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Steve 13-60

are triumph engines really this rough?

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I'm struggling with my Herald 13/60 engine

It has always sounded really rough when revving, taking over 3000 rpm it sounds just awful, like its going to explode. It got to me so much I put in a newer 1500 spit engine. And it sounds just as bad. Today I had a go in an MGB GT, that revs up to 4000 sweetly. My only conclusion is that triumph engines are pants, but there's no way triumph would have sold any sounding like mine.

Anyone got any thoughts?

 

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You need to be a bit more specific, Steve!

It "sounds just awful, like its going to explode".      Was it uneven, misfiring, vibrating, or just too loud?     All those point to euipment outside the engine itself, the timing, the mixture or the silencing, and as I guess that you refitted the same silencer, distibutor (?) or carburettors to your 'new' engine, then that would make the same noises.

Either make a video - never good, as the microphone on a mobile phone is pretty limited - or find someone who can listen to your car and suggest what to investigate next.   Where do you live?

And to answer your question, no, Triumph engines are not pants!

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The 1800 B series in an MGB is hardly a high example of refinement.......  so fair to say there is something wrong.  The basic engine should be smooth and free-revving. Normally the 1300 a bit more so than the 1500.  Collapsed engine mounts or gearbox mounts allowing the engine or box to touch the body or chassis causes horrible noise/vibration. The same can be true of the exhaust.

When you swapped engines, what parts were carried across from the 1300 to the 1500? Flywheel for example?

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Hi John, firstly, thanks for responding.

Secondly, thanks for saying they arent pants because I'm getting close to send it to the crusher!

Thirdly, I was dragged up on rallying minis, imps and vauxhalls - done many engine builds so I know one end of a spanner from the other.

It's difficult to state how it sounds, other than it just doesnt rev sweetly - like I said, the MGB GT I drove today was perfectly sweet.

But the Herald is just course, rough, doesnt want to rev, but does - but being mechanically minded it sounds like the engine is in pain do so!

The engine is a GE ligh crank 1300 and as I have never been happy with it I did a complete rebuild over winter - also because of 35 thou crank end float!

All looked good inside the engine, but I wanted to play so....

The head was modified as per the DIY head thread on here....and skimmed to 9.75:1 CR

It's bored +60

Crank main are -10, B/E -20

I lightened and balanced to rod - overall weight and end to end - they are all identical.

I had a 1500 flywheel machined to lighten it and had it balanced with the crank.

fitted a decent 4 branch exhaust with 1.75" SS custom made exhaust.

And have fitted a lambda sensor and Air/Fuel ratio gauge.

Initial start up after rebuild was on the standard 150CD carb, which was then replaced with twin HS2's.... before trying twin 40 DHLA Dellortos.

Before fitting the 40s I gave it the beans to do a 0-60 time to compare with the 40s.

Again - I was just not convinced it was running right.

0-60 time was 15.1 secs by the way...!

I have played with swapping to electronic ignition - no change

First fire up on the 40s wasnt too bad - it even ticked over OK.

But next day wouldnt run properly at all.

A CR test showed bores 1 & 2 had half pressure 80 psi vs 190 on 3 & 4...... Headgasket?

No - gasket looked fine..... maybe rings then......or oval bores?

Wont know till I take it to bits...........

Hence now running a stock 1500 which I got off ebay for £50..... has 90PSI oil pressure, ticks over fine on the twin HS2s - so its a tad under carbed...but it runs.

But yet again it doesnt want to bloody rev sweetly.

upto 2000 its OK...ish......but over that its just plain not nice.....hence going for a comparing drive in the MGB.

Is it not the engine but the bonnet transmitting the noise?

When the sun comes out to play again I'll try it on the twin 40s...... but not holding out much hope..

 

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1 hour ago, JohnD said:

You need to be a bit more specific, Steve!

It "sounds just awful, like its going to explode".      Was it uneven, misfiring, vibrating, or just too loud?     All those point to euipment outside the engine itself, the timing, the mixture or the silencing, and as I guess that you refitted the same silencer, distibutor (?) or carburettors to your 'new' engine, then that would make the same noises.

Either make a video - never good, as the microphone on a mobile phone is pretty limited - or find someone who can listen to your car and suggest what to investigate next.   Where do you live?

And to answer your question, no, Triumph engines are not pants!

BTW - I'm in South Derbby

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Clearly you know a spanner from a hacksaw!

But something as subjective as noise, harshness and vibration (NHV to the designers) is most difficult to diagnose at second hand.  Nick has made some most practical suggestions, which at thos remove, I can only echo.  Is something touching that shouldn't?

