Many Willys Jeep restorers wonder if they should change their vehicle from 6v to 12v because they’re unsure if their Jeeps will start on 6v.
That’s understandable but one very important thing to remember is that 6v was originally in automobiles up until the mid 1950s. Older vehicles/Willys Jeeps WILL start just fine by keeping it at a 6v but if you find that your vehicle won’t, there’s a good chance that there’s something else going on. Most likely, the starter is worn out, the battery cables are shot, or someone replaced the cables with thin 12v ones and they just aren’t big enough to pull the amperage to turn to the starter over.
If everything is working smoothly – the starter is rebuilt, the cables are working properly, and you have a good wiring harness – then the 6v start just fine. It might be a little slower than a 12v would but it still starts. Honestly, I have 6v on most of my Willys Jeeps and I don’t have trouble with it. They’ll sit for a few months but if I pump the gas then they’ll start up.
Now, if there is a v8 engine into your Willys Jeep then we’d recommend you switch to a 12v. Also, if you’re planning on putting a lot of off-road lights, accessories, or even a stereo, go to a 12v.
Really, the switch is completely up to you. You can do whatever you desire but it’s not a necessary switch. If you want to keep it stock, you can keep it a 6v and it will work fine, as long as everything else is also working properly.
Myself? Well, I like keeping my vehicle original but then again, I’m a history buff and prefer to keep things the way they were when they were made.