Hey all, I am new to air cooled VWs and I need some help. I recently picked up a 1961 Volkswagen manx buggy. I found out in my quest to replace the starter that these old cars are 6 volt, but can be upgraded to 12 volt. Is there anyway to know if they update has been done. Everything on the motor looks stock, but for some reason the previous owner (because he isn't that bright) has been running a 12 volt battery on it. Recently the starter stopped working, hence the replacement. So I ordered a new starter (6 volt, as normal) and plan on installing it and replacing the battery with a correct 6. Is there anyway to tell that it is still 6 volt?

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You might want to look over the voltage regulator as it should be stamped with a 12V or a 6V, also if your lights were working (and had been for a while) they are more than likely 12V. Bad things happen when you just put a 12V battery in a 6V system, dash lights go out... poof right away! and those that don't (head lights,tail lights etc) burn extra extra bright! the starter is one of those things that are strong enough to take the extra load(as long as you don't crank forever) with out to much problems. I have a 6V starter in my 66 Ghia that is converted to 12V. I use it as a high torque starter for the engine I run. You might want to look the system over, check the bulbs (as I said) the radio and wipers (if it's 6V check for a drop down resister) and other things that run off the battery are they 12V or 6V this should give you an idea of what you have.  
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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Yes I agree...
it sounds like Your car has been switched to 12 volts...
as olspeed said, You can't just add a 12 volt battery to a car.
all the lights etc need to be changed over
plus the coil and generator..
and You cannot just fit a 12 volt starter motor to a 6 volt engine... the flywheel teeth are starter motor pinion are different sizes
so You would need to change the clutch and flywheel to a 12 volt one.. You would have a 180mm clutch now [6 volt]
and the later 12 volt ones were 200mm..
You also need to change the starter motor bushing
plus grind some metal out of the bellhousing for the 200mm flywheel to fit..
If You are going to buy a New starter motor
then buy a 6 volt one..
make sure you grease the end of the starter motor shaft with lithium based moly grease.. and a bit on the shaft the pinion spins on..
If Your engine starts first go all of the time You will get many years out of your 6 v starter motor..
the condenser doesn't need to be changed.. 6 or 12v.

Lee Noonan
68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

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