1. RHFabrications

    RHFabrications Loyal Comrade

    Hello.

    I haven't posted for a couple of years since I sold my first trabant 80% of the way into restoring it. Well, after two years, a wedding, a new baby, adopting my wife's daughter and buying a house, yesterday I made amends and bought my second Trabi. This time I have bought a limo and although it looks in worse condition it is actually much better than my first one.

    I always regretted selling my kombi but for the last year a friend and I have started competing in local Motorsport events. Mainly 12car night rallies and Autosolos (gymkhanas, I think they call them stateside) in a Mazda mx5 (great) and a fiat Seicento (unreliable). For rallying any car is fine, it is all about navigation and car choice is almost irrelevant so a Trabi is as good as anything else but for auto solos a car that is light, nimble and can turn on a sixpence has a good advantage. Of course, a Trabi fits the bill here! Having watched many YouTube videos of trabants rallying in Eastern Europe I am sure whilst it is not fast I will at least have fun competing in one.

    So, my new trabant. I don't know much about it except it was originally blue, them somebody painted in black and pink and then somebody painted over the pink with a brush. It needs a little welding under the battery and on one chassis rail and overall it looks pretty untidy. Of course, I would be crazy to buy a really nice original car to use for any sort of Motorsport. This one fits the bill perfectly.

    I haven't got it home yet but hope I can in the next month or so. Then I will weld the rusty areas, make a few adjustments, some tweaks here and there and once it's been fitted with some basic safety kit we hope to be out competing in the new year with it.
  2. RHFabrications

    RHFabrications Loyal Comrade

  3. Bill Overbaugh

    Bill Overbaugh King Trabi Administrator Forum Donor

    Awesome! Congrats on the new car! You'll find lots of help here on the forums.
  4. Ron

    Ron Premium Member Forum Donor

    That's good, I think I remember you being on here before.

    Be great to see how the car comes along, I'm very jealous of your bumpers, if they get the chop please give me a call!

    Also, is this your car? http://www.trabant.org.uk/ I remembered seeing a black one with pink trim...
  5. RHFabrications

    RHFabrications Loyal Comrade

    Hey, thanks. Yeah that's definitely my car, although it looks a bit happier then than it does now. I've been sizing up ways of getting it home today, it looks like it *should* fit in the back of my work van. Might be a bit of an adventure...
    Ron likes this.
  6. RHFabrications

    RHFabrications Loyal Comrade

    I had my Trabi delivered yesterday, although I've yet to actually do anything to it. It's not without its issues but thankfully its nothing too taxing.

    The alternator is not original, nor is it mounted properly and furthermore it is so loose it sort of self adjusts itself depending on engine speed. I might keep the alternator but I'll certainly make a better effort to mount it securely and in line with the belt.

    The throttle spindle has an awful lot of play in it and i assume it's worn, so I'd quite like to replace that or rebuild it, assuming you can get kits to do so. It won't return to tickover very easily and I think the return spring is mounted incorrectly and doesn't fully tension up. There's a lot of little things like this which need a little bit of headscratching to solve.

    Previous owner said there was a bit of play in the passenger side front wheel, and has bought a large spring which he said 'goes in there somewhere' pointing towards the wheel. Possibly something to do with the wheelbearing? I also need to change all the driveshaft boots, what's involved there?

    Anyway, I'm a bit green to all things Trabant, so perhaps those more in the know can tell me exactly what I've got here? It's registered at first built 1984 but the previous owner said he thought it was 1977 but registered incorrectly. How could I tell?

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  7. RHFabrications

    RHFabrications Loyal Comrade


    As you can see from the pictures, they have pretty much had it (the rear bumper certainly isn't much good) but I would happily sell or better still swap them for something I do need. (I don't need bumpers, I would rather have it without them)
  8. Austinpowers

    Austinpowers Loyal Comrade

    The bumpers if original to the car would indicate that it is from 1977.
  9. Keri

    Keri Leader

    Welcome Back!

    Congratulations on the wedding, kids, house and everything including being re-adopted by a Trabant!

    From the general look I would say '77 rather than '84

    Here the pointers:

    6v type regulator still mounted near battery.
    6v type wiper motor
    Appears to have single circuit master cylinder reservoir mounted low, hard to say from angle.
    Narrow "B" pillars
    Original door pulls mounted high, near window.


    The vehicle data plate appears to still be mounted on the firewall, by the fuel tank. This should state the year and serial number which can be looked up.....

