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Ryan's Micra Blog

I am still alive. You might be wondering why I haven't posted anything in around half a year. That's because I went to Finland, and got stuck.
This time, I'm driving my N13 back home, but the world has become a strange sub-apocalypse and driving through Europe is currently unwise, and really expensive (multiple private COVID tests are needed!).
But today, I got some K11 parts.
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Firstly, some seat heater switches. Some with plugs. These can be slotted into any normal-sized blank slot in Nissans of the K11 generation (these could go in an arm rest, for example).
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I also got these first facelift centre panels, with seat heater switches and headlight washer buttons all built in. These two have been on order for a couple of people since last summer, so they'll probably be posted as soon as I come home.
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And finally, some tail lights. They are all first-facelift. I got one for free because there is a crack on the brake/tail part of the lens. These are all LHD lights, so the fog and reverse lamps are switched over. Meaning that you could make your car have either dual rear fogs, or dual reverse lights.
All of the parts I've bought are unique to Scandinavia/Nordic countries (other than the tail lights, but they are not available in the UK), so that's why I've bought them.
On Saturday, I'll be meeting a friend and he'll have something extra special for my K11 way back at home. I'll keep what it is quiet until then, but I'll say one thing; it's something to flex (providing it fits).
I'm now aiming to come home at the end of this month, and I'll be meeting one last K11 owner who will sell me some parts.

Sent from my F8331 using Micra Sports Club mobile app
 
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Okay. I didn't post for a while, I guess I've been busy with other stuff. I am now at home. Images don't seem to be showing on desktop browsers without clicking on them, but they show up fine on the MSC app.
Here is what my friend gave me. I can't tell you how excited I am to fit this, but it'll be a reasonable bit of effort.
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This is a sunroof. It's been removed from a K11, apparently. It seems to be a German dealer option. You can probably see something cool already, it's electrically actuated. No more flinging my arm around in the air looking weird from the car behind, just press a button and it opens.
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You can see here that instead of the black dots, it's tinted. Something I really really really wanted to mod on my existing glass, but now I don't have to! There's my friend holding it up. You can also see that there is a lot more visible glass, with less black borders. Which is awesome!
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There's the motor. This sunroof is the JDM style as far as I can tell. That means it pops out, then moves back over the roof instead of into it. The button looks like it might be back-lit too.
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So, when I got home, I saw my K11. Oh boy, it's looking rough. It's completely covered in moss, cobwebs, dirt and everything else.
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One of my Maxtreks is flat too. And the brakes were quite stuck and rusted.
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That's not all, the Super S seats, which I made heated and got retextured, were mouldy. Great.
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Even the arm rest had mould on it. The pictures don't really show it well. I really shouldn't have closed the vent, that was a mistake.
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Anyway, after killing the mould off, I got my hands on a JDM centre panel which is double-din. And hopefully the same colour as the preface lower panel. I have plans for this, but not a double-din radio.
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The problem is that the ashtray and 12v socket are on opposite sides. I also don't have the ashtray. So I was instead thinking of designing and printing a panel that covers the bottom, and maybe has some integrated stuff.
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I also have this equalizer/amp from the mid '80s. Which will be cool to add.
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I also have a set of late facelift JDM headlights! I didn't like these much in the past, but I have changed my mind. These are incredibly light!
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I cleaned one up with some compound, polish and wax. Compared to the euro second-facelift headlight, it looks amazing. Much bigger main reflector with thicker lines, much nicer shape indicator, which is clear with a separate lens, and an internal sidelight, which is the tradeoff, I guess.
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Another angle.
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And a comparison between how I bought them and after five minutes of work.
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At a later date, I modified the side indicator adaptors, which didn't quite fit. Then they did fit, great success!
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Now they just need some paint, and they'll look great.
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Look who it is!
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I started up my K11 and it instantly fired up. I fully expected the battery to be long gone, as it was already really weak before I left, but it had no problem at all. Also, I depressurised the fuel line, and without even priming it, the engine fired up. It was running a little rough at first, as if the MAF was bad. I guess it just needs to be driven and excersised.
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Now I have the whole gang in one place!
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I pumped up the Maxtrek but it kept going down. I really hope I can fix that hole because I've barely used these tyres.
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To go with the internal sidelights, I've got a new set of these COB bulbs. These are warm white this time, and should work well in a reflector despite being LED based.
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There's one in the headlight, I also got these because they're usually a lot longer than incandescent bulbs, and the stock ones were hardly poking into the reflector, so longer ones would be much better. Can't see them in action yet, but I put two in my other car and they work great so far.
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The colours of the cars are similar, but not the same. The K11 has more of a blue tone whereas the N13 is really desaturated. The N13 colour is "463" and the K11 is "KY5".
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That's all for now. I'm mainly focusing on the N13, but I have some cool mods lined up for the K11, they're just big projects, as well as the sunroof and the CGA3 engine. It's all being logistically and financially challenging. First I must clean the car properly on the outside and put some other tyres on, maybe I'll put my summer wheels on, but they need new tyres.


Sent from my F8331 using Micra Sports Club mobile app
 
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Looks like I set a new record for how close I park my cars together. I probably can't improve on this so I shouldn't try.
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So, I took the Maxtrek off. Thank goodness it's only flat on the bottom. I couldn't see where the air was escaping from, so I'll check again some time. It's odd that it would develop a puncture while I was away, without moving. Very odd. Hopefully there isn't bad creep deformation.
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I decided that I'd put my SRi wheels on for now. I also decided to have another go at swapping the panhard/lateral rod on the rear suspension. I brought a bigger breaker bar from Finland (blew up my N13 alternator so I needed tools). One of the bolts was particularly stiff. My first attempts only seemed to bend my mudflap.
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Evetually I had more luck by removing the wheel first. I realised that this wasn't particularly safe, so after this I put a jackstand under.
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I was able to remove the body-side bolt after a bit of a struggle (it made an impressive sound when it cracked!), but couldn't get the axle-side off. I realised that there is no nut on the back, just a stud bolt going into the axle. It was tough but the nut eventually came off. Must've been full of dirt. I really went heavy on the WD40.
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But with the nut gone, the rod wouldn't come off. It was still really stuck on the stud.
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After a great deal of effort, the rod came away, but left the bushing in place still. Meaning that I effectively had to tear it off by force. The bushing would not move. I ended up removing the rubber by cutting at it with snips and a saw. All that was left was the metal sleeve, thoroughly fused to the stud.
I realised something that would save the day: The new rod didn't actually have the inner sleeve of the new bushing. So, I cleaned up the one on the car as much as I could, and with even more WD40 I slid the new bushings on. It took a long time, because the old rubber was still slightly on the sleeve, and the rod wasn't lining up quite right, but...
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There it was. Finally! I have a Nodspeed adjustable panhard rod. Well, it used to be adjustable. All attempts to un-seize it have resulted in nothing, but this one is a bit shorter than the stock one anyway, I think whoever used to own it adjusted it for lowering springs.
The nut kept turning on the axle side and was just squashing the bushing, so I locked it in place with the spare nut that came with the rod. I'll let that settle after a few drives and check it again.
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This rod will not only move the axle into a more correct position, but it will stiffen the rear suspension laterally. Meaning that in a corner, there is less flex to the left and right. This is just a geometrical attribute as it's tubular. The bushings will help this too as they're some kind of poly bush or something. I expect there is little tradeoff with this as there aren't really lateral bumps while driving.
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I should've measured a before and after, but regardless, the winter wheels won't be catching the right mudflap anymore, and the car should feel better in the corners.
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Sent from my F8331 using Micra Sports Club mobile app
 
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Right then... I have a lot of updates to do. I've still been doing things, but I haven't posted on here.
From this point on, it was all quite a mad rush to get things done before Japfest, while working a new 40-hour job.
So, let's begin. I'll try to remember the details for these photos but these were a while back now.
Here's what appears to be the final version of my new heater controls face. The scale was the same, so that was good.
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I went to the GizFab meet with others. Unfortunately, my K11 wasn't in driving shape, nor was it legal on the roads. So I took my N13. This was the convoy I went with. It was a long but fun journey.
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Jack's preface spotted. AKA Nissan Boy.
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K11 BBW was there, not for the best of reasons, but it was cool to see this in person finally. As well as GizFabs new track car.
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I was told to line up my N13 at the end due to the close relationship with the K10. Next to a genuine March which was cool.
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There were quite a lot of cars there!
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We all lined up into a grid for photos, before rolling out onto the streets as one massive convoy.
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24 K11s. I was hiding in the back, but there was one at the front so it's still 6x4.
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Later in the day, when most had left.
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On the way home, stopped for a pizza. Just friends cars now.
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Sidelights around sunset, best photos.
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Another day. I had these late facelift March headlights. And I wanted to paint them, so, apart they came.
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The lenses for the indicators are actually built into this piece! So I had no choice but to mask them. Annoying.
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Either the plastics are fused, or the entire thing is clear with chrome coated everywhere except the lens.
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I tried using some modelling masking tape, but it was far too fiddly! So I used white labels. I couldn't find the masking tape, but noticed later that it was right next to me.
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Perhaps I replaced the labels with tape, then. I'm trying to remember as I add these photos!
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One last look at the shiny chrome on these before I ruin them.
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Some sanding made the surface rough so that the primer could cover more surface area and have some side-angle strength.
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Primed and ready for action.
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On went the satin black.
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Once dried, they looked good!
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Oh no, it didn't go entirely well though. I had to do some detail repair around the masked area. Also, the underside of the lenses were exposed to paint. So they got a light coating of black! This needed polishing off.
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Later, after some reassembly and final tidying, I had to do some comparison photos.
Here's one of each headlight.
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With the bonnet closed...
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Comparison of indicators:
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Closeup of the Euro headlight:
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With indicator (the camera picked up more light than my eyes did, and more spread. In reality it doesn't look this good):
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With separate sidelight:
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And I've run out of photo space. Part two coming right up!
 

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Huh. Even when uploaded from my laptop, the photos don't show without clicking on them. That really sucks.
Part two.
With the headlight on:
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And now for the Asian headlight.
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With the indicator (this actually looked this good):
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With the internal, main reflector sidelight. These look a bit rubbis during the day (I will have a solution to that some day):
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And finally with the main headlight on. There is some more glare with this without the cap covering the tip of the bulb.
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Both compared with headlights on.
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And with indicators.
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After comparing them, I fitted the other headlamp. Now look at that! That looks really good!
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I really like that!
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Those indicators are substantially better, not just in shape and style, but the lenses actually make them light up much more visibly in any lighting condition.
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Looks odd when they're lit up without the little winglets on the top sides. But these have much larger reflectors and don't have the eyelid diffuser for the sidelight.
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That's neat.
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Anyway. That's enough photos I think.
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I primed the N15 indicator adaptors, ready for some paint.
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Unfortunately, I got a little impatient and tried to speed up the drying proccess with the hair dryer. This made them curl up. I managed to straighten them out a bit, but they were still not right. I painted them anyway, and looked into getting new ones printed.
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I got them on. They looked alright! Other than being curled. But it was nice to have the N15 indicators attached.
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The other side looked better. This was a good preview to what the second set would look like.
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If you don't see the curls, it looks great!
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Of course, I needed a night time shot with the new sidelights. They now had big T10 COBs in them. Supposedly warm white, but one was much less warm. Still, they were bright.
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Another shot, with the outside light off. I had to wait for a while withough moving to get this, or the light would detect me and turn on.
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Back to another project. The dial faces. I printed off version 2 of the K11 faces, as well as my N13 ones. These are very early copies of both, which weren't used in the end.
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The middle layer had to be paper, but for the hidden warning lights, I had to remove material. I thought I could just cut roughly around the shapes. This turned out to be a bad idea.
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I regret this, but it was essential experience.
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The three layers.
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With the bottom and middle layer glued together...
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All three layers glued. This looked alright.
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With a light behind the dial face, the details were lighting up, but not the black areas. Which is good. But the warning symbols looked quite bad.
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I think it was then time to cut out the actual shape.
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Another shot of the light going through the face. Not sure why I took this also.
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With it cut out, it was about time to test it out.
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End of this part!
 
Part three!
This was looking quite good now. At the time, at least.
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One of the things that sucked about this prototype was the warning lights. They were just so messy from how I'd cut them. The design looked good though. But it wasn't lighting up very brightly. It was more like the stock setup, but this was with SMD T10s.
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Revisited at night. The light looks more evenly distributed than during the day, where it was patchy. But not bad in the dark.
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The warning lights looked a bit rough still.
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A slightly darker shot of the backlighting. Nice to see the dials lighting up in white, finally, with no blue filter.
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The heater controls actually looked better than the original. This was two layers, with inkjet varnish on the top paper layer, but I later added another.
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I like my design here, but I may change the corner marker bit to be smaller.
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This was ready to go in.
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I did a test fit, with the existing lighting. It looked great.
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With the knobs fitted, this was going to be great!
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I bought something for the new lighting. This reel is "RGB", that is, individual R G and B 5050 SMDs. Which looked rubbish. And was broken. This image was actually for the seller, when I returned them.
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My next project was to try and fit the new sunroof. I only took these two photos to reference how I wired in the extra interior lighting, but it was cool to see the big heatsink on the main bulb.
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Without too much hassle, the headliner came off.
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There it is! Probably one of the largest parts of the car!
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I noticed a problem. The sunroof surround left a hole exposed. So I needed to get a non-sunroof headliner.
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There's the inside of the roof. I was surprised to see dimple die holes in the back!
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Something I've been meaning to do for a long time. Get rid of the aerial. I never ever listen to the radio, so it's wasted.
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The sunroof was removed! Again, not too difficult.
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There were a lot of screws and brackets. Especially as the rear passenger handles are mounted on extension brackets to clear the sunroof.
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The roof was now empty!
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It was all so fresh in there!
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Here's a comparison between the two sunroofs. The tilt/slide is much longer and heavier.
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Something looked very strange when mounting it, though...
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Hang on a second... the frame of the new sunroof is the same size as just the glass of the old one! This doesn't look good.
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Sure enough, I lined up the glass on the car on one side and... well. It's a lot smaller.
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I decided not to put the old one back on, but use my car cover that the N13 was under while it was stored.
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It then started to rain. The cover looked like it was holding the water... but I did go inside the car, and there were damp seats and a puddle inside the arm rest. So obviously the cover isn't entirely waterproof.
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New backlighting bit arrived. And they were considerably better. So it was time to get creative!
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On went the light strips. Tactical placement to maximise the light in areas that needed it. Annoyingly these strips have huge gaps between lights, and the minimum length is huge. Some cuts were required in the clear diffuser to stop clipping issues.
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And I'm out of photos, next post!
 
Part... four?
I specifically positioned some of the lights to shine on things like the needle bases. I also added foil tape to places to really increase the reflectivity.
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It was rainy and stormy with big gusts of strong wind. So the cover blew off and the open-top car got rained on. I even had the popouts open to help air out the interior after it got a bit moist.
This sucked.
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On the next dry day, I cleaned out the swampy gap where the roof panel curves around the sunroof hole. This was really green.
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I started to think about how I would cover up the aerial holes. Then I had an idea. This is an inner door piece from Cassie.
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I chopped off a piece of it.
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Then, using copious amounts of Miliput, I stuck it in place.
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Because the Miliput is a putty until it hardens, it filled out the holes in the roof too. A bit like a Playdough hair salon kit.
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I went ahead and added the sunroof glass, because it was just starting to rain a little again. I managed to bolt it in loosely when the rain started for real. Luckily I had it popped out for easier installation, and most of the rain doesn't get through the gap. And a lot of it that does, goes into the drain.
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After it dried a bit, I brushed on some paint. And hoped it didn't rain again.
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I had to drill some holes for the LEDs to sit inside with the diffuser for the dials. This plastic was very brittle!
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I got a good look at the board that controls the dials.
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This is the front side. The two motors on the right are the same as the rev counter in my N13. Very primative. The other two are steppers. The LCD just sits against those contacts at the bottom.
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And the back. A couple of huge resistors, and a large capacitor.
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I put some high density foam over the buzzer and taped it down hard, to make it quieter. It seems that it did absolutely nothing, as it's still loud as ever!
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This is the main chip controlling the board. Most of the pins are outputs to the LCD. It would be nice to find out more about it to understand if I could change the mileage or do something unique. Notice that I changed the battery warning bulb to a red one here as the new face doesn't have colour filters.
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Initially I was going to make the LCD backlit by a normal T5 LED in white, and let the rest of it do the RGB thing. But I decided to add a strip behind it instead. I angled the extra diodes towards the rev counter in an attempt to give it some more light.
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After a few versions of the dial face, I was reaching a proper final copy. This middle layer has some thicker lines on the sides to help align the layers, and the entire warning light box areas are cut out.
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Next is a lower mask layer, with thicker lines and details for aligning and giving a partial glow.
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Then the holes in the paper layer are replaced with clear sections.
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A red Sharpie is used to enhance the red features.
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This is looking better than before.
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Here's some strange trivia. The LCD hole in the dash is almost the exact size and shape of the sunroof, just 24 times smaller. I placed the cut out piece on the back of the model K11 G# here.
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Now the top layer was added. This was version 4B.
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That's everything glued.
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That's looking really great now.
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There it is, pretty much a finished product.
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Back outside. I brushed the seal around the sunroof glass with some vinegar. It had gone very green. This cleaned that off quite easily.
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I did, for a moment, consider the possibility of having the electric sunroof in the back. But it clashes with the other one, and there's a big gap between the headliner and the roof panel, which wouldn't really work with the surrounding plastics.
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Time to have a look at my old heater controls backlighting. This is like a little bomb waiting to short out and blow up.
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Wow, look at that. I'm simultaneously proud that I got this complex thing working, but also, what a mess. The card has also browned a bit from heat.
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Out of photo space. This is taking a long time to get through! And I've resorted to ciders now so typing quality may suffer.
 
Part something
While I had the boot panel off, I decided to add rivnuts. Those plastic screws have been annoying for long enough.
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I did this a bit clumsily, but there we go.
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Some new tyres arrived! These are meaty!
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They were made at the beginning of March, 2021, so they're new. They haven't been on a shelf for 2 years, going hard.
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The boot handle needed repainting. First of all, it needed cleaning and evacuating of spider inhabitants. Get out of here!
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I bought this paint stripper. It wasn't really that good.
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Back to the heater backlight. I got fresh card and traced the old design.
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This gave me a nice base to start with.
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There we are, that's looking good.
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Just needed some holes.
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A bit of test fitting showed me where some trimming was needed for a snug fit.
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Now, I covered the card with foil tape.
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This made it incredibly reflective.
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Now, using toilet roll card, I made some guides and glued them in place.
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Onto these parts I added the light strips. Because of the huge gaps between lights, I had to kind of pleat them. Notice that there are two loops in the middle one. Thats because the outer lights are permanent red/blue colours, but the inner (knob backlight and text) bits are coloured.
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It was at times a bit fiddly.
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Because of the winter wheels, I needed to clean up the bit where they rub at full steering lock. A bit of sandpaper took away the small amount of surface rust...
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Then the old underseal covered up the exposed metal.
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It was time to remove the NS-2 tyres.
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I was lazy so I put steelies on the back and left the front on jacks.
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Obligatory "tyres in the boot" photo. One last look at the tiny little 155/55/14 fellas.
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More parts for other projects arrived. This is a Floating Ground Adaptor for my equaliser, which is from the mid-80's so I had to do some adapting. This came all the way from the rootin' tootin' US, so shipping was brutal. I opened it up to discover that it was basically just some capacitors and maybe some linking of ground wires.
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The tyres took some time, so the car stayed like this for a bit. Notice the mirrors and deflectors are also missing.
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The paint stripper worked better on the mirrors. I bought a scraper to help get the paint off faster.
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Eventually the paint was coming off. With copious scraping.
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I had to chop the mirror wires, so I taped them inside the door so that they wouldn't recede into the door.
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To keep the holes in the doors from getting rain in, I put these cloths over them (and later taped them down).
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Finally, the NS-2Rs were on.
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On they go! These are also directional like the previous ones.
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Oh yeah. Those are meaty. The car does sit higher now of course. But it's worth it.
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and I'm out of photos, next post coming up now!
 
Part 5? 6? I dunno now.
These tyres fill in the arches a lot more than the others, while leaving room for the suspension to travel fully. Look at the tread going onto the shoulder!
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Oh man. These are meaty. I think my motorcycle has more tread than these do.
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Looks good at the back too. I guess the NodSpeed rod has helped align the wheels a bit better.
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I scraped off the glue from the wind deflectors, because they were looking terrible and one of them was sagging.
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Some foam-based double sided tape held it in place better than before.
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That's better. I did go over some imperfections with a pen. Now they look great again!
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With a lot of scraping, most of the paint came off of the mirrors.
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Finally, my RGB wiring arrived. I accidentally didn't pay for the item so that delayed things.
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This was single-core wire. Meaning that it would stay in the shape it was left in. So I could do some precision work!
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I decided to turn the RGB wall adaptor into a garage 12V tester, like I have in the car. I gave the contacts a test after adding the wires. Looks like we have colour!
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Red Green and Blue all on together.
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Some adjustments were made, but things looked like they were going very well so far.
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A quick test of the colour strips on the heater controls too.
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Looks bright against the original face!
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Actually, with the new one, it looks great too.
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Why not test the main dial face too? This looks great!
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Wires were added next. Including diodes to control the red and blue lights with the coloured ones.
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There we go! We have red and blue. And these will share brightness etc with the coloured ones. And flash with them, and stuff.
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A K10 next to my N13 at work.
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I had to cut out the LCD hole, because the acetate in the top layer was slightly opaque, which was making the LCD blur. I tried to cut neat, failed, then tried to cut a rectangle instead. This didn't go amazingly, so I will 3D print a bezel to cover that up.
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The heater controls backlight was installed.
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Some modification and repair was required. But now it's in!
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There we go! Totally custom, one-off dial faces. They look fantastic!
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That looks fantastic!
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I'm extremely pleased with how this went.
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Event the warning lights look great! I did notice however at night, some of them have a shape glowing from the light box around them.
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Notice how the red and blue stay that colour, but the knob and the text "heat" are whatever colour I want.
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I also fixed the backlight in the corner marker button. Now it's nice and bright.
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It's looking fantastic!
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It's looking great. And I can choose pretty much any colour I want. Or have it flash or blend between colours.
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out of photo space
 
That dash and heater controls are seriously impressive!!! To think I was onto something when swapping the bulbs out with LEDs 🤣
Very very nice work 👍
Thanks slj_2003. I thought the same when I chucked in some Chinese LEDs back in 2014. I guess I keep making it look better each time. Maybe one day I'll look back at the current setup and think it was terrible.
 
Did I say tomorrow I would add more? On Monday?
Whoops!
Well, here's some more. This is now all taken on a donor iPhone, which is really new so the image quality is pretty nice.
Here are the mirrors, with most of the paint scraped off. It turns out that bleach reacts with chrome. The main ingredient in bleach is sodium hypochlorite, leave chrome bathed in it for a while and you get... well, I only have an AS level in chemistry (half an A-Level).
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It was now time to clean the car. Finally. I had to put the mirror bases back on the doors to plug the holes. You probably can't tell in the photos, but these mirror bases aren't plastic. They are heavy metal. Like cast iron or something.
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I soaked the mirrors first with a couple of bottles of bleach, the rest was water. Then I did four bottles. In the end I put 8 bottles of bleach and almost no water. These of course had to be disposed of correctly.
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So after all of this time, I cleaned the car exterior. With soap! Because I was about to polish and wax from the bottom up.
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I even cleaned the engine bay a bit, even though this was not due to be on display at JapFest because it was a mess.
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That's much better. That's how my car is supposed to look.
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I also dried it off to avoid water spots, I used hose tap water after all.
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Now, even though the wash and dry took a little time, the real work began. I went over the entire car with compound polish. In case you don't know, compound polish is more rough than regular. So, in sandpaper terms, the grit rating is lower.
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Being thicker stuff, it was a bit of a workout. But that should have tidied up the paint, as well as the lights.
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Now it was time to do it all again, with regular polish! This time, I used T-Cut Metallic. You might notice that I didn't apply any below the bumper/door strips. This is just to keep the cloth cleaner and avoid scraping in bits. It also saves a little time.
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It took a while to get off, so in the last few areas it was quite dry by the time I buffed it. Which was satisfying.
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As you can see, I started to get tired of buffing. I'm gonna have thick arms after this.
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But it was worth it. I hadn't even applied a wax layer yet, and look at how shiny it became!
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I think at this point I had put some wax onto the car and buffed that off too. Or at least on the next photo. Now, the car is looking like it belongs in a show.
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Later on, I investigated the situation with those expensive COB bulbs. They are supposed to be warm white. One is kind-of, but more yellow-y tinted. The other is more like cool white. Regardless, they weren't the same.
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I (as you can probably guess) have a small drawer literally overflowing with T10s. So I compared one with one of the COB T10s. The brightness difference was surprisingly small! I put another incandescent one in on the other side and... it was a kind of "regular" brightness. It seems that a couple of my incandescent T10s are actually substantially brighter than the rest. I need to find more of those, then!
I put them in the headlights, now they're even, and still relatively bright.
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Again, I waited for the driveway light to turn off.
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And one with the lights inside the garage off. Look at those happy eyes.
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The bleach bath seemed to actually degrade the tape holding the extra covers for the mirrors on. So I was able to pull them apart. Including the lights. These got cleaned up, and dried off.
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They still worked! Much later, when everything was back on the car, I noticed that one of the individual LEDs was dead on the left mirror. That sucks so much.
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I strengthened up the bolts in the boot handle with some Miliput backing. I made sure to remove the bolts while it was drying, since they need to be able to move sideways a little to align it up when fitting.
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I had an idea about my gauge needles. They are hard to spot because they have no opaque surface on the backs. So looking at them, you mostly see the black gauge face behind them. So I applied some foil tape.
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Here's a comparison, with and without the foil behind it. It's much easier to see them with the foil.
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So, I applied the foil to all four of them. This wasn't so neat, I might do this again.
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I think they are much easier to see now, during daylight at least. I guess at night the needle will cover up the markers it goes over, which should make it a little more obvious.
For some reason the gauge face is crinkling a little. It didn't look this severe IRL, but it was showing a little. Maybe the heat makes it bend like this.
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I eventually grew impatient enough (and low on time) to remove the mirrors and start prepping them. The black material is the reacted chemical between the chrome and part of the bleach.
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I've run out of photos. Hopefully this time they show on PC browsers.
 
Hey, looks like they're showing now, instead of just a link saying "view attachement #".
Continuing.
I sanded off most of the reacted surface. Some of it just sanded off to reveal a fresh layer of chrome underneath though. Well, this is what I had to work with now.
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Look at how much thicker the mirrors are with these external covers on them! You can really see it with the indicators removed.
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From another angle...
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Now. How was I to paint these without having a painted surface on the painting station itself? This was a problem last time. Well, these jackstands weren't particularly shiny. They were about to get a fresh coat of paint.
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On went the plastic primer. I had to do a lot of coats of this to minimise the bumpyness from the remaining chrome. And the poor job of the boot handle, which was scratched and had bits of old paint in the corners still.
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It looked alright though!
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The car needed some run-time, because the battery was really struggling. Also, the left fog lamp is trapping moisture.
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I had a go at fixing something that has really been bothering me. The fresh air slider wouldn't go all the way to the right, ever since someone (not me) came over and prodded somewhere around the interior fan. It turns out, the cable had bent somehow, where the screwdriver is pointed. I did my best to bend it back. This was also causing the slider to go stiff on the left side, as the cable was colliding with part of the box and damaging it. It still slid back into the wrong position after moving it to the left, so I just left it on the right (fresh air). Maybe if it's left like that for a while, it'll creep back into shape. It's not very often I close the air anyway.
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Now, I suspected a tiny hole in my exhaust where the resonator was removed. I bought this exhaust bandage. It wasn't cheap.
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Somewhere in those welds is where I was somewhat sure a tiny hole was hiding.
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On went the bandage but... it was only long enough to cover one side!
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Well, hopefully that did it.
(I don't think it did. I think the leak is in the joint there.)
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I tidied up some wires as that was a problem last time. I got creative here and used three cable ties in what I called "Cable Tie Oregami".
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Eventually it was time for some colours. I had a think, and decided to change up the colour scheme a bit from last time.
Last time, the mirrors were entirely body colour, but the inner parts around the mirror glass were black (using tape to mask). This time I dedided to paint the main mirror piece black. So when assembled, the inner part, and an area around the base, would be black.
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On went the black paint, thick. This is not normal paint, which I later discovered made things difficult.
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The base coat was looking good on these too.
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I also decided to put the new indicator adaptors there, despite already painting them with the touch-up paint.
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Now it was time to finish putting the interior back together. The front interior light, made from a boot light, was glued back in place. This time, a little more central!
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I also finally got around to putting the new rear bracket in for the arm rest.
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That looks much better! It's still a bit bendy, so the arm rest still moves a bit. But it's much more secure. And it's good to have a little flex in case it gets hit when getting in/out of the rear, or sliding across the front seats (necessary when parked 1mm from a wall, just how I like it).
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I wasn't going to add my equaliser before Japfest, but I figured I'd give it a go anyway. This is how I wanted it to mount.
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To install the equaliser, I had to remove the radio and do some wiring. I also had to cut out the bar under the radio, so now it's a big double-din hole.
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Here's how I wanted it to mount in the car. I wanted the lights to be visible, so a little gap under the radio was needed. Otherwise the bezel would cover it up.
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This is how I attached them. With copious amounts of Gorilla tape.
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You know what? It worked. These were stuck together solid. For the time being, at least.
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Here's what I wanted to do with the rest of the gap. I bought this plastic and trimmed it down. It still needed trimming at this point. I also wanted to add a couple of switches in the empty space on the right. One being for my existing brake light lock, the other for a future project.
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When I wired everything in, it worked! After fiddling with a connection issue on the parcel shelf. I was surprised! And everything lit up nice!
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It actually looked really good and sounded great too!
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There was a painting problem, though! The "hard" paint reacted badly with the lacquer! I had to sand this all off, which left the surface lumpy!
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Luckily, the other parts were responding normally to the lacquer.
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I've run out of photo room.
 
So I repainted the black parts. This time, with thick coats to try and hide the new lumpyness.
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I tried to drill the holes for the plastic panel, where the switches would go. But suddenly, critical mission failure!
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For some reason the text is locked to bold now. I can't turn it off.
With the mirror paint basically done, I glued in the lights. This went alright, but some of the glue went onto the fresh paint and ate into it! Luckily nothing too bad.
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The covers were then glued on too.
Why can I only type in bold now!?
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Soon enough, they were wired in and bolted on. Look at that!
From a distance.
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Some touch-up paint was required where the glue had damaged the paint. But overall, these aren't too bad! Considering the time limit.
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This is what I meant by the inner bit being black around the glass.
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While I had the touch-up paint handy, I tidied up the big scratches in the bumper. Yes, I painted after waxing. Real stupid hours.
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I wanted to tidy up some of the black bits too. So I took the paint from my model K11. First, the black bit of the mirrors. I hadn't quite covered the area where the cover starts, becuase I didn't think it'd reach that far. This paint covered it up really well.
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I also painted the three bolt things on the popouts, as they were all missing paint. Once these dried, it looked much better. Some other areas were painted too, inside and out.
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Some last minute modifications were made before the MOT the next day after work... It needed to pass because JapFest was the following morning!
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While jacked up, the rears looked quite tightly fitted...
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It was MOT time the next day, after work...
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One of the rear fogs blew while it was there! I watched it go out.
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The result of the MOT was... not great.
The rear right wheel was sticking. The handbrake cable on that side was stuck.
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Just before going to sleep, I got creative with the black paint. These metal rear speaker grilles needed repainting, and I thought that a light coat of paint by hand would be just what they needed.
The end result was so bad that there are no photos of it.
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Next up... JapFest. And my car was getting there somehow.
 
