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The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - and now, the dreaded MOT

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That's the wonderful thing about an Estate; take the roof off and everything is so accessible. Back in 2003 it was a complete car - roof, interior, chrome... then sat for over ten years and went downhill again. This is the second restoration, without the first actually being finished... those are brand new tyres that never saw the road and are no longer fit for use.

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Spare wheel goes in under the tank; the boot board, which is solid and covers the entire area, hinges up at the edge of the tank. 

I'm held up on that Estate by the dynamo, which isn't coming together as it should; so am back to the 13/60 again. The EBC brake pads are now binned for NOS original-spec pads, but it's the total lack of caliper seals that has amazed me. No seals on the pistons, but once I inspected the pistons, I realised that there is no lip to hold the seal on, in the first place...


I have a number of new pistons and a seal kit has just arrived through the post so this one will be fully refurbished by tomorrow at latest. The other side has darker paint so I suspect it's already been replaced with a newer item. I also repaired the screen washer system, which was broken due to a sticking non-return valve. A new one cured the problem.... for 24 hours.


It took a little bit of head scratching to realise that the pipe inside the washer bottle - which I replaced - was too long. The valve was flat against the base of the bottle so that once pumped, it stuck to the base preventing any water getting in, but also not releasing due to the one-way nature of the valve. Now fixed and the screen jets shoot right over the screen onto the bootlid. Slight adjustment needed...

One of the last jobs was to replace the very melted sidelamp rubber. How does anyone let a car get into this state? I had to peel it off, then scrape the rest; petrol, razorblade and fingernail. It was solid, like hard plastic, and stuck fast. I got most of it in the end. Area in behind cleaned out and Waxoyled, then a new rubber fitted.

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Looks much better! The headlamps have been washed out with dishwater rinse aid, which works a treat, then dried out and will be refitted shortly with newly polished chrome rims. All I need to do now is adjust the beams for MOT and we're on the final stretch for the test on 16th October. I need to pass; there's a massive backlog and the next available slots are in December...



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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - preparing for the winter

Still on the white convertible; I've rebuilt the front caliper completely, broken it down, sandblasted, repainted and rebuilt with new seals and pistons. I've noticed that the new pistons are very slightly shorter with curved edges, but at least they have a lip to hold the seal in place. Refitted and bled the system, but I find it very spongy. It may improve when the new pads bed in, but otherwise I've a full rebuild of master cylinder and kunifer pipes planned.

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Before I fitted that caliper I decided the bolts needed paint too so they all got another coat. Looks well. As I was on a roll, I went for another bout of sandblasting and repainting of a waterpump housing and suspension components. I like to have a set in hand so all of these are spares, and will be ready for a straight swap when the time comes. I've invested in a full set of polybushes  - these are Flo-Flex bushes and come in a rather fetching orange shade. This set covers everything from front anti-roll bar to rear spring. I had already blasted and cleaned wishbones using an older set in yellow (I think those came from KRGClassics) and are fitted to all my other Triumphs, but these are now the last four left, so therefore I had to buy the other full set. Which, incidentally, was 30% off so worked out at about £56 for the lot.

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The orange versions are quite good, not as hard as the yellow, and they fit very easily especially when lubricated with spare grease from my Superflex kits. All front suspension components are now complete, and the replacement waterpump housing is on the shelf ready for the word.

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As a final touch I've dug out an old SAH rocker cover that I've had for years; it would never have fitted my 1200s due to the side breather attachment, but the 13/60 will use this admirably. All I need to do is work out how to adapt a gasket, as it's more square than the original rockers, so the standard gasket won't fit. I may butcher a cork 6-cylinder version which will have extra to play with. Of course, I'm planning ahead and jumping the gun slightly. I need the MOT first.


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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - and now, the dreaded MOT

Well, it's been a busy two weeks or so since I was last on the forum; I disappeared off to recharge the mental batteries and get some things done, which include insulating a roofspace, sanding a ceiling and trimming bushes! There was also some fairly intensive work on the Herald 13/60 for an impending MOT - over here we test in Government Test Centres and the waiting list is almost three months. Add to that the fact that this Herald has been prohibited from use on the public road until repaired and retested, so this would be the first drive in the Herald since purchase. 

I rebuilt the brakes and bearings, but the brakes were still amazingly spongy. It may be down to the fact that they have not been bedded in - in the hopes of a quick settling-down I had already binned the terrible EBC Greenstuff pads and fitted NOS brake pads from the shelf. The system was again rebled, still poor, and a quick inspection of the rebuilt caliper revealed traces of brake fluid dripping down...


Thankfully it turned out that it was just spilt fluid from the bleed process. The brakes are as good as can be; I suspect the master cylinder is worn or an incorrect size , due to the length of pedal travel - it's the extension version for drum to disc conversion using type 12 calipers, and these are 14s - and a new one is ready for fitting. I also have to remake new pipes to overcome the somewhat imaginative routing by the previous owners.

The biggest problem was the rich running; the smell of burning oil from the engine is intense. The car started from cold with no choke. I simply could not strike a balance between a good idle speed and a stalled engine. My first action was to replace the carb with a spare - this made no difference whatsoever and in fact would not run properly at all; the fault was traced to serious wear on the replacement carb which might as well be binned. Next job was to strip down the original carb, and the state of the diaphragm was amazing. This one had been trapped between the two body halves...

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The carb itself was black with deposits and full of gritty debris. All was stripped down, jets removed and cleaned. A new diaphragm fitted, the piston would not seat, and close examination revealed a bent needle. This was also replaced, but the engine still ran very rich. The fact that the car was idling for long periods did not help, so I sneaked it out on the road in the dark, and drove 300 yards to a nearby Demense with a cloud of smoke so dense it showed in the rear lights. I met one car, a Range Rover, who blinded me with his full beam in revenge... mine are too high, I think, and one of the reasons for the MOT failure in 2019. It also felt very wandery, and the brakes were very soft.

Back to the garage... the new sparkplugs looked like afro hairstyles. Very very sooty.

This time I replaced the jets, but again it made no difference. However, I was not sure of the spare carb from which the jets had been taken - it was a very clean, almost unused version, but something still niggled. I dug out an old 13/60 carb and took the jets from that, removed the carb from the car once again, and assembled it on the bench. This time I set the mixture off the car, turning down 2.5 turns instead of the recommended three. Back on the car, it started with the choke, and died when the choke was pushed back in... looking good so far. Unfortunately the PO has fitted an incorrect choke cable on which the outer cable was too short and he had added a length of rubber tubing, so I decided to risk the cable with an unclamped outer and manually set it at the carb. I tuned the idle by ear and it seemed alright...  

Next job was to align the headlamps, which were so far off they signalled to passing aircraft. It was quite a difficult job to align them as the adjusters were all stuck or painted over, but eventually with the aid of my garage door I set them to low and left. They'll have to do.

Following the discovery of sooty black water dripping on the garage floor I reckoned the silencer was defunct, but could find no holes in it... however take no chances. I pinched this new one off the red convertible and it certainly looks better, although no quieter - I've since discovered that it's a semi-sports box... Back on the bench I found that the old one had split along the seam, so there was the fault - invisible from below.

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While it was up there I readjusted the rear brakes, in the vain hope of improving them. After that there was nothing to do but wait for Saturday afternoon. I don't think we'll pass but at least I'll know what else needs doing.


The first legal drive in the Herald - on the way to a pre-booked test. I wanted to go with the top down, so the weather was dry but cold. In fact it was Baltic. 

The Herald started well enough, and ran well, and once the choke was pushed back in at the carb end we set off for the fourteen miles to the Test Centre along quiet roads - deliberately, to avoid any embarrassment of breakdowns or clouds of smoke. Amazingly, there wasn't any, although I was paranoid for the entire journey. Pulled well, accelerated well, ran quietly.... amazing. At one point I smelled smoke but it was only a farmer burning hedges.

I braked repeatedly; every few hundred yards I stood on the brakes. No idea if it did anything at all to improve the bedding-in but we did slow to a stop most of the times. At the Test Centre they took the Herald off me, into the test bay, and closed the doors. Due to Covid I have to remain outside. My parting desperately hopeful shot to the tester was: "Stand on the brakes, there's no servo in these..."

Twenty minutes later they drove back out again and parked in the car park in front of all the other drivers waiting on their cars. Embarrassment...

"There's a problem" announces the tester. "Can you confirm your address?" I did. 

"The printer's gone down. We can't print the Certificate so we'll post it out." It passed. No minors, no advisories, a full pass and no Prohibition any more. We're fully legal.

I drove home in the freezing cold, 60 mph, hardly a car on the roads, it started to rain, the wipers were terrible, and I fell in love with Heralds all over again. 



