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Old 09-10-2020, 07:26 AM   #1
big job
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Default Need info on 1949-50 instrument cluster ?

There has been a lot said about these with little or no lighting. I have not
yet found what is actually in there. I have all new #55 bulbs. The only
bright ones are the directional arrows. I have read about some kind of
black film around the bulbs that react with (don't know) 'iridium or phosphorus or something' ?? not a case of painting bulbs green, something is blocking the
light. And then I had a Westclock alarm that looked like this cluster. It glowed
all night in the dark then began to fade, then I use to shine bright flash light
on it and gave it a recharge and it glowed again. So I shine up the cluster
and it did have a slight glow. My reason for this was I was issued a company
car a 1949 with over drive and that dash lit up like a 747 even the clock glowed, but that was in the sixtys. So now at 70yrs guess it has a life span.
Then remembering the night clubs with black lighting man the place lit up
like fire..... so someone here may have taken one apart. sam
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:39 AM   #2
4dFord/SC
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Default Re: Need info on 1949-50 instrument cluster ?

Check this thread: https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...trument+lights
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:56 AM   #3
big job
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Default Re: Need info on 1949-50 instrument cluster ?

Thats what I'm thinking 4dFord. An other example I have done for yrs without painting
bulbs is to spray the housing with green florescent paint along with plain bulbs. I just
may buy a ebay cluster and experiment. sam
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:33 AM   #4
Dan in MI
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Default Re: Need info on 1949-50 instrument cluster ?

I just "fixed" my 49 Cluster Tuesday. I removed the 4 dark glass domes that the bulbs sit in. See (hopefully) the attached picture. To remove them I removed the cluster and worked on it on the bench. No need to completely disassemble the cluster. Work from the back, and remove the speedometer. By each of the light holes bend the 2 small tabs straight and push down on the glass dome as it is probably stuck to the cluster due to the cork gasket (you can see part of it on one of the domes in the picture). One it is loose yo will need to remove one of the gauges near it and move it over to the gauge hole to remove. You can remove the residual gasket mater from the cluster with a 90 degree pick. Reinstall the gauges and speedo and you are good to go. I reinstalled the #55 bulbs and now everything lights up. I did end up replacing them with LED bulbs (35 lumen) as I had them, they look about the same as the #55 bulbs.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:01 PM   #5
joe 1950
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Default Re: Need info on 1949-50 instrument cluster ?

I met a fellow at a local car show some time ago and we talked about this problem then he told me what he did so here we go remove all the sockets then take a small screw driver or pick and go in there and with a little pressure push hard and they will shatter because of being so old and hard then the pieces fall to the bottom of the unit it worked just as he said then i painted the bulbs #55 med. red because my dash is dark red and it looks great the turn sig.bulbs i painted green good luck
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:40 PM   #6
Jersey Devil
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Default Re: Need info on 1949-50 instrument cluster ?

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Over 15 yeas ago I removed 2 of the purple globes that Dan In MI described and painted the bulbs with blue/green finger nail polish. I used the identical process that Joe 1950 described

Over time the original phosphorus reflective material wears off and the purple globes completely shade the light from the bulbs.

Tom
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:27 PM   #7
Don T
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Default Re: Need info on 1949-50 instrument cluster ?

There are many ways to cure this problem, just be sure you have done something to cure the problem BEFORE you put the dash back together. I removed the purple lenses and left the bulbs in place. The problem with this is that a signal light or high beam light will light up the whole cluster. I built little aluminum dams to keep the light shining "in the right places". The other issue is that the car did not have a rheostat control for dimming the dash lights so I replaced the light switch with one from a 51 pickup which solved the problem.
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Old 09-11-2020, 05:11 AM   #8
big job
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Default Re: Need info on 1949-50 instrument cluster ?

Thanks all, although I know what to do the hurdle is getting the thing out of the dash.
It took 'me' more that a half hour just to replace the bulbs. Also the breakdown of
this cluster is in the book but my CRS got in the way. sam
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Need info on 1949-50 instrument cluster ?

Big Job

I only removed the speedometer. Then carefully straighten out the tabs that hold the globes.

Still have to work under the dash but once the speedometer is removed you do have room to work.

Tom
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