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  • Instrument Lights

    I finally got around to installing the new dash overlay in my GT. Tedious work taking out and reinstalling the gauges. Once complete all gauges work without issue, except the instrument lights. I swear I ahve checked the connections, grounds, etc a million times. maybe I am missing something simple. Anyone got any suggestions? it's possible with all the in and out work a ground got loose, but figured I'd post and see if I am missing anything else.


  • #2
    Is a GT similar to an earlier Hawk? You need to turn on the headlights or parking lights to get instrument lights. Check your headlight switch, if it is anyhting like the 56J there is one wire that feeds the panel lights. Also check the wiring of the switches. Did you buy a replacement headlight switch? Some guys have claimed that some replacemnt headlight switches don't exactly match the originals.

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    • #3
      Each dash light is individually grounded. If none of them work, I'd check the wireing to the headlight switch. Does it go through a rheostat or panel light switch first?
      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      '33 Rockne 10,
      '51 Commander Starlight,
      '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
      '56 Sky Hawk

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      • #4
        Dumb question, but with each of them individually grounded, if one is "unplugged" will the others go out? Only reason I ask, it seems since they are all on the same circuit I had one unplugged at the time, and not checked to see if that was the culprit or not. Also will check the headlight switch and feeds as well to see if a wire there got bumped loose or anything. Just pushing a lot of wire while doing this stuff, you never know.

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        • #5
          If they are individually grounded, if one goes out, it will not affect the others. That's why Rockne10 suggested checking the light switch and/or the rheostat. You're not getting 12 volts to any of them, so the problem has to be upstream of the dash lights.

          Skip Lackie
          Washington DC
          Skip Lackie

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          • #6
            Ground one light socket with a jumper wire to a good ground and see if it is getting power or not.

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            • #7

              For 63 GT (61,62 may be the same)

              First, try the headlight switch--light's work? No?-- check to see your connection from headlight switch goes to "B "on back of Ignition Switch. If that's OK, check to see that the yellow wire goes from "T " on headlight switch to "B "on instrument light switch. This yellow wire carries the 12 volts from Headlight Switch to Instrument switch. Likely loose wire or mis-wire.

              ...Daick Curtis
              The 1950 Champion Starlight
              Santa Barbara
              CA

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              • #8
                Hey, I makes lots of stupid mistakes, so I can say this. Is your new dash installation grounded? If so, feel free to laugh.

                '50 Champion, 1 family owner

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                • #9
                  Thanks everyone. Headlights work. I'll check the switch connection to the instrument lights, and individual grounds as well. Thanks for all your patience in my questions. Hopefully I'll get time to tackle tomorrow

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                  • #10
                    Maybe it is sort of a trade off among Studebakers. I finally have full instrument lights after 20 plus years..... maybe I took your light.

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                    • #11
                      A few weeks ago I was informed of the natural Studebaker law, if you work on something to fix inevitably something else pops up to be fixed. After much tracing, and fiddling, the feed wire was bad. Replaced and reconnected, all if well in Hawkland for now. All the wiggling, moving, etc. got it all loose, in this case the connector. Thanks for your help everyone! BTW Bill, check your lights again, I may have stole them back!

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                      • #12
                        Does the headlight switch have a reostat that runs the instrument lights? Some of the reostat mechanisms need to be twisted, turn back and forth, to freshen up the contacts that run the instrument lights from dim to bright. Also, when I replaced my headlight switch (1955 President) the connection on the reostat post for the instrument lights was difficult to tightly attach.

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                        • #13
                          GTs have the hi-lo toggle only. I loosened a wire monkeying around under there...not much room to maneuver your hands under there....

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                          • #14
                            I still have my lights, somewhere there is a car without them.

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