I'm nowhere near Derby.    And the TSSC Area Groups can't meet at present, but maybe soon?    If you turned up with a Triumph, I don't think anyone will demend top see your Party card!

John

Edited by JohnD

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18 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

The 1800 B series in an MGB is hardly a high example of refinement.......  so fair to say there is something wrong.  The basic engine should be smooth and free-revving. Normally the 1300 a bit more so than the 1500.  Collapsed engine mounts or gearbox mounts allowing the engine or box to touch the body or chassis causes horrible noise/vibration. The same can be true of the exhaust.

When you swapped engines, what parts were carried across from the 1300 to the 1500? Flywheel for example?

I have played with engine mounts - made some using Mitsubishi L200 gearbox mounts - slight improvemed.

Gearbox mounts are new - I fitted a O/D gearbox at £1900 from Mike Papworth.

New exhaust system is nice and clear of the body.

Like you said the old B isnt renowned for being smooth but it spins like a turbine compared to the Herald!

The new 1500 was just fitted with the 1300 flywheel - once I drilled the holes out to suit the bigger bolts!

Other than that its stock.

As stated in my replky above I have done many mods to try and make it run smooth - but failed miserably......leading me to believe its maybe resonance through the bodywork - that big one piece bonnet perhaps?

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12 minutes ago, JohnD said:

Clearly you know a spanner from a hacksaw!

But something as subjective as noise, harshness and vibration (NHV to the designers) is most difficult to diagnose at second hand.  Nick has made some most practical suggestions, which at thos remove, I can only echo.  Is something touching that shouldn't?

Hi John, nope - nothing appears to be touching.... I havent taken it for a decent run yet with the 1500 - waiting for the sun to shine again.

But when I do I'll try recording it and post it.

And then with the twin 40s!!

I could really do with meeting up with someone else locally to compare.

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With respect, Steve, many classic car problems are down to the last thing you did to it - but you didn't rebuild the 1500 engine - did you? - so it has to be something NOT in the engine!

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Just been out for a run in it.

TBH I think its time it found a new owner...I cant live with anything that is just so horrible to drive. The MGB was like a limo in comparison.

Got it up to 60mph and let it coast in neutral. No noises from anywhere, its just the engine.

Very dissapointed.

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Steve,

It's a fault, not a feature.  The 1300 especially should be smooth and free-revving.

To be clear - are we talking about an engine-speed related harshness here?  Or an actual noise? 
Is there a loss of power/reluctance to rev that goes with this, or does it carry on pulling fine - just that it becomes increasingly unpleasant to do so?

Trying to follow a logical diagnostic trail here:

- The noise/vibration is engine speed related. 
Is it evident when you rev the engine in neutral? 
When driving, does it do it on acceleration and overrun (implying simple mechanical imbalance) or just on acceleration (implying power imbalance). 
Also, when you tried your coasting check, did you dip the clutch or knock it into neutral (just trying to rule out clutch oddities or bent g/box input shaft)

- This phenomenon has followed two engines, one of which was rebuilt, one of which is internally untouched.  This suggests to me that the basic fault is not in the engine internals.  It's unlikely two completely different engines would give the same result.  This tends to imply that the root cause is something that got swapped between the engines.
I'm confused about the flywheels.  You say that you had a 1500 flywheel lightened and balanced for the 1300 and then later one that you put the 1300 flywheel on the 1500 but had to drill out the bolt holes to suit......  Have both engines had the same flywheel or did you prefer to keep your 1500 flywheel on the 1300 (which would have needed sleeve on the bolts) and drag out your previously discarded 1300 one for the 1500 (which as you say would have needed the bolt holes opening out) and presumably used a different clutch as well?
What else was transferred over?  Are you still using the 13/60 metal cooling fan?  They can give horrendous vibrations.  Alternator/dynamo? Carbs?  Distributor?  If its the same distributor on both, how confident are you of it.  A badly worn one could give excessive advance and perhaps not the same advance on all cylinders (possibly contributing to the loss of compression on the 1300).

Regards the bonnet resonating...... well, it's a fairly big and floppy structure and they certainly can vibrate and flap.  However, in my experience this is usually in response to road speed vibrations (wheel balance, dodgy dampers) or wind/slipstream making it flap and flutter.  I would say that for the engine to be setting it off then part of the engine would need to be touching it when it's closed.  Not always easy to detect though clearance isn't usually an issue on 4 cylinder cars.

Other possible vibration transmission routes can include the clutch pipe, water/heater pipes, choke/throttle cable or even an unduly stiff cable to the starter. Ok, I'm starting to grab at straws now, but you get the idea.....

