Today I wanted to get the last remaining jobs ticked off the list and hopefully turn the key.
First job was to fit the Almera N15 GA16 Airbox and air ducting. I found some 51mm reinforced air duct in the garage that I purchased for the supercharged MX5 but never got round to using it. I ordered a 73-51mm silicone reducer and I had some 50mm stainless tube spare to make a joiner. The ducting fits perfectly in the hole behind the coolant reservoir which was a bonus.
I also fitted a freshly painted strut brace, no idea on the brand as there are no markings on it. I bought it from Chloe along with the box because I knew it would clear. Some stainless M10 bolts finished it off a treat
I wasnt happy with how awful the OEM PAS reservoir looked, so I ordered a Mishimoto item along with some male adapters and elbow fixings because I needed them facing downwards. I made a bracket because the bolt holes were different, turns out the hoses were quite alot different than I had originally planned. I switched one fitting back to the original but due to the length of the hoses its now moved the tank approx 90 degrees, making the new bracket redundant.
I'll keep the new bracket and make a triangle bracket and hope one mounting bolt on top is enough for support.
With the engine oil, PAS and coolant now filled it was time to start it up. It didnt quite start first time (more like 3) but it started none the less. A couple of issues...
- The idle is currently around 1500rpm, thats because I couldnt check until the engine was started
- Exhaust manifold is blowing (I picked a gasket from work which 'looked' correct, turns out it wasnt. The correct one will be ordered tomorrow)
- Engine Management Light is on
I used my OBDII reader and it came back with
P1605 - A/T Diagnostic Communication Line
Because the engine and ECU are from an Auto model, the ECU can't see the CVT Controller. Fitting a 1.4 manual ECU would solve it, but its finding one with the key and transponder
By this point it had gotten dark and started to rain. I managed to get the headlights and bumper refitted just to 'finish it' off.
My to-do list is now:
- Adjust throttle cable
- Make a bracket for the PAS reservoir
- Make a bracket for the airbox
- Make a bracket for the air duct
- Paint any bolts that weren't replaced with stainless
- Fit arch liners and undertray
- Replace exhaust manifold gasket
- Test drive
So today I sorted out the PAS reservoir bracket and made a bracket for the airbox, but the breather hose coming off the rocker cover is very very close to the mounting hole so I've left that for now.
Adjusted the throttle cable leaving the airbox off incase I needed to adjust it more....car wouldnt start even with some throttle. Perhaps the throttle cable was too slack, so checked again and had it so there was barely any slack....nope it stiill wouldnt start.
We had a pretty sharp cold night (not sure if there was any frost but it was certainly cold enough to) perhaps the harsh cold had gotten to the battery? The battery was replaced the day I started to strip the engine bay, having put it on charge before the previous update I knew the battery was in good health. I tried jump starting it to rule out the battery, it had plenty of cranking but not firing.
I disconnected the 1.4 auto ECU and key transponder and refitted the original 1.0 ECU and transponder, it fired up straight away.
This was mind boggling. The car started and ran numerous times 4 days prior, got upto temperature and cooled down when I was checking for leaks etc etc The only thing I had done was adjusted the throttle cable?!
Either something is fried inside the 1.4 auto ECU or something has happened to the NATS (Nissan's factory immobiliser)
The Engine Management Light is back, we know it can't be CVT gearbox related because its a manual transmission ECU. Plugged in my OBD2 reader and no faults are found, cleared the code and the light disappears. Switch the engine off and read the ECU again, no codes found....bizzare
With the car running I got it moving for the first time and parked it on flat ground to check the fluids. A small top up and we're good to go for a test drive. I drove round a 1 mile radius, temperature stayed half way, EML still on but I'll ignore that for a second. Shifting gears around 3k while I bed this new clutch in but its changing gears smoothly and the clutch bite is good.
Parked up outside the house to check for any leaks and there wasn't any. This gave me an opportunity to finally clean the driveway of transmission fluid
I didn't fix the leaking exhaust manifold because I received confirmation of shipping of the new Gizfab 4-2-1 Manifold, woohoo! I'll persevere with the blow until the new one gets fitted next week at work.
The engine bay still needs some tidying up and some paint touch ins but its now running and driving and those things can come as and when (I've got an R34 to fix next)
Now to get some miles on the clock and get this clutch bedded in. Its gonna be torture not putting my foot down properly especially when the new manifold goes on but it'll be worth the wait!
Next up... brake upgrade (I've got the parts I didnt want to bed a clutch and brakes at the same time)
Got it plugged into a Snap On machine this morning and it brought up P0443 Evap Purge Control Circuit Fault
The carbon canister has been unplugged and removed, so will need to find a way to loop the circuit or at least see if I can remove the sensor from the canister and leave it plugged in (if that'll work)
I made a bracket to support the air duct hose. Its a tempory thing until I can find someone with a riv-nut tool and I'll look into moving it to the suspension turret (will need to check the hose for shape/fitment at that position)
The final piece of the engine bay puzzle finally arrived, my Gizfab 4-2-1 Manifold and front pipe
First impressions, the quality and workmanship is second to none. Picking up the box I wasn't expecting it to be so light! The quality of the welds are top notch, every piece truely is a work of art.