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26 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:

We can't print the Certificate so we'll post it out

Well, I said in the PM that I'd keep my fingers crossed that it would pass, I sure it would have even without!

Now get the miles in before winter comes 😁

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Congratulations On the pass Colin.

I had an original Beetle many years ago that had been standing for months, but was due an MoT, so dropped it off, fully prepared for it to fail, only for it roll out the other side of the bay with a pass!

This was one of those MoT stations where you didn’t pay for a failure, so I hadn’t come out with any cash, and this was pre-debit cards.

Imagine my embarrassment then having to explain that I needed to go visit a cash machine!


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4 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

well done Colin   so the Smiles Back ..????


Getting there, Pete. All of the posts above have helped immensely... (that includes the one about passing the MOT, too, from that Lindsay nutcase...)

Tomorrow, the work starts again - I have a choice of sanding a stippled ceiling prior to replastering or working on the Herald. Decisions, decisions... I also have a lovely clean and shiny gearbox to refurbish...

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Gunk Foam has been tried, might as well used bath foam... tomorrow I'll shell out on a stiff brush and try a variety of cleaning agents, everything from petrol to washing up liquid. I'm hoping the inside is nice and clean, given that it's still full of oil, and it will yield some spares at least; otherwise it'll be cleaned, reoiled and salted away for future use as a complete unit.

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Congrats on the 13/60 MOT success Colin why not go for a drive instead of DIY? Re gearbox I''d Gernie it first with high pressure to remove the depth of dirt etc in an area where the debris doesn't matter, then degunk it with brush etc, your going to rebuild it anyway. 

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19 minutes ago, Peter Truman said:

Congrats on the 13/60 MOT success Colin why not go for a drive instead of DIY? Re gearbox I''d Gernie it first with high pressure to remove the depth of dirt etc in an area where the debris doesn't matter, then degunk it with brush etc, your going to rebuild it anyway. 

Say nowt Peter... it's all planned. Tomorrow morning it's a nip out, rain or shine, for coffee and a paper with the Herald parked in pride of place somewhere highly visible, no matter what it looks like.. :)

. 'Er Indoors will be at work thinking I'm hard at work in the hall. I'll need to work twice as fast for when she does get home, tho.

Plus: while I'm working in a cloud of dust from the ceiling the gearbox will be soaking away.

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13 hours ago, Colin Lindsay said:

'Er Indoors will be at work thinking I'm hard at work in the hall. I'll need to work twice as fast for when she does get home, tho.

I was luckier last year when 'er indoors was away on her 3 week thermal cure it gave me plenty of time to completely 'restore' her room and go out in the car. After all it does take AGES/DAYS for filler and/or paint to dry 😁

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53 minutes ago, dougbgt6 said:

I don't have an 'er indoors so the garage ceiling still needs painting a year after the leak. 


Plenty of time yet, I've still not painted the walls and ceiling in what became the boiler room and 'mini' workshop/store about 10 years ago.

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19 minutes ago, poppyman said:

Very well done Coiln, your face will "ache" from the permanent grin :) 


I think it was frozen in place by the drive home... need a scarf and a hat. Of course the weather is directly linked to the MOT Certificate, so it has rained ever since. I'll be out in it as much as I can until the really cold weather comes in, then it's rebuild time - and this time it's ONE MONTH MAX. Quote me on that. Ok may be two but I want it back on the road by March.

The bonnet needs to come off to fix the poor repairs to the lower front edge under the grille - repair section purchased. I'll also have to remove the lights for repainting, so new seals and fitting kits waiting. While it's off I have to remove the engine and fit a Spitfire gearbox with J-type overdrive, replace an overdrive prop after replacing the front diff seal, there's a recored radiator to fit, blast and repaint the side valences, renovate the engine ie core plugs and ancillaries, maybe replace the valves and head gasket and repaint the block, and renovate both dynamo and starter.

While that's out the black-painted bulkhead has to become white, clean up the brake-fluid-eaten top panel, replace the master cylinders and brake / clutch pipes.

If I've got the centre tunnel out then bin the old carpets, soundproof the usual areas, Dodomat the tunnel cover, fit new carpets and rear trims.

After that polybush all of the suspension - which requires the black front turrets blasted and repainted in white - and that only leaves the front footwell millboards, the dash surround and the dash itself to tidy up.

Sounds like a lot but most of the bits are already made up and just need a straight swap. Ok so nobody really sees under the bonnet but the interior is a bit of a nightmare...

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