View Full Version : Post-War Other Herald 1200 Engine Change

09-13-2008, 01:11 PM
I have a 63 Herald 1200 with what I believe to be a 948cc engine (Engine #G26765HE. I have a 1979 Spitfire 1500 cc engine that, if the engine in the car is not original, I would like to put into the car. The questions I have are 1) is the engine in the car potentially an original even though it has a 948cc number and 2)will the original clutch and drive train in the car handle the 1500cc engine? Oh one more, what modifications will need to be done to drop in the 1500cc engine? Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.

09-13-2008, 01:54 PM
Probably the best place to get very specific Herald info like this is going to be the Yahoo herald group. https://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/triumph_herald/

that said, a '63 may still have the early type of frame and it is NOT going to be strong enough for the torque that a 1500 engine will put out.
If you are lucky then you will have the later frame in which case it would work.
the original gearbox would also need to replaces along with the differential. they won't hold up but these are all basically just a matter of unbolting the old and dropping a new one in.
There are certainly a few 1500 heralds out there.
I am sure Andy will stop by with a few more words of wisdom.

Andrew Mace
09-13-2008, 07:17 PM
I'm here! :wink:

A 1963-registered Herald 1200 likely has the later and stronger (pretty much mandatory for anything bigger than the 1147) chassis. So long as the commission number is GA80000 or later, or GB xxxx and beyond, you should be ok. Or, simply flip open the bonnet and see if a: the front crosstube is bowed out in the center and b: has two additional braces -- one outboard of each front main rail extension) -- supporting it. If so, you're good. Another obvious clue (although not 100% reliable) is where the engine mounts are. If they're on the chassis mail rails, it's early chassis. If they're on the suspension turrets, odds are it's later chassis.

No, that "G" engine would not be original to any Herald 1200 with any GA or GB commission number regardless.

Yes, the Spitfire 1500 engine will bolt in, but I would plan on bolting in the "matching" gearbox that I hope you have. If not, plan on getting hold of at least a 1971 or later all-synchro, three-rail gearbox. Plan also on upgrading to a 1971 or later Spitfire differential. Your propeller shaft can stay, but it will need new u-joint flanges to match the gearbox output and diff. input. Same with your rear axle shafts; they'll need the larger flanges as well.

Having gone that far, you should be ok with the original rear spring, even though a later diff. will have only four hold-down studs; I'm told that this IS sufficient. Or you can upgrade to a Spitfire-STYLE swing spring, but you really need to get a proper one for a Herald, which Canley Classics in the UK sells. Most everyone seems to agree that a stock Spitfire swing spring isn't quite enough for a Herald. (Oh, and you'll need the thicker later Spitfire front anti-roll bar, and I'd suggest upgrading to Mk3 Spitfire or later front disc brakes, even over the optional disc brakes your Herald might have.)

Good news is that this all pretty much bolts in, with probably the biggest obstacle being adapting the exhaust system. Start with an appropriate Spitfire head pipe and work your way back from there (perhaps "custom" exhaust route would be easiest and cheapest).

09-14-2008, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the response and the web site reference.

09-14-2008, 10:14 AM
Thanks! Really appreciate your response.

Andrew Mace
09-14-2008, 05:10 PM
You're welcome! I hope it wasn't too discouraging; I just wanted to emphasize the "package" aspect of this sort of upgrade. If you've got the time, money and needed bits, it is worthwhile, especially for a car such as yours where originality is already out the window with the engine you have. (Besides, everything is 100% reversible.)

I don't blame you for wanting something a bit better than a 948. Keep in mind that, when they were installed in the original Herald in single-carb form, the diff. was 4.875:1 instead of 4.11:1, and the gearbox had a stump-puller first. It was such a low 1st gear (how low WAS it? I hear you ask....) that one could satisfactorily, and for quite a long time without harm, start the car from level rest in 2nd. This was actually suggested in the Standard 10 and Triumph 10 owners manuals, which had almost the same setup (albeit with 4.55:1 diff in a slightly lighter car).

BTW, is your car on my Database? :wink:

09-17-2008, 02:27 PM
I do not know if my car is in your database. It is a yellow (not the original yellow however) 1963 Convertible, GA 100920 LCV, body number RAT83628. I purchased it a couple of years ago from a guy in Attleboro, Mass. He bought it from someone in up state New York. If you recall, in an exchange we had back then, you surprised me with a photo of my car that you had taken when it was in New York. At the time, you said it was restorable. It is, but it sure needs far more than my naive eye saw when I purchased it. In any event, thanks again for the great intelligence and if you need more info on my car, just let me know.
Bob Hunter
217 Pine Crest Lane
Lansdale, PA 19486

Andrew Mace
09-17-2008, 03:04 PM
Thanks for the memory refresher, Bob! I sorta had a feeling it was the same car...which, oddly enough, I don't have listed even though I did have info on it.

I'm long overdue for an update, and your car will be added at that time.