A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Discussion of cultural, religious, political or irrational subjects of any type, such as UFOs, wacko cults, mad dictators, horrible cult bands, ridiculous publications, whatever
User avatar
Strelnikov
Sucks Admin
Posts: 691
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:25 pm
Has thanked: 77 times
Been thanked: 47 times

A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by Strelnikov » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:20 am

So there is this guy in Missouri (Robert Dunn) who is big into odd small cars, and he's a VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Trabant owner....and a YouTuber. Here he is rebuilding the Trabant's entire drivetrain, the motor and the transaxle, from the ground up. This car was built in 1981.









Bonus: Here he is fixing his horrendous lighting problems on the car.



As you may have noticed, yes, he imported this car from Hungary - the cars fled eastward once Unification became a thing in fair Deutschland.



This guy will get a million demerts from Eric Barbour because he's the Trabant owner who loaned it to Doug DeMuro for that video a few years ago (before Dunn rebuilt the motor, which was shot.)
Still "Globally Banned" on Wikipedia for the high crime of journalism.

User avatar
Graaf Statler
Side Troll
Posts: 3996
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:20 pm

Re: A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by Graaf Statler » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:40 am

My first car, I got it for free from a friend. It was fantastic!

Extreem simple technick, very, very easy to repair, and there where many spare parts almost for free. I have had a lot of fun with the car, but not kinky enough so, I did it away after a year or two and bought a Truimp Spitfire with a broken engine.

I build a Fiat 125 engine and gearbox in it, a a 1608 cc DOHC unit with 90 bhp a Solex carburettor I read now in the article on WP-En. And it was a perfect marriage! I have driven that car years and years without the always failing English technic. The only problem what remained was the English Lucas, the prince of the darkness electrical system.
English cars where in general a desaster on wheels in that time.

User avatar
Strelnikov
Sucks Admin
Posts: 691
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:25 pm
Has thanked: 77 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by Strelnikov » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:37 am

Graaf Statler wrote:My first car, I got it for free from a friend. It was fantastic!

Extreem simple technick, very, very easy to repair, and there where many spare parts almost for free. I have had a lot of fun with the car, but not kinky enough so, I did it away after a year or two and bought a Truimp Spitfire with a broken engine.

I build a Fiat 125 engine and gearbox in it, a a 1608 cc DOHC unit with 90 bhp a Solex carburettor I read now in the article on WP-En. And it was a perfect marriage! I have driven that car years and years without the always failing English technic. The only problem what remained was the English Lucas, the prince of the darkness electrical system.
English cars where in general a desaster on wheels in that time.


Trabants are great first cars....as long as you live in Europe, where there is a greater tolerance for small, slow cars. America is all about highway speed, especially in California.

As for the Spiftire, a common trick today in America is putting a 4-cylinder Toyota truck engine in them and either using a Toyota transmission or an adapter shroud to connect the Japanese engine to the British transmission. Lucas electrics never seemed to work inside Great Britain or Europe; maybe it was the moisture.

Bonus material from the Aging Wheels guy:


What it's like to drive an American electric car where the body was adapted from a mainland Chinese Smart Car knockoff.


The horrors underneath the car. It's an utter piece of shit.
Still "Globally Banned" on Wikipedia for the high crime of journalism.

User avatar
Graaf Statler
Side Troll
Posts: 3996
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:20 pm

Re: A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by Graaf Statler » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:59 am

The Truimph engines where post war and a desaster, but the rest of the car was well build on a chassis in the old fashion style. The only thing you had to do was to improve the transverse back leaf spring, you had to construct a swing point, otherwise the rear swing axle reacted very weird. And, that was a great thing, with the change of the engine I also was ride of the Lucas dynamo and starter engine. Because Prince of Darkness was the only right name for Lucas electrical equipment.

And, about Trabant, it was a 600 cc two stroke engine with a lot of potential to make it a "bit" more faster. The flip coin was you had to change every mouth the gear box, witch you get almost fro free.

Think it all over it is a wonder the "night mare of Wikipedia" is still sitting here with a car made partly made out of plastic, a gastank above my feet and a top speed of 130 Km a hour.......

User avatar
The End
Sucks Fan
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:45 am
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by The End » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:12 pm

My parents bought a 1970s Toyota Corolla back during the 1970s gas crisis. It's only amenities was a heater and, I think, a radio. It ran with few problems for well over 25 years before we sold it years. I wish they made cars like that today. To my knowledge, it's still going.
"In the long run, volunteers are the most expensive workers you'll ever have." -Red Green

"I am a dark bouquet of neuroses..."
- Jerry Holkins, Penny Arcade

User avatar
Graaf Statler
Side Troll
Posts: 3996
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:20 pm

Re: A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by Graaf Statler » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:23 pm

Where dammed good Cars, and still Toyota makes great cars. Good choice!.

