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Ryan's Micra Blog

Flushing the heatercore is a fun job, I did mine and it was night-and-day difference how much heat I was getting out of the vents afterwards, to the point I worried about turning it on with the windscreen frosted incase it cracked

Your last post reminded me of this youtube video I watched years back too (youtu.be/f1QL9veQaNg) as a way to test how much heat each can dissipate. The summary is that they're painting intercoolers black in the video, which increased the amount of heat they scrubbed away stationary by quite a bit, but then a video debunking it showed that the extra layer of paint actually made the performance worse while the car was moving, defeating the point since the car is never under boost while idling anyway. But the set-up is a good one for working out performance of any radiator or intercooler using the calculations in the video. If you have a few radiators that fit and you need to work out which one scrubs away the most heat, you could try a similar set-up with a heatgun, a bit of plumbing and a rad fan to simulate wind moving.
Well, I have all of the equipment they used (even a laptop with that very software), except some piping and thermistors. As much as I respect MCM and have watched all of their videos many times, I'm pretty skeptical about the emissivity physics. I'll read into it though as it's something I've never studied before (even after studying thermodynamics last year)

edit: Hmm, I guess I've never considered how materials give off heat, only how it's absorbed (where the difference between matt black and reflective silver makes sense).

editedit: Seems more like the paint is what's responsible for the temperature drop, more so than the colour. From what I've been seeing, emissivity is more about the material on the surface. If that's the case, if any paint has the same ability to emit IR radiation, the colour would only effect the way it absorbs radioactive energy, so I'd go for something light. Too bad they didn't test black and white paint, in and out of sunlight. a video

edit³: Now I know why I was skeptical. The radiator uses air convection to dissapate heat, not radiation. EE's response to MCM: here
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Well, I have all of the equipment they used (even a laptop with that very software), except some piping and thermistors. As much as I respect MCM and have watched all of their videos many times, I'm pretty skeptical about the emissivity physics. I'll read into it though as it's something I've never studied before (even after studying thermodynamics last year)

edit: Hmm, I guess I've never considered how materials give off heat, only how it's absorbed (where the difference between matt black and reflective silver makes sense).
I remember getting really into it at the time, comparing sizes that would fit (it reasons that more capacity is better cooling) but then also if rust mattered, how much a few bent fins mattered, if it was better to get a shiny new one, were certain performance ones better or just marketing, even considered getting a copper one or painting/powdercoating it which was how I found that video. At the time I ideally wanted the answers online but there's only so much clickbaity "does size really matter wink wink haha sex I'm really funny" jokes you can take while searching through the endless discussion pages you find on google before you get tired of that always being the conclusion and think "ahh f*ck it I'll figure it out myself" and off down to B&Q
I finally got the motivation to start work on my mirrors.
I've got extra shifts at work so this is my last day for a while to get some stuff done.
In the end, I decided the easiest option to separate the motors from the casing was to cut the indicator wire. Felt kinda bad breaking something ridiculously rare, but I can re-solder those when I'm done. It looks to me like the outer casing is glued on to the main casing (the casing that the normal power folding mirrors end at).
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I needed to give them a wash as they were dirty drom being on my old car. So I gave them some degreasing dish-soap.

I was unsure if it was worth masking up the black inner parts, then I remembered how much the left mirror is angled at so I went ahead and did it. Obviously the rest of the inner mirror isn't seen so that can get paint all over it for all I care.

Masking up the indicator lenses was difficult. Very difficult. I think there could have been a soap residue left over as they just weren't sticking. The angles and the way there's a dip to the lenses were making it even harder.

So I began sanding. This felt horrible. I'm very sorry for ruining a top-spec chrome set of power folding JDM indicator mirrors. I started with 800-grit but figured 600-grit was better, then went back to 800.

Then I polished them a bit.

And next came the primer. These are a nuisance to paint as you need to do all sides. I figured I could do it in two goes. I only had a little primer left so one coat is all that's going on. These are so smooth as it is, the primer is only really needed for paint adhesion.

Of course it was raining outside.

A little while later, after drying, I painted the fronts. When they were touch-dry, I peeled off the masking as it needed re-... masking.
These look pretty cool!

A little later still I started re-masking the lenses. This time using much smaller bits of tape.

