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Herald with a twist


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Hello everyone!


I was a member many moons ago under Solo_Andy1989 on the old forum with a 1500 Spit.

Anyway, I'm just about to finish my modern practical apprenticeship and so I've been looking at 13/60 Herald Saloons as a gift to myself if they give me a job after.


My current car as it stands is a Nissan Micra, with a 1600 Almera engine and brakes and an electric water pump and home made pump controller (A bone stock looking granny spec '95 micra that does 0-60 in 8.3 seconds and can beat a Golf Gti makes for much hilarity). Nissan engines of this era intrigued me for a few reasons:


1. They use a distributor. The ignition coil is built into the distributor cap (although an external one can be used with a bit of a play), and the crank position sensor for the engine exists as an optical disc with slots where the points would be on a lucas dizzy, under the rotor arm.


2. They have a throttle assembly with an air flow sensor, throttle position sensor and idle control valve all built in.


3. The ECU's come both with and without imobilisers, and for £500-£600, you can have a reprogrammable daughterboard fitted and the ECU retuned for power, economy, torque etc etc


4. The ecu RPM output is sufficient to operate a Lucas Tachometer


So, my plan is thus:


Modify the top half of a Nissan 1.3 dizzy to fit the bottom half of Lucas dizzy

Modify single carb Herald 13/60 intake manifold to take Nissan 1.3 injectors and fuel rail

Manufacture an adaptor plate to fit the Nissan 1.3 (45mm) throttle/sensor assembly to the Herald 13/60 intake manifold

Source second herald 13/60 head, rebuild modify to take a Nissan 1.3 coolant temp sensor

Modify Herald 13/60 4-2-1 to take a Nissan 1.3 exhaust/lambda sensor

Modify a Nissan Micra 1.3 engine loom to fit a 13/60 engine

Modify a Nissan Micra 1.3 Immobiliser loom and ecu and fit under a 13/60 dash

Modify the throttle cable accordingly

Remove crank driven fan and fit electric rad fan (controlled my the engine ECU)


I would expect this to do a few things:


1. Give me a fairly tidy and inconspicuous electronic fuel and ignition system with cheap, readily available parts.

2. Produce no extra power

3. Be infinitely more reliable than carbs and points

4. Make the car harder to steal


It would also give me the perfect starting point for a serious power build. The idea would be to, after the novelty of fuel injection had worn off:


Source second 13/60 engine bottom half, rebuild with US spec low comp pistons

Fit larger 1.6 injectors

Fit larger 1.6 throttle/sensor assembly (50mm)

Fit Eaton M24 supercharger from a Polo 1.4 TFSI

Fit 4-2-1 exhaust manifold

Machine/source new crank pulley to gear for approximately 10psi

Send to a man for tuning to approx 90hp

Fit Vitesse brakes

Lower car 1" all round


Basically make it a little more torquey without resorting to changing the engine/gearbox/propshaft/diff etc like I would with a 1500, or the extra weight of a 6 pot.


I considered fitting the Nissan 1600 engine, as it was originally designed for longitudinal mounting, but figured that wouldn't involve nearly as much tinkering!


Any suggestions or (constructive) criticisms welcome :-)



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Your plan sounds rather interesting, I would like to do something similar to my Herald, though maybe not quite so ambitious. My problem is not having the machining facilities or the funds to chuck at a machine shop to do it. So I will be interested in your progress.

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Well I think you could get a rotten donor micra for £100, maybe £100 for the head to be modded for the temp sensor, then you could just rehone and re-ring for the low comp pistons. £100 for the inlet adaptor, and maybe £300 for the inlet manifold and fuel rail to be modded, and £50 for the lamda sensor boss to be welded.

I'm fortunate I have access to all the tools and equipment I need at work, so i'll only have to pay for the donor vehicle (which I'll break for parts and recover some money off).

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Hi. I like the sound of your project. You mentioned upgrading your brakes. Here's what I did to my GT6, and if you want to do this, you'll have to fit GT6/ Vitesse front vertical links, as Herald/ Spity front suspension is different. A lot of people fit the 4 pot callipers from the Ford Capri,(which make a fortune on ebay), but as a cheaper option, get some 4 pot callipers from a LDV van. They are pretty much the same item, and fit straight on. I picked up a pair of nearly new 4 pot callipers a few years back for around £60. I also fitted a bigger servo from a Rover P6.

Anyway, whatever you decide to do, keep us all posted with project.



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Hi Andy,


Just a few thoughts for you based on my experience with my injected Spitfire 1500.


For the coolant temp sensor I took the water drain plug out of the side of the block and managed with an adaptor to fit sensor in there, gives reasonably sensible readings and saves you machining a head.


You could buy a fully assembled Megasquirt ECU for around half the price you are quoting for the daughterboard for micra ECU. With the Megasquirt and a laptop you can tinker to your hearts content with fuel and ignition maps. It will also cope with supercharging. You could still raid a micra for the hardware and loom etc.


Getting the crank position from a distributor is not as good as getting it from the crank itself. You can get scatter caused by wear and slap in the timing chain and distributor. I used a toothed wheel mounted on the back of the crank pulley.


You may actually get a bit more power not so much from the injection part though the throttle body may be less restrictive than a carb, but more from being able to control the ignition advance more easily than using springs and weights. I ran the ignition part of the Megasquirt for over a year with the SU carbs while I figured out some of the injection bits and the difference it made was amazing! You can run so much more advance in places while keeping it sensible in others.




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I'd never do the mapping myself... I'd pay someone to do it. I've seen people spend 8k diy'ing and breaking and learning when they could have had it professiinaly built for 4k. Mapping as a learning excercise doesn't interest me, and I know a VERY good mapper.

The donor engine also has chain driven cams, and there is no timing issue having the timing run off the dizzy.

Having the crank sensor on the crank pulley looks ugly imo, much neater in the dizzy.

Fitting the nissan engine management in stock tune to start with gives me a big initial saving (and I can swap between micra and almera ecu's to get the best spark/fuel map, with 4 different ecu's; 1.0, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.6). As you said, I can choose megasquirt if it is more appropriate, but I'll leave that decision to my tuning man.

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  • 3 months later...

Sourced a full imobilised loom, ignition barrel, keys, ecu etc from a micra.

Also, instead of an engine temp sensor for ecu, will just use a potentiometer with a resistor in line to mimic the resistances shown by the temp sensor, and then manually adjusting it (a bit like a manual choke!) Rather than modifying the head or block :)

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I don't see fitting a temp sensor as difficult. There are plenty of adapters so one can be put in a hose run, or as suggested, the engine block drain. Indeed, there is a fiesta thermostat housing that is tapped for a sensor, or you could easily drill/tap your existing housing.  If you make compromises the whole exercise will become pointless as the precision aspect disappears into the sunset.

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