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K11 Micra (First Car)

Greetings everyone! The name's Stu, and I'm based in Gloucester. I came across this forum after looking up various Micra related mods, and it looks like a nice community :). Just got myself my first car, which is a 1999 3-door K11 1.0l manual 'Equation', in 'Flame Red'.

For an old-ish car, it is in very good condition, and only has ~45,000 miles on the clock. It was given to me by my grandparents as a late 18th birthday present (it took me a long time to learn to drive due to having a baby). Mechanically it is pretty much perfect, though I learned in a 1.5l diesel so my stall rate is pretty bad at the moment due to the transition :(

At the moment it's my daily driver, and the only car in my family. That doesn't mean I don't want to try and make it my own however. I plan on really looking after this car and not run it into the ground like some people do with their first cars.

I'll get some pictures up tomorrow hopefully - weather permitting. I've put together a list of things I need to do over the next few months:

  • Give the car a good clean, inside and out. It's not exactly dirty, but the leaves and bits from the winter has taken its toll.
  • Colour coding. The bumpers themselves are already coloured, but the strips, mirrors, door handles and grill surrounds could do with some colour goodness. I want to colour the grille surrounds red (I think), as I think it would look cool.
  • Underneath the back window, there appears to be some lacquer peeling, so that will need repairing.
  • On the passenger side door, some kid jumped off the path and onto the road whilst my grandma was driving past, scraping the side and making a slight dent. I want to get that pulled out and repainted.
  • Give it a nice polish so it looks nice and shiny.
  • New CD player. The tape player doesn't work, and the LCD only half-works. Time to upgrade that, and possibly the in-door speakers in future.
  • As this car seems to be the base model, I want to see if I can add a few features from other cars (electric windows etc)
All of the above are fairly insurance-friendly. I don't want to be adding new wheels and other body parts that might bump the insurance up (that will be later). My long term wish list however:

  • Lower it by a few CMs, I'm not sure how I'd do that at this point. I don't really want to be scraping the bottom all the time. The roads in Gloucester are terrible.
  • New wheels. I think dished wheels look good on this body shape, but I might go for some OEM wheels instead.
  • SR front bumper. I love the look of the foglights. Would look even better with yellow tinted bulbs to go with the red paint, I think.
  • Rear spoiler. Not a stupid one, but the OEM one that surrounds the back window.
  • Possibly some engine mods, however I would love to replace with a 1.3 or a 1.4, but that's not more than a dream at this point.
Really excited to get started. I'll update with some photos tomorrow if anyone's interested.
Hi stu, welcome to the forum.
sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders.
Decent list of well thought out plans, and nothing too silly ^_^
...Although, we do like a bit of silly around here :p

And pictures, we definitely like pictures ;)
Thanks for the replies everyone. I hope to deliver on pictures tomorrow. Time to dust the camera off, and then charge it overnight :rolleyes:
Hi guys. I finally got round to taking some photos this afternoon. Unfortunately they're a bit dark and some are blurry due to the lack of light by this time, but here you go (sorry if it's too image heavy):

Some exterior shots:

Underneath the rear window, the lacquer is starting to come away. Will have to find a way of correcting that.

I also noticed that the paint is starting to bubble on the rear bumper. That's another job that will need doing :D

A couple of pictures of the dent and scratch on the passenger side:

Some mossy stuff is living on my car! When I give it a good clean, this will hopefully all be gone:

Obligatory engine bay shot. It's not very clean, but it's all in good order. I hope to clean this up a bit in future:

It passes the buggy test, and with room to spare! It fits in here better than it does in the in-law's Zafira:

Some interior shots:

I appreciate it's just a bog-standard stock Micra, but I hope these will be some decent 'before' images to go with the 'after' ones as it progresses.
Thanks Chris. If I had some more light they would be a lot better. I'm really happy with the condition, especially for the price of £0.

I put some fuel in it for the first time yesterday. It was just hitting the red line on the gauge and £15 later it was just under half way :D Still getting used to pulling off in the thing, especially when I'm at the front of the queue at a set of traffic lights, the pressure of not looking like a knob for stalling builds up. I'm surprised how quickly it catches up when I do have to restart it though. It accelerates pretty quickly, but as expected it takes a bit of flooring to get it to speed up once it gets moving.

