1. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    When points have set for a long time, they get corroded enough not to contact. Some fine sand paper, or a itty bitty file will do wonders. My car had that factory EBZA installed. The circuit boards have been known to heat up where the resistors sit, and run weird. There is a modern EBZA unit, but I am running EZ-2 (only installs on engine, no other stuff controls it).

    What drives me nuts though, is it can only be adjusted for the 1st cylinder... #2 fires .005 late. Runs well enough to go down the interstate either way. I'm just loosing some free Hp ! :eek:

    So far this new simple ignition has made the car very reliable. It runs the same no matter what.

    For me, no matter the vehicle, condition, and the age- it should be dependable. At any moment you should be able to hop in, and drive a few 100 miles.

    If not, make it so you can. This is why I fix everything necessary(up front) when dealing with a older car.
    A lot of times crap that's been sitting will nickle and dime you to death. Better to straighten them out, before a serious break down in the middle of nowhere... Id much rather have a great running, and driving vehicle- versus a pretty one. My problem is with every new old to me car, it must be even screwier than the last. "Always trying to out do me self!".
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  2. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    So Trabantwelt has the following for a 6v system:


    It looks like that is all I would need to upgrade to the electronic ignition. It does state that the coils must be suitable for electronic control. I bought new ones from Trabantwelt previously: https://www.trabantwelt.de/Trabant-601/Zuendanlage/Zuendspule-6-Volt-Trabant-500-600-601::391.html but I am not sure how to know if they are "suitable" or not. The kit they sell with ignition coils has different ones: https://www.trabantwelt.de/Trabant-...ng-EZ-2-Komplettset-6V-Trabant-601::2831.html but that does not necessarily mean that they are the only suitable ones. Does anyone know how to tell if the coils I have are suitable? Also, how difficult is it generally to time the engine when switching over to an electronic ignition version?
  3. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    Going out on a limb here, but I would guess the coils you purchased, were only for points... When dealing with 12v(this should apply to 6v) cars, with EBZA, or any after market electronic unit. The coils MUST have a primary resistance of at least 3 ohms. Like this one I use for 12v ignition conversions, and Herr Trabi- not for 6v.. https://www.hot-spark.com/1-Beru-ZS-172.htm Can be found cheaper many other places Beru zs172

    This is checked with a multimeter/ connected to the coils + - terminals.. If you don't have a meter, look for a free meter coupon from harbor freight. I use them all of the time, have nearly 40 of them...:eek:

    Timing can be a bit tricky, the first go around. The "right way" is to use a special trabi inspired tool like this one :


    Another way consists of a dial indicator, on a magnetic base, touching a 3/8 socket extension. It works, but just...

    Here is the same idea, but better(scroll down to post #16) :https://www.trabantforums.com/threads/ebza-timing.3033/
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  4. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    That tool looks nice and not too expensive, but as you may or may not recall, my car has M18 plugs, and that comes with the far more standard M14 threaded adapter. Given that, I may need to go the homemade tool route as described in the post you linked to when it comes time the engine.

    I will also check the resistance on the coils I have to see where they are at. Perhaps I will get lucky and they are compatible. If not, for now I have points that are working reasonably well and I will clean them up to see if that makes things any better.
  5. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  6. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    Sorry for the dumb question, but I am nearing the point of starting to work on a complete brake overhaul on my car, since the brakes are completely non-functional currently.

    Due to not knowing exactly what I was doing, I bought two different “pullers” for this car, which seem to be referred to by similar terms (which is why I ended up buying two different pullers). One is the green one below, and the other is the smaller metallic one also shown below.

    I am not sure if I am correct, but my understanding is if you want to simply pull the drum off the spindle, you would want to use the smaller metallic one, and that would pull off the drum and the hub together. The green one, again to my understanding, will separate the hub and the drum. I have new drums to install but not new hubs, though in hindsight maybe I should have gotten those too but I don’t have them.

