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dash lights again

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  • dash lights again

    ok guys i asked this question in another dash light question on this forum and no one answered it

    i just became aware that the dash lights in my 50 have purple filters in them that acts kinda like a black light and makes the irridecent paint glow

    now my question is and was how can these filters be taken out so regular light will flow in and the guages can be seen

    reason for this question is
    my guages are preety tired (as in the glow in the dark paint is pretty much lost its edge) and i wanna try to put in red leds to make everything inside the cluster glow red
    now correct me if im wrong but if i try this without somehow removing these so called filters than im gonna get little to no red at all and its not gonna look too COOL

    or perhaps someone can put me onto where to get this new nontoxic glow in the dark paint that isnt gonna dent my pocket book
    or posssibly some other way of getting light into my guages so they can be seen on those dark cruise nights

    much thanks for any suggestions

  • #2
    A watch - clock supply place would have that paint. And I'd think it would not be very expensive. S.LaRose Co. comes to mind. OF course, it's not gonna be easy to repaint those digits.
    I've not done this so it's only speculation, But the best I know, those "filters" you speak of are mounted to a plate inside the instrument cluster. I'd THINK (not be certain) that you could disassemble the cluster, remove the filters, and either replace them with red ones or just do away with them and get some red-tinted bulbs (such things DO exist but I'm not sure they can be had in 6volt form). Then paint all the inside of the cluster with flat white paint. This will cause the light to "flood" the cluster with reflected red light.[}]

    While ON this topic - I ALWAYS paint the inside of my Studebaker's taillight bodies and parking lite bodies with flat white paint. Even if they're nice shiney chrome inside, flat white paint will improve the visibility of the lites. And 6 volt brake lites and the like need all the help they can get to keep some half-blind idiot from ramming the back of your Studee![xx(]

    Miscreant at large.
    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


    • #3
      the 6 volt is an easy solution in a few ways
      one leds only need 14.5 volts so typically you would have to run a resistor for a power supply of anything greater ie resistor to bring 6 volts down to 1.5
      or a resistor to bring 12 volts down to 1.5

      and second im in the process of a 12 volt conversone any ways

      you have to excess the spelling typeing too fast and wife just said suppers on the table

      thanks mr biggs for the info

      i really didnt want to have to open the cluster

      just got all the dash and stuff back in the car a few months back after a thourgh repaint

      anyone else got any ideas id appreciate the feedback


      • #4
        I'm not sure how to advise you on removing the 'filters' on a '50. On my 51 I would have to go through the front of the gage cluster, and that's a 'one way trip', destroying the trim along the way. So I passed. I can help on the bulbs, tho-- go to the local craft show and buy paint for stained glass craft. Paint the bulbs any color you like. I painted my front running lights amber and I feel that's much safer.

        51 Commander State Sedan
        Butler PA


        • #5
          hey thats a good idea

          i dont need it on my stud cause im converting to 12 volts and amber is pretty abundant

          but ive got a 94 impala that i recently installed a set of aftermarket clear corners on and there is no such thing as an amber corner bulb in that style bulb (believe me ive searched high and low)
          dot says that if it was amber it must be amber no ifs ands or butts
          and its a pretty hefty ticket especially when the get you pulled over and if they want to they can find a hole lotta other things that arent up to dot standards

          so i guess you learn something new every day

          thanks for the heads up commander

          but man i really want to be able to see those guages
          any more ideas out there


          • #6
            Well gotti, how do you figure you're gonna do ANYTHING to the instrument lighting without taking the cluster apart???[)] Heh - I guess you could buy something like one of those lites you clip on a book to read in a car or in bed and clamp it to the steering column![:0]

            Miscreant at large.
            No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


            • #7
              hey i like that one mr biggs [xx(]
              nah it was just one of those overlooked, uneducated things
              i knew that the wiring was correct just figured that the sockets were not getting a good ground figured id fix later
              did not know that there were filters inside that only allowed the nums to glow (just uneducated )after reading gibbers qs & as... i tried pulling the switch the other day in the dark garage and hey what do ya know the numbers on the amp meter glowed and thats all that glowed.... but oh well i guess ill have to take em back out and risk scratchin the paint

              thats life huh [?]


              • #8
                Hi, Gotti.
                In response to your (and my) problem about the 50's dash lights, did you see the article about converting them to LEDs? Try this URL: 50Stoo D


                • #9
                  Hey 50STOO D,

                  I too have the dash lights problem and have followed that link. In fact, I'm in the process of building a set of LEDs like thatl Did you read it to the conclusion though?

                  While the electrical aspects of this exercise were successful, the fact that the blue glass globes are still in place, caused the final results to be less than spectacular. To see the true benefit of the LED replacement for the dash, the blue globes must be removed. In my case this requires pulling the dash, not a trivial task."

                  Bob's clip-on light idea sounds better all the time.



                  • #10
                    Yes, The wiring and cables behind my dash is such a rat's nest, I am hesitant to fool aroound with it any more that I have to. I'm not even sure the instrument lights come on--at least I can't see them. Jim


                    • #11
                      I'm going with Biggs' suggestion; you can buy a mini LED reading lamp for about 9 bucks. I'm going to take it apart, mount the head in front of my gear indicator on the steering column, run the wire through the column and mount the battery box under the dash.

                      51 Commander State Sedan
                      Butler PA


                      • #12
                        you know what guys this sounds all well and good

                        ive been way to busy to try any of these ideas but i have one of my own and im gonna tell ya what it is and when i or someone else gets around to trying it maybe they can tell us about how it worked out

                        i think if you got down on the floorboard, crawled up under the dash with a mirror and used a small screwdriver and small hammer you could easily break these GLASS filters and go on with putting in a set of leds just like described in the link above without removing the dash
                        i figure its a quick easy solution

                        ive personnally had to many sticks in the fire when it comes to working on my stude so if someone else tries this and it works SCREAM about it on hear so we can all try it


                        • #13
                          also the link above is good for reference but there is an easier way to wire your leds

                          fist decide which leg on your led is + and go to your local electrical store (ie. radio shack) tell the salesman you need a resistor to drop 6 volts (or 12 volts) down to about 1.5 possibly 2 volts and solder one side of the resistor to the + leg of the led and a red wire to the other side of the resistor. now solder a black wire to the - leg of led.. cover up both legs of led and the resistor with heatshrink then heatshrink into a nice wire loom by putting a piece of heat shrink over both wires and both heatshrinked legs of led ( if you are interested in doing this email me and ill send some detailed pics )

                          - if you have a really well stocked electrical store near by then you can purchase a led that is rated at 6 volts (or 12 volts) and all you'll have to do is solder on some wires and install

                          hooking this up should be fairly self explanatory Red is +
                          black is ground


                          • #14
                            I always used a flashlight to see my speedometer at night. Considered one of those hunter's "head lights" at one time!!

                            Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker
                            Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker