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Ryan's Micra Blog

Been so busy with life.
At the end of next week I'll be finishing off the engine swap. It's managed to go to London and back twice though.
Then, once it's working fully, I'll clean it, and fix a whole heap of tiny broken things everywhere.
For now, my rear wiper blade detached, I couldn't find an old spare 16", so I put my previous 18" front left wiper on.
Actually I really like this. Will use 18" in the future.
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It tucks under the spoiler perfectly. Now I can see more.
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My AC backlight has gone faulty! Now I have to remake this backlight.
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Action photo of me hauling ass into uni, you can see the nose raised under acceleration.
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This was, however, the last action shot for a while! Something went terribly wrong.
After some somewhat excited driving, suddenly I lost the ability to change gear. I had to push the car to a suitable location. It was early morning hours by then.
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Had a little walk to see if anything was on the road instead of on the car.
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I called for some help, and whacked out the beacon.
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I've been keeping tow rope and a beacon in my car this whole time I've had half of an engine.
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Help arrived!
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So let's both tow a car for the first time ever.
I still had the engine in neutral so I kept it running for brake and steering pressures.
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Hazards off (to indicate) and beacon on, away we went.
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Chucked on my front foggies to better see the rope without shining light at Eddie.
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That was actually really easy. The rope tightened quite a bit on both ends so un-knotting was probably the most difficult part.
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A couple of days later, a brand new Luk clutch appeared from another K11 fella.
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Time to start pulling stuff off to get this done.
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Guess what? This brace wasn't even fully done up at the back. And that mount/anti-vibration thing on the front wasn't even attached to the engine at all. Nice.
We had to stop there though as we didn't have a 17mm spanner.
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The next day we continued, 3 of us this time. Some more of the car was taken apart.
Guess what else was loose? The starter wasn't even bolted in at all.
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Old clutch out. Failure detected!
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I got the new clutch in, but spent the rest of the day trying to get the gearbox on. We just couldn't. We had to give up!
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Now I've got work all weekend, so I'm actually staying at Eddie's as it's near work.
I'm car-less for the first time in a long long time! This sucks!

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So, back at my home, after a few nights over at Eddies.
My brake disks are now looking like coral reefs, but they'll be fine once the wheels are on. I really really need to replace the pads on the right anyway (but the piston gets jammed).
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Out comes the gearbox. This time on the creeper trolley.
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I tried and tried, but couldn't get it on before night. I had to reassemble the clutch as it had kept going out of alignment.
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The next day (or whenever it was), I got it so close! So I called Eddie over once more.
I didn't get many photos, but. We got it on! What a horrible job it is, getting a gearbox on, when the engine is in the car. We only had one jack at this point and it wasn't even the big one. I absolutely could not have done it on my own.
The next step was to get the starter motor on, fix a coolant leak near the back of the engine, then just reassemble everything.
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I got tired of being up close with my left front foglight, so I took it off and emptied loooooads of water out from it.
With my garage hair dryer, I took off the glass.
It seems that the glass is the only part of the entire construction that is in good shape.
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The bulb was somehow in at an angle, so at the top, and around the hole, it had burnt, and even melted a little.
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At the bottom, as I knew, the whole bottom was black, and the wire things had curled up and fallen off. There are even black spots around.
The bulb itself was okay, but the plug on both the bulb side and car side were totally burnt out.
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The next day, with a little help from Eddie one last time (until 3-4pm), I fixed things and assembled things. I found that the alternator was loose! So I tightened that. Also, the exhaust manifold was loose. In fact, one of the studs/nuts was completely missing. So I tightened them all down and replaced the missing one. Sadly the exhaust blow is still happening, though hopefully quieter (probably not).
The coolant had been leaking from a metal pipe that appears to come from the water pump, which feeds a bunch of pipes near the front. This was in the way when removing/replacing the gearbox and had been pulled out. I replaced the foglight with a blanking piece from Cassie's bumper.
It turned out that my 27mm socket was missing. So I had to hand-tighten the driveshaft nuts for now. Being on splines and having nowhere to go, I wasn't concerned I'd lose the shafts. But I did put pins in the ends, and the wheel centrecaps in case the nuts free themselves. I've been told that it's bad for the wheel bearings, but I'll be tightening them tonight as my socket has been recovered.
So... the car was finally reassembled.
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And it started, drove, and changed gears. Actually, it starts up most of the time currently. The starter motor solenoid seems to get stuck. Probably gotten bad from it not being attached for a month or so.
The power steering is intermittent, especially when cold. It also grinds when at about half lock in either direction. So something's off with the power steering.
There is a slight whirring sound when the clutch isn't being pressed in. Initially I thought it sounded like the release bearing, but now I'm thinking it's more gearbox internal. I know I never completely filled it up with oil, and it does make cool whirry sounds in 1st and to a degree in 2nd gear.
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Today, I did a few more things. I forgot to attach this front mount/vibration thing, so I did so. I accidentally snapped the plug for the front O2 sensor, but whatever. I also tightened down some bits including my ghetto coilpack holder studs.
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I also changed the wheel nuts on the rear wheels so that they now have the correct taper angle, and are fitted right. I removed the rear right wheel spacer too. The wheel still pokes out a bit more than the left one, but at least now it's not rubbing on bumps. Unfortunately the tyre has gotten a little shredded from that. It won't happen now, but I may need to try a different tyre before the upcoming MOT.
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Finally, proper wheel nuts and centrecaps. The car is at record levels of filthy, so some time, I'll buy a bucket and sponge and really give it a good proper clean.
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I'm so glad it's done. Even though my car still isn't fully assembled, it's driveable once again. When the exhaust (front and back) is repaired, the oil leak stopped, and the coilpack setup is tidied up, I can focus on smaller things and clean it. We're getting there, just slowly.
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These damn cars. I love them. If only I wasn't so busy at work and uni all the time.
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Update: Shafts are tightened down. I checked the fluid level for the power steering. It's way below minimum. So I'll buy some Gear oil and some ATF some time soon. Maybe we just hadn't burped out all of the air in the PAS when we filled it last.
 
