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#370086 - 06/12/16 02:12 PM 6/12v conversion
50special Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 62
Loc: Kentucky
I am converting my fifty Chevy to 12 volts. I will have little amperage demand. I don't use even a radio. I will have my generator converted to 12v by a local shop. Has any one used vintage Auto Garage for electrical parts? The sale of conversion kits are heavily marketed by them. They recommend a headlight relay for this conversion. I am asking if this is needed, because I have never heard mention of a headlight relay while have 12v conversion conversations with an enthusiast.
http://www.vintageautogarage.com/Headlight-Relay-12-Volt-Kit-p/rlk-1.htm

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Vintage Auto Garage - 12 Volt
#370124 - 06/13/16 08:18 AM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: 50special]
tonyw Offline




Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 4174
Loc: Goulburn Australia
While I have not done a 6 to 12v conversion a relay will not do any harm, and will help with the brightness of the headlights.
Tony
_________________________
1938 1/2 ton Hope to drive it before I retire

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#370129 - 06/13/16 12:40 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: tonyw]
50special Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 62
Loc: Kentucky
Well, thanks for the opinion, Tony. I was beginning to think this forum has went defunct! From my experiences in the past, this forum has provided good quality information. I dealyed posting on the HAMB, because I respected the Chevy specificity here on VCCA. Yesterday, I received over two dozen responses. The consensus opinion is that with my particular needs, a relay will not be needed. I find it interesting that only forum users abroad recommended the use of a relay, along with one Floridian. A relay cost 25 bucks,and I rarely use the headlights. Support from forum, is a main reason I have maintained my VCCA membership, if the forum has been mostly abandoned, I will be disappointed.

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#370202 - 06/14/16 08:26 AM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: 50special]
tonyw Offline




Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 4174
Loc: Goulburn Australia
I use relays as they reduce the chances of "bad contact". If you rarely use the car at night you probably wont need a relay.
I often use thermal circuit breaker instead instead of fuse for head lights.
Tony
_________________________
1938 1/2 ton Hope to drive it before I retire

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#370220 - 06/14/16 02:43 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: tonyw]
50special Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 62
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: tonyw
I use relays as they reduce the chances of "bad contact". If you rarely use the car at night you probably wont need a relay.
I often use thermal circuit breaker instead instead of fuse for head lights.
Tony

Thermal circuit Breaker? I am going to add turn signals. I have been told these thermal breakers have a very distinctive click that is loud enough to use as an audio cue, if kept in my close proximity. I hope to reduce clutter. I am not intending to use a traditional type of signal switch.

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#370225 - 06/14/16 04:10 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: 50special]
50special Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 62
Loc: Kentucky
Tony, I should have mentioned in the above post that a thermal breaker flasher is what I am considering for my turn signal system. You have 3K posts. Congratulations! Have you learned how to edit post yet? If so, instruct me!

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#370239 - 06/14/16 08:40 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: 50special]
41specialdeluxe Offline



Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 4731
Loc: NC usa
50Special,,

No the forums have not gone belly up. So don't get on us too harshly.

Most of us seem to get by with a good 6 volt battery. The 6 volt will poser the basic car and any 6 volt accessories. That and a good generator. There are heavy duty generators if the regular one is not putting out enough amps for the load.

Use of the 6 volt system keeps our cars, that came with 6 volts, original. That is important to a true enthusiast. Not so much to a modifier, et al.

The above may be some of the reason you didn't get a more timely response to your inquiry. Not having ever done a conversion, I for one don't know enough about it to comment.

I don't know why you are making the conversion but good luck with it if that is your firm opinion of the way to go. I have a 50 also and it always worked quite well with a good 6 volt. I encourage you to toss the notion that you need a 12 volt battery. If your engine is in good shape, just a few turns by the 6 volt starter will produce satisfactory results. You probably don't need no stinkin 12 volts. Agrin

Try to be more patient. Some of us are getting old and can't attend to our duty to the rest of the members as good as we once could. Responders such as Chevy Nut, Chipper, and many others have been answering questions for many years. Check out their many posts. dance

Best regards,
Charlie :computer

BTW: Some of us don't check out the Mr, Goodwrench forum as often as we do the more specific year forums. That may have an effect on responses, as well.

