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The £80 Micra

So I recently made an account on this even though I've been looking at the MSC for quite a few months now.

I bought my first car in June 2016 for £80, yes £80! Its a 2002 Micra 1.0 S at 60000 miles.

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Updated my blog, got rid of a lotta sh** to make the whole thing a bit more concise. The original version of this post is July 2017 but it is now June 2019 and I am updating.

Owned the car since June 2016 so its been 3 years. Here's what I have done so far:

Performance:
1. 1.4 Inlet Cam
- Made a HUGE difference to the power. Gear 3 felt like gear 2, so much more torque, well worth doing mod. I stuck with just the
inlet, as putting the exhaust cam in as well pushes the powerband way too high for my liking. So I reverted back to the stock exhaust cam. For
reference, stock 1.0 cams are 196 deg, 5.56mm, 1.4 cams are 222deg, 7.46mm.
2. GA16 Airbox and CAI Routed to Front Grille - Made the throttle slightly more responsive and a slightly nicer deeper note.

Interior:
1. Painted Quite a Bit Black
2. Blue Interior Lights
3. Rev Counter Instrument Cluster
- gotta know what rpm I'm doing dude.
4. Full Sound System - Pioneer 4-Way Door Speakers, Standard Speakers In Parcel Shelf, A Pillar Tweeters. It already had a nice Sony Xplod headunit.

Exterior:
1. 35mm Lowering Springs
- One of the best beginners handling mods; a must have mod, it reduces body roll so much and of course is slightly
pleasing to look at a lowered car. A before and after is below.
2. White Sidelights, Headlights and Registration Lights
3. Black Headlight Inserts
- Joey Mod
4. Wheel Spacers - Fat ones at the back along with 185/55/14's. Really wanted aggressive stance, so I went and got it. Extended studs were required.
5. Painted Brake Calipers and Drums Blue - don't really know why since the trims cover them up anyway, but I'm sure blue calipers give 5hp!
6. Sprayed tyre shine on all grey exterior plastic trim, makes it look like new, although has to be done roughly once a month. Works well on black trim as well e.g side mirrors, tailgate handle, scuttle panel.
7. Chrome Surround Rear Registration Plate - Removed this eventually.
8. Retro Style Center Caps - Removed these eventually and put the standard Nissan wheel trims back on.

I am keeping the exterior pretty standard apart from these subtle mods.

Here's some photos.

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Before and after the 35mm springs - looks a heck of a lot more smarter now, like the stock height of most modern cars. Expect the springs to settle within a couple of weeks, especially the back.

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Then there was the whole double crash episode.

So I crashed in Dec 2016, within 6 months of having the car. It wasn't reaaallly my fault, wasn't speeding etc although I should've been more cautious to brake in time for the idiot that pulled out on me. Airbag popped and both seatbelts locked up so new seatbelts and steering wheel and airbag ECU module were required, on top of the body damage. Car was running ace though!

Then two years later in Sept 2018, someone hit and run my car while it was parked. At least the airbag didn't deploy this time. Car was running ace yet again! I love this car too much to get rid of it, so this time I bought a donor Micra for £190 in the same colour as a cheaper alternative for parts. I am currently breaking this to make back some of the money I lost in repairing my Micra, although I am actually currently on a profit!

First:

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Second:

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Its safe to say my family were not happy with how the driveway was looking!
 
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I have updated my blog, got rid of a lotta sh** to make the whole thing a bit more concise, as I am getting it a bit more serious now and want to turn this into a project. I have wanted to do a project for so long but I haven't for fear of things going wrong and it being expensive, but I am just biting the bullet and going for it. I know I'll regret it if I don't, and a Micra is the perfect car to do a project on.

1. Engine - I have decided to go down the CGA3 route; the CG10 just isn't cutting it for me. I have a tidy CGA3 sourced, only 40,000 miles on it, serviced annually, and one old lady driver. MOT history is flawless. Her kind husband is the one who is removing it for me. I am retaining the original CG10 clutch, gearbox and flywheel for the shorter ratio, plus CG10 flywheels are lighter than CGA3 flywheels.

2. ECU - CG10 ECU will be replaced with CGA3 ECU - the CG10 ECU will run the CGA3 but I'd rather do things properly. I'll stick with having one key to start the car and one to open/close the doors, as I can't be bothered changing all the locks.

3. Cams - I have sourced a high-lift inlet cam (250deg, 9mm); putting the 1.4 inlet cam into the 1.0 was too good, and so I want to replicate this sort of thing with the CGA3.

4. Injectors - I am putting QG15 injectors in.

5. Induction - The GA16 airbox and CAI routed to front grille from my existing setup will also be moved over.

6. Mintex M144 Pads - Seems silly and dangerous not to do this given the above, plus Micra brakes are terrible unless you're an expert at using them, i.e using brakes effectively on a car that has no ABS.

The end goal is 0-60 in just under 7 sec. I am cautious on how the CG10 gearbox and clutch will cope with this, so I will need to look into this. Apparently the CG10 clutch and gearbox are fine up to 100bhp?, so I will be cutting it close.

I aim to sell all my old and existing parts - CG10 bare block, ancillaries off the CGA3, CG10 ECU, CG10 injectors. I probably won't make a profit from this, like I did with the second crash lol, but the idea is to minimise the blow to the bank account. Also, the donor Micra that featured earlier in my blog still has its CG10 engine and gearbox, which are for sale if anyone wants, plus a lot of other parts from it are still for sale!

Do not fear, I will eventually get some proper management from Mark to run this more reliably. This will probably be the final step in getting under the 7 sec goal. Will update my blog over the next few weeks to keep track of progress. Any questions on anything I am doing or how I did something, just give me a shout as I love everything car related!

Ooh and one last thing; if anyone has a lightened flywheel for sale, do give me a shout please.

Thanks for reading!
 
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I know how it is to work hard on something and then have it damaged in an accident/hit and run because someone selfishly wants to drive drunk or on the phone or whatever, good to see that you've been able to keep it going though
 
on your mention of the 1.4 inlet cam, are you going to be keeping hold of it? it'd be a great addition to my 1.0 which I plan on replacing with intent of track use.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Micra Sports Club mobile app
Hi,

I have a spare 1.4 inlet (which I used in my CG10) which I have already agreed to sell to someone on this forum, sorry!

In regards to the 1.4 inlet that will be coming out of the CGA3 to put the higher lift one in, my plan was to keep hold of it for a few days after the swap is done, until I am sure I'm happy with the higher lift one. If I am, then I can sell it to you.

Hope that helps.
 
Hi,

I have a spare 1.4 inlet (which I used in my CG10) which I have already agreed to sell to someone on this forum, sorry!

In regards to the 1.4 inlet that will be coming out of the CGA3 to put the higher lift one in, my plan was to keep hold of it for a few days after the swap is done, until I am sure I'm happy with the higher lift one. If I am, then I can sell it to you.

Hope that helps.
ah there's always someone there first! well if you're satisfied with the new one, I'm only a pm away. cheers!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Micra Sports Club mobile app
 
As planned, the CGA3 is in! My original clutch was knackered but the engine I bought luckily came with a relatively brand new clutch, so this was used. The lighter CG10 flywheel was used. The car is now quite a bit quicker and this new engine is so smooth compared to my old one! The gear changes are also fluid due to the new clutch. Feels like a completely new car!

1. Fueling - The QG15 injectors were a straight fit onto the CGA3 fuel rail as expected. Overall, in terms of fuel economy, I haven't really felt significant change but maybe 30 miles less on a tank.

2. ECU - ECU hasn't been changed yet, but the CG10 ECU does seem to be doing a good job, but I'm not really knowledgeable enough to know what pointers there are to suggest a bad map. I probably will change the ECU after I come back from holiday though, just because I already have a CGA3 ECU and people on here have said the CGA3 ECU is better, so it makes sense to change it.

3. Cams - The high lift inlet cam has arrived but not yet fitted, will also get around to this after my holiday.

4. Induction - The GA16 airbox from my existing set up was moved over but I have ditched the 'ram air' intake routed to front grill, and just put the standard Primera air pipe back on. I just think 'ram air' isn't realistically going to do much unless your going more than 200mph.

I am really happy with the massive gain in performance, and just can't wait to get all the rest of the things done - ECU, Exhaust, Cams, Brakes, Flywheel etc. Although my CG10 was a mighty engine and will be missed dearly, I do kind of wish I put a CGA3 in 3 years ago when I first got the car. I ended up selling the CG10 on so hopefully it will live on to power another Micra or Mini etc.

Here's a pic of the engine as I bought it. It is quite easy to lift if you have two people, and can be lifted by one strong person so maybe around 80kg total weight. It went straight in my boot. The engine bay looks exactly the same as before, except for some red injectors hehe.

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A little update:

1. ECU - The CGA3 ECU is in! In all honesty, I can’t notice any difference from before to after though.

ECU Guide
To swap the ECU:
- it’s just a simple plug and play
- you also have to change the key reader (the black box that goes around the ignition barrel)
- you also have to take the chip from the key coded to the new ECU and swap this chip into your existing key (so you can use your existing key with the new ECU, without having any NATS related immobiliser issues)
- to remove the chip from a key, you just pull out the blue bit (pry it with a screwdriver)
- using this above method, you get to use the original key to open and start the car

2. Brakes - New Mintex pads and discs are in. Went for standard Mintex pads rather than the performance M1144 ones. The reason my brakes were so bad was because they were severely worn, so I wrongfully blamed all Micras for having bad brakes. The new pads and discs are really good and more than capable, so I don’t really have a need to put M1144 pads in.

NEXT STEPS:

1. Cams
- Still need to fit the high-lift inlet camshaft in!

2. Lightened Flywheel - I have a spare CG10 flywheel and have someone who can lighten it, but I'm just weary of the whole idea that these flywheels can't be lightened much due to having to maintain the 'crank trigger pickup sensors'. I just don't want to pay so much to get it lightened, only to be told that weight has gone from 6kg to 5.5kg. The guy seems confident in that he normally can get flywheels to 50% the original weight, but I think it may be different in this case.

3. Exhaust Manifold - Find a second hand Janspeed 4-2-1 exhaust manifold as I don’t fancy paying for a new one. But they’re so rare, so I’ll probably be waiting a while.

It’s very slowly but surely starting to come together. Just wish second hand performance parts were more readily available; it’s so frustrating to see so many Peugeot/VW and other makes 4-2-1 manifolds for £60-£80 on eBay and none for Micras!
 
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LiamC

I've ruined my car 🙁
A little update:

1. The CGA3 ECU is in! In all honesty, I can’t notice any difference from before to after though.

To swap the ECU:
- it’s just a simple plug and play
- you also have to change the key reader (the black box that goes around the ignition barrel)
- you also have to take the chip from the key coded to the new ECU and swap this chip into your existing key (so you can use your existing key with the new ECU, without having any NATS related immobiliser issues).
- to remove the chip from a key, you just pull out the blue bit (pry it with a screwdriver)

2. New Mintex pads and discs are in. Went for standard Mintex pads rather than the performance M1144 ones. The reason my brakes were so bad was because they were severely worn, so I wrongfully blamed all Micras for having bad brakes. The new pads and discs are really good and so I don’t really have a need to put M1144 pads in.

Next Steps:

1. Fit the high lift inlet camshaft in.

2. Find a coilpack CG10 flywheel at a cheap price (done) and then get it lightened for a cheap price (have a guy who can do this) but am struggling to find a reasonable quote for a flywheel fitting.

3. Find a second hand Janspeed 4-2-1 exhaust manifold as I don’t fancy paying for a new one. But they’re so rare, so I’ll probably be waiting a while.

It’s very slowly but surely starting to come together. Just wish second hand performance parts were more readily available; it’s so frustrating to see so many Peugeot/VW and other makes 4-2-1 manifolds for £60-£80 on eBay and none for Micras!
Peugeot 106 421 manifolds are very very close in terms of port spacing, so cutting the pug flange and welding on the Nissan flange shoudl do the trick (has been done on here before).

Sent from my LG K11+ (yes I did buy the phone specifically to have a K11 phone, I'm that sad)
 
Peugeot 106 421 manifolds are very very close in terms of port spacing, so cutting the pug flange and welding on the Nissan flange shoudl do the trick (has been done on here before).

Sent from my LG K11+ (yes I did buy the phone specifically to have a K11 phone, I'm that sad)
Hi,

Thanks for the input mate. I think I have found the one you mean on eBay for £99 brand new!


Would you by any chance know if this sort of manifold would have the same gain as the Janspeed one? Plus there doesn't seem to be a lambda sensor on this manifold so I'm not sure.

Cheers!
 
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A small parts update:

1. Lightened Flywheel
- I have got a coilpack CG10 flywheel and have finally sent it off for lightening. I'm getting it done off the same person who did the camshaft. Stock weight is 6.3kg. He claims he usually gets them to half the factory weight but I am unsure whether that'll be the case with this one since coilpack flywheels are harder to lighten due to having to maintain the crank trigger pickups (the outer ring of teeth on the outside of the flywheel on the clutch side).
However, that being said, I do hope he at least gets it to 4kg (ideal desired weight was the lower end of 3kg). I know TTV Racing can get them to 3.8kg and then further lighten them to 3.5kg (by adding lightening holes) for extra money, but their price was out of budget.

End result is hopefully something like this (this is the TTV Racing one which is 3.8kg):


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This was the stock one.

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2. CG10 Crankshaft Pulley - I have got a CG10 crankshaft pulley as these are around 50% the weight of the CGA3 pulley that I currently am using, as the CG10 ones are hollow. Less inertia means better acceleration and so this will be a good accompanying mod to the flywheel. This is someone else's photo but shows the difference clearly.