Then, I sanded the primer layer with 2000-grit paper, which made it way smoother. I was planning on polishing these next week after work, but the paint stayed on when I tested some there and then (I'm impatient). So I polished them. Ended up being really smooth. I'm getting a good feeling about these.

And being further impatient I went ahead and started painting KY5 Techno Grey on the backs of them. I don't have a lot of paint left so I'm going to have to be quite smart with the can. These are looking absolutely amazing already. On top of sanding and polishing the primer, I also shook the can to mix it much more, and I noticed that spraying down causes the spray to be inconsistent! That may be why my previous things were patchy!
They look much better in person. After taking this photo I noticed a few bits that needed more.

I'm not so impatient that I carry on now. I'll do the fronts of these on Monday. I can't wait.

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"I'm not so impatient"
I went to check on the paint and I figured the backs were dry enough. I gave them some heat with the garage hair dryer and did a little more...

There's a little bit of damage on the left mirror where it was sitting on the painting station (the box the TV came in years ago). I sanded it all I could but I figured what was done was done. I put them back on the cardboard, this time quite carefully. At least this time they aren't resting on a single point on the mirror casing.
And I got painting. Finished off the can. These. Look. Incredible.
I think I've finally got it. Too bad this happened after painting my spoiler, as that's a huge piece. They look better in person as always.

I can't wait to continue with these.

Then of course I'll need a couple of days spare, with no rain, to execute the mission.
The plan is as follows:
•Doorcards off
•Dashboard off
•Extract electric windows from Cassie & glass (needs cleaning)
•Do a small mod with Cassie's dash (glovebox mesh thing, you'll see)
•Remove old windows and winders from new car
•Install electric windows in new car (could be some extra wiring required, steal components from Cassie gracefully)
•Modify doorcards with parts from Cassie's
•Install mirrors
•Do all wiring at once, make it very very neat and fully soldered
•Replace exterior door handles with the painted ones
•Replace SRS module to suit dash with airbag
•Repair fresh/circulated air cable
•Install Cassie's dash
•Install dash switches with custom lighting from Cassie (also possibly use faceplates from new car as they're not scratched)
•Finish off mixing colours and seeing what looks good.
•If possible: Install footwell lighting and connect rear pocket lighting (looks like I'm going to buy some high quality Chinesium, probably arrive in several weeks time)

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After a long day at work, I just went to check on the mirrors. They look incredible. Only one issue. The paint got a little damaged from it sticking to the box underneath, and both mirrors have some silver showing on the backs. It's pretty annoying but I guess it'll have to be like that for now.
I added lacquer, lots and lots. This time I propped up the mirrors on the box with some packaging air packets, so the backs aren't touching the card.
No photos for tonight, but these are going to look amazing.

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I saw a Mystique yesterday at work. Looks so much better in person, especially this extremely clean example with second-face headlights.

Over the past few days while I've been working lots, I've been adding lacquer to the mirrors and giving them time to dry and cure. They're progressivley looking better and better. I figured the fronts of them were more or less done now, but the backs and even the rear-edges weren't covered well enough at all. So I've flipped them now. Hopefully there isn't the same issue with paint sticking on the fronts as that'll be much more noticeable. I've now got some time off so if the rain would pause for a couple of days, I might get on with the mission.
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I did some more polishing with the doorhandles too. These are looking perfect.

My LCD backlight on my dash has started to fail. It flickers. It's lasted for years, which is pretty good. I don't seem to have any spare white T5s so for now I'll stick in a yellow one, or maybe red.
I've just bought some quality Chinesium T5s that I'm curious to see if they'll fit. Instead of the diode mounted on a plastic base with a resistor inside, these ones are made from one piece of that recycled-looking board (like the T10 blocks I've used), and have three chips mounted on them with resistors surface-mounted. These could potentially make the overall backlighting much better, as I noticed the design doesn't really work with my SMDs when I sprayed the interior chrome. There could, though, be a clearance issue with those diodes mounted on the sides.
These were £0.86 for a pair, so I bought 10.

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The mission was commenced! Before I started, I wanted to see if I had enough of that grille wire from years ago to make a kind of barrier for the glovebox, because things keep flying out of it and getting behind the dash. Didn't really seem to be enough so I gave up on that idea for now.


Doorcard off, glass out, and the new body-coloured outer handle on! Looking awesome!

