Poor illumination of gauges to 22nd series packard

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Poor illumination of gauges to 22nd series packard

Post by wmthorou46 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:50 pm

I can't see the gauges to my 22nd series Packard . The dark globes over the bulbs were used to cause the luminescent paint on the dials to glow but the paint has lost this glowing ability over the yrs. The fix could be globes over the bulbs that are clear. Has anyone ever reproduced clear globes to fix the prblem of the dark purple / black globes?

Dave Czirr
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Re: Poor illumination of gauges to 22nd series packard

Post by Dave Czirr » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:43 am

I guess the gradual decay of the radium 226 isotope is why the instruments loose their "glow" with time. I have no experience with what you suggest, I do know of one individual, many years back, who achieved original appearance by repainting the pointers and numerals with radium paint. Radium paint may still be commercially available though there are certainly health hazards to be concerned with, so an alternative solution is certainly desired. It would be nice if you could keep this post active as you work your way to a solution. Sorry I can't offer any direct help.

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Re: Poor illumination of gauges to 22nd series packard

Post by Howard56 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:17 am

There is a non radioactive powder that that some have used which can be mixed with clear paint and painted over the existing white paint if it is still intact and in reasonably good condition. From all accounts the procedure to paint the needles and numerals requires a steady hand and is extremely tedious in trying to neatly and consistently get paint coverage only on the parts that need to glow and keep it off others. The gauges need to be removed from the cluster so that is an issue for some and if the original white luminescent paint is flaking off and there are a lot of bare spots then that also needs to be corrected which adds to the difficulty. http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main ... ts_id=1079

The illuminating lamps are ordinary incandescent bulbs and others have removed the purple UV hoods which cover the bulbs leaving only the white light to illuminate the instruments. That results in a look which is more in line with conventional cars. Removing the hoods requires the cluster to be removed and disassembled but may be easier than trying to paint the instruments. Downside is you do give up the distinctive glow feature the instruments had which was in keeping with the spirit of the postwar "atomic age" but if you safely store the UV hoods at least they could be reinstalled and the instruments refinished at a later date.

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