1. In order to combat the SPAM challenges we have been facing, I have chosen for the registration of new forum members to be manually approved. If you are registering as a new member, please fill out your profile as much as your comfortable doing. By doing this it shows us that you are not a spammer and will ensure that you’re registered to the form quickly. Should you be denied by mistake, please reapply with a fully completed profile
  2. I have received a lot of messages asking about the future of the forums once my car sells. Well today it sold and will soon be on its way to its new home. With that said, for the forums, there is more information under 'Announcements" titled "Future of the Forums' you could also copy and paste this link: http://www.trabantforums.com/threads/future-of-the-forums-donations.1762/
  1. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    I have just bought a 500 Kombi which doesn't run (and hasn't run for 8 years :shock: ), and as I am trying to make it work I am encountering parts which I do not recognize from my experience with my two newer trabis (601). The previous owner seem to have changed the electrical system and ignition system to the electronic version, but this includes a strange little red knob with a few wires attatched to it on the floor of the trabi (Picture: http://i.imgur.com/lSeo5.jpg ). What is this thing, what is it's function (it seems to be rusted stuck if it is some sort of switch) and can it be part of the reason for the car not running?

    The car is in a different town than me at the moment and i am going there in the weekend to fix it and drive it home. The trabi was parked eight years ago when an idiot apparently drove it very far on the starter engine, breaking something electrical. I went to the car a few weeks ago to try to make it work and have changed the starter motor, so the engine turns over, but there was no ignition. Bringing a new carburettor and ignition system next time, but is there any other possible reasons for the engine not starting? All my manuals are for the 601 and there seems to be little available information on the 500/600 models.
  2. Justin

    Justin Owner Administrator

    Welcome to the forum! It sounds like you are going to have your hands full with your Kombi, but I'm sure worth it in the end.

    I am not an expert on these cars by any means. However, I am not sure if you are familiar with John Short, he and a couple other guys have been my "go to" people when I really get stuck. John is EXTREMELY knowledgeable, and if you would like, I can ask him if it would be OK to give you his email address and contact information.

    You can also message a guy on this forum, Paul, he goes by ComradePaul as his username. I know he is very knowledgeable when it comes to Trabi's as well.

    By the way, where are you located?
  3. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    Thanks! Yeah, I got the kombi really cheap because it hasn't run for such a long time, but I am optimistic about the mechanical parts while the electrical system seems a bit dodgy after the abuse. Luckily I have a ton of parts that came with the '65 601 I am currently refurbishing. :)

    Never heard of him, but I'd love to have someone to ask when I get stuck, over the last years I have basically been guessing what to do whenever I encounter a problem and the german manuals are of no help. Ask away :)

    I'll send paul a message also, and I am located in Norway. More specifically I am in Bergen, the car is in Kristiansand and I am moving to Oslo which is the destination for the 500. (that's 300 km in a car that hasn't been working for 8 years, it's gonna be interesting :)

    Thanks for the help!
  4. Justin

    Justin Owner Administrator

    John Short in currently in the UK, but he resides primarily in Colorado here in the US. I'll shoot him a message today then send you a PM (Private Message ) with his contact info.
  5. P60K

    P60K Newbie

    this is a light switch. ther is plenty information of the 500 only you didn't find it yet. don't hesitate to ask.
  6. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    Thanks for the info!
    It turned out that the idea of driving 300 kilometers in a car that had not been running for 7 or 8 years was pretty stupid.
    After a two days of tinkering on the car, replacing all the rubber mounts for the exhaust (it had fallen off completely), freeing up the seized up rear wheels, testing the brakes and establishing that there were NO brakes on the rear wheels, replaceing the electronic ignition system fitted to the car, forgetting the ignition on and frying a component in the ignition control box, re-replacing the now broken control box, the car was finally ready for a test drive:

    The trabi was parked at the top of a very steep and narrow road which led to a wider and partially secluded access wroad. i managed to drive it back and forth along this road one time, when it suddenly stopped running on one cylinder. when i was trying to turn the car to return to my other car and my friend with all the tools, the steering column broke at the rubber hinge, leaving me stranded in the middle of the road... Luckily I had brought a replacement steering column, so after some tinkering and annoying a few motorists wanting to use the road, we managed to move the trabi out of the way. We then decided to abandon driving the car to oslo, and went to Avis and rented a big transit, the biggest you can drive on a normal lisence in norway. we put the trabi in the transit and made it safely to oslo. And I have now officially spent more money on the transport of the car than on buying the car. Still worth it!

