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benji_'s '94 Micra Tropic Build Log

Heyo,

Got this car from my Dad on boxing day, although its not a xmas present as he put it, just a gift. I was looking for one for a long time since I wanted a Tropic in red specifically, but none ever seem to go up for sale close by, I am on the south east (past Brighton) and he got it from Torquay, that just says how difficult to find these are, even though they aren't even really rare.
Anyway, enough of that and now onto me ker.

I've called him, yes HIM, norbert (with a lower case n) since why not (and it was the first thing to come to mind lol), I am still trying to get insured on it since I am only 17 and UK insurance sucks as everyone knows, but I have already *cough* legally *cough* driven it around my Dad's culdesac. He only has 53k miles from new and has recently been fitted with new brakes, spark plugs, a battery and I think an alternator, also some welding on a bit of the left interior seal. Apparently he was sitting on the previous owner's driveway for a year and a half, although starts right up, with only a bit of dirt here and there.
I plan to keep him forever since I really do love the look of these cars.
From what I want to do, I know I sound exactly as you would think for a 17 year old, haha.

What I've done so far, I have cleaned and buffed the paint, thats it lol.

This is the first picture I ever took of my car, albeit apart from the hiding of the number plate.
first-pic-taken-boxing-day.jpg


Before buffing the grille.
front-before-grill-buff.jpg


After buffing the grille.
Also before re-blacking the bumper.
front-after-buffing-grill-before-reblack.jpg


After re-blacking the bumper.
front-after-reblack-better.jpg


This list will (might) be periodically updated (if i can be bothered).

Plans:
COMPLETE:
Buff paint. COMPLETE 29/12/2018 (will do again at some point)
Pass driving test. COMPLETE 28/01/19 First time!
Radio. COMPLETE 04/03/19
Replace heater resistor. COMPLETE 12/03/19
Clear side indicator lenses. COMPLETE 01/05/19
Almera cupholders bodged in. COMPLETE 15/05/2019

IN PROGRESS:

Ricer stickers on the back cus why not.
Aftermarket revcounter, since it doesn't have one. Bought a cluster off eBay with a counter 08/01/2019.

NOT YET STARTED:
Take it to a dyno, want to get a base number and see how much it has lost over the years, might also help with cheaper insurance if I can convince them.
Bigger windshield mirror.
Front box plate.
Scratch removing, some deep scratches that I couldn't get out with buffing.
Repaint the valve cover and exhaust header heat shield, they are both pretty rusty.
Super clean the engine bay. (TM chrisfix)
Boser or "Badboy" Bonnet mod
Radio and some nice speakers.
New steering wheel.
Strip the rear of the interior.
Get a new exhaust since the current one is small, and rusty as hell.
Nice set of wheels. Hopefully rota grid v's or something, haven't fully decided yet.
Probably some Corsa B coil overs unless I can find some decent price Micra ones but I doubt it.
Bucket seats.
Would love to get it caged with harnesses.
And maybe in the end some more power, although I have no idea how.

All:
Take it to a dyno, want to get a base number and see how much it has lost over the years, might also help with cheaper insurance if I can convince them.
Buff paint. COMPLETE 29/12/2018 (will do again at some point)
Pass driving test. COMPLETE 28/01/19 First time!
Replace heater resistor. COMPLETE 12/03/19
Bigger windshield mirror.
Front box plate.
Ricer stickers on the back cus why not. IN PROGRESS
Almera cupholders bodged in. COMPLETE 15/05/2019
Scratch removing, some deep scratches that I couldn't get out with buffing.
Repaint the valve cover and exhaust header heat shield, they are both pretty rusty.
Super clean the engine bay. (TM chrisfix)
Boser or "Badboy" Bonnet mod
Radio. COMPLETE 04/03/19 and some nice speakers.
Aftermarket revcounter, since it doesn't have one. Bought a cluster off eBay with a counter 08/01/2019. IN PROGRESS
Clear side indicator lenses. COMPLETE 01/01/19
New steering wheel.
Strip the rear of the interior.
Get a new exhaust since the current one is small, and rusty as hell.
Nice set of wheels. Hopefully rota grid v's or something, haven't fully decided yet.
Probably some Corsa B coil overs unless I can find some decent price Micra ones but I doubt it.
Bucket seats.
Would love to get it caged with harnesses.
And maybe in the end some more power, although I have no idea how.
 
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Looks like a good project for a youngen wish I could have had mine when I was 17..

