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Probably a really dumb question.. 12v or 6? I have searched

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Lowrders, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Lowrders
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 303

    Lowrders
    Member
    from DUBUQUE IA

    Ok, i've done some searching. I recently bought a 52 chevy coupe. I've been tinkering with it the last few days trying to get it to run. This may be a dumb question, but considering there was no battery in it, and it still has a generator, how do you know if it's been converted to 12v? It has newer looking batt. cables on it, and the coil says 12volt. I put jumper cables on it to see if the starter works and if i could get any spark out of it. Starter works, spark doesn't. ( haven't messed with possable spark issues, i ran out of time yesterday) I've done a little research on things to look for in that instance that i have yet to try.. But if it is still a 6v car, i can get it to at least fire as long as i have a 12volt coil correct?

    The starter activation itself is on a button, it's not a foot starter. Is there some sort of identifying marks on the generator i should be looking for to see if it is 12v? There is a block on the firewall, i assume its a voltage regulator, but it looks pretty old, not like a big rectangular new looking one.
    I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but i am a newb to these old cars, and i'm really not a mecanic, more of a body man. I wanna swap a more modern drivetrain just because they are MORE complicated and i get it! ;):p

    Any advice would be appreciated, and i appolagize if you have a better way of searching, but i looked here and google for a solid couple hours.
     
  2. You probiable have the original 6volt system if you have a generator the alternator looks completely different and has 12 v stamped on it. Someone put the wrong coil on it, put a 6 volt coil on it to fire it up.
     
  3. Other threads i have seen in the past say that there is no difference between 6v and 12v generators and starters. Only things you should have to worry about are the dash instruments. If it has no spark it may be the coil or condenser. Check to see if it has power to the battery side of the coil first.
     
  4. 30dodge
    Joined: Jan 3, 2007
    Posts: 490

    30dodge
    Member
    from Pahrump nv

    Pull a head light it will say 6 V or 12V on the back.
     

  5. unclerichard
    Joined: Jun 30, 2005
    Posts: 235

    unclerichard
    Member
    from Michigan

    A couple of ways come to mind. Is there a resistor before the ignition coil? 12V systems have an ignition resistor. If it is original it should be 6V. Remove a bulb somewhere and put it to a 12V source. If it is 6V it won't last long! The Delco generators I have ever had were marked 12V on the tag if thats what they were. How fast does the engine turn over when you jumped it? If original, I believe 12V began in 1955, but someone correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  6. Or if you don't want to pull a light just turn one on with 6volts and see how bright it is.
     
  7. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,122

    Lobucrod
    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    12 volt generator will usually have a tag on it with 12V stamped or etched on it. 6 volt gen should too. If it was run on 12 volts without a balast resister then the coil may be burned up. Turn the key on, hook a test light up to the + terminal on the coil. If it lights then the ign switch and circuit are ok. Unhook the dist. and attach the test light to the - side of the coil. If it lights then the coil is ok. Hook up the dist and with the test light on the - side crank the motor over. If the points are OK the light will go on and off as the points open and close. If the light stays on the points are most likely oxidized so bad that they wont make contact. Take em out and file em. If the light stays off then the points are not opening.
     
  8. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,204

    TagMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    "Other threads i have seen in the past say that there is no difference between 6v and 12v generators and starters. Only things you should have to worry about are the dash instruments. If it has no spark it may be the coil or condenser. Check to see if it has power to the battery side of the coil first. "

    Not to discourage your participation and desire to help or to start a pissing match, but you really shouldn't offer heresay as advice. There definitely IS a difference between 6v & 12v starters, alternators, voltage regulators & generators, as well as negative & positive grounding - that's why they are labeled "6v" or "12v", "Negative" or "Positive".
     
  9. Lowrders
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 303

    Lowrders
    Member
    from DUBUQUE IA

    I should not need a resistor if i have or buy a 12volt one then correct?
     
  10. Lowrders
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 303

    Lowrders
    Member
    from DUBUQUE IA

    not as fast as i anticipated assuming the starter was 6v, and i had 12v. Actually after i put the plugs back in, it took some juice and cranked pretty slow.
    (however i was running off jumper cables.)
     
  11. Lowrders
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 303

    Lowrders
    Member
    from DUBUQUE IA

    sorry to keep quoting everyone, i should have done multi..


    anyway i just wanted to give you a thumbsup on the advice and tell you i love your signature!
     
  12. holyroller
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 168

    holyroller
    Member
    from KTOL

    I agree with most of the above, pull a bulb. I believe that a 6v starter will scream with 12v applied to it. So if it's not turning over really fast then maybe it's been converted. My 2 cents...
     

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