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Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting
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Heiko
Posted 2020-08-02 4:53 PM (#601609)
Subject: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting


Member

Posts: 10

In my 60s Imperial there is a power converter that converts the 12 V DC power to high-voltage AC current for the electroluminescent dash lighting. The original unit failed and I replaced it with a modern unit made with modern parts. That also failed and refused to work. So I rebuilt the original unit with modern parts (transistor etc.) using a diagram from the Online Imperial Club. That unit lasted longer but failed last week. What kind of converter do you use for the electroluminescent dash lighting?



(inverter.jpg)



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mikes2nd
Posted 2020-08-02 9:08 PM (#601618 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting


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theres a guy on ebay sells rebuilt one for like 80$
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wizard
Posted 2020-08-03 1:14 AM (#601628 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting



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The "modern" oscillator has too high output that might damage the EL elements. If One EL element is shorted out, all others wont might up. Check the rheostat or make a temporary 12 vdc feed direkt to the oscillator. The Imperial oscillator should have 250 to 280 vac, higher than the Chrysler ones due to more EL elements in the Imperial dash.
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hemidenis
Posted 2020-08-03 8:46 AM (#601636 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting



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all the oscillators are 200V at these models (late 60's dodges models came with higher voltage)
I was probably lucky, but I never had a problem with these units. Your rebuild, if you used the right components should work, but remember that you could be just unlucky with one of the components going bad.
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Heiko
Posted 2020-08-04 11:09 AM (#601682 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting


Member

Posts: 10

I checked my converter unit and found nothing wrong. I added a cooling fan to prevent overheating, maybe this helps. After installing the panalescent lighting is working! So, I will keep the original (rebuilt) unit for now. Thanks for your replies.



(trafo2.jpg)



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wizard
Posted 2020-08-04 12:06 PM (#601684 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting



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Normally, the temperature never goes above 50 degrees celcius if all is ok, so the fan is overkill.
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Heiko
Posted 2020-08-04 3:35 PM (#601691 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting


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Posts: 10

You might be right. The fan is just clamped on and can be removed easily.
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wizard
Posted 2020-08-04 4:38 PM (#601695 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting



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I have repaired over 20 oscillators and the highest temp ever noted was 54 degrees celcius over 7 hours of test with a speedometer EL as load.

If you note higher temperature, there's something wrong......
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Havadope
Posted 2020-09-23 2:54 AM (#603511 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting


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Posts: 3

I hate to jump into this thread, but I am having the same issue. All my dash lights on my 1960 Imperial are dark as well. They were all working fine a couple weeks ago, but I have had my bear paws up under the dash replacing a burnt ignition wire and am concerned I messed something else up. My headlights turn on just fine, but the gauges stay dark. I tried disconnecting the Oscillator's orange/white plug and test for voltage with the headlights on, but I wasnt seeing any voltage on either wire. I believe its the orange I should see 12 volts from, right? This voltage is supplied from the headlight switch? I placed one side of my VOM meter on dash metal and one side to orange side of plug= nothing, one side to dash metal and the other to white= nothing.

I havent disconnected the individual white A/C wires yet to the dash (tracking a short) since i didnt seem to have 12 volts DC going into the Oscil. Do I seem to be on the right track? I can always try and pull the Headlight switch assembly out and verify everything, but wouldnt it stand to reason that if the headlights were working that I should be supplying the 12 volts to the Oscil also? Unless there is a separate wire that I may have accidentally disconnected?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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60 Imp
Posted 2020-09-24 5:41 PM (#603553 - in reply to #603511)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting


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Marc, don't forget about the gauges light dimmer built into the headlight switch. Turn the headlight switch knob and see what happens. Steve.
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Havadope
Posted 2020-09-25 2:27 AM (#603565 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting


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Posts: 3

I was able to spend a few minutes today looking at it. I used a test light and probed the Orange wire while messing with the headlight switch. there were points in the rotation where the Light actually lit up on my probe, so I know I am getting voltage to the connector. I didnt have anything on the white (ac volt) output cable, but not sure my test light would read it. Is there a way to test that side?
I guess i will try pulling the red connectors and see if i find a shorted one.
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wizard
Posted 2020-09-25 4:21 AM (#603566 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting



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One short circuit results in that all EL-lamps won't light up.

Remove the connector from the oscillator, feed the orange wire with 12 VDC (preferably fused) directly from the battery.
Measure the output on the white wire, should be from roundabout 200 VAC, sometimes even up to 280 VAC.

If you have 200 VAC in constant output over time (30 minutes or more), then the oscillator is ok.
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hemidenis
Posted 2020-09-25 8:20 PM (#603591 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting



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Location: Northen Virginia
check your dimmer as stated above, that could be the cause. Specially if it was working ok until someone touched something...
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Havadope
Posted 2020-09-27 1:41 AM (#603624 - in reply to #601609)
Subject: Re: Problem with electroluminescent dash lighting


New User

Posts: 3

Thanks everyone for the assistance!. I tracked down the issue today. Turns out it was the light ring that encircles the Ignition switch. When I decided to upgrade (to the 70's) the electronic ignition I also swapped out my Generator for the alternator. I had ordered a dual terminal Alternator and wired it so that both "fields" were connected but 1 of them was grounded which fried my ignition wire from the switch to the ballast resistor. I replaced the wire, but in the process of messing with all of it, I guess I pulled a little hard on that light wire and it pulled it from the old glue and it was making contact with the ignition switch, grounding it out. I ended up super gluing the wire back in the slot and used some hot glue for an extra layer of security. That ring never worked for me anyways, but it's wonderful to see that eerie beautiful glow from the dash again!

I put a small clip here is anyone wants to see it. https://youtu.be/QUTd7mwA1zk (1960 Imperial Electroluminescent dash light repair) My clock lights work also, but i still had that wire disconnected while tracking the AC short.

Please don't judge my video taping skills. In the process of tracking all this down, I found I actually had 2 working spare oscillators ( although they have suffered previous water damage and are very rusty). I was able to connect them to 12volts and verify the AC volts. Its always great to have spares!

Edited by Havadope 2020-09-27 1:43 AM
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