Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Late V8 (1954+)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-22-2019, 06:17 PM   #1
steve fritz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: onalaska , wisconsin
Posts: 388
Default 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

I am converting my 55 Ford to 12 volts. I will be changing to 12 volt starter, gen , regulator , and heater blower motor, using these from a 56 Ford.
My question is on the sending units for oil and water temp. Do I need to change these out as well to the 12 Volt units. I will be using the voltage step down unit and keeping the 55 dash cluster water temp and gas gages.
Thanks for any input.
Steve
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20191022_174658[1].jpg (48.8 KB, 5 views)
steve fritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 06:46 PM   #2
miker98038
Senior Member
 
miker98038's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Kent, WA. Tucson, AZ
Posts: 713
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

The oil sender is an idiot light, isn’t it, so it doesn’t care. Change the bulb to 12v. Or, leave it if it’s on the 6volt drop resistor. The water temp needs to see only 6 volts, as does the gas gauge. The 56 units are 12 volts (at least in a ‘bird) and I think the only year in that time frame that didn’t use a drop resistor to 6.

There’s been some discussions of different drop resistors here, either do a search or wait for someone who knows to chime in. I don’t remember the detail, but some apparently don’t work well with the King Seeley (?) gauges.
miker98038 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 10-22-2019, 07:27 PM   #3
dmsfrr
Senior Member
 
dmsfrr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Abq, NM
Posts: 2,104
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

According to this (T-bird) link you do not need to change original King-Seeley style Temp and Fuel gauges or sending units as long as they are original working matched pairs.
https://www.ctci.org/battery-for-6v-to-12v-conversion/
They are not voltage or polarity sensitive and self-regulate based on current & heat not voltage. (diagram 1 below)

If you change them you'll need oem 6v or aftermarket 12v gauge & sender matched pair replacements.
The oem '55 gauges will (usually) not work correctly with '56 or aftermarket senders.

miker98038 is correct about the oil pressure idiot light, just change the bulb.

You don't need to change the 6v starter unless you intend to really grind on it for a long time.
It will spin the engine faster and it may start easier.

You will need a 4 terminal 12v starter solenoid if you're using stock points and a ballast resistor.
The ignition coil is polarity sensitive (Before/After diagrams 2 & 3 below)
...and the clock too, if it has one.

Quote from the link above...
"When the job is done, before you start the engine, remove the field wire from the voltage regulator and strike it (draw an arc) to the battery terminal of the voltage regulator in order to properly polarize the generator then reconnect the field wire to it’s position on the voltage regulator." diagram 4
Attached Images
File Type: jpg fuel gauge diagram c.jpg (72.2 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 6v ignition wiring diagram.jpg (35.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 12v Ignition wiring diagram.jpg (50.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Generator voltage regulator wiring c1.jpg (41.8 KB, 1 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 10-23-2019 at 11:13 AM. Reason: add voltage regulator wiring diagram
dmsfrr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 08:26 PM   #4
scicala
Senior Member
 
scicala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Detroit suburb, MI
Posts: 2,607
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

Steve, I converted a '52 Ford to 12 volts and just used the Ford factory voltage reducer (regulator). I'm pretty sure I gave you one with the car. About 2" long and 3/4" wide with two terminals.
It needs to go between the ignition switch and the back of the cluster to one of the gages. If you look at the shop manual schematic it should show the wire going from the ignition switch to the back of the gage panel.


Sal
scicala is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 08:30 PM   #5
steve fritz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: onalaska , wisconsin
Posts: 388
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

dmsffr.....thanks for the reminder about the ballast resister , I will be sure to add that.
On that fuel tank sender....CARPENTER has a tank sending unit they claim works on 6 or 12 volt , I wonder if it will work with my stock 55 dash gage? CARPENTER is usually pretty reliable on the stuff he sells. Anybody else tried that sending unit with the stock 55 dash gage???
steve fritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 08:44 PM   #6
miker98038
Senior Member
 
miker98038's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Kent, WA. Tucson, AZ
Posts: 713
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

I wish I would have known that about the gauges when I went to 12 volts. I replaced the works with 56 units. On the other hand, my gauges were pretty faded. My 6 volt seat motors, window motors and horn have been fine, but I don’t abuse them. The heater I changed, continuous use kind of scares me.
miker98038 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 09:23 PM   #7
dmsfrr
Senior Member
 
dmsfrr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Abq, NM
Posts: 2,104
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve fritz View Post
dmsffr.....thanks for the reminder about the ballast resister
...
On that fuel tank sender....CARPENTER has a tank sending unit they claim works on 6 or 12 volt , I wonder if it will work with my stock 55 dash gage? CARPENTER is usually pretty reliable on the stuff he sells.
You're welcome.

Because the old King/Seeley gauges don't electrically function the same way as newer repro senders the odds aren't the best.

It's possible that it might work correctly across the whole Full / Empty scale, or not. You could need to buy a sender-matching reproduction gauge from them, or find a good oem '55 fuel sender instead.
Is the '55 fuel tank sending unit you have missing or in bad shape? Sometimes they can be repaired.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg fuel sender, inside.jpg (62.0 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 10-22-2019 at 10:25 PM.
dmsfrr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 10:04 PM   #8
steve fritz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: onalaska , wisconsin
Posts: 388
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

The 55 fuel sending unit is pretty bad , I'll take a closer look at it tomorrow.
steve fritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 10:12 PM   #9
miker98038
Senior Member
 
miker98038's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Kent, WA. Tucson, AZ
Posts: 713
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

I’ve had good luck with Classic, but check the last comment.

https://www.classictbird.com/Fuel-Se...uctinfo/9275A/
miker98038 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 10:24 PM   #10
Daves55Sedan
Senior Member
 
Daves55Sedan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Granite City, Illinois
Posts: 1,741
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

The '55 temp sending unit (6-volts) looks identical to the '56 unit (12-volts) and fits in the same pipe thread.
If you decide to change to all '56 sending units and matching '56 gauges, that is the only year that the systems used full and un-regulated 12-volts. Replacement '56, 12-volt temp sending units are still available at many of the repro parts suppliers, but they are pricey. You can remove the faceplates and needles (carefully) from the '56 gauges and swap in your old '55 faceplates and needles onto the '56 gauges.
If your Y-block heads are off of a '57 or later year, the sending unit is a different pipe size and you may have some trouble. The '57 and later instrument systems utilized a regulator (which can also be purchased new), but you need to use a '57 guage. Same faceplate and needle swap is needed.
You can get around doing all that by pulling out the threaded bushing in the head and installing a new bushing with the smaller pipe thread (also available from repro parts suppliers). Then you can use the '56 temp sender and '56 guage without regulator.
Daves55Sedan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 11:31 PM   #11
50fordcoupeman
Senior Member
 
50fordcoupeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: LaGrande Oregon
Posts: 516
Default Re: 6 volt to 12 Volt conversion

My car is 12v. The heater motor is 6v and has worked fine now for 4 yrs. The wires and motor itself does not get hotter than normal. Might give it a try before you change it out.
50fordcoupeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:54 AM.