Fitment was very good, the only issue we encountered was the 2nd lambda boss was directly under the driveshaft. I spoke to Eden at Gizfab and he said they've been using the same jig for 2+ years with no issues. He's offered to make me another front pipe with the lambda boss further back. Excellent communication and customer service.
The noise....oh the sweet...sweet....asbo noise haha This thing is LOUD. Not obnoxious loud, somewhere between Honda Civic and straight pipe haha The de-cat and design of the manifold has certainly perked things up with the driving experience and instantly noticed a difference.
Its certainly made the car very nostalgic, a throw back to the previous Red K11 with the noise and driveability, instantly putting a huge smile on my face.
I just hope its within the track day decibel limits
I purchased an eBay short shifter a few months ago but was waiting for the exhaust to be changed to do so. While the Gizfab 4-2-1 Manifold was being fitted I also installed this along with a new stock middle section.
Installation was straight forward with the help from Leadfoot's video on youtube. Although the washers provided weren't enough I had to purchase some thicker ones.
If anyone reading this is planning on fitting one, make sure you thread lock the bolts to prevent them coming loose.
Its made such a difference with the driving experience, it was certainly worth the £44 and half an hour on a ramp .
Another eBay purchase was this badge, couldnt help myself lol
A friend contacted me asking if I'd be interested in some wheels that he had on his Reliant Scimitar SS1. At first glance they looked like Wanatabe, but upon closer inspection they're stamped Enkei on the back, in a 14x6j ET38 fitment.
I just need to find some centre caps which seem tricky to find. The bore is 63mm but I'd like taller caps like on the Minilite wheels
Tyre size is more baloon-y with the side wall slightly taller being a 185/60r14. These will do for now and still suit the car IMO
After weeks and weeks of searching, I FINALLY have a 1.4 manual transmission ECU,key and receiver. The car has been running on the 1.0 ECU which has been fine for 90% of the time. It would occasionally be lumpy or hold back (like a minor misfire) when pulling away.
With the car hoping to see a track day next year, I felt I needed the correct ECU to make sure the fuel/ignition is correct. I know the Bosch ECUs will self learn to an extent, but its for peace of mind
I was very very close to sending the 1.0 ECU to Tornado Systems to have their chip installed, it may be a path I'd consider down the line but for now I'm happy with how the car is running.
I'd like to get it on a Dyno at some point to see how many ponies have escaped over the years
There comes a stage with every car build I have where the car is looking really good (perhaps perfect in some eyes) and nothing needs to be changed or altered. Then I get an idea in my head, become determined to carry out said idea(s) thus ruining the car completely. Sometimes it works in my favour and it works and looks good, other times not so much and I live with regret until I do something about it.
For example, I admit the Purple MX5 looked its ABSOLUTE best when the wide arches,garage vary taillights, mazdaspeed bumper and Work Meister S1s were installed. It was simple, stylish and looked stunning. Then I got bored and decided to do the aero and chassis mount wing (cue the idea in my head)
Anyway.... its now got to that stage with the Micra build
I decided to fit a prefacelift front end haha (some may recognize it)
Lets rewind to the fitting process
With all of the facelift panels removed, I started with fitting the bonnet (hood) along with the front wings (fenders). With these in place the headlamps bolt in and you'll always have great fitment around the edge of the headlamp.
I couldnt resist a comparison photo between the two
Removal of the original wings was straight forward until it got to the bottom where it bolts to the sills. Both sides had suffered severe corrosion and there was no chance of removing them with a socket. With the help from the angle grinder I cut the wing off leaving the flat piece with the bolts still on the car. A little while later I got the bolts off and was left with two holes ready for the new wing to be bolted on.
To fit the bumper the front mount block box things needed trimming on the outer edges
The prefacelift bonnet catch was fitted and the aerocatches removed for the time being (unsure whether to refit them or not)
Next job was the headlamp wiring. The facelift units have seperate bulb holders for the indicator and sidelight. Where as the prefacelift uses a single plug to feed power to both lights.
I used some waterproof plugs we sell at work to make an adapter loom
I also copied the same wiring to the facelift lights so they're both interchangable (not that I plan on swapping back, but you never know)
The side repeater wiring needed swapping too which is just 2 wires each.
And there we have it, a front end swap This isn't the final form, theres more to come
With the hope of attending a couple of track days this year, I wanted to help prepare the car abit better.
The first add on were some aftermarket gauges. A friend had 2 sets of 3 gauges for sale, 60mm Pro Plus with smoked lenses and 52mm Motor Meter Racing with white faces. I originally went with the 60mm purley because they're larger and easier to see.
