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#674189 - Mon Aug 30 2010 03:23 PM 1951 Gauges use 6 volt with a 12 volt system
phantom1094 Offline
Apprentice
Registered: Wed Jan 21 2009 09:30 PM
Posts: 25
Loc: chicago, il
does anyone know if I can use my original speedometer and cluster guages with a 12 volt system? If so what do I need to do to make it work? I really want to keep my old guages
thanks
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1951 Chevy 1/2-Ton
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#674196 - Mon Aug 30 2010 03:40 PM Re: 1951 Gauges use 6 volt with a 12 volt system [Re: phantom1094]
FriedGreenTmater Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Fri Jun 05 2009 10:27 AM
Posts: 3256
Loc: colorado
You'll find that the gas gauge is the only one to worry about. The AMP gauge doesn't care if it is 6v or 12v, and will work exactly the same on either.
Temp is mechanical, oil is mechanical and the light bulb replacements can be had from the parts store or radio shack. I ran a voltage reducer (Runtz, probably did not need it), on my gas gauge until the gauge went bad. You need to make sure the sending unit in the tank has the same ohm range as your gauge. Not a problem if you are using the original tank and sending unit. I've been told that the gas gauge will work on 12V, but I have not tried it and makes it makes no difference to me now that it is broken.
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1953 Chevrolet 3600
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#674224 - Mon Aug 30 2010 05:42 PM Re: 1951 Gauges use 6 volt with a 12 volt system [Re: FriedGreenTmater]
phantom1094 Offline
Apprentice
Registered: Wed Jan 21 2009 09:30 PM
Posts: 25
Loc: chicago, il
Thanks T'mater, what about the speedometer? will that work?
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1951 Chevy 1/2-Ton
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#674259 - Mon Aug 30 2010 08:36 PM Re: 1951 Gauges use 6 volt with a 12 volt system [Re: phantom1094]
FriedGreenTmater Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Fri Jun 05 2009 10:27 AM
Posts: 3256
Loc: colorado
Absolutely. That's a cable that runs to the transmission.
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Fried Green T'mater (Vern)
1953 Chevrolet 3600
In the Stovebolt Gallery
More pix on Photobucket
Caution: Political Statement

Man who runs in front of car gets tired, man who runs behind car gets exhausted.
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#674375 - Tue Aug 31 2010 08:40 AM Re: 1951 Gauges use 6 volt with a 12 volt system [Re: FriedGreenTmater]
Tiny Online
Registered: Sat Aug 06 2005 12:00 PM
Posts: 9883
Loc: South Central Kansas
My one experience with converting a 6v vehicle to 12v was a LONG time ago when I bought a 55.1 Chevy panel truck. I did the usual changing of the coil & bulbs but I never put a resistor on the gas gauge (never occurred to me that I needed to). In over 100000 miles I put on the truck after the conversion I never had an issue with the gas gauge not working right. It certainly won't hurt if you do put one on the truck and in actuality it's probably a good idea, but my experience is that the world won't end if you don't.
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#682902 - Sun Oct 03 2010 03:56 PM Re: 1951 Gauges use 6 volt with a 12 volt system [Re: Tiny]
52Dave3600 Offline
Wrench Fetcher
Registered: Sat Oct 18 2008 07:43 PM
Posts: 58
Loc: Renton, WA
I'll give ya'll a little secret I figured out years ago. My first vehicle was a 53 Chev 3100 in 1990.

Here's how you make the gas gauge 100% accurate on 12 volt. Converting to 12V from 6V doesn't require a resistor. IF you don't believe me, remove the fuel sender after you install a resistor in the sender to gauge line. Move the tank sender up and down and it'll be innacurate.

SO, do this. Cut the sender line under the dash. Temporarily install a very small light bulb (like another instrument panel bulb). Operate the sender up and down. You may have to try a few different bulbs until you find one that is 100% accurate. This will work. You will actually notice the bulb will glow a little. It won't fully light up. It's the only thing I found to actually work. Solder the wires to the lightbulb in series with the sender wire when you find one that makes the gauge read E when down and F when up. Reinstall the sender in the tank.

One word of CAUTION. When the gauge reads E, you are not low on gas. YOU ARE OUT!! NO JOKE. Ask my sister. She had to help me push the truck into a gas station.
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