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Is it worth converting to 12v?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Psychoholic, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Psychoholic
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 70


    Car is a '51 Buick Roadmaster.

    I bought the EZ Wiring harness (I think it's the EZ-21) last year for just such an occasion, but as I'm looking at the car I'm not really seeing much advantage to it. Is it any better really? Is it as easy to do the conversion as some have said? From what I've read it's "replace all the bulbs, put the reducers behind each gauge, put a 12v alternator in and you are done". Surely it's not THAT easy.

    Some educated opinions would be mighty helpful here.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,951


    Your engine will start easier and when it doesn't fire on the first spin you'll have plenty of extra battery power to spin her over...

    One thing that sucks about 6 v is that the starter will drain the battery very quickly if/when it doesn't fire right up...

  3. In a word: Yes. You'll be much happier with the result.
  4. 39 chevy kustom
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 427

    39 chevy kustom

    Yes it is that E Z . Better lights, starts easier . My biggest modern concession is 12v . My 39 has 12v , 53 flathead is 12v . Any 6v car I get is and will be converted . You won't be sorry. You don't even have to put sperate reducers for each guage, every ford in the sixties up to the late eighties at least, uses a single reducer mounted on the back of the gauge panel.
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  5. fat141
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,576


    IT IS THAT EASY ! Go for it full steam
  6. mrrocket
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 230


    Take your time, lay it out, take your time. Pull as much of the interior out as you need to (dont try and "go around" things that can come out) invest the time in it now and man, you will be happy! Search some of these others posts on connectors to use and as stated prior, you will be happy!
  7. chevyfordman
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 786


    BIG TIP, for the gauges, go to the auto parts store and ask for a 60s mustang gauges voltage regulator, ford used 6 volt gauges into the 80s with a voltage regulator or voltage reducer, the early reducer have easier wire hook ups, its simple and easy and a replacement is always at the auto parts store if you ever need a replacement. You'll love 12 volts as everyone behind you will see your taillights. good luck
  8. oldiron73
    Joined: May 26, 2009
    Posts: 396

    from WISCONSIN

    You will be much happier and pretty easy to do.......
  9. panheadguy
    Joined: Jan 8, 2005
    Posts: 954

    from S.E. WI

    You can charge your phone.
  10. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,788


    I tend to favor period correct cars, and 6 volt systems worked fine for about 50 industry years.

    However, if my stock wiring was bad and I already had a modern replacement harness I'd go 12 volts, too.
  11. It can be that easy if you don't need a heater/defroster.
  12. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,708


    Has anyone ever gone back and converted from 12v to 6v? Not that I have heard of. My stuff is all going to be 12V - next one from 6v positive ground to 12v negative ground. The only thing you'll wonder is why you didn't do it sooner...
  13. 1980-88 in my 52 BUICK RIV. I put the largest cca 6 volt battery i could find .. it was from a diesel CAT ..long narrow fit in factory hold down..NEVER EVER had any issues with starting or lights .. the stock generator maintained this battery just fine

    hmmm ..... only drawback ..... no modern 12V sound system....back then a boom box on the back seat was good enuf

    change it if your wires/junctions are ??????
  14. gary9202
    Joined: Jun 17, 2008
    Posts: 104


    i was feeling the same as you, however my 50 dodge...i bit the bullet and got the ez-wiring kit. ...It looks like a mess and alot of work, but take things one piece at a time.....such as wire the engine bay, then wire the dash and interior and finally wire the rear end.......doing it right does not take a full day, but you can spread it out if you want too...... I had originally rebuilt my 6volt generator and bouight new 6v regulator and points and such....but once i swapped over to 12v....MAN, things are alot smoother and easier.
  15. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,094

    from Kansas

    12V will definitely help starting woes, and of course allow you to run phones, stereos, etc. I personally would rather have the 6V original if the car is original. Most of the time the battery is the weak link in these cars, and do not provide enough coil voltage to get a decent spark. (I am working on a fix for that too!) If your battery is suspect, then get a booster type charger and try starting with that. If it starts easily, then the battery is weak.

    Now to the conversions. Yes it is pretty easy to do, but I have heard that the Furd IVR's don't work quite right with the gauges. This is because these are designed around FURD gauges used in 12V vehicles. 6V FURD gauges IIRC are not regulated and use 6V. The IVR regulates to about 5V and this could make the gauges inaccurate. If you want to regulate properly then get a solid state regulator such as a Runtz. This will always put out the same voltage. The Furd IVRs are bimetal strip and sometimes hang up and cause all the gauges (ammeter/voltmeter excluded) to read sky high.
  16. motion guru
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 153

    motion guru
    from yacolt, wa

    I run a 6V in my 50 GMC - has a high compression 270 inline six and it has an inverter/converter under the seat for 12V outlets (cell phone charger / GPS). The rest of the rig is 6V and it has been fine, including starting in the dead of winter with single digit temps.

    If you have any reason to want to stick with 6V - the biggest favor you can do for your car is to use 00 size cables "2-ott" (not 2-guage).

    I wanted it to look period correct with the stock tube radio and period correct speed equipment under the hood.

    OTOH - if you want 12V - it is as easy as described except as noted with the heater motor . . . and you will have a lot more options for improving the ignition system. (AFAIK 6V pertronix w/40,000V coil is about all you can do with a 6V system)
  17. Psychoholic
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 70


    I think you guys have sold me!

    The car isn't going to be period correct and I'm not really one to care - so that part doesn't bother me. Plus having a decent stereo I can plug the iphone into is a huge plus (I love the 'you can charge your phone' comment - that was actually a consideration).

    The interior of the car is completely out as I've been welding in new floors (and it is some serious frankenstein shit going on, but it is probably 3 times stronger than stock with the amount of wire I feed).

    I'm off work for the next 2 days, I might get started.

    As far as alternator goes - any suggestions or some direct replacement that will work with the existing bracketry?
  18. red baron
    Joined: Jun 2, 2007
    Posts: 596

    red baron
    from o'side

    I have a gm style alternator from a 2000'ish tahoe on my 54 ford, that and the 12v conversion makes life grand for running the two compressor's for my bag set up, if you are gonna do anything like that I would definitly recommend it! Actually I would do it anyway!

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