Japfest, 2021.
My car was not road legal. But it needed to get there.
We had a plan.
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This is an A-Frame. Which attaches to the body/suspension of my car, and to a separate K11 via the tow bar.
This means that my car is, in these photos, a trailer.
Coincidentally, this trailer is also my K11.
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We had to figure out a wiring issue with the trailer lights, but it was pulling along well.
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This made me nervous.
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I met some new friends on this adventure. The trailer had made it so far, about 1/5th of the journey.
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Sadly Eddie didn't come. But there's a space for him there at the front.
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Anyway. The trailer was fine for the whole journey! We got there and unhitched it. Once the A-Frame was removed, it was no longer a trailer, and was once again my K11.
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To be honest, the amount of K11s that turned up was a bit disappointing. It was about the same as JAE, maybe less.
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But still, there were K11s there. I hadn't seen most of these in person before.
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This one is nice. Other than that plate. And look, there's famous YouTuber AdamC filming his next good yet cringey video.
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I have some more photos which I'll add after this, using a different camera.
It was time to head home! My car transformed back into a trailer.
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Someone was particularly aroused by the beauty of my car/trailer!
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I did get a little nervous of the journey again.
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A quick stop to check that things were okay. I found out that the preface had an electrical problem leading to tail light failure and half-brightness brake lights. Which we fixed.
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The trailer was fine for the rest of the journey. Sometimes it pushed against the car in roundabouts and while braking, but otherwise it was a good trailer.
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One final check to see that things were alright, and to say goodbye to the preface. We were nearly at home!
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For some reason my sidelights look blue here.
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And that was it. JapFest was great, I saw so many cool cars there. It was a lot of fun getting my car there in the end, and I met some cool people.
The next post will be some more photos I took with a separate camera.
 
These photos were taken with my 1998 Sony Mavica digital camera. This is a period-correct camera that records to 3.5" diskette.
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You might notice that I fitted the new side indicator adaptors while I was there. They look so much better. You can't even see them with this camera, ideal.
 
Now I'm keeping on top of things!
Today I investigated the rear fog failure. I spent ages trying to take the lens off, it turns out with how I've mounted it, it's basically impossible. But then I decided to try switching to backup rear indicators (so the fogs are used) and it lit up. So the bulb is fine. I followed the wires, and found where in the wire the failure has happened. I just need to figure it out some time, maybe tomorrow. Might be a diode failure, they are tiny after all.
Anyway, I also wanted to make the rear speaker grilles better. So I took them off.
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I tried to understand how the piece is fitted together, to remove the black fabric in the grille. This, I guess, is to prevent moisture or even water drops from going on the cone. Sadly there was a casualty and the fabric was destroyed. Well, on the plus side, the usual plastic ones don't have this fabric. And now I can see the speaker better. There are some ugly lines, but I think I can make them less visible.
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Onto the painting station they go.
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Did I prep them? Take off the attempted paint job? Clean them at least? Nah, send it and spray it. These look good! The one on the left has some bits where the holes are filled up, I think from my stupid paint attempt from before. I poked out some of them with a tiny screwdriver, but I'm going to see how they look when it dries.
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I noticed that the holes weren't getting filled in, so I put more paint on, quite thick. I had to make sure to spray from every angle, so the inner bits of the holes got even coverage. I guess I'll see how these look tomorrow!
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You know what? They turned out great! Well, the one on the right did, but the other wasn't terrible. Maybe I can clean it up some time. For now though, they look better than they did, with scratches on the existing paint. These are preface metal grilles don't forget, most people seem not to know they exist!
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You can really see the speakers now, it looks cool.
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Now I really need to find a double-folding rear bench, with no headrests and ideally not split-seat (but not quite as fussed as the preface ones are straight patterned anyway) and get it retextured like my front seats.
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I got some help replacing the seized handbrake cable, which is great because I'd have no idea how to do it.
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The old one was so stiff that it remained in the shape it was in while attached!
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Suddenly there were a few of us!
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Yesterday, a well-known K11 graced me with its presence in person for the first time. What a cool car!
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I do dig the styling of this.
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Today, I tried again to make the panel in my radio area, with some new plastic that I hopefully won't destory this time around. I made a template so I could cut it out and do minimal trimming.
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I'll leave extra space for trimming anyway though, so I can fit it well. I think I'll move the equaliser a little to the left too, so it's lined up with the radio on the left. I'll also cut the material more smartly so if I do break it again, I will have enough extra material to try again, possibly twice.
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I moved on to replacing the horrible parcel shelf plug. This time I have a much more simple spade plug. I had to go and do something so when I came back it was dark. I decided to extend some of the wires also as they were a bit short and it meant that the plug didn't stay tucked neatly.
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Luckily I have a very elaborate torch behind my K11.
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That's better! I did notice that the connection to the left speaker was a little inconsistent, probably in the plug. I'll investigate that another time, maybe tomorrow.
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Anyway, that's much neater. 6 pin plug of course because I added the light into the bottom of the parcel shelf, and wanted it to be easy to disconnect.
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I noticed something really annoying. The adventure to Silverstone left more scratches than I knew. The inside of the rear window is totally covered in what appears to be quite deep scratches.
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As well as scuffs on both sides of the boot near the glass, which I already saw.
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Craig

Unofficial Member (Gold)
Club Member
These photos were taken with my 1998 Sony Mavica digital camera. This is a period-correct camera that records to 3.5" diskette.
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You might notice that I fitted the new side indicator adaptors while I was there. They look so much better. You can't even see them with this camera, ideal.

Haha, I dig this, takes me back to early MSC days when all the photos were tiny and grainy
 
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