    So, what would be the proper procedure to separate the hub and the drum so the drum can be replaced, and of course the rest of the brake parts (shoes, cylinders, etc.) swapped out? Of course, I will want to preserve the hubs to reuse since I do not have new ones.

    Attached Files:

  7. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    Your right, to remove a front hub-with drum, use the little tool that splits in half. If you look in that English service manual, it lays all of this out pretty well. Nice pictures too. I think that big green one is used on the rears normally.

    You will need to remove the axle hub nut first, then clamp the little tool over the hub end, and tighten until it pops off.

    Now if you want to separate the hubs-from drums then remove the little slotted, or Phillips head screws holding it onto the hub. In a perfect world the drums will fall off. In reality you might need to knock them out after getting them with the hubs off the car. Be gentle, and use a hard plastic, lead, or wood hammer.

  8. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    Got it. Thanks for clarifying the correct puller to use and the way the hub is then separated from the drum.

  9. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    Thanks for the video share. The guy from Aging Wheels has some interesting videos on the Trabant, including a complete engine teardown and rebuild. He is quite willing to dive into complicated jobs like that it seems. Hopefully, I will not ever need to undertake an engine teardown like that, but I definitely will be doing a bit more extensive brake job than he did.

    Speaking of which, I would like to convert my single circuit brake system to a dual circuit system. I bought the complete brake kit from Trabantwelt, drums, and also the dual master cylinder. I found an article on what conversions are advisable for different Trabant models and versions, and it states that a single to dual conversion is possible. It states that the following parts are needed:

    Dual circuit
    The conversion of single-circuit and dual-circuit brake systems is possible using the following parts:
    • Master cylinder completely (18 31396 308),
    • Complete foot pedal mechanism (03 00797 105),
    • Push rod complete (18 31422 006),
    • Brake hose front left inside (0311887104).
    • Brake hose front right inside (0311889106),
    • Brake line center front (03 11891 100).
    I have (or can fabricate) most of the parts listed, but I am wondering if anyone has experience with doing this and whether I really would need a different foot pedal mechanism and push rod (not sure where that is exactly located if it is not internal to the master cylinder). As near as I can tell, neither of these parts are available on Trabantwelt.de and I do not really want to try to find the correct parts on German Ebay since probably I would not be certain I was getting the correct parts anyway.

    I found a thread on pappenforum.de: https://pf31.pappenforum.de/thread/32896-pedalwerk-ein-zweikreisbremse/ that states:

    According to SRI 503 of 02.10.1981, the pedal system was changed with the introduction of the dual-circuit brake:
    "... The pedal travel of the brake pedal has been increased by constructive modification of the pedal mechanism ..."

    I scrounged around the Internet and found the 503 bulletin that was referenced in that post (also attached to the post for reference), and somewhat poorly translated by Google Translate, it states the following:

    Two-circuit brake system
    We would like to point out, for a given reason, that with the use of the dual-circuit brake system tolerance changes at the automatic readjustment. The pedal path the brake pedal was replaced by constructive change of the Fußhebelwerkes enlarged. In construction of ET bodies and installation of the dual-circuit brake system must definitely a new modified pedals are mounted
    . The safety is otherwise not given, that in case of failure a brake circuit, the pedal travel for the residual braking effect sufficient. We ask you to follow this advice.

    Other replies in that pappenforum thread stated:

    "The pestle that was pressed into the HBZ was shortened." (I am not sure exactly what that means)

    And lastly:

    "I've changed from 1-circle to 2-circle. Only the ram must be shortened. Works then without problems." (I am not sure exactly what that means either)

    If needed, I could order the single circuit master cylinder and go that route (which would no doubt be easier to deal with, except the reservoir for the single master cylinder version does not appear to be available on trabantwelt and mine is definitely bad as the cap will not seal properly), but I would really like to convert for safety's sake. At this point, the engine is running reasonably well, and the transmission seems to be OK from very limited testing, but without brakes I can't drive it anywhere obviously.

    If anyone has advice on this conversion and how to approach it (or if I should just go with the single circuit and be done with it), I would appreciate it.

    Attached Files:

  10. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    Seems in that last quote, all they had to do was shorten the M/C push rod. Not too hard to do... Grind, or cut it off-then round the tip a bit. Measure first... Unless for some reason you must change the pedal unit out.

    You want full pedal travel, and while it isn't depressed-a bit of free play in the pedal. There might be a adjustment nut in the rod to dial it in just right. No free play will make them lock up(like mine did on the interstate!):eek: My fault, didn't check somebody's work...

    I can't say as to how much to shorten, not much would be my guess..
  11. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    I would look at the two master cylinders together, maybe get pictures and measurements off the peddle of a dual master car and compare. If the dual master needs more travel, you might be able to drill a new hole lower on the pedal but then the angle might become a problem.

    You don't want to be in a spot where the peddle bottoms out before you've used all the travel of the master cylinder. You could be in that situation if one of the lines breaks and won't have any stopping power which is exactly the problem you're trying to avoid by swapping to a dual cylinder. I think that is what is being described in your translation.
  12. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    Thanks for the advice guys. It would be interesting to know the measurements of someone who has a dual circuit system and maybe some pics of that setup since I don't have another Trabi to compare to.

    I will probably start on this project and try to figure out the master cylinder swap before I mess with the brake lines, since the lines will be run differently for the dual vs. the single one. If I can't get the dual one set up satisfactorily, I would then go ahead and order the single one which should be an easy straight swap, but less desirable overall. Mabe this will only require a slight modification and not be a big deal, but I won't know until I get into it.
  13. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

  14. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    Hello everyone. The weather is turning warmer and I am starting to get back to finishing up the project to get my car on the road. As a part of that, I want to get spare keys in case I misplace one. I am not sure if it is standard or not, but my car has two keys - one with a small head that looks for all the world like a key to lock a file cabinet which is the ignition key. It is labeled Börkey 446. I was able to get a duplicate of that quite easily locally. The one for the door has a larger head and is labeled Börkey 842 1/2. The locksmith had nothing that would work for that key on hand. I have done Google searches for that model of key, with no useful hits at all, even "auf Deutsch." So, my question is, does anyone have an idea of how to get some blanks for my door key? Trabantwelt has three keys shown on their site, but there are two different larger ones and I don't know which of them, if any, is the correct one. Also, the offer them as cut keys based on a code you supply (taken from the door handle or somewhere like that) but with the car being 50 years old with who knows what modifications, I am not comfortable with ordering it that way. I am sure they would ship the key uncut if I asked, but I am not sure what exactly to order, and I don't speak or write German well enough anymore to be comfortable conversing with them.

    So, if anyone has found a place in the U.S. that has key blanks for the door (or can suggest other likely key blank numbers that likely would work), I sure would appreciate it if you would share that with me. I will pose a somewhat poor picture of the key in question if I can resize it so that it will post.

    In other news, now that it is a bit warmer my car starts fairly easy I was unable to get it to run a month ago when it was in the mid-20's Fahrenheit. It did not start right away when I first tried it, and I turned off the fuel and pulled the line from the carb and no fuel at all dripped out, so my guess is for some reason the flow was restricted, but the line is new as is the shutoff valve and there was sufficient gas in the tank. I turned the fuel on with the line disconnected and it started coming out OK, so I reconnected and the car started after a try or two. I am not sure what to make od that but it's something for me to keep my eye on I suppose.

    Hopefully everyone's vehicle is behaving itself after the winter (for those of us in the northern hemisphere anyway).


    Attached Files:

  15. Kamil

    Kamil Smoking Along

  16. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    Does your fuel line have a return / vent teed into it? It would go back up to the top of the tank... If not, my guess would be the needle in the carb was stuck, and or there is some junk in that tank.

