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The Scrubworks K11

Guten tag everyone, I've finally got around to commencing a K11 project car that I've been meaning to do for years.
This is it, unfortunately I only have this one crap picture as I bought it yesterday, and it hasn't been delivered to my house yet:

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The car is a 96 GX (I think). Unfortunately it is an automatic, but everything else about it is right. It has a factory 1.3, PAS, and in my opinion, the correct number of doors. I scored it for a mere £200, because the auto gearbox is knackered, and preventing the car from moving, but it's only done 61000 miles and the engine runs like a top. I quite literally saved it from the scrappers. The guy selling it was in the process of taking the doors