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What year did Studebaker switch to 12V

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  • Electrical: What year did Studebaker switch to 12V

    The title says it all. I am wondering what was the first year Studebaker used a 12V electrical system.
    Wayne
    "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

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  • #2
    That's one of Dick Quinn's trick questions in Studebaker automobile history, and I've forgotten the answer! But it wasn't the 1956 model year , contrary to popular opinion....)

    OK, Dick, please contribute... BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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    • #3
      Going to guessing mode, my thoughts are 12 volt would be used in a military application. I am not sure about the weasel but know that some prewar (WW1) cars may have experimented with a 12 volt system until universal 6 volt applications were the accepted norm.

      Darn, this is making me think, which causes my head to hurt

      Bob Miles
      Tucson AZ

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      • #4
        We have to be careful of our wording: "What year did Studebaker switch to 12V" is an entirely different question than "What year did Studebaker first use 12V?" Using the verb "switch" would imply (at least to me) using 12 volts on ALL their vehicles. I don't mean to start a debate over semantics, just to note the difference between these two questions.
        -Dwight

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        • #5
          Dwight is correct. Now my head really hurts. Guess I better get a cup of decaf before our chapter breakfast meet this morning.

          Bob Miles
          Tucson AZ

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          • #6
            I had a 55 Stude, it was 6volt.Chevvy, Ford and Mopar went to 12 volt in 56.

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            • #7
              Ok let me clarify. I was not referring to a special application or a one-off type of thing. I mean the general everyday cars that were on the dealer lots, or available for order.
              Wayne
              "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kxet View Post
                I had a 55 Stude, it was 6volt.Chevvy, Ford and Mopar went to 12 volt in 56.
                Chevy and I'm sure all the other GM cars went to 12 volts in 1955.

                I thought Studebaker switched to 12 volts in 1956, but now I'm not sure.

                My Motor's manual shows Studebaker switched from 6 volt positive ground to all 12 volt negative ground for the 1956 models
                Last edited by TWChamp; 12-21-2017, 08:32 AM.

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                • #9
                  I do not have resources in my hands just now to look, but i thought 1955 was a split year on voltage. When the non C/K cars switched to wrap around windshields mid year Studebaker also switched to 12 volt electrics.
                  Last edited by FleetMaster68; 12-21-2017, 09:20 AM. Reason: dropped words

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wdills View Post
                    The title says it all. I am wondering what was the first year Studebaker used a 12V electrical system.
                    Just think of the major changes that happened I'd guess the changeover was done by 1956. The sedans were significantly redesigned to reflect the big three while the Hawks were introduced with equally dramatic stying changing including the Packard powered Golden Hawk. Chevrolet, Ford and Plymouth would have switched in 1955 with there redesigns which would have a major impact on the automotive component supplier industry. Have to doubt that a change of this type would have been done midway through a model run. It would have been a nightmare to control on the assembly line.

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                    • #11
                      Sorry, but I must disagree with FleetMaster68. I've owned around twenty 55's over the years and never saw a 12V in the bunch. In the bunch was a wrap around President parts car, with 6V, that became the Bell's first Studebaker, along with the 55 Speedster that I sold them. Unless somebody switched the battery and polarity on my 55 Commander Conestoga, with a wrap around windshield, it was always 6V. I've been around that wagon since the early 70's.

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                      • #12
                        Studebaker switched in 56. 55 cars were 6 volt, 56 cars were 12 volt. Simple as that.
                        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                        • #13
                          And Weasels were 12 volts, because designated to carry radios.
                          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                          • #14
                            Well, technically speaking Studebaker switched to 12V in 1955 with the introduction of the 1956 model year cars.
                            Dan Peterson
                            Montpelier, VT
                            1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
                            1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

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                            • #15
                              Bob Palma had stated in post #2: "That's one of Dick Quinn's trick questions in Studebaker automobile history, and I've forgotten the answer! But it WASN'T the 1956 model year, contrary to popular opinion....)."

                              I wouldn't go up against Dick Quinn's knowledge base, so model year 1956 isn't the correct answer. Let's try to beat Dick to the answer. Did the WWII Weasels count? Or, did Studebaker use 12V in some truck model(s) prior to the 1956 cars? Or, did they NOT switch all their vehicles (including trucks) to 12V in the '56 model year?
                              -Dwight

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