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Upgrading Your Vintage Car to a 12-Volt Electrical System

Upgrading Your Vintage Car to a 12-Volt Electrical System

Jun 15th 2021

Prior to 1955, most cars ran on 6-volt batteries. The V-8 engines and power accessories required more power than 6-volts could provide, making 12-volts the industry standard. Now, parts and accessories, even those used when restoring classic cars, are generally only available as 12-volt.

When restoring a damaged or outdated electrical system on an older car, upgrading to 12-volts can increase performance on electrical elements like starting power or headlights. Even if your car is already refurbished and is working well, a conversion to 12-volts is a smart decision to make ongoing maintenance easier.

Why Convert Your Car from 6-Volt to 12-Volt

Many vintage cars continue to run well on their original 6-volt electrical or on replaced systems. For a pre-1950s engine, 6-volts is often fine until the electrical system starts to degrade. In addition to improved performance for many vehicles, replacing the existing system with 12-volt electrical components provides:

  • Better Repairs in the Future - Even if your car is running well now, there may be a point in the future where your battery or your alternator wears out and you will need to replace it. A 12-volt battery or alternator is going to be easier to find, more affordable, and higher quality than a 6-volt part.
  • More Accessory Options - Radios, amplifiers, LED tail lights, signal lights, halogen headlights, and other aftermarket accessories all operate on 12-volts. If you want to add any of these to your vehicle, updating to 12-volts is a necessity.
  • Easier to Get a Jump - Leaving a light on or a few months before running your car can result in a dead battery. With a 12-volt battery, almost any post 1950 car can jump your battery and get you back running.

Converting to a 12-volt system now is the best way to keep your classic car running well for years to come.

How to Convert Your Classic Auto to 12-Volts

Replacing your 6-volt electrical system with a 12-volt system can seem like a daunting task. There are several parts you will need and any component that currently runs off of 6-volts will need to be switched to take 12-volt power to avoid burning anything out.

At Vintage Auto Garage, we make the entire process simple by providing exactly what you need to convert your classic car with our 6-volt to 12-volt conversion kits. Our kits are designed to fit all car makes and come with:

  • Alternators
  • Coil
  • Battery Cables
  • Starter Cable
  • Starter Relays
  • Multi-Voltage Reducers
  • Horn Relay
  • Fuse Kit
  • Alternator Charge Wire

Our kits also come with the manual for rewiring your starter, ignition, and alternator as well as a conversion chart for changing your 6-volt bulbs to 12-volt ones. We can also include turn signals, LED tail lights, headlights, and batteries.

Many of our parts are made in America for Vintage Auto Garage. They are new parts that are built to last but have a vintage styling that will fit in your antique auto.

If you need assistance in choosing the kit or the options that will fit your classic car, our team is also here to help you. We are knowledgeable in electrical system conversions for American vintage cars and can work with you to determine which of our options will fit your vehicle.