1. BillB

    BillB Loyal Comrade Administrator Forum Donor

    I've seen videos on YouTube from a guy named Robert with a channel called Aging Wheels.
    Looks like he's got an '81 601.
    Didn't know if he is on the forum?

  2. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Premium Member Forum Donor

    Sorry, he's had such bad luck with his car. His car has a LOT of problems. It needs a complete going-over and rebuild of the electrics, the engine and the suspension. I'd also go over the drive train and steering, too, as well as the usual body rot spots. With the English version of the repair manual, any good mechanic will have few problems curing its ills. All you need is money! :)

    It will still be cheaper than doing the same to a US or European car of similar vintage. A similar rebuild of any US vintage car would be astronomical in comparison. I expected some such problems with mine, stocked up on lots of spare parts, but so far, an entire spring and summer with zero problems. (May it always be thus!!!) Tomorrow is "lube the suspension and steering" day.

    Also, taking a Trabant out on a major interstate highway? BAD idea. My Trabant manual says, don't put the car up to its maximum revs and drive at 120km/h (highways speeds...almost) for more than fifteen minutes, since you risk damage to the engine. (others may differ on that one...;) ) Side roads, and routes, 50 mph (80 km/h or so), maximum. Why kill your car?
  3. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    I've heard someone mention that but never actually seen it in any documentation. I have driven mine from one end of the county to the other which is 20 to 25 miles on a 2 lane highway for 30 minutes at full throttle in order to maintain around 55 mph. There are no steep hills on this road but I know when I reach an incline and a dip because my speed would vary between 50 and 60 mph.

    The longest I've driven it was about 40 miles on a 2 lane road but not quite at full throttle but very few stops.

    Years ago Honda made a go-kart called an Odyssey. Not to be confused with their boring mini-van. The first version had an air cooled engine. The second version had a water cooled engine. I can't remember if the 1st or both engines were 2 or 4 strokes but I do remember with the first version it was not advised to operate it for more than 30 minutes or it would damage the motor. The water cooled version you could drive it all day long. So I guess the same would apply to the Trabant.

    Really these cars are better designed for puttering around town @ 30 to 40 miles per hour than highways anyway. I've only had mine on interstates two or three times in the four years I've owned mine but only for short distances (like less than 5 miles) until I can get on another road. Scary getting passed by an 18 wheeler!

    Is it just me but one thing that I find aggravating is people who drive well below the posted speed limit. My Trabant's "sweet spot" is around 40 to 45 mph in 4th gear.
    I know cruising in 3rd gear @ 25 mph on flat land is not going to kill the engine (as long as you don't use the engine as a brake going down steep hills) but for some reason can't stand to putter along in 3rd gear behind gramps going 25 mph in a 45 mph speed zone.

    When I got the car, it would jerk really bad in 2nd or 3rd gear going down hills. I did not realize only 4th had a freewheel device. I was thinking it was on the input shaft and affected all gears (like the Wartburg?).

    For some reason after I had the freewheel device and input shaft bearings replaced, the jerking in 2nd and 3rd went away. Along with the growling noise when I pressed the clutch in.
  4. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Premium Member Forum Donor

    I found this in the English translation of the manual, p.28: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2056699/Trabant Manuals/Trabant_P601_Owners_Manual_-_English.pdf

    "The economy, service life and efficiency of your vehicle can be influenced by you in a decisive way. Therefore, observe the following driving rules: The maximum speed should be maintained for a period of maximum fifteen minutes only. A normal permanent performance with about 3/4 of the accelerator pedal actuated will save your engine, ensure a good output and low fuel consumption."
  5. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    So yeah, who is that guy?
  6. Robert Dunn

    Robert Dunn Puttering Along

    I'm Robert from the video. I get pretty anxious when one of my videos gets shared to the owner's club. Owner's sometimes like to tell me I bought a piece of crap (usually in the form of "Ur a idiot and u buyed a turd!"), or they get overly upset and attack me because they can't understand a joke or they take things way too personally. USA Trabant owner's are good people, so I don't have this problem.

    As DerSchraub pointed out, my car could use a little work. I've replaced the top half of the engine, but it wouldn't hurt the bottom half to get some attention. The suspension could use some lube, but a rebuild it doesn't need. It needs a complete electrical inspection and fix. It needs half shafts, CV boots, etc. It doesn't, however, have any rust at all. None. I generally take the fix it as it breaks approach for money and time saving reasons. I'm only proactive with things that could cause serious problems when it breaks. I have other cars that need attention as well, so I try to divide my time up to keep each car going. Part of the reason I love the Trabant is that I don't feel like I have to treat it like a concours car or keep it in excellent shape. I keep it mostly functional which is how I feel the car was designed to be used.

    Also, in the video I did not say I took it on the interstate. That was just a theoretical scenario. I've never taken it on the interstate, but I did take it (briefly) on the highway after I made that video. I wanted to see what the top speed was. I got it up to 68mph, got scared, and dropped back down to get in everyone's way speed. Then the starter died, and now it sits again.

    I love this car. (no sarcasm)
    Justin, RogerDerSchrauber and BillB like this.
  7. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Premium Member Forum Donor

    Hi, Robert, welcome! Let us know if you need any help. Trabants are wonderful little cars!
  8. tricken

    tricken Loyal Comrade

    Hi Robert. Sorry you got such a small project, but you do say it best that it is cheap to get parts and very easy to work on.
    My 87 drives 1 a week or so and in the 2 years of ownership have not had an issue. she gets gas and oil. I do feel it is time for some plugs but driving the car is a blast. so much i was crazy and got another one.
    RogerDerSchrauber likes this.
  9. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Premium Member Forum Donor

    There is a garage here in my town that specializes in working on old cars, any old cars, especially Studebakers, and they did some work on my Trabant when I first got it, checking it out and replacing a coil, plugs and wires that I supplied. They told me my car was very easy for them to work on. I'm half-tempted to say, "Guys, you know better than I do. Here are the manuals, here are the parts, let me know what you need." People ship them cars to work on from all over the country. They're really good. http://www.wcdgaragema.com/

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