I didn't get off to a great start, first I snapped a sensor in the sump plug adapter so ordered a replacement from eBay. That arrived so I installed the inline radiator hose as it was easier to access than the two oil sensors. The gauge would power up but wouldn't show any reading. I tried wiring it differently, nope still nothing. I swapped the eBay sensor with the other sensor supplied and it worked. I'm guessing the replacement has a different ohmn rating and/or the scaling is different.
I turned my attention to the oil temp and pressure gauges. With the oil drained and the filter and OE pressure switch removed it was time to fit the T piece. Access was limited and I could only turn the spanner a 1/4 turn, flip the spanner around and do another 1/4 turn, it felt like forever. My hands were cramping up because of the cold and I was getting fed up of it not tightening. I checked the T piece and it had slight side to side movement....oh no!
I removed the T piece to be greeted with some aluminium on the threads....crap!
I knew I had damaged the thread on the block and fixing it was going to be a real headache. Knowing it would leak with oil on the first start up I refitted the pressure sensor and fitted the sump adaptor instead.
Got the temp sensor fitted and wired in, filled the engine with oil and crossed my fingers a puddle of oil wouldn't appear as soon as I turned the key. RESULT! No leaks! After letting the car idle for some time the gauge hadn't moved at all. I understand the sump will read a cooler reading, but surely the needle would move at least a millimeter?!
The next day I put the car on the ramp at work and cleaned up the earthing point, hoping it was a bad contact, and it was. Hurray!
My friend dropped off a replacement sensor he had ordered online along with the 52mm gauges. This time I tested it externally with a cup of boiling water and the 52mm gauges connected to the car battery. I then did the same to test the new sensor with the 60mm gauge to make sure that read fine too
Now it was a decision of which gauges to use. The 60mm were already wired in, but the wiring was messy because each gauge needed to be wired indivually. I used a 6 way fuse box which also allowed me to have all of the earths share the same point. The quality of the 60mms seemed cheap and I couldnt find any info online about them.
The 52mm felt heavier in weight, looked and felt better quality too. One thing I liked about them, was you can daisy chain link them meaning you only need to wire in the positive and negative once.
I decided to pull all of the existing wiring out and fit the 52mm gauges (minus the oil pressure gauge)
Who knew fitting gauges would become such a head ache haha. At least thats all sorted now
A throwback to when I fitted the side skirts, I discovered the N/S/R sill was rather soft, having poked a 50p size hole when finding a solid area to mount the side skirt. I also had the O/S front and rear jacking points cave in on me, not ideal! So it was time to sort the sills out.
My friend Kevin who helped me remove and refit the engine offered to weld the sills for me. So today (Sunday 21st Feb) we went over a unit he has access to to start the work.
After some poking and scraping with the flat head screw driver we were left with this
The jack had slipped on the N/S/F sill when I was doing the driveshafts during the engine swap so this was the most challenging part of the day. Unfortunately no photos of the damage.
The O/S/F jacking point lip had just folded up but was still solid overall.
With the N/S/R sill opened up you could see the corrosion had really set in
You'll be pleased to read I've finally got an arch repair panel on its way, unfortuantely Kev isn't confident doing bodywork welding so I'll need to go else where to have that done.
With the plates welded in, treated,primed and undersealed its looking much better.
Its not the prettiest of repairs but its strong and looks much much better than it did before.
We put the front end back on, unfortunately the N/S/F sill which caved in still isn't a great fitment with the wing (abit better than before though) so I'll have to worry about that later
Back in October I bought some Almera N15 1.6 calipers. These are a single piston caliper with 252mm vented discs,compared to the K11 single piston caliper with 234mm solid discs
With the brakes stripped off I wire brushed the hubs and shock absorber body down ready for a lick of paint. I also replaced the lower suspension arms as the ball joint dust covers had started to split and the bushes had seen better days.
I was going to go with Mtec dimpled/grooved discs and their pads but went for a cheaper option for now.
I managed to get a pair of Pagid discs from Euro Car Parts for £14.28. Along with some Blueprint brake pads for £20.00 that I got from my work.
The current pads didnt have a huge amount of material left and the discs had a lip too (yes i know i could have gotten many more miles out of these)
I also purchased a pair of new hoses but I couldnt crack off the brake pipe union, so I'll leave those for another day.
Believe it or not I have never bled brakes before so it was a great time to learn. Much easier than I thought, dont know why I had put it off for so long!
With everything bolted up it was time for a test drive. Instantly I heard a rotational scraping noise.
Turns out the pad retaining clip was catching the end of the disc
Nothing the angle grinder couldnt sort
Got everything back together, took it for a test drive and no more noise
(These were before the test drive, the discs were cleaned once assembly was completed)
Next job for the front is to remove the arch liners, clean and underseal the arches to finish it off