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6 to 12volt conversion

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roadagent2, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. Roadagent2
    Joined: Apr 15, 2010
    Posts: 243

    Roadagent2
    Member

    I have a 55 Ford Fairlane. I know that there are a couple of ways to convert from a 6 to 12 volt system. My problem is that this one has a 12 volt battery and an altanator. Is this OK or am I to expect some serious problems soon?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks :confused:
     
  2. Chalupa55
    Joined: Feb 3, 2008
    Posts: 152

    Chalupa55
    Member
    from So-Cal

    As long as all the switches,gauges, starter, bulbs and such have been changed it should be fine. The stock gauge wiring can handle it as 6V systems have higher amperage than 12V does.
     
  3. Roadagent2
    Joined: Apr 15, 2010
    Posts: 243

    Roadagent2
    Member

    When you say switches, do you mean that any stock switches are different from 6 to 12 volt cars? What is the diference from a 6 v to 12 v starter?

    Appreciate your response.
     
  4. kornbinder
    Joined: Oct 19, 2005
    Posts: 514

    kornbinder
    Member
    from Sonora, CA

    This is from Thunderbird Circle of Orange County

    CONVERTING THE 1955 THUNDERBIRD FROM 6 VOLTS TO 12 VOLTS
    by: Walt Knuckles
    Edited by: Bob DePaola
    <table> <tbody><tr> <td> Some of you are making way too big a deal of the 6 volt to 12 volt conversion on the 55 Thunderbird. For instance, you don't, or should not need a wiring diagram. You don't need to rewire the car. All the wire for the 6 volt system is twice as large as need be for 12 volt service. The only thing you need to change under the dash is the dash light bulbs and maybe the cigar lighter if you still smoke. The polarity for the clock must be changed from positive to negative ground. You may need to remove the clock to do this. There is a little tab that is designed to be positioned for positive or negative ground. Position it for negative ground. Major damage will occur if it is powered up in reverse polarity. You must install a 125 ohm 10 watt resistor in series with the 6 volt clock to drop the voltage to 6 or 7 volts. Of course the radio will need to be replaced, converted to 12 volt, or powered through a voltage dropping resistor. It is not polarity sensitive. You do not need to change any switches or gauges on the dash. The fuel and temp gauges will work on 6 or 12 volt and are not polarity sensitive. If you miss some of the dash lamps you can change them after they burn out, make sure you put in 12 volt lamps. The direction lamp flasher must also be changed for best performance but you can change it later. The fuses may need to be changed to values smaller to the ones rated for the 56 or 57 Thunderbirds. The tail lamps, the back-up lamps and license plate lamp will need to be replaced with 12 volt lamps. Now for the firewall forward: You do not need to change the battery cables, the horns, the horn relay or the starter. If converting to a generator install a 12 volt one and a 12 volt, 30 amp voltage regulator and wire it up exactly as the 6 volt ones. Or do the alternator conversion. This is done same as a 12 volt generator to alternator conversion. You will need to install 12V head lamps and park and direction lamps. No changes in lamp wiring or the light switch is necessary, leave it alone or repair it as necessary. Of course you will need a 12 volt battery; there are 12 volt batteries that will fit the 55 battery carrier with little or no modifications. The Motorcraft BTX-56 fits nicely and has 550 cold cranking amps. Just make sure to connect the battery to negative ground. The 6 volt coil can be used but the polarity must be changed, just switch the battery and distributor wires or install a 12 volt coil same as used on 56 through 73 Fords or get good used ones from salvage yards. The ones used on the 60 through 64 Falcons are good to use, they have yellow tops. Now for that very minor wiring change that has everyone confused. Install a 12 volt starter solenoid such as the ones used on the 56 through 73 Ford products. They are still cheap at AutoZone. It will have the extra “I” terminal, “I” as in ignition. Run a wire from the “I” terminal of the 12 volt starter solenoid to the battery terminal of the coil, remove the ignition wire that is presently attached to the coil and add a new wire about a foot long to the battery terminal before securing the nut. Now connect both the new wire attached to the battery terminal of the coil and the original ignition wire from the ignition switch to a new ignition resistor, Mororcraft #DY-35. When the job is done, before you start the engine, remove the field wire from the voltage regulator and strike it (draw an arc) to the battery terminal of the voltage regulator in order to properly polarize the generator then reconnect the field wire to its proper position on the voltage regulator. The heater blower motor, the seat motors and window motors will work on 12 volts but they will run very fast. The seat motor running too fast should be no problem. The heater motor running on low speed will be acceptable. Do not hook up the high speed wire so you do not inadvertently run the motor on high as it will burn out the motor. The window motors will require some expertise in use in order to prevent mechanical damage. If you want, you can install 12 volt window motors, but it is not required and they are expensive. You might try using a dropping resistor in the motor ground wire circuit to drop the voltage but I have not determined what the correct value would have to be. It will have to be a very high power resistor, maybe 1000 watts and it will give off some heat. I would recommend just using the window motors as they are and release the window switch before the window gets to its stops. This may take some practice but it is easy enough and like I said before, it will take some practice and finesse. When making a 6 V to 12 V conversions on a 1955 Thunderbird it is difficult to find a battery that fits the 1955 tray and hold down without modifications I have found that a Group 56 12V battery fits the tray and allows the hold down to be used without modification. The length of the battery is slightly shorter but covers well without showing. In fact it looks like it was made for the tray and hold down. </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Reprinted with permission from Gil Baumgartner
    </td> </tr></tbody></table>
    Footnote: If the 6 volt gauges do not work when the 12 volt conversion is made install a 10 ohm 10 watt wire wound resistor between the gauges and the power supply to gauges. If the gauges still do not work it may be necessary to replace the gauges and the sending units with 1956 12 volt units. Wire wound resistors can be purchased at Radio Shack. See photo.
     
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  5. acustom51
    Joined: Feb 9, 2010
    Posts: 18

    acustom51
    Member

    All Ford guages were 6volt until the mid 80's...what you need is a Instrument Cluster Constant Voltage Regulator. You can purchase one from Macs auto parts #B9MZ-10804-C..it works for all the gauges it is in the hot wire feed, all you need is 1...check out any old 12 FORD wire harness and you will find it, it is about 1/2"x1"...box.
    Jim
    PS just doin' a 6V-12V conversion on a 51 Shoebox..:D
     
  6. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    I just read the article above telling how to convert a system at the end of it it said
    "Footnote: If the 6 volt gauges do not work when the 12 volt conversion is made install a 10 ohm 10 watt wire wound resistor between the gauges and the power supply to gauges. If the gauges still do not work it may be necessary to replace the gauges and the sending units with 1956 12 volt units. Wire wound resistors can be purchased at Radio Shack.

    I will assert that somebody that gives two different remedies ""if the 6 volt gauges do not work", isn't anybody that a novice should trust on how to convert a system! Give me a break.

    Roadagent; Read the other posts, steer away from the long drawn out procedure where the author doubts his own proceedure..............
     
  7. Roadagent2
    Joined: Apr 15, 2010
    Posts: 243

    Roadagent2
    Member

    If you keep posting....I will keep reading!
    Thanks all,
    Roadagent
     
  8. goes211
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 1

    goes211
    Member
    from Everett WA

    I think Kornbinder has it right. Don't forget to switch the wires on the amp meter if so equiped, or it will read backwards. I set one car up with a 6 volt bus while charging on 12. I used two six volt optima batteries wired in series, which allows 6 volts to be pulled off of one battery. That car does not have much 6 volt load.But all the lights ran that way until i converted them with no problem.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  9. nc mntnman
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 1

    nc mntnman
    Member
    from nc

    convering a 48 plymouth to 12 volt but i cant get power past the starter relay . aslo i need to know where to find a voltage reducer big enough for the starter .flathead straight 8 . i need help . trying to fix car for a friend .
     
  10. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,149

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    huh?
     
  11. glenn33
    Joined: Sep 11, 2006
    Posts: 1,836

    glenn33
    Member
    from Browns, IL

  12. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,768

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL


    You don't need a resistor for the starter motor. It will work fine on 12 volts.......just don't crank for lengthy periods

    Ray
     
  13. Rogers55
    Joined: Aug 14, 2011
    Posts: 7

    Rogers55
    Member

    Hey guys this is my first time to post on this site and I know it is a older post but I need some help if I can get it. I converted my 55 fairlane and done exactly what I read from the 55 T-Bird conversion post. My problem is the wire I ran from the "I" terminal from the starter sol. to the "+" side of the coil then a new wire to my ballest resistor, then my original switch wire to the other side of the ballest resistor. I done all this right and my generator and my new voltage regulator got very hot. I mean real Hot!! I took the wire off that ran from the ignition side of the starter sol. to the "+" side of the coil. When I did that nothing gets hot. What did I do wrong, this is driving me crazy. If you guys have time to scroll up and read what the guy wrote on the 55 ford T-Bird I did exactly what he said to do. Any help would be great. Thanks
     

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