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Technical 8 Volt battery

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by bigblockdan, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. bigblockdan
    Joined: Dec 29, 2013
    Posts: 23


    Has anyone tried an 8 volt battery in a 6 volt early Ford V-8. I have a 40 ford Deluxe coupe and would like to improve starting capabilities when hot. I have had the starter converted to a high torque and still having issues. To use an 8 volt battery do you have to do anything more than adjust the regulator. What have been your experiences. I am trying to not convert to 12 volts.
  2. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,758

    rusty valley

    are you sure you have big fat battery cables, and good clean connections? usually folks are trying 8v to put a bandage on some other problem. 6 v system works well if all the components are in order
    Steves46, 302GMC and MO54Frank like this.
  3. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,143

    Marty Strode

    Dan, You will be replacing light bulbs more often, but your starting problems will be over. We used to run 8 volts in 49-52 Olds, worked just fine.
    egads and HotRod33 like this.
  4. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,605


    I had a buddy with a '37 Packard her drove for weddings and celebrations. We messed with those electricals for years and I always encouraged him to go with 8 volts. He finally did,and all of his starting problems resolved. Then, he sold the car. Actually he donated the car to the Lincoln Highway Museum in Latrobe, PA. So if you ever travel on the Lincoln Highway, stop and see it. Keep 6' away. It looks better from a social distance anyway. :)

  5. 67L36Driver
    Joined: Jun 1, 2020
    Posts: 69


    My father tried an eight volt battery in my ‘52 Olds briefly. First it burned out the headlights and then threw out the solder from the generator armature.

    I made a wood box w/handle and carried it in the trunk w/jumpers.

    Hindsight being 20-20, it likely had a bad ignition coil.
  6. MO54Frank
    Joined: Apr 1, 2019
    Posts: 355


    I agree, it’s mostly a band-aide. A properly functioning 6v system doesn’t need help.
    It’s not unusual to see 8v batteries on old tractors that use the battery for the starting circuit only. Many of them have generator cut-outs instead of regulators. Usually in the light switch.
    I saw some 8v batteries in Rural King last week.
    adam401 likes this.
  7. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,210


    Proper cables, good connections and grounds, and an Optima battery are what you need. Most 6 volt batteries these days aren't of very good quality and if you try to get by with a Group 1 (which are sometimes all a dealer will have available) you will have constant problems.
    MO54Frank and stillrunners like this.
  8. greenie-reddy
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 734

    from maryland

    I hate to be the dissenting opinion, but I have used an 8-volt battery in my ‘46 GMC pickup since 1997. We adjusted the voltage regulator to 10.25 volt output. It has never blown a light bulb. It has no radio.
    Now I wouldn’t crank the starter for minutes at a time, but it cranks faster than it did with 6-volts- so it starts pretty fast.
    I get the batteries at Battery Warehouse; and I keep my 8-volt Battery Tender on it non-stop. The batteries last 8-9 years. It looks like Deltron still has them for $35.
    stillrunners likes this.
  9. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,261


    Did it back in the 60's with my 54 Ford. Swapped in a Merc 312 and used an 8 volt battery. Headlights were brighter but........burned out quicker. Starter would really spin but 'cold-natured Ford' would drain the battery IF you didn't "catch-it" on the first lick-or-two. Radio and lights worked fine...just headlights seemed to burn out quicker.
  10. cs39ford
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 802


    I did the 8 volt and gained not much. Went out and got a interstate 6 volt battery and a Mallory 6 volt coil. Starts cold hot anytime Just my experience

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