1. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    My Trabant reached our shores last weekend and I brought it home today.

    IMG_20180810_112103.jpg IMG_20180810_155725.jpg

    Needs a little cosmetic touching up but seems to run nice. Not registered yet, so only drove up and down the trailer. It's an 86.
    frogbros, Wartburg353W, BillB and 2 others like this.
  2. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Premium Member Forum Donor

    very nice! Congrats are in order!
  3. Andrewwoey

    Andrewwoey Loyal Comrade

    It looks very nice. Does it have aftermarket wings and rear quarters? The arches look a little different.

  4. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    Not that I am aware of. Looks like other Trabants to me, as far as I can tell.
  5. Andrewwoey

    Andrewwoey Loyal Comrade

    I think its just because its got a very good gloss to the paint, that its making the curves stand out.
  6. BillB

    BillB Loyal Comrade Administrator Forum Donor

    Congrats on your purchase! Looks to be really nice. Welcome to the fold.
  7. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    Now I'm in that new owner stage of "Is this normal and I need to get used to it? Or is this a problem I need to fix?"
    BillB likes this.
  8. BillB

    BillB Loyal Comrade Administrator Forum Donor

    Depends on what "it" is.
    Only thing which I think everyone will tell you is use good TC rated premix oil in your fuel.
    Any issues at the moment?
  9. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    I've got a bottle of Lucas Semi-Synth for now. Not sure I'd stick with that or not.

    My only real concern is whether the brakes are working as designed or not. There is what feels like a lot of travel with no resistance then the pedal gets real hard with little braking. More pressure seems to just lock the wheels. I can't tell if I'm just over compensating with pressure and not used to manual brakes or if there should be more pedal travel there.

    I've actually never had manual brakes, and the last 4 wheel drum car was my heavy Chevelle which I put discs on the front of maybe 18 years ago.

    Counterpoint, in any modern car with good brakes (which none of mine are) I tend to put myself through the windshield until I get used to them. So could be me.
  10. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    Getting more used to the brakes but there is a lot of free play in the pedal and the fluid looks brown so I'll need to flush the system at least. New parts are on order, as well.

    Now I feel like the clutch is slipping... Shifting up a gear seems to make no difference in the sound of the engine.
  11. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    So I thought I had a slipping clutch before. Now I definitely do. Got the car inspected and accidentally drove off with the parking brake on. :(

    Made it about a mile before the slipping was bad enough to not go anywhere. Took it out of gear, then couldn't get it back into any. Was able to take some slack out of the clutch cable adjustment, and let things cool for a bit and got 2nd gear back. Took off in 2nd. Got 3rd back. That's enough to get home. :D

    A few miles later, I had all the gears and slipping was back to "normal".
  12. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    Interesting. Went back out after the car had completely cooled and now the clutch cable was far too tight. I think, even beyond where the nut was when I tightened it on the side of the road. Something may have slipped or backed off or there was that much thermal expansion.

    No lock nut on the clutch cable, so I'll add one. Was actually a good thing, this time, as I had no tools with me when I needed to tighten it.
  13. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    I own two cars with manual four wheel drum brakes. The other one is a 68 Ford Fairlane. Here is the difference between the two.

    One car weighs 1300 lbs and the other one weighs over 3000 lbs. I rebuilt the braking systems on both of the cars myself.

    I can't say the Trabant has the best brakes. They are adequate but not dangerous. I have locked them up to avoid getting a ticket from a red light camera. But I really have to mash down hard to get them to lock up. The Fairlane, I can lock all four brakes up on that car quite easy. I've actually missed my driveway a couple of times when the roads were wet. There is a like a fine line between stopping and locking up the brakes on that car.

    With the Trabant (and most other cars) I normally just try to keep about 5 car lengths between me and the driver ahead since I'm sure his car has much better brakes than mine.

    My Citroen 2CV has manual large inboard disc brakes mounted on the driveshafts inside the engine compartment! That car has better braking than my Subaru or Chevy van!