Good luck with your project vehicle and welcome to the forum.
 
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Looks like a good project for a youngen wish I could have had mine when I was 17..

Good luck with your project vehicle and welcome to the forum.
Thanks man, unfortunately since I haven't got it insured yet its not on the road, and I don't have a drive way so it is at my Dad's house, which is a 30 minute drive away. Hopefully I'll get it all insured soon so it'l be at mine so I can work on it more.
 
Still looks really tidy for a 94.
Keep safe and take it easy.
Your project list sounds like it's going to keep you busy for a while.
 
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Still looks really tidy for a 94.
Keep safe and take it easy.
Your project list sounds like it's going to keep you busy for a while.
Yeah, I don't expect any of this to happen soon, I work #### hours on #### pay so money is the issue more than experience lol
The bigger stuff will probably take a good few years before I even consider starting on it
 
You should keep an eye out for the paint fade with this red color they seem to be affected by the rays of the sun. Had a door that went all pinkish on a golf its easy to bring back though.
Check out the royal mail vans they often show what happens. Probably wont get that problem though since you made the effort on the paint work already.
 
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You should keep an eye out for the paint fade with this red color they seem to be affected by the rays of the sun. Had a door that went all pinkish on a golf its easy to bring back though.
Check out the royal mail vans they often show what happens. Probably wont get that problem though since you made the effort on the paint work already.
Yeah, they weren't that bad, the worst thing by far was the grille in which I've already uploaded a picture. All the other parts were ok though and nowhere near as bad as the grille.
 
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So its been eventful, the cluster I bought of ebay, didnt seem to work, so I put my original one back in and that doesnt work now either. Before I break anything else I am going to send it to a garage to get the new cluster properly installed and working properly, I hope atleast.



My friend is an arsehole but also an artist.



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Just taken it to the garage, turns out the speedo was working, although it wasnt yesterday. Getting them to put the new cluster in and wire it correctly, since it didnt seem to be just plug n play, whowouldathought.
 
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Garage said it was more effort than it was worth so I’ll probably look into a performance garage and see if they’ll install and wire it for me.

Or I might just get an aftermarket tacho and put it on the dashboard, although I don’t really like this method.


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been like a month since ive posted. havent done much, just installed a radio and changed out the heater resistor
####quaulity.jpg
 
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Hey mate see in your first post you might be after a set of corsa b coilovers, got a set not even used still in the box for £120 if your interested?
 
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Guess its probably time to make the next over-a-month-since-I-posted-last post.

30/04/2019
Mate of mine from Scotland sent me a sticker. Its an RC car drift team hes apart of.
zermax.jpg


01/05/2019
Got some clear side indicator lenses off eBay and installed them, looks so much better. Had to use some of my excellence inorder to get the the bulbs to stay in since my excellence bought 3 lug lenses.
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05/05/2019
Took myself to Japfest up at Silverstone, 300 mile round trip, car did perfectly with no issues at all.
Bought some stickers from Stickershack's trade stand.
My car was in the presence of a supra!!! 👀
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Also saw some other Micras on display, super jealous of the (I presume) Tropic, looks so much better than mine does haha.
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06/05/2019
Put the stickers I bought from Stickershack on.
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I'm aware that all of this is moving super slow, I wish I could afford all the stuff I want but I can't :(
Think the first thing I'll buy is an exhaust from GizFab. Current one is all rusted and old, pretty sure theres a few holes in it aswell, might aswell get something I like rather than something I wont.
 
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Hey don't feel down just do bits when you can.. as they say a project car is never finished

I've had a VW camper for the last 10 years that's still up on axle stands but I'm chipping away buying parts when I can as some are silly prices

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haha thanks man, just wish i could do what i want to it and not have to worry about cost lol
 
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11/05/2019
Started to clean the engine bay out since it was super dirty and I presume never cleaned in all 25 years, I had to stop half way through tho since it started to rain. Its not perfect, but waaay better than how it was before.

