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Sam's 2nd Project - Rosie the K11

Hey all 👋 it's been a while!

I did promise to make a return on here once I finally got a new Micra, and I'm happy to say that time has finally come 😁

Introducing Rosie!

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You'd be forgiven for thinking this photo was just another pic of my previous Micra, Kylie. That's because they are literally the exact same spec and colour! It confuses me as well 🤣

Rosie is a 2001 1.0 S in Ocean Blue Metallic Z01. She has just under 50,000 miles on the clock and the body is super solid with very very little rust. I remember saying that Kylie was almost rust-free when she ended up failing the MOT atrociously on the sills, but it's true this time, I promise! 😅 The MOT has 8 months left and the history is good. The interior is super tidy with only a couple of scratches and scuffs. The exterior has a few more dings and dents than my old one but I mainly bought this car because of the shell being in such good nick, especially when good ones are becoming harder to find by the day.

Mechanically, the car is tip top for the most part but it does need some work.
Firstly, the offside driveshaft clicks when turning and pulling away. I'm 99.9% certain it's the outer CV joint giving up, so this will be replaced as soon as possible. When driving straight it is totally silent; it only presents itself when turning sharp corners or roundabouts under about 25mph.
Secondly, there is a check engine light, the cause of which I was not sure of before, but as I got the car back to my uni, it started losing power and bogging down at the lights, and finally as I pulled into the street to park, it died entirely. This is more than likely the infamous throttle body soldering issue, however I'm yet to diagnose it. Again, I'll break that open and have a look soon. I did not have a problem with it on the drive back to my house, though.
Lastly, there are just a couple of blown bulbs to replace and a small crack in the coolant expansion tank to take care of.
Otherwise, the engine and gearbox are perfect! Besides the throttle issue it runs like an absolute dream. The gear changes feel solid and the engine pulls strong throughout the rev range. Temps were perfect on the journey home too!

All in all, the work that needs to be done should not be very time-consuming nor expensive, so I'm super happy with it! It's the perfect basis for a project that I can really sink my teeth into and gain valuable experience. And all for the very attractive price of £690 😁 The market for K11's has gone mad recently, not helped by the current situation in the world, so I was very lucky to get this one while I could!

I picked the car up yesterday, 13/03/2022. My mate kindly gave me a lift to see it and we drove it back shortly afterwards back to my uni's student parking street where it was kept for the night.

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After my day at uni was done I then drove it back home.
My mate in his EJ9 Civic wanted a quick photo with it, so of course I had to do it 😂

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Rosie was then parked on my drive where she'll stay for around a month and a bit. The déjà-vu is super strong here!

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The car is gonna stay here while it is repaired. It'll also allow me to tinker on it when I'm back home for the odd weekend. In the meantime I'll potter around in my mum's Clio and get myself insured on Rosie once my first year at uni is over in mid-May. It really could not come sooner, I can't wait!

As for the name Rosie, it's the name the previous owner's kids called it, and when I drove off he shouted "Bye Rosie!", so I couldn't possibly have the heart to change it! I was actually going to name it Kendall as I see her as Kylie's older sister (even though Kylie wasn't actually named after Kylie Jenner lol)... but I do like the name Rosie, so it immediately stuck! 😊

So yeah! As usual, I'll update this thread with the little bits I do on the car. Kylie will always be in my heart, but I'll make sure Rosie is that much better!

Stay tuned! 😎
 
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OP
OP
slj_2003
Rosie's slowly been getting the TLC she needs over the last couple of weekends, and as it stands the car is very nearly ready to get back on the road! A few more tiny issues presented themselves as I was working on the car but they are all sorted now. Here is what I've been doing!

The first mod I did was, of course, getting my March tail lights on the car. I was debating selling them when I scrapped Kylie, but I'm so glad I didn't. I just think they totally transform the rear and make it look a thousand times tidier!

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The shift boot and wipers from the old car were fitted too:

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The CD changer also needed a bit of fettling. The previous owner couldn't demonstrate it to me but swore it worked, so I was sure it was just a loose electrical connection or something. I took the headunit out and relocated a poor ground to a better piece of metal. After prodding around with a few buttons on the controller the CD changer finally came to life! It now works a treat and I've already burned a few CDs to play in the car. What do you mean it's 2022? It's 2001 in my mind baby! 🤣

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It also gave me a chance to finally flex a bit and use my signed Inhaler CD that I bought nearly a year ago. If you haven't heard of Inhaler before, this is your sign to listen to them, they're bloody good!

