Ahh! I just checked and it seems possible that even 184.108.40.206 should work: https://bbs.espressif.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=2451
The ESP01 modules are (as far as I know) 1MB (8Mbit) modules (whereas the other modules are 4MB (32Mbit). So the AiThinker_ESP8266_DIO_8M_8M_20160615_V1.5.4 image you found should work.
I'm not sure where the 0.40.0.0 firmware is I'm afraid - I think it's likely I never had it (apart from pre-installed on modules) which is why it wasn't linked.
I did however just try to install the 220.127.116.11 firmware via the Web IDE on a Pico with an ESP01 on a shim and that worked fine, so I'm not sure what's up.
I think it's possible that earlier shims didn't include the pins for boot mode, or maybe just that your shim's soldering might not have made a connection there - and I guess that would have really messed things up for you unless you had manually connected GPIO0
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