The indicator stalk is on the left side of the wheel as well (the car I learned in had it on the right), so for the first day I had it, I kept putting the windscreen wipers on when approaching a junction. :oops:
She looks pretty damn good for a free car ^_^
the stalks on my k10 were the opposite side to the k11 I had afterwards, you'll get into the swing of it pretty quickly I'm sure ;)
Also took me a while to get used to the biting point of the k11 too, stalled mine 4 times at one set of traffic lights the first week I had her *facepalm*

See how those scratches look after a go with some t-cut or autoglym, might not be too bad.
Maybe try rubbing back with a very fine grade of wet and dry sandpaper to bring back the lustre of the paint (rejuvenation)
Ultimately you may need to fill and paint yhe scratches, but try everything else first ;)
Unfortunately there's a small dent where the handlebars hit the side of the car, then scraped along. I think filler is on the cards anyway sadly :(
Ah, nevermind :(
...just take your time when you get around to it, very satisfying when you complete that kind of job right ;)
(I had to respray my rear bumper, but had previously ruined the rest of my paint because I rushed it <_< took my time with the bumper, was very happy with it)
Luckily I have the help of a friend who loves doing this kind of thing. I have no doubt it will look as good as new once we get started on the paint. The only problem is the weather prohibits any extensive work. I might get to work colour-coding any removal body trim, which can be done indoors or out of the rain/wind.
Nice car Stu, and welcome.. you`ll find loads of ideas here on the forum as there are many of us who have moded and in the process of doing all sorts of bits and pieces to our cars which should give you a great idea along your modding journey :) also you mentioned having a baby, did you suffer long in your labour? ;)

Thanks for the reply, I hope to pull a lot of inspiration from some of the work I've seen here!

also you mentioned having a baby, did you suffer long in your labour? ;)

Definitely. The chairs they make the fathers sit in for hours on end must be breaking some human rights laws somewhere. I was in a lot of pain ;)
Wait till the pain hits you in the wallet - OUCH!!!!!!:eek: how much.!!!!!! what .... for a pair of baby shoes - help.
Enjoy it mate, both of them ;)
My daughter is 3 and a half, so all the expensive baby stuff is long gone. From now on it will be school trips and expensive toys :/

Some progress! Today I paid a visit to my friend Ryan's, who was happy to help me fit my new head unit and do some painting. Unfortunately the short winter days meant we couldn't get lots done, and most of it was spent trying to get the head unit into the dash. Pictures to follow (taken with my mobile phone, sorry about that!).

So I gave Ryan the tour of the car, he was really impressed by the condition, and by how big the engine was, considering its capacity.

He pointed out that the hubs use the same 4-screw pattern as his old Polo did, so suggested we try one of his his old Steffans on.

Here's a picture of them in fitted to his old Polo:

Lined them up and found that including the tyres, they were the same size as the stock wheels:

We only tried the one on the back, but they it fit really well. Unfortunately I had to keep my sensible head on and not get too attached. They'd be a lot to buy, and it would ramp up my insurance. They don't look their best with the car at stock height. It would need to drop quite a bit for it to fill the arches better if I were to go for a set.

He also gave me a new bulb for the cabin light. There was nothing wrong with the one I had, but I just couldn't say no to 16 high-intensity white SMD LEDs. Completely overkill, but it lights up the whole car now :D

I said in my first post that I wanted to colour code some of the trim. We figured the best place to start would be the easily removable stuff, so out came the front grilles, and it only took three nuts on each side behind the front of the bonnet:

The chrome detail comes off the black plastic body with a few stiff clips:

Some wet and dry to kill the shiny surface and they were ready for paint:

I got the paint from Halfords. From the left there's red primer, Nissan 'Flame Red' (AJ4) paint, and clear lacquer. We ended up using barely any of the primer or the lacquer, despite a few coats of each. The colour can being the smaller of the three saw some more use though. There should be enough left to do the door handles next time.