Before and After pics:

Before - 11/05/2019
beforeclean2.jpg
beforeclean.jpg


After - 12/05/2019
afterclean.png
afterclean2.jpg
 
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didnt realise i left this pic out, you can really tell how much better it all looks

After - 12/05/2019
afterclean3.jpg
 
Just noticed it here like a min ago. Thought it was good that I'm not the only one trying to tidy up in the engine bay.
Also is kinda funny too at same time :D
 
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Just noticed it here like a min ago. Thought it was good that I'm not the only one trying to tidy up in the engine bay.
Also is kinda funny too at same time :D
i was meaning to do it for a while but just never got round to it, im glad i finally did tho so i dont vomit everytime i open the bonnet lol, will re do it at some point alot more vigorously
 
I would avoid using any water pressure washers.. Maybe light spray would be fine from a bottle spray to be extra cautious around any areas that don't like water.
Have not used any yet here but I think it would make a much better finish if I did that.
Atm I just gonna try to make things less messy to work with that way it will be enjoyable rather than annoying to work on and look at :unsure:

(Secretly using snow foam in a pressurised container) For the under side of the bonnet actually it wiped off okay with a cloth dry I was surprised but had to stop.. :D Maybe another day it will happen but so far I think I used too much water on the car and tbh.
 
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I would avoid using any water pressure washers.. Maybe light spray would be fine from a bottle spray to be extra cautious around any areas that don't like water.
Have not used any yet here but I think it would make a much better finish if I did that.
Atm I just gonna try to make things less messy to work with that way it will be enjoyable rather than annoying to work on and look at :unsure:
dont worry i wouldnt straight blast anything lol. just wetten the lot and then clean with actual stuff meant for it
 
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12-05-2019
Bought some retractable cup holders out an Almera. Gonna Frankenstein them in to the cubbyhole below the ash tray and ciggy lighter, hopefully it’l fit.
They should be here tomorrow (15-05-2019) or Thursday.

The SR20 swap starts with cup holders!!! lol


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15-05-2019
The cup holders from a 2003 Nissan Almera arrived and are super janked in but ####it they work as intended lol, it was pretty simple to put in, some cutting on the back of the lower centre console and two screw holes at the bottom. Took me about 2 1/2 - 3 hours to do since I done it with a swis knife, if I had a dremel it've probably taken me 30 mins, for 25 year old plastic it sure put up a good fight.

Its a little higher than I would of liked but with a bigger can I'm sure it'd be fine.

If I find some oem cupholders out a March for a decent price I'll probably buy them but for now, this'l do. :)

I'll make a "guide" on it at some point, not really a guide cus if I can work it out I'm sure anyone can haha.
image0 (7).jpg


a bodge is a bodge and it works so :LOL: although looking at it now i coulda probably mounted it below the cubby hole 🤷‍♂️
 
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18/05/2019
Bought a Aluminium gear knob and a "genuine" suede leather shift boot off eBay. Cheap ####e but looks better than stock so idc lol. Should both be here the first week of June.

21/05/2019
Bought some painting supplies off Amazon and some replacement rocker cover bolts of eBay. Paint stuff has arrived but still waiting on the bolts. Should be here ~Saturday ish.
 
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23/05/2019
Bolts arrived but going to paint on Sunday if the weather is nice, as I am going out for the day Saturday and don't have the time to paint today.
 
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Riiiight, so

27/05/2019
Cleaned and painted the valve cover, most bolts came out fine apart from the 2 front middle ones, the right one came out with a bit of persuasion but the left would not come out in one piece. The head kept rounding and I couldn't get it off. I tried drilling it with a really ####ty drill from aldis that my mum bought ages ago and ended up snapping a drill bit. Luckily my neighbour was out doing some garden work and noticed me struggling so he came and gave me a hand, got his big boi 20v drill out and ended up being able to snap the bolt head off and the cover came off. The bolt shaft was still in tho so he lent me some mole grips and bestgas (?) which is penetrating fluid. Kept putting some on every 30 mins or so and got it out, with the mole grips :D

Cleaned the cover with some break cleaner, wire brushes and 120 grit sand paper, got it all smooth and ready. Painted 3 thick coats of primer and 3 semi thick coats of paint, let it harden over night, came back the next day and clear coated.

28/05/2019
Clear coated.
FYI don't use simply-sprays clear laquer, bubbled the ####ing paint which really annoyed me since it looked really good before. Im really annoyed at the end result because of this. Let that harden for about 5 - 6 hours and then went to install it and I bought the wrong ####in bolts.
Turns out that March bolts are a different thread pitch than Micra bolts, great. BTW if anyone is interested in these, I'll send them to you if you pay shipping, they're missing 1 or 2 washers that I dropped down and couldn't find so be aware of that. Got all bolts for the cover and the 2 dizzy bolts, only used the cover bolts and they're probably ####ed a little but, hey its "free" so long you pay shipping. They're March bolts from T&G Performance.
Anyway, ordered some Micra bolts from T&G Performance and waited.