Update 2: The gearbox certainly sounds rough at high speed. I'll try adding some more oil, but I may well need to look for a new one. Luckily a facelift 1.0 gearbox is pretty cheap and quite easily found.

One thing I kept forgetting to add: I removed a plug from the gearbox which is rumoured to be the "5th gear sensor". It's the one near the gear linkage. It's not on any wiring diagram, and I found that the reverse sensor is on the side of the gearbox. The rumour is that in 5th gear, the ECU deliberately adjusts the fuel ratio to limit power and fuel consumption. I didn't notice any effect tonight on the motorway, but that plug must be there for something. For now I'll leave it disconnected.
 
I got some ATF for the power steering, and some gearbox oil.
Power steering feels much lighter now, and consistent. Sound has gone.
I topped up the gearbox (not sure how much is in there now), doesn't seem much different but may be slightly quieter. Seems like the gearbox may need replacing. Not now though, after the trouble of getting it on.
I also added some engine oil as it was low.
Dirty car.
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I just noticed, looking at my 1:24 model March, that the rear arches seem to be lower than the front ones.
Is that the case?

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So, in the last week my gearbox was sounding seriously rough. It was whining in all gears, as much as it sounded pretty cool, it was also making a few other noises which didn't sound good. There was a undescribably rough sound when decellerating, and the gearbox itself was whirring when it was spinning. Soon, it became very difficult to get into reverse gear. I had more luck shifting into reverse with the engine off and starting it then.
But in the last day, after a fairly long drive, it became almost impossible to change to reverse or even first. The gearstick did't seem to be in the right place, and gear shifts were nasty. It even started to clunk and shudder while driving.
The next day, I decided to drive to a friend's garage... But...
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I reversed off of my driveway, and it clunked hard. Now it would only barely select reverse, and would lock up hard when the clutch was in. It wouldn't select any other gear. Gearbox oil began dripping out.
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I managed to move it forwards a little bit but this was as far as it could go. I couldn't push the car, the wheels locked up. Even with the clutch pressed, it was locked. Notice the spots of gear oil on the road.
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I had no choice, barely on the side of the road with hazard lights on, but to disconnect the drive shaft from the hub to allow the differential to spin and the wheels turn.
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Luckily after disconnecting just one side it rolled. I wrapped the shaft spline with electrical tape as it had to sit in the wheel and it was scratching it. Notice the unusual hole in the centre of the wheel.
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Someone came and got the car, I was still going to the garage. A donor car had just arrived there and a good CG10 gearbox was waiting for me for just £30.
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So then, let's get this done...
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Some time passed. It was the next day. Technically. It didn't feel like it. Is it Thursday now? I don't know, the gearbox change took so many hours I lost track of the day/night cycle.
Again had big troubles getting the gearbox mounted on this engine. It seemed that part of the trouble was the new clutch. It was a bit damaged at the centre hole. We ended up using a used clutch that wasn't damaged, but it's not got loads of material left on it, which is a shame.
Anyway, it was done. I was filthy, and had several cuts (one from a crowbar slipping and hitting my forehead)(and one from the cross-brace landing on my cheek).
