Joined: 26 Jan 2012 Posts: 364 Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire
Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:59 pm Post subject: Triumph Herald 1200 - New user saying hi...
Hi everyone! Now I'm not much of a one for online forums as a rule, but found this one a while back, been trawling the archives and thought the time was right to join in!
I'm not exactly new to the classic car scene, got my licence when I was 17 back in 01 - first time pass but not sure I could do it now! - in a boring, unmemorable driving school modern, and took to the roads in a horribly knackered, but surprisingly rot free, '78 Mini. That didn't last too much longer before ending up in a hedge, not too badly damaged - only the front nearside wing really, but combined with the worn out engine, gearbox, brakes (and the rest) it wasn't a realistic option to repair, though it did yield a few spares
Next came another Mini, '84 this time, far less worn but rusty in all the usual places - that lasted about a week before some yuppie eejit smashed into it on a narrow road, given a witness or two (or even some pictures - always carry a camera now) I would have been OK but the insurance automatically assumed it was my fault as a young driver. Got nowt for that but a nasty note from the council about the "abandoned vehicle" parked outside, the hassle of towing it off to the scrapyard and filling in sheaves of intimidating forms
Next, in the process of discovering the First Law of Work (Agencies are Scum) desperation led me to a beaten up '89 Fiesta, the least said about this the better unless anyone wants to hear various tales of bodgery and roadside hassles... three months or so later it was sold to a guy from the next town, who I always made a point of looking out for and avoiding until the day we left the district!
Then came my last Mini, this time '87, tatty but fairly honest though I still had plenty of trouble with it, this was the one that finally put me off owning Minis although I still drool over tidy examples at shows. This one lasted 18 months or so until I skidded helplessly downhill on autumn leaves into the back of a roadworks queue - as did a couple of other people that day - and barely hobbled away, didn't have to be cut out but it can't have been far off it. I was without a car for a couple of years after this, though drove my dad's '84 Triumph Acclaim most weeks.
So far I haven't got even one little grainy photo of any of them!
Then about 8 years ago I was looking for something old and simple and spotted an ad for a Triumph Herald, 20 miles away at Brecon. A couple of days later the door came up on the grotty lockup, looked reasonably solid below the grotty rollered paintjob, started, ran and drove OK, sound underneath so a deal was done though with hindsight I paid too much. I haven't got many digital photos, was going to take some when I went into town yesterday but the sleet put me off so just a quicky taken in the garage for now (hopefully this will work!)...
I know the homemade roofrack's nowt to look at, but it's saved me £££'s so I am immune to ANY amount of laughter and insults!
Running out of time here so part 2 to come later...
Joined: 26 Jan 2012 Posts: 364 Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:31 pm Post subject: Part 2
Been scanning in some old photos, the best ones went off to various insurance companies - either they haven't sent them back or i've lost them...
I should have mentioned she's actually a '64 1200, not a 948 as the first picture may have had you believe. New rubber bumpers are (at the last check) available, but pricey for what they are and very heavy to boot, so I haven't bothered yet... Changed all the valances (for fibreglass, a pain to fit but they won't rust at least) which were VERY rotten and had examples of every bodge known to man - piles of filler, newspapers, chicken wire, you name it. Before I got round to changing them I used to slap some paint on evey year so they wouldn't look too bad, but it was only postponing the inevitable. Worst was the front valance - as most of you probably know these are simple bolt on panels, yet someone had obviously chopped up a sound valance to make repair sections and welded them in... badly, then added fibreglass and lots of filler for good measure. I could maybe understand it if all the bolts had been rusted up, but they came off surprisingly easily.
Bragging rights to anyone who can guess the location
It took a long time to get round to replacing the valances because of all the other jobs that had to be done! So anyway, after a deal was struck in Brecon, it was driven the 20 miles home on a pre-booked MOT (naughty naughty) before I started work on the brakes and suspension. Cleaned the grease out of the trunnions , replaced all brake seals and hoses (wish I'd done the clutch hydraulics at the same time, they let me down in Bristol not long after returning to the road) including the calipers - what a nasty job that is, but cost was an issue - the discs were about ready for the record player, but at least there were several boxes of NOS pads in the boot. All the suspension bushes changed for original type rubbers, well they had lasted 40 years! Luckily, someone had obviously dismantled and greased all the nuts and bolts fairly early on, so it all came apart without too much hassle. This all took about six months, as I was waiting to be paid before I had the cash for the parts, had to threaten the firm I worked for with court before they paid up - but eventually, a thorough service, gallons of Dinitrol and an MOT later, she was out on the road for the first time in a couple of years.
Cue one problem after another for the next few of years, nothing major but one nuisance fault after another - throttle cable, starter, wiper motor etc etc etc until the gearbox expired. One exchange 'box later got round to tackling the rear suspension, trying and failing to eliminate the usual nasty noises, then the engine went for a burton... Basically most parts have by now been either replaced or reconditioned at home, but it's only in the last couple of years I've really started to get on top of it. Once the rebuilt engine was run in, and the rear suspension finally set up properly without those horrid little UJ's clicking merrily away, I could finally start on the valances, brake lines, worn steering rack and all the other little bugs. Not that there isn't more to do - the front wings and all the wheelarches are rather light on steel and heavy on fibreglass, both doors have been bodged with a big plate across the bottoms and lots of filler and the fuel gauge has never worked (it has a Vitesse tank, which I want to keep, but of course that won't accept the correct early type sender) but most of it will have to wait until I am wealthy enough to farm out the welding, which I'm pretty hopeless at! Then a respray would be nice, the yellow you see is coachpaint (I believe possibly an old Tekaloid colour, Golden Yellow) originally rollered by the PO, since brushed by me in the same colour which looks a lot better, but will never be right.
For a while I also ran an '82 Triumph Acclaim, one of the best I've ever seen apart from some minor dents, did over 10k largely trouble free miles in it (several minor hassles, but mainly down to a lousy aftermarket set of leads) but I always resented paying road tax on it - that and the parts supply (particularly cheap NOS exhausts) drying up meant it had to go, took some shifting but finally sold nearly a year ago now. Still have various Acclaim parts hanging around, if anyone's interested...
That's the story up to now, when something else goes wrong with the Herald - can't be long now! - I'll start that new thread in the Triumph section, or Rick can move this one. Until then I have some mystery tools and parts you geniuses can hopefully identify when I get round to finding them and taking photos...
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum