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50 Stude dash light question

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  • 50 Stude dash light question


    I finally had this car out on the road after dark and what do you know...the dash light do seem to work. Although they are very dim. But when it is really dark outside, you can read the instruments....barely.

    My question. Were they dim when new? I mean, with that black light look, were the lights not very bright like we are used to today?


    Tim Porter
    Hebron Illinois
    1950 Champion 2dr

  • #2
    Not as bright as todays, but a lot brighter then after the glow in the dark stuff wears out.

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    • #3
      I spent many hours working the dash numeral illumination on my
      50 Staelight. Yes, when the car was new, the numerals were bright
      but, as the flourecent paint ages, and the small blue lenses in front of the
      bulb becomes cloudy, the brightness dissapears. There are three things
      you can do to enhance the intensity, First, go to a hobby/ arts store
      and buy some flourecent paint to renew the numerals. There may be
      a Studebaker parts vendor that sells the paint and maybe another on the
      forum can give this info. Second, swab the inside of the lens sockets with
      an alcohol swab to clean as much of the dirt off the lens as possible.
      Then, incease th light output by putting in 6 volt, Krypton bulbs. These I found
      at local hardware store bur had to modify the base since they were not
      bayonet type that had the bosses to twist in the holder, I made my own by
      siver soldering brass wire to the base, trimming and filing.
      My dash now glows better than new.

      1950 Champion Starlight
      1963 Hawk GT
      Santa Barbara
      The 1950 Champion Starlight
      Santa Barbara


      • #4
        While you're getting ready to tear into your dash, just buy one of these puppies and clip it on your visor. Works very well, lives in the glovebox during the day-- personally I'm done wrestling with those silly 'blackout' dash lights.

        51 Commander State Sedan
        Worthington PA

        51 Commander State Sedan
        Butler PA


        • #5
          Well I will have to crawl under the dash and see if I can clean out the lens for a quick fix. Changing the lights over sounds like one of those projects waiting for winter to tackle along with a new wiring harness. That little Cyclops light is a cute little bugger. Have to get me one just because.

          Thanks for your help.


          Tim Porter
          Hebron Illinois
          1950 Champion 2dr


          • #6
            if you paint the speeomter hand it wont read right you have to add wight to lower part of the hand at 1000 rpm ate should read 30 miles pr hr at 200 rpm it should read 60 miles pr hrour


            • #7
              What I did to my 47 Champion was take out the blue lens and put in 12 volt lits number 57 in my six volt system the dash is readable even in city street lights/ and if you really want it bright put the number 55 6 volt lites in works great


              • #8
                I really am not too familiar with your 6 volt system and that lamp wattage, but I had the same problem in my early '60 Lark. In TW one month recently they mentioned a bulb switch from the originals to, I think, an 1816 lamp. Found them at NAPA. They are the same size bayonet, but a little more large bulb. They work great and I can actually see my gauges now. It's 12V, though. I think they said that the originals were rated for 18V for some reason and while they lasted a long time, they never were bright enough for decent night viewing. Maybe there is a swap for yours like that.


                • #9
                  Here is a thought I have had about my 50 commander.
                  Just last week i was driving home after dark and the dash lights were real nice and bright as apposed to there usual dull hardly can see them.

                  Could you voltage regulator be bad? I believe mine might be that is why I am questioning it.

                  Owner of a 1950 4 door Commander

                  I'll Tattoo you anytime!

                  you can find me at

                  Lucky Linda's Body Art 952-445-3281
                  18 years in the tattooing biz
                  I have a 1950 4 door Commander a 51 land cruiser And a 52 Champion
                  I'll Tattoo you anytime!
                  And you can find me at....

                  New Shop Name Same tattoo shop
                  Crazy Lady Ink
                  Shakopee Mn.
                  27 years in the tattooing biz