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3. Janspeed 4-2-1 Exhaust Manifold - I have finally managed to get my hands on a second hand Janspeed 4-2-1. Its a little rusty but I'm going to spray it with a thick coat of exhaust paint and get a second lambda bung welded in for the post-cat lambda. Unfortunately the first lambda has snapped when the previous owner tried to remove it, and so it is stuck in its bung, so this will probably have to be drilled out, or maybe I'll get a new bung welded in next to it and completely bypass the first bung.

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4. March Tail Lights - I had bought the pre-facelift March tail lights (first photo below) but I didn't really like the way they looked on a turquoise Micra. Therefore, I am selling these on eBay. I have managed to get my hands on the facelift March tail lights, which I think are more suited to my car's colour. Someone else on this forum has them and they look ace.

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Turnaround time for the flywheel is 2-3 weeks. This is perfect timing as that's when my summer placement will finish and I can get back home to fit everything in.

Current 0-60 is around the 8.7 second mark. Would really like to hit the early 7 sec (or even late 6 sec mark!) after everything is fitted. (I know the flywheel should make a huge difference). The original aim of this project was to get 0-60 under 7 sec but I always thought a remap would definitely be needed to raise the rev limit so 60mph could be hit in second gear, thus saving the time taken to change from second to third. However, as it currently stands, we may be able to hit the target with these bolt on mods above without the remap!
 
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Another parts update:

1. The person who was supposed to sell me the facelift March tail lights has backed out, and so I decided to opt for some pre-facelift Micra tail lights, as I prefer the darker tint. I was given the idea to make them symmetric (i.e twin reverse lights) by buying the driver side tail light from a left hand drive Micra, but couldn't find one at a decent price, without having to pay around £30 just for postage from Germany. So I have stuck with the stock pre-facelift tail lights for now. These will need wiring up for my car but from what I've read on here, it shouldn't be too hard.

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These should look pretty slick on a turquoise Micra! I really hate the way the second facelift tail lights look!
After the performance mods in my previous post are all fitted and running successfully, the plan is to:

1. Fit Pre-Facelift Tail Lights
2. Debump Strip
3. Paint Driver Side Headlight Black
(was replaced after accident and haven't had chance to paint it yet)
 
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Update:

1. Lightened Flywheel - I have received the lightened coilpack flywheel. It started off at 6.3kg (CG10 flywheel) and it is now 4.2kg, with most of the mass being centralised for lower inertia. It's not quite the '50% factory weight' I was promised, as expected! This will be fitted at some point soon. Here's a comparison against a stock CGA3 flywheel (8kg):

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2. Janspeed 4-2-1 Exhaust Manifold - this was really rusty looking when I got it so gave it a lick of paint and it cleaned up quite nicely! This is now fitted. It needed a bit of bodging to fit but all done now. Unfortunately, no extender was screwed onto the post-cat lambda and so the engine light is now on. The extender does the job of distancing the lambda from the gas flow in order to simulate as if a cat is still present. This will need sorting out soon but car is not in limp mode and its a 2 min fix. Because the rest of the exhaust is stock, the sound is not brilliant - it sounds really tinny and buzzy. I've been told a catback would be needed to remove this but I don't like loud exhausts so will have to see what I can do - custom catback with a massive silencer!?

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3. Nissan Pulsar Short Shifter - I was officially fed up of the ridiculously long throw of the standard K11 shifter, so got a Pulsar one - works a treat and much more comfortable for me, although it does require more force to shift. The gaiter does look a bit weird now.

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4. CG10 Crankshaft Pulley - the lighter, hollow CG10 crankshaft pulley is now in. I got the belt changed as well as it was feathering.

I'm getting closer to the original 0-60 target - current 0-60 is around the 8.2 second mark. And with cams going in as we speak, and flywheel going in soon, we should hopefully get there!
 
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Cams - The high-lift inlet camshaft is finally in! It was 250 deg and 9mm lift. There is a very strong increase in power and torque throughout the rev range. I'm really happy with the fact the powerband has hardly been shifted up (as is the case with more aggressive cams). It kicks in around 3000rpm and carries on forever...

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My original CGA3 inlet cam is now for sale if anyone is interested - its a great mod to a CG10 (see earlier posts in my blog where I put a CGA3 inlet cam into a CG10). Will put up an eBay advert soon.
Just for reference if anyone wants to know, the stock CG10 cams are 196 deg and 5.56mm lift, compared to the CGA3 cams which are 222 deg and 7.46mm lift.
I expect it's around 105bhp (based on similar mods on other CGA3 K11's on this forum) and it does 0-60 in 7.7 sec - I'm getting even closer to that 0-60 target! Overall, cams is a must-do mod.

