How can I improve the ground clearance of my Pinto engine?

There are different height steel pinto sumps fitted depending on what engine it was from. I believe the deepest will make the bottom of the sump ~3" below the chassis. You can cut and shut (either lose some oil capacity or add a wing as well) the steel one to make it level with the bottom of the bellhousing (not worth going any shallower than this) which leaves it ~1" below the chassis.

With the standard ride height of 5", this gives you 4" of ground clearance (careful with those speed bumps!) The RS2000 alloy sump will also be level with the bellhousing.

The only thing to note is if you strike something with an alloy sump it is more likely to crack (and lose all the oil!) rather than just bend like a steel one - although I have fitted an RS2000 one (but I'm considering making a sump guard).

You can fit the RS2000 sump with the cast bellhousing, but you will need to make/alter the hole for the clutch cable and grind a bit off on the alternator side. If you do get the sump make sure it comes with the oil pickup pipe, or you will have to try modifying the standard one. I've got the alloy bellhousing as well (several kg saved there) from a ad in Motorsport News - there seemed to be several around. The only problem is it has bulges both sides so won't fit in the tunnel due to hitting the drivers side footwell panel - this can be solved by the liberal application of an angle grinder to the bellhousing :-)

This answer was provided by Clem Robertson via the SmartGroup

I shortened my sump by 25mm and added 2 wings which were baffled to ensure oil capacity in maintained.

I read an article a long time ago stating that at high rpm in high gears, the can be as little 1 litre of oil left in the sump. This is especially true on the Cosworth engine (which is a glorified Pinto) so I would expect it is the same on the a standard pinto.

It you do shorten the sump, it is definitely worth adding at least one wing.

Click here to see a photo to give you an idea of what I did.

The RS2000 sump is a perfect option if one side tank is required.

I have an unmodified Cosworth sump in my garage if anybody is interested. It will fit a pinto block with no modification and is significantly lighter than the steel pinto sump. It is the sump on the left in the picture. Like the pinto sump, it would require the same amount of shortening if you wish to have it shortened.