    By the way, does anyone know why the hell the trabi destroys all my spare ignition control boxes? it appears to overheat the large oval metal thingy for cylinder two inside the black box, which I am guessing is a capacitor.

    On wednesday I am going back to oslo to re-fit the car with the conventional ignition system, and drive it the 300 meters to my rented garage. And then it is time to fix all the mechanical issues :)
  7. phi

    phi Loyal Comrade


    What do you mean with "ignition control boxes"? The EBZA? http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Vb1P1HtrhGU/S ... h/EBZA.jpg (EBZA = elektronische Batterie-Zünd-Anlage = Electronic Battery Ignition Device)

    The EBZA is built to run on 12V and needs coils which don't exceed 3.5 A primary current and 400V primary interrupting voltage. The item you fried in the ignition box may be a transistor (SU169K) which can be replaced (e.g. Siemens: BUX 46, Telefunken: BUX 46, Texas Instruments BUY 69A -> nice page, but only in German: http://www.wartburgpeter.de/tez_ebza.htm)
  8. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    Wow! That was a lot of useful information! Yes, by control box i meant the black box in the picture you linked to and the fried part is probably the transistor as I could tell it was replaceable by the nuts and bolts attaching it to the base plate in the black box. I have three of these systems lying around, two of which are now fried and I will get the parts and learn to solder! Thanks a lot, you saved me a lot of head-scratching!

    This does still not solve the questions about the reason why the parts get fried, the entire ignition wiring including the coils were taken from a different functioning trabi and put straight into the car so it should have worked. However there may have been a bad connection on the coil terminals which got sorted out when I was handling the system during installation, which again may have enabled the aftermarket coil to burn out the component, but this is just speculation from my side, as i generally view the electronic ignition system as black magic. The coil in question is not an original trabi coil, but as I mentioned the system with the coil had worked flawlessly for 5 years in a different car...
  9. phi

    phi Loyal Comrade

    I'm quite sure that this is the reason!

    Some years ago, we put a VW-Golf coil in the Trabant after a breakdown of the original coil. After about 60km, the EBZA was fried...
  10. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    OK, Thanks for all the help!
    I'll throw away the unoriginal coil before it does any more damage :)
  11. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    Time for an update!
    The car is now running again after I taught myself to solder and fixed the electronic ignition system. The culprit turned out to be the unoriginal coil which burned the corresponding transistor in the electronics. After I had fixed this I also discovered a massive structural problem in one of the two flanges holding the entire front wheel/engine assembly (engine, gearbox, wheels) of the trabi; the left one had broken off nearly completely, only being held to the car by the horizontal top part and the car was resting on the right flange and the bottomed out dampener on the left side... I have included some pictures of the car and the repairs in the following album:

    The welding work is really ugly because of the cramped working conditions, but the welds will hold until I have access to a proper workshop again. Now I just have to fix the rear brakes which are not working and bypass the floor light switch which is rusted up completely, and then it is off to get it approved for Norwegain roads again!
  12. Justin

    Justin Owner Administrator

    Not a bad looking weld job. Looks a lot better than it did before. Once finished, that car is going to look very good.
  13. Evan_S

    Evan_S Newbie

    Please note that not all the Trabant coils are suitable for use with EBZA.


    The coil on the left (with the triangle and '1' marking) is NOT suitable for use with EBZA. It will run ok for a while, but it will eventually burn your EBZA and/or coils.

    Old Trabants often have a primitive (but surprisingly effective) anti-theft mechanism. This by placing a hidden switch between the power cable of the ignition coils. With this switch turned off, the startmotor runs, but there is nu spark/ignition. Often new owners can drive a while with the switch turned on (now knowing about the switch), an then suddenly find out that the car won't start. This means that the switch has rotten away / rusted completely). I could be worth while to look if your car has one of these hidden switches if you still have the starting problems.
  14. phi

    phi Loyal Comrade

  15. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    For what it's worth:

    I had allot of trouble getting my aftermarket system I installed on my 81 six volt Trabbi to fire. I took a look at my coils and they were stamped the following:

    Since my car was made in Decemeber 1980, I'm going to assume these are the
    original coils. Or at least period correct.

    Come to find out, it was not the MOSFETs or transistors on the board that were bad but rather the onboard 6 to 12V converter that fried. Before I could even go on a test drive! Thanks to Phil for pointing this out to me!

    I wired mine up to my radio converter and it's been working OK ever since. It took me awhile to get the ring oriented correctly.


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