It seems that the bolt that holds the rear gearbox mount and linkage together was too thin. With the proper bolt in place it feels a bit different, in a good way. I'm still using the nylon gearbox mount but vibrations seem stronger yet smoother. Feels a bit like riding a high-revving motorbike.
There was a power steering leak, but I think it was just a loose pipe, I think I've stopped it now.
The rear gearbox mount bracket seemed to be bent too. So I used the one from the donor car.
I finally tightened down the front strut brace. It's been totally loose since the CG13 swap. Not sure if it's a placebo effect but the steering feels different. Also in a good way.
Had to do a coolant change as the radiator was making the swap difficult.
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Today, after getting home, I removed some unused brackets, to tidy up the engine bay. And lose weight of course. Yes, one of the bolts snapped.
I also connected the speed sensor as I was apparently going at 0mph all day and the mileage hasn't changed. I've still left the "5th gear sensor" unplugged.
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There was a little leak. It's coolant. Seemed to stop after the engine was off for 5 minutes though. It seems to be coming from around the water pump. I know that's exactly where the PAS leak was coming from but I'm cerain that was ATF and this is coolant.
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I've adjusted the clutch cable as this clutch disk has much less material.
It's so nice to drive now. Changing gear feels great. Could be partly to do with having the right bolt holding the mount together. The new gearbox is in great shape. I think it's from about 2000. There's still a million things to do, mainly finding and stopping the engine oil leak, and putting a proper cam cover on (along with my old CGA3 camshafts!). As long as it's done before Japfest in May.
I've found some front foglights for just £10! It's great to be in this club and communicate with other people, what a steal. I'm looking at buying some yellow bulbs for them, to see what it's like. They're like £3 so it's not hugely important if they suck.

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'and the gearbox itself was whirring when it was spinning. Soon, it became very difficult to get into reverse gear. I had more luck shifting into reverse with the engine off and starting it then.'

I have had the above issue for the last 3 years! but mine didn't get any worse tho luckily.

Glad yours is back up and running!
 
'and the gearbox itself was whirring when it was spinning. Soon, it became very difficult to get into reverse gear. I had more luck shifting into reverse with the engine off and starting it then.'

I have had the above issue for the last 3 years! but mine didn't get any worse tho luckily.

Glad yours is back up and running!
It may be worth storing a gearbox and being prepared for in case it happens! They're cheap!
Make sure you've got enough oil in there too.
 
Just had a weird thing happen. I put the key in the ignition barrel, popped the bonnet to fiddle with some stuff, closed it and went back to the door only to find that the car had locked itself!
I've seen some unusual locking behaviour lately, usually when reconnecting the battery, so it's very likely this is related to my battery going bad.
I tried to unlock the door with many spare keys to K11s I don't even have anymore, but the locks on this new car are all in really good shape and wouldn't budge.
One of my last attempts at getting in was trying the Cabrio key, and luckily, that one worked.
Looks like I'll have to be more careful until I change the battery.
Interestingly enough, it had lost a reasonable bit of coolant, and despite getting up to operating temperature and staying there (in a normal time too), the interior heater wouldn't get hot.
So I filled up the radiator with water and immediately the air became hot.
So I guess I need to locate and stop that coolant leak sooner than I hoped.

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Today I decided to have a go at replacing my keyfob. I was considering swapping out the rubber buttons, but there's no need. It's actually really easy to reprogram the fobs. I'll write up how to do it at the end of this post.
Seems that every battery in the old fobs I have were all flat. While I wasn't at home, I just took the existing battery from the old one and used that.
Look at how much nicer that is now! And it feels so much better to press.
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I also chucked in a new MAF sensor, as it had been unplugged for ages. This one is once again a cheap remake (from the UK suprisingly, not Corona-spec), so if it goes bad like the last one did, I've got a few spares lying around, it's just that they're ~20 years old. Also they're still on throttle bodies, with the original hollow 5-point torx screws. For some bloody reason. It's nice to not have an engine management light on anymore. And it does feel like it's got more pull than it did.
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When I got home I looked into why the dimmer switch backlight was going bad. Seems to be in the spade connectors at the back. They were very wobbly. I tightened down the spades so that they're on solidly, but it's still a bit flickery. For now at least it's staying on more frequently.
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Then, I grabbed all of the keys I could (ones with remote fobs that is). I eventually found the spare key for my car too. So in total, 4 keyfobs, 2 with keyblades, and just one with the correct immobiliser chip.
I gave them all new batteries as they were all bad, and the one I was using was starting to lose its range a bit.
And after a little programming, I've got 4 remote lock keys. And more excitingly, my main key has some nice fresh buttons.
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Now, onto reprogramming the keyfobs (since I don't see a post dedicated to it currently).

This will work on early & late second facelift K11s (2000-2003) with the integrated keyblade/fob, and will likely work on all other K11s fitted with stock remote central locking. This is also likely to work on other Nissan vehicles of the era.


First, I recommend replacing the battery. These keyfobs take the very common CR2032 battery, with a lifetime of ~10 years or more.
They can be split from the keyblade, and opened using another key, or better yet a flat screwdriver.

First, you need to put the remote locking unit into its programming mode. Insert a key into the ignition, and turn the ignition from OFF to ON, 6 times, within 10 seconds. You can remove the key from the ignition after this.
The unit will now enter programming mode, and will signal this with two flashes of the indicators.
It will stay in programming mode until the ignition is set to ON, 120 seconds pass, or if four fobs are programmed.
It will flash twice if it exits programming mode, or flash three times if 4 keys are added (also exiting programming mode).

To add a key, hold the UNLOCK button on the key, press the LOCK button 3 times, then release the UNLOCK button. The car will flash the indicators once for every key added. If the key isn't detected, it's likely that the battery is too weak (or even the buttons are too worn).
Bear in mind, it seems as if any keyfobs that were previously linked will no longer be linked to the car. So make sure that every key you intend to remotely lock/unlock the car is with you and you add them to the system during this time.

Remember that only 4 keyfobs can be linked.

If you intend to get an entirely new key, you'll need to program the remote fob, you'll need the keyblade cut, and you'll need a chip programmed to disable the immobiliser.

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Forgot to add, the window wash reservoir cap was rattling and making noise, for now I've slightly popped it off on one side.
Next morning, engine management light returns. I've cleared it again but it's either the cheap MAF sensor, or because of the massive exhaust blow out of cylinder 1.
 
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So then! It turns out the engine management light was for a different reason.
I can never get the fault code when it's showing, the app always says "no codes stored on ECU0". But it seems that I can get it to show pending (unverified) faults sometimes. So after resetting the warning, I left it for a little bit and requested any pending faults.
And there it was:
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Park/Neutral Position (PNP) Switch.
So obviously that's because the "5th gear sensor" is unplugged. This of course makes me feel like the rumour isn't true about the ECU leaning the fuel ratio in 5th gear. However, it may still be the case, if so, I'd be interested in finding out how the switch works. Perhaps I could trigger the "is plugged in" but not trigger the "is 5th gear".
To be honest though, I'm thinking it's just a myth. I think it's two wires, so the only way two signals could travel through that layout would be a variable resistance/voltage, kinda like how the airbags are tested.
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Apparently there's another lean-out mode, based on the speed. So if I could find which wire reports the car speed to the ECU and break it, I could see some interesting results at high speeds. Or, everything will go wrong and the warning light will come on again.

Also, I've always wondered why the ECU reports the throttle to only go between something like 8% and 87%. Could this be calibrated properly and allow the ECU to deliver more power?

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Foglights arrived. As I saw in the photo, they weren't very clear. The discolouration was actually a weird swirl of dirt on the inside of the glass.
They came with bulbs! Which is good, because I wouldn't want to use the crappy one from my original set.
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Later, I found some time while waiting behind someone at a jetwash. He had a Sprinter and got 15 minutes on it, but he'd parked the van there before going inside for a ticket for the machine. Really bad jetwash etiquette.
Anyway, I put a normal SMD T3 in the AC button as the big bright one had failed. It was like a traditional LED but huge, and a rough stained plastic.
This standard one really doesn't work well here though. Even without having the cap on the switch, it's barely lit. I guess I'll have to try a different type then.
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I copied Eddie (for once that way around), and replaced the red T3 in the rear demister with a white one. Wow, that looks better.
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Home, and you can just about see the AC button lit up if you cover it up. Actually the camera picks it up more than your eyes would.
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But the rear demister warning looks amazing. Look at how bright that is!
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I cracked out the soldering iron and fixed a few things. First of all, I chopped off the melted foglight connector and put the one remaining spare on. For some reason it wouldn't solder together well, both the existing wire and the new plug wire were dark. But, it worked.
I then wired in the left corner light, as the wire got chopped in the last engine swap. Actually this time I tidied the wire up a bit using some of those sticky wire clip things.
I then made a whole new set of wires for the horns, which were both totally broken. It didn't work at first, but it turns out the horn fuse was blown. Probably pressed it with the dangling wire grounding on the alternator or something.
Oh, and I have washed the car a bit. Of course that wasn't nearly enough, but it's looking better. First time this year...
I noticed (I think you can see in the photo below still) that the coilpack for cylinder 3 was way too high up. The temporary bodge seems to be failing, which is resulting in unreliable sparks on #3 and oil coming out of the gaps around the stud. This may be fixed next week.
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I took the glass off of the new foglights. It was really difficult, it took much much longer compared to the existing lamp I had. Speaking of which, these ones are genuine Nissan ones. At the bottom of the glass it says "Nissan" and "Hella". Where as on my old ones there was just some part code there. Also, these ones still have fully functioning adjuster wheels, and even the metal tabs where the bolt screws into were in better shape. These also have some angled rubber tubes coming off of the vent holes. So it seems my original set was bootleg and definitely not worth what I paid for them.
I was only meant to pull apart the left one to replace it, but after spending so long taking it apart, I realised I had separated the right one.
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After cleaning the glasses, I polished and waxed the outside. I was going to wax the inside but thought maybe that wouldn't go too well with the heat these generate.
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Getting them back on was tricky. When I thought I had softened the glue and stuck it back on, the glass would just fall out again. The glass actually weighs more than the entire rest of the unit.
In the end I decided to get the hot glue gun and glue them closed using that. Seems to have worked.
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Back on the car. Now with proper bolts too. They look great. By some factor the cleanest part of the car right now. I've once again angled them as low as possible since foglights are meant to be aimed low, and I don't want them to be too bright to have on occasionally.
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For some reason the camera didn't pick these up anything like how they actually looked. First of all they've got a warm-white, golden colour. Secondly they reflect in quite a weird way, lighting up a slight halo around the outside edge and not actually looking bright at all until you look at a lower angle.
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A look at the two new lights in darkness. Again the AC light doesn't really look this bright.
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And with backlights. I think something's wrong with the camera on this phone.
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After a quick drive, it seems as if the hot glue was enough to hold the glass on. So I've actually achieved a bit today.

I also plugged in the neutral sensor (AKA "5th gear sensor"), because I don't feel like it works as rumoured. And I don't want to see the EML.
And after a drive, and testing the foglights, I feel like these ones are much much brighter. The reflectors were definitely a much shinier chrome. They really light up the ground in front of the car well.
Forgot to say, they both had some silver paint on the glass. Seems like someone tried to do some paint repair on the car as it was on a silver K11. Well, one that had been hit so hard from behind that it was more of a K7 than a K11, poor thing.

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I had 20 minutes after getting home to do something before heading off again, so I swapped the SMD T3 for a classic incandescent T3.
Again it looks much brighter than it is in the photo. It's barely noticeable, and I knew I'd leave them switched on.
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Much better, this is how the switch looks like normally anyway. Much more turquiose/teal now. Also stone-age incandescent gets quite warm! And has such a slow on/off.
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Big chunky bulbs are in the post.

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