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Triumph Herald

Triumph Herald Published: 29th Aug 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
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Do you drive this great classic or are thinking of buying one? Here’s how to ensure that you get the best out of your car for years to come

Triumph’s Herald has always been a DIYer’s dream thanks to its Meccano-like construction and amazing access to the engine and front suspension, thanks to a forward-hinged bonnet. The mechanicals date back to the post war Standard saloon and spares and support from Triumph specialists is great considering it’s not a sports car. Here’s how to make yours go like one!

1.Engine output

Mod

For a decent power hike you need the 1147cc engine at least but, better still, the 1296 unit with its superior eight port head; up to 100bhp is achievable but anything above is impractical for road use. Spitfire tune is best low cost mod. Above this, there’s a wide range of head and cams, Weber DCOE carbs ultimate but twin SU or Strombergs from a Vitesse or Spitfire manifold ample; tuners like one or other carb best.

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It makes sense to combine overhaul or replacement with mods as prices for items like camshafts etc are similar. Canley Classics offers a stock 1200 unit with unleaded head for under £1200 while Rimmer Bros markets rebuild kits if block is serviceable for just over £300. Fitting camshaft with engine in situ is quite easy once the grille, rad and head are removed. You may need a Spitfire downpipe to mate with the stock exhaust. Better still, use the factory Mk2 Spit tubular extractor manifold.

2. Bottom end

Mod

1296 regarded best and this alone provides useful gain. If you don’t mind a less rev happy but lustier alternative, a single carb 1500 engine is a good pick, giving Spitfire-like pace and looks completely standard plus can be stretched to 1600cc but it’s difficult and expensive to do. Cooling can do with upgrade by dint of a superior radiator or core (try Radtec or Aaron) as 1500s can run hotter than others; a tuned one may need an oil cooler too. Moss advises using uprated engine fasteners.

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1500 unit yields little power over 1296 and has problems wearing out big end shells but Moordale Motors (01707 650284) says, a lot of rubbish has been spoken about these engines adding there’s more torque and it can rev almost as high as the 1296cc engine once carefully balanced and the flywheel lightened by around 5-7lb. Experts have improved oil flow to the centre main by opening up to 5/16in. Renew crank shells every 40,000 miles to be on the safe side; an easy ‘engine in’ DIY job.

3. Front suspension

Mod

Fit uprated springs with adjustable dampers along with stouter antiroll bars, but any tweaks MUST be matched to rear end improvements; speak to a specialist for best advice. Rimmers lists an Upper Suspension Overhaul with poly bushing at around £30 and a KSX spring/damper upgrade, which are ride and height adjustable, for just over £300 and good value.

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Front trunnion wear is the biggest worry as seizure can lead to a wheel falling off. Regular lubrication is vital; EP 90 oil is the recommended lube although most use grease as it’s easier to use with a gun. New trunnions cost under £40 per side from http://www.rimmerbros.co.uk and worth fitting before contemplating other mods. Rattles from steering column bushes are not unknown.

4. Brakes

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Up until 1967, most Heralds were halted by an all drum set up and if only mild tuning is envisaged, works fine with good quality linings such as Mintex or Ferrodo VG95 if you can find them. Cheap fix are Spitfire/Vitesse discs but you also need appropriate master and slave cylinders, not to mention front suspension vertical links; points often overlooked. A Rimmer Bros kit has it all for around £800.

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All drum set up can be a swine to bleed properly but all servicing parts you need are readily available. If you have discs already, there’s no need to automatically consider larger Vitesse/GT6 items says Herald specialist Moordale, as better pads like EBC Green Stuff or Mintex 1144 type plus a servo will do the job well enough, even on highly tuned cars.

5. Transmission

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Spitfire (but not the GT6/Vitesse) overdrive allows six-speeds in theory plus gives a choice of either improved cruising or, if you drop the axle ratio, better zip. Can fit the Ford Sierra Type 9 five-speeder but this may be unnecessary say experts as overdrive set up works agreeably well and can be uprated with stronger clutches and springs plus a higher operating pressure for a more ‘immediate’ engagement.

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Biggest problem on most Triumphs, including Herald, are crankshaft thrust washers, which if worn, can drop out. Oversize ones can be substituted, but if really bad can render engine scrap. Rear U/Js work loose and lead to vibrations and need regular checks. Sloppy, chattering gear lever? Fit new bushes for under £12. Overdrive faults usually electrical. Gearboxes lose their synchromesh very quickly.

6. Rear suspension

Mod

Various aftermarket tweaks were devised over the decades from a simple ‘camber compensator’ costing a few quid to a virtual fullrace rear end. When Mk4 Spitfire was launched, Triumph finally got around to sorting it out and the factory mod is now considered the best modification – say around £150 from specialists – along with better dampers; GAZ come particularly recommended.

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Rear wheel bearings need to be regularly greased. Clapped out universal joints cause vibration and also spoil handling as do the myriad of bushes that were used. Best ‘polybush’ for tighter feel and longer life. Rear end is sensitive to its ‘toe out’ geometry setting of 1/16in-1/8in; odd tyre wear is one clue to such maladjustment.

7. Interior

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No shortage of trim. Full new costs under £1200 (Rimmer) and includes headlining. Not comfy? Before buying new seats, etc, did you know that the seat squab has alternative holes in the runner lugs, while the seat back has turnable blocks allowing four extra rake settings? Vitesse dials (right) or Spitfire ones can be used easily.

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Interior noises can be reduced but rarely cured. Bonnet is rattle prone (it’s not one piece) but that’s mostly down maladjustment along with worn side catches and the bonnet seal coming adrift. Sunroofs were popular but sourcing replacement parts can be difficult. Door hinges wear, leading to more rattles, and wind noise but Heralds were rarely quiet.

8. Body & chassis

Mod

Being ‘chassied’, you can easily lighten a Herald by using GRP replacement panels with impunity such as front ends, boot lids, sills and even transmission tunnels – try Quiller Triumph and honeybournemouldings.co.uk for parts. Converting a saloon into a convertible is fairly possible although more involved than you imagine, a better alternative could be fitting a modern fabric sunroof.

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The chassis can and usually does rot badly; rails, suspension pick-up points (especially the rear) and outriggers are most prone, although part replacements are available as are complete new chassis frames, although costing well over £1000, you need to weigh up if a car is worth saving. A common rust and mud trap lurks at the front of the bonnet so clear out area regularly.

9. Wheels & tyres

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There’s a comprehensive range of aftermarket rims and tyres to enhance looks and handling. Alloys are commonplace so why not be different and opt for wires? You can either source them (you’ll need the hubs remember) from a Spitfire or GT6 – or alternatively buy a conversion kit from Rimmer Bros; a wheel and hub costs in the region of £250 per corner so it’s not cheap.

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If you’re buying old wire wheels check them and their hubs for wear and damage. Original Herald rims are becoming scarce but hub caps aren’t and cost around £25 each (Rimmer). Don’t over-tyre the car; 175/185 section radials are plenty big enough even if highly tuned and watch for tyre scrub or rubbing brake pipes on full lock. And consult a specialist regarding pressures as Triumph listed loads of them according to tyre make, rim width etc.

10. And another thing…

You can fit superior eight port cylinder head on a 1147cc engine but need its manifolds and a special head gasket with extra water holes; can fit one yourself. Instead of a big heavy ‘six’ the lighter Dolomite engine fits almost straight in and gives over 90bhp at least (1850 form). We believe Canley Classics still has the original development Spitfire Triumph planned for production and there’s websites and forums giving advice on the swap.



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