Primer on:

Then a few coats of red and lacquer:

Ryan had some bumper shine stuff for the black plastic. A quick rub with some of that and it looks like new. The painted parts were left to dry in front of the fire for a while, before they were hard enough to handle. There are a few speckles on the paint, but we can't do anything about those until the paint has hardened enough and we can sand it down. We'll revisit this once we get round to detailing the rest of the car.

Unfortunately by the time we were able to get them on the car we ran out of light, so I don't have a photo of the finished product. I'll make sure to take a photo tomorrow.

The last thing was the new head unit. I settled on a Pioneer unit with Bluetooth and USB/AUX connectivity, but no CD player as I'd never use that anyway. Removing the stock unit was as simple as four screws from the centre fascia, then two screws each side of the head unit. I had to buy a harness adaptor as the cables in the dash appear to have Nissan proprietary connectors. A trip to Halfords later (and then back in again as I bought the wrong one), and we got it connected. We originally couldn't get it to power on, then realised that the aerial cable needed to be plugged in for it to work. Luckily Ryan had an adaptor for that as the new unit had a different socket.

In terms of actually mounting it, I thought I could use the existing bracket, but the stock screws wouldn't fit into the side of the new unit. We managed to find some that would, but then the unit didn't line up with the hole in the fascia. In the end we abandoned the idea of using the brackets and decided to use the cage that came with the new unit. The hole in the fascia was less than a millimetre too narrow, so I used a file to take a tiny bit off each side, then the cage simply locked into place, followed by the head unit and the unit surround.

Thanks for reading guys :)
Yeah definitely. I'll explore the wheels and coilovers option once I've sorted out other things I want to get done. It was nice to see how they looked though. If I don't go for dishes, then it will be Nissan OEM wheels or something I can get hold of fairly cheaply.
From what I could see by torchlight, it looked really good. It's a frosty night though, so I'm not sure what to expect in the morning. Ideally the paint would bake for a good few days (or even weeks) before it's safe to expose to the elements. We'll see in the morning.

I really wish I could get hold of some March parts. I never noticed this before, but the reg plate mount on the front is part of the bumper and cannot be removed. This means that even if I went for a square plate, there would still be a rectangle where the European plate would normally be :(
Also, check in the rear right quarter of the boot for a speaker cable/adapter. If you have one, get yourself down to a scrapyard for some rear OEM speakers!
Does the three door version have any rear speaker mounts? When I looked the only stock speaker mounts were in the front doors. I was thinking of mounting some on the parcel shelf, but if there's an option to mount them in the rear and have them hidden, then that would be ideal.
As promised here are a couple of pictures of the newly painted front. Thankfully the paint seems fine, and it matches well with the rest of the bodywork:

I think it's a massive improvement for a quick and cheap little mod. Sets it apart from the others around my area.

Here's a quick snap of the new head unit. Works really well, even if fitting it was a massive trial-and-error exercise:

On the subject of subtle mods, from an insurance standpoint, how much can I get away with before I have to declare things? I wouldn't imagine some colour coding is going to cause any problems, but if I start adding things like front fogs and possibly even a splitter from the scrappie, will I need to let them know?


Part Of The Furniture
Does the three door version have any rear speaker mounts? When I looked the only stock speaker mounts were in the front doors. I was thinking of mounting some on the parcel shelf, but if there's an option to mount them in the rear and have them hidden, then that would be ideal.
As said above there is a OEM rear shelf with speakers... and the loom is taped to the drivers rear light cluster loom :)
Ahh I see, I thought you meant there was a variant with rear speakers under the rear windows (which would have been awesome) . I guess it will be a parcel shelf job then. My friend has a few subwoofers in his bedroom, but I need to keep my car sensible :D

I'll have to have a look and see what's behind there. If there's nothing I guess it's no issue just having to wire it in myself. I have to fix the parcel shelf though, the bits that clip the shelf to the rest of the car appear to be missing, so whenever I close the boot, it doesn't sit correctly.


Part Of The Furniture
I had the same problem both of mine were broken by the rough handed previous owner drill them out or drill pilot hole screw in a long phillips screw and then pull the screw to remove the whole broken pin.
Good to know, hopefully it will be a nice and easy fix! Would you or anyone else know much about my insurance question?

From an insurance standpoint, how much can I get away with before I have to declare things? I wouldn't imagine some colour coding is going to cause any problems, but if I start adding things like front fogs and possibly even a splitter from the scrappie, will I need to let them know?
Insurance very much depends on who you are, some people don't declare anything (which is stupid if you ask me)

Give your insurers a ring and ask theoretically if you were to do something, what they'd charge, if anything. Rather be safe than sorry
good advice, thanks guys :) Unless I make any drastic changes I think I'll be fine. I know to definitely let them know if I add wheels or coilovers, and I think I'll ask them about the splitter as technically that may fall under a bodykit which will need to be declared. I guess it's all how you word it when calling them.
Ok so I just got off the phone with my insurance company, they are now aware of the new head unit (which happens to fall under my audio equipment cover), and don't seem to mind about the colour coding. This is good news as my payments don't change :)

I did throw in a few hypotheticals, alloy wheels, splitters etc, and they naturally fall under exterior styling so would increase my premium (but not by much surprisingly!). I'm going to continue colour coding and then cross that bridge when I get to it. I'm really liking the idea of splitters though, but I'd be surprised if they bumped it up that much. I tried to explain what they were to the guy on the phone, but I don't think he understood. I ended up just saying "it's a strip of black plastic that sits underneath the bumper", to which he probably concluded "bodykit" haha. All he really seemed to want to know was whether it was a 'optional extra' or an aftermarket part. I think by that he means if it's possible to purchase that part from the manufacturer (so Nissan OEM wheels for example), or something provided by another manufacturer. I'll have another conversation at a later date though.

EDIT: I forgot to mention the fogs! :mad:
EDIT: I forgot to mention the fogs! :mad:
Depends on what kind of fogs your going to fit, if you mean the official Nissan Micra ones from the SR models I don't think it would matter, but if your fitting aftermarket ones that stick out the bumper then probably would need to be declared. :)
It will almost certainly be stock Nissan fogs, though I'm thinking of giving them the yellow tint treatment, but I'll probably declare them anyway just to be on the safe side.
It will almost certainly be stock Nissan fogs, though I'm thinking of giving them the yellow tint treatment, but I'll probably declare them anyway just to be on the safe side.
If you're just fitting the standard fogs then that will make no difference to your insurance. You can mention it if you so wish but you don't have to with those. Here's a pic of what the rear shelf you want looks like.
It will almost certainly be stock Nissan fogs, though I'm thinking of giving them the yellow tint treatment, but I'll probably declare them anyway just to be on the safe side.
Yeah better to be safe than sorry I suppose, especially if it doesn't cost that much extra on the premium! :)
Indeed. Hopefully I'll be taking a trip to the local breakers this Saturday, hopefully they'll have something there for a decent price.
Get it from the same generation of Micra mind you, the one above (preface lift) doesn't have the cut for your tail light.
The speakers fit either though. I bought mine in a dark grey shelf but used my original one as I wanted the interior to match. Just had to cut the holes out.
I have a feeling that rear shelf will be a hard find. But always worth a look. Those speakers look ideal anyway, I don't want to have aftermarket 6x9s on display for thieves to see.

Is it possible to replace the clips on the shelf, or do you reckon I could just stick a rod or something in there for it to clip onto?
I believe that was the album title, which was 'The Fall of Ideals' by All That Remains. The song was probably 'This Calling', seeing as that's always the first song to play when I start the car. When we installed the unit, we originally crossed the red and yellow wires as we thought that's what we needed to get it working. It turns out the aerial needed connecting, but we didn't swap the cables back. I'm going to pull it back out this weekend and sort it as I'm sick of having to turn the demo off and go through setup every time I start the car.

Will also definately be heading to the breakers on Saturday, looking forward to it. Some things I hope to find are:

- Front foglights
- Interior light (one that sits between the sun visors)
- Parcel shelf with OEM speakers
- Cigarette lighter
- If I could find an instrument panel with a tachometer, that would be awesome (and unlikely, and certainly not cheap)
- Not sure if any Micra model comes with a boot light, but I might be able to find something.