12 volt conversion for a 54 Chevy

Parts List

  1. 12 volt battery
  2. Remanufactured Alternator AC Delco 1#1979865
  3. DA Plug Try NAPA or Patrick's has a real nice one
  4. 12 volt coil AC Delco 1#12337166 (not internally resisted)
  5. 12 volt coil resistor 1 #12336832 or NAPA ICR13 or standard Ignition VRC 604
  6. 12 volt horn relay
  7. (2) 7 inch headlights
  8. Fuel Gauge Reducer NAPA IR4 or NCA #2143
  9. (3) voltage reducers for accessories (1 for heater, 2 for radio) NAPA VT6187
  10. (4) bulbs for taillights and parking lights #1157s for those of you that want something real trick, your Harley dealers makes HD ones of these and you can also get them in LED for super bright applications
  11. (2) bulbs for backup lights #1156
  12. (7) Glove Box (1), Speedo (2), Instruments (2), Turn Signals (2) Bulbs #1895
  13. (2) Bulbs for high beam (1) and ignition switch (1) #53
  14. (1) Bulb for radio #1893
  15. (2) Bulbs for clock (1) and license plate (1) #97
  16. (1) Bulb for dome light in sedans# or 2 in HT #90
  17. (1) 12 volt Flasher Unit #550
  18. A handful ring terminals I think 9, but maybe more
  19. A roll of electrical tape
  20. Alternator Brackets, Look around they’re about $50 wherever you find them, Patrick's, Langdon's, Obsolete Chevy. It’s not rocket science to make one of these things, I may have to go into business myself.
  21. Fan Belt. You might be able to use your original, you won’t know this until the end. Save the till last.
  22. A 53 Chevy should be very similar to the above.

Okay so that is the parts list. I bought the $350 kit from the NCA. It costs way too much, but this way the first time I did it and it comes with instructions. Use my parts list and the instructions I give you and you’ll save a lot of money.

It took me less than 3 hours during a regular business day answering phones, talking to customers and I made 3 trips to the Auto Parts Store.

Tool List

  1. Phillips head screwdriver
  2. Flat head screwdriver
  3. Wire cutters
  4. Crimping tool
  5. 10mm wrench
  6. 1/4" wrench
  7. 3/16" wrench
  8. 5/16" wrench
  9. 3/8" wrench
  10. 1/2" wrench
  11. 9/16" wrench
  12. some of these wrenches may not be needed or you may need more, it depends on what some knucklehead used the last time your car was worked on.

I work on motorcycles, so here are a few hints that I think will be well worth your time, follow my instructions in order and it will be a lot easier. Also, this will allow anyone that wants to return to 6 volt a nice way of doing it with only 3 wires being spliced during the whole process (you can do it with only 1 splice if you have extra wire for the radio and heater)


  1. Disconnect the battery
  2. Replace outside lights
  3. Replace interior lights and Flasher (just reach under the dash, there is no need to remove a thing)
  4. Dome light
  5. Glove Box
  6. Flasher Unit
  7. Speedo lights (grey wires) and high beams (green)
  8. Ignition Switch Bulb (gray)
  9. Instrument Bulbs (gray)
  10. Turn signals (Blue/Black Purple/Black)
  11. Radio Bulb
  12. Replace headlight bulbs
  13. Replace parking light bulbs
  14. Replace tail lights, back up lamps and license plate bulbs
  15. Install Fuel Gauge Reducer. If you bought one from NCA, it has real nice instructions and parts, else, its pretty easy. Connect the 2 pink wires with a fuse on the end to one side of the reducer, connect the other side of the reducer to the terminal on the gauge of which the fuse came off using a 3/8" wrench.
  16. Install a reducer ahead of the heater switch (your switch has a bulb in it, you will blow it if you put the reducer between the switch and the motor)
  17. Install 2 reducers in series ahead of the radio
  18. Swap out the horn relay
  19. Swap out the coil
  20. Mount the ballast resistor to the firewall and wire it in serious on the + side of the coil.
  21. Remove the F wire from the generator and fold it back onto the wiring harness
  22. Remove the F wire from the voltage regulator and fold it back onto the wiring harness
  23. Connect the 2 wires left on the voltage regulator to each other using a nut and bolt and make sure they are insulated with electrical tape. You can splice them together, but then it will be harder to return it to original.
  24. Remove the voltage regulator from the firewall
  25. Remove the Generator and the lower generator bracket from the motor (my kit came with a new upper alternator bracket that was superfluous.)
  26. Plug the DA connector into the alternator.
  27. Disconnect the wire from the A post on the generator and connect it to the BAT post on the alternator along with the red DA plug wire.
  28. Run the white or yellow DA plug back through the firewall to the ignition switch and hook it up to the IGN post.
  29. Use black electrical tape to wrap the harness where the ugly white or yellow wire runs through the firewall and cover up the F wire from the generator
  30. Connect the battery and you are done. Start up the car and SMILE.

Note: the indicator lights on my dash are always on. The turn signals function properly.

Contributed by Bob Hayden

Other Miscellaneous Info

More Old Online Chevy Manuals

Please Report any Broken Links or Pages that do not load properly.  Webmaster

This Information is for Research and the Promotion of the Preservation of Older Chevys

All Names, Trademarks and Logos Belong to their Respective Owners.

Web Space Provided by

Nedstat Basic - Free web site statistics