• Please only use these forums for blogs, they are not a discussion forum

1998 Micra SR


hi guys, lurked around for a while, but thought i might aswell start a little blog because things are looking up in terms of modifications for my little micra. My name is Valentin, ii study motorsport engineering and also work in car sales everyday when im not busy doing nothing at college!

i bought the car in august from ebay, for the pricely sum of £495. talked to the guy on the phone who was a retired car salesman and has been in the trade for countless number of years blah blah blah. "is the car solid underneath? i know the crossmembers go on these and obviously the sills too" "yep its all solid underneath mate" great i thought, so i traveled all the up to durham from bedfordshire. 5 hours on the train or there abouts. i turned up and the car looked great! apart from dents on both wings it passed the "looks tidy" test. checked underneath.... front crossmember, was non existent much to my dissapointment as the guy said it was all 100% underneath. and the passenger sill had a couple of little holes near the rear jacking point. again, not good :(
tried to haggle him down as on the phone he said it was mint and clearly wasnt perfect underneath. the guy wouldnt even knock 50 quid off. bellend i thought, but bought it anyway as i traveled 230 miles, im not going home without the car. engine runs sweet as a nut and much to my surprise miles quicker than my 1.7 volvo (which unfortunately met its end when it had a disagreement with a lorry head on at 50) this is also my first FWD.. i was a bit unsure at first, but its actually quite fun. must say i hate the feeling of understeer, its something i have never experienced in the past having driven nothing but RWD. only downside the temp gauge don't work. narrowed it down to it being the sender, but cant find any online - can anyone point me in the right direction?

took the intake pipe off, made it feel quicker dont know if thats because it was simply louder or having no restrictor on the intake made a difference.

quite tidy inside too! dont like the patterns though. would love to have those replaced with just red fabric instead, but might be a bit OTT.

then the car took me and a friend to creamfields, done very well. and was lots of fun in the car parks as they were slurry pits from all the rain. so the car needed a good clean

here you can also see the other dent, not a problem. hardly an absence of red micras at breakers yard. reckon i can get a pair of wings for 25 quid (Y)

so it got a wash...

then a load of polishing:

im a bit of a clean freak when it comes to my own cars, dosnt help that 50% of my job is also getting cars looking their best on the forecourt so i've had plenty of practice with the polish/waxing/claying.
comes up alright with a it of work!



you can see here the dents really let it down, but im not too worried about appearance just yet. spending money elsewhere first

bought some coilovers! these are VW Polo 6N ones, got em off a guy on clubpolo forums for £60 and about 10ers worth in fuel to go get them. one of the inserts did go pop though. do excuse the quality. i only have a crappy old sony phone for picture purposes. might buy a decent camera at somepoint as it would be quite handy.

the reason this insert went pop, is obviously because the previous owner let the top cap get loose on the strut housing and allowed the damper to move about, enough to wear a good 4mm of steel off and make it crack. not to worry though, got a brand new insert for it near enough the day after from a guy on retro rides for a good price!
so here they are, all moving freely etc etc:

now first issue:
one spring is shorter than the rest... one front strut has less thread than the other one.. so if i was to combine the two problem should be solved. before you go off on one about how it will be uneven handling blah blah, dont forget these were cheap ebay items from new and were never intended to be used for precision handling. all they are achieving is epic lows and thats it. obviously if its very noticeable, i will go to the effort of replacing the spring. Pi springs are only down the road so im sure they will have one to match it. but im planning to have these as low as they can physically go so handling will never be my #1 thing.
all that needs doing to these struts is the rears need the mounting eye cutting off and replacing with one of a smaller diameter. and the front needs the hole drilling lower, might reinforce it with a plate of steel either side just to be safe.
and i also need to make up new topcaps/mounts.
Can anyone tell me the diameter i should make the top part on the fronts so it fits inside the micra bearings? as i know with corsa coilies they need lathing down so they sit inside, but im going to be making mine out of steel as it will be easier and also i canmake them shorter for extra low (Y)
and same for the back i anyone can let me know what the mating surface should be like then it would be of great help :grinning:
front passenger caliper is binding atm, so waiting for a new one to turn up. annoying as i had just replaced front discs and pads, and im pretty sure im going to need new ones as the disc has gone purple in colour and im 90% certain the pads are now only good to be used to make CD cases. oh well

MOT is in first week of november however, so the front cross member, although not a prescribed area (some of you may know its a touchy point on k11s and these have always been the subject of debate whether it should pass or not with a rotten one) i was assured by a couple of friends whoa re MOT testers that its not a fail, but i will replace it anyway for my own peace of mind. as at the end of the day id rather have metal saving me in the event of an accident rather than bathroom sealant. i have the panel ready, just need to find time to do it. may have to take a day of work (working weekends sucks :( )
and maybe in that time also get the rear sill patched up!
well that sort of brings it up to date, hope it wasnt too boring ( i did try to provide plenty of pictures :p )

oh yeah forgot, obviously now coilovers are bought. my next point was going to be wheels, plan on getting very wide 13s. anyone seen ATS classics on micras before? i had a set on my first 340 and loved them. theyr were only 6j though, i was thinking 7J fronts and 8j rears?:

then i realized, hang on - its winter soon. im not ruining good wheels. so my question is, should i paint the current 4 spokes in white? and go round the nissan badge in red. or will that look a bit too ghey? im going to be tinting the rear windows as i think red cars look much more meaner with tinted rears, so maybe black will match the tints better. then again i do like the look all the Honda boys go for if their cars are red, with white wheels. suggestions? constructive critisisms etc etc etc are all welcome!
must be the great taste we both have in our interests then Joe :laugh: , how long ago did you do your course?

thanks seb!

Hey dude, I was big on the volvo modd'ing scene, 300mania, 480 forum, the VOC etc, I used to run slammed and turbo'd 240's and 360's, I also supplied alot of the prancing moose vinyls :)

Although, you gotta love the Micra's!


Ex. Club Member
Club Member
Hi Valman,

There was a K11 on Classics


I think you could get 8"s to work on the rear - bring on that pie cut beam!


Moderator & JAE Chef
Club Member
must be the great taste we both have in our interests then Joe :laugh: , how long ago did you do your course?

thanks seb!


I started my course September 2006 finished it June 2008 I think at Wiltshire College (Lackham first year, Castle Combe circuit second year)
I started my course September 2006 finished it June 2008 I think at Wiltshire College (Lackham first year, Castle Combe circuit second year)
well fancy that. im enduring the same thing right now. except i live on campus. dont know about you, but i never knew motorsport engineering was based on ex scrap mk3 fiestas! the place has turned to absolute crap im afraid and certainly isn't what it said on the website when i applied "weekly trips to castle combe race circuit to get a feel and experience within motorsport" first and last time i went there with the college was on induction day to have a look around.

got any pics stuntman? im a massive volvo fan, had 4 340s all together and must say, itching for another comes snow season :grinning: but that probably wont happen any time soon :(

thanks for that Mark, i think with a bit more stretch/less profile/more low they would look spot on (Y)

thanks for the welcomes everyone else!


Moderator & JAE Chef
Club Member
well fancy that. im enduring the same thing right now. except i live on campus. dont know about you, but i never knew motorsport engineering was based on ex scrap mk3 fiestas! the place has turned to absolute crap im afraid and certainly isn't what it said on the website when i applied "weekly trips to castle combe race circuit to get a feel and experience within motorsport" first and last time i went there with the college was on induction day to have a look around.

hahaha hasn't changed much then. It didn't inspire me (or most of the rest of my course) to go any further in motorsport. I now run my own completely unrelated business, although it gave me some good knowledge.
yeah i know what you mean joe, i cant wait to get out of the place. the only reason i decided on that course is so i get a bit of knowledge on setup/engine mapping/tuning, but they never even cover that. total ########.

anyway, little update:
MOT time in a couple of weeks, got a fair amount of rust to get through :(
got a quote of 60 quid to do the rear sills, not bad but for the work thats involved way overpriced. simply need to get a right angled bit of steel with 50mm lips either way, cut old bit ut, weld it in. would be very easy to do on a ramp, but alas i dont have one. nor a welder thats got gas connected up to it and no time off work atall so gonna have to get that done professionally. next hurdle: the rear axle, completely rotten, has holes next to the tie rod mounts so i need a new one ideally, got a quote for one of 60 quid, (interesting pattern emerging here) reluctant to go buy it because i dont see how they can charge 60 quid for one, bearing in mind you can get a micra for 100 quid. Does anyone have a spare one they are willing to sell???
and still have the front cross member to do, but thats not a prescribed area so hoping i can get away with that during its mot for now, and do it as soon as poss after. oh and my steel top caps are almost done: no pics yet but will get some asap :)
got a bit done so far today, hopefully will have all the rust eradicated tonight.
first thing: get the bumper off so i can use the engine hoist:

obviously, once the car is in the air, put a few tires underneath just incase.
get the wheels off too for access etc

i like a challenge, so im going to see if i can get the front this close to the ground once the coilovers are on :)

the problem area(s):

(rear pas sill)

rear beam, its much worse than this so the following repairs are temporary to get it through its MOT. i will get a new axle when i can afford it properly.
wire brushed the rust:


as you can see, its pretty bad :(
started to make up templates:

then transferred them to metal via pentel marker. tried to use a homebase value hacksaw, how stupid of me. bought tin snips instead.


double checked the welder settings on some spare metal:

key to good welding is penetration, and theres plenty here. game time :p

first panel going on, had to stop every few welds to beat the panel into shape for best fitment:

this is where my phone's camera lets me down, i like to think im a decent welder and love doing it in general, heres one of the welds:

as i was welding on this one, more holes appeared due to the metal wearing thin obviously thanks to rust:

so attack it with a wire wheel to make sure it all falls off/caves in:

pic of one of the lower panels. P.S. welding upside down suck donkey sausage.

tacking on the upper patch (losing count of repair patches now hahah)

and where i am up to as of now, going back out there for more

cheers all, :blues:


Site Supporter
was gonna ask for a nice pic of that,,,drag up lift :grinning: should have some build pics in the calender this time
cheers guys! yeah the engine crane/car lift is a great way to make life easier when working underneath a car.
i've done the axle stand + jacks + wheels + whatever looks flat and tall, but i always ended up hating working on the car like this but this time it was quite fun, which is how it should be!
unfortunately the crane is not mine though, borrowing it from my friend.
i've finished welding up all the holes on the rear beam and gave it a quick coat of hammerite to keep rust away. didnt get pics though as i was in a rush to get the car back on the ground so i can use it tonight. bumperless look ftw :laugh: its going back up in the air tomorrow so i can start on the sill.
One problem i had though, the anti roll bar mounting bolts snapped, is there anywhere that sells replacements? or am i just gonna have to buy some generic m8 bolts and deal with it? running without the ARB so will see how the handling changes. had to cut the ARB drop links off as the nuts werent budging and i want to use the car tonight. more progress tomorrow hopefully!
####ing #### thing. holes keep popping up in random places... i've had to make so may new panels. it now looks ugly as ####. and im ####ed off with it enough to say whoever has 400 quid can have it.
going to need a lot more than underseal to hide this monstrosity. im scared to even share pictures haha but i has frustrated me to new levels. it is very very solid, but my god is it ugly
cheers guys! MOT on saturday, wish me luck. suspension starting to feel a bit knackered on it, need to check the ball joints, as thats what it feels like :(
she passed the MOT!! only fail was one of the rear brake cylinders which i replaced in 10 minutes, and only cost 10.94! however i have found a volvo... so this is for sale. open to offers, as i need it gone, but as it has a years ticket on it, £600 seems a good starting point!