Old Car Electrical

There are several upgrades that you can add to make your classic car or truck a little more modern.

old car electrical

Read: Add Turn Signals To An Old Car


6 Volt to 12 Volt Conversion

You may consider upgrading to a 12 volt system if you're adding power accessories such as an aftermarket radio and amplifier, electric cooling fan, power windows or power seats, halogen headlights, or LED tail lights. If not, a 6-volt system in good shape should continue getting the job done.

6 volt to 12 volt conversion

Read: Convert 6-Volt Car To 12-Volts


One-wire alternators are popular when converting an old car or truck from 6-volts to 12-volts. They can also be used to replace a generator in an old car or truck.

install one-wire alternator

Read: Install A One-Wire Alternator


Points vs Electronic Ignition

A large majority of classic cars have a points/condenser ignition system, which is easy to understand and diagnose. The contact breaker is mechanically operated by an engine-driven cam.

points vs electronic ignition

Read: Old Car Ignition

When in proper working order, a points ignition system works very well and should give 10,000 to 15,000 miles of service. For a classic car that gets driven a 1,000 miles a year, that's a pretty trouble-free system. Yet, some owners choose to convert to a non-stock electronic ignition system.

Read: Points vs Electronic Ignition


Positive Ground Cars

Electricity in a car travels in a circle. Power leaves the battery from one terminal, passes through components (lights, horn, coil, etc.) and ends up back to the battery on the opposite terminal. It doesn't care which way it goes.

positive ground cars

Read: Positive-Ground Electrical Systems


Multimeters are inexpensive and allow you to perform many electrical tests.

best digital multimeter for automotive

Shop: Digital Multimeter


old car electrical reapir and diagnosis

Read: Solder or Crimp Wires?


Wire crimp connectors do not require soldering and are an easy method for repairing broken wires.

insulated wire crimp terminals

Heat shrink tubing protects electrical connections.

heat shrink tube for automotive

Shop: Heat Shrink Tubing

The heat shrink tubing reduces in size and adheres to the wire.

After crimping the terminals on with crimping pliers, apply heat with a lighter while rotating the connector.


Heat Shrink Connectors

There are also solderless crimp connectors with heat shrink tubing already attached to them.

heat shrink spade end electrical connector kit

Shop: Heat Shrink Terminals

best wire crimping tool

Shop: Crimping Pliers


Having a battery jump pack with you when traveling means never getting stranded with a dead car battery. They're also handy for motorcycles, ATV's, lawn tractors...any vehicle that doesn't get driven regularly.

Noco boost plus battery jump pack

Read: Battery Jump Pack Review