View Full Version : pos or neg ground??

John ED Renstrom
04-19-2010, 03:30 PM
before the get a book comes out I got one it doesn't say. I'm figuring if it doesn't say it neg ground. but my buddy and I got to discussing weather the 53 poncho is pos pr neg ground. it seemed to me that all the gms were neg ground. anyone know for sure. but we got brakes on it now

Joe Melanson
04-19-2010, 03:32 PM
Mine is negative grnd

Paul Steinberg
04-19-2010, 03:34 PM
negative ground.. Don't forget to polarize the generator if it hasn't had a battery in it for may years...

Mike McDonald
04-19-2010, 07:23 PM
Although there are probably others.... the ONLY Positive Ground Vehicles I have EVER been around in the past 40 years are Older Model White Freightliner Trucks.... that always required expensive heavy duty convertors to run otherwise normal flashing lights, two way radios etc. MM

Dana Bennett
04-19-2010, 08:23 PM
I have been wondering about older cars and thought that they might be like my '52 Ford 8N tractor, 6 volt battery with a positive ground.

Paul Steinberg
04-19-2010, 08:46 PM
I found this list on the Internet, but I can't speak to its accuracy.. I do have some very old books that give the specifications for cars of the 1920's to the early 1940's if anyone wants to know about a particular make...

1930 : positive ground -
Auburn, Cadillac, Chrysler, DeSoto 8, Dodge, Erskine, Ford, Graham, Hupmobile, LaSalle, Nash (except 6-450), Packard, Studebaker, Willys, Willys-Knight

1930 : negative ground -
Buick, Chevrolet, DeSoto 6 (switched to positive 1931), Durant, Essex, Hudson (switched to positive 1934), Marquette, Nash (6-450), Oakland, Oldsmobile, Plymouth (switched to positive in 1931), Pontiac, Reo

1950 : positive ground -
Chrysler, Crosley, DeSoto, Dodge, Ford, Frazer, Hudson, Kaiser, Lincoln, Mercury, Meteor, Monarch, Nash, Packard, Plymouth, Studebaker, Plymouth
British - Austin, Ford, Hillman, Humber, Jaguar, MG, Morris, Riley, Rover, Standard, Sunbeam-Talbot, Triumph, Vauxhall

1950 : negative ground -
Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Willys

1965 : positive ground -
Austin, Datsun, Envoy, Ford (GB), Hillman, Humber, Jaguar, MG, Morris, Riley, Rover, Singer, Sunbeam, Triumph, Vauxhall

1965 : negative ground -
Acadian, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Checker, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Ford (German), Honda, Isuzu, Imperial, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, Meteor, NSU, Oldsmobile, Opel, Peugeot, Plymouth, Pontiac, Porsche, Rambler, Renault, Simca, Skoda, Studebaker, Toyota, Valiant, Volkswagen, Volvo

The last of the positive ground cars switched to negative -
Austin - started switch in 1971
Datsun - 1966
Envoy - 1967
Ford (GB) - 1967
Hillman - 1966
Humber - 1966
Jaguar - 1967 to 1969
MG - 1969
Morris - dropped
Riley - dropped
Rover - 1969
Singer - 1966
Sunbeam - 1966
Triumph - 1967
Vauxhall - 1967

Bill Leverett
04-19-2010, 09:13 PM
My '53 Pontiac (based on the Chieftan) is a negative ground.


Jim Tighe - Deceased 1942 - 2012
04-19-2010, 09:24 PM
The 1955 Packard is a real oddity, in that it is 12 volt, but pos. grnd. Most cars switched from 6 v, pos to 12 v, neg all at once, but Packard kept the pos grnd set up on the '55 V-8's. It is in the Packard lore that many a '55 has been pulled from a barn, given a new battery, but runs like crap 'cause the battery is put in backwards. No one guesses the pos grnd feature. The '56 is the only 12 v, neg grnd Packard. Unfortunately, there were no '55-'56 Pro Car Packards, as Henney folded in '54. I have always thought it would be neat to put a Henney Junior on a '55 or'56 Torsion-Level chassis from a Patrician or 400, as the whlbases are the same.

John ED Renstrom
04-20-2010, 01:18 AM
I ordered one of the reprint off e-bay that covers 52 to 54. they show all the electrical set up but not to or from the battery and there is no mention of ground. most of all the manuals that cover pos ground state it a lot. this one has a dead battery that doesn't fit that is hooked up neg ground. I knew my 53 new yorker was a pos ground system. the owners manual stated that a number of times but I though all gm were neg ground. so Paul's book has some truth to it. but as usual for me what ever I find is not in the book :yum: thanks again Bill we'll hook ours up the same as yours .