1. Zausel

    Zausel Genosse Forum Donor

    Hey all. I'm gushing.

    I've owned my Trabant for five years now, have spent a lot of time and money making it run nice and look pretty. I've had success and failures along the way and learnt many good lessons about mechanics, project cars, and life. I've had ups and downs but today I ventured out of my garage for a real trip.

    I drove it a bit around Olympia when I first got it, but today I drove from Rockford to Spokane, Washington, about thirty miles one way. Rockford is higher up than Spokane, so the ride into town was very much a downhill ride. I stopped halfway to get a haircut and when I came out it Zausel wouldn't start. I drained the bowl and the throat and sprayed starter in as had worked yesterday to no avail. I pulled the choke, and nothing. I turned off the petcock, closed the choke, gave it full gas and he fired back to life. Was this vapor lock?

    More downhill to Grandma's house we went (really, I was on my way to her 84th) and a bit of panic in tight traffic when I thought the idle was too low and the engine would die and I wouldn't be able to start it again. Alas, we made it.

    And it started it up again without fail thirty seconds later and again, on command, when ever I gave a ride to an aunt or uncle or mom.

    After dinner I left before it got dark in case there would be a problem on the way home. I made it up Spokane's steep South Hill no problem and stopped for necessities at a shop on the way home. Back to the car and rats it wouldn't start! A push across the parking lot didn't help but when I tried starting it again thereafter he fired right up.

    I made it all the way home even up a switchback in second. I see it like riding a bicycle. I have to change gears a lot as I go up and down hills and my Trabant is no different. I admire that 594cc can carry me and a passenger and itself so robustly. Mein zuverlässiger Begleiter!

    I finally trust my mechanical work and the durable ingenuity of post WWII scarcity.
    Daniel P likes this.
  2. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    Sounds like it's doing well...Could you have old/bad gas in it? Perhaps there needs to be a little tinkering with the carb...Other than that, everything sounds good.
  3. Zausel

    Zausel Genosse Forum Donor

    Justin, I rebuilt the carb and the float is fine. This happened as well on a hot day two months ago. It started eventually. Do you have this problem ever in the Texas heat?
  4. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    Even in the Texas heat, mine doesn't give any troubles. I also know they did test runs of the car in Egypt so they can handle the heat. You guys have been unusually hot this year in Spokane so anything off will definitely affect your performance more so. That said, @TNTrabi and I were talking about your post yesterday I think and he mentioned that your timing could be (and likely is) off some....Have you checked that?
  5. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    I have these summertime hot start issues all the time with my carbed vehicles here in Tennessee when the temperature get's into the 80s. I've tried running non ethanol gas but can't tell if does any good. I think it's all the fuel additives they put into gasoline these days that causes hot start issues with carbed engines.

    I tried installing the so called "insulator" between the block and carb and it really doesn't do any good either.

    Either the problem is the fuel boils out of the fuel bowl and there is no fuel to start the engine or it boils, condenses in the engine block/cylinders and floods the engine or wets the plugs.

    With my carbed engines it's all the same. If I can restart the car within 5 minutes all is fine. Anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes between stops, it's hard. After 45 minutes, the engine starts to cool down and it's easier to start.

    It seems the best way to hot start a carbed engine is to turn the fuel tap on and let the line/float bowl refill (whatever the case maybe) for about 30 seconds then crank until the engine tries to start then open the throttle wide open. Usually followed by alot of smoke. Blue smoke in the case of a Trabant. Black smoke in the case of my 68 Ford and 87 Yugo.

    DO NOT hit the throttle until the engine attempts to start. This will only aggrevate the problem and cause the engine to flood out worse.

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