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The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - amazing, the things you find...

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11 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

this could make a competition 

 on a fast run to catch the IOW ferry we had door mirrors fold back at 96mph  on the Vit6

My old 1200 Estate had a DRS system, just like F1 cars.

The wing mirrors would fold back above 40 mph, and go back out as you slowed, they would lock back if you got to 70. That was rare.

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On 17/11/2021 at 21:19, Colin Lindsay said:

That's BMC engine green, bought at Stafford in 1994, painted on that block, and has lasted ever since. I tried to remove it in order to repaint it in black

Black is good, The oil leaks don't show? (until they hit the garage floor).☹️

I don't suppose there is actually any "official" colour for Triumph engine parts? I do remember "gold seal" recon engines, painted a nice shade of ???? (Gold!!).


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More of the same this week; the gearbox clutch release arm has been replaced with new bronze bushes, crinkle tolerance washer and pivot pin, so that's the gearbox ready to fit, all bar the speedo drive assembly. In rummaging through the parts bins for engine parts I also found a NOS breather tube assembly, still with the labels attached... and it's green. Same shade as my engine block... so unless the factory ran out of engine black and had to use a spare quantity of BMC green that was lying around, I can't otherwise explain it.

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At the other end of the car I've not connected the fuel tank to the fuel line. The estate has a banjo-bolt assembly from the tank filter unit and in the original car the pipe was quite lengthy, connecting to a rubber joint around the suspension turret. Here I've trimmed the pipe and made the joint across the rear of the chassis. Inside that rubber tubing the pipes are end to end with almost no gap between, so a minimum of fuel to rubber contact - just in case... :) I've put in about two pints of petrol to watch for leaks before going any further.


I was also quite lucky this week - twice - on eBay, managing to find two good starter units for pennies. The one on the 13/60 is very lazy so I needed a replacement, and the other on the 1200 convertible is also quite elderly. The black one with the storage rust is a M35G with the removable band, so access to the brushes is quite civilised - these are in lovely condition so just a clean of the case and Bendix required. It cost me a tenner so I'm happy. The other is an M35J and cost me slightly more as it's NOS, but at £24 it's still a bargain. And, guess what... it's green too.

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That means I've three working units and two spares, so I'm happy things will startup when required. I've also fitted the refurbished dynamo which has cleaned up nicely but still haven't decided on a good fan belt yet; I reckon about 1050 will fit now.


The front of the Estate engine is largely complete so I can add the radiator once the order of 5/16 bolts arrives. That means the bonnet is ready to go back on.... yikes! Progress!

And finally... I've decided against the new mirrors. I just don't think they suit the car. Here's a photo with one of each but I've already removed the swept-back versions in favour of the traditional look that's here on the passenger side. I'll put them on eBay and get back some of the outlay, but I'll be removing the bonnet in a short while for a full rebuild and respray so whatever is replacing them won't be needed until about March. That's the theory, anyway.




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55 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

Colin on the starter ive not looked in the lucas book but have a thought the 35J has wider bolt centres than the 35 

easy to fettle out to suit if needed 


The spacing is exactly the same but the bolt holes are bigger on some; luckily the one I've just bought is for the Herald so the drilled holes are the same, I think 5/16. I've got an earlier version with quite a heavy metal, not alloy, endplate so I removed that to check - the holes line up with the backplate but are larger, closer to 7/16. If I was using the earlier version I'd have bushes made up rather than drill the endplate. I like the earlier versions as the Bendix gear unscrews, so there's no fiddly expansion ring to dig out as in the later versions.

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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - you think YOU'VE got problems?

Things are sailing along with the 1200 Estate this weather; in fact I'm getting to the worrying time of turning the ignition key. I'm waiting on a package of 3/8 washers plus a suitable fan belt and that's the entire engine finished - today saw the radiator loosely in place (hence the washers!) and the air filter box added. I've gone for a semi-gloss black finish; the original orange didn't appeal at all. This is the second version that I renovated. The other is also resplendent in shiny black but doesn't fit the carb mouth. It's probably from a very early car, the neck is only 2 inches as opposed to the later 1200's 2.5 inches, so it may fit my early 1200 when I get to that stage.

