Hello! My name is James Seabolt (Siebold) and I live in the USA (Tennessee). I own a 1981 Trabant 601 "S" I imported from Hungary about a year and a half ago. There are about 100 or so Trabbis on American roads, not counting ones in museums that our registry does not know about.
My main car obsession for the past 20 years has been oldtimer Fiats (124 Spiders, X 1/9s, 131s, and Zastava Yugos). I have wanted a Trabant every since I first saw them on TV on the "Trabbi road" in Hungary during the 1989 Exodus from the DDR. I had to wait almost 20 years before the car was old enough to register in the United States due to our importation laws. Once a car becomes 30 years old, you can register anything. You can import anything, you just can't drive it on public roads until it becomes 30 years old. Although some newer models like 1.1s have made it past customs having their registration plates replaced with ones from older models.
Owning a Trabant in the USA is quite challanging. Virtually all parts must be imported from Germany and if shipped DHL takes 2 to 4 weeks and is expensive! Also this car is unlike anything I've ever worked on. So I was hoping you guys don't mind if I ask questions in English from time to time to help me maintain my Trabant.
As I mentioned,my car came from Hungary and seems to have had no maintience at all! The owner must have just replaced parts as they broke and never bothered to even degrease the engine!
So far I have rebuilt the braking system and replaced most of the electrical connectors. I was having a problem with the 28 HB2 vergaser so I rebuilt a 28 H1-1 from a spare engine I had shipped over with the car and think I have it finally sorted out.
My breaker points have a considerable amount of arcing so I think the condensors are bad. I did not order new ones because I have this Hungarian electronic system I bought from LDM but I am having issues getting it to work. I have it wired up correctly, the ring with magnets installed on the cam lobe correctly, both cylinders are getting spark but the engine won't start. There seems to be some timing issue with this engine. The reason I suspect this is after I made my 4mm BTDC marks on both cylinders, in order to bring the timing marks together with breaker points I have to rotate the breaker plate all the way counter-clockwise, close the points gap a bit more, then rotate it all the way counter-clockwise. While using a timing light with the RPMs set above 1500.
Here is some photos of my car: