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  • '49 dash lights

    I sure appreciate all the info in the various threads concerning the fluorescent dash gauges. Seems like a simple question, but can anyone tell me the best way to remove the black bullet shaped glass in the instrument? I just installed an NOS speedometer in my 49 Champion. I was hoping that the dash lights would glow with the BA9SF-UV-12VAC led white bulbs that I got from Superbright, but no dice. Looks like I will need to remove the black lenses. I tried this on my old beat up speedometer, just used a small very sharp pick and gently hammered (rubber hammer) until they broke. I am kind of afraid that I will screw up in some way the NOS speedometer (not cheap but looks and works great) if I do the same thing to it and I do not want to pry it apart to get at the black lenses.

    Anyone know a magic way of doing this without using semi-brute force? Thanks so much for your help.

  • #2
    I just completed this on my 51 Champion. The lenses were removed by prying the little tabs and the lenses fell out.

    I used the 6VAC warm white LEDs from superbrightleds. They made too much light, so I cut small round pieces of aluminum tape and stuck it on the face of the LEDs so a small amount of light emits from the sides of the LED.

    It worked perfect and illuminates the cluster nicely

    The turn signal and high beam indicators had colored lenses that had fallen off. I used the same method of blocking the light on the red and green LEDS and that worked out good.

    I would suggest using a 6 or 12 volt battery to try the LEDs out in your cluster in a semi-dark room.

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    • #3
      I just did this on my 51 Commander. Like they said the globes just pry of easily. I used regular bulbs to back light the gauges. It works great. I have a rheostat from a Metropolitan heater that has a knob that looks the same. I have blank holes in the dash so I hooked lights through this switch to dim the lights.
      51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
      53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
      62 Volvo PV544 Sport

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