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Triumph Herald

Triumph Herald Published: 26th Feb 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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

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

ENGINE OUTPUT

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For decent power you need the 1147cc engine at least but, better still, the 1.3 with its superior eight port head where up to 100bhp is achievable; anything above is impractical for road use. Uprate to Spitfire tune is best low cost mod. After this, there’s a wide range of head and cams, Weber DCOE carbs ultimate but twin SU or Strombergs from a Vitesse on Spitfire manifold good enough; some tuners like one or other 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 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.

BOTTOM END

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1300 regarded best and this alone gives useful gain. If you don’t mind a less rev happy but lustier engine, then the single carb 1500 engine is a good pick. It gives Spitfire-like pace and looks completely standard plus has been stretched to 1600cc but it’s difficult and expensive to do. Cooling can do with an upgrade by dint of a superior radiator or core (try Radtec or Express Radiator Services) 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 yields little added power over 1300 and has problems wearing out big end shells but Moordale Motors (01707 650284) says, “A lot of rubbish has been spoken about these engines.” There’s added 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 shells every 40,000 miles to be on the safe side.

FRONT SUSPENSION

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Fit uprated springs with adjustable dampers along with stouter anti-roll bars, but these 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 under £30 and a a KSX spring/damper upgrade, which are ride and height adjustable, for less than £320 – 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.

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 okay with good quality linings such as Mintex linings or 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 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 pads plus a servo will do the job well enough, even on highly tuned cars.

TRANSMISSION

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Overdrive allows six-speeds in theory plus gives you a choice of either benefiting from improved cruising or, if you drop the ratio in the axle, better performance. Can fit the Ford Sierra Type 9 five-speeder but this may be unnecessary say experts as the overdrive works agreeably well and can be uprated with stronger clutches and springs plus a higher operating pressure for 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.

REAR SUSPENSION

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

INTERIOR

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No shortage of trim. New costs under £1200 (Rimmer) and includes headlining. Not comfy? Well before you buy 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 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 as Triumph didn’t possess one!) but that’s mostly maladjustment, worn side catches and the bonnet seal coming adrift. Sunroofs were popular but replacement parts can be difficult. Door hinges wear leading to rattles and wind noise but these cars are rarely quiet.

BODY & CHASSIS

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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 www. 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 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 regularly.

WHEELS & TYRES

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There’s a comprehensive range of aftermarket rims and tyres to enhance a Herald’s looks and handling. Alloys are commonplace so why not 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 the hubs for wear and damage and rectify before fitting. 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 and watch for tyre scrub on full lock. And consult a specialist concerning pressures as Triumph listed loads of them according to tyre make, rim width etc.

AND ANOTHER THING…

The Herald is a DIYer’s delight and so makes an ideal ‘starter’ classic for those who can’t afford professional repairs and prefer to ‘have a go’. Apart from the excellent all enclosing bonnet allowing unrivalled access to the engine and front suspension, the clutch is changed from inside the car. Being the donor design for the Spitfire, spare parts availability is excellent, as is support from Triumph owners’ clubs and specialists.

SERVICING TIPS

ENGINE OIL: 20W/50/60 8pts

GEARBOX: EP90 1.5pts (2.4 with o/d)

REAR AXLE: EP90 1pt

COOLING SYSTEM: 9.5pts

SPARK PLUGS: N9Y (NGK BPS6S) or equiv 0.025in

C.B. POINTS GAP: 0.014-0.016in

TIMING: 8-16 degrees BTDC (See manual for exact setting due to engine/year etc)

VALVE CLEARANCES: in/ex (set with engine hot)



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