So, of course this car already has some of the wiring in the door already, as it has central locking. So I figured I'd strip down the door looms from Cassie and only use the wires that I needed. In the end I didn't need many, especially on the left door.

Before taking the steering wheel off, I figured I should probably mark the thread so I can get the wheel back on straight first time in the future.

Comparing the dashes... Wow, the airbag makes it heavy.

A good day, finally, to do some major work!

I realised that since there's already a loom in the door, I need to combine the exsisting one with elements of the new one. So I de-pinned the missing pins from the exsisting plugs, and fed them through.

As for the mirrors, I had a go at a new method of labelling wires, and bunched them all together for a neat install.

A subtle difference in colour between the handles. I'm going for the light colour handles as the dark ones are becoming a dirty looking colour. I'm still using the darker surround though.

Just like last time I didn't really get a lot of pictures as I was too busy in the moment. But here we go, an electric window! I've been keeping silica packets in my doorcards, I've now taped them to the inside of the access panels to keep the inside of the doors from being moist.
I've also swapped the door glass over, because someone for some reason printed the number plate on all 4 side windows and the headlights, so now none of the windows have the plate stamped into them. And I've been missing my NATS eagle. Good to have it back.

Mirrors are done! They look awesome!

After a quick polish, I assembled them. Annoyingly I damaged a few little areas of paint, it seems the chrome was very difficult for the paint to stick to. But it's okay, they're small bits.

I managed to get both mirrors on, but only the left side fully wired in. I ran out of solder! So I'll have to continue tomorrow. I also ran out of electrical tape immediately so I've been using sellotape this day. It's not too bad, I just hope it doesn't have any problems later on.
Also I've been stupid with the length of the wires for the mirrors, I keep adding on extensions and now the switch is too tight, so I'll need to resolder the whole switch probably.

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I hate soldering lol, it's such a 1 time gig to get it to look perfect and the right length and neatly tucked in and whatever and everything after that first attempt is just "it's not fantastic but it'll have to do" and everything after the first 45 minutes is "this is wrong but no way I'm cutting, stripping, splicing, waiting for the iron to warm up and put enough heat into it again"
Day two of the mission. I forgot to say yesterday, I added some of this sheath (can't remember what it's called) to the wires in the door, so none are exposed.

Stupid me went and bought the wrong kind of solder (I had no idea there was such a thing as plumbing solder until today).
It wasn't great to drive the car so disassembled and with bare wires, so when I went to get the correct solder I walked. I got electrical tape too, a very thin one that kind-of shrinks if you put it on freshly hot soldered joints.
While it was raining too much, I went into the garage and started working on the doorcards.

I wanted the top pieces from Cassie, but I remembered that the inner seal strips were not perfect, so I swapped them over. I bent one of them because I didn't see the two rivets holding it on, but I got it more or less straight again.

Quick preview of the door. Looking quite nice.

It's interesting how the newer car has silver screws, and the older has black. Also the plastic clips that hold the doorcard in, the older one has blue clips and the new one has a combination of red and yellow. Similar stuff inside the doors too.

I messed up with the mirror switch by not giving it enough wire, so it couldn't reach where it's supposed to be. So I extended all of the wires coming in from the sides. 10 wires. 20 solder joins. Tedious.

But eventually, the mirrors were in, and fully functional.

Something I've been meaning to add for ages, a connector from an Ikea lamp, soldered in on the car side, but the extra dash backlighting just clips in or out easily. Nice that there's two holes for positive and negative too as there's two pairs of wires from the cluster.

The reinforcing bar added for the passenger airbag. It sucks that the airbag weighs so much as it is, then I had to add this heavy metal beam. It's required though, if that thing detonates I want it to stay where it is.

I noticed the dark dash had a better gauge bracket, so I took it.

I figured I could use the face tabs from the dark switches as I had scratched them on the old set. But I scratched one of them trying to get it off so I only took one.

Dash in! Inside that is. The temperature controls box was being a pain in the ass. I have, however, repaired the broken cables (two now). I tried using sealant to hold it down but it still came off. Turns out, drilling some holes and tying the cables down with a cable tie worked very well!

Doubly stupid me realised that the fusebox was now limiting the length of the wires to the mirror switch. So. Five more extended wires.

Ah, I've missed these custom backlit switches. These are beautifully bright!

