Join Our Ford Truck Forum Today

Document your Ford truck project here and inspire others! Login/Register to view the site with fewer ads.

6V battery dies when starting

6v or 12 v

I an at a crossroads and am looking for your input. I have had my 52 F3 running on and off over the past ten years but lately it has not been running and I seem to have an issue with the 6v batteries I have bought failing. They get to the point where they won't hold a charge and they also don't seem to last long when I am trying to get my truck running again. That usually results in a lot of starting attempts and therefore a lot of cranking. Even the new battery I bought, when fully charged,would only give me maybe 7 or 8 tries before the starter would crank slowly and ultimately quit.

All that said, before I get another battery, I am seriously considering switching over to 12 volts. I know that will require an alternator, coil, solenoid, 12v lamps, regulator, etc.

What are your thoughts? I welcome feedback from those who have switched and those that have not. How hard was it? Any unforeseen issues? Is it worth the parts cost and effort? Keep in mind that I am a weekend wrencher and electrical gremlins are my least favorite type of problem.
Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom.


Tin bender
I stayed with 6V on my truck. Your starter may be dragging causing it to crank slow and drain all of your power. Battery cable size and quality of grounds are very important on a 6V system. Also if your fuel pump is weak it will take a lot of cranking to get the gas up to the carb.

Combine any of the above and starting can be miserable.....

I added a 6V electric fuel pump to mine, and with a rebuilt starter, it starts on the first turn. Every time. So I don't really see it as a 6V vs 12V issue....has more to do with the condition of all the components.

Tell us more about your truck though.......all stock? V8 or six cyl? How good is the wiring harness?
Post some pics too.....
Good thoughts. I had the starter rebuilt about two years ago. I bought 2 ought welding cable and cut them to size for battery cables. The positive ground location was a pain to get to so I wire-wheeled a nice clean spot on my radiator mount. When I've had her dialed in, she starts with the touch of the button. The issue seems to be if I forget to start her up for a couple of weeks and I need to crank on it that the battery seems to give up the ghost. I have all of my trucks vital stats in my first post to the forum as well as the story of how I tracked it down.
Thanks for the reply.


The Token Canadian
Staff member
Any lead/acid battery will self might want to consider a Battery Tender (Deltron) if your truck sits regularly.


Tin bender
The positive ground location was a pain to get to so I wire-wheeled a nice clean spot on my radiator mount.
You might want to try grounding directly to the frame or engine. The rad support is mounted on a rubber pad if I recall. Might be OK, but might be a poor ground too.
If your charging system is working right, there really isn't any reason it should use up a battery......I get at least 3-4 years out of the cheap 6V batteries I use.

Switching to 12V would probably cure most all of your problems......simply because you would be adding all new components.

Ford Truck Articles

Recent Forum Posts