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is it speed or engine speed related?
if its speed then an out of balance prop or drive shaft can make a Herald sound and feel horrid.

I agree with John and Nick (who both have a lot of experience) that it must be something else apart from the engine that has been transferred between the 2 engines. 
Having had a 1300 and 1500 engine in my Herald the 1300 was  very sweet, the 1500 is ok but more of a torquey engine than the 1300.

Mike

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Funny that, my brother has an MGB and my experience it pretty much the opposite of yours; the MGB doesn't sound half as good as my Spitfire.:biggrin:

Anyway I think you have already found the problem, with 80psi on 2 cylinders and 190 on the others  it's never going to run very good.

Here are 2 examples of how a Triumph 4 cylinder should sound:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhgEjkAla8E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3RRREAn1mE

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18 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

Steve,

It's a fault, not a feature.  The 1300 especially should be smooth and free-revving.

To be clear - are we talking about an engine-speed related harshness here?  Or an actual noise? 
Is there a loss of power/reluctance to rev that goes with this, or does it carry on pulling fine - just that it becomes increasingly unpleasant to do so?

Trying to follow a logical diagnostic trail here:

- The noise/vibration is engine speed related. 
Is it evident when you rev the engine in neutral? 
When driving, does it do it on acceleration and overrun (implying simple mechanical imbalance) or just on acceleration (implying power imbalance). 
Also, when you tried your coasting check, did you dip the clutch or knock it into neutral (just trying to rule out clutch oddities or bent g/box input shaft)

- This phenomenon has followed two engines, one of which was rebuilt, one of which is internally untouched.  This suggests to me that the basic fault is not in the engine internals.  It's unlikely two completely different engines would give the same result.  This tends to imply that the root cause is something that got swapped between the engines.
I'm confused about the flywheels.  You say that you had a 1500 flywheel lightened and balanced for the 1300 and then later one that you put the 1300 flywheel on the 1500 but had to drill out the bolt holes to suit......  Have both engines had the same flywheel or did you prefer to keep your 1500 flywheel on the 1300 (which would have needed sleeve on the bolts) and drag out your previously discarded 1300 one for the 1500 (which as you say would have needed the bolt holes opening out) and presumably used a different clutch as well?
What else was transferred over?  Are you still using the 13/60 metal cooling fan?  They can give horrendous vibrations.  Alternator/dynamo? Carbs?  Distributor?  If its the same distributor on both, how confident are you of it.  A badly worn one could give excessive advance and perhaps not the same advance on all cylinders (possibly contributing to the loss of compression on the 1300).

Regards the bonnet resonating...... well, it's a fairly big and floppy structure and they certainly can vibrate and flap.  However, in my experience this is usually in response to road speed vibrations (wheel balance, dodgy dampers) or wind/slipstream making it flap and flutter.  I would say that for the engine to be setting it off then part of the engine would need to be touching it when it's closed.  Not always easy to detect though clearance isn't usually an issue on 4 cylinder cars.

Other possible vibration transmission routes can include the clutch pipe, water/heater pipes, choke/throttle cable or even an unduly stiff cable to the starter. Ok, I'm starting to grab at straws now, but you get the idea.....

Hi Nick, both engines rev freely enough in neutral, seems to be a problem when being driven, even when gently accelerating.

I ditched the metal fan and now have a multiblade plastic spitfire one. Though I have even tried an electric one.

Distributor wise, I have the original one with new points and a brand new electronic Accuspark jobbie.

Flywheel wise, as I had the 1500 one lightened and balanced to the 1300 so I decided to fit the old 1300 one to the 1500.

I've fitted a new fuel pump in case it was struggling to supply fuel. so its had a new gearbox, flywheel and clutch, rebuilt motor. New dizzy. Fan. Exhaust. Only common parts are the dynamo and starter. I even bought a stethoscope to listen for the cause!

 

Best way of describing the noise is as if it was hard mounted to the chassis.

I really am at a loss, could really do with an experienced ear to listen to it. Trouble is I'm dragging it to Berlin on the 15th July, now lockdown is sort of over, to do the bodywork, needs inner rear wheel arches and a full respray - my son lives there and has all the gear.

I've converted it to accept an A frame ( linked brakes/lights etc), plan is to drag it behind the camper to use when we arrive at whatever destination we've gone to!

 

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10 minutes ago, Steve 13-60 said:

seems to be a problem when being driven, even when gently accelerating.

but definitely revs related, not speed?  In all gears? Does it do it on the over-run too, or only under power.  Has the problem existed with other gearboxes or is this the only one you've run with?

