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1942 DeSoto wouldn't start  

Eminent Member

DD quit starting ten days ago. I tried everything. Almost. Two (used) replacement batteries, jumper cables, charging the battery night after night. One time--I think it was Thursday--she actually cranked over--uh, uh, uh--then nothing.

So night before last I bought a new 6-volt battery from Auto Zone--$99. Installed it. She started right up.

Then yesterday morning I drove her up to the shop (appropriately named Brea Auto Electric). Doug, the owner, fiddled around a little, and then told me that the battery connections weren't very solid. He took them off, cleaned them up, removed a special connect-disconnect gadget on the negative post, put it all back together. And--voila!! She starts better than she ever did, nice a solid starts after only one crank. Wow. All of those things I have read on this forum about how well 6 volt batteries work if you just check the connections, have decent (0 gauge?) battery cables, etc. They are all true. Easy, peasy.

Still, I prefer the 12-volt conversions on my other old Mopars. Never a problem. But, for DD, for now: 6-volt connections rock.

Posted : June 1, 2018 4:05 am
Estimable Member


Glad to find out that you got DD running again. Perhpas you can write up an article about this for the club's magazine with a few photos too. This could be one of those Lessons Learned articles that should be helpful to our members.

Bill Noble

Posted : June 2, 2018 8:43 pm
Estimable Member

I am one of the ones saying 6 volt batteries will do the job just fine... if you make sure your connections and cables, and of course the battery are good... if you think about it, its not different than a 12 volt battery in that case.

I don't see the point in "changing" the car to 12 volt when the 6 volt system has worked for all these years. For me, I just try my best not to modify unless I have no other choice. Its too easy to fix the 6 volt system than to go though all the trouble to change over to 12 volt in my opinion.

Either way, I am glad you got it up and running with major expense! Enjoy!

Dean Mullinax
1941 DeSoto Deluxe 2 Door Sedan
It's Delightful, It's DeLovely, It's DeSoto!

Posted : June 3, 2018 6:34 pm