View Full Version : converting to 12 volt

06-19-2005, 12:10 AM
I am curious to know how hard this would be to do to my 49 land cruiser. Any and all help or suggestions would be welcome. I have very little understnding of the stude wiring and 6 volt systems. (The only things I have done are 12 volt chrysler systems in my 64 300-K and 62 Dodge pickup)

Chris Pile
06-19-2005, 12:48 AM
One easy method is to simply purchase a 6Volt positive ground one wire alternator. It mounts with little trouble, dispenses with your voltage regulator, and costs less than $100. It usually outperforms a well-used generator, too. This suggestion is for drivers-only Studes, as judges will knock off points for authenticity. I have more details if you are interested.....

06-19-2005, 03:39 PM
Unless you want to add stereos and such there's nothing wrong with a properly operating 6-volt system. It's a positive ground so everything you're accustomed to draws current reversed.
If you want to go 12-volt, I'd recommend The Official 12-volt Conversion Guide, available for $10.00 from Randy Rundle, Fifth Avenue Antique Auto Parts, 415 Court Street, Clay Center, KS 67432.

06-21-2005, 11:32 PM
I would be interested in the details. I plan to just have a nice driver anyway. Will this make the car more reliable?

Chris Pile
06-22-2005, 12:16 AM
Details of which one?

06-22-2005, 08:23 PM
My 51 is a reliable driver with it's original 6-volt system and we won WWII with everyone driving to work in 6-volt autos.
A few years ago I stopped at the store and when I got in the car it would not start--dead battery. I jumped it from a 12-volt and, since a generator doesn't need a bettery to excite it, once it was running Ihad no problem. With an alternator, if youhave no juice from the battery you have no juice, period.

Switching to 12-volt will require changing generator, coil, battery, [u]</u>all[u]</u>bulbs, fuel gage (or installing resistors) and reversing polarity on battery and coil. Horn will be louder or burn out and starter will work faster or burn out. Oil gage willbe fine, temp gage may need resistor, ammeter will be fine. If you go withan alternator rather than generator, alternatr will only put out if battery is good.

06-23-2005, 01:56 PM
Actually a proper 6 volt system has one plus and that is longer breaker point life, 12 volt systems actually have a resistor in the ignition circuit to step from 12 volt down to about 8 volts. The resistor can go bad and then you have nothing, if you remove the resistor the points will arc and burn out at an alarming rate. If you don't need modern accessories restore the 6 volt with the biggest cold cranking amp battery and have new battery cables made out of large gauge wire, not the stuff 12 volt cables are made of, it's way too small, some shops make cables using low resistance welding wire, it works best. My 6 volt system will crank strong enough to move the car up hill. If your car is in proper tune it should only take a 1/4 turn of the engine to start.

Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going