1. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    Okay, car is back at my house. My batteries were dead. I guess batteries can't live more than four years and survive a severe wreck... just sad.

    But anyway, the generator regulator located beside the battery. It super heats as my car drives, yet no power is supplied to the battery. So there has to be something wrong somewhere, the question is... what? Is it the regulator? Is it the generator? Could it be the wiring.

    Also, off topic. My car obviously once had fog lights, as it has the switches. I have "new" fog lights I bought for 10 bucks off ebay, original but without the electrical wiring. How do I wire these puppies back up?
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  2. Kamil

    Kamil Puttering Along

    If your car is 6V there is no alternator but generator. It can go wrong very easly. If you are from US go to any parts store (Advance AutoParts etc) and ask them to check your battery and charging/draining system. It is for free if they can work on 6V version. You can covert system to 12V with no problem but you will need electronic regulator, new battery and somebody who know how to do it. Trabant is very easy to work on specially if you have Maintenance book with pictures but you will still have to invest more money on it then you think siply because parts are getting more expensive and harder to find. You can look for it at trabantwelt.de (use google translator for eng) and try to ask them by email (they speak english too) about this book in english or buy german one and translate by yourself (not easy but not impossible:)).

    PS. Either alternator or generator you can give to electrical shop where they can refubrished it for around $100 (price from Atlanta area).

    Don't gave up !!!
    RogerDerSchrauber likes this.
  3. Kamil

    Kamil Puttering Along

    Check also your ground connection which with 6V is very important !!!
  4. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    I have cleaned all electrical connections. It all works well. No hot cords. I was horrified if it was the generator unit. 100 bucks is 2 months of food for me. But then again, 8 hours of driving and 4 of em were with the headlights on, could the battery last that long? I’ll have it tested at my adavaned auto parts place... they know me well.

    As for 12V conversion, I was hoping for a list, forum, or something that details explicitly what I need. I cannot afford anyone to touch the car aside from me.

    As for the maintence book, the car came with one. Gotta translate and I’ve barely got time to breathe as I’ve got 2 jobs and one of em is teaching college students. So that will take a bit.

    Would you happen to know what is sinking the battery power when the car is off? I was thinking perhaps the ignition switch is dead, but can’t confirm. Ive got to look at te electrical diagrams and use car as reference, but no time.

    To be frank, most people would never buy a car if they were in my position, but we only live once and spend our early lives in misery while we are physically fit, making money for the future us who can’t have fun with that money. I’ve only gotten to drive the car 3 total days in my college town and I’ve already gotten videos, pictures, thumbs up, and people talking with me everywhere. People are telling me to go to certain car shows, been invited by the hosts of car shows (just county ones, nothing big). I’ll say, it was definitely worth it, buying the car.
  5. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    Hi, a easy check to see if the batt is charging, is to have it running with the head lights on. Then turn the engine off-with the lights still on. If they dim a little- then it is charging(how much is a guess doing this). Also if you are near a harbor freight store, they often have multi-meters for free with a coupon. Or priced at about $5.

    You can use the meter, on the dc volts setting- while the car is running/ and revving it a bit-to see the charge voltage(if any!:p). If it still has a generator, then you have a external voltage regulator. Maybe it needs some cleaning inside....

    Basically if the car is charging, either your battery is bad, or something is stuck on somewhere..

    Have you got the factory owners, service, books yet? There on here:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/yq48woj2aacrg5o/Operating_Instructions_Trabant.pdf?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/qzr18f610ysk5o9/Full Manual-edit_ver.pdf?dl=0
  6. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    Wait, now that you tell me this, I know the Generator is active as when I speed up while driving, my lights do get brighter, or my turn signal increases in frequency of flashes. But I will have to confirm myself using your method if this isn't a means of trickery.

    When I run the 10 miles to get battery, charge it, run back and test, I will get around to telling ya how it goes.
  7. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    Yep, you need a cheap multimeter. Go thru each circuit in the fuse box and see if anything is drawing power when the car is off. Another cheap short term solution would be to put a cut off switch in the battery cable.
  8. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    Im already on that. I am the king of jury rigging. Ive got a cut off switch installed on the positive terminal of the battery cable. Works well, or so I thought.

    To be honest, I've only gotten to drive this car for 8 total hours since I've got it. 8 hours is not enough time to find all the problems, so theres probably an iceberg under the surface.

    I also remember a sound I heard before parking the car. It sounded like a ringing or buzzing was coming from the fuze box region. Anyone know what this was? Was the car about to explode, summoning Narnia and effectively killing me (not so much this one).
  9. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    A buzzing from the fuse area is most often a fuse blowing (or attempting to blow). It is my understanding that the type of fuses used in the Trabant sometimes does not reliably blow. Or, whatever the issue is may have been drawing a lot of current previously causing the battery to discharge since the generator output is relatively low, and this time it actually blew the fuse?

    I have not done the 12v conversion, but it will likely be more than your budget permits to change over the stuff you need to in order to effectively convert. Old Ford tractors that are 6v have a reasonably inexpensive kit available for around $100, but I don't think for a Trabant you will find any such kit.

    I presume you would need a 12v electronic ignition and coils (about $140 on trabantwelt.de) and alternator (approx. $100) - I think those have an internal 12v voltage regulator. I would imagine that you may need a new wiper motor also, and any other similar optional electrical devices that may be installed on your car.

    I know people here have done the conversion and can give you a better idea what is involved, but on a budget, you would be best served to diagnose your issue and fix just that.
  10. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    That 12V delicious package will be for future Gray to deal with then.

