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More Fun with '47-52 Luminescent Gauges

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  • Speedo / Tach / Gauges: More Fun with '47-52 Luminescent Gauges

    Because I like the wonderful dash lighting in Studebaker's best by far, first postwar car so much, I want our car to have only the very best lights in its dash. Many years ago, I soldered up two UV LED based bulbs for just the speedometer. They were putzy to assemble as I had to bend the LEDs just right and then not mess it when they were installed into their holes.

    Thanks to 52 Commander , who by thinking outside the box, looked at pinball repair and found some interesting side discharge UV LEDs. https://www.titanpinball.com/index.p...product_id=150.

    I purchased a set but found them 1/4" too long to fit into my dash. Utilizing metal snap-in hole covers from the hardware store with gores cut into the top, the socket is moved back just enough to fit the LEDs.

    Not sure if the picture of the dash with the lights on shows it very well, but the soldered up bulbs for the speedometer is brighter than the newly purchased LEDs, but the latter are most defintely legible at night.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Wow! That looks real nice. Good work!
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, that's a sharp idea with a great outcome !

      Comment


      • #4
        That looks great! Like a Chrysler 300 dash.

        Comment


        • #5
          That's an idea worth saving.
          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          Searcy, Arkansas
          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
          1952 2R pickup

          Comment


          • #6
            Did you remove the factory UV filters, or leave them in place?

            Would it be possible to have some more pictures on how the adapter was constructed, how the bulb socket mounts in the adapter, and how the adapter mounts in the dash?

            And could I write an even longer sentence?
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

            Comment


            • #7
              The UV filters remain in place for all of this.

              At the risk of going from too terse to too verbose, here goes a better description of the holders.

              Drill out the center of the metal snap-in cover to fit a 6-32 bolt.
              Test that the cover fits snugly into the hole in the dash. The 6-32 bolt is there to help pull it back out of the hole. Electrical ground is going back through this little piece, so each of the connections needs to be tight.
              Cut slots into the top of the cover. The sharper you can make the points, the better they will hold to the bulb socket.
              Punch the points down using something that is slightly smaller than the outside of the electrical socket in the car. Again, this needs to be tight. Bulb sockets on our car are .413" so found a socket just slightly smaller to press in the points that were cut into the top
              Press the cover over the bulb socket, insert LED and install bulb firmly into hole.
              Test, reinstall the seat and go for a test drive.
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Great work, I knew it would work. But, it would be bad form to say...."I told ya'll so na....na.....na...."
                Bez Auto Alchemy
                573-318-8948
                http://bezautoalchemy.com


                "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

                Comment


                • #9
                  A couple more points:
                  These Titan UV LEDs work with either positive or negative ground.
                  Just for fun, this morning I sliced the forward facing LED off the new UV "bulb" hoping that the bulb might go just a little further in. The forward facing LED is unecessary for lighting inside a Champion's cluster. The other 4 LEDs still work, but aren't any brighter as I had hoped.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Champ51 View Post
                    The UV filters remain in place for all of this.

                    At the risk of going from too terse to too verbose, here goes a better description of the holders.

                    Drill out the center of the metal snap-in cover to fit a 6-32 bolt.
                    Test that the cover fits snugly into the hole in the dash. The 6-32 bolt is there to help pull it back out of the hole. Electrical ground is going back through this little piece, so each of the connections needs to be tight.
                    Cut slots into the top of the cover. The sharper you can make the points, the better they will hold to the bulb socket.
                    Punch the points down using something that is slightly smaller than the outside of the electrical socket in the car. Again, this needs to be tight. Bulb sockets on our car are .413" so found a socket just slightly smaller to press in the points that were cut into the top
                    Press the cover over the bulb socket, insert LED and install bulb firmly into hole.
                    Test, reinstall the seat and go for a test drive.
                    Thank you!
                    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Would you know if Titan Pinball has similar 12 volt bulbs?
                      Perry
                      \'50 Business Champion
                      \'50 Starlight Champion
                      \'60 Lark Convertible,
                      \'63 GT R1,
                      \'67 Triumph TR4A

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fpstude View Post
                        Would you know if Titan Pinball has similar 12 volt bulbs?
                        It doesn't appear so, but if your car is 12v negative ground, I've got 4 UV LED bulbs with a BA9S base which would work. They make my dash luminesce, but that was when I found they only worked negative ground, contrary to what I'd been told.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Champ 51, PM sent.
                          Perry
                          \'50 Business Champion
                          \'50 Starlight Champion
                          \'60 Lark Convertible,
                          \'63 GT R1,
                          \'67 Triumph TR4A

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I noticed that most of the temperature gauge and its needle, oil pressure gauge needle, speedo needle, aren't visible in the picture; and the far ends of the speedometer are dimmer. And the ammeter needle is spotted. I know photos don't always capture things as they are to the naked eye... are those parts visible in real life?

                            Don't take this as me being critical, btw. I'm just wondering if the paint is non-responsive in those areas, or it's a limitation of the light source... or of the camera

                            Whirling dervish of misinformation.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Good question Lark Hunter

                              The paint has definitely failed on the speedometer and oil pressure needles and is poor on the 80, 90, & 100. RadioRoy should probably jump in here and remind me how little a Champion needs the upper range on the speedometer.

                              Pulling the new LED for the temp/oil pressure, I could see the bulb was rotated 45 degrees from ideal. Cleaning the filter with a q-tip removed a lot of dark paint chips. Those two fixes improved the lighting of those two gauges, but they are still not as good as the speedometer.

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