Rally prep for my Micra ... are coilovers a good choice over stock?

So I've made it my goal to prep my car for a rallystage before I go to university in August as all of my modifications have been in aid of a rally-style car due mainly to my love of rallying. Minus a rollcage which would simply be just a pain for a car being used as a daily driver, I have everything planned for the car such as underbody protection including a sump shield and fuel tank guard, racing harnesses and bucket seats, a hi-flow cat, induction kit, engine killswitches, fire extinguishers etc ... however my big concern is the suspension which, on a backroad stage with a lot of bumps, hills and uneven ground, is extremely important.

I am already looking at a set of coilovers ( http://www.fk-shop.de/en/Suspension-Tuning/Coilovers/Coilover-Highsport-Nissan-Micra-Typ-K12-01-2003.html ) however im not sure if these would be a help or a hinderance to the build. What sort of force would be required in order to compress the springs enough before the car hit the ground and would this value be higher or lower than it would be with this set of coilovers? The car itself weighs just under one metric ton (1000 kg) and plus a driver and co-driver would be just shy of 1200 kg, so I've got my calculator and notepad on standby to do some maths ;) thanks
Well the short answer is they're no good
Longer more helpful answer is. Most if not nearly all coilovers that are available (aside custom made) are made for the track, ie smooth surfaces, gradual gradients etc. If you take note of a wrc car you'll notice they never touch the floor and appear to float on a cushion of air. That's all down to the valving in the shock which is so so different to normal 'jack down' road types we get. That's important to note as after repeated small sharp bumps, because rebound is stronger, they end up pulling themselves upwards. Constant pushing on a softer compression side soon soaks up shock travel

The closest you'll get are tarmac rally setups (essentially fast road/softened up track coilovers eg BC). Which are still too stiff for forest rally.
It really depends where you plan on taking your car for said rally? Tarmac, gravel or forest?

You will need a cage as part of the minimum requirement and your door bars can be bolt in as far as I'm aware, so you can unplug em for daily use and pop em in for rally
Last edited:
Its the Isle of Man Druidale rally stage (
) which is literally just behind my house which ive driven down numerous times. I was planning on recruiting the next brother down from me as a co-driver (that reminds me, i still need to ask him about that ;) ) and basically just floor it through the stage with a full rally setup to see what kind of preparation you'd need, get a good build experience, learn how a rallycar should be built and just have some fun :)

The stage is all tarmac with some small amounts of gravel here and there (literally 10 or 20 metres drive through gravel in total) however the road is exceptionally winding and sharp as well as bumpy. Its relatively capable to drive the car as is down the stage, but i can see places where if the bumps were taken with more speed then the car would scrape on the bump and then jump on the rebound. So you recommend BC coilovers? Which model would you say is the one I'm looking for, and i assume the coilovers are adjustable so would settings just depend on the current ride height of the car?
So to summarise your stage. 95% tarmac 5% gravel
Tarmac is bumpy and is tight?

If its mainly tarmac you'd get away with a light track setup. Or "fast road"
Properly setup you shouldn't scrape nor jump.
I'll watch that video to get a better understanding of your stage.

Then I'll try find out some ready made coilovers
Very bumpy at parts and quite small roads too.

Okay, and awesome, thanks very much :)

Ive already built a sump shield which i just need to paint so it doesnt rust and then fit to the bottom of the car with some bolt nuts welded onto the chassis and a couple brackets and im looking at doing something similar for the fuel tank to protect it too. Would it be worth taking this opportunity before fitting a shield onto the fuel tank to look at uprating the fuel pump, or would that all be secondary? The power is stock with only an induction kit, new spark plugs and a de-cat exhaust with hi-flow backbox and muffler (with the possibility of a small turbocharger being fitted should i find myself with a lot of extra time), so would this all equate to a better fuel pump, injectors and a new clutch or not?
It will do but not now. If it aint broke don't fix it and all that :)
But if you go for turbo you'll need those another day.
Don't get attached to your guards. They dont last long :p
Hmm ... very true. Fingers crossed i'll only need cable ties, as i have plenty from B&Q.

And having been just quoted some £500 for a disassembled ecu for a turbo from Megasquirt, im now listing very heavily back towards the idea of getting an engine transplant. There's a 1.2 sat just up the road in the front of an old Micra K12 that might just do the job with the combination of some ultimate road camshafts from Pipercams and some custom porting and polishing ..... apparently swapping out cams on a VVT engine is a pain though. I reckon an engine swap might cost £500 total; £400 if i can get the engine for a good price and £300 if i just steal it :p the turbo will be looking at about a £700 project :eek:


Glorified Electrician
I'd stick a 1.4 engine in personally :) should be enough knocking about scrappy's by now :)
Its not event rallying, this is literally picking a weekend and then going through every stage on the island consecutively. However id like to prep it to full fia rules just to see what would be required to do a build a rally car. But if someone feels like paying entry fees ill gladly drive it :p