Convert 12 volt car battery output to 6 volts?

walrusSeptember 3, 2010

Want to try starting an antique car that requires a 6 volt battery. Since that's all I want to do with it, I'm reluctant to plunk down $100 for a 6 volt car battery.

How can I convert a 12 volt car battery output to 6 volts?

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You can get a 6-volt SLA battery for a lot less than $100.

Any device to do what you propose, at an amperage suitable to operate a car starter, is going to cost you a lot more.

Go buy a battery.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 1:49PM
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Getting 12 volts down to 6 volts is very easily done. As Phakus points out, getting it with an amperage suitable to operate a car starter is most likely going to cost you much more than a new battery. You're going to need to start the car more than one time anyhow, why not buy the battery?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 4:52PM
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You might check local auto parts stores and service stations to see if they have a used battery that cn be charged up for one last use.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 6:20PM
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Ron Natalie

Phark is right, You want a real 6V car battery and it shouldn't run $100. I see them for online in the $60 range. See if there's a Batteries Plus near you.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 8:17AM
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NAPA still sells a battery intended for early 6-volt VW Beetles. I don't know the price, but the part number is BAT 5019L.

Another option, if you have the room, would be a 6 volt golf car battery. See the chart referenced below for dimensions. It's at the bottom (type GC2).

Golf car batteries are commodity items. You can usually buy one at Sam's Club for around $70-75. Or ask around at your local golf course; I've bought entirely serviceable used ones for less than $20.

Here is a link that might be useful: Battery dimensions by BCI group

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 1:04PM
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You don't. If you are just going to start it put in a 12 volt battery and don't turn on anything that requiers 6 volts. The 6 volt starter will last a LONG time on 12 volts.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 8:57PM
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No, it's not likely to hurt the starter; but if you do as Kalining suggests, don't run the engine for too long. The points and coil may not like the higher primary voltage and current. (That's why 12 volt point-ignition cars had ballast resistors - to limit primary current.)

As I suggested above, the easiest and safest answer is to find a decent used golf car battery. They're really robust. Many years ago, I used to jumpstart my neighbors' cars from my golf car (using 2 of the batteries) on subzero mornings. It worked at least as well as the wreckers' rigs, and a lot better than jumping from a running car. (Jumping the battery, I mean.)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 11:34PM
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