View Full Version : Dash lights

04-02-2005, 02:01 PM
I'm working on a 1950 studebaker champion for my boss, and I was wondering how are the four dash lights supposed to work that are inside the speedo...they are burning but you cant see them light up do to them being behind the chrome trim ring that goes over the speedo , they're inside the chrome ring...

04-02-2005, 08:09 PM
I think that uses "black lights" to make the printed numbers fluoresce... there should be little purple bulb shields or something in there that block most of the light... try it when it's dark and see what happens


55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop

04-02-2005, 09:07 PM
As Nate says, the bulbs are in purple filters that make them sorta like black lites. The REAL key tho, is the raduim-based paint that was used to make the numbers on the instruments. This stuff glows in response to the lite that makes it thru the filters. This paint sorta "dies out" with age. When it does so, it no longer flouresces in response to the lite's dim output. Consequently, it looks as tho the lites aren't working - but they likely are.;)
You can buy a modern (non-radioactive) paint to duplicate the stuff Stude used. It glows nicely.[:I]

Miscreant at large.

04-03-2005, 12:26 AM
Mr Biggs, That sounds like the same paint that was used by the wristwatch company, don't ask me which one. I've got a mind like a steel seive! I seem to recall though that they had a lot of cancer problems. Kevin in the Stoogebaker

1963 Champ

Peter in London
04-03-2005, 03:46 AM
I think it was in NJ somewhere. I believe that eventually ALL the women who worked there died of radiation induced illnesses. They needed a fine point to their brush to paint the clock dials and pointed the brushes with their mouths, so many got mouth and throat cancers. Horrible.


04-03-2005, 10:38 AM
That's true. The paint wasn't that dangerous in it's intended role. But it was a danger to the folks handling it during it's use in manufacturing.
The new-age luminescent paint is not radioactive.:)

Miscreant at large.

04-04-2005, 08:15 PM
can these purple filters u speak of be removed to make the light of a new 6 volt or 12 volt bulb flow into the gauges to be seen better

cause im experiencing the same problem and thought maybe my bulbs were not getting a good enough ground to make them work

what other tricks can be done to get light in there

i myself dont care to much about whats stock and whats not cause im going street rod with mine but i do wanna use the original guages cause they all work and im kinda geting on a shoe string budget as i get closer to the end of this project [:I]

04-08-2005, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the info guys , I told my boss about the things you all told me....we'll probly leave it like it is do to the wires being bad and falling apart behind the dash...