I get what you mean about the "hard mounted" sensation.  I'm inclined to the thought that the power train or exhaust is making contact somewhere but perhaps only under load due to the torque reaction flexing the mounts  Under that scenario I suppose it could potentially be further back, in the diff mountings, though probably a long shot.

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8 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

but definitely revs related, not speed?  In all gears? Does it do it on the over-run too, or only under power.  Has the problem existed with other gearboxes or is this the only one you've run with?

I get what you mean about the "hard mounted" sensation.  I'm inclined to the thought that the power train or exhaust is making contact somewhere but perhaps only under load due to the torque reaction flexing the mounts  Under that scenario I suppose it could potentially be further back, in the diff mountings, though probably a long shot.

Yes, deffinately revs related, dropping in/out of O/D makes a big difference. The gearbox was my first thought, hence going for a new O/D one. But was just as bad. And that was with the standard carb and exhaust.

Before making new mounts I experimented with drilling the standard mounts to weaken them.

It did help, hence making my own.

I did suspect the diff, which was why I did the coasting test. But there was no untoward noise in the whole drive train.

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OK, I am no spanner man as anyone here will know. I have a 3A with twin Weber 45s. Recently I was tinkering with the throttle control as a simple way of getting it to idle at lower revs. Achieved that but at anything other than idling, it ran rough as hell. Quick adjustment to the throttle control to idling back to closer to where it was and it ran perfectly smoothly. Maybe coincidence. Maybe irrelevant to you, but thought I would mention it as your 40s are common to both engines.

Miles

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11 hours ago, Nick Jones said:

Ok....... so what haven't you changed?  Going to be quite a short list........

Been thinking about that, only thing that is common is the ign coil. But that is a new one, so discounted that. Perhaps it is a duff one?

It's one that uses a resistor, was supplied with the Accuspark distributor kit. But if its anything like the plugs they also supplied ( which are pretty bad - 3 prong type, but the electrodes aren't central) then it could well be a dud. Will order a new standard type to compare.

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1 hour ago, MilesA said:

OK, I am no spanner man as anyone here will know. I have a 3A with twin Weber 45s. Recently I was tinkering with the throttle control as a simple way of getting it to idle at lower revs. Achieved that but at anything other than idling, it ran rough as hell. Quick adjustment to the throttle control to idling back to closer to where it was and it ran perfectly smoothly. Maybe coincidence. Maybe irrelevant to you, but thought I would mention it as your 40s are common to both engines.

Miles

Hi Miles, not fitted the twin 40s to the 1500 yet. May have a try this week just to see what happens.

I really need to have a test drive in another herald or spit to compare.

Some time ago another herald owner had a test drive of mine and said it was like his. But TBH, I dont think he knew one end of a spanner from the other.

 

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I used to own an MGB GT. Speaking to a Triumph GT6-owner at work one day, he sneered a bit and said "Oh MGB's are quite refined aren't they". I didn't understand what he was on about until a year later when I test-drove a Spitfire. Where the MG would run out of puff above 3500 rpm, the Spitfire seemed to come alive as the rev counter swung from 3500 to 5500. I think it's mostly down to rattly chassis construction vs monocoque MGB, and small high-revving 1300 vs lumbering B-series. 

To me the Spitfire was an exhilarating blast of noise but maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea. Steve you seem to have invested a lot of time and effort into it though! 

This is what mine sounds like when you take it above 3k rpm: https://youtu.be/KqkOWZZ8phg?t=7. I suppose it does sound a bit harsh but I like it. 

 

 

Saying all that, make sure the exhaust isn't touching the chassis anywhere. 

Pete

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22 minutes ago, PeteStupps said:

 Where the MG would run out of puff above 3500 rpm, the Spitfire seemed to come alive as the rev counter swung from 3500 to 5500.

3500 rpm.....!!! Thats dream land with myt 3000  herald. At 3000 rpm it sounds like its being tortured and in pain!

I'm pinning my hopes on it being the ign coil, despite being a new one. Ordered a genuine lucas jobbie.

Fingers crossed....otherwise its going to the crusher!! Ok, probably not...but sure feel like it.

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Just a wild idea,
I wonder if its fuel starvation that starts to cut in above 3000 and then starts to miss and feel very rough....
is the fuel system the same? Have you used the same pump between engines? Poor flow from the tank to engine or fuel pipe starting to collapse.

Where are you located maybe some one from the clubs (CT or TSSC) could have a socially distanced listen to your engine...

 

Mike

(Cambridge)

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