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Johnnywiffer
04-20-2010, 09:10 AM
Bob Palma's info about the pos v. neg ground 55-56 Packard made me wonder. I think I've seen the answer somwhere before but...the reason for a positive ground (compared to negative ground) system is....?

(My mind is like a hard drive--I gotta delete [forget] something before I can remember something else. And I forgot to delete that "something" when I learned the answer to the above questions, so I don't remember.) [:o)]

John

DEEPNHOCK
04-20-2010, 09:22 AM
Bottom line?
Cost.
Going to a negative ground system allowed them to increase the voltage, but drop the amperage, thus allowing smaller cables to handle the same load.
Or....
12v = less copper.
Jeff[8D]



quote:Originally posted by Johnnywiffer

Bob Palma's info about the pos v. neg ground 55-56 Packard made me wonder. I think I've seen the answer somwhere before but...the reason for a positive ground (compared to negative ground) system is....?

(My mind is like a hard drive--I gotta delete [forget] something before I can remember something else. And I forgot to delete that "something" when I learned the answer to the above questions, so I don't remember.) [:o)]

John

Jim B PEI
04-20-2010, 09:29 AM
I'm with Johnny on this (same memory fault) My question is why positive versus negative ground, IRRESPECTIVE of whether it was 6 or 12 volts. The cost issue and better starting after corrosion sets in makes sense for 6 to 12V, but isn't there an issue with polarity as well? In North America, both things got changed at one go, but I seem to recall that there were some cars made with 6volt negative ground (British Fords?) or am I complete off course as usual.

Jim B on PEI
63 Wagonaire 259 o/d
57 Champion W4 o/d
57 Champion W4 automatic
57 Commander W4 automatic

Lark Parker
04-20-2010, 10:25 AM
Working from memory here:
Studebaker, Ford and Chrysler had 6V pos ground.
GM had 6V neg ground.

Most changed to 12 volt neg ground for 1955, Studebaker a year later.
The man on the street surmised that since GM was the largest consumer, the suppliers could make products for the neg ground vehicles cheaper (standardized volume) so that is why it went that way.
(I didn't bother Wikipedia with this myth.)

I don't know the early schemes for Packard, Hudaon, Nash etc.

LP

gordr
04-20-2010, 10:46 AM
I believe the theory behind the use of positive ground was that it would induce less corrosion in the body of the vehicle. British cars of the era used 12 volts, positive ground.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

StudeRich
04-20-2010, 11:31 AM
quote:Originally posted by Lark Parker

/Cut/Working from memory here:Most changed to 12 volt neg ground for 1955, Studebaker a year later./Cut/

Close, It was Only GM & Packard that went to 12 Volt in '55.

Ford, Chrysler, and Studebaker, (the majority) were in '56.

I am guessing that included Nash, Hudson, International and possibly Willys also.

StudeRich

Invalid User Name
04-20-2010, 11:32 AM
I thought everybody knew that electrons flow from Negative to Positive. Studebaker used the positive ground so that the battery would gather up all those loose electrons and put them back in storage. Negative ground cars let all those extra electrons just fall on the ground where they were wasted. That's why they refer to the side that is running to the engine block as a "ground". :D

Doug
Venice, Florida
1950 Champion
9G F1
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m15/w4jdz/Stu-1.jpg

Skip Lackie
04-20-2010, 12:02 PM
quote:Originally posted by Lark Parker

Working from memory here:
Studebaker, Ford and Chrysler had 6V pos ground.
GM had 6V neg ground.

Most changed to 12 volt neg ground for 1955, Studebaker a year later.

LP

Coupla additions/nitpicks:
Pre-WWII GM products shared very little except basic body tubs and some other body parts. Some makes were positive ground, some were negative (I have a 37 LaSalle that's 6v positive ground). I believe all GM products changed to negative ground with the 1946 models.

From memory: I believe the three limited-production models introduced during the 1952 GM Motorama show (1953 Buick Skylark, Cadillac Eldorado, and Oldsmobile Holiday(?)) were 12 volt. I also believe all Buick, Cad, and Olds models went to 12v in 1954, while Chevrolet and Pontiac didn't change to 12v until their new V8s were introduced in 1955. A battery catalog would confirm this or prove me wrong.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC

j.byrd
04-20-2010, 03:07 PM
I have had several cars and tractors with positive ground, my 63 Mini is still that way, and I don't know why, but we don't have dead battery troubles with these vehicles, so I figure the mfg's did it because a relative or in-law owned a big battery company and discovered the negative ground stuff would die quicker, therefore making more money replacing/selling batteries. It was/is so much more dependable, that it must have been that or political- - just like Beta vs. VHS. The rest of the world used Beta, and even the networks, but no, let's sell 'em VHS, it won't hold still enough to make still pics and view details, etc, etc. There's my rant, but the positive ground stuff DOES NOT go bad as quick in our experience, John

PlainBrownR2
04-20-2010, 04:38 PM
quote:
I thought everybody knew that electrons flow from Negative to Positive. Studebaker used the positive ground so that the battery would gather up all those loose electrons and put them back in storage. Negative ground cars let all those extra electrons just fall on the ground where they were wasted. That's why they refer to the side that is running to the engine block as a "ground".


Unless you're a Franklin theory fan, rather than an Edison fan, who stated electricity moved from positive to negative. In that idea the positively charged atoms have excess electrons that are transferred to the negatively charged atoms that don't have as many, thereby transferring energy in the opposite direction from negative to positive. Either way you're still recoiling your hand from accidentally touching an exposed coil wire when the engine was running. :D

[IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/th_0413001627.jpg[/IMG=left]
[IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/th_0321001800.jpg[/IMG=left]
[IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201950%202r5%20Studebaker%20Pickup%20with%20turbocharger/th_P1000145.jpg[/IMG=right]
[IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201950%202r5%20Studebaker%20Pickup%20with%20turbocharger/th_P1000136.jpg[/IMG=right]
[IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/Ex%20Studebaker%20Plant%20Locomotive/P1000578-1.jpg[/IMG=left]
[IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201964%20Studebaker%20Commander%20R2/P1010168.jpg[/IMG=left]