I

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#370242 - 06/14/16 09:11 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: 41specialdeluxe]
50special Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 62
Loc: Kentucky
I am not much of a modifier (your language). But I am not a straight up 100% original, original restored guy either. My bag is MILD customs and rods. Unlike a lot of enthusiast, my car is truly a daily driver, weather permitting. I put about 2K on my car annually, consistently. If it would start consistently in the winter, I would drive it more. I have been plauged with drag starting since the onset of my purchase. That phenomena is guaranteed if I try to start immediately after shutting down, if the engine is at operating temps. My original starter went out last year. A NAPA starter somewhat resolved that problem, and for a very short time, I was pleased. Then a click, click, click developed when starting. I replace battery cable with an 0 gauge cable, which did not produce a remedy. I used a 00 on the ground without positive results. I am confident though that after a length of time, sometimes up to 15 minutes, it will start strong. Yes, all of my connections are clean and tight.
My car is mildly lowered and it will bottom out if passengers are in the back seat. I wish to lower it more. My plans are to add air shocks with an on board compressor, installed unobtrusively in the trunk. That will give me mobile capacity to deflate and inflate air shocks. Hence, my need for a 12 volt.
My original generator has just recently started a bearing howl. I have not had the 12v conversion high on my priority list until now; driving the car is high on my priority list. I have made the decision to have the generator rebuilt to 12v specs. Please applaud me for that, because I have been lambasted for that decision. And Charlie, I do consider myself a "true" enthusiast!

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#370275 - 06/15/16 08:47 AM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: 50special]
tonyw Offline




Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 4174
Loc: Goulburn Australia
First
The thermal circuit breaker I was refering to is used in place of a fuse, when excess current draw occurs the heat opens the breaker and a few seconds later the breaker cools and recloses until heat reopens it. Basically it means that you have headlights flashing allowing enough light to get safely off the road.

Secondly
To edit a post that "you" have put up less than an hour (I think) in the lower right corner of the posting is a link marked "edit" but after what ever time the edit ability disappears.

I prefer the factory restoration but have modified several vehicles and my 38 has a few very hidden mods but nothing visible after the interior lining is in place.

Tony
_________________________
1938 1/2 ton Hope to drive it before I retire

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#370280 - 06/15/16 11:42 AM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: tonyw]
Mike Buller Offline

1500

Registered: 10/11/07
Posts: 1826
Loc: MI, USA, Midland
Hi 50 Special,

I did a Yahoo search to get us all more info on your conversion. A lot more info is on the internet. HAMB is probably a better source of info on this type of modification. While we have discussed conversions before you would need to use our index of past posts to access them. This will take some patience to narrow down the best search terms.

If you have not yet updated your wire harness you might want to consider that as one of the the first steps in your conversion. Thanks for your support of this site and the VCCA all these years.

Good luck, Mike

Fillingstation 6 to 12 volt changeover

Old engine 6 to 12 vote conversion

Stovebolt 6 volt conversion


Edited by Mike Buller (06/15/16 11:58 AM)
_________________________
Mike 41/77 Chevys

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#370287 - 06/15/16 01:28 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: Mike Buller]
50special Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 62
Loc: Kentucky
Hi Tony and thanks for doing my leg work! The 12 volt conversion, as I thought is straight forward. MY initial question is about the recommended use of the headlight relay. None of the links you provided have a mention of head light relays. I appreciate filling station giving parts numbers. I am surprised they sell the 12 volt generator. I will give them a call!