French and Italian cars had corrosion problems, the first VW Golfs too, and England has made in that time made desaster cars.
Austin Metro, Austin Torledo, Morris Prinsess, in short every car of the BMC concern was a disaster on wheels. And not to forget to mention, the Triumph Stag, Stag of stagnation.

User avatar
Graaf Statler
Side Troll
Posts: 3996
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:20 pm

Re: A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by Graaf Statler » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:40 am

A very unexpected place and time to find the mysterious reason for the crashing gearboxes way back then.
When I watch the second video I noticed it needs a special kind of rare hydraulic oil what is used in tractors. Logical, because of course there was plenty of that stuff in that time in the DDR.

So, it was not the Kawasaki carburettor, the higher compression so it needed super benzine mixed with the oil, and the hours of file at the inlet ports.
That strange exhaust with head exchanger I had trown away, I had welded something wit too pipes and two motorcycle exhausts.
Heating was for pussy's, and at the end of it's life circle we had cut the roof so it was a cabriolet. No, that was not the reason, it was the wrong gearbox oil.

I gave it to a friend when i bought the Spitfire, because I also got the car aso from a friend of me. And strange enough it has driven a few years without many problems. I think he had found out the oil misery.

But the story is even stranger, I had forget I had given the car away, and a few years ago that friend of me I found back on the internet and he sensed me..... a scan of the original papers of that Trabant!

He still had them.

User avatar
ericbarbour
Sucks Admin
Posts: 1963
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:56 am
Has thanked: 69 times
Been thanked: 152 times

Re: A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by ericbarbour » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:58 am

please, let's not talk about British sports cars. My old man owned an MGB convertible and drove it to work routinely. And I had to share it to get to work for a while. That was how I learned to drive a manual transmission. (Also wrecked the little bastard at a stoplight--it was easily fixed, unfortunately.) Air conditioning wasn't even a possibility in the thing. Try driving an MG convertible in southern Arizona in the summer. Plus the joy of Lucas electricals. Jesus, I learned to hate British sports cars.

As for the Trabant, I've never seen one in the flesh. It was cheap to make and I'd be willing to put up with 2-cycle engines and other nonsense IF the car was cheap to buy and operate, and easy to repair. The guy who redid a Trabi drivetrain is obviously an obsessed maniac. More power to him and I'd rather just pay him to do it if necessary.

Never had an aircooled VW because I saw friends crawling under their cars to manually adjust the valves. No thank you.

User avatar
Graaf Statler
Side Troll
Posts: 3996
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:20 pm

Re: A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by Graaf Statler » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:38 am

My elder brother had a MGB convertible too, and airco was not necessary in our climate because it was about the same windy and cold under the hood as outside.
It was the power train of the BMC concern what they used in most of there care, except in Mini, Morris Glider, Austin and a few pimped the same cars like the small VanderPlas and Wolseley cars.
It was all batch engineering in that time.

I think you absolute have still war memories to:

A) The always failing electrical Lucas fuel pump. B) The not to synchronise double SU carburettors with needles and vacuum pots. C) If it had spoke wheels around flying spokes.
And of course the rigid axle with leaf springs what made even with low speed spectaculair drifting in bends possible.

User avatar
Strelnikov
Sucks Admin
Posts: 691
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:25 pm
Has thanked: 77 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: A Trabant owner rebuilds his entire drivetrain....

Post by Strelnikov » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:28 pm

ericbarbour wrote:Please, let's not talk about British sports cars. My old man owned an MGB convertible and drove it to work routinely. And I had to share it to get to work for a while. That was how I learned to drive a manual transmission. (Also wrecked the little bastard at a stoplight--it was easily fixed, unfortunately.) Air conditioning wasn't even a possibility in the thing. Try driving an MG convertible in southern Arizona in the summer. Plus the joy of Lucas electricals. Jesus, I learned to hate British sports cars.

As for the Trabant, I've never seen one in the flesh. It was cheap to make and I'd be willing to put up with 2-cycle engines and other nonsense IF the car was cheap to buy and operate, and easy to repair. The guy who redid a Trabi drivetrain is obviously an obsessed maniac. More power to him and I'd rather just pay him to do it if necessary.

Never had an aircooled VW because I saw friends crawling under their cars to manually adjust the valves. No thank you.


The "obsessed maniac" also owns a SAAB 2-cycle car from the '50s, so he is used to this. Robert Dunn has done a great service, showing just how much a Trabant is really a four-wheeled motorcycle....If I didn't live in Southern California, I would try to get one as a project car, because they are bone-simple automobiles. Because I live down here, I'd have to get a GAZ Volga from the '70s and either drivetrain-swap to a 4-cylinder Toyota truck (Hilux) and manual gearbox setup, or just get used to dealing with the semi-lackluster power that the Soviet 4 and 3-speed gearbox would dish out.
Still "Globally Banned" on Wikipedia for the high crime of journalism.

Post Reply