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Oh - choke cable needs fitting plus the thermostat housing needs two suitable bolts, but otherwise it's now all complete again, right down to the horns. I'm worried about turning the key as this means my newly bored engine with all the new bearings, pistons, rings and other components will be actually moving as intended, and if anything goes bang I'll cry worse than Kitchener did at Khartoum when his steam boiler exploded. Today also saw the calipers receive brake pads, and this revealed that firstly the N/S caliper wasn't bolted fully in place and secondly the O/S caliper was missing a clip on the rubber piston seal. Both sorted in ten minutes. They're grating slightly the way new pads always do until they wear slightly and settle in, but it's nice to be able to spin the wheels and think: 'job done'.

Next big step was noticing that the filter is full of petrol...


I only put about two pints into the tank but that means no bleeding or other messing about required. That's a good sign, it means my pipes are full and nothing is leaking, plus the colour of the petrol tells me that all's well with the tank.

I should be able to refit the bonnet and the dashboard electrics and so get one step closer to that dreaded ignition key...

I've also been working on spare parts for the 13/60, but I removed the swept-back mirrors as not suiting the car at all. They're now for sale on eBay to remove any further temptation. I have, however, succumbed to a little bit of bling.


I've had that rocker cover for over 20 years and never yet fitted it to anything; in fact I tried to sell it for £45 at a show a few years back and no-one wanted it. It's now worth slightly more so I made up a suitable cork gasket and trial-fitted it to the 13/60. It fouls neither the bonnet nor the rockers so I reckon it's a keeper. Might as well, it's no use on the shelf. Once the engine bay is cleaned up and everything freshly painted it will look much better. The NOS starter motor also arrived. It's a long time since I saw one in that condition... almost too good to use. Not the same shade of green as the block though, they'll clash...


I've also been working at the diff end, cleaning and renovating spare components for a straight swap. I've located a couple of spare GE diffs and am working on the side shafts and oil seals, plus the case has been blasted and is ready for new bushes.

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The problem is, as always, getting the bearing off the shaft. My little pullers aren't up to the job and blattering away with a hammer usually bends something, so it's off to the in-laws again.

"I can't get this bearing off the shaft." "Neither can we...."

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That's a shaft from a huge lathe from a local factory and the bearing has disintegrated completely - you can see the rollers and cage beside the shovel - leaving only the bearing centre tight to the shaft. It won't shift at all; neither heat, force nor harsh language has made any difference. It'll probably have to be ground off. When you see my small bearing beside it, it does give a sense of proportion. I only think I have problems sometimes! Surprisingly they were glad of the diversion and lent me a proper bearing puller, which did the job in seconds.


Another step forward. If Mister Postman would deliver a few small parts orders I'd be cracking on but that's all I can do for the moment. Indian curry and beer beckons.


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2 hours ago, Colin Lindsay said:

It won't shift at all; neither heat, force nor harsh language has made any difference. It'll probably have to be ground off.

I had to do that with a wheel bearing on my GT6 (Rotoflex type). I'd tried everything and asked one of the fitters at Rover's development department. He said it was quite common back in the day and careful grinding was my best option. So I did - very carefully - shaving a bit at a time and watching the metal colour to judge when it was getting  close... at which point the very thin bit cracked and the bearing race came off nicely... to reveal damage to the shaft where somebody less careful had ground a bearing race off some time before.

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1 hour ago, NonMember said:

I had to do that with a wheel bearing on my GT6 (Rotoflex type). I'd tried everything and asked one of the fitters at Rover's development department. He said it was quite common back in the day and careful grinding was my best option. So I did - very carefully - shaving a bit at a time and watching the metal colour to judge when it was getting  close... at which point the very thin bit cracked and the bearing race came off nicely... to reveal damage to the shaft where somebody less careful had ground a bearing race off some time before.

One of the last ones that I worked on was put in a vice and the bearing hammered off, which did serious damage to the oil seal. I've learned not to do that again. As I left the works yesterday, they were hoisting that lathe shaft on a forklift, with the forklift vanes on either side of the bearing, sort of like a huge vice. I cleared off before I saw the size of the hammer... :) otherwise that was going to take hours of very careful grinding. 

Thankfully the Triumph versions come off with a good puller.

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Circa 1968. we had a similar issue with a bearing from a Profiling cutter In the heavy shop at Hawker`s (Brough Yorks) it took a 30 tonne press to get the bugger off!!. When it finally moved the "crack" sounded like cannon fire!.


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bottom ball joint on my 2000 o/s  easy fell out , N/S had to be bounced all round the workshop 

and to split the coupling off the diff output shafts needed a visit to my local Citroen for a 20t press that struggled to part them 

why !!!   do we start these jobs in the hope of some improvement to often end up with a lot of cursing


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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - getting there

More work on both the 1200 estate and the 13/60 convertible.

The estate has been creeping forward, one little job at a time. I finally got the wiper motor refurbished and refitted; new brushes and a good clean. The washers were also cleaned out and refitted, making sure they had the all-important anti-drain glass bead fitted, then tightened into place, sealed with fibre washers, and attached with clear silicone tubing.



Due to an electrical fire way back - my fault for connecting the wiper motor incorrectly and melting the brand new loom - the white cable is now red. Not to remind me, but just because I had no white cable at the time. The new rubber mountings and screws have been pinned to my noticeboard for at least ten years so nice to see them finally used on a car.

Next step was delayed for almost two weeks by the non-arrival of 5/16 washers; I don't know whether to blame the new seller I bought them from or the current busy post; however I ended up ordering more from Spalding Fasteners and they arrived in 48 hours, so maybe it's not the post. This meant that the horn bracket could be tightened into place and then the recored radiator fitted.


All hoses are now tightened, bar the one missing hose for the head to heater valve; I'm waiting on two of those arriving, one for each 1200. If they would hurry up I could fit the final piece and fill the system as a test. I'll be very surprised if nothing leaks. Once that's done then I need a fan belt, choke cable and... something else. There are three outstanding things, I counted earlier - but that complete, the engine is finished.


I also fitted the propshaft, and think I may have made a slight mistake... when I added the UJs they were greasable, not sealed for life, and consequently required a grease nipple. On rotating the prop to tighten the bolts I noticed the grease nipple was quite tight between the yokes. Not touching on rotation, I've checked, but was it meant to face towards the flange? If I'm wrong it will come out and I'll just fit a blanking plug instead.


However that's a few great leaps forward for the Estate. Next step is soundproofing and carpets; very easy with the roof off.

I've also been planning the way ahead for the 13/60; the bodyshop has me booked in for February to repair the bonnet which has been very poorly welded, which the PO covered up with two huge metal plates and a pair of AA badges. They're now gone and the proper repair section ready for fitting. I've refitted the bushes to the replacement diff case and reassembled the oil seals on the side shafts ready for new bearings, which would arrive more quickly if I actually bought them. The new bushes fitted amazingly easily with a threaded bar.

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I am slightly concerned that the new bushes sit proud of the casing; I know it's a tight fit into the chassis at the best of times and incredibly heavy if you have to try any repositioning, so I'll make sure it's going to fit first. Once it's in it's not coming out again.

The other small job was addressing the sunvisors. These were fitted by simply screwing a large screw into the windscreen surround in order to hold a saloon bracket sideways, which may have worked but was very untidy. What I'm intending to do is make up replicas of the early convertible brackets, but use a heavier bar for the weightier padded visors of the later car. I found two small metal pieces on which I'd been practicing welding, and trimmed them to the shape of the 'feet'. Once I'm happy with the shape it's off to the in-laws firstly for the use of their oxy-acetylene setup to heat the metal bar in order to bend it to the correct profile, then they can weld it in place for me. A quick coat of matching grey paint and job done.

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You'll never know they aren't original, unless you look closely or are a total anorak. That's tomorrow morning planned out then, to the in-laws via the shop for choccy biscuits. Bribery and corruption, that's me.


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Just a short update on the above as most of the work I've done this week isn't worth photographing and in fact a lot isn't even Triumph-related. The In-Laws came up trumps, they made the mistake of telling me that things are quiet in the run-up to Christmas and they're not taking any more jobs on, which was the perfect opening I needed. Result: two welded 13/60 convertible sun visor brackets.

A rough cleanup, grind down the weld, round off the sharp edges and a thin temporary coat of grey primer.

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I still cannot match the original bluish-grey of the mirror mounting - it's not Fiat Pearlescent which looked fine in the dimly-lit Autoparts store but not when actually sprayed. Consequently as it's only a temporary fitting I just left them in primer. The white screws came up very well with Ford Brilliant White and then it was just a case of screwing them into place. The left photo shows how they were secured when I bought the car; now they're as close to original fitting as I can make it. I'll take off more excess weld and do a proper cleanup, and will repaint in a more original-looking colour over the winter but for now that's another small but significant step forward. I could always just paint them black, I suppose....

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12 hours ago, Colin Lindsay said:

I could always just paint them black, I suppose....


My Dec 1969 built 13/60 (convertible) has black sun visor and rear view mirror brackets, I guess this is something that changed between earlier and later cars?

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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - maybe a step backwards?

Christmas morning.... got a new hood for the convertible but can't fit it just yet, so can only update on what I've been doing all week before the hordes descend on our house for lunch.

With the bearings removed from the output shafts I was able to blast, clean and refurbish the bits, and added two new oil seals. The most recent seals I bought are quite nice in a kind of gold metal outer - cadmium plated? - so as I had spares I've shelved the dull black plastic version I had replaced on an earlier seal housing and fitted two nice shiny ones. The new bearings are Timken and the prices vary amazingly - one supplier is charging an amazing £40 each for them. They're just standard 6205, nothing fancy, in 52mm x 15mm x 25mm and I paid £4 each for them. 

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I couldn't find my usual drift so modified an old scroll oil seal from a Herald bellhousing, it's the perfect diameter for the centre of the bearing and they went on easily. I used a small block of wood to dampen the hammer blows but it was five minutes work. I use a lot of oil to keep it lubricated and usually pre-oil the bearing before storage.

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Those are now ready for refitting when the diff comes off in the New Year. I think, for the first time ever, I'll use a suitable sealer to prevent oil leaks. I never usually bother but maybe just in case this time. Leaks have been plaguing me round the engine for the past while, and I'm hoping the oil leaks will go away when the engine runs and the seals get a chance to bed in. It's bad when the engine drips oil at both front and rear after merely refilling, and not to the 'full' mark either, yet all seals and gaskets have been replaced during the rebuild. I'm worried that on first startup, the drips will become a flood and we're back to dismantling again... at least the newly filled gearbox is leak-free, so that's a bonus.

I also refilled the coolant once the heater hoses that I was awaiting arrived; it was only the small hose from head to heater valve, but again a massive variation in price and I avoided the £23 seller and bought two for a tenner. I don't think that's false economy, having inspected the hoses and reckon they're well made and a good fit. I'm using a ready-made coolant from Prestone, sold through Tesco, and they were selling five litres for £7 recently so it's got to be worth a try. Nice lurid green colour, too... and this made the leaks easier to spot once I realised what the slow splat off the garage floor meant. Onto the ramp, and we're leaking at both front and rear, same as the oil.

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That caused me a few blue-air moments, but it takes a little while to realise that just because the drips are off the bottom of the engine, that's not necessarily where the leak is. Working my way up along the front of the engine I found possible leaks at the bottom of the water pump - tightened - and the waterpump housing itself - tightened - but no avail; it still dripped. It was only after the car came down off the ramp, with the coolant system drained again, that I spotted this:


Now: new gasket, refurbished waterpump housing, and refurbished thermostat housing, so what's leaking? This is the original from the car that has the blanking plug for the temperature sensor; I liked that so decided to keep it. I had to remove it - yet again - and give it a quick inspection whereby I noticed this:


It's warped. Quite substantially too. I've no idea of how it happened, but there's no way that's sealing against the gasket. I now have the choice of replacing it with a similar unit or buying a new modern replica, which won't have the top plug - or, possibly, having it skimmed. I just hate binning parts that are original and no longer made, so might have a go at skimming it flat. It can't really do any harm, I suppose. This raises the very optimistic thought that this was the only leak, and the coolant was running down over all the other components thereby disguising the source, and hopefully this includes the rear - was it running along the head or the block to the rear, given the downward angle of the engine? Dare I hope? Only one way to find out... refill the system to below the level of the thermostat housing, but above the other components and watch for more leaks. A job for next week, then.

Last little job for yesterday was to drill a small air-lock hole in my thermostat; I have six or seven of these and none has the later jiggle-pin to release trapped air. Easily modified and it won't affect the running temperature of 82 degrees. I might fit a small split-pin to keep it clear, but in a newly-rebuilt system that might be overkill. Now I'm wondering if I should fit a temperature gauge, just in case... maybe just a temporary one until I'm happy.


But: that's a job for another day. Christmas dinner is calling... hope you all enjoy yours!



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9 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

a later lunch ,,,,,,,,,,,,so how about re face the hsg on a sheet of glass and some wet n dry to flatten the distortion

often caused by years of soggy gasket and over  nipping the bolts   bends the flanges 


Fine flat file and a surface table (or sheet of glass)?

Merry Xmas (from 79deg F in Texas)

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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - more leaks than Watergate

There's a character in the Garbage Pail Kids called Leaky Lindsay. I know how she feels - green stuff everywhere.


Not from my nose thankfully, but that's as far as I know - the actual source is unknown and driving me up the walls. Following the discovery of the warped thermostat housing on the 1200 Estate I decided in the meanwhile to fit another - this one was checked for straightness and was perfectly flat. Tightened up, and next morning:


This pointed to one or two things: either the gasket was leaking, or the housing itself was damaged. Off came the housing and the top face was skimmed flat; this time I used a slightly thicker gasket and engine sealant. So far, so good.


Sadly it was all for nothing. Next morning the system had drained all over the floor courtesy of an ill-fitting radiator drain plug, which held water long enough for me to relax enough to leave the garage overnight. I'm using Prestone Ready-mixed coolant so it's £14 a container, and I lost around that amount on the floor. I couldn't understand the reason; that radiator had held water perfectly before. Close inspection of old photos revealed the answer: I wasn't using the original radiator but a spare, and a spare that I had cleaned up and painted but never had reconditioned.  

That's the problem with having more than one. The one on the floor leaks from the drain tap, the one with the blue overflow tube is the original but has no fan shroud - I value my fingers! - and so the third to the rear / right is the recon version I'm now using.



The spare rad had not held water in decades, so perhaps I was just being optimistic. The recon version was intended for the 1200 convertible but: tough. Life's like that. I'll get the other one reconditioned, at least with a retap of the drain plug housing with a 1/4 BSP tap, but in the meantime the new reconditioned radiator is now fitted with new thermostat, cap, hoses, stainless clips and hopefully properly-sealed thermostat housing. I partially filled it, maybe half-way up the radiator core, as a test of the drain plug and lower hose and went off to bed.


Now: this morning. One small drip at the front - the drain tap - and a large smattering, worryingly at the rear of the engine. Not a great place for a coolant leak.


It's worrying because the system is not fully filled, maybe two-thirds full, so the old thermostat housing leak can't have come back. That means it's coming from somewhere round the block. I cannot for the life of me identify where. All core plugs are leak-free, I've checked the hoses, and the block drain tap, but still the leak continues. Under the car, you can see the green drips on the bottom of the gearbox bellhousing, but that's the lowest point, so not the source of the leak. I'm desperately hoping it's coming from the front of the engine, and due to the slight backwards tilt of the block, it's running along a seam and dripping off the back. Sadly, once again, this means: drain the system, remove the radiator, remove the water pump housing, seal all joints and reassemble. Then hope.

It's a pity as I'm working on the dashboard area and have just blasted, repainted and refitted all of the trim and screen-demister vents onto the newly padded dashboard surround. Switches are all connected and if it wasn't for one errant black earth cable around the rear of the ignition switch I'd have all switches correctly connected ready for the wooden dashboard. Once that's fitted there's no reason why I can't start the engine and see how it performs after the rebuild.


If I can't find the source of that leak it's really all for nowt at present, so I can only persevere.

Serious work on the 13/60 will commence within a few weeks so I've been sourcing parts; a nice set of original engine valves for the head:


Valve guides are already purchased, plus cam followers. I'm hoping for minimal engine work, just really tidying and painting, and the suspension, overdrive gearbox, propshaft, diff and rear spring are ready to fit. The interior will get new carpets plus a few little odds and sods, such as a period radio:


It does work or, at least, lights up. I don't need it to work, just look period. There's already a hole for a bulkhead-mounted aerial and I have one ready and waiting. The bulkhead itself needs repainting - it was all painted over, very badly, in black, so I'll go for the original white all over - plus it seems to have the occasional war-wound here or there that needs addressed:


The natives have been shooting at me again. So: in the meantime between finding leaks and reconditioning parts I'm keeping busy and trying not to think the worst... that Estate engine is NOT coming out again.

...and finally for now: £5 from eBay. The other versions I have are too early-looking for this car, which is a 1969 / 1970 13/60 model. What better than a bit of tasteless 1970s tat to improve the look?


If I clean them it might double the value of the car. I can only hope... but it brings back memories of the days when Autofactor shelves were full of stuff like that. I suppose that's why I buy it!

Now: back to the 1200 estate and that leak. I'll find it yet. I just don't want to take the engine out again. Have I said that already? :)



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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - amazing, the things you find...

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