1. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    Some say bad things about "All work and no play", claiming that it makes some guy named Jack a dull boy. Well, my trabi has added some dullness to that guy, but I'm having a blast, so I really don't care what Jack has to say about it!
    When I bought my P50, the conclusion for my restoration of my fathers 601 was nigh, and I wanted a new hopeless case of Trabi to bring back to life. The P50 delivered. When I bought it it had not moved under it's own power for 7 years, but I was (overly) optimistic and thought it would only require some tender care and it would be good to go again. As the story of the attempt to make it run again and drive it from Kristiansand to Oslo is written elsewhere on this forum, it will suffice to say that the work done in situ were to free up the rear wheels, replace the broken steering column, fixing (and re-breaking) the electronic ignition, figuring out that 7 year old gasoline does not work (Yes, I know, I am a dumbass), cleaning the tank and re-attaching the exhaust, which had fallen off completely. Also, the sound proofing material under the front carpet had been wet for a few years and had moss growing on it, but amazingly, the steel beneath appeard to be mostly intact.

    Arriving in Oslo in the back of a ford transit there was some work to do. Since then I have:
    -Soldered new EBZA for the ignition and replaced the culprit coil which overloaded the cirquit and the spark plug cables.
    -replaced the rear brake pads, handbrake wires and drums (and the hubs, as I managed to bend them in the effort). Also, freed up and greased the brake cylinders.
    -replaced the entire front brake cirquit, from the lines to the drums (realizing that one of the left cylinders had cracked and might have failed completely during one of my initial drives when I only had the front brake circuit... scary)
    -replaced the hose clamps for the brake fluid reservoir, as they had completely dissolved in rust
    -replaced the dashboard witn one more fitting for the car (it had a gutted modern 601 dash in it, replaced with a late 60's 601 dash which is more similar to the original)
    -replaced and repaired the ignition lock, because someone stole my keys (had to cannibalize two to make one functioning)
    -replaced the door handles, for the same reason
    -freed up the windows which were rotted shut
    -welded an immense amount of cracks and rust which was causing the car to sag quite a lot(cracks in the front parts of the frame aft of the engine subframe due to a shoddy repair job done some years ago, rust in the door tresholds and floor)
    -replaced the headlights and blinkers as they were completely rotten
    -replaced the wipers as they were long gone
    -fixed some electrical issues (blinkers and headlights) and replaced the headlight foot switch which had rusted solid
    -painted the welded areas and the floor in the car with hammerite
    -made a new flange for the cabin air system
    -modified the unoriginal battery holder
    -bought a new mirror to replace the unoriginal ugly ones
    -some more minor welding of various engine covers
    -bought some nice rubber flooring for the front part of the floor
    -re-painted the unoriginal air grilles on the C-frames
    The list goes on.

    After the Trabi was checked by the government (Has to be done to get the registration back in place) the only Issues that need sorting out are new bearings for the front wheels, a new bulb for the left headlight (production error producing a funky light-pattern) and fastening the brake-lines for the rear brakes. Update coming up!

    In the meantime; here's some pictures from the work done so far:
    http://imgur.com/a/D6n4x#0
  2. Justin

    Justin Owner Administrator

    It's coming along great. Looks like a lot of progress has been made.

    It's a process but worth it in the end.
  3. Keri

    Keri Leader

    Looking at those photos, I'd say that is one epic reconstruction you've got going there.
    The world of Trabant thanks you for your heroic rescue of yet another worthy Kraftfahrzeug from certain oblivion.