The final performance mods will be the lightened flywheel, which I already have but needs fitting, a decent stainless steel manifold-back system, and a remap to get everything running to its full potential. With a lightweight flywheel, full stainless steel exhaust system and a remap, I expect it to be around 120bhp and 0-60 in under 7 sec.

I think I'll probably stop at the 120bhp point, as after this it becomes too costly - options are:
1. Cylinder Head Work - ported, polished and gas flowed head
2. Raise Compression - 1mm head skim to raise compression from 9.5:1 to 11:1 and high-comp pistons
3. Intake - use Jenvey throttle bodies; this will involve the whole set up of inlet manifold, injectors, fuel pressure regulator and ECU
4. Standalone ECU - Omex 600 required to run the throttle bodies

With these, I'm sure (based on what I have seen on this forum), that N/A CGA3's can get up to 140-150bhp which would be mental, but these mods are so expensive and time consuming to do; they aren't the simple bolt-ons that I have been doing currently.
 
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It's been a long while since I actually uploaded some decent photos of the car as a whole, so here you go:
(driver side headlight has FINALLY been painted black after putting it off for a year!)

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It's going into the workshop on Thursday for:

1. Clutch & Lightened Flywheel Fitting
2. New Centre Silencer
- the old one has collapsed inside; this is why the exhaust sounded really tinny and buzzy
3. Lambda Extender - to be screwed onto second lambda port to eliminate 'check engine' light
4. Service - oil, oil filter, fuel filter

I've decided to tidy up the engine bay next as you can see it looks pretty nasty from the final photo above, so the plan is:

1. Clean It!
2. New Coilpacks & Stainless Steel Coilpack Retaining Bolts
3. Nismo Oil Cap
4. Painted Rocker Cover, Airbox , Various Other Bits


There was a hold on fitting prefacelift taillights due to electrical problems I was having; I sorted this yesterday so hopefully the taillights should be in within a week. And I am having second thoughts about de-bumping, as the strips protect the car from idiots smashing their doors into it....
 
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Another good update:

1. Painted Rocker Cover & Airbox - in my bid to tidy up the engine bay, the first step was to paint the rocker cover. Really happy with how its turned out. Also, the paint has really baked onto the cover when the engine was warm and so its a really tough, durable finish! Also gave the airbox a lick of gloss black. More work will be done to further tidy the engine bay. Here is a before and after along with progress pics:

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When I removed the rocker cover, I was astonished at the condition of the engine; it was spotless! Here is a comparison between my old CG10 engine and this CGA3 engine - it clearly shows the importance of regular servicing!

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2. HID Look Bulbs - I got some white NightEye LED headlight bulbs. Really bright and completely modernise the front of the car, highly recommended!

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3. Clutch & Lightened Flywheel Fitting - finally, the new clutch and 4.2kg flywheel are in! Throttle is so much more responsive now, gear shifts are fluid and it gets to the powerband so quickly in 1st and 2nd now which means a quicker 0-60 - the 0-60 has gone from the previous 7.7 seconds down to 7.2 seconds! However, there is slightly less torque, which can especially be felt at lower rpm in gear 4 and 5 and it feels a bit sluggish at really low rpm and needs more throttle in the lower rpm to keep it going. By low rpm, I mean less than 1700rpm.

4. New Centre Silencer - the new centre silencer is in, the car is SO much more quieter now. I wrongfully blamed the decat and 4-2-1 manifold for the loud, tinny, buzzy engine noise, but turns out my silencer was ABSOLUTELY knackered!

5. Lambda Extender - last time, when the 4-2-1 manifold was fitted, the second lambda sensor was fitted directly into the second lambda port without an extender, and inevitably this caused the engine light to come on. Extender has now been screwed in and so far no light!

There's a few more engine bay related things I am going to do. I was going to get a remap done from Tornado Systems but after messaging Mark to get some more information, he never replied and so I am unsure of this. I am on the search for anyone else who may be able to remap Bosch Motronic ECU's. I have to say I am tempted by individual throttle bodies...
 
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Continuing with the engine bay:

1. New Coilpacks & Stainless Steel Coilpack Retaining Bolts - my old coilpacks were very filthy so managed to get some almost brand new looking ones along with stainless bolts. Before and after:

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2. Painted Exhaust Manifold - painted the Janspeed in VHT Silver. Did it without removing the manifold as a shortcut, did get some overspray but this was inevitable! I don't understand why I didn't go for silver in the first place before the Janspeed was even fitted.

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