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After these quick little improvements, I turned to the two main issues I needed to tackle...

First was the cracked coolant expansion tank (which had quickly turned into a coolant expansion tank with a hole in it):

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The battery was removed and the old unit reluctantly came out after a bit of persuasion (hence the bigger hole lol):

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I believe the technical term for this is... f*cked 🤣

The new unit was purchased from eBay for around £17:

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The intake pipe was taken off for an easier installation, and then the battery was reconnected to finish off the job. I may or may not have left the intake pipe off to get a bit more induction noise ;)

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Looking good!

Now it was time to focus on the check engine light...

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I previously thought it was the widely-known solder joint issue, and my friend who had the same issue on his 1st facelift Micra agreed, however after a bit of research I realised that 2nd facelift Micras have a different design of throttle body without a PCB and therefore my car does not have these solders. This meant that, assuming it was actually the throttle body at fault, it must be one of the sensors attached to it, so I immediately suspected a faulty MAF sensor. I did a quick OBD scan and thankfully my suspicion was confirmed:

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I ordered a new MAF sensor from eBay for around £24:

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Of course, it wouldn't be a repair by yours truly if there wasn't a small oversight 😅 When going to fit the sensor, I realised the bolts had a weird pattern. At first I thought it was a standard Torx, but a closer look revealed that it was a 5-pointed Torx:

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Huh?! I had literally never seen this pattern in my life, and I was a bit annoyed that I had to spend even more money on new screwdriver bits, but it is what it is. This car is very quickly becoming another money pit! :rolleyes:

The new screwdriver bits were £8.99 from Amazon, and luckily they were next-day delivery with Prime so I didn't have to wait too long:

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The screw ended up being a T25 5-point Torx:

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The airbox was taken off to give me a bit more room to work, and the bolts were then removed. A flat screwdriver was used to pry the old sensor out from its hole:

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The new sensor was fitted and everything was replaced before starting the car up again. Another OBD scan revealed no codes, and the check engine light was gone too! Success!

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The car was warmed up and taken for a short drive up and down the alley, and the engine did not hesitate at all. It suffered no loss of power and idles smoothly once again. Job well done! (y)

As of now, the only thing left to do before the car is 100% fixed is the CV joint. I'll be ordering a new one very soon and hopefully I can get it fitted in the next couple of weeks. For now though, Rosie is still doing what she does best... taking up valuable driveway space 😅

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Stay tuned! 😎
 
OP
OP
slj_2003
It's been a super productive week , and I can finally say the car is back on the road!

The one thing keeping it driveway-bound was the driver's side CV joint, which was changed out yesterday. After watching a number of walkthroughs on YouTube, I felt relatively confident in tackling it myself. My neighbour very kindly offered to help me, and I'm glad I accepted his offer because this repair turned into a bit of a headache!

Firstly, the car was jacked up off the ground, and the wheel and driveshaft nut were then removed. Next up came the ball joint nut, which for some reason had a big chunk missing, so getting a spanner onto it was a very difficult task. Even after soaking it in WD40, we almost rounded it trying to get it off, but luckily we were able to remove it. The ball joint was popped out and the driveshaft was removed from the hub.

After removing the boot and clips, we had to take a hammer to the CV joint to knock it off the driveshaft. In an ideal world, 3-4 strikes should be enough, but of course, that would just be too easy! This joint seemed to have welded itself to the shaft. No amount of hammering could get it off, and with light quickly fading, my neighbour took the no-nonsense route of cutting the f*cker off with an angle grinder I can't knock it, because it worked a treat, but it just goes to show that 20+ year old cars can always throw obstacles at you!

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The sheer array of tools we used just shows how much this bloody thing was fighting us...

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The new CV joint was then generously packed with grease and hammered onto the shaft. Everything was then done up in the reverse order, and the wheel was put back on. I then went for a test drive down the alley and the noise was totally gone! It was such a relief not hearing that horrid clicking when turning the wheel. We found that the old joint was locking in certain spots, and when we cut it open the balls were super rusty, which was obviously the cause of the clicking. It is all sorted now though, and I was finally able to get insured on it last night! I went out on the roads to wear in the joint and it's still working absolutely perfect!

