1. IronJaw

    IronJaw Puttering Along

    Hello Chaps,
    I finally got my hands on a Trabbi yesterday, to be specific it's a 1985 Trabant 601S Kombi in Panama Green. :D This was only possible thanks to Forum Member Steve's kindness reaching out to me about the car. :)

    Now I've not worked out how to post photos on this forum yet, I'm not on any of these photo sharing sites currently so you'll have to bear with me for now. :oops:

    I travelled up to to Newcastle yesterday to get the car and I got it home safe. It may sound strange, but I didn't really look at the car yesterday as I was too busy. But today I was all over it like a rash. The idea was to see what needs doing and what doesn't. :rolleyes:

    So first thing I did after unlocking the car was pull the god awful Matsui radio out of the dash, where I was disappointed to see that the dash had been butchered to make it fit. So I may need a replacement dash panel, as the hole left behind isn't pretty. After that I removed all the sketchy wiring related to the stereo and went to the boot area to remove the speakers that had been badly fitted there. Sadly they've made a real mess of the trim panels, so I'll have to source a replacement pair. I'm still undecided about fitting a stereo in this car.

    Next I went about exploring the car and seeing what does what and how. I noticed my front seats appear to have been welded onto their runners, rather than bolted. Is that normal? Also is it correct that only the passenger seat tilts?

    Whilst investigating under the dash, I found a little metal tap style device in the bulkhead. When I turned it 90 degrees the tap popped out and it could be removed. What is this item? It's partially hidden by the carpet.

    Also what are the little tabs at the bottom of the headlamps, what do they do? Sorry for my questions, but I've not got much information on these little cars.

    Another thing about the dash is the original ignition switch appears to have gone wrong at some point and there is a replacement from another car swinging freely under the scuttle. Is there a source for the ignition switches? As I'd like to restore the function of the original switch rather than drill and fit a replacement.

    One of the rear tyres was quite low on air so I had to bring my Triumph out the garage and use her 12V socket to power my pump to inflate the Trabant's tyres. Then I started the Trabbi up and straight away I filled the next door neighbour's living room with exhaust smoke! :oops: After I'd repositioned the car I looked at the fuel lines and noted they needed replacement, I'll use some of the nice race spec stuff we use on the Stock Cars.

    Finally I gave the car a quick wash and it looked better straight away. However I've got a good spanner sessions ahead of me as I'll need to renew the braking systems and sort a few other things before I can present for MOT and look towards getting the car UK registered.
    Lasse likes this.
  2. Steve

    Steve Loyal Comrade

    Stu, first the easy answer. The tabs under the headlights are beam aimers. Up or down. Second, any new bits can be obtained from the German suppliers, Trabantwelt.de, LDM tuning, Martin Heinz, etc. They post by DHL which takes 2 or 3 days, and if you order the parts you need all in one go, the postage will be less.

    Both front seats should slide back and forward and tilt to allow rear access.

    The tap you describe sound like the fuel tap which sometimes pops out of its locating hole in the petcock. As I told you the petcock needs cleaning anyway so take the tank out and dismantle the petcock for cleaning. There should be a 90 degree bend at the end of the remote tap rod, which locates in the petcock tap.

    Take pictures with your phone, transfer them to your laptop/desktop and then you usually need to make them smaller by opening the picture with Paint. With Paint you can use the resize tab to make them 25 size instead of 100. Save the new resized picture to your Pictures folder. Then on the forum use 'Upload a file' tab to get your photo onto the post you are making.
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  3. Andrewwoey

    Andrewwoey Loyal Comrade

    This will be the start of your issues, but don't let that put you off. Once sorted you will begin to like the car. I have done most of the previous owners bodges on the car now and it works great. Just the rear inner arches to replace now. I have some combi bits left, should you be stuck for any thing.

  4. IronJaw

    IronJaw Puttering Along

    I'm not put off, I love stuff like this! I'm really keen to get my teeth into the car so I can get it UK registered and driven! I'm short of funds just now though so will spend this time doing what I can for free! But I'm interested in some of the parts you mentioned in your message to me, I'll just have to wait for funds to allow it.

    Steve: I looked at the other side of the "tap" and it's electrical and appears to be linked to a battery cable. I first thought it to be an isolator switch, but as you suggested it may be related to the parking heater. I'll have to look into how those are controlled as I see nothing obvious anywhere.

    The next job is to swap one of the rear tyres with the spare as it's got a puncture, and I'll also have to try and find a wiring diagram so I can sort out the economy gauge which only seems to read full red and other stuff.
  5. kev the builder

    kev the builder Loyal Comrade

    The economy gauge is notorius for not working the part under the bonnet tends to fail they are available from germany
  6. IronJaw

    IronJaw Puttering Along

    I’m putting together a big list of things to order, I’m going to replace all the brakes and the flexible hoses as a matter of course but I need to check the wheel bearings. Italked been suggested by my supervisor that I may get an early finish today so if it’s dry I’ll play around with the car some more.
  7. Steve

    Steve Loyal Comrade

    Stu; I noticed the economy meter had been by-passed and no fuel hose was connected either in or out. There should be 3 wires going into the unit. Connect it up and it might work
  8. IronJaw

    IronJaw Puttering Along

    OK So I think I've worked out how to get some photos up, please feel free to have a look. :)

    The first photo should be my Trabbi meeting my Triumph, quite a contrast in some ways. My Herald is a custom built Street Rod with a lot of speed parts and attitude, whereas the Trabant will remain relatively standard except for a few little changes.

    The second photo should be the back of my original ignition key. I need the barrel to go on the back of this, it appears to be a square peg. The ones I've seen on the parts sites all seem to have a slit rather than a square hole, so I don't know if this is a rare item. I did bid on someone selling a pair of square ones on ebay amongst some other bits I didn't really want, but rather annoyingly I was outbid at the very last second by 1p!! Once Pence!! So Angry!!!! :mad:

    The third photo should be the mystery switch I've found on the bulkhead under the carpet. I don't know what this does, I thought it was an isolator at first as on the engine side one of the battery cables runs through it. But when I removed the peg the car still started. Steve suggested that it may be related to the Auxiliary Heater that was fitted to the car, does anyone else have any ideas?

    Speaking of the Auxiliary Heater, the one for this car is sat in the boot. Does anyone know where I may find some more information about these items? How they were wired and how they were controlled? I don't think I'll be getting it working, but it would be nice to make it look right.


    Meeting Small.jpg Switch.jpg Ignition.jpg
  9. IronJaw

    IronJaw Puttering Along

    I was quite pleased this morning to have declared the car to HMRC and to have it accepted almost immediately. Easy form to fill in online and straightforward process. They’ve now given me the go ahead to approach DVLA for a V5 Registration and UK number plate. I’m excited!

    I also joined the IFA Club UK today too!

    I’ve found photos of the Kombi rear shelf which is missing on my car. I imagine these are rare items so I may have to make my own version of it.
    Steve likes this.

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