    The Fairlane seems to stop quicker but when going down hills, if I don't downshift into L2 coming off this one hill near my house, I can overheat the brakes in no time. The brake pedal does not get spongy but it seems to take more foot effort to get the car to stop when the shoes and drums are hot. So I only hit the brakes within 50 feet of a red light.

    The Trabant, I've yet to overheat the brakes on that car going down that same hill. In fact your not supposed to use the engine as a brake going down hills. The Trabant has cooling slots in the front drums.

    The self adjusters on the Ford are a pain to keep synchronized. I can synchronize them and get the car to stop straight under hard braking but 200 miles later they are back to where they are. So I just grab onto the steering wheel tight if I have to brake hard. The self adjusters on the Trabant are excellent. I can hit the brakes and that car stops straight.

    Occasionally the driver's side parking brake cable will stick. Despite the fact that when I redid my brakes, I removed the parking brake cables and sprayed WD-40 into the sleeves to loosen up any dried grease. Then sprayed some graphite silicone spray into the sleeves.

    I think this happens if the parking brake is set too long (like more than a week). So I would avoid using the parking brake if the car is going to be parked for more than a day. If this does happen, just pull over and give the parking brake lever a few yanks and releases and eventually it will brake free.

    I had a very strange incident happen with my Trabant brakes. One day I hit the brakes and the pedal went to the floor. When I released and hit the brakes again, the pedal travel was fine. I never could figure this one out. I replaced the master cylinder just in case.

    Free play is kind of hard to judge between one car and another. On my 2CV, there is almost no free play but with my Trabant and especially with my Fiat Spider, the pedal goes almost 1" to the floor.

    My best advise is to keep five or six car lengths between you and the driver in front of you. Since their car probably has twice the braking.
  14. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    Your Trabant brakes sound like mine. I'm getting used to the high force, low travel brake modulation. I always assume the person in front of me has better brake than I do. Only my Jetta has decent stopping ability, but mostly because I put good good summer tires on it.

    Being in the great salted north, parking brakes are my eternal torment.
  15. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    My father had two Jetta TDIs. One was a 2002 and the other one was a 2009. The braking on those cars was extremely touchy compared to my 2003 Subaru. He got onto me for slamming on the brakes and tried to explain to him that I was using the same amount of foot pressure as I did my Subaru and was not used to the VWs touchy brakes. My wife's Nissan Juke is like this. My Subaru has great brakes. I just have to press the brake pedal further to equal the same amount of force. It seems the braking is out of proportion on these makes.

    I'm hoping my axle will get here in the next couple of days. It took 17 days to get the last shipment of parts only to discover I ordered the wrong side. I ordered the correct axle on the 6th.
  16. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    Guess I could use a new battery. Failed to start again. Had 12.7V in the battery and couldn't turn the motor over. So...cables or battery? Had another battery kicking around that had 12.2V in it. Hooked that up to the battery in the car, so going through the same cables, and it fired the car right up.

    Plumbed in the economizer, also. Worked when I started up and had the enrichment circuit on (and maybe filling the ful bowl as I ran it down to try to empty the hose), then no indication while idling. Assuming that there isn't enough flow at idle. Need to take it for a spin.
  17. mati0921

    mati0921 Loyal Comrade

    does it have the original aluminium cables:?
    They are useless. sometimes it starts and sometimes it wont. :)
    replace with proper copper cables. :)
    RogerDerSchrauber likes this.
  18. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    Uh...could be. Gray metal. Could be aluminium, could be dirty. :) Has terminals like the replacement cables on trabantwelt with the cable exposed at the battery end.
  19. mati0921

    mati0921 Loyal Comrade

    Can you take a picture of the gearbox end of the ground cable? If it is a long crimped on end then it is probably the original alu cables. there are few thick threads in there instead of a million thin. :)
  20. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    I'll take a look at the trans end. The positive cable is definitely a few thick threads.

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