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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got a question about my '51 Panhead winter project.
When I bought it, the seller told me that it had been converted to 12V. I never bothered to check, rode it for 3 weeks, then took it apart.
Now I'm putting everything back together and found out that the generator is actually 6V.
Would it make sense to convert to 12V? What are the advantages/disadvantages?
Tips and opinions welcome...

Thanks,
-Marc
 

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It depends on what you want in the end. If it's a resto it needs to be all origonal 6 volt and all. The lights aren't as bright on a 6 volt and finding anything electrical on the road is a pain but that's about all. To go 12 volt you'll need; battery, coil, generator, regulator and all the bulbs. 12 volt battries in the stock horseshoe oil tank are a pain, you either run little square ones that need replacing yearly if you ride a lot, or cobbed jap bike battries that dont fit well (the vent tube is in the way) and leak acid on your oil tank. The 12 volt generator is basicly a 12v sportster unit and you can run either electronic or old style regulators, Iv'e run both. I have a VW Bosch regulator now but ran a "Franks" electronic unit that attached to the ead of generatod for about 10 years untill it died. Your lights are a lot brighter and stuff is easier to find on the road. If it still has the origonal cloth covered wireing that should be changed also if the covering is brittle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the info. It's not a resto, so originality is not an argument.
The brighter light and being able to find universal 12V parts on the road are good reasons to move to 12V.

I was going to replace all the cables anyhow and I'm not going to use the horseshoe tank, so I can overcome the bigger battery and some other wires.
I also like the "Franks" type regulator because that will save me some wires and a 'box' that I need to place somewhere.

Will the sparks also be 'stronger'? My carb was not really set up properly, but I've been kickstarting myself nearly to death when the engine was hot...
If that will also improve, I think I'll go for a 12V system.

-Marc
 

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Knukkel said:
Thanks for the info. It's not a resto, so originality is not an argument.

You could use a dry cell like a YUASA YTZ14S. There is no vent to deal with, and you can orient it however it suits you.

Bill
 

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The spark will be stronger, but your hard starting when hot is a symptom of another problem. Does it start good cold? If not the timing can be off. If it starts good, then you could have a weak coil. Does it have good spark at the plugs when hot? If the spark is good, you could have the float level too high flooding the bike and making it hard to start. When hot you should be able to retard the spark, turn the throttle to idle, leave the throttle alone, kick it and it should start first kick or by the third at most. Iv'e won a lot of Beers with the one kick when hot trick. It should also start within three kicke (after primed) when cold if everything is right. Unfortunately I can't seem to leave my throttle alone and screw up the starting procedure a lot. One of my old riding partners carried a little billy club on his bike for cars. When I would try going for the throttle when hot starting he used to pop me with it and the bike always started up just fine. It gave everybody quite a laugh.
 
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