    I have a spare trabi key blank. Is a T handle shape.(Mine uses same for ignition, trunk, and door). looks kinda like that one in this link.

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  17. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    Thanks for the link

    It looks like the 1580 1/2 key has the same profile as the 842 1/2 key I have and may be a suitable replacement for mine based on the manufacturer key catalog (see pic attached). I have not been able to find a U.S. source for that key blank or an equivalent substitute as of yet, so I may have to purchase one from Deutschland with the associated high shipping costs unless I decide to just replace the handle altogether as I described in a following post.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  18. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    As far as the keys go, it would be nice to only have one key for everything, but my guess is the ignition switch was replaced or in '69 it just had separate keys. I would be open to buying a new door handle/lock if I can also find the trunk lock so I have the same key for those. I have not examined the inside of the door closely, so I don't know how hard it is to remove the door panel to replace the door handle, but hopefully that is not a major task.

    My tank has a small hex head fitting on the top (to the left of the tank) that I presume is some sort of vent (see attached pic), but I don't know that for sure and I have not messed with it to see if it might be adjustable to open it and allow venting. I can't imagine what else it would be if not some sort of vent. There is nothing but the fuel line connected to it (by way of the shutoff valve) otherwise. The tank was dry and very clean when I started working on the car last year, so I do not think there is much in the way of dirt or debris in the tank.

    I was actually assuming maybe the float was once again stuck when I had difficulty starting it (it was gummed up initially and I corrected that last year) so I was going to open the float chamber up, but upon disconnecting the fuel line at the carb I was quite surprised that nothing at all even dripped from the line. Even if the tank needed to be vented, I would assume some gas would have made its way down, but perhaps not. I had removed the cap on the tank prior to turning the fuel valve back on (and did not notice any notice indicating some sort of pressure release or differential but I am not sure I would have heard anything) so at that point, there was definitely venting for the tank and I had good flow down the line.

    I started it again yesterday to test my new ignition key and it started on the second crank and seemed to run well, so at least at the moment, I don't think there is an issue. If I can get the brakes fixed and get it on the road, I think regular use of the car will prevent this type of issue (but I will carry some tools with me just in case).

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  19. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    Yes. That's the vent. There should be a T in the line and a hose running up to the vent.

    The cap is vented to atmosphere so you'll still get flow without it.

  20. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Loyal Comrade

    Thanks for the pic and explanation. I most definitely do not have a hose routed back to the tank as shown. I ordered a replacement fuel supply hose from trabantwelt, and it is a hose with some flexible steel mesh on it, presumably to keep it from rubbing a hole in itself if it rests or rubs on anything on the way to the carb. It is one single hose and does not appear to be intended to be cut to put any sort of tee in, though I suppose that is technically possible. Also, the ancient (very old if it was not original) line that it replaced was identical in design and had no tee in it either. The nut on the tank where yours connects seems to be solid from looking at it without trying to extract it and thus does not appear to be a vent as it is at present.

    It seems simply opening up the tank to some small amount of air at that location would suffice without the breather-type connection yours has as you stated. I have not noticed any hole in the cap as some in other treads indicated theirs had, but maybe there is one there since I did not know to look for it. Or, maybe the cap should be one of the type with a vent but was replaced with a different unvented one somewhere along the way.

    I did a Google image search for Trabant engine compartment and the results contained many cars with a breather setup like yours, but also many that did not have that setup similar to mine. I am not sure if it is a function of year of manufacture (maybe it is a feature of repairs done though) since mine is a '69 and I saw a pic of an '83 also without it but one labeled as an '81 and a few others earlier than that which had the tee connection.

    I will check the cap next time I get down to where my car is and see if there is a hole and if so if it might be clogged up somehow.

    Again thanks for the reply.


    P.S. I forgot to compliment you on the wonderful condition of your engine compartment. It looks really nice. My guess is you had repainting done in that area as nice and shiny as it is?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020

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