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The £80 Micra

Time for an update!

1. Rocker Cover + Compression Test - The spark plug seal on cylinder 3 was torn and letting oil into the spark plug well so I got a rocker cover off eBay and replaced my faulty one. I changed the colour up so that the new rocker cover is electric blue rather than the old cadbury purple. While I did this, I also did a compression test on the engine. The readings were pretty much the same as they were around 2000 miles ago - an average of around 190psi across all 4 cylinders. (191, 191, 187, 197)

2. ITB Trumpets - New longer 90mm DanST Engineering trumpets are on as opposed to my existing 55mm standard GSXR600 rubber trumpets. Quality of the DanST ones is amazing! The main difference I have noticed in using the longer trumpets is more torque and a more distinct throttle body growl. The inlet length is now a very long 415mm, which according to Jenvey, is pretty much bang on for a car that revs to 7.6k. However, with such a long setup, the bonnet cannot be fully shut, so I have taken advice from a few other helpful people on this forum (thanks guys!) and am going ahead with raising the bonnet on the windscreen side to give the ITB's more clearance.

3. Restoring the GizFab 4-2-1 - The GizFab 4-2-1 manifold has been on the car for roughly around 10,000 miles now and recently it had been looking a bit off. I'd just thought the manifold was dirty but I couldn't scrub the 'dirt' off. I later was told that stainless steel tarnishes over time and so it doesn't look as good anymore and so I have begun polishing the manifold with some Peek stainless steel polish, I have mostly just done the 3rd header and it has really brightened the manifold up, so I will be doing the other headers properly when I get some more time.

4. Maintenance - The car is also going in for its annual undersealing to prevent further rust and also a minor service as well, along with possibly some new front brake pads and discs.

5. Leaks + Better Clutch - There are some small leaks under the car which seem to be coming from either the oil sump or the gearbox. My mechanic will be taking a look at this at some point soon. If its a 'gearbox off' job, then I'll be using this as an opportunity to put a better clutch in as the current one slips when driven hard.

6. Dyno - Once everything is done, I want to get it back on the dyno for some fine tuning as we have made some changes to the setup (e.g the longer trumpets, a newer fuel pump + a few other changes) since the last mapping session, so it would be nice to get a final bhp figure. Last time, the car made 128bhp and personally, I don't think it will make much more than this on the second time round, however, I still want to get it remapped for the changes we have made to the setup since the last mapping session.

7. Track Day - After all this, I have plans to try the car out on a track. I'm only looking to go for a casual run (i.e nice and steady driving rather than trying to push the car to its limits) so I'll be leaving the car as it is except for some upgraded brakes and maybe a better driving seat. For track purposes, I may need to quieten the throttle bodies down as the car is (unfortunately) very loud...

On a daily basis, the car doesn't really get driven too much anymore except for the odd enthusiastic countryside drive! It is very fun for the small amount of power it has but its not very sensible and easy to use as a daily road car, mainly due to it having no cat and its unsafe when driving in the rain, not to mention the ridiculous levels of noise it makes and the poor fuel economy haha! Having a garage so that I can store the car indoors would be very ideal! However, that being said, nothing really even comes close to how fun it is when driven properly on some nice roads on a good day! I have driven numerous much more powerful cars but the Micra is still the most fun! So my main focus (once the above list of work is done) is to just try my best to keep it going as I really want it to last a while, as I have read time and time again of modified 1.4's drinking oil, which is pretty much what happened to my old poorly mapped 1.4. This is the main reason why I'll be taking it very easy when I get the car on a track - it'll be more of an experience rather than ragging the car.

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So it’s been nearly 6 months since the last update…

I still have the Micra and I still enjoy driving it to this day.

Fortunately, for once, the Micra is not causing any issues (for now!). I drive it around 1-2 times a week for the odd countryside B road bashing sesh and it doesn’t disappoint. As I daily an automatic, it feels great to drive a manual every now and then.

The plan is to keep the car for many years as I have absolutely no intention of ever selling it. I would love to fully restore it and definitely give it a full factory respray at some point. I really like the original turquoise factory colour.

In terms of any plans for more mods, the only thing that comes to mind is maybe to modify the bonnet to help the throttle bodies breathe more easily (the car is noticeably quicker with the bonnet not shut properly), but other than that, I think my main focus now is to look after it and keep it running (for eternity 😂).

One of my favourite features of the car is the launch control and the pops and bangs map ; it scares a lot of people😂

I still need to take the car on a track day but the post-pandemic prices were more than what I was willing to pay so I am now waiting for Summer 22.

Micra’s have a bad reputation in the UK as being ####boxes and granny cars but actually, they can be made very fun for cheap 😂

My family still somewhat despise me for modifying it in the first place 😂 (as it was meant to be a cheap runaround that would save me money in fuel, insurance and repair bills when I was 18), yet it now costs a bomb to insure, it gives 80 miles to a full tank and has regular repair bills😂

I’ll hopefully keep this blog going but who knows when the next update will be… To end this post, here’s a photo of the car and my daily. Thank you for reading.

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