'51 Hornet Resto - 12v conversion or not?

srleensrleen Posts: 3Member
edited January 31 in HUDSON
Building this car pretty much from the ground up - wiring all needs to be redone, but I have all the parts and components in various condition. Under the hood is pretty much complete and I'm keeping it (mostly) original - what does everybody think - is it worth doing a 12v conversion or just leave it 6v?




Comments

  • keithfullmeryahoocomkeithfullmeryahoocom Posts: 364Expert Adviser
    I'm putting a new wiring harness and totally restoring my '50 Commodore. I've restored many of the older 6-volt cars. I believe the consensus will be that 6 volts are just fine if you aren't interested in any modern add-ons.
    The down side may be that you won't be able to "jump" start modern 12volt cars and you won't want to have your 6 volt jumped either. Also, a 6volt car and the slower speed that the starter turns the emgine over will take a bit of getting used to. At first you'll think the battery is dead but just turns the starter over slower.
    I used a newer "Optima" 6v battery and put it in a faux case.
  • srleensrleen Posts: 3Member
    Yes - this is pretty much my thinking. Believe it or not my biggest thing is - I wont be able charge my cell phone lol. Where did you get the wiring harness you're using? Or are you making it all up yourself?
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,620Expert Adviser
    Several options for those who are looking for the modern add on ... do dads... that require 12 volts. I purchased a 12 volt rechargeable battery that is meant to operate game feeders and/or game cameras. I mounted it into a plastic ammo box that I purchased at Harbor freight. In the same box, the charger is mounted. The battery output is sent through a re settable circuit breaker also inside the ammo box, which feeds three cigar lighter sockets i installed through the wall of one end of the ammo box. After a complete battery charge; it will power my cell phone/iPad charger all day without problems. I have also used it to operate the AC clutch in my Hudson that has AC and it appears to work fine.

    The alternative to this is to purchase a motorcycle or car battery and run a power line to those 12 volt requirements. Of course you may end up recharging the battery each night, as necessary.

    For me, if I am adding AC to the car ... 12 volt conversion is what I will do. I believe the cost is a wash when one thinks of the cost associated with rebuilding the 6 volt generator and starter as well as replacing the wiring harness. I have one of each type of HUDSON electrical system. The 6 volt system has new wiring, a 6 volt alternator, halogen lights and other upgrades needed to satisfy my safety needs for reliability and night time use. If you are looking for assistance in finding the parts to restore the electrical system and/or change to 12 volts the information is free to see at my website. https://hudsonrestoration1948-54.com/
  • LanceLance Posts: 734Member

    I'm putting a new wiring harness and totally restoring my '50 Commodore. I've restored many of the older 6-volt cars. I believe the consensus will be that 6 volts are just fine if you aren't interested in any modern add-ons.
    The down side may be that you won't be able to "jump" start modern 12volt cars and you won't want to have your 6 volt jumped either. Also, a 6volt car and the slower speed that the starter turns the emgine over will take a bit of getting used to. At first you'll think the battery is dead but just turns the starter over slower.
    I used a newer "Optima" 6v battery and put it in a faux case.

    I have had my 6 volt car jumped with a 12 volt system. Just make sure all the 6 volt electronics are off. Also, don't jump it for too long. Not a problem. The bad actor is an 8 volt battery in an unchanged 6 volt system. Very bad for voltage regulator unless it has been modified to accept 8 volts.
  • foxsnoutfoxsnout Posts: 31Member
    ...leave it 6v!..just because it came from the factory with 6v. You want to keep it original? ...so keep the 6v. Just my two cents. And....i would love to see some pictures of the resto!
  • 5433HET5433HET Posts: 34Expert Adviser
    I've had great luck with a new harness from Rhode Island wiring,  fits and looks like original. 
  • keithfullmeryahoocomkeithfullmeryahoocom Posts: 364Expert Adviser
    I bought a wire harness from YnZ. They aint cheap! But great-looking wiring all set up for an original Hudson. (mine is '50 Commodore) I wanted original and I wanted the easiest set-up I could find cuz I HATE wiring! Colors are suppose to match original and so you can use the old wiring diagram from the manuals.
    Mine isn't done yet, (did I tell you that I Hate wiring?) but so far, so good.
    Here's a shot of my 6 volt battery hooked up positive ground. Optima battery fits into a fake shell. Looks more like it belongs in there then the Hi-tecky optima.
  • srleensrleen Posts: 3Member
    Leaning towards sticking with 6v - and I better start saving up for the wiring harness $$
  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,294Senior Contributor
    edited February 2
    Its well worth the money for a high end wiring harness in my opinion.
    By the way, I like the optima battery installed.
  • BrowniepetersenBrowniepetersen Posts: 3,033Senior Contributor
    I have been down both roads a time or two. I have always based my decision on how much restoration we are going to do. If everything is going to be new and balanced I would go with the 6 volt. I would also use an electric fuel pump and electronic ignition. My last three Hudson's have been this configuration and I love them that way. Also, trouble free....
  • 29sptphaeton29sptphaeton Posts: 193Member
    I have a 51 Commodore 8 still running fine on 6 volts, but I did install a headlight relay, and Pertronix electronic ignition because the distributor is very hard to get to in the car. But you must change the plug wires to electronic. You can’t use electronic ign. With solid core copper wires.
    7mm wire set is available from speedway motors under flathead Ford.
  • 29sptphaeton29sptphaeton Posts: 193Member
    I’m also running an optima 6 volt battery in a fake battery case.
  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,439Senior Contributor
    Ask then you will get many opinons both pro & con.
    If your going to be National Award Judged then maybe retain 6V, but if you want modern accessories like Cruise control, FM Stero Disc Radio, Electronic Ign, Alternator instead of Generator/Regulator, Brighter lights, etc, the choice is yours.... I restored all of my Hudson's 12v using 6V Starter, but was mu preference....
  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,294Senior Contributor
    edited February 3
    This company will build you a custom set of plug wires using your info and measurements
    https://www.magnecor.com/magnecor1/main.htm
  • Nevada HudsonNevada Hudson Posts: 1,246Senior Contributor
    6v with new wiring is fine.
  • JasonNCJasonNC Posts: 858Expert Adviser
    My theory is that 6 volt parts are only going to get harder to find as time goes by. Just food for thought....
  • ValVal Posts: 710Member
    Your car, your choice. I stayed with 6v on my 39. New wire harness from Rhode Island wire. Looks great and original. My 2 cents worth
  • Jay GJay G Posts: 353Expert Adviser
    So on my 10, 15, 22, 28, 37, 46, 50 I am using the same voltage that came with the cars. Honestly these 6 volt systems work just fine and start more reliability (most of the time) then my 12v conversions. So my 53 that is stroked, bored, with high compression. There is no way that could remain 6 volt. Also my 51 is going to be a resto mod with a Hudson engine but modern accessories so it is going 12v.

    Don't let the apparent lack of 6v parts scare you off. You can always have them rebuilt and they will be better than most of the modern stuff. If I can find someone to rebuild the 1910 - 1928 stuff anything in the 50s is a piece of cake!

    Jay
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