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Correct engine identification


Robin
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The engine serial number on my non-overdrive mk2 vitesse starts with ME so can I assume that this is from a 2000? If so what's the real world difference in performance from this and the correct vitesse mk2 engine and would I notice i.e. Is it worth the trouble and expense of trying to convert it back?

 

My second question is if I wanted to fit an overdrive gearbox to the existing engine what would be the correct type?

 

Thanks

 

Robin

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Given the age of the engine and its unknown history it is impossible to say whether it is better or worse than a "proper" Vitesse engine.

 

The engines are essentially identical, but may have slight differences in the choice of camshaft, valve size and compression ratio.

Without knowing whether the previous owners have made any modifications to the engine to make it better (or worse) then its probably not worth the trouble and expense of fitting a "proper" engine.

 

As for the Overdrive gearbox, you want a normal Vitesse/GT6 3 rail box with a D-type overdrive, or a converted Dolly 1850 3 rail box with a J type overdrive.

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Given the age of the engine and its unknown history it is impossible to say whether it is better or worse than a "proper" Vitesse engine.

 

The engines are essentially identical, but may have slight differences in the choice of camshaft, valve size and compression ratio.

Without knowing whether the previous owners have made any modifications to the engine to make it better (or worse) then its probably not worth the trouble and expense of fitting a "proper" engine.

 

As for the Overdrive gearbox, you want a normal Vitesse/GT6 3 rail box with a D-type overdrive, or a converted Dolly 1850 3 rail box with a J type overdrive.

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You would need to determine exactly what the spec of your engine is - and there is absolutely no guarantee that it is original as it is now over 40 years old, and has probably been "tinkered" with many times during its life, so it would need to be stripped down and measured.

 

Then you would need to compare this with a standard Vitesse MK2 engine, and then upgrade (or downgrade) the relevant parts to match.

The various relevant measurements are given in the factory workshop manual, but as I said above, you cannot rely on what the book says for the engine you are starting with unless you know that it has NEVER been tinkered with.  Triumph engine parts can be mixed and matched beetween cars, and most parts are interchangeable.

 

The differences (if there are any) will be :

The camshaft - the timing of the opening and closing of the valves, and the duration between them

The cylinder head - the size of the valve heads, and the volume of the chamber (this has an impact on the compression ratio)

The pistons - depending on the year of the engine it may have domed pistons (to compensate for a larger head chamber volume, so that head common to the 2500 could be used)

 

As I said before, is it worth it - the engine specs are sufficiently similar that it would be a waste of time, effort and money.

 

If its a performance boost you are after, then there is a multitude of things to do depending on the depth of your pockets and the length of your arms.

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You would need to determine exactly what the spec of your engine is - and there is absolutely no guarantee that it is original as it is now over 40 years old, and has probably been "tinkered" with many times during its life, so it would need to be stripped down and measured.

 

Then you would need to compare this with a standard Vitesse MK2 engine, and then upgrade (or downgrade) the relevant parts to match.

The various relevant measurements are given in the factory workshop manual, but as I said above, you cannot rely on what the book says for the engine you are starting with unless you know that it has NEVER been tinkered with.  Triumph engine parts can be mixed and matched beetween cars, and most parts are interchangeable.

 

The differences (if there are any) will be :

The camshaft - the timing of the opening and closing of the valves, and the duration between them

The cylinder head - the size of the valve heads, and the volume of the chamber (this has an impact on the compression ratio)

The pistons - depending on the year of the engine it may have domed pistons (to compensate for a larger head chamber volume, so that head common to the 2500 could be used)

 

As I said before, is it worth it - the engine specs are sufficiently similar that it would be a waste of time, effort and money.

 

If its a performance boost you are after, then there is a multitude of things to do depending on the depth of your pockets and the length of your arms.

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You would need to determine exactly what the spec of your engine is - and there is absolutely no guarantee that it is original as it is now over 40 years old, and has probably been "tinkered" with many times during its life, so it would need to be stripped down and measured.

 

Then you would need to compare this with a standard Vitesse MK2 engine, and then upgrade (or downgrade) the relevant parts to match.

The various relevant measurements are given in the factory workshop manual, but as I said above, you cannot rely on what the book says for the engine you are starting with unless you know that it has NEVER been tinkered with.  Triumph engine parts can be mixed and matched beetween cars, and most parts are interchangeable.

 

The differences (if there are any) will be :

The camshaft - the timing of the opening and closing of the valves, and the duration between them

The cylinder head - the size of the valve heads, and the volume of the chamber (this has an impact on the compression ratio)

The pistons - depending on the year of the engine it may have domed pistons (to compensate for a larger head chamber volume, so that head common to the 2500 could be used)

 

As I said before, is it worth it - the engine specs are sufficiently similar that it would be a waste of time, effort and money.

 

If its a performance boost you are after, then there is a multitude of things to do depending on the depth of your pockets and the length of your arms.

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Robin,

 

You are persistently copying a previous post, and then replying to it!

 

A list of engine number prefixes was published by John KIpping as follows:

 

G or Y 948 Herald

GA 1147 1200 Herald

GD 1147 1200, 12/50 Herald

FC 147 Spitfire I,II

GE 1296 Herald 13/60

GK 1296 Herald 13/60 (late)

FD 1296 Spitfire III

FH 1296 Spitfire IV

FM 1492 Spitfire 1500

HB 1596 Vitesse 6

HC 1998 Vitesse 2L I,II

KC 1998 GT6 I, II

KE 1998 GT6 III

DG 1300 Toledo

DH 1300 Dolomite

RD/RF 1300 FWD

WB 1500 FWD

YC 1500 RWD/Dolly

FP 1500 MG Midget

 

MB 2000 MkI

ME/ML 2000 MkII

CR/CP/MG/MM/MN 2500

 

That's the sort of info that should be in the FAQs!

JOhn

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go to chris witor and download the techy on heads it gives all you need about head numbers 

 

  Heads   http://www.chriswitor.com/cw_technical/head_applications_chart.pdf

 

Cams       http://www.chriswitor.com/cw_technical/camshaft_applications.pdf 

 

but the engine number is the definitine on whats inside ME5????? HE   need the missing digits

 

Pete

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Given the age of these engines now, and the likelyhood that they have been "repaired" at some time in their life, I am very sceptical about believing the spec associated to an engine number.

 

It's difficult to tell what the spec of an engine is, unless you are 100% certain that the engine has never been messed with, or you take it apart and measure the interchangeable items to determine exactly what spec they are.

 

I have seen engine blocks with recesses machined around the bores on blocks that had no recess when they left the factory so a "tabbed" head gasket is required, when the engine number indicates otherwise, and also the opposite, where a block that originally had recesses has been machined flat to use a non recessed head gasket (but this one had no engine number as it was machined off in the same operation)

 

The camshaft is easy to swap, as is the head.

 

If the vehicle has been converted to unleaded, was the original head used, or was a head that the supplier "said" was "the same" used ?  Most run of the mill engine reconditioners wouldnt know (or care about) the subtle differences.

 

If the camshaft was replaced due to worn followers, or just general wear, was the exact same spec of cam used ?

There are a lot of cars out there with a "hot" cam, fitted by a well intending previous owner, that is anything but "hot".

 

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Thanks to everyone who's given advice on this - greatly appreciated.

 

From what I've gathered my engine (ME63444HE / 218225) started out as a Mk2 2000 and I have no idea what's been done to it other than it starts first time, pulls well, sounds great and there's no horrible noises or smoke. It does start to feel a bit strained around 70 mph but I've sort of assumed it's because it's non-overdrive - but maybe I'm wrong.

 

My current thinking is to replace the head with a recondition one that's been converted to unleaded as well as replacing the cam to a 308778 version. Unless the pistons need replacing I'll keep them, domed or otherwise. I'm hoping that these changes would bring the engine closer to the spec of the original Mk2 Vitesse. So, if I go ahead with this would a modified GT6/Vitesse head fit straight onto the 2000 block or would I need to carry out further work?

 

 

 

Robin

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From memory, 218225 is the head fitted to later GT6 and 2000 engines, and shared with the 2.5 engines. 

To sort the issue of the 2.5 combustion chamber in the head, the 2000 type engines got domed pistons.

 

So if you pop a std Vitesse head on there you will get very high Compression. Not a good idea. You could get round that by fitting flat pistons. All rather expensive for very very little gain unless you are after a performance engine. 

 

In your position I would be leaving alone. If a problem occurs with the head, get an unleaded conversion done on it (replace exhaust seats with unleaded ones)

If you want to fiddle, you could fit a warmer cam, I suspect the engine "probably" has the late 18 58 cam, so a swap to a vitesse cam, or possibly CW's special that shares the same timing as the vitesse one and has a little more lift, 

 

If the issue is that engine feeling strained (you can should be good for way more than 70, much nearer the 100 flat out) a proper tune up may be in order. Start by making sure fuelling and timing are all correct, that is not just the correct needles and static/idle timing, but ideally a session on the rolling road.

 

If you feel like the car needs to be more relaxed, fit an overdrive (or horror of horrors , a 5 speed conversion)

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No argument with Clive at all!   A Vitesse 2l head on a set of domed pistons would make the compression a bit high.  Like 14:1 high!

Convert to alcohol fuelling if you go down this route!

 

The actual height of the head would help tell if it has domes as it will be a full height 2.5 head.    The point of the domes was to avoid the time and cost consuming machining of the same casting to make thinner, lower volume-chambered 2l heads.  But I can't quote you how high is 2.5?

(As fast as a moust when it spins)

 

JOhn

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From memory, 218225 is the head fitted to later GT6 and 2000 engines, and shared with the 2.5 engines. 

To sort the issue of the 2.5 combustion chamber in the head, the 2000 type engines got domed pistons.

 

So if you pop a std Vitesse head on there you will get very high Compression. Not a good idea. You could get round that by fitting flat pistons. All rather expensive for very very little gain unless you are after a performance engine. 

 

In your position I would be leaving alone. If a problem occurs with the head, get an unleaded conversion done on it (replace exhaust seats with unleaded ones)

If you want to fiddle, you could fit a warmer cam, I suspect the engine "probably" has the late 18 58 cam, so a swap to a vitesse cam, or possibly CW's special that shares the same timing as the vitesse one and has a little more lift, 

 

If the issue is that engine feeling strained (you can should be good for way more than 70, much nearer the 100 flat out) a proper tune up may be in order. Start by making sure fuelling and timing are all correct, that is not just the correct needles and static/idle timing, but ideally a session on the rolling road.

 

If you feel like the car needs to be more relaxed, fit an overdrive (or horror of horrors , a 5 speed conversion)

Thanks Clive -  maybe a good tune is required. Would a vitesse cam (308778)  fit th eexisting engine without any further modification?

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No argument with Clive at all!   A Vitesse 2l head on a set of domed pistons would make the compression a bit high.  Like 14:1 high!

Convert to alcohol fuelling if you go down this route!

 

The actual height of the head would help tell if it has domes as it will be a full height 2.5 head.    The point of the domes was to avoid the time and cost consuming machining of the same casting to make thinner, lower volume-chambered 2l heads.  But I can't quote you how high is 2.5?

(As fast as a moust when it spins)

 

JOhn

thanks john
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Thanks Clive -  maybe a good tune is required. Would a vitesse cam (308778)  fit th eexisting engine without any further modification?

Yep, MK2 vitesse cam is a brilliant all-round cam. Or as I (think) I said, CW sells one that has the same timing and a bit more lift. Chris Witor is somebody I would happily trust with 6 cylinder stuff, and not often used by people in this club. Worth looking at his website. He is a quality rather cheap sort of chap.

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