30/05/2019
Bolts arrived and fitted. Really annoyed at how it looks, looked great before the clear coat. Will redo it in a year or so probably but until then, it'l have to do. You cant really tell from a-far but up close you can. Still looks better than before tho, will probably do the header heat shield next but not for a while.

Heres the pics.

Before
IMG-0419.JPG


Cleaned and sanded. Looks alot worse on camera than it was in person, idk why, but it was smooth and clean so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
IMG-0439.JPG


2nd or 3rd coat of primer, cant remember lol
IMG-0440.JPG


3rd coat of paint
IMG-0441.JPG


3rd coat of clear coat after hardening, bubbled. :mad:
IMG-0446.JPG


Close up of the bubbling
IMG-0447.JPG


Finished product
IMG-0449.JPG


Bonus, the bolt that was playing hard to get
IMG-0438.JPG

IMG-0442.JPG




Dont buy clear coat from Simply-Sprays what ever you do, just dont.
 
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05/06/2019
Another rice sticker off eBay
IMG-0657.JPG


08/06/2019
Bought an air filter of Simon owner of this land Micra, I'd tag him but don't know his forum name if he has one. I'll probably install it in a few weeks or so, need to get a clamp for it.
IMG-0715.JPG

IMG-0720.JPG


Got home and found that the gear knob I ordered finally arrived. Advertised on eBay as m10x1.25 thread BUT HEY WHADA YA KNOW IT AINT. So yeah, waited ages just for something I can't use. Will ask some garages if they can helicoil it for me probably.
IMG-0716.JPG
 

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09/06/2019
Bought another gear knob off amazon since, is it really worth it to get a £5 knob helicoiled? Not really.

11/06/2019
Gear knob arrived and installed. Really like the look of it, not sure which I like more the silver ball or the red "knob" ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Really adds a bit of colour to the interior, thinking about painting the interior door handles red since they're really scuffed up and cant find any decent ones for sale, if you have any, pls lemme know.
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09/06/2019
Bought another gear knob off amazon since, is it really worth it to get a £5 knob helicoiled? Not really.

11/06/2019
Gear knob arrived and installed. Really like the look of it, not sure which I like more the silver ball or the red "knob" ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Really adds a bit of colour to the interior, thinking about painting the interior door handles red since they're really scuffed up and cant find any decent ones for sale, if you have any, pls lemme know.
View attachment 63911
Good choice, I have the same one lol, Beware in the summer, it'll melt your hand off!
 
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16/06/2019
Officially done 1000 miles since I got the car. :)

Went over to my dads for fathers day and buffed the grille since it was fading, and used some back-to-black on the bumpers and other black parts, will get some pictures in the morning.

Also sorted the radio bracket out and now the radio is finally secure lol




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16/06/19
Heres some pictures of the grille buff and re-black stuff.
I've been considering getting the car fully detailed and valeted (that the same thing? idk). Will ofc cost a fair bit but it would look so much better, theres lots of minor scratches you can see, especially in the first picture. Tho tbh its not really worth atm, since I park the car on the road and its my quote "daily driver". If I had a garage or driveway in which I could cover the car up overnight, it'd be well more worth it then. Idk, maybe in the future.

Anyone know the number plate font? Seen it on loads of other Micras and a few other cars, but cant find it on any plate creator website.

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yes i am aware the rear bumper is hanging a little bit
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14/06/2019
Forgot to mention, I bought some wiring bits and a 120cm red LED strip which Im gonna put in the footwells. Most of the stuff has came but im still waiting on the wire and connectors, once they arrive, Ill start on the installation.
 
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WOOWOO AM NOW 18

03/07/2019
Turned 18 and got a socket set, ratchet stands, and a 30 quid halfords voucher, along with some other bits that arent relevant to my car.
And I bought ANOTHER rice sticker lol. Says "0-60 eventually" haha
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05/05/2019
Wire I bought for my LEDs finally arrived. Ill probably get around to it tomorrow or Tuesday.

07/07/2019
With birthday money I bought a Halfords advanced 2 Tonne trolley jack, and a 40-200nm Halfords Advanced torque wrench. I can finally paint my wheels!!! (Was a really good price for them, normally I think it was £215, but since I have a trade card it went down to £166, and with my £30 voucher, £133! Quite good really.) Will probably attack this next weekend.
Also bought some replacement gauge cluster lights in pink, since theres no red ones :(
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