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#370292 - 06/15/16 02:27 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: 50special]
wannchev Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 158
Loc: south africa
50special, converting to 12 volts will not remove electrical problems you have with the 6 volt system. You still have to reduce the voltage to 6 volts for the fuel gauge.A headlight relay is not necessary as the wiring and dip switch were designed for the 6 volt system.Armchair electrical fault finding is not easy and one has to tackle each fault separately.First clean up the starter especially the copper commutator and copper brushes and see the armature is not rubbing on the field coils.Wash the thing in electrical solvent.Get out all that black muck.These starters are like animals and dont give trouble.Then tackle the wiring to the starter.Once the starter problem is solved move on to the next problem.

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#370421 - 06/17/16 02:40 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: wannchev]
50special Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 62
Loc: Kentucky
A friend has the same opinion as yours about the problem remaining after the conversion. As stated in my initial post, I have a new NAPA starter. NO GUNK in there. I have installed new battery and ground wires. EVERY thing is tight and clean. My friend, knowing what I have stated, told me to take it to a shop to have the problem analyzed. Taking a 6 volt system into a contemporary world shop is pissing in the wind. I've stated my need for 12v conversion. I am pursuing that goal. The problem may very well be present after the conversion. The diagnosis to the problem will be better attained having a 12 volt system in a 12 volt world. Wouldn't you agree? Besides, the process is started. I took the generator in for conversion yesterday! I have a question about Runtz reducers and their uniqueness. I would like to post some reducer pics, but believe that on this forum it would result in the need to defend my conversion decision repeatedly. I make a point to read post from top to bottom if I intend to reply. I wish others would do the same, in regard to my threads.

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#370452 - 06/18/16 05:56 AM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: 50special]
wannchev Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 158
Loc: south africa
50Special,if the starter is new i would measure volt drops across the circuit starting from the battery positive terminal(one lead of voltmeter)to first the terminal on the solenoid (other lead of voltmeter),then move to other lead of solenoid (move the voltmeter lead here), then last the starter terminal.So in this last position you still have one lead on the battery positive and one lead on the starter terminal.This would need to be done when cranking so a friend is needed.With 6 volts the voltage reading should be low, about 0,3 volt.Whilst doing this test the battery current draw is about 200 amps so you need a charged battery to start with. You might have to check your voltmeter leads are long enough before you start the test.You will have to move fast before the battery voltage drops.

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#370457 - 06/18/16 12:01 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: wannchev]
50special Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 62
Loc: Kentucky
Thanks for the info. What the reading should be with a 6 volt system is a mute point; my car is disabled and the process of installing 12 volt parts has begun. What is desired 12 volt reading on this test?

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#370468 - 06/18/16 01:38 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: 50special]
wannchev Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 158
Loc: south africa
I would say half this value 0,15 to 0,2 volts. The point is any bad connection (There are many connections from battery to earth through the solenoid and starter besides the battery cables )will show up as a large drop and this will locate the fault.

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#370487 - 06/18/16 09:21 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: wannchev]
50special Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 62
Loc: Kentucky
That is a good point. Thanks!

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#371191 - 07/01/16 05:09 PM Re: 6/12v conversion [Re: tonyw]
Boardwalk25 Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 01/20/12
Posts: 127
Loc: S.E. PA U.S.A.
Originally Posted By: tonyw
I use relays as they reduce the chances of "bad contact". If you rarely use the car at night you probably wont need a relay.
I often use thermal circuit breaker instead instead of fuse for head lights.
Tony


I thought from 1948 on the headlight switches have a thermal circuit breaker built-in? Given 12v will draw half the amps and the 6v wire gauge being larger than most 12v systems - wouldn't adding a relay be redundant?

Originally Posted By: 50special
I have a question about Runtz reducers and their uniqueness. I would like to post some reducer pics, but believe that on this forum it would result in the need to defend my conversion decision repeatedly.


Because our 48 has two 6v heat/defrost fan motors we opted for the 20 amp transistor type reducer and used it to also power the fuel gauge. The thing we didn't like about the Runtz is it runs hot (all voltage reducers do) while being too close to other wires behind the dash. The 20 and 15 amp units mount and conceal easily under the hood away from everything else.
U might not need any reducer at all if a 1950 truck fuel gauge can be made to work - they have 12v units readily available for trucks.

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