    Again, congratulations!
  10. RHFabrications

    RHFabrications Loyal Comrade

    That's great, thanks for that info. I will check the chassis plate but I assume this has been changed for the 1984 identity. I'm really busy at work (where I keep it) so won't get much of a chance to work on it this week. We are having a weeklong Sumer shutdown next week so there's a chance for me to get it up in the air and make some progress. I would like to get the welding done first and then go from there. I might stick it in for an MOT test and see what it fails on, aside from most of the lights not working (should be simple enough) and the few bits I e mentioned I can't see too much wrong with it. Ideally I'll get a few miles on it before I enter it in any competitions. I'm mainly just really pleased to have one again. It's a nice stablemate for my 2cvs and it's such a joy to work on after my wife's Renault Megane.
  11. Ron

    Ron Premium Member Forum Donor

    Aye, I can see from your other pics that those bumpers are past their best! I'd still want them if I was closer, but they're probably not worth the postage this far North!

    Mine is also older than registered, I have the 6v regulator still fitted, with the ebza ignition. I have thin b-posts, old taper style hubs (absolute pig to get off!), and my door pulls are the same as yours (didn't know that was an indicator of age till Keri said). When I looked at the 'changes through the years' thread on here, my best guesstimate was about 1983 for mine. However, it's stamped up as a 1989 model and I don't really care as long as the DVLA are happy!

    I do remember seeing an exploded diagram of the hub with the spring in there behind the wheel bearing, bit unusual I thought! Best of luck with getting it sorted, it looks really cool black like that, go for black wheels and no bumpers for maximum badass!

    Cheers now, keep us updated!
  12. vdubbin

    vdubbin Loyal Comrade

    Great to see a Trabi getting used like this! They're light, and that two stroke revs nicely (up to 50mph anyways)

    Will you be upgrading the front drums to discs?
    And what about springs? Keeping the cartsprings, or installing coils?

    Any engine mods planned? Expansion pipe, heater delete?

    Since you're going to be doing Night Navs, would you consider upgrading the lights? Most events limit you to 4 lamps.
    And even in a 12V car like mine they're pretty weak. Separate relays, 100W (or other decent H4) bulbs, with the wiring upgraded to compensate?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  13. RHFabrications

    RHFabrications Loyal Comrade

    I'm generally of the opinion that the factory knew best, and once something is modified it becomes a nuisance to repair and find replacements for at short notice. To start with I will keep it standard with exception of the interior, which will have decent seats and the trim removed. I'll build a roll cage but probably just a rear one. 4pt harnesses too. I will have. Set of Rallye Giants or Super Oscars on the front panel.

    I think to start with I would rather get it straight and working properly as the factory intended before messing with it. I think rear camber correction and maybe stronger front wishbones are on the cards.
  14. Ron

    Ron Premium Member Forum Donor

  15. RHFabrications

    RHFabrications Loyal Comrade

    Yeah I was tempted but what put me off was that I don't have an engine or know anybody I can get an engine from (not being in Trabi circles), and also the price. I paid £230 for mine, it was all I could afford. It was between this one and a 1.1 kombi that's just been relisted. But that was £100 more and still on polish plates, plus, it's got to be a two stroke, hasn't it?
    Ron likes this.
  16. Ron

    Ron Premium Member Forum Donor

    A man after my own heart!
  17. Austinpowers

    Austinpowers Loyal Comrade

    My friend in Hungary who races a trabi, converted the rear suspension on his from coils to leaf spring. He said that it was better located and stronger.
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  18. Austinpowers

    Austinpowers Loyal Comrade

  19. RHFabrications

    RHFabrications Loyal Comrade

    Thanks, I don't like the springs being the top location for the suspension but at the moment I don't want to go nuts modifying stuff. If we get a year out of it as it is it'll be great, get the measure of it, then we shall see. I'd be interested in seeing more pictures of that car, I could do with some Trabi Motorsport contacts, for a bit of basic advice sand pointers.

    So, today my daughter (10yo) stripped the interior out and removed the rear bumper. Alright, it's not exactly Prodrive HQ but it's a start, and anything to get the kids into something practical. We drove it round the farm and washed it and made plans for it.
  20. mati0921

    mati0921 Loyal Comrade

    Dumb question: Why put that bar across the engine bay? It only holds the shock absorbers and the headlights, and does not hold the weight of the car, and therefore flex does not matter much here, unlike a car with coil springs. :) but maybe i am wrong. :)

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