It's complicated to fit them in, but I got it done. Except... then I realised. I hadn't fed them through the panel they fit into. So I had to undo this whole thing and redo after feeding the wires in... I'd soldered them in so well, it was hard getting them apart again.

On to the doors, I added the speakers and the high density foam. An extra layer is in the middle where the door goes inwards a little.

And some more foam filled in the mirror hole, to reduce wind noise. Although I think that happened previously because I didn't have the outer seals attached. This time I do, and I picked the best two.

As for the mirror panel, my mirrors didn't come with a blank one, but I prefer the flat black design so once again I've taped in some black foam over the hole.


And then, everything else on! And tada! That looks pretty good! I think the colour combination looks nice. I kindof wanted a dark lower theme, and the upper plastics on the doors were starting to go a dirty-looking colour. The black also shows scratches and scuffs much more. I put the light doorhandles in as the dark ones had gone a funny colour too, but kept the dark surround.

Quite pleased with how it turned out! The horozontal middle part of the dash is actually darker in this theme than the other one.

I started adding the finishing bits. Had to figure out what panels I wanted dark and what ones I wanted light. I changed out that flickering LCD backlight for a yellow one but it just looked orange, I had one spare blue one lying around though so for now that's alright. It's looking so much lighter inside the car now, with this colour change!

The dark glovebox looked crap, but I felt like the light one could be a little better... So I took the handle from the dark one.

Some more dark features...

The storage tray under the wheel is dark. I changed the fusebox cover for the light one.

Lower center panel dark to match the gearstick surround and armrest tray.

And after two solid days, it's done. Everything works and the wiring is so neat compared to before. I'm really really happy with this. I just need to clean all of the interior panels thoroughly and tidy up the mess I've made over these past two days.

I did try wiring in the rear pocket lights, but for some reason the left one doesn't light up (I didn't bother with the right). So I'll have to figure that out some other day.

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To finish off the mission, I've been really needing a clean in here for a while now. Mostly it's just so dusty. So I grabbed the vacuum and got to it. It seems there was so much dust on the seats that it was covering up stains, which are now more visible. Regardless it's much cleaner in here now, I think a good drive with all of the windows down (easy now with electric windows!) will suck the rest of the dust out.

I then went to the local hand-wash again, and just like last time they did great.


However, on the way home, unbelievably, I got broadsided by bird ####. A solid ricochet shot. All the way from the wind deflector to the rear wheel.


I sorted that out immediately before it stuck, and had to hand-dry the side so it wouldn't get water marks (it's just been cleaned, minutes ago!).
Then I went inside to do the final bit of cleaning. I finally ran out of my anti-bacterial wipes that I've been using for years now. So I went and got some at the shop. All I could find was flushable toilet wipes but other than being flushable they looked the same. Plus there's loads of sheets in there, and it was only £1.
I wouldn't reccommend using flushable wipes though. They start to break up when you use them and leave lots of fluff on everything.





Now I really want some SR seats, with a retexture. These are pretty yuck.

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My car keeps getting hot. I've never seen a K11 ever go past halfway on the temperature gauge.
I guess it's because there's very little coolant in there, it's mostly water. But it is topped up. I'll have to look into just how much better coolant is at transferring heat.
It doesn't help when I'm giving it the beans on the backroad.
The needle was almost at the line before I took this photo!

I switched to standard incandescents on the front as the COBs were being annoying and unreliable. Looks like they need a little more time to become more reliable. I picked two of the least burnt bulbs, and they're fairly bright.

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Club Member
Great looking car, i would definitely recommend getting the water out the coolant system and putting in some ready mixed coolant. Dont want to go to all this effort for the engine to have issues that could be prevented 👍🏻
oof that's hot, possibly get a coolant flush done as well, might be a bit of scale buildup in there if you're just using hose water rather than de-ionised/distilled water

easy enough to do especially if it's a little low already, just pop a flush in the radiator, do 50 miles or so, disconnect the bottom hose on the rad and on the engine itself and then refill with decent anti-freeze radiator fluid in time for the colder months. If you use a concentrate i'd dilute it with distilled water and then see if that solves the issue
Excellent advice you two, I'll definitely give the cooling system a look at when I swap the engine (could be in the next month or so. Maybe).
But I'm not really fussed about the engine lifespan as it's coming out and getting replaced.

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