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Morning all, dave the newbie here, I'm picking up my first ever herald 13/60 next weekend which I've bought as a bit of a weekender/ mini project which I plan on doing the following,
I want to lower it a bit to improve handling and the look,
New set of wheels,
Improve on the exhaust
Tidy up the bodywork a bit but not go mad.
I want to leave everything else original especially the interior.
So, my question is......... are there any obvious mods I should do to the engine to get a few more horses out, without stripping it down and mucking about with cams etc.  
It's running a single carb with standard breather box so is that worth swapping out or would I be wasting my time.  
Cheers guys and gals.    

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Simple answer is to get what you have working all correctly. I have seen cars (herald) go into a rolling road with 40ish bhp, and come out with nearly 60. Just by getting set up correctly. That is about 40% increase in power!

Changing to twin carb will bring little gain. With a 13/60 it is largely about head, compression and cam. So fiddling about with external bits can bring small increases but limited.

But best to get the car, make sure the carb is in decent condition, and really importantly the distributor is functioning as it should. Electronic ignition can be useful too. Watch out for cheap oarts, especially rotor arms and ignition leads. Originals often better, even if 30+ years old.

Re suspension, are youthinking shocks and springs at the front? Lowering springs available. At the rear there are a few things that can be done, but best get the car first. Honest. (If you can find one, a courier van rear spring is excellent, next I would say a herald estate one with a lowering block. Then a late spit spring with matching front ARB, Tat handles well, but a bit soft so will be low and no rear passengers unless very  very light!)

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Hi Dave,

I'm gradually working my way through the same process with a 13/60 convertible.  See below my modifications and observations:

Alternator - seemed like a good idea for regular use (and the dynamo expired on the M6 on the journey home from collecting the car).
Electronic ignition - fitted by PO. Fit and forget?
Relays in lighting circuit - improved illumination and reduced load on light switch.  I suppose it depends on whether your car will get out much after dark!
Lowered/uprated front springs - dropped the ride height a lot!  I subsequently fitted some spacer discs to raise it slightly.
Spitfire swing spring and ARB - improves handling.  I fitted 2nd hand items and as Cliff pointed out they are soft (my car drags it's a**e like a dog with worms).  Passengers do become an issue.  I'm still contemplating where to go with this.  The mk3 GT6 apparently got an uprated swing spring but nobody supplies these now.  I was thinking of getting a bespoke spring manufactured but that would depend on price.
GT6/Vitesse front uprights and type 16 brake calipers - fitted by a PO.  They work and I've got nothing to compare them with.
K&N air filter - got it cheap (and a bit of bling under the bonnet).  Probably little to no difference without additional engine mods.
Revotec electric cooling fan - bought in Rimmer Bros spring sale.  Still expensive but seems to work ok.  Ditching the mechanical fan can liberate a couple of bhp.

My exhaust is corroded and needs replacing but I don't like the twin outlet 'performance' systems.  Canleys do a modified Vitesse single box system for Heralds which I'm tempted by.  Spitfire mk4 cylinder heads have slightly higher CR and bigger inlet valves and mk3 spitfire cam is supposed to be the best.  Then you're into gearbox conversions, etc, etc and you could (should?) have bought a Vitesse!

Any suspension mods would benefit from a pukka 4 wheel alignment (tracking front/rear minimum).  I've never bothered and get by using planks of wood and lengths of string.

Try driving the car before deciding to make it go faster.  You might realise you don't want it to.  I find my car copes ok with traffic on A roads, but dual carriageways/motorways are a chore.

Prepare to make lots of new friends.  Best of luck,


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Thanks for the advice guys.   If I can't find a courier van spring which is probably very rare I imaging or an estate spring is is worth fitting one of the swing spring kits you can get along with a lowering block?


As for the front, is it just a case of fitting shorter, stiffer springs? Or do I need more than that?

As for the engine, I'll probably just do as you said and give it a good service.  It already has electronic ignition fitted so can I improve anything with that?

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Here`s what i did to my 13/60 convertible to make it more driveable:

4 into 1 manifold into a modified (standard single box) Vitesse system.Electronic ignition,twin carbs(1500 engine going in soon).

I also fitted a 3.63 diff and a single rail overdrive gearbox.These made a lot of difference,the car drives great and will cruise at 70 easily but wont go up a hill in O/D 4th.
I wanted to change the brakes for Vitesse spec but missed out on a setup a couple of weeks ago on e-bay.

Standard rear spring which is a bit tired but shorter and stiffer front springs.
Forgot also Dunlop LP923 steelies with 175/70 tyres.


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Mintex 1144 brake pads plus servo, alternator, electronic ignition, Revotec cooling fan, Fuses and relays for all circuits, Quartz halogen headlamps, swing spring conversion (most bits secondhand but new GT6 spring courtesy of Fitchetts), 5J alloy wheels with 165/80 x 13 tyres, MX5 seats, 14" steering wheel, oil pressure gauge, voltmeter, tachometer, heated rear screen, high level led brake light, wiper delay, flick wipe or flick wash wipe facility, hazard warning lights, larger capacity Vitesse fuel tank, 1500 Spitfire flywheel, clutch, gearbox and  overdrive, electric washers, two speed washer switch so have 5 second wiper delay as well, battery in boot with isolator switch, 22" wide radiator for better cooling. At the moment I still have the 1296cc engine fitted but I do have a 1500 Spitfire engine and 3.63 diff awaiting my attention! This is all on my 13/60 saloon. She goes well, she handles well and she stops well. I have no truck with purists; I have to drive in modern traffic... and the 13/60 can surprise some of the smaller moderns... Cheers, Dave.

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