Now that was all done, today my task was to swap my tyres onto some new 14 inch alloy wheels that I bought from Facebook marketplace a couple of weeks ago. Until now they had been taking up valuable space in my uni flat in Oxford I've been itching to get them on the car ever since I got them and today was the perfect day to do it!

I went over to my local Kwik-Fit and they charged me £80 in labour to swap the tyres and re-balance the wheels, which I thought was quite reasonable. Say what you like about Kwik-Fit but they did a good job for me!

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I was smiling like a little kid in a sweet shop when the first wheel went on

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The final result...

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I'm absolutely in love with them!!!

They are 14 x 6J with an ET38 offset, so ultimately they poke out about 15mm more than the OEM steelies. The standard 165/60R14 Avon ZT7 tyres fit perfectly on there with no stretch. The centre bore was 67.1, so I used some spigot rings to reduce it to the standard 59.1 to fit the car properly. I can't feel a difference at all, which is a good thing! I have no idea what wheels they actually are because there is no brand anywhere to be seen. I want to say they are some kind of Team Dynamics reps? No clue... but I got all 4 for £80 so they were a total steal either way!

I cannot stop looking at these wheels, I think they just totally transform the look of the car! I think the next thing on the list has to be red brake calipers now that you can see them! It also desperately needs lowering, but that's a project for the future!
 
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OP
OP
slj_2003
This past month has been pretty hectic... uni exams, moving back home and a bit of driving around the country!

During my uni exams, not much was happening with the car (as you'd probably expect lol), but I drove it every now and then to both clear my mind during a bit of a stressful period and avoid just letting the car sit for weeks on end.

Here's a rather nice photo I got after posting a TikTok that went slightly viral 🤣

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Once I was finally done with exams, I took Rosie on a long motorway drive down to Plymouth to visit a mate. Around 330 miles there and back cruising at 80 (along with a bit of B-road bashing!) and the car did not miss a beat. Temps were perfect and fuel consumption was actually decent! Despite being sat at about 4000rpm for most of the journey, the car only used a smidge over one full tank, and if I drove like my mother I could have definitely done it in one go. I'd say that's pretty good going!

Here's a snap of the bay I got with my 35mm film camera!

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The next day, I drove it up to Leicestershire to compete in the HRDC event at Mallory Park with my race team, OUMF. Having the opportunity to be part of a proper race team is absolutely crazy and I love every second of it!

Here are some more pics from my camera of that weekend!

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I also slept in the back of the car before the event, which was surprisingly comfortable! It was warm and not as cramped as I thought it would be. I'm 5'7" and could fit in the back whilst laying diagonally with my legs bent slightly. I can see it becoming uncomfortable for more than one night, but it definitely saved the hassle of pitching a tent!

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I put just over 500 miles on Rosie in one weekend, and she was as tight as a drum!

I then loaded most of my things up from my flat in Oxford ready to go back home. I'm sure you all know this already but the K11 Micra is basically the TARDIS. How on earth I managed to squeeze my bike in there and still have room for myself I will never know 🤣

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Once I was back home, I could finally start working on the car once again. I decided to breathe some new life into the bumpers, because the grey trim was grating on me more and more every day! The headlights were unscrewed and popped out, and then the front bumper was unscrewed and removed:

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Much like I did with Kylie, my old Micra, I used 3 coats of Halfords black bumper paint to do the main part of the bumper. However this time, I painted the corner trims blue instead of black. I also painted the tow hook red:

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I think the difference is night and day! The black corner trims looked good, but having them body colour just looks so much smarter. The red tow hook really ties it all together as well! 👌

The same thing was done with the rear bumper:

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So much better! I want to paint the sills blue next, and also either paint the door trims blue or simply take them off (currently undecided).

Finally, I reinstalled my old metal shift knob and Bluetooth headunit.

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Sadly, that does mean the iconic CD changer is out if commission for a bit, but I'm going to try and get it working with the stereo. I have an idea for how to go about it... not sure if it'll work but it's worth a go, right? 😅

I'm focusing on just tidying up the car for the time being. Rosie deserves some loving TLC before I really start going crazy with modding her. I have some big plans for the future, but those plans will require money... and as a uni student fresh out of first year, that's something I do not have at the moment!!! 🤣

So for now it's all about cleaning Rosie up and making her look a million bucks! Stay tuned... 😎
 
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