    Bravo, well done and keep having fun avoiding dullness! :)
  4. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    Thanks for the encouragement :)
    Well, look what I discovered while I was changing the front bearings:
    Decided while I had the opportunity to have a look at the driveshafts, because I thought the shaft spiders seemed like they had insufficient grease. The right side one was OK, albeit insufficiently greased, but the left one... oh my:
    [​IMG]
    Luckily the diff don't seem too badly damaged, so I am hoping a new shaft spider I had lying around will do the trick... maybe I've found the source for the klanking noises?
    I am also of the opinion that the missing part of the diff is no big deal, but what do you think?:
    [​IMG]
    Anyways, more pictures can be found here, If anyone is curious:
    http://imgur.com/a/WJxlU#0
  5. Justin

    Justin Owner Administrator

    My thoughts are if its supposed to be there then it probably should. Parts are not overly expensive for the car, it's just hard sometimes to wait for them to arrive. Although, being in Norway it might be faster than waiting here in the states. I would look into fixing it like it would have been factory. Germans aren't known for adding unnecessary components.

    I would look at replacing whatever part(s) would require to put it back to how it originally was. After all, you are already putting in so much time and effort, might as well make sure it's 100%. In the long run it ends up being better for you and the car.
  6. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    Yeah, I fully aggree that keeping it that way is not a good permanent solution, but I am in a bit of a time squeeze; new check by the government on tuesday! And I am leaving the trabi in a garage for half a year from two weeks from now, so the damaged diff will in any case see max 300 km in total before I am planning to rebuild the engine and gearbox next year(they are both leaving oil slicks wherever they go). Well, that's the plan anyways... I guess I'll give it a closer look on the morrow with the new spider, to see if I should reconsider.
  7. Keri

    Keri Leader

    It looks like a spare spider thing should work ok but isn't that chip missing where the boot seals?
    You'll probably leak a little grease but it should go ok.

    Go Trabi Go!
  8. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    Good news everyone! The trabi has been resurrected and is ready for the EU-control!
    Those new bearings did a lot of good, much less rumbling during driving, and the klanking and shuddering I used to have when releasing the clutch disappeared with the installation of the new shaft spider! Good stuff! The other Items I had to sort out was replacing one of the lightbulbs, because it had a manufacturing defect and produced a contaminated light beam, and fasten the brake lines better. When I have the time I will also change the kingpin and spring yoke, as a lack of grease has led to severe rusting on all four of those shafts, which is not helping on the lack of power steering :lol: .

    In any case, I thought I would share some history of the trabi, which I have guessed from the stuff I've found while working on it:
    It appears that at some point between 1962 and 2003, the trabi was "refurbished". I am guessing that sometime around the late eighties or early nineties, the load bearing structures under the trabi were severely rotten, because everything from the rear tires to and including the forward engine subframe flanges were replaced. Badly.
    It seems the guy that did the work was in a bit of a rush, because he only spot welded the new parts to the car, repaired several areas by simply covering them with new steel (see pictures of the foor frames), and did not bother to weld several areas at all. Over the years this led to the structures cracking, and when I got it, it was sagging badly at the middle, and the left front shock absorber was carrying the entire load on that side, which made the wheel arch crack. All these things have been welded and repaird as best i can, but the trabi will need a complete new structure at some point. Also, the doors are not entirely fitting their frames, which will have to be dealt with as well.
    Also, when the guy did these things, he modified the structure to lower the front of the car. Due to this I may have to modify the right wheel arch if i want to pull the engine out, because the engine is very close to the wheel arch. I hope to avoid that. He has also lowered the rear of the car, by removing the rubber pads that go between the spring and the wheel frames. This is simpler to correct, but for the moment I rather like the lowered look of the trabi, so i'm keeping it that way for now.
    Trabi connoiseurs will also know that the spider bearings I had to change are not original. It appears that the front suspension and the gearbox was swapped to the more modern versions as well, which I don't really mind because I suspect the original version was a pain to work on and less reliable.
    Other things that are/were not original is the paintjob (She used to be bright blue), the dashboard (from a 601), 12v electrics and electronic ignition, the air outlet on the C-columns (which leaked a lot) and the steering wheel.

    Sooner or later I will restore the trabi to it's original look, but I will probably keep the newer mechanical parts. I hope this was interesting, and I am looking forward to future updates:)

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