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Thread: Ready to start to work; are points and condenser voltage specific?

  1. #1
    Member Nemo von Klepper's Avatar
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    Ready to start to work; are points and condenser voltage specific?

    '54 CJ3B

    This is a project that has been waiting to get started forever. I had the jeep on my mom's farm in Colorado where it sat after the engine seized one hay season while I am in western Oregon. I wasn't really sure how I was going to get it over, short of paying for car transportation, but then a friend was hauling an empty horse trailer out and offered to bring it for half the fuel. Deal!

    So now I have the jeep here finally. I had a used engine put in while it was in Colorado, but there is still a laundry list. The mechanic that swapped the engine got it running two years ago, but told me I'll need a new carb and starter to begin with. When I unloaded it off the horse trailer I noticed I'd probably have to rebuild the brake master cylinder too.

    I have to do this all while flying under my wife's radar. She'll be fine once it's road worthy and I can use it for runs to the dump and Home Depot; it's just getting it there. So small monthly projects until I'm ready to fire it up.

    The jeep is currently a mixed 6V 12V system. One of the ways I intend to keep costs down for now is rehabilitate the electrical system to where it was when the engine siezed. The new starter will be 12V obviously.

    The only thing left is the ignition system. It seems the ignition system was too hot before and burnt up the points too quickly. I'll check the coil, but are the condenser and points voltage specific? Other than the afore mentioned, any other voltage specific ignition components I should be aware of?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    You would be surprised to find out that the 6 volt starter handles 12 volts fairly well. Most of the time, unless the starter is just that bad off, that most people that do a conversion do not bother to change out the starter. Kaiser Willys does offer a replacement, 12 volt gear reduction starter, but the price isn't exactly budget friendly. A local starter/electric motor shop can usually tune your unit up for a fraction of the price.

    Alternator: A GM 1 one wire alternator would be easy to wire into your harness. Type in Google for instructions. The CJ2A forum had covered it a while back. There are adapter brackets available for converting the mounts for the alternator.

    Ignition: change out the 6 volt coil to a 12 volt coil. Points will take the increase in voltage, but for the money, add a new condenser. (I re-read your post, the F134 came with both 6 and 12 volts in the later models. you may want to purchase the points for the 12 volt unit. Points usually do not burn up unless the ignition key is left on, without the engine running).

    Lights: Change out the 6 volt bulbs, and replace with 12 volt units. If you don't, you will have to soon after turning the lights on.

  3. #3
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    I have one question - or possibly a suggestion with the coil. My CJ2a is wired with a 6V coil on a 12V system. There is a resistor in line with the coil to drop the voltage to 6V when it is running but it gets 12V from the starter solenoid during cranking to compensate for low voltage during cranking and give a big fat spark when you are trying to start. This was a common setup in Britain maybe back in the 70s.
    Thoughts on this?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    It was used on MOPAR vehicles in the 1970's also. My Dodge Aspen would crank and start but then die when I turned the key loose and let it go to ON. In their scheme, they used a 6-volt coil with a bypassed resistor for starting. An open resistor was not uncommon, I think I paid someone to replace it the first time and then did it myself twice more.

    Not a bad scheme.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Chrysler was natorious for the ballast resistor. When I used big block molars in my derby cars, the resistors were pulled with the rest of the wiring. I never had a coil crap out, but did have a heavier duty GM unit later on.

  6. #6
    Member Nemo von Klepper's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your replies. I managed to get the alternator mounted. The started is shot, so I'm told, so I'm sending it out to be rebuilt. I've checked over the wiring and everything seems to be as intact as it was the last time I drove it. I've rebuilt the carburetor.
    Following guidance on another thread about starting up a long idle jeep, I've decided to rein in my impatience a little. I'm going to thoroughly check fluids in the engine and transmission, plan to run some engine cleaning oil through the system with a couple filter changes, then I'll start addressing things like the fuel lines and brakes.

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