Motor Sport-Readers' Car Survey (Part 3)

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Part three of our survey covers the Triumph Herald, the Wolseley 1500 and Riley 1.5, MG-A 1500 and 1600 and the Jaguar 2.4, 3.4 and 3.8. Next month the Hillman Minx and Vauxhall Victor will be among the cars surveyed. Also in this issue are some comments from manufacturers of the Renault Dauphine, Austin-Healey and Ford Anglia and further correspondence from readers concerning the survey.

Triumph Herald

Is service satisfactory ? 72% expressed satisfaction with Triumph service, 17.7% expressed dissatisfaction, 5.3% carry out their own servicing, and 5.0% declined to comment under this heading. The same slowness of the spares service as was mentioned by TR2 and TR3 owners last month became apparent from the general comments.

If car is modified give brief details. Standard/Triumph offer various conversions of their own for the Herald range, including the twin-carburetter coupe engine for the single-carburetter models and a special tuning kit; together with disc brakes. The coupe engine has been fitted by 5.7%, the tuning kit by 1%, and disc brakes by 3.7%. Reflecting the lack of performance of the Standard single-carburetter models, a further 14.3% have fitted twin-carburetter conversions, 2.7% have changed needles, whilst 8%, have added a modified exhaust manifold and 5% a complete new exhaust system. Cylinder heads with modified combustion chambers, etc, have been fitted by 5.2%, a further 4.5% have raised the compression-ratio, and 2.2% have fitted stronger valve springs. Of the more radical stages of tune 2.7% have fitted superchargers and 0.5% have gone the whole hog and fitted the Jack Brabham Coventry-Climax engine conversion. On the braking side, 1.2% have fitted alternative types of lining material and 3.2% have employed a brake Servo.

Engine. No less than fifty-two different engine troubles were notified by readers, although few of them can be onsidered as serious. However, it is this type of irritating fault at low mileages which seems to upset people more than a drastic rebuild at high mileages. Burnt valves were suffered by 5.2% at mileages up to 32,000, with an average of around 14,000 miles. Main and big-end bearings were changed by 3.5%, pistons replaced by 1.75% and existing pistons re-ringed by 1%. Broken crankshaft’s were suffered by 0.75%, fractured exhaust systems by 2.3%, tappet trouble by 1%, throttle linkage trouble by 2.5%, loose core plug by 1.2%, damaged oil seals by 4%, broken dynamo brackets by 1.75%, broken radiator mounting brackets by 3.5%, split radiators by 2.3%, radiator hoses by 4%, thermostats by 1.5%, and timing chain trouble by 0.3%. Carburetter troubles were listed by 1.2%, and continuous poor carburetter tune by 2%. New engines have been fitted by 2.3% and rebuilt engines by 1.2%.

Clutch. No clutch trouble was experienced by 73.5% of Herald owners. From this excellent percentage it seems that clutch trouble is not often found on a Herald but from the 9.5% who have required new clutches it would appear that when clutch trouble does appear it does so at low mileages. The average is well under 10,000 miles. Of general complaints, judder is complained of by 2.3%, and slip by 2.5%.

Gearbox. No gearbox trouble has been experienced by 63%. Excessive noise and whine seems to be the main complaint, 4.3% of gearboxes being replaced at low mileages because the noise level appeared to be above acceptable limits, although a few were due to synchromesh failure. Noise was complained of by a further 7.4% who have as yet had no replacements made. The main noise seems to emanate from 3rd gear on the overrun. Poor synchromesh was complained of by 3% and 4.3%, mentioned stiffness in the gear-change.

Brakes. 59.5% have had no braking troubles. Brake-lining life is the main cause for criticism for 25.1% of the survey cars have required replacement linings. Very few cars seem to have gone more than 20,000 miles on a set of linings and 9.5%. were replaced below 15,000 miles. Only 3% remarked that the brakes were good, 2.3% mentioned liability to fade, 1.75% reported uneven braking and grabbing, 1.2% commented on the need for frequent adjustment, and felt that the brakes were inadequate. The brake master cylinders were replaced on 3.5%, wheel cylinders seized on 0.3%, cracked drums on 1%, and the handbrake jammed on 0.75%,

Steering. No steering troubles have been experienced by 72.5% and many people mentioned how delightfully light and precise is the rack-and-pinion steering. The steering rack has been replaced by 5.8%, whilst a further 3.3% have remarked on noticeable wear. New track-rod ends have been fitted by 2.7%, replacement bushes by 6.3%, ball joints by 1.5%, universal joints by 0.75%, whilst of general complaints 1.5%, mention tyre scuffing, 1.5% rattling, and 1.2% mention steering wander.

