Sunday, February 12, 2012

DKW Repairs

I organised a temporary movement permit ( which allows you to drive an unregistered vehicle on the road for the purpose of repair or registration with the intention of taking the straight over the pits on Wednesday morning, but after I'd reviewed the car and taken it for a short drive I changed my mind. The brakes felt weak so I thought I should get them checked out. There'd be no sense taking the car for inspection only to fail on something so obvious.

I took the car down to Auto-Masters in Fremantle. The guys were puzzled by the car but happy to give it the once over.

It turned out the brakes were okay, needing only a top up of the fluid and little adjustment. They are about as good as 50 year old drum brakes get. The underside of the car was 'immaculate', without a spot of rust. But they did advise that the right hand inner tie rod end was worn and this was making the steering veer, especially when braking.

As I needed to import the tie rod end anyway, I considered replacing the drum brakes with disc brakes, which DKW introduced as an option in 1960. Spares can be found in Germany, South Africa and Brazil. In Brazil DKW-Vemag manufactured DKW cars right through to 1968 and many thousands are still on the road. Dekabras still manufacture spares and performance parts and have begun advertising internationally. Their website is - The website is in Portuguese and needs some work but they responded very promptly to my emails and sent me photos of their spares and disc brake kits. Here's a photo:

Nevertheless, after some correspondence I opted not to pursue this option. Replacing the drum brakes would require complete replacement of the front axles and all the brake cylinders. After the Auto Masters guys retuning the brakes they proved to be quite good enough.

Then I needed to fix two defects in the instrumentation requiring specialist parts.  Firstly, the petrol gauge didn't work. This is a common problem with old Deeks and there are no spares/replacement parts available. Arne Guldenstein at Mobilitaeten offers a repair service, so the gauge was shipped over to Germany for repair.

The temperature gauge was also faulty so it also went back to Germany. While the petrol gauge was easy to remove, the temperature gauge was not. The whole instrument, from the sensor to the gauge is a single piece. The sensor was easy enough to unscrew and feed back through the firewall, but removing the gauge was a challenge that required removing the dashboard instrument panel. That required a lot of fiddling around under the dash to undo the tiny screws holding it on and then some real grunt to pull it through - without scratching the paintwork or disconnecting any of the wiring. I pray that I'll be able to get it all back in without damaging anything. I'm hoping that the instruments and the tie rods will be back in about three weeks. Crossed fingers!

Update 2 March 2012
I heard from Arne that the parts have arrived in Germany but are with Customs who may take up to two weeks to inspect and release them. This is disappointing. It doesn't sound like the parts will be back by April.

Here is a link to DKW spare parts suppliers (including Mobilitaeten) -

1 comment:

  1. Hello, beautiful DKW.
    I'm restoring an DKW 1000 coupe de luxe 1958 you can see here: