Jump to content

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

Recommended Posts

I'd guess those are roughly equivalent to Polybush blue, or maybe slightly harder, but not as hard as reds; they're squeezable with enough pressure. I bought a number of sets online maybe ten years ago, they were made by a Triumph enthusiast called Kevin and I featured them in the GT6 Register at the time, so these have now been dug out of the spares pile to fit the Herald. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A hard evening's work last night with the sandblaster rolling into the late-ish hours (well to 8pm so as not to annoy neighbours). Rear uprights, brake drums and halfshafts now ready for refitting. I only had one grease nipple for the bearings so ended up swapping it over and using a blanking plug for the other side. I'm waiting on heavy-duty UJs and brake hoses before reassembly - I only had one UJ so it's fitted already; three others coming for halfshaft and prop.


The diff housing has been blasted, repainted and fitted with blue polybushes. It was originally red, a paint called Rustoleum Hard Hat and it was a bu&&er to get off. I've the top studs to clean up and rethread before fitting the spring, which is a brand new Estate spring from Canleys, salted away quite a few years ago. The diff itself is in excellent condition so only got new bearings and oil seals.


There was a code number on the side of the crownwheel; quite rusty but appeared to read 3089 - does this make sense to anyone? I tried to clean the rust off and the entire number disappeared; all I have now is shiny metal. I've got photos before cleaning and might try to make sense of those.

Here's one slight error made when this car was last assembled - brand new greasable UJs fitted to the propshaft, but sadly... wrong way round. The grease nipple is fouling the flange. I managed to remove it but in the absence of any blanking plugs these days I'll just refit sealed Freelander versions instead. I reckon the UJ will be damaged by the time I remove it as it's quite a tight fit, and if not well Happy Days I've got a spare.


I've just herniated myself lifting the engine into the car, which is off to the TSSC meeting tonight for a second opinion. If the majority reckon it just requires honing and new rings, then woohoo I'm way ahead of myself. If not, there'll be no pocket money for a month or two until I can get it rebored.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

and Colin  looks like its got a blasted awful strap drive prop   Urgh !!!

It does. I have a number of solid-prop spares, plus both Spitfire with the sliding joint and a GT6 one (too short....) - you reckon the solid Herald type is better?

I took the engine to the TSSC meeting last night, got a professional opinion from one of the members. "It's f&&ked."

This morning early I was checking addresses for a recommended Engineering Company 50 miles away, when I found one 15 miles away... I had the block in the boot so was with him just after 9am, he turned out to be a great character and had all the Triumph data in huge folders on his shelves. His first opinion is that we'll get away with +20, maybe +30, he'll only know once it's bored but reckons his first estimate of +20 will be accurate. He's one of these older guys who works out of an incredibly cold, low-roofed shed on a very quiet back road, but has masses of old stuff sitting about and you can tell by the style of, and the marks on, his tools that he's been doing it for years. It was fascinating to watch him working with gauges, measuring the wear of the bores and doing calculations with a pencil. Reminded me of my father-in-law! I can see him getting  a goodly trade from me if he turns out as I hope.

He says modern pistons are poor metal, and wants me to source Hepolites, and of course the only set I've found of +20s only has three pistons. He's to make a few calls and get back to me. Things are looking up this morning!

I've no idea why I bought two tins of BMC Engine Green paint at Stafford about 1994. Why was a trader even selling the stuff at Stafford? In any case it has lasted so well I might just keep the block green, as I can't be bothered stripping it down to repaint it black.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 06/02/2020 at 17:08, Pete Lewis said:

thats a good result then,  and green  ....youre saving the planet  


Even my nipples are green....brake nipple covers, that is. The black ones that came with the caliper refurbishing kit are too small, and too hard to stretch. Thankfully I have a bag of green ones to replace them with. The caliper repair kit also had retaining clips that were far too short and allowed air, and therefore moisture, up the back of the seal. Binned and replaced with the old ones.


The type 14 calipers I'm using on the 1200 have cleaned up very well; I have replacement pistons in both mild and stainless steel but these pistons are very good with no pitting nor damage to the chrome. The seals are always a bit fiddly but much easier than the late GT6 versions I also did recently. If Storm Ciara wasn't blowing my roof off at present I could do a 'before and after' shot but I'm not risking my life out there, even with a caliper or two to weigh me down...


Following your advice Pete I've gone for a solid prop; blasted and just repainted. It was a bit of a problem to sandblast it but I got there eventually. I've also had to buy replacement UJs as the Britpart ones I bought are rubbish, so I've gone for more GKNs even if it means no coffees out next week. I would have had it all fitted this afternoon but forgot to order diff bearings along with the oil seals, so that will hold me back another few days. I'll crack on with the handbrake cable fitting and adjusting the levers under the car while I'm waiting.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Still working on both the Herald Estate and the GT6 so poor convertible has dropped off the radar yet again.

I got as far as refitting the rear axle this afternoon - recon diff attached to new Estate leaf spring, new trunnions, UJ's, halfshaft bearings, brakey bits etc. All looking very well on the driver's side.


First problem is that the diff leaks oil from the front pinion, which got a new bearing and seal, and the oil appears to be coming from both in front and behind of the front mounting. I'm hoping I've just overfilled it and that it stops when it gets lower, but there's an awful lot of oil dripping.

Second problem... what are the chances of having about twenty rear axle yokes, and free time to sandblast and paint them all, then to select one, fit the UJ, fit it to the rear axle, hang the entire shebang off the spring and the shock then go to attach the flange to the diff and find out that none of the holes line up? 


What on earth are the chances of having ONE - and I've checked all the rest, just now - that is bigger than all the rest, and picking that one out of them all for the Herald? I've no idea what it's from, maybe a Spitfire, but it's bigger than the others by about 4mm diameter and the holes are at different spacings. This means it's got to come off, so means dismantling the UJ - yet again - and refitting, hopefully without damage. Sometimes I hate these things...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, dave.vitesse said:

The large flange could be for the GT6. The smaller one normally fitted to the 948/1200 Herald ?


Is there a difference in the late Herald version too? I've had both Spitfire and GT6 but don't remember having this kind of spares for them, but I've had so many Heralds that 90% of my spares are for the 948 / 1200 models. I've only ever rebuilt one 13/60, and don't think I had to buy replacement yokes for it. I've probably bought it at a show, attached to an entire rear halfshaft somewhere along the line, as I've plenty of those salted away.

Ah.... the good old days of shows, and autojumbles... sniff. Wipes away a nostalgic tear...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:

Is there a difference in the late Herald version too?

I've only owned one Herald and it was a late 13/60. It used the small flanges, the same as the Mk2 and Mk3 Spitfires I've worked on, which are different to the Vitesse and GT6. There's definitely a difference in the diff output stub shafts between early and late Heralds but I think the flanges are the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still beavering away, hampered by the lack of a sandblaster and the shops being completely empty of masking tape. What on earth is everyone doing whilst stuck at home? They can't all be rebuilding Heralds. Shelves are full of Frogtape, Gorilla tape, repair tape and duct tape but no masking tape, so i've had to find other little jobs to do. 

The 1200 estate is now back on four wheels and the handbrake set. I've moved to the interior and removed the dashboard, which from the original reassembly had a very nice burr walnut dashboard which I bought at Stafford in the mid 1990s, but which had a few problems (hence the sale, probably) one of which being the speedo didn't fit. The hole is too small and while it's jammed in in this photo it's not right.


The dash appears to be modelled on an overdash, which was the optional extra dashboard for early cars and which fitted over the fibreboard fascia. Consequently most of the holes appear to be for switches and knobs which are already in place, and it's just set over them. This is why none of the silver bezels were big enough to clamp the cables or switches, as they couldn't screw properly against the wood; but yet the hole for the speedo is much too tight. It's just not right for a later car.

SO: bright idea time. I've got a brand new dash bought from the TSSC Shop back in the early to mid 2000s for the convertible, but never taken out of the packet. Happy days! :)


Then I remembered that when it arrived, sandwiched between two lengths of plywood, I had a quick sneak peek and realised that the ashtray was missing. Back it went into the bubble wrap but for some reason I never complained about it and it's sat on top of the cupboards in the garage ever since. Too late now, thinks I, but I'll make do with a different ashtray front, maybe black or some other colour as there's no chance of matching the veneer. Pity.  :(

For the first time since purchase I slit the tape and rolled back the bubble wrap to find... the ashtray, plus the glovebox handle, both nicely veneered and hidden in the packaging! Happy again.. :)

THEN I went to trial fit the speedo to see how it compared with the old dash.. and found this:


It's quite badly damaged and given the care that I've taken of it in storage, that happened in transit. There are corresponding cracks in the lower part of the dash. I never checked it fully as there was no point in unwrapping it long before it would ever be used. However; I've trial fitted the speedo and the gauge hides this bit completely, so I'll glue it with one of today's wonder glues and there's a good chance that once fitted, it will never move again. So: more or less happy again, as much as can be.

You can see the differences in the size of the holes in the old (upper) dash compared with the newer (lower) one. The upper ignition switch aperture is massive; switch and bezel both disappear down into it unless a plate is screwed across the rear. This one will do for the convertible with the early dashboard, which has a huge metal reinforcement behind it, but I'll have to - very carefully - enlarge the hole for the speedo without ruining the veneer.

I'm assuming the club don't sell dashboards any more? No mention of it on the website.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Colin my dash had cracked in the same place, at the top above the speedo, so I ended up glueing it with PVA and clamping it, which seems to have fixed the issue.

With regard enlarging the speedo hole, I found that a small drum sander in a Dremel equivalent worked perfectly, and without the risk of damaging the veneer which is very delicate.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Bordfunker said:

Colin my dash had cracked in the same place, at the top above the speedo, so I ended up glueing it with PVA and clamping it, which seems to have fixed the issue.

With regard enlarging the speedo hole, I found that a small drum sander in a Dremel equivalent worked perfectly, and without the risk of damaging the veneer which is very delicate.


Thanks Karl, I do have a Dremel; I was thinking of a flap wheel in a drill which would have been brutal and probably blistered the whole thing through excessive heat, but never remembered the gentler touch of the smaller kit. That's something to try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Colin Lindsay said:

Thanks Karl, I do have a Dremel; I was thinking of a flap wheel in a drill which would have been brutal and probably blistered the whole thing through excessive heat, but never remembered the gentler touch of the smaller kit. That's something to try.

If you still have a bit of damage Colin, this stuff is brilliant. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Furniture-Laminate-Repair-Wax-Filler-Kit-Light-Medium-Dark-Woods-or-Greys/162464790210?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item25d3a7f6c2:m:m4Kd33wAK_XfnGrbyhwgrVQ&enc=AQAEAAACcIQvEcHUrT7nmUC3yY5qbPyaBN1nJEDYW8MyypsJPgXKym2Jdff8P6pcVkPslsrmD4aujXe%2BF0owRjtBlpA5lUZ8dxulT9ZOBETLjJxL6T3%2B9GpHb7a8EJeWiggPkJxlbT0f3SUIUA5KRlK9s0UOCx3oahf7C%2FqTHd5rJhZKdglBuKCVVAFA81Wvo5c%2B9l5yeTErLKuaG%2Bj1bCVNazwhYZhmTDNiGolP%2B1G4e8NzKI4SJq4DNP5ISmiQA2xZnSazMFqPL4PMt6x7RNsiV4L98VES8Bdo%2Bn5zBXy%2BwtK0nsoWmZI9pwprzbVcXzxIZFhkEIcjNoS5s16KEya9OZcpu3Rf7YnMY%2F1AwW42lu8ZwynXJUEuP5CmpoUXmsQ26Z6wkT0Qt1Iz38f3wnOVi0x1TNCe7msi9jvyjInl%2Bfy2t10W7AfRJC8Gtvn4jcRlF7kNxw0DJ2FxdK%2B5BWjhcukgp4DGI3ULq9oMSHWJ8ZU0VsIbMZa7RfvII9N9Mg2K2nSEUaEIT2Crkr%2BHfDzK5HkjEZd74Boh0RF4XKC%2FtT1j2m%2BeY4Wh7CvWeJevrY1Xo0O%2F9q4kxaPgMwu9R5ioGB7YIonTV1YCl%2FLdJVtJVXX1AVcBafraKQOvgOz57auW55UhHCgJ%2BE99r%2FN5xJBOGxHmPgtF5zyZnQJGDFyKIbsHKzYbrOE4ZQccBFBliZrCMxs2HVxvILsQ8SzrCCna6P3igXXuIJ%2BEW9kF2g6%2Bm4xMeQbSn6BKyrndP%2B7W2OPY7sR%2FHToo51YYN%2B%2F27j14Od%2B8DVY%2BNtnWDBpl%2F%2BTxr%2BCvVF5zMBnyu2GdPQOme5U5zndcDA%3D%3D&checksum=1624647902102d256fb3a11e41379330c838a292f2aa  And very easy to use. :) 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just remembered I've got some of that!! Never thought of it for dashboards so thanks for the heads up. Now, where is it...?

I've now got the replacement dash attached to the reupholstered surround and with the speedo fitted in place there's no sign of the damage nor any further movement. I think I've got away with it; the other dash is now put to one side for alterations at a later date.


...and the next instalment of the Devil Making Work for Idle Hands come courtesy of the Estate, where the roof doesn't fit properly, because the body is incorrectly fitted to the chassis due to the bulkhead also being misfitted... it's a long story involving solid mounts that are too big.

Lockdown be damned; I'm used to working on my own. Once the car is rolled out from under, the roof will drop onto wheeled trollies and can be moved to one side whilst the lift then removes the rear tub in the same way. Simples!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

For want of a nail the Herald was stalled... actually it was for want of a steering arm. I couldn't find one. I had five of the other side, including one that I'd blasted and repainted for this car, then it turned out to be a match of the other side... oops. Two lefts and no right. Off I went into the dark depths of the roofspace... actually it's quite a nice room with two windows, but I like a bit of atmosphere in a story.

I managed to find one, and down the ladder I came, only to find it's an early 1200 version and so longer. No good.


On the plus side I did manage to find some early caliper mounting brackets, one even with the rubber seal in good reuseable condition. I wonder if new seals are available?


I did manage to find the steering arm I needed, sadly still attached to a pair of later uprights with the newer version of dust shield and type 14 calipers still attached. What odds, I might as well refurbish those while lockdown continues... rusty, caked with old underseal and oozing with black grease, they came apart with the aid of an impact wrench, whereupon the best surprise of the evening was finding almost brand new, completely unworn threads on both vertical links. These are very reuseable so they've gone onto the 'to do' list, once the sandblaster is refurbished and I can blast and repaint them. I think they're actually better than the ones I had intended to use.



They've also got the chamfered hubs for type 14 calipers, and have now been marked accordingly so I won't get them mixed up with all the others.  

So: I'm a happy bear, as I've now got two very good spares plus the bits I originally needed for the other Herald. Happy days!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even happier bunny now than in that last entry!

I've been working on front vertical links, of which I have three. I'm convinced I actually have four but the fourth is proving elusive, plus I only have one brake disc shield. These are a design closer to the GT6 and Vitesse than the later Spitfire / Herald varieties, but are unique to the early cars so of course no-one makes them any more, and there is no chance of getting even mild steel versions let alone stainless.


I want to use the correct early uprights - simply because I can - and this means using caliper adaptors, although I'll be using the bigger and better type 14 calipers as opposed to the original type 12s. I've got the adaptors - three of, again - and one still has the original rubber seal, although these are reputably still available so I've ordered two this very day. What is confusing me is that one of the vertical links has a very nice rubber seal around the stub axle, where the hub felt seal would run.DSCF8594.jpg.38d05d80f0654a4a5780ad8a5024eec4.jpg

This looks much too neat to be aftermarket, but doesn't appear in any parts manual. So: either it's an elusive part that no-one knows about, or it was added in place of, or to assist, the felt seal - but by the factory, or a previous owner?. These hubs have no water shield that you'll find in the later versions so I'm wondering if this was an early attempt to keep water out of the bearings? I wonder if I can find another, or even a new pair?

However, things got better on an astronomical scale. During the search for the missing dust shield I rummaged through a box of new wheel trims and found... these:


Two early Herald dust shields in laser cut stainless. Back about maybe ten years ago I contacted a manufacturer about the possibility of having these remade in stainless. He took my old one as a template - is that where it went? - and sent me back two of these for about £30. Stunningly beautiful and possibly unique. I can't remember if he returned the sample one I sent - it must be salted away in a different box - or else it explains why I've only got one. However that no longer matters... am I chuffed or what? 

That's what I call thinking ahead. If only I could remember who it was, to enquire if he can make more...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Bordfunker said:

Colin seeing as you are on a streak, can you check your stash for Lord Lucan?



You still Lucan for him?

Shergars long gone, my cats ate him. Whiskas with...  :)

This lockdown thingy is becoming very handy; I'm finding things I'd forgotten I ever bought. If only I could get them on an actual car...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've finally bitten the bullet and dismantled the entire front end of the Estate; the reason that this was a major step is because it will now be immobile on the lift until I replace everything, which as I've no sandblaster at present may be delayed slightly. 


The chassis and suspension area took a lot of cleaning; years in a garage have left an oily coating of black grease-like stuff everywhere, and it took a lot of scrubbing to get it off. In some areas it's left the fresh white paint looking very grey and lifeless, but I'll work on that as time permits. The main thing at present is to get the areas of paint damage - and there are a few - cleaned up and repaired before the suspension components go back on. I suppose the only parts requiring refurbishment are the front hubs which need blasted, repainted and new bearings; all else was finished long ago.

I remade all of the brake pipes in Kunifer, the original copper from the last replacement was quite tarnished by now and not the best job, but I'm better at it now, twenty years later... I'm quite pleased with some of the bends and the flares were a doddle, even if the last one had to be flared in situ rather than on the bench. The only one remaining now is the long pipe to the master cylinder and I've completely forgotten how that one is routed, but there's plenty of time to search for reference photos.

DSCF8708.jpg.8e225c260ed9371e286a0433b03cec31.jpg DSCF8709.jpg.bb95052d74e195ba65fbe770028cae49.jpg

All in all another good day's work so bar a lot of cleaning - with a toothbrush! - we're getting there.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...