1. Tim S

    Tim S Just Slow, Not Stalin Forum Donor

    Starting to gather info for restoring my engine compartment.

    I would like to keep the car as original as possible within reason and am trying to decide between just repainting parts (air filter housing, gas tank, etc.) or having them powdercoated if possible.

    I would like to do the work myself and am quite a perfectionist so I want to avoid as much grief as possible!

    This and any restoring tips in general would be greatly appreciated!


    Attached Files:

    Keri likes this.
  2. TheHun

    TheHun Puttering Along Forum Donor

    Tim, congrats on the undertaking. While I am not sure if they were powdercoated, the gas tank withstands years of oil and gas so I am inclined to think so. The gas tank and air filter are original on the picture, I think the "big vent curved metal part", wish I knew what is called, that goes to carry the heat from the muffler into the cabin is usually galvanized or some other rust preventing treartment that looks like oxidized aluminum and not painted black like yours, that may explain why its peeling so much, perhaps paint with some sort of metalic grey to get close to original or replace, the other suspect part I think is the horn, on the pic its on the right bottom, the part does not look original and belie its usually placed vertically on a stand of sorts right behind and slightly below the headlight.

    More info for the car and more pics of areas you are restoring can help us get you as original as possible if that's the goal...
    Tim S likes this.
  3. Tim S

    Tim S Just Slow, Not Stalin Forum Donor

    Thanks for the reply!

    Yes, I will be uploading more pictures as soon as I can and really look forward to feedback. I really wish that I could have found a car in better shape but the more I get into it I really like the challenge going forward and the results will be much sweeter when it is finished. Call it a rescue mission! :)

    I am just working on easy parts now, cleaning, etc. and am trying to gather all the info I can before tackling the bigger tasks. I know that there is some rust in the back-bottom portion of the trunk and rocker panels that I will need to address with some bodywork. This also will be a first for me. I am guessing that to do things right I will need to remove the duroplast panels. Definitely more homework needed!

    Starting with easy stuff like the tire jack.

    Attached Files:

  4. Keri

    Keri Leader

    A Perfectionist working on a Trabi? Okay.... Have Fun! Your dutiful wheeled comrade will try to cure you of this tendency. ;)

    Powder coating in DDR? I'm not sure they did powder coating, but probably some kind of baked-on coating.
    Powder coating is just a way to "spray" paint without solvents, which then must be melted onto the metal. A baked-on finish can be just as tough, like bathtub enamel.

    They did do electrostatic primer dip on the body shells. Pity they didn't do baked-on enamel on the structure.
    Tim S likes this.

    JASONCHAD Trabi Meister Forum Donor

    I don't think anything was powder coated. Just paint.
  6. Tim S

    Tim S Just Slow, Not Stalin Forum Donor

    Cool! I can handle paint. I've done powdercoating of smaller items but don't have the facilities to do larger stuff.

    And yeah, Keri, I guess that is a conflict in my terminology "perfection" and "trabant". :p
    I just don't want to do a hatchet job on this. I know any goof I do will forever be a magnet for my eyes!
  7. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    I doubt the fuel tanks were powder coated. The paint on mine is flaking off around the fuel filler port.

    I even gave mine a fresh coat of paint but gasoline is bad about lifting it. I'm not even sure if one of those powder coating places would powder coat a fuel tank
    My wife wanted all black appliances. When it got down to the oven, I asked her if she would be satisfied if I painted it instead. It's one of those old GE ovens with two elements, a thermostat and a dial. No fancy computerized garbage that burns out after 3 years.

    She agreed. I took the oven door off, took it apart and cleaned all the chrome with steel wool and Turtle Wax chrome polish, the plastic panels with Novus plastic polish.

    When it got to the olive green door itself....

    I discovered it was a baked on porcelain material. I went through about six 60 grit discs on my orbital sander before I could get it scuffed enough to where paint would stick to it.

    If you ever decide to paint an oven door, use engine enamel. Not that appliance paint. Someone told me they tried to use appliance paint on an oven door and it turns chalky after awhile.
  8. mbeamish

    mbeamish Loyal Comrade

    You've also got to remember Trabants were repaired in the DDR with whatever parts could be found. So it's very common to find parts from the 'wrong' year fitted and even parts fitted from totally different cars just to keep the cars on the road . Getting your car 'factory correct' could be a mammoth task
  9. kev the builder

    kev the builder Loyal Comrade

    If you paint your fuel tank you r early need to give finish it with petrol resisting lacour after paint and sand the paint of where the tank cap seal fits or the petrol seeps under the paint lifting it by sanding it off the seal seals against the metal stopping this petrol spills can be wiped of the tank without lifting the paint

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