    For now, fuzes. That's a thing present gray can do. They are in seriously awful disrepair. I sorta tried to solder them back together because upon removal, each fuze fell to pieces. Some aluminum foil goes a long way. I've got a new set coming in whenever. But I don't think that's the source of the problem.

    Another thing, you mentioned generator output. Anything I can do to get that a lil' stronger? What is the reason for a weak gennie?
  11. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    First, I would highly recommend getting actual fuses installed before running the car, especially since there appear to be issues with the electrical system. You are risking turning your car into a smoldering wreck if a fire should start. The plastic panels/hood will certainly burn, and the gas tank is mounted under the hood where most of the electrical lines run, so a fire that starts under the hood could be catastrophic. At our local Advance Auto, a five pack of the 8 amp fuses is $3.99 per their website. If you can't afford that now, I would park the car and leave it until you can. Plus, if a fuse immediately pops, that will give you an idea where the electrical issue might lie.

    As far as the generator goes, in large part, it is just the nature of the beast. Generators do not put out nearly as much charging power as a 12v alternator. It is my understanding that is one reason why the manufacturer switched to a 12v system so they could support running a rear window defroster etc. which would have been too much for the generator. I know people have said keeping up with the headlamps and providing spark to the car is sometimes a problem in their 6v cars. I am pretty sure someone here put an alternator on their 6v system to provide more power. I am not sure where the thread is for that, but it is on this site somewhere so you should be able to find it.
    RogerDerSchrauber likes this.
  12. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    I think that person was "a spooky ghost". I saw a thread on that stuff somewhere here.

    As for the fire, I have fuzes already ordered. Im not obscenely poor to not afford those, it will just take a bit to get em. I've repaired a great deal of fuzes in the past and never a fire... but you never know. Ill just make an American adaptation fuze box myself until I get the parts. But, I left out important information. The reason why I am driving the car is because I wanted to get the title for the car as I shipped it from overseas. I now have the title and plan to retire it for a bit. But my daily driver Fiero is nearly dead (Dead motor mounts, screaming water pump, dead cradle bushings, a blown tie rod, 2 downed brakes, blown engine gaskets, worn fiber gear, and so much rust on the cradle and rotors, you'd think it was snowing rust), so gonna need to fix the problems ASAP and fix the Fiero. So yeah... they say money doesn't bring happiness, but that's a load of BS. Id have a sweetfire Fiero, 12V Trabant, and my bloody 69' mustang convertible would finally be up. I also need a roof, man I need a roof.
  13. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    Nah, Spooky Put a Nissan Alt in place of the factory unit(both were 12 volt). Turbo fiat did the 6v alt swap... Its all on here somewhere.
  14. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    Sorry, much information to process, so little time to process it. I scan, and move on. Currently, I've been reading documents (As I am a researcher for a university) for about... well since 12, and its 9 now. I hate everything right now.

    But anyway, Ill probably do something about the gennieze on my car. I've done some weird things before and gotten em to work. A WWII jeep I've got is... made about 30% of water heaters. Copper, metal and more. Im about to head over the 10 miles, grab my Trabi battery, run back, and charge it. I've got to be up at 7 am to teach at 8:30 and I need a car otherwise im running 20 miles.

    Anyway, a lotta random things being thrown around. Ill probably go quiet for a moment until I can get my car, run a few tests, EVAC it the heck outta there and forget it at the end of the driveway as I frantically try to get my proposal for my research finished and a roof over my head before winter hits. Otherwise...
  15. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    Since your lights get noticeably brighter. Lets say it charges enough(for now anyway). I have soldered a fuse or two, but never make a habit of it. Only use them for testing....

    I got a easy one for you to check. So, does it have a more modern radio in it? Or clock, anything that stays on when key is off?

    I doubt it, so-with everything turned off. Unhook your batt - cable, and then hook it back up/ just touch it to the terminal. If your hear, or see any sparks. Then you know something is sucking it dry..
  16. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    That car is one thirsty monster. It makes all the zaps you can ever imagine. I know this as I unhook battery cable every time I shut car down. Where does the positive terminal directly hook to? I was thinking perhaps the ignition switch is not working properly and that was the power drain.

    But then again. The car was running incredibly well when I shut it down. I unhooked battery, left for 30 mins, come back, try to start car, barely any charge : /. So its either the car lost gennie action as I was driving and I didn't notice or... not sure. Maybe it the positive terminal came in contact with the positive hook.
  17. A Spooky Ghost

    A Spooky Ghost Loyal Comrade

    Usually the + cable goes directly to the starter large terminal, and another cable jumps from this same terminal-and goes into the car- the fuse box, and other stuff.
  18. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    I saw the starter, I did not know it goes to fuze box. I have much yet to learn. Still a new owner. I am going to dissect the living daylights outta them electrical diagrams when I have time to breathe.

    Alright, I gotta go get that battery. Here's to cardio.
  19. GrayV-Horse

    GrayV-Horse Newbie

    Okay, after much work, the car is now running quite well. A good deal of my problem was coming from the battery... its just ded.

    As for drainage, *Solved* the car had some hotwiring or something done to it. Perhaps hurt the gennie due to improper wiring.

    Finally, the regulator and generator. I checked the voltage on each of the terminals before I turned on car, nothing. When car was running, only 1 Volt was running through each 61, Df, D+, and D. Does this mean anything? I just need to know if regulator or gennie are operating improperly.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019

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