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8 volt 55 thunderbird

Posted By 55charliebird 3 days ago
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55charliebird
Posted 3 days ago
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I was told that you can install an 8 volt battery in a 55 t-bird.  It will start with more oomph, will not affect the wiring or bulbs might bother the radio, but will charge ok from the generator.  Any one try it?
FORD DEARBORN
Posted 3 days ago
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I wish I could answer your question but can't.  I can only mention that a properly functioning 6 volt charging system should be limited to about 7.5 volts charging.  Maybe someone will comment regarding an 8 volt battery? An 8 volt battery would need about 9 volts to maintain proper battery charge  That is, about 2.4 charging volts per cell.  Hope this helps, JEFF.................


64F100 57FAIRLANE500
Hoosier Hurricane
Posted 3 days ago
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That is an old band aid remedy from about 60 years ago for hard cranking 6 volt cars.  Yes, the regulator has to be reset to 9 volts to keep the battery charged.  The wiring is not affected, but the light bulbs will be noticeably brighter and shorter lived.  I don't know about the radio.  The heater blower will run a bit faster also.  Probably wouldn't hurt poser window or seat motors, they typically don't run long enough to overheat.  Are 8 volt batteries even available anymore?

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cokefirst
Posted 3 days ago
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I have seen these 8 volt batteries used and the engine will crank faster.  I would worry about the radio at 9 volts over 7 and as mentioned the light bulbs will fail earlier.  The problem with these mid 50's Y blocks is that the compression ration was being raised for more horsepower and the 55 was causing the cars to turn over slow.  With everything being new they started OK, when things get worn, that is where the problems start to arise,  It is also common for people to use twelve volt cables.  BIG mistake.  The twelve volt cables will not carry the load necessary to get efficient transfer of power to the starter and will cause the voltage drop at starting to be marginal for the ignition system.  
Another trick some of the oldtimers used was a 6/12 battery.  It is a twelve volt battery that has a starter relay attached  During normal running of the vehicle it is two, six volt batteries in parallel.  During starting, the starter relay on the battery reconnects the batteries in series and you have twelve volts only during the starting cycle.  A place called Antique Auto Battery has them.  the advantage is that you don't need to change to a different generator as you charge the batteries as if you had two six volt batteries hooked in parallel.
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If you decide to convert your 55 TBird to 12 volts, it's not a big deal.  I converted mine and I would never go back to 6 volts.  Here's a link that will help you.  Your car will start better, charge better and you will love it.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/6-to-12volt-conversion.468588/


Meandean
Posted 2 days ago
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Thanks for the information about the 6/12 Battery.  I did not know such a set up existed.  I had already considered and ruled out the 8V battery for my stock '55 Fairlane.

One issue I previously had with my vehicle was when I attempted to convert from points to the electronic ignition kit.  I purchased and installed the correct kit for the 6V system.
Problem was, there was not enough 'oomph' in the battery to both crank the engine and energize the electronic ignition.

When I cranked the engine it would never spark/kick.  Until the instant I let up on the key, then it would hit momentarily.  Usually not enough to start but on occasion it would actually start.  So I was stuck going back to the points setup.

I wonder if the 12V through the ignition would be enough?  Or would it maybe be too much for the electronic ignition and ruin that?

I am not very adept at the electrical/electronic field.  But it sounded like it might be a solution to having the electronic  ignition.
Florida_Phil
Posted 2 days ago
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My car was converted to 12 volts before I bought it some time ago.   It still had the 6 volt generator and starter.   It worked OK until I installed a Pertronix unit and coil.  The engine developed a miss and the battery kept running down. I removed the generator and replaced it with an alternator and have had no more problems.
Lou
Posted 2 days ago
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If your engine seems to be cranking slower then your starter is at fault, have it rebuilt now and save yourself from problems later. As for converting to 12 volts, there is no real gain, just a lost in the cars value.
oldcarmark
Posted 2 days ago
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Meandean (3/15/2019)
Thanks for the information about the 6/12 Battery.  I did not know such a set up existed.  I had already considered and ruled out the 8V battery for my stock '55 Fairlane.

One issue I previously had with my vehicle was when I attempted to convert from points to the electronic ignition kit.  I purchased and installed the correct kit for the 6V system.
Problem was, there was not enough 'oomph' in the battery to both crank the engine and energize the electronic ignition.

When I cranked the engine it would never spark/kick.  Until the instant I let up on the key, then it would hit momentarily.  Usually not enough to start but on occasion it would actually start.  So I was stuck going back to the points setup.




I wonder if the 12V through the ignition would be enough?  Or would it maybe be too much for the electronic ignition and ruin that?

I am not very adept at the electrical/electronic field.  But it sounded like it might be a solution to having the electronic  ignition.

I wonder if a direct Bypass Circuit from the Solenoid to Coil would solve your Problem? On the 12 Volt System there is a Terminal on Solenoid that provides full 12 Volts to Coil for starting. As soon as the Engine Starts and the Key is released that Circuit disconnects. Did You enquire with the Electronic Ignition Manufacturer regarding your Problem? There's lots of People using 6 Volt Electronic Ignition Setups successfully. I would check with the Manufacturer..

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55charliebird
Posted 2 days ago
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8 volt batteries are available.  My golf cart has 6 of them producing 48 volts to run the golf cart.  Batteries plus may have the correct dimensions for an 8 volt battery or Tractor Supply may have them. 


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