuff thinking it can not be the battery, it is brand new. Swapped the other new battery and it fired right up. Bad battery right from the store. Make them check it before you leave. Dan
I bought my first T battery at a battery specialty store. I just bought a new and more powerful battery at TSC for a lot less money.
There is a persistent superstition that a Model T is hard to start if you don't spin it fast, which is why some folks resort to eight or twelve volts. There may be valid reasons for more volts, but starting isn't one of them. I've posted these before, but here they are again for those who remain misguided.
To John Regan - the 312 was not available until the 1956 model year. 1956 was 12 volts. You could have bolted one into a '55, and the 6v generator and starter would have fit, but a 312 in '55 wasn't factory. 292 max.
I`ve been replacing all of my older, 6 volt group 1 lead acid batteries with the 6 volt OPTIMA red top battery . They fit wherever a Group 1 battery goes but can be laid over or oriented in any position. Amazon has them for around $110--now competitive with most of the 6 volt farm batteries and much less hassle in my experience--especially for my Model Ts which may sit around for several months at a time.....Paul
Here in the San Diego area I have used NAPA. They have to order the battery from a warehouse usually takes a day.
More recently I have used Auto Zone. They have the batteries in stock and there is a sticker on it giving the month it was manufactured. The ones I have bought have been within a month or two of manufacture and have given good service. Group 1 6 volts is what I use.
Paul G. - You're the first one to mention the 6 volt Optima. That's what I've been slowly converting my several old Fords to (Model T's & Model A). Expensive,....yes. But check out Optima,....very high quality and several advantages,.....harold
Paul G.and Harold I agree with the optima 6 volt I got one from amazon about 2 years ago I think a little over 100 with free shipping. they seem to hold up good and no acid leaks! when I need a 12 volt walmart has the best warrenty 24 month free exchange. I prefer to buy from smaller guys but walmart has the best warrenty
I bought an Optima 6 volt for my Chalmers -Detroit when they first came out and it is still fine. I bought it so long ago that I don't even remember how many years it has been. I keep a trickle charger on it to keep it up to full charge. The car does not have a starter but I run the Heinze coils off it for starting. I think they are great and well worth the extra few bucks.
I concur with the optima choice. I finally had to replace mine after 8 years. I'm sure it would have lasted longer if I had taken better care of it.
Optima battery been in my Racer since day 1 - near 20 years ago BUT I have kept it on a battery tender since new !
Not sure if this is the right thread for this, but it seems like it.
I'd like to get a small 12v battery for my 1914. Right now, I only use it for ignition (magneto not working right) but eventually (this spring?) I'm going to put a turn signal system on it. The battery now in the car is an old, big, bulky lead acid batter under the back seat. I'd like to get one of those small, compact batteries. The car gets driven a lot. Suggestions on what make/rating?
How will you maintain the charge in the battery?
Are there plans to fix the magneto? (What will you do if it eventually fails completely?). You say the car gets driven a lot...do you have a generator on that engine? You'll need a source of electricity from someplace - unless you plan to recharge the battery daily.
Dave, thanks for the response. No generator (original engine with no plans to change it). When and if I ever have to take the engine out, I will rebuild the mag. My understanding is that the coils use so little electricity, that it won't need charging that often. The lead acid I have in it now needs charging maybe once a month and there is still plenty of charge in it.
Recommendations anyone, please?
One of the nice things about the Model T is that once started (some claim to be able to start it with a little 9 volt rectangular battery), a lot of them have a working Mag, so they will continue to run generating their own electricity.
You say that your mag is not working right...you want to put on directionals....if you do that, might you also go for better headlights and taillights - for the same reason you want directionals? On top of all that, you say that you drive it a lot.
Decision time....do you really want to put in a small battery and risk not having enough "juice" to start, run the engine, and see your way home some dark evening?
John C. Codman:
I thought I stated that the 55 I had was "hopped up" which in those days usually meant one had hopped to a later year with generally more HP. I agree that the 56 was the return to negative ground and was the first 12V that Ford had. My '55 had a 272 in it when I got it and I kept the car 6V for 2 reasons - I was not yet at all into electronics and the 6V starter was able to spin the 312 without issue so that made the swap very easy.