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jake49
07-15-2017, 11:38 PM
I have a 55 commander with 6 volt positive ground and want to add a 12 volt converter to power a radio and and accessory/lighter plug to charge my phone. My question is this due I have to keep the 12 volt ground isolated from frame and or dash because it can't become in common with the 6 volt positive ground? What would be my options?

SN-60
07-16-2017, 07:53 AM
I have a 55 commander with 6 volt positive ground and want to add a 12 volt converter to power a radio and and accessory/lighter plug to charge my phone. My question is this due I have to keep the 12 volt ground isolated from frame and or dash because it can't become in common with the 6 volt positive ground? What would be my options?

Although there a ways to 'dance' around it, the very best solution here is to convert your 1955 6V Studebaker to 12 volts!....'55 Studes, especially the V8's, never did perform well on 6V. (even when brand new)

Studebaker knew this, which is a big part of the reason why the following year's models were equipped with a modern 12V negative ground system.....Just the ticket for the added 12 volt equipment which you desire to add to your car!

Since the conversion can be done 'bolt in', simply by using '56-'64 'C-K' type factory parts, it's truly a 'no brainer' decision to make this MAJOR IMPROVEMENT in your '55!

Keeping the 6V system is perfectly fine if your car is relegated to 'seldom used, show care use', but if you want to really drive and enjoy your Studebaker, hassle free, in today's world....save those original 6V parts for posterity, and have that car converted to a modern, efficient, dependable 12 volt electrical system as soon as possible!!

I've done this conversion several times, PM me for further details if you wish.....Good luck!....SN-60 :)

tsenecal
07-16-2017, 10:57 AM
That didn't really answer his question about keeping the 6 volt and 12 volt isolated. I'm sure that he was already aware of the fact that it could be converted to 12 volts.

garyash
07-16-2017, 11:18 AM
The small inverters from Custom Auto Sound will convert 6 volt positive ground to 12 volts negative ground with an output of 2 to 2.5 amps. That's enough to charge a phone or run a low-power radio, but maybe not both at the same time. You don't need to worry about isolating the case of the radio from the dash, as the converter uses a common ground. It's small, easy to install, and only costs about $60.

Here is one place that sells them: http://www.classiccarstereos.com/positive-ground-6v-to-12v-converter.html

Shopping for a modern 12-volt car radio that only needs 10-20 watts input will be the challenge. Most modern ones can put out 100-200 watts peak or more, much more, so they may draw more than 2 amps even with the volume turned down. Also, efficient speakers will be needed. Otherwise, just stick with the old 6 volt radio. You can find an older FM-to-AM converter that runs off 12 volts on Ebay. Those don't draw much power, i.e. they typically have a 1 amp fuse. Plug the car antenna wire into the FM converter, plug the FM converter output cable into the old AM radio's antenna connector. Set the AM radio for about 1400 KHz and tune in stations on the FM converter dial.

Maybe Radio Roy will tune into this thread and offer some comments.

RadioRoy
07-16-2017, 11:18 AM
Look at this website and click on the tab called power inverters.
http://radiosforoldcars.net/
These will allow you to run a radio and keep the same ground.

Looks like Gary and I answered at the same time.

SN-60
07-16-2017, 11:40 AM
That didn't really answer his question about keeping the 6 volt and 12 volt isolated. I'm sure that he was already aware of the fact that it could be converted to 12 volts.

The reality of the real world benefits of converting a '55 V8 Studebaker to a modern 12 volt electrical system cannot be said enough times,...especially when the owner of such a car is about to throw money away on items which can best be described as 'band-aids'!! :ohmy:

'Tough love' I guess! :)

graylark
07-16-2017, 11:51 AM
www.classiccarstereos.com (http://www.classiccarstereos.com) sells 6+ to 12- gnd converters. You still will have the need for a constant 12 volt source for the radio memory. They advertise a device to remedy that problem. Click on accessories to see items and I would definitely talk to them with your questions. Without knowledge of the inner workings of the converter I would choose to keep things isolated. I worked on 2-way radios for 30 years and saw things like this work fine and also saw them go up in smoke. You never know when working on the wiring when trying to repair or add something that a path has been unknowingly created with the potential to let one supply backfeed through the other.

RadioRoy
07-16-2017, 08:53 PM
Be careful of the "constant on" memory system. It uses a tiny current to keep the pushbutton assignments alive on modern radios. On my cars it killed the battery in a week or two and it took a while to figure it out. If you drive the car every day, you should be OK. If the car sits for weeks at a time, I personally would leave the memory voltage disconnected.

Skip Lackie
07-17-2017, 08:39 AM
Radios with mechanical push buttons don't need any constant voltage to remember their settings.

jake49
07-17-2017, 10:13 PM
I know change lamps bulbs etc plus 12v alternator. What about gauges and starter. My 55 Commander is a 224 cu in automatic. I love the car but not the 6 volt, mainly crappy headlights and no modern accessories. Car has had all wiring previously replaced and all works good.
thanks for your info.

mbstude
07-17-2017, 10:20 PM
I know change lamps bulbs etc plus 12v alternator. What about gauges and starter. My 55 Commander is a 224 cu in automatic. I love the car but not the 6 volt, mainly crappy headlights and no modern accessories. Car has had all wiring previously replaced and all works good.
thanks for your info.

There are 6 volt alternators and halogen headlights (and relays) available.

Regardless of how strongly some may feel, your car lasted 60+ years on six volt electrics. As long as everything is kept up and maintained, it'll go another 60.

jake49
07-17-2017, 10:26 PM
Understood

SN-60
07-17-2017, 11:35 PM
I know change lamps bulbs etc plus 12v alternator. What about gauges and starter. My 55 Commander is a 224 cu in automatic. I love the car but not the 6 volt, mainly crappy headlights and no modern accessories. Car has had all wiring previously replaced and all works good.
thanks for your info.

Sounds to me like you've decided to convert your '55 Commander over to a 12 volt, negative ground electrical system.....That's a VERY WISE decision :!:....You'll be very satisfied, and believe me, you'll NEVER LOOK BACK!!!

I really don't understand folks who tout the benefits of dealing with that original 6 volt positive ground electrical system but, of course, they're just TALKING..... and not actually driving your Studebaker!

Anyway, your present 6 volt starter will work fine on 12 volts....PM me with any questions which you may have. The last Studebaker I converted over to 12 volts was a '55 Speedster, a car very similar to your own.

Take care,....and WELCOME TO THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY :D!!!!.....SN-60

bezhawk
07-18-2017, 08:35 AM
Gee, why don't you step up to a modern 24 volt system? Them thar 12 volt stuff is soooo archaic. :eek:

rkapteyn
07-18-2017, 10:05 AM
Keep it 6 Volt.
When the car was built ,it worked fine.
Your phone will charge on a 6 volt system and an inverter will handle a newer radio
Keeping a car original enhances the value.
If your car has the rugged DG 250 automatic , treasure it!
Robert Kapteyn