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Old 12-19-2016, 01:26 PM   #1
19Fordy
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Default How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

Following (with "thanks") the instructions of Fordbarner Ed Pitts first buy a new starter for a 1964 Ford Galaxie 390 V8 (like the one shown in the first photo) and then do the following:
1. Remove long bolts.
2. Slide out armature.
3. Remove long bolts from your 6V starter and slide out armature/Bendix.
4. Remove inspection band from new 12V starter and pry of end plate.
5. Clean out commutator slots (not armature) with needle knife file. NOTE: I have since been told that commutator slots should not be cleaned as the copper dust can create problems later on.
5. Slide old 6V armature into new 12V case. ( I lost count of fives.)
6. Install each brush onto commutator using home made "hook tool" or wire ties.
7. Align end plate on case and secure gently with vise grips. Install nuts on
long bolts to hold it all together.
8. Make and install clamping strip to hold front end plate to case. Be careful not to drill holes thru case and into field coils. Use the path of the long bolt as a guide as there are no field coils where the bolts pass thru.
9. Make and install new data plate telling what parts were used to make starter.
10. Install inspection band and test starter.
I hope this helps folks who want to "convert". The OEM starter fit the 1949-53 Ford/ Mercury V8. The new 12V starter is for the same engine. Total cost was $75 for the new starter from Ebay.
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Last edited by 19Fordy; 12-30-2016 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

This does work very well. I also used a '56 thru '62 "Y" block starter to do the same thing. Didn't have to use item #8 as it all bolted up perfectly. The "Y" block starter's field coils are identical to the 6V with a few less windings.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

Wow, great information!
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

4t8v8: Thanks for the additional info. Yes, mine bolted up perfectly also. I just wanted to make sure the end plates didn't come off by accident when trying to "catch" the long bolt threads into the bellhousing threads on install. When I first removed the starter it came apart when the Bendix got caught on the lip of the bellhousing. I didn't want that to happen in the future. I forgot that the 18 pound starter gets heavier as you get older and when your laying on the ground under your car.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

If you do this to a 59A or earlier starter, you have to use an 8ba mounting plate end which is thinner.

John
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

Can the bendix for the 1964 be used on a flathead?

http://mrtexascitrus.weebly.com/flatheadstarter.html
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

I'm sure you guys are going to hate this but
I just left the 6 volt Ford starter on my '51 Merc
engine when I converted to 12 volt. It still
worked fine after 12 years!
A testament to the toughness of Henry's parts!
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

Tony, Mine lasted for 44 years. Eventually, things break.
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

Here's more info. on installing starter brushes from a fellow on The Ford Muscle Forum

To change brushes-- remove thru bolts -- pull back cover off commentator--[carefully]--change brushes -loop springs onto back of brushes - now -- pull brushes back out partway-with the springs still in place -pull part way and let spring reast against side of brush-- it will jam the brushes-- and cock them in their sliders-- that will hold them up as you slide the brush and cover back over the commentator-- aftr tighting the thru bolts - reach inside the windows and trip the brushes and they will drop in place-- just changeing the brushes will not always do the trick --you need to turn and undercut the commutator----

Last edited by 19Fordy; 12-19-2016 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

mrtexas: I don't think the 64 Ford drive will work. I think I read somewhere that the "bullet drive" or Bullet nose starter" may work. Not sure. The thread below is a must read. MacVanPelt sells excellent starters with American made bendix.
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showth...6432&showall=1

Last edited by 19Fordy; 12-19-2016 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

Mine has been working for 30 years.
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

great detailed write up and photos.
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

my flattie has been running a 6v starter on 12v since 1992. last summer I broke my first bendix spring
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

As a general guide, starter motor armature commutators are never undercut. The starter brushes are hard enough to wear the mica in the slots down. Also if they are undercut then the copper dust from the brushes can fill the undercut slots and short out the comm segments. Generator comms require undercutting because the soft carbon brushes will not wear down the mica in the slots. Regards, Kevin.
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

No need to convert

The stock Ford flathead 6 volt starter will last a lifetime on 12 volts like others have posted previously. My present 6 volt starter has been working perfectly for well over 30 years now on a highly modfied engine no less.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

Koates, Thanks for the "undercut info." I learned something new. Hope the copper dust doesn't give me problems down the road.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:53 AM   #17
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

For many cars the only differense in the part number list for starters from 6v to 12v is the bendix spring. slightly heavier i think.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:41 AM   #18
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

The starter engagement is harder running it on 12v volt so the issue is not that the starter itself will survive or not...more like that it will be harder on ring gear and bendix springs.
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:14 AM   #19
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

Quote:
Originally Posted by OHV DeLuxe View Post
For many cars the only differense in the part number list for starters from 6v to 12v is the bendix spring. slightly heavier i think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatheadmurre View Post
The starter engagement is harder running it on 12v volt so the issue is not that the starter itself will survive or not...more like that it will be harder on ring gear and bendix springs.
And what explains all the many Bendix springs that have failed over the years while being operated on 6 volts ?
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:28 AM   #20
19Fordy
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Default Re: How To Convert 6V Starter to 12V

Quote:
Originally Posted by OHV DeLuxe View Post
For many cars the only differense in the part number list for starters from 6v to 12v is the bendix spring. slightly heavier i think.
The OEM Bendix spring on my 1949-53 Ford/Merc 6 volt
starter weighs 7.9 0z. (223.9 grams)

What does the 12V Bendix spring weigh?
Here's a comparison photo of two different Bendix starter springs. looks like the one on the right is "thinner".
Is the one on the left for a Model T?
Here's a 12V starter that Macs sells. Can this be used when converting to 12 volts as it appears to have a different style starter drive mechanism?
Will this starter interchange with the old style 1949-53 starter AND fit the 49-53 flywheel?
Did starters from 1955 onward used a different Bendix?
I am not trying to beat a dead horse, just curious.
http://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_tr...2-volt-v8.html


Last edited by 19Fordy; 12-20-2016 at 09:09 AM.
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