1. Surrey

    Surrey Newbie


    I've just refitted the original steering wheel to my Trabant 1.1 (because it came with a nasty aftermarket one) using a new tapered pin from Trabantwelt.

    Does this look right? You'll see from the photos that the tapered pin is flush at the narrow end and sticking out on the wider end.

    Is this how they usually look, or should it protrude the same on either side?

    From the steering wheel I can see that is has been fitted in this position before, but that doesn't necessarily make it right!

    Perhaps someone has a photo of theirs they could share?

    Any help gratefully received. For obvious reasons I'm reluctant to drive the car until I'm sure this is safe.

    Many thanks,


    Trabant Steering Column.jpg
    Trabant Steering Column 1.jpg Trabant Steering Column 2.jpg
  2. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    The pin should be flush on both ends. It could be possible that the steel collar on the aftermarket steering wheel had a larger OD and came with it's own pin which explains why it's longer. Measure both and see what the come out to.

    Mine had the old style steering wheel that the grip splinters and oozes this black funk. I never could find a wrap that would fit it because the grip was so small diameter.

    Instead of having it restored, I found a later model (85? perhaps) in good condition I liked better. The pin ended up being the same length but the steering wheel is now a bit off centered. Just like the steering wheel on my Citroen 2CV.

    It could be an optical illusion (Trabant). The spokes on the older model are thinner so it may have been off centered to begin with and I just couldn't tell it.
  3. Surrey

    Surrey Newbie

    Thanks very much for the reply.

    So I think this confirms what I suspected: that the pin should go further in and be even on both sides.

    I don't think the pin is longer than it should be as this is a new original Trabant part supplied by Trabantwelt. There's only one listed and it's exactly the same as the one that came off. But if if was fully in it would only poke out a few mm on either side, so I guess that would be right.

    I think what I'll do it take the steering column out (looks quite straightforward) and take it to an engineering shop for them to take a look. Half the trouble is that with the column in situ it's not very rigid so hard to tap the pin in cleanly.

    Does anyone have a photo of theirs they could share, please?
  4. TheHun

    TheHun Puttering Along Forum Donor

    The steering column hole for the pin may have been slightly disformed, looking at it it protrudes quite a bit on both sides od the column, just not much through the wheel, I would drive it the way it is provided you hit it with a hammer a few more times while having a counterweight held against the steering column on the opposite side, that ahould allow the pin to deform slightly and get well stuck in there. If you want to be extra safe put some epoxy glue on it and wrap it with some black electrical tape, no need to do anything more IMHO. Just inspect the column for any damage further down toward the steering box and don't use more than 1/2lb hammer to do what I just described.
  5. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    If you did not recycle the pin (your really not supposed to but I did), they maybe the vendor just bought what was available and it's not an original DDR replacement part. But if your going to sell something, at least shave off a few MM to make it it the same length as the original pin.

    I run into this all the time with Fiat parts. Allot of parts on my Fiat 124 Spider are share the same parts as the Lada Vaz so since those cars have been out of production for over 30 years, allot of vendors sell you parts made in Russia. I found the connectors don't always mesh and requires shaving some of the plastic off to allow them to plug in. Or some parts like the Turkish ball bearing steering idler versus the original oil filler Italian damper uses longer bolts/nut instead of using a threaded bolt.

    Like I said in another post, if the hole is not threaded and uses a nut/bolt, I use an Imperial bolt and use a metric socket/wrench that comes close to it. No sense paying for a $2.00 metric bolt when I can use an Imperial bolt roughly the same size +/- 1mm for 5 cents....
  6. TheHun

    TheHun Puttering Along Forum Donor

    Just looked at the first pick again, it looks like when the steering wheel was being removed from its original host it got hammered toward the driver exactly where the pin goes in which likely deformed its hole a bit. Procedure above still applies.
  7. TheHun

    TheHun Puttering Along Forum Donor

    Agree with TurboFiat, if you are really not happy just drill the hole same size on both ends and run a bolt with a nut that has some silicon ring in it so it won't undo itself from vibrating and you can go offroading with this thing.
  8. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    I would use a hardened steel pin instead of a nut and bolt for that application. I used a nut/ bolt to hold the hub to the axle on a riding mower and if broke.
  9. Surrey

    Surrey Newbie

    Thanks very much for your help.

    I'd still appreciate a photo of a steering column with its original pin if anyone else has one?

    With the column in situ on its flimsy mountings it's hard to know how hard you've actually hit it. I agree a counterweight would help with this but to be on the safe side I think I'll take the column out, clean everything up and tap the pin in against an open vice - luckily I bought two so I have another new one to use!
  10. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    I'll try to shoot a photo for you when I get home.

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