Suspension. No suspension trouble has been experienced by 72.5% of Herald owners. The most frequent replacement was of suspension bushes, 11.3% requiring one or more renewed. These are, of course, the greaseless nylon type. Shock-absorbers required replacing on 7.5%, several people remarking that their shock-absorbers leaked excessively, and a few found that they ran completely dry. Replacement of a complete suspension unit on one side of the car was required by 1.5%, replacement of a wheel bearing by 3.8% and renewal of a spring by 1.5%. Of general complaints 2.5% complained of excessive suspension noise.

Instruments. No instrument troubles were reported by 74.5%. Speedometer heads were replaced by 6.5%, speedometer cables by 1.2%, and a further 5.8% mentioned an inaccurate speedometer. Inaccurate fuel gauges were reported by 5.5%, and 3% of fuel gauges were replaced, while 3.2% of water-temperature gauges were replaced, and 0.5% of oil-pressure gauges were changed.

Electrical. No electrical trouble has been experienced by 59.5% of Herald owners. Various broken switches occurred on 8%, batteries were replaced by 6.3%, various wiring faults were reported by 2.7%, while a further 2% reported an erratic performance by the flashers, and the flasher unit failed on 1.75%. Windscreen wiper motors have been replaced on 2%, dynamos on 2%, starter motor on 1.5%, and voltage controller on 1.75%.

Final Drive. No final-drive trouble has been experienced by 52% of Herald owners. The most prolific trouble which has affected the Herald final drive is drive-shaft failure, which affected 2.4%, while 7.3% reported that the complete final-drive unit had been replaced, a further 4-5% having a new differential. Wheel bearings were replaced by 12%, differential bearings by 2.5%, universal joints by 2%, the propeller shaft by 1.2%, and the differential bracket by 1.2%.

“Four new differential units before 7,500 miles, four new half-shafts and bearings by 24,000 miles-all under guarantee.”

“Locking nuts securing offside rear universal joint in drive shaft came loose and the rear axle came to pieces on the road at 1,800 miles.”

“Three half-shafts replaced under guarantee. Bolts have to be checked every 500 miles.”

“Both rear wheel bearings packed up at 22,000 and 23,500 miles respectively.”

“Prop shaft stripped down 3 times and finally new shaft fitted at 10,000 miles. The severe vibration is now returning. Both half-shafts replaced-bearings seized at 12,000.”

“No trouble on this one. On my previous Herald I used rear axles the way a saw mill does with logs.”

“The usual mods, for early Heralds were done under guarantee but beginning to whine when sold.”

Bodywork. A variety of body troubles seem to have afflicted the Herald. 15% reported no trouble at all. Water leaks into the interior were mentioned by 28.5%, poor paintwork by 20.2%, poor chromium plating by 14.7%, badly fitting doors by 14%, faulty window-winding mechanism by 9.5%, door locks replaced by 12.2%, and a further 12.2% had trouble with both door and boot locks. An ill-fitting bonnet was complained of by 5%, and loose rubber door sealing strips were mentioned by 3.8%, while a further 3.5% have fitted new seals.

 “Water leaks into boot and windscreen. No cure found. Both door locks replaced. I am constantly tightening bodywork screws.”

“The bonnet is misaligned, the doors dropped and the car leaks like a sieve.”

“Squeaks at every rubber joint, especially in cold weather. Leak now developed above quarter light. Boot lid prop broke off lid. Both front seat frame welds broke.”

“Door lock broke within the first hour. Another went in the next three weeks.”

“Water enters profusely on offside into driver’s foot well due to defective welding of wing body panels at side adjacent to accelerator pedal. Car has been returned to garage at least four times for sealing but leak still persists. Car was undersealed when new. Roof gutters rusting up in a few months from new and numerous small rust patches are evident.”

Tyres. Dunlop tyres are fitted to 53% of the survey cars, Michelin to 13.3%, Avon to 1.4%, and Goodyear to 1.1%.

Other serious defects. 85% had no defects to report under this heading, the only fault which was mentioned in any quantity being broken radiator mountings, which were reported by 3.6%.

Would you buy this car again ? Yes, 73.2%. No, 25.8%. 

 

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