By Joe Leoni
Link to PDF file on Understanding and Troubleshooting Generators and Regulators
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/...
Credits to: Bob Sneed, Harry Pellow
Q: In converting my 356 from 6 volt to 12, I'm considering using the larger diameter, higher output generator used in the late 912s and VWs. Does anybody have any thought about doing this other than cosmetics?
A: If you want to convert to the Large Diameter 912 Generator, you will need:
The Large Diameter Generator
The Generator Strap for the Large Diameter Generator
The special Fan that fits only the Large Diameter 912 Generator, and its special hole covering piece that goes on the opposite side of the Fan from where every other piece goes!
Both of the two Special Generator Shroud Pieces that fit only the Large Diameter 912 Generator
The Special hub for the Fan that fits only the Large Diameter 912 Generator
The Special Nut for the Fan (The same as the Generator Pulley Nut, but different from all previous Fan Nuts that weren't the same as Generator Pulley Nuts.)
One of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the 356 has to do with the 6-12volt conversion. Probably because this isn't covered in any factory material, it's "not original", and a lot of folks go it on their own when they decide they want to make the switch.
Here you'll find links to a number of pages on this site which discuss various issues for consideration during and before you decide to convert your 6 volt system to 12 volts. Remember, some of this is opinion, most of it is hard-earned experience, and all is shared by those who Keep the 356 Faith!
Main Sources, complete conversion descriptions. Most are listed on this site, others are links or lists of other sources (books, articles)
The 356 Registry Magazine has printed a number of articles on this topic. The most recent is available online. Here is the index of the older articles
(Credit Robert Laepelle):
By: Tom Farnam
A recent conversation about converting a 356 from a 6 volt to 12 volt electrical system led to me sending a friend a lengthy email about how to keep that 6 volt system performing properly. Recent posts on the 356 Talk List make it reasonably clear many think of the "conversion" of their systems as the only way to deal with dim lights, starter problems and similar issues. I think that you will be amazed at just how well a 6 volt system can work if properly cleaned and maintained.
First and foremost, if you have that car in "project" status, go through and CLEAN EVERY electrical connection on the car. The biggest single issue is corrosion, either in the form of copper oxide or iron oxide. So our objective is to get the metal clean (as if a Concours judge were going to be taking these connections apart) and then apply a light coating to reduce the air/water contact in the future. Not in "project" status? All of this can be done on a fully oper...
By Larry Coreth
[This article also available as an Excel spreadsheet]
The following data and charts are intended for those who are equipped with the necessary measurement tools, shop manuals and the desire to setup the ring & pinion having swapped out either the differential carrier or said ring & pinion set. The use of these tables (right) and graphs (below) are straight forward in that you can use either the tables or the graphs since the graphs are made directly from the data tables.
Once you have assembled the intermediate plate with all the gears, shafts and bearings and inserted this assembly into the trans. housing, then the differential with bearings and shims (estimated) and finally bolting all this up tight you are ready to do the backlash measurement per the manual. If as usual this measurement is outside the spec. of 0.15+ or ñ .05mm you need only look up the measured backlash on the X ordinate and read up or down to the curve and then over to th...
Text by David Jones, Wil Mittenbach, Bill Strickland, Ab Tiedemann, and Al Zim
Ab Tiedemann: First, make sure that all of the cotter pin is removed.
Then, you will need a good reaction bar. If you have a disc brake car, you can get a very good one from Ashley Page. I purchased one and it works super. It is my understanding that he will also make one for the drum brake cars.
You need a very good breaker bar and socket combination. Good ones are not cheap. (Snap-On about $100-130). A 3/4 inch drive 30 inch length is what I have been using for 40+ years. This, in combination with an impact, six point 36 mm, 3/4 drive socket will whisk most of them off. You most likely waste time or break tools or both if a 1/2 drive combination is used.
Sometimes you will have to resort to the impact wrench. On really stuck ones, you may need one that develops 750 lb-ft of torque. These guns require a lot of air and will quickly run down most air compressor...
By Alan Klingen and Gerry McCarthy
Alan Klingen: The split boot will seal very well when installed correctly and the right boot is used. To put on the solid boot correctly you really need to take apart the axle tube.
I like the FEBI brand split boots from Germany, as the fit and the hardware is right. The most common error I see at the shop is the sealing of the halves at the clamp. You must position the clamp so that the action of both halves of the clamp coming together also draws the open seam together. Get as closed as possible by hand and the clamp will do the rest. No need for any sealant when done correctly.
Screw together the split first being careful not to tighten the bolts so much that the seam opens up again. I would guess the washers sink into the rubber about 1 mm on each side.
You want to position the seam at 10 or 2 o'clock. If possible get the axle level but don't if the method you use is getting the car off it's jack stands. Place the clamp for the big end f...
Text and Photos by Jim Fleming
[Editor: We love our vintage cars, but many 356 owners also love their modern electronic gadgets, such as GPS systems, cellphones, and digital music players. When used in cars they all assume that a 12V electrical supply is available, but the 356 (with rare exceptions) was built as a 6V car. While some people are satisfied with charging their gadgets from the factory 6V cigarette lighter, others are more comfortable having 12V power available. Here's how one owner created a 12V outlet in his 6V 356.]
Here is what I did on my 1961 T-5. I went to Checker Auto supply and bought a standard replacement cigar lighter (which fits in the 356 dash hole just fine) and I ordered a 6 to 12 volt inverter from J C Whitney. I removed and stored the 6 volt 356 cigar lighter. I removed the 356 cigar lighter knob and installed it on the purchased lighter (so the dash looks authentic). I removed the heater element from the 12V unit so it can never be pushed in and oper...