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My 13/60 is a noisy driver


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When I got my 13/60 a couple of months ago, I noticed that a 'thrumming' noise came in at about 35 mph and faded around 50 mph. My first thought was wheel balancing, although any vibration that I thought might be related was minimal. In fact, on the whole, there's very little vibration to be felt while driving. I had the wheels balanced off the car – no-one around my way does it on-car – and the chap said the balancing had been way out. That the new balancing was very different to the old was easily confirmed by a quick visual check. But the noise persists. As I grew more familiar with the car, I also noticed a light rattle when engaging the clutch, and a similar sound – maybe the same one – when opening the throttle at speed: it sounds like rattling a paint aerosol, or indeed shot small ends, although I'm pretty sure it's not the latter as things are nice and quiet at lower speeds, whatever the revs.


I've no idea what the rattle might be, but I'm afraid that the thrumming might be something like an out-of-balance prop shaft. All I know is that my old 1200 made no such noises. Any thoughts? Cheers.

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I would have thought an out of balance prop would get proportionally noisier the faster you went.


Have you tried swapping the wheels around on the axels? Could the wheel tracking be out, look for uneven wear on the tyres?


Could the open throttle noise be pinking, a timing issue?

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Thanks Doug, what you say about the prop makes sense. I'll try swapping the wheels around when I can. The tyres all look good. About pinking, I feel as though I've done my best with the ignition timing: I've installed Aldon electronic ignition, and timed it at tick-over via a strobe on a white dot on the crankshaft pulley, which I added per the owner's handbook. A quick question before I start fiddling with the timing again: can pinking occur in a cold engine? I get the rattle when slipping the clutch to get out of my parking space at home, where the camber into the kerb is fairly steep, and when the engine has only been running for a minute or so.

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When I messed up my timing I had pinking in all gears, even when stone cold. :lol:  I've also got Aldon, it's very good, did you get the right one? I mean do you have a ballasted ignition system which has a 6v coil or an standard system with a 12v coil? You can get problems wih the wrong one. I'm not so scientific setting the timing. I turn the dizzy till the revs don't increase, then back a gnats. Take it for a run, if it pinks, turn it back a bit more.

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Good to hear you like the Aldon, as I'd not heard of that one before – I've been out of the loop for about a decade. The car has a 12v coil and no sign of a ballast resistor (where would it be? I know where it is on a Norton Commando, right next to the coils...) so I got the version for no ballast. I confess I routinely stick electronic ignition on any old vehicle that comes my way, having had quite enough in my time of things like dodgy old condensers etc. But I felt a bit stumped on the Herald, as there's no provision for strobe timing – ye gods, thought I, even 1960s BSAs had that... Anyway, my hearing's rubbish, even with hearing aids, hence the time it took for my brain to isolate the rattling sound. More relevant, I'm not sure I'd be able to identify pinking from inside the car even if it were happening, although obviously that's what the rattle could be. I tried turning the distributor and then back a tad as you describe, but the car started kangarooing and the strobe showed it was waaay too advanced. Anyway I'll try retarding it a tad. I'm getting the feeling that the best way forward here would be to hook up with someone who knows the Herald well and has decent hearing, and take them for a spin...! Rattle & thrum...

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pinking shouldnt be apparent cold or off the drive , its more when pulling fairly hard , or opening the throttle after cruising , you get the tin can clatter of detonation

or using  95 fuel when they are best on  97-99ron


clutch clatter on take up sounds like there could be some damper spring problems in the disc, and these will cause driveline noise as the damping is getting lost 

this can be progressive till it fails 


get someone from a local area to be your ears and experience   where are you based ???



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Its all knocked out and primed ready for top coat ,

had acall to have a look yesturday

she could be back this week

had second thoughts on Thames , all the mud and water I stay this side of the Chilterns

but how about an area raft race ????


Aidan if you dont want your tappets tapping I would lie low if I was you ...Ha



Sorry seems we're off course again was it me??


all calm down and listen,,,,,,, cant hear any noise, so Nort there is othing abnormal


hope any meet up with young Clive will identify the sauce theres plenty on here.



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Colin popped round today. Pete (not that Pete,the other one) went for a spin, and gave a diagnosis of propshaft. Vibration starts suddenly at speed, nothing below at all. Inspection revealed a strap drive prop, and the straps have been "played with" and actually look a bit home-made. Odd bolts and incorrect layout of the straps too. So that would explain it......

No undue wear on rear tyres, or indeed fronts which would be a sign of poor wheel alignment

The car is actually rather nice, and apparently drives rather well.....(apart from the prop and some clutch judder)


Updates due later I suspect!

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