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1966 Triumph 2000->2500->4000

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Hi folks! Been a while since I've been around these parts. Need to make sure to drop by more often!

So...err...I may have bought another thing. You can never have too many projects, right? That's how the saying goes...


...back at our place, after an hourish drive back from Midhurst.


It's a mk1 Triumph 2000 that was pulled out of a shed a couple of years back but someone in Club Triumph. Here it was when it was found:


From what I've heard, the plan was to strip it for parts but on closer inspection the actual structure of the car is pretty solid. So instead the chap clearcoated over the rust and did some recommissioning. Not sure which of the POs did the engine work, but it's now got a 2500TC engine on carbs in it.


The chap I bought it from had a bit of tuning work done and it rolling roaded at 113bhp/152b-ft which isn't bad at all really, considering the graph stopped at 4100rpm. However, that was without any air filters on. From mucking about with bikes I know SU-style carbs are really sensitive to pressure changes ahead of the venturi, and although it pulled nicely at full chat it was pretty hesitant on part throttle. I can't see anything in the receipt for tuning that mentions new needles so I'm assuming they haven't been changed, meaning it's probably running a bit lean low down. For now I've stuck the filters back on, which has improved the low-speed running immensely but it now won't really pull past 3000rpm. Fine for pottering around, and hopefully a bit safer, but will need fixing.

We've had a quick check over for bits to fix before I headed over to the GF's in Margate (about an hour and a half drive). First of which was that the fuel pipe to the rear carb was chafing on the strut tower so put some old fuel ine around it in the absence of the right sized copper pipe to make another.


Also fixed the wipers by crimping up the terminals up a bit (they're rubbish btw), got the lights working through the same method (they're catastrophic), and tightened up the front OS strut top nut as it wasn't even finger tight! :S quite nice to work on really, and my mate's 106 was short enough I could even poke the nose in the garage to do it! Luxury.


The plan is for now to drive it about, tinkering with bits to get it running alright and sorting little bits and pieces ike wrapping up the snakes-nest of loose wires all 60s car designers thought was acceptable. The rust on the outside is clearcoated, but everything else is just open so I'll try and exorcise it piecemeal so it won't fall apart before its time comes on the project rota.

Then, the ultimate plan will be...


I happen to have a 4.0l AJ6 and 5-speed that have come out of the XJ40, looking for a home. Looks like it'll fit...just :D

Edited by BiTurbo228
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Having driven the car about a bit I've identified a few problems. 

It's probably got a slow drain somewhere, and it's definitely not charging properly either. Now that I've paid attention in the dark the ignition light is on faintly as you're driving along, and gets brighter at idle.

Poked around with the wiring and found this...


That's not going to help!

Replaced that and sorted the battery clamp end a bit better... 


...which improved things, but you could still discharge the battery with the lights on. Some more poking around showed that the aux belt was as loose as anything so nipped that up. Again this improved things, but still not quite fixed yet. 

Had a quick look around the parts fitted to the engine. Looks like the alternator's already been upgraded to an A127 which should put out 45amps which is plenty.


However, the wire feeding it is definitely on the thin side and snakes all the way around the other side of the engine bay on its path back to the battery. Made up a second wire from the other spade terminal directly to the positive post on the starter solenoid. 



It always surprises me how thin of a wire you can use over short distances. This is about double the thickness required to have a 2% voltage drop at 45A over this distance. Too used to battery relocations where the wire snakes along for a couple of meters!

Haven't tested it yet, but if it still doesn't charge I'll suspect the alternator next...

Also, I've discovered it has a 45d6 distributor. Will probably run that for a while, but will keep the PI one from the Spit engine to hand for a future upgrade.

Oh also, I've discovered it has a rocker oil feed (the braided line at the back of the engine here):


I'm sure everyone here knows this, but these wonderful things rob oil from the main gallery feeding the slightly marginal 4-bearing crank and put it in the head which tends to be fine. Not really a good idea unless you have terribly sludged up oilways in the head, at which point cleaning those out would still be a better idea. That needs to go sometime soon.

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9 hours ago, BiTurbo228 said:

I'm sure everyone here knows this, but these wonderful things rob oil from the main gallery feeding the slightly marginal 4-bearing crank and put it in the head which tends to be fine. Not really a good idea unless you have terribly sludged up oilways in the head, at which point cleaning those out would still be a better idea. That needs to go sometime soon.

Might be worth pulling the top connection off, and checking for an orifice? This was a "tuning" upgrade which (as you say) bypassed blocked oilways. However the more enlightened fitters of these also fitted an orifice to reduce flow, particularly if an engine rebuild was not immediately desired. If an orifice isn't fitted, I would consider fitting one. Particularly if it makes the difference between having rebuild the engine before fitting the Jag beast, or not having to rebuild!


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Hello BiTurbo,

I would not agree with your view that an extra oil feed to the cylinder head does necessarily starve the crank bearings. This is only true if the oil supply is very marginal as there should always be an excess of oil supply to that required to keep the engine properly lubricated. (The excess being diverted by the pressure relief valve, which is actually a pressure control valve)

I don't advocate it's use but it has been maligned unfairly in my view. People have had problems but as I say that can only be due to marginal oil systems. An engine in good condition should not suffer.





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As all kno, I am the Bringer of HellFire to Ye Spawnne of Ye Deville that is the cylinderhead external oil feed.   Yea, brothers and sisters!   Bow down in shame for fitting it!  But in all fairness, you are entitled to your opinion, you Beelzebubbe Worshipper!   

My opinion is based on my experience, when as a foolish virgin, I did fit the Cursed Feed.   A succession of main and big end failures followed, until YEA! I SAW THE LIGHT!     SAVED, SAVED FOR THE GLORY!   Never had one since I stopped fitting it, and I race the damn things.

A way of fitting one with less risk is to note the oil pressure without it, fit the external and note the pressure drop.   Now fit orifices (aka restrictors) in the line until the pressure returns to the original value.    I've not done this (I'd rather BOIL IN THE PITS OF HELL!) but read of others doing this and getting down to an ID of less than 1 mm!     Which rather takes the gloss off "improving" the upper oilflow.    Little is needed as the pulsed, metered arrangement provided by  Triumph shows.



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The thing with these is that, as with most things in life, it depends.

Bottom line is that when everything else is right, they are not needed.  At all.  The metered supply provided by the rear cam bearing is adequate.  As Triumph designers intended.

If fitted to an engine with healthy rockers and shaft it will do no great harm as the tight oil tolerances between will serve to restrict flow, meaning that it won't rob the bottom end and it won't flood the rocker cover causing oil to go down the unsealed guides and be burnt.

However,  if fitted where the rockers and shaft are already worn, and no restrictive orifice is installed, then problems start to arise.  Typically just excessive oil burning due to excess oil going down the guides on an otherwise healthy engine.  But imagine the scenario where an unrestricted external feed is slapped on a tired old lump whose oil light already flickers at hot idle and whose front rockers have started to squeak due to lack of oil because all the oil going to the top is falling out of the huge gaps at the back.......  Here the balance may be fatally tipped as the already diminished oil supply is diverted almost entirely unrestricted to the top......  knock knock knock.........

Whether they are needed for aftermarket roller-rockers is whole new can of worms.....

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Yeah I'm of the 'superfluous on a good engine, harmful on a bad one' point of view. I can see the logic behind them, and how they could possibly be positive in some cases (sludge blocking head oil ways but not anywhere else), but think those cases are highly unlikely and avoidable with half decent maintenance. 

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If it wasn't for the fact that I understand your point, how "the scenario where an unrestricted external feed is slapped on a tired old lump whose oil light already flickers at hot idle and whose front rockers have started to squeak due to lack of oil because all the oil going to the top is falling out of the huge gaps at the back" reflects on the early engines I built might upset me!   But I was still learning, and I did stress them to the max on track.     Until a few years ago, I had one, without the external of course, that I had used for ten years.     It did finally expire, I've experimented with 2L and gone back to 2.5.  But never an external oil supply.

I'm sure that the inspiration was the Kastner 'Octopus' that optimised main bearing supply, but that was carefully engineered, while the external supply as sold by the usual suspects was just an opportunity for failure.

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Yeah I'm not normally one for the rat look either, but I do rather like this.

I think I'm coming to the realisation that this car really is rather rusty! It looks okayish from the outside, and there aren't any gaping rot holes I've found yet, but there's patchy rust showing through paint pretty much everywhere you look. It's definitely destined for a full resto at some point soonish, at which point it'll be tricky to keep the rat look on the outside.

I'm also thinking that I really like these in darker colours. It'll be a shame to lose the patina, but I'm not convinced the clearcoating will protect it properly. Still undecided on that front though...

As for updates, I've fitted the Pipercross and made a fuel transfer pipe that clears it.


Jsut disturbing the rubber pipes on the end of the transfer pipe caused them to spring a leak so just as well we discovered that before it started on the motorway or something like that! All replaced with new stuff now, but I'll have a look around at the other rubber lines on the car.

Also, we've been trying to wire up the tacho to not a great deal of success. We've tried a couple of different permutations as the info on how to wire them up online is very confusing!


What we wound up with was a switched positive on the big tab, earth on the negative, trigger feed from the negative side of the coil on the exposed bullet connector and another switched positive into the covered bullet connector.

No dice on either of the two tachos I've got. We've tried switching the two signal lines around to no real effect on either.

I have, however, noticed that the car revs a bit worse with the tacho connected so I'm wondering if both are shorted across the signal feed. The only time we've had any life out of either was during a brief flirtation with attaching the coil feed to the big positive spade terminal, at which point we had a little needle movement but it ran catastrophically.

Oh, and there's also a rather ominous tappy tap from the engine at idle. It still makes good oil pressure which is reassuring, and I can't feel any movement in the crank when you press the clutch in and out so I'm hoping the thrust washers are ok.

On the positive side it seems to be charging properly! See what I did there... ;)

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Already replied on RR forum, but for sake of completeness.....

If you look at the front of the tacho I think you’ll find it has “RVI” written on it, meaning it’s the earlier current sensing one.

Your switched power to the spade is correct. The two bullets are linked inside by a short wire that makes a single turn though a pickup coil. Externally one needs to be connected to switched power and the other is connected to coil positive as the sole ignition supply to the coil. Basically the tacho in series with the coil.

The great thing about this type of tacho is they work just the same with a modern wasted spark coil pack provided you connect the pack supply through it as the sense the current variations in the coil supply and don't care how the coil is triggered.

To add: The later style tacho will have "RVC" somewhere on the front.  These are voltage sensing type and need a single wire from the coil -ve terminal.  They sense the voltage spike (back emf) produced by field collapse.  They work great on points ignition and usually work ok on conventional electronic ignition but can be awkward with coilpack systems as their input is designed to cope with up to 40v spikes meaning that tidy 5v or even 12v square waves don't trigger them and amplification is needed.  They do vary a bit.  Some will work from the MJL tach out, some not (or only at low rpm).  Never found one that will work from the EDIS diagnostic/tach out.

Also, I'm not surprised the car runs less well with the tach connected the way you have it.  You basically have 12v on both sides of the coil...... so I'm a bit surprised it runs at all!



Great doc link btw


Those NZ guys do good work!

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Thanks that's sorted it out! Now have a working tacho :)

Unfortunately I think my bungled initial wiring fritzed something in the ignition as it was breaking up over 2000rpm (sounds like ignition letting go, and the rpm on the tacho drop while you can tell the revs rise so I figure it's getting fewer signal pulses).

I've swapped the coil for another one I had lying around which has improved it, although it now breaks up over 3500rpm so perhaps it's a Spitfire coil of some variety (or perhaps one of my mate's MG Midget ones).

The question is I suppose whether to just replace the coil and keep driving or start putting something together for electronic ignition. Nick, was it yourself with the EDIS6 setup? Perhaps something mappable given that I've got a couple of different cams knocking around that would be interesting to use...

Dead useful to know about the electronic ignition as well. So do you connect the tacho in series with the coil pack supply, or in parallel to get it to work?

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  • 3 months later...

So, sadly nothing much has moved forwards with this car recently. Partially because all my money and time is going into the Jag superturbodiesel, and partially because I popped the car in the air to have a poke around and found that one of the driveshafts has a good 3-5mm of play in the outer hub, which I gather is Not A Good Thing.

There has been some development, mind. The MGF seats that are in the car are really thoroughly uncomfortable, which is odd as they're lovely in my MGF. Some comparison showed that they're fitted at quite the angle in the F, but pretty much dead level in the 2000 meaning your legs are stretched out quite flat.

So I figured raising the front of the seats should help a lot. While I'm at it I can also shift them 20mm inwards as they're too close to the door at the moment, with the steering wheel offcentre. Did some mocking up and measuring and came up with this:




It's hard to see in the last pic but I've boxed up the ends to give them a bit more strength. They're made of 1" box section, with one part dropped lower (mainly because I didn't have long enough imperial bolts, but it also helps with spanner clearance). If anyone wants to reproduce them there's 25mm between the hole and the stud on the inside one, and 22mm on the outside one (but the holes in the MGF seats are quite big, so there's leeway). Some light clearancing of the tunnel needed to happen to clear the rails.

I needed to cut the little spacer washers off the MGF seat rails to fine tune the height, but after that I can say that there's a major improvement. Much more comfy, even when just sitting in it for brief periods of time.

They're not level, but you can sort of tell the height difference at the front from this:


I've also bought a 3.46 medium case BMW diff from an E34 to fit in the rear (not that there's anything majorly wrong with the stock Triumph diff, even for the planned AJ6 swap, but LSDs are more affordable). Currently trying to work out a cunning plan to bankroll the price of a set of CV halfshafts and a custom prop.

What I've come up with is to pull out as much of the stock Spitfire bits I'm not using from the Spit6 project, throw them into boxes to go with the dark blue Spitfire shell I have (that's got decent paint, GAZ shocks, a roto rear, and a fibreglass bonnet - not the one pictured below), offer that for sale with the engine and gearbox out of this car (engine's good, gearbox needs work) and sell that as an 80% complete project (getting higher the more stuff I find pairs of).


Then, I can use some of those proceeds to bankroll the drivetrain upgrades to this car and the rest to finish the EFI conversion on the 2.5 engine currently in the Spit6 and put that into this car. That kills a number of birds with one stone as I can get the 2000 running again, keep it on MoT exemption for a bit longer while I sort out various bits that likely wouldn't pass most MoTs, and get to bed the Spit6 engine in prior to the pending IVA.

So yeah, that's the plan :)

In the absence of any meaningful progress on this car then I've been trying to research as close as possible to a bolt-on rear disc conversion as I can (and possibly a vented front conversion too, if I'm lucky). That's mostly taken the form of transcribing this 222-page PDF catalogue of brake disc dimensions into an excel file that I can then map against PCD, allowing me to quickly filter for any and all possible dimensions of a brake disc :) so far it's taken me about 4 months of occasional work and I'm just approaching half-way at 1923 lines of data inputted :blink: once I'm done I hope it'll be a really useful boon to anyone looking to try and do budget big brake conversions for any car so I'll definitely share it :)

Only Triumph (and a number of others) have gone and bolted the discs to the back of the hub, rather than slotted them over the studs so PCD information isn't as forthcoming. I've managed to find the Spitfire/GT6/Caterham PCD, but drawn a blank on the 2000/Stag one. If anyone's got a set of discs floating around and wouldn't mind giving them a measure between the holes that would be amazingly helpful!

Edited by BiTurbo228
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Nice car. The Rat Rod look depends very much on the vehicle and the base colour. But rather like that.

'Back in the day' pretty much all brake discs were bolted to the hub, even your hot Fords, etc. ex-factory. It was only when FWD was becoming ubiquitous that the slip on variety became common. The slip on discs you get nowadays are a modern innovation even for these old cars.

I don't know what the PCD for 2000 discs but I'm pretty sure it's the same as the TR6 as they share the same 4.5" wheel PCD. Also the same as the Scimitar so I'll see if I can get a measurement tomorrow.


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Yeah I'm certainly rather fond of it! I'm not sure if it'll stay though. The patina has been clearcoated over, but I don't think it's been properly baked beforehand so the rust will keep creeping along. Will be destined for a repaint at somepoint soo, but til then it'll just get driven as-is with the underlying rust getting fixed :)

Yeah the more I've looked into it the more cars I've found with discs bolted to the back of hubs. Suppose it cuts down on unsprung weight?

Thanks man! Would be a great help :) 

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13 hours ago, BiTurbo228 said:

Yeah the more I've looked into it the more cars I've found with discs bolted to the back of hubs. Suppose it cuts down on unsprung weight?

TBH I suspect it's the other way round. So once the designers realised that with modern FWD geometry using big negative offsets on the wheels they had enough space to stick a plate outboard of the hub and still have enough bearing spacing they could save the cost of some bolts and screwing them in by doing away with the disc bolts. In the same way their remote ancestors used to fit those strange drum brake thingies. :bow:

I'll bet some designer straight out of college got a gold star for that idea :biggrin:

Anyway, whipped a front wheel off to have a look at the hub on the Scimitar.

Chord spacing of the bolts is approx 72mm which gives a 101.8mm PCD or given the measurement inaccuracy inherent in how I did it, 4" PCD in old money. Which seems right to me.

Good luck....



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Thanks! Dead helpful :)

Not a particularly common PCD unfortunately. Seems to have been used mainly by Minis, Sprites, the Austin Metro (but not by the Rover or MG ones), and the Mk1 Pontiac Sunbird of all things. Not cars known for having big brakes (although I need to find info on the Pontiac, a lot of American stuff seems to be vented quite early on).

Another interesting option might be discs from 4x100 cars. There's a boatload of them, and most have 12mm wheel bolts. If they're 7/16-shank bolts securing the disc to the hub the 0.8mm difference in the outside edge of each bolt hole very nearly makes up the difference. 0.07mm between the outside of the holes (a light interference fit!).

Will get searching :)

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Well, after a bit of farting around I've got a mostly complete database of brake discs mapped against PCDs and other weird fitment things. Looks like the closest bet would be Renault 21 vented discs. You an get them in either 265mm dia 31.5mm height which might work with spaced out standard calipers, or 285mm 32mm height which would need both a spacer block for the caliper halves and a bracket to relocate them outwards.

If anyone's as interested in massive databases of cars and parts as I am, I've uploaded what I've got here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IYWEj6rQZR6OHDmMbwYHvDRXozymUOBS/view?usp=sharing

There's my brake disc catalogue (WIP), a massive power-to-weight and power-to-drag database, lots of engines, bosch injectors, cfm flow for heads, and a complicated sheet for calculating brake bias. Might be helpful to someone :)

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Good to see I'm on the right tracks! The main issue for me would be if the centrebore needs taking out to fit the 21 discs. The Triumph centrebore is 66.6mm, but the Renault one is only 60.1mm. I know the Triumph discs are lug-centric so there's a chance they'll just bolt on. Might give me the nudge I need to invest in a sodding great lathe though :biggrin:

As for rear discs there's lots of options that fit the stud pattern, but only one really that has a centrebore that'll bolt right on (69mm). Mitsubishi Colt rear discs from 04-07 (or Smart ForFour which is the same car) are about 250mm wide and 10mm thick (so should work well enough with MGF calipers), and have the right centrebore. If the rear drums aren't hubcentric, or you can open up the centrebore of a disc by 1mm or so, then there's tons of options from 257mm all the way up to 290mm. Saab 900s, Mk2 Almeras, Mk1 Primeras and Z31 300ZXs are all options :)

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  • 1 year later...

So, after 3 years of solid Jag work I've finally got a Triumph on the go again :biggrin: 

With the kitchen at the new house done and my garage recovered from being a woodworking 'shop it was finally time to bring a project over to east Kent. For a number of reasons, not least of which that it was the most accessible (the Spitfire is currently 'packaged' behind not one but five different engines), the big Triumph was the one to bring.

Loaded it up on our new-to-us car trailer as the clutch has stuck on and won't disengage, which would make for an 'exciting' journey under its own power.


The trailer's a proper Brian James jobby we managed to pick up for an unreasonably cheap price. Nice to be able to take cars that are heavier than 1000kg or so! The old caravan-chassis'd single axle trailer is up for sale if anyone's interested. We've outgrown it a little, but it's ideal for anyone into lighter cars.

Anyway, back to the Triumph. Made the journey fine, and enlisted the help of some friends and family to nudge it into its new home.


There's a reasonable amount of space to work in. Not acres, but it's more than I'm used to with the Jag!


Wasted no time getting stuck in. Bonnet off (weighed 15kg on the nose, anyone know of any fibreglass variants?):


Propshaft (6.5kg, A-Type OD), radiator and fans (8.2kg) and silencer (4.9kg):


If anyone's wondering, the aperture for the radiator on one of these is 34.5cm x 54.5cm (a rad of these dimensions would just about fit). 


The original radiator sits on the engine bay side of this, but in an effort to make a bit more room for the AJ6 I was wondering if I could find a rad that fits snugly into the hole. I reckon you might be able to trim it out to 40x61.5 if necessary.

Oh, also, when taking the rad hoses off I discovered a very dry looking thermostat housing:


Interesting as it kept good temperature, but there was clearly air trapped here. It's a high point in the system without a bleed so probably not surprising. I wonder if it's normal and the air just gets evacuated to the overflow bottle each time you run it.

At this point I'd disconnected pretty much everything from the engine. Not all that much to disconnect (although there was a surprise earth strap). Time to try and pull the engine!


Ceiling height's a bit marginal so I rolled the nose out of the doorway a little, but didn't manage to get it out before the heavens opened. With how it's being lifted it's getting wedged between the heater matrix/head and the subframe/sump. It needs to be canted over while it's being lifted, but the only jack I have at the new place is this one I pinched form my other half's Fiesta :biggrin:


It's done sterling duty so far, but I think this is a little beyond it. So that's where we are now, with me trying to fight the urge to just go buy a jack and wait til the weekend when I'm back at the old place and can pick up the jack I've already bought :biggrin: maybe the engine leveller too as it's a wonderful piece of kit.

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Conventional wisdom has it that you have to drop (though not completely remove) the crossmember even when taking the engine out from the top. This to give clearance for the sump bowl.  Certainly true when removing engine only. When I did the whole lot I dropped it out the bottom.

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3 hours ago, Escadrille Ecosse said:

Welcome to your new home :biggrin:

Good to see you getting stuck in again.

No. However if you aren't in a desperate hurry I could be persuaded :cool:

Thanks man, and yeah good to be stuck in to a Triumph again! Partially because everything on a Jag is about 1.5x the weight it is on a Saloon, and double that of a Spitfire :biggrin:

Intriguing! I am not in a hurry, and I'm sure I can trade it for something of value! I haven't found any online so I expect it'd be a one-off job whichever way.

1 hour ago, Nick Jones said:

Conventional wisdom has it that you have to drop (though not completely remove) the crossmember even when taking the engine out from the top. This to give clearance for the sump bowl.  Certainly true when removing engine only. When I did the whole lot I dropped it out the bottom.

I can see why. It's so close to just about coming out. I reckon with a jack under the sump to re-slant the engine so the sump lies flat, and if the PO hadn't fitted an external oil feed to the head as it pokes out a smidge further backwards (another reason to dislike them) it'd pop out. Might be easier to stick a wedge or two between the chassis and the subframe though, will give that a try.

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