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The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - making progress


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On 21/02/2021 at 17:24, PeteH said:

Been, Reading from early on, This was intriguing. 60`s "Security". Read the number off the lock, go to Half-Rods, Buy key(s) return and steal car!.  Dohh!!!!. Mind, even later. A manufacturer of "Prestige" cars fitted central locking which could be unlocked by placing half a tennis ball over the lock and wacking it with the hand, this popped the doors and you where in!. Even easier than the well known "split" flat strip which when slid down the screen could bend the rod and open doors. As shown to me by a police officer, when I locked my keys in the boot!.

Pete

Was it a Volvo that's you could break into by kicking the bumper?

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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald 1200 restoration thread - repair sections?

I'm going to ask you guys out there what repair sections are available for the Herald rear tub; specifically the rear floor pans. They used to be available as a complete section:

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But alas, no longer. All I can get now are small sections that are admittedly better than nothing but not the preferred option.

The problem I have is the area under the seats, to the rear outer edge of the floor pan. This has been heavily patched in the past on both sides:

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It may be solid, although unsightly, but this area to the outside of the drain hole is where the seatbelt mounting attaches. Originally it's a triangular pressing and the two seatbelt mounts fit into it, but mine are both missing.

I do have small repair sections, not ideal but you can see the triangular area where the bolts fit:

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I can use those, and if properly welded they'll be a much tidier job than what is there at present, but I'd still prefer larger sections to minimise the welding seams on the underside. Anyone know of a good source of repair sections? I'm thinking Chic Doig, but all suggestions welcome. The area under the rear seat is currently accounted for:

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Those repair sections were bought at the International, I think for a tenner or so, many moons ago and salted away for this very necessity so now they'll earn their keep. I also remember Bill Davies making a rear spring tunnel repair section back in the day, but I'm sure those are all long gone. I'll make a few enquiries tomorrow, but in the meantime, if anyone has repair sections they'd like to part with, let me know. Cash and welder waiting... :)

 

 

 

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The bulk of mine where fabricated from Sheet steel, and mostly by hand using whatever "formers" where to hand, that and a bag of sand. I did replace the two front footwells by product from Rimmer, and found I had to "tweek" those as well. I doubled  up if I had a "Stuctural point" and spread the load over a greater area, It`s not "pretty" work but I believe it to be as if not stronger than O/E.

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3 hours ago, PeteH said:

I doubled  up if I had a "Stuctural point" and spread the load over a greater area, It`s not "pretty" work but I believe it to be as if not stronger than O/E.

That's the reassurance I need. I've a professional bodyshop welder coming over tomorrow to look at the job - for that sort of thing I wouldn't trust my basic standard of welding - and hopefully he'll advise on tidying up that area. When the car is complete it'll go for MOT and the last thing I need is to have a freshly painted tub pointed out as structurally unsound...

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As long as the original welds are of a decent quality, they will be stronger than the surrounding steel, and given that the replacement panels are only single thickness in this area, aside from neatening it all up, I’m not sure that you are adding any additional strength.

You could always add a non-welded reinforcing plate to spread the load, and further put your mind at ease.

Karl

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I hate professionals. This guy turns up at my house this morning in a 600bhp Alfa Romeo Giulietta, engine noise wakes up the neighbours, has a look at my Heralds... yeah no problem. We'll do this... and we'll do this... and that's no problem... I'll collect it Thursday week. But, says I, there's a problem with the rear wing. It's not been fitted correctly and won't match up with the rear quarter valence. There's a slot you could post letters through.

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No problem, says he. We'll just move that... and move that... and maybe put a section in there... simple. Leave it with me.

I've also got strange holes in the floor - might even be from a roll bar, since they're a match on each side?

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No problem, we'll set a section in there, grind the welds down, you'll never know it was there. Just two things: firstly is there a chassis? Needs to be a rolling chassis. Can you bolt everything on to it? Well, I would, but it's in primer and it's just a bare chassis. No problem. Do you want it in gloss or satin red? I'll pick it up Monday, leave it back to you fully painted by Thursday, you can fit the wheels etc and then the tub to it and it will add rigidity for when we start to cut bits out. All we need is all of that underseal gone. Got any thinners? Soften it with those, scrape or rub the stuff off. This guy's good, straight to the point, and definite. Just what I need.

Of course, he left me the dirty work. My entire garage, house, clothes and whatever is stinking of thinners, but it certainly removes the underseal. I reckon about 40% of the stuff is off now, but Lord is it boring, smelly and dirty work. After two showers I can still smell it on my hands and that's with rubber gloves on during the removal.

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Still things are moving again and in three weeks max I might even have a completed rear tub, ready for gapping to the bulkhead and finishing before the top coat. If that's the case things are going to fly along, as all else is complete and ready for refitting. Just before he left I asked if he could do anything with the Herald Estate tub sag. He looked at it for a minute, then stated: If I was you I'd do this... and he did. He borrowed a door catch, a rubber seal and a block of wood. 30 seconds later, door gaps nicely in line. Don't ask me how he did it. I blinked and missed it.

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I told you, he's a professional. Makes me look stoopid. That's why HE's driving the Alfa and my cars are all in bits.

 

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9 hours ago, Colin Lindsay said:

Herald Estate tub sag. He looked at it for a minute, then stated: If I was you I'd do this... and he did. He borrowed a door catch, a rubber seal and a block of wood. 30 seconds later, door gaps nicely in line. Don't ask me how he did it. I blinked and missed it.

I think a lot of people would like a video of that action!! Ask him to do a replay Colin :)

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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald 1200 restoration thread - Houston we have a problem...

Well, good news and... different news. The chassis has gone off to the painter, who very kindly offered to paint it so as to have a solid base on which to tackle the bodywork, to avoid distortion caused by repair sections or replacement panels. So: nicely cleaned, and ready as it will ever be... off it went.

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Four days later it came back. In lovely, shiny, tough and pristine gloss black. GLOSS BLACK.

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The problem was that the painter has never seen the original Herald, which is Signal Red. All of the body panels are in primer. I suppose he should have phoned me to check but , remembering that the GT6 chassis is black, he had a quick search on the Net. "Herald chassis were originally black" says a source. "Then the body was fitted and the cars sprayed, which is why the exposed bits of the car are body coloured, but protected parts are still black." He took this to mean overspray, and just went for gloss black all over. It's nice, shiny, clean, and well-painted. I suppose I'll just have to live with it.

So: on with the bits to get it rolling. In pride of place was the reconditioned steering rack. I'm using original clamps rather than alloy, but have gone for natty orange polyurethane bushes, which have a little lip on the underside where some of the blue polybushes don't. Time will tell if this is a good thing or not. I also remembered the earth strap...

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Wishbones are getting yellow nylon bushes, of which I bought the world's supply back in the 2000s. The GT6 is coming up on twenty years of using them and no complaints so far. They're a nice consistency, neither too hard nor too soft, and look nice against the gloss. That aparrent distortion is just the reflection. I'm using stainless brake line brackets too, and with the benefit of experience remembered to fit the bolts for the engine side valences before the upper wishbones. You learn these things the hard way.

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As usual I've found that there are small parts which I thought I had, that I don't. Both of my anti-roll bar links are right handed - how did that happen? - I've got no lower bushes for the diff, only one good top ball joint and having searched for hours for a brand new set of front springs finally realised I'd used them on the estate a month or two ago. The shelves are emptying at an alarming rate; boxes which have sat for years - front suspension nut and bolt kits, bushes, brackets, shocks, bearings and brake discs - are all seeing the light of day and being fitted at last. If the freshly painted bits dry nicely and Paddocks deliver the spares with their usual reliable speed, we'll be on four wheels by the weekend.

...and finally - it's amazing the things you find when you're looking for something else. I didn't find the springs, but I found a box of 13 (thirteen?) brand new Stanpart wheel trims for the GT6 and Vitesse. Back in the early days of GT6 ownership I found that mine often got damaged when they were removed, so salted away a few sets bought from eBay at around a tenner a set. They may be worth more now, I've no idea - probably the modern versions are better made or much cheaper. Nice to look at, though.

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Fully apreciate that many have tried to keep "originality" on their vehicles, which I can respect. But I`m afraid that is well an truly not going to be any selling point If/when mine is finally on the road. It has already aquired PAS, ( to assist with arthritic hands), I have prepped it for Intertia Belts and MX-5 seats and have a powerstop waiting to be fitted. I suppose what I am looking for is "usability" and extra comfort/safety for old bones?. Even the paint could finsh up a "metalic" finish as I have my eye on a very tasty BMW (spit!!) blue.

Pete

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50 minutes ago, Anglefire said:

Gloss black looks good to be fair. Will be arguably easier to keep clean?

Well I suppose I won't spot the oil leaks as easily; but it looks nice. I suspect it may be more durable and more easily cleaned, so that's a big bonus. As the saying goes: a man on a galloping horse will never see it.

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Well that's been a week of full days in the garage; a few setbacks but mostly good progress.

The entire front suspension has been rebuilt, nothing tightened or torqued up yet until the car is back on the ground but the same problems as with the estate: the ball joints don't tighten, they just rotate round and round. Hopefully weight will solve that, but neither the body nor the engine will be fitted just yet. The steering is on and the anti-roll bar gained snazzy orange bushes and stainless clamps. No wonder the front backplate assembly looks so happy!

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At the rear we were held up firstly by no radius arms, or rear leaf spring top plate, despite having sandblasted and painted them some time ago. Then I remembered I'd used them on the estate, so had to find others, blast and repaint. We're also missing one radius arm bracket and of course it's NLA from anywhere - thanks to Steve P who has found one for me. The rear spring has been set in place and the refurbished halfshafts fitted with new UJs and bolts.

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This has however revealed a serious problem; the rear leaf spring is very strong, and is pushing down on both halfshafts, jamming them against the chassis so that they cannot be turned by hand. I don't remember it being so curved before I rebuilt it and when the car was raised off the ground before it was still possible to rotate the axles to do brake work, etc. I've never needed a spring lifter on a Herald before. I've slacked off the top mounting but there's still a lot of tension, so I'll have to work out some kind of solution otherwise I won't be able to adjust the brakes etc when it comes time. By the time I fit it to both rear uprights it's up above the stud heads; if I tighten it down before fitting to the uprights, it's pushing downwards with such force it's almost impossible to lever it up to the correct height in order to slide the bolt through and of course both halfshafts are jammed against the chassis rail.

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The other problem is that the diff has just been refilled with oil, and on giving it a trial spin to get the oil round the gears, I found that the front pinion nut is loose. I remember having it refurbished and it was returned to me without the front bracket fitted, so I removed the nut and flange, fitted the bracket, then promptly forgot how many turns I had used to remove the nut. I'll have to call in a mate or two to debate how best to set the preload again without removing the diff.

So: to avoid all the problems at the rear I've gone back to the front and fitted hubs, new bearings and brake discs. I must admit it looks very well.

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Monday (tomorrow) the tub is back from the sandblaster, so I need a complete rolling chassis to attach the tub for bodywork. Going to be another busy week...

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if its acastle nut just do it up to torque  its only later with collapsible spacer you need to keep the coupling position as was  they normally have a nyloc nut 

in the end any nut is ok but herald diffs only had a solid spacer so preload remains as is the factory shimmed setting it cant change 

unless new bearing or shims have been removed 

Pete

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i remember my 59 948 sheared a short shaft , and without any real clues i dropped the diff in the dark garage with a torch 

and boing!!!     the spring lept up to the floor panel , dont remember how i got it down again  but then found it could have been changed in situ as the learning curve began , 

shafts on the chassis at full droop  is  normal /common 

Pete

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4 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

if its acastle nut just do it up to torque  its only later with collapsible spacer you need to keep the coupling position as was  they normally have a nyloc nut 

in the end any nut is ok but herald diffs only had a solid spacer so preload remains as is the factory shimmed setting it cant change 

unless new bearing or shims have been removed 

Pete

It was rebuilt by Mike Papworth a few years back and stored away ever since; if it's only a case of torquing I'll be very happy. Must go find the torque, unless you know it off-hand?

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Not the old Imperial TAF torque?

Anyway: here's how the spring looks today; I sneaked out an hour ago, released the top bracket and just attached to both vertical links. Both halfshafts are now released and moving freely, given that there's no downwards pressure on them, but any attempt at all to pull the leaf spring downwards is going to have the equal effect on the suspension. It may move more into place once the wheels are on and the chassis is dropped to the ground, but I suspect it may not be as dramatic a shift as required as there's no weight of tub, transmission or engine to compress it downwards.

2ACFDEDB-6783-4C42-8B9A-CC62F0CFCAB7_1_105_c.jpg.862d2f304b1a8a92b6afe0634dd0e6f9.jpg  8B8F5032-67BA-4097-BFB4-222A71179137_1_105_c.jpg.7ff23344bda6048c6f495a85b3944a3b.jpg

 

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Colin I had the same issue with my Vitesse with the rear tub off no way was the spring going to compress down onto the diff, even with a 2 mt long spring compressor bar that just lifted the chassis off the ground, even with me and my mate both big boys standing on the chassis.

Our solution was a long length of 4 by 3 timber braced against the garage roof beams and then jacked the chassis up compressing the spring down, all the while checking we weren't lifting the roof up I did reinforce the beam to wall fixing prior to jacking ! It worked.

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I bought some UNF studding and used two lengths of it screwed into the diff casing to pull the spring down until the top plate was low enough for the nuts to be put on the other studs. Works pretty well...  

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1 hour ago, Peter Truman said:

Colin I had the same issue with my Vitesse with the rear tub off no way was the spring going to compress down onto the diff, even with a 2 mt long spring compressor bar that just lifted the chassis off the ground, even with me and my mate both big boys standing on the chassis.

Our solution was a long length of 4 by 3 timber braced against the garage roof beams and then jacked the chassis up compressing the spring down, all the while checking we weren't lifting the roof up I did reinforce the beam to wall fixing prior to jacking ! It worked.

 

1 hour ago, johny said:

I bought some UNF studding and used two lengths of it screwed into the diff casing to pull the spring down until the top plate was low enough for the nuts to be put on the other studs. Works pretty well...  

Industrial-sized ratchet straps will do it; I'm just back from the garage having fitted the rear wheels and lowered it down to settle the rear shocks. As the spring lowers, it pushes the tops of the links out but everything else stays the same, so I'm hoping that a heavy strap round the diff, pulling the spring down to where it can be bolted, will do the job and result in outwards movement rather than downwards so the halfshafts will stay up off the chassis rails. As the links pivot around the rear trunnions so the camber angle of the wheel stays more or less the same. 

Fitting the wheels and new tyres for the first time in 13 years should have been more of a momentous occasion, but it's too early to celebrate. 

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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald 1200 restoration thread - Holey moley!

Today has been the Good, the Bad, and the... you'll see.

The rear spring was finally sorted.

First attempt was attaching it to the rear vertical links, then trying to bring it down to the diff. That failed miserably, even with the entire chassis lifted off the ground and the wheels hanging.

Second attempt was removing one vertical link, lightly attaching the spring to the top of the diff, then trying to both attach it to the other link whilst compressing it down onto the diff at the same time. That failed, due to shortage of hands legs and weight.

Third and final attempt was to bolt it to the diff, then raise each end in turn until the bolt could be slid through. It was eventually raised by use of a caliper piston spreader resting on a block of wood on the rear halfshaft. Spring is now on, shocks attached, and the axles are still tight to the chassis so resting on plastic pads to avoid paint damage. I'm hoping it will settle over time.

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Next step was to bring the rear tub back from the shotblasters. It's amazing what hides under the paint: this little factory assembly code number is clearly visible as A/TC 623, right beside the end of a welded patch.

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How I wish that had been the only patch. Yikes! The removal of the paint, filler and soundproofing has revealed the worst nightmare of patching that I've seen in years. I thought the ones I could see were bad. These are worse.

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These are only some of the worst areas. The entire car is a sieve. That first photo is of the seatbelt mounting point at the base of the B-post; I have a repair section for the floor at least. The shotblaster was happy with it; he claims it's very sound and should be no problem to repair, or at least to tidy up. I hope the bodyworker agrees. In the meantime I need repair sections for the rear spring tunnel, lower inner wheelarches, rear B-post to B-post panel, in fact just about everywhere.

The Herald has now been officially christened. Patch.

 

 

 

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  • Colin Lindsay changed the title to The embarrassing Herald restoration thread - making progress

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