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Old 09-18-2012, 07:32 AM
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6V/12V hybrid electrical system

Hey Yall!

My Trabant 601 is destined to arrive sometime this afternoon or tommorrow morning. For those of you not familiar with this car, it was made in East Germany up until 1990.

Trabant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here is mine:

So why would be a Ford and Fiat enthusiast want with one these? Well I'm weird that's all I can say.

Anyway this was the last car made with a 6 volt electrical system. They did goto a 12 volt system in 1984 when the added the rear window defroster system as a standard feature (so I'm told).

Supposably the 6 volt system works OK however this means finding certain devices to run on 6 volts is a problem. Such as H4 headlamps, H3 fog lights and of course a radio and a power point for recharging cell phones.

What I was wondering was if I could install an ignition ballast resistor between a 12 volt alternator and the junction where the circuits connect which would either be the fuse box or the ignition switch.

Where the alternator connects to the ballast resistor, I could run those wires to the head and fog lights relays and the radio.

Three questions:

1) Has anyone ever done or tried this before?
2) How much would the ballast resistor drop the voltage down to? 8 volts? Would this be too harsh on 6 volt bulbs and the wiper motor?
3) Could a ballast resistor handle that much current to run headlamps?
4) Would 6 volts be enough to engage a 12 volt relay? So I'd use 6 volts from the headlamp switch to engage the electromagnetic in the relay but 12 volts would be connected to the terminal 30 (B) and complete the circuit.

I realize you can buy 6 to 12 volt inverters to run 12 volt radios but they are pricey ($160 cheapest I found) and only produce about 5 watts. Not enough to run headlamps on.

Just wondering if this is a practical solution.
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