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Triumph TR6 - Toyota or BMW I-6 Transplant

I am an MG Midget owner considering the purchase of a TR-6. I was wondering if anyone had ever seen a TR-6 with an engine transplant of another straight six from a 3 series BMW (325)or Toyota Supra (86 and later 3.0 liter.) I can get an early (71')TR-6 minus the drivetrain fairly inexpensively and was thinking that over the long term it might be easier to deal with a modern engine. Any input?
Sean Belliveau


I don't know of it is the same engine that the 535 I owned few years ago. But if yes, it will not be an easy fit as BMW 3L is a slant engine and has a wide oil pan in the front, that will interfere with the TR6 frame or crossmember, I dont remember. Despite that BMW engine is far superior, I am not found of Jap mechanic, but Toyota Supra will be the easiest route.

What about the L6 from a Datsun/Nissan 240/260/280z? There are tons of bolt on performance parts for these engines, they are cheap, pleantiful, durable and come with 5 speeds. Furthermore the Nissan engines don't suffer the cylinder head problems of the Toyota. I wouldn't even consider the BMW route.
There are lots of pages on putting V8s into the TR but I think a nice L6 would better preserve the spirit of the car, and if no cutting is required - the value too.

TRBitz in Appleton,Warrington, Cheshire UK sell a kit for fitting Toyota gearbox- I believe from Supra- to TR6 block, complete with rear chassis mounting etc.

I thought about the datsun engine, but that could be just as difficult to keep running. My brother used to be a nissan mechanic and he said to stay away from them. Plus, I was thinking of using a Toyota I-6 Turbo with about 250 HP. I think the bmw choice would have to be ruled out after all, because of the complexity and expense. But I definitely do not want a V8- I-6's are more in keeping with the concept, japanese or not.
Sean Belliveau

I have a TR6 in the rebuild process and have been considering the task of a engine swap. My engine of choice would be the BMW M3(E30). It's a small 2.3 litre with close to 200hp. The Toyota or Datsun/Nissan are probably more easily available though.

The E30 M3 motor is a 4 cyl. Then it would have to be renamed as a TR-4. It is a good engine, though. The japanese engines should be alot easier to get-there are probably a few comanies in Puerto Rico that sell them. I know there are a million near L.A. that sell them, rebuilt or raw.
Sean Belliveau

I have been considering a tr-6, with a swapped engine and drivetrain. I have noticed a lot of references to the Nissan, Toyota and BMW engines. Are these the only ones that fit into the car easily?
jason Stratton

In my British Car Club GM V6 is the only type i notice. I suggest Supra engine as it retains the L6 configuration with DOHC. It must be a snug fit!
Cheers, JGCatford

Well, certainly some interesting ideas.
I thought that if my TR-6 engine went south, I'd maybe put in a GM 3800. They are used in Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and Cameros. The last would be good, since they were available with 5/6 speeds, and for-aft set-up, if memory serves. Only problem is they are V-6 engines.
I have one in a 1990 Olds. smooth, peppy, and with 190,000 mi., still uses NO oil.
Also, they are fairly narrow, being a 60 degree engine, and there is some hop-up stuff avail. The 4.3 Chevy is another choice, but it's a 90 degree derivitive of the small block. **LOTS** of hop up parts for it.
Dave Clark


Why bother! There are many reason why you should not put anything else other than the original type engine in your Triumph TR6. Let's go over the reasons:

1. Resale value of your car. Let's face it, nobody wants a butched-up car (that is what will happen because you'll be cutting something: either the body or the frame).
2. The ability to insure the car for full collector value and to control the cost of liability. I can't tell you how many stories of how people killed themselves with modified drivetrains that were incorrectly installed, and then find out that the insurance company wont pay because of unreported modifications to the car on applications for insurance.
3. The original engine uses Stromberg CD175 carbs. No brainbox (think modern car engine), no high pressure fuel lines (think modern car engine), no Hall effect ignitions that go dead with no warning unlike good old points that just need a little cleaning and gapping and you're on the road, no catalytic converters and other power robbing devices to deal with (unlike modern car engines), warped aluminium heads (think modern car engine), much more....
4. The TR6 suspension and handling was designed for it's original engine. Not to mention it's mounting points for the engine and transmission.
5. Ease of getting correct replacement parts. Easy when you have the correct engine. No so easy with a non factory installed engine. Nissan, BMW, Toyota: good engines for their cars but not for Triumphs. Most of those so called modern engines maybe here today but gone tomorrow ang along with them are the availability of parts. Stay with the original, it will make your life easier when maintaining your car.
6. If you really wanted a BMW engine, why not get a BMW car to match it?
Tony Azcona

This thread was discussed between 05/04/2000 and 26/04/2000

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