6 volts do it again

terraplane8terraplane8 Posts: 598Senior Contributor
I went to check my '36 Terraplane yesterday. It has been parked in a garage across town over the winter up to now, with the battery left connected and not trickle-charged. I already knew that I had left the car before for 19 months and it started fine, so I was interested to see what would happen this time, after about 7 months.

The battery is 600CCA and 2 years old.

I put a tablespoon of petrol down the carb, turned on the ignition and pressed the starter. It fired right up then died again as the fuel pump had not quite pumped enough fuel through. A few more seconds on the starter and it was away as if it had been parked overnight! I took it for a drive around the local area being a bit careful as it is not licensed currently. I brought the battery back home and put it on the charger which showed it wasn't even that discharged, and reached full charge again after a few hours.
1933 Essex Terraplane Eight 1936 Terraplane 1936 Hudson Eight


  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,606Senior Contributor
    You are indeed fortunate that there were no stuck valves!
    If you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
  • 37 CTS37 CTS Posts: 548Senior Contributor
    edited January 6
    If leaving a collector car stored its a good idea to disconnect the battery.  Lots safer with no fire hazard.  The old wiring has lots a places to cause a short and a fire.   Also charging and storing the battery in a warm place helps it last longer.

  • Old Fogey UKOld Fogey UK Posts: 983Expert Adviser
    During non-use, I give my 6 volt Optima a top charge every couple of weeks.
  • 35 Terraplane35 Terraplane Posts: 419Senior Contributor
    You can buy a 6V BatteryTender.  
  • Old Fogey UKOld Fogey UK Posts: 983Expert Adviser
    I use one of those chargers that can double as a battery tender but someone told me that you shouldn't leave an Optima battery on a trickle charger - is that nonsense ?
  • 29sptphaeton29sptphaeton Posts: 420Member
    I use a battery tender from Walmart on my Optima and have since I bought the car with the Optima in it in 2016. I have the 6 volt Optima in a plastic shell that looks like a normal 6 volt battery with caps. I don’t like the looks of the 6 volt Optima.
  • Old Fogey UKOld Fogey UK Posts: 983Expert Adviser
    The 6 Volt Optima does look odd but as mine is in a box under the floor so it doesn't bother me.
    A friend with a '37 Terraplane bought one of those covers that look like a traditional battery because his Optima is in the engine compartment - it looks good.
  • D7feverD7fever Posts: 64Member
    I don't see why so many want to put in 12 volt batteries, yes it is nice to run a modern radio on. However there is no need to change to 12 volts . When I was a teenager I had a 6 volt 1953 . Buick many times in the winter, my 6 volt car  was the only one that started, bunch of the neighbors had the local gas station come and start them.  I park my Hudson in the garage in the fall ,disconnect the battery, I always do that cause the wiring is not great. When I want to start it, just connect the battery and start it. Of course I have double ought cables on the car.I don't mind having to crank is for a minute or so to get the gas in the carburator, it just gets the oil pumping around in the engine before it starts. If the battery is good, it should hold a charge to start the car, and when it doesn't start the car, time to get a new battery. I figure it the car was designed to be operated on 6 volts, thats how it should be run.
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,606Senior Contributor
    I endorse those comments.  An added bonus of sticking to 6 volts is extended life of the Bendix drive components and the ring gear.   Basic attention to cleanliness and tightness of all joints, and good grounding will ensure  perfect results.  However, I have fitted auxiliary 6 volt fuel pumps on all my cars to  fill the carburettor  after sitting for long periods.   Does save the battery and starter from a bit of extra work.   I periodically   switch the pump on   to keep the carby wet, saves drying out the throttle pump leather.  
    If you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
  • cheyenne7271cheyenne7271 Posts: 492Member
    When I used to drive my daily 50 C6 in high school and college in the 80s and 90s year round in Southern Colorado, I had a 6v commercial heavy equipment battery in my car. The car would still crank well and start even at -15.  I would still be one of the first to school even in those cold snowy days. 
    51 Hornet Club Coupe
    51 Hornet Sedan
    51 Commodore Six Club Coupe
    50 Pacemaker Deluxe R.I.P. (burned and destroyed in building fire)
    49 Super Six Sedan
  • JACK356JACK356 Posts: 274Member
    I am also for staying in 6V. And if you do not want to disconnect the battery so badly located, there is this kind of accessory. Available in 6V
  • Hudson_in_SeattleHudson_in_Seattle Posts: 207Member
    "I use one of those chargers that can double as a battery tender but someone told me that you shouldn't leave an Optima battery on a trickle charger - is that nonsense ?"

    hi - i have classic cars using both 6V and 12V optima batteries and trickle chargers - about 20 years ago, when i purchased trickle chargers, there was a difference noted for conventional vs sealed batteries and i made sure to purchase the correct charger (one would overcharge the other)

    - years later, i needed more chargers and i no longer saw this distinction - i checked with one of the manufacturers who told me that with the newer computer tech in the trickle charger, it figures out whether the battery is conventional or sealed, so just make sure it's for either 6V or 12V - (the new trickle chargers even have ext thermometers to adjust for outside temps)

    - i've used trickle chargers throughout, no problems, only successful starts!

    hope this helps
  • Old Fogey UKOld Fogey UK Posts: 983Expert Adviser
    Thank you - I'm reassured !
Sign In or Register to comment.