View original topic: 66 Bug 6 to 12 Volt starter question
Billyzack Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:24 am

I just purchased a 66 Bug and the previous owner coverted it to 12 Volts but it still has the 6 Volt starter. It starts bit is quite noisy and he told me there is a starter or bushig or something that is made for a VW Thing that will make it work better. Is it correct to keep the 6Volt starter or should I change it? If I change it, what do I change it to since the 66's were 6 volt? Will newer years work? Thanks in advance, Billyzack in Phoenix

Jody '71 Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:42 am

I may not be correct here, but with the 6V starter used with a 12V system, the starter gears chews up the flywheel teeth. Thats probably the noise you're hearing, the gearing on the 6V starter gear doesn't match the 200m flywheel and spins much faster than with 12V. Take the 6V starter out and remove the bushing in the trans bellhousing. Put you an autostick starter in there, they don't need bushings. I think, but not sure. The PO was probably refering to that, not sure if a Thing starter will work. I also believe there's a 12V starter available now in 6V configuration, but that wouldn't be usable if you have a 200mm flywheel. It all depends on how the 6 to 12V change was made on your '66. Stock '66's had 180mm flywheels.

60ragtop Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:46 am

What size engine? He prolly left the 6 volt flywheel on it also. You need to pull off the starter and check the teeth on the flywheel to see if they are chewed up

Billyzack Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:11 am

The previous owner said the original engie is in the car, a 1300cc. Where would I go to find a correct starter before I destroy the flywheel? Thanks, BZ

Glenn Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:14 am

This guy sells 6 volt starters that use the 180mm flywheel and are converted to run at 12 volts.

That's the best answer.

79SuperVert Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:18 am

I had a 65 Beetle that was converted to 12 volts but still had the 6 volt starter. As long as the engine was in tune it started up fine. It's when you have to crank the engine a lot to start that the 6 volt starter will get damaged by having 12 volts going through it. I think the reason people leave the 6 volt starter in place when converting to 12 volts is so they can continue to use the old flywheel and avoid taking the engine out to change the flywheel. If the flywheel had been changed I don't think the 6 volt starter could be used any more because of the difference in gear teeth.

Stretch32 Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:28 am

I have a '66 bug converted to 12V's using a 6V starter. The only mod I have was the installation of a 12V starter solenoid to the 6V starter motor to keep it from engaging so hard. It's been on the car 5 yrs or so and works great. As long as the 180mm 6V flywheel is still on the engine like mentioned above I think you shouldn't have problems.


Billyzack Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:34 am

I see a starter bushing on some of the VW parts sites that say "bushing will allow 12 Volt starter to work on 6 volt transmission. The bushing is around $4.00. What is that for and will that fix my problem? Thanks, Billyzack

60ragtop Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:53 am

No you prolly need more than the bushing. If it is a 6 volt starter still you need to pull it and look at the teeth on the flywheel, if they are good, check out the starter Glenn linked to.
The 6 volt and 12 volt flywheels ring gear and starter bendix have a different # of teeth and are not compatible. :cry:

lovethatconvertible Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:45 am

I'm using the Hybrid Starter that Glenn referred to above and love it!

Jody '71 Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:36 am

Well, if indeed you still have a 180mm flywheel on there and a 6V starter, and that it was re-wired for 12V without making any of the modifications, your flywheel may still be ok. Only way to tell is to pull the starter, look at the gear teeth, and get in there with a good flashlight and have someone roll the engine around while you're looking at the flywheel teeth. You could always pull the engine for a more closer look at the flywheel.

Billyzack Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:26 pm

Thanks for all the help everyone. I have a related question. The lights work in this car but the wipers don't work and the fuel gauge is missing. Questions: Will the wipers run on 12 volts or do I eed to get another motor and as far as the fuel gauge, same question, I assume there must me some kind of voltsge reducer or something but again I am lost. I am happy to see there are not a lot of accessories on these cars but I would like to get the ones it has working. Thanks, Billyzack

60ragtop Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:00 pm

66 should have mechanical gas gauge. And you need to see if the wiper has been switched to 12 V, prolly not.

Jody '71 Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:07 am

Go up above and click on the sticky FAQ's, then click on 6V to 12V. A wealth of information regarding what is required for the conversion. See if you can find a suitable gas gauge assembly in the classifieds.

puttin slow Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:51 am

same thing for me. I bought a 66 about 10 years back. It had been sitting for 17 years. It had a 1776 with a 180mm flywheel and a 6 volt starter. The car was 12 volt. Starter went out and I had no idea that the flywheel was still small and tried to install a 12 volt starter. Didn't work. Pulled the motor, grinded the bellhousing down and the grease caught on fire and had to grab the extinguisher...... anyway... put a 200mm flywheel and was satisfied. good times

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