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Electroluminescent Gauges

Click on a section below to learn more about working with your electroluminescent gauges.

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What is Electroluminescence?

What is electroluminescence? How do these gauges light without bulbs, filaments, or gases? The answer lies in ceramic engineering. The gauges and pointers are composed of laminated layers of material which glow when a high-voltage alternating current is applied. As a result, the pointers are a light source in themselves, as are the gauges. A typical gauge or pointer is composed of several layers:

  • A sheet of vitreous enameling steel forms the instrument back.
  • A layer of solid ceramic is applied to the steel sheet.
  • Another layer is added which has electroluminescent phosphor suspended in ceramic.
  • A transparent, electrically conducting layer is then added.
  • A finish layer of transparent glass coating is sprayed on.

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The Power Pack

The gauges and pointers are powered by a power pack, which converts the 12 volt D/C to 200 volts A/C at 250 cycles per second. The power pack on a 1960-2 Chrysler or 1960-3 Imperial is mounted on the cowl side panel underneath the instrument panel. On the 1966-67 Chargers, it is mounted to the lower lip of the instrument panel, behind the glove box.

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Fragile Technology

These instrument clusters were state-of-the-art when new, but time, moisture, and exposure to the elements can wear on the fragile pieces. If nothing will light in your cluster, or if all the instruments light and then fade out, the problem is likely the power supply. You can simply pull the power supply and mail it to us for rebuilding or exchange. Frequently, the problems are more complex, and you can send the entire cluster to us for free testing, inspection, and a price quote on service. Go here for instructions on pulling the complete cluster.

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Converting Your Voltage Limiter

When your Charger instrument cluster is being serviced, we strongly recommend converting the voltage limiter in the fuel gauge. We can replace it with a new, more reliable unit that is more easily serviced, and is less likely to cause damage to your gauge elements.

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Please take great care in packing your instrument cluster for shipment. We have found that the gauges themselves survive better if shipped as a whole cluster. Insurance is highly recommended. For more instructions see our tutorial on shipping.

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We have put certain policies in place to ensure that your parts travel safely to and from our shop. If you have any questions, please check here to review these policies for shipping, warranty, and otherwise.

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Our Services

We offer a variety of services for your electroluminescent gauge cluster. Please go here for a chart that shows the services we offer on electroluminescent instruments, and the associated charges.