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Old 01-01-2021, 12:14 PM   #1
bergie
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Default 1950 f1 dash gauge and dash light current draws

I am ready to change the the bulbs for my 1950 f1 to 12 volt bulbs. Most replacements are relatively straight forward since I have separate turn signal lamps wired front and back by a previous owner. Thus I don't have to rewire the bases in the parking/tail lights for dual filament bulbs. My questions are about the instrument cluster lights and the hi-beam bulb in the instrument cluster. My shop manual doesn't show how to access these bulbs. I assumed that the bulb holder bases could be pulled out from the back of the cluster to expose the bulb for replacement and then pushed back in for a friction fit. However, it appears to me that the entire cluster has to be removed to get to the bulbs. Can anyone clarify the procedure for me ?

The second question that I have is if anyone can tell me how much current the three gauges (fuel, oil, and temp) draw? I've had people tell me that they only draw approximately 1/4 amp each, but surely that must vary depending on what the gauge is reading. Can anyone clarify what the max current these gauges could draw? Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:26 PM   #2
bergie
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Default Re: 1950 f1 dash gauge and dash light current draws

I noticed after I submitted this thread that in the title I asked about the current that is drawn by a type 55 six volt bulb. I am interested because I probably can power the dash lights from the electronic voltage drop I have for the gauge cluster. I ultimately didn't ask because I think I can simply measure the filament resistance and calculate from that. I am trying to limit the current draw from the voltage reducer to 5 amps.
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1950 f1 dash gauge and dash light current draws

You would most likely want the dash lights separate from the gauge power, they are two different circuits. The dash lights are controlled by the light control switch and fused. The gauge power is not normally fused and turned on/off by the ignition switch. So the gauges are only hot with the ignition switch is on, the light control switch is always hot, two totally different circuits.
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:21 PM   #4
3twinridges
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Default Re: 1950 f1 dash gauge and dash light current draws

The gauge light sockets pull out from the assembly. The socket is held in by compression tangs. You do not need the pull the whole gauge assembly to replace the bulbs.

JB
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:40 PM   #5
bergie
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Default Re: 1950 f1 dash gauge and dash light current draws

Thanks for your response JSEERY. I've enjoyed reading your insights on many threads. I have measured the filament resistance on some bulbs and it appears the bulbs would draw too much current to use the electronic voltage reducer and still stay under 5amps total current. I didn't see a problem separating the dash light power from the light control sw because the 1950 shop manual shows a toggle sw in the circuit between the light control sw and the two dash lights (the 1951 schematic doesn't show the toggle sw). So now I still need to know how to access the dash lights to replace the bulbs with 12 volt bulbs.
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:49 PM   #6
bergie
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Default Re: 1950 f1 dash gauge and dash light current draws

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Thanks 3twinridges. I thought that's how they came out but I was reluctant to pull/rock them any harder in case I caused a dent or other damage to the cluster metal. I couldn't detect any give at all. I will try again.
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1950 f1 dash gauge and dash light current draws

Quote:
Originally Posted by bergie View Post
Thanks 3twinridges. I thought that's how they came out but I was reluctant to pull/rock them any harder in case I caused a dent or other damage to the cluster metal. I couldn't detect any give at all. I will try again.
Get a good grip on it and pull straight back with a little up and down movement to help it dislodge from the hole.

JB
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:56 PM   #8
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: 1950 f1 dash gauge and dash light current draws

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Originally Posted by bergie View Post
So now I still need to know how to access the dash lights to replace the bulbs with 12 volt bulbs.
Can't imagine it's any different than when I replaced mine in a '51 Merc.
You reach under the dash and by feel or with lights and mirrors, locate and remove the sockets and replace the bulbs.
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1950 f1 dash gauge and dash light current draws

The 55 bulbs draw .41 amp each. They should not be on the same circuit as the gauges,


The 363 bulb is probably the closest replacement.


Stock KS gauges draw the same amount of current for all measurements.
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