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Best 6-volt battery

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  • Electrical: Best 6-volt battery

    I keep thinking about whether to convert my '51 Champion to 12-volts, but if it happens, it isn't going to be anytime soon. In the meantime, the battery that came in the car is 4-1/2 years old and does kind of a lazy job cranking the engine. I'd feel better with a fresher battery.

    Are there any feelings on the best source for a reliable 6-volt battery? Are there 6-volt gel batteries? The battery now in the car has only a paper label calling it a Super Start and claims it has 800 cold cranking amp at 32-degrees.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Mainly look at the ampere rating of the battery. Get the highest that physically fits your car. Go with a brand that you are comfortable with and has good consumer ratings and guarantee. Do not buy a battery that is not fresh (these six volt batteries do not exactly fly off the shelves). Many places only stock basic models that are enough for old VWs. Yes, there are six volt gel batteries (I do not see the need to go to the expense of them for the use that it will see).
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      The best 6 volt battery is 8 volts.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm no battery expert, but I hear folks say Interstate is a good battery manufacturer. So I got my 6 volt battery from the local Interstate battery store. Not sure if it is the exact original size, but it fits the battery box just fine. If yours does a lazy job cranking, check your cables too. I put heavy duty Ford tractor cables on and starting issues are gone.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by fh4ever View Post
          I'm no battery expert, but I hear folks say Interstate is a good battery manufacturer. So I got my 6 volt battery from the local Interstate battery store. Not sure if it is the exact original size, but it fits the battery box just fine. If yours does a lazy job cranking, check your cables too. I put heavy duty Ford tractor cables on and starting issues are gone.
          I thought that Interstate did not manufacture any batteries. They just rebadge batteries from the few companies that actually do manufacture batteries.

          EDIT:
          Interstate Battery System of America, Inc., a.k.a. Interstate Batteries, is a privately owned company that markets automotive batteries manufactured by
          Exide Technologies
          ,
          Johnson Controls
          and others through independent distributors.
          Last edited by studegary; 12-20-2018, 05:21 PM.
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

          Comment


          • #6
            Optima makes a good quality 6 volt gel battery. They are a narrow bank of three cells, and two would fit side by side, wired parallel. They are a bit pricey, but I have used them in my older pickups, with good results.

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            • #7
              dstude, I have one of the little 6 volt Optimas that we used for about 4 years in our Anglia. They are kinda' funny looking, but seem to be excellent batteries. I sold the Anglia over 2 years ago and the battery is still holding voltage ! Guess I'm waiting on another 6 volt car, ha !

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              • #8
                With respect, I don't agree with the 8 volt suggestion. Clean connections and proper size wiring create a fine electrical system, just like they did 70 years ago. We have many large eight cylinder cars that start fine at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramenti.
                Perry
                \'50 Business Champ,
                \'50 Starlight Champ,
                \'60 Lark Convertible,
                \'63 GT R1,
                \'67 Triumph TR4A

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                • #9
                  My (6v) Optima has been great.
                  Sat for over 10 months last year...(with no charging) turned the key, hit the starter switch, electric fuel pump on, spun plenty fast enough to start the engine.

                  Mike

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                  • #10
                    Optima batteries are very good but check their warranty!
                    You have to return a failed battery to the dealer you bought it from.
                    No good if you are 2000 miles from home on vacation!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I do not recommend going to an 8 volt battery as the voltage regulator will have to be turned up to at least 9 volts to charge the battery putting a severe over voltage on everything electrical in the car. If the battery cables are of the correct size, the electrical connections are clean and tight, the charging system and battery are in good condition, there shouldn't be a need for an 8 volt battery or converting the electrical system to 12 volts. I also agree with everyone that says an Optima battery is a good choice as they have a higher cold cranking amp rating than a lead acid battery. Bud

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                      • #12
                        My 41' Commander started without problems for years in single digit temps. One time, in Maine, in January @ -6 degrees, after 3 months of sitting, it cranked just as slow as summer and started fine. Keep the charge up with a tender...

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                        • #13
                          Go to a specialty battery store that sells batteries for everything, and buy the heaviest duty, highest amp 6 volt they have which will still fit your battery tray. It will crank great and last a very long time even if seeing just occasional use. The ones stocked by auto parts stores (the ones who still keep the 6 volt ones) are only marginally serviceable and not so much for the long run. You'll be doing well if you get 2 years of service out of one of those.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BobWaitz View Post
                            The best 6 volt battery is 8 volts.
                            I disagree. Fix the system to work as it initially did for decades.
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm an Optima believer. I've told the story before about the battery in the "Red Rooster" (1931 Four Season that some of you may have seen in the ACM). The story should be available in the archives. The short story is that I finally pulled the Optima that I had in the car since 1996 (26) years, and replaced it with one that was only 16 years old, out of one of my 1937 Presidents. I said oh well I guess I got my money's worth, but I hate to give up on anything that has served me well. So I put a charger on it and it's now in the 1950 Champion. How long will it last, hell I don't know, but I intend to find out!

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