Electrical Issues

Electric Issues

Tech Tip # 1 – 6 volt wires
One of my experiences with 6 volt wiring is that you may have enough power to spin the engine, but not necessarily start it.  For under $40 you can replace your ground and battery to starter cable.  Yours may look fine, but if it is over 30 years old, there is a good chance there is corrosion inside the insulation causing a lot of resistance.  I have changed cables and been blown away by what a difference it makes in starting.  Make sure the battery cable is at least #2 and not the #4 commonly used today for 12v.  While you are at it, make sure the ground point and terminals are clean and you have good contact.

Tech Tip # 2 – 6 to 12v conversion
Here is a topic guaranteed to start a controversy. Here is my take converting from 6 volt  to a 12v system, it is a waste of time and money. If the cables, battery and ignition are reasonably maintained, your truck will start just fine. The electrical accessories, gauges, bulbs, etc. will not handle more than 8v.  Changing out these parts hurts it’s originality with nothing gained in the end.

If your interest is to be able to install a modern 12v accessory such as a CD player, there are inverter boxes that can be direct wired (or plugged into the cigarette lighter) to convert 6v to 12v to play any 12v accessory. These 6v to 12v inverters are inexpensive and advertised in Hemmings, found at Radio Shack and do show up at ebay, flea markets and car swap meets.  You can keep both the inverter and the accessory in the glove.

The exceptions to this is if you are looking for a daily runner that will be used in the heart of winter as well as summer.  No doubt about it, 12v will spin the engine over faster in 10 degree cold than will 6v.  Secondly, the Petronix electronic ignition kits due make for hotter spark and a little more zip and are only available in 12v.

Insufficient Charge on Battery?

Battery Conditions:
1. Ineffective battery plate separators.
2. Plates badly sulphated.
3. A Ieak in cell due to crack, or scaling compound not sealing properly.
4. Water level not maintained at proper height.

Excessive Load Conditions:
1. Stop light switch on master cylinder closed at all times.
2. Lighting circuit grounded or shorted.
3. Using headlamps excessively while car is parked.
4. Car operation confined mostly to night driving.
5. Excessive use of spot lamps, radio, car heater, cigar lighter or defroster.

Generator Issues:
1. Generator inoperative.
2. Fan belt slipping.
3. Incorrect size generator drive pulley.
4. Ammeter indicating higher charging rate than actual.
5. Generator regulator not adjusted properly.
6. Corroded battery terminals and/or ground connection.
7. Loose external circuit connections.

Starter Problems:
1. Starter commutator badly worn or burned.
2. High mica between commutator bars.
3. Use of starter too frequently.
4. Excessive use of starter due to starting difficulties.