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6 to 12 Volt Conversion: Using the 6v Starter in a 12v Conversion?

September 23, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair
Credit to Bill Leavit, Joe Leoni, Brad Ripley, Alan Klingen, and others on 356Talk listed below

 

Bill Leavitt: I got a variety of responses to my query about keeping my 6v starter in my SC when I convert to 12v. The main issue about 12v and a 6v starter is extra oomph on the spin means faster wear on the flywheel ring gear.

Two people had a 6v starter w/ 6v solenoid. One ring gear lasted about a year, the other the better part of 90k miles. That's a big error bar on that one, even for such a small sample. Guesses for grabs!

Most responders endorsed 6v starters w/ 12v solenoids. Experience cited
from 2k-10k miles, no problems as yet.

One quoted a rebuild shop citing a Bosch repair parts catalog that showed the armature part number as the same for either 6v or 12v. This person was skeptical about that, and so am I. But this *would* argue well for using a 6v starter w/ 12v solenoid.

It boils down to this:

A new Berg 12v starter w/ 6v Bendix at ~$200 got good reviews.

Using the old 6v starter with a new 12v solenoid got good reviews, too. The solenoid of choice is the WA 656 by Niehoff, a VW part for ~$30. This is how I plan to go.

Using the old 6v starter w/ 6v solenoid got very mixed reviews. Most urge
caution with this setup at the least.

Thanks to those taking the time to reply: Richard Glastonbury, Dale Moody,
Brett Johnson, Joe Leoni, Harry Pellow, Ab Tiedemann and Tony Ryan.

Joe Leoni: If you elect to use the 6 volt starter on 12 volts, be sure and install a 12 volt solenoid. Use a Bosch/used or Niehoff/new solenoid. About $50. The 6 volt solenoid will draw twice the inrush and holding current. The high inrush can and will trash your ignition switch. And will in time trash the teeth on the flywheel. I hate to argure with others sucess, but the 6 volt solenoid on 12 volts will trash your flywheel. Cranking speed is not doubled, because the counter electromotive force is increased with any speed increase of the stater motor. Which means it is faster, but not twice as fast.

Brad Ripley, NLA Limited: Two basic types of 6v solenoids:
(1) For early "EED" type starters, the solenoid will a square end and terminals at a 45 deg. angle. That type of starter was manufactured thru August, 1961 (up to date code 8S). Then your choices are: aftermarket brand $37.90 or Bosch $98.50

(2) For later "EEF" type starters, the solenoid will be completely round and side-by-side terminals. Mfg'd from Sept, 1961 (date code 9S or higher). aftermarket: $37.90 or Bosch $49.95.

WARNING: Alan Klingen at The Stable says that he has replaced many flywheels damaged by high spinning 6 volt starters in 12 volt cars, even when a 12 volt solenoid was used.

1 Comment

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Ichiro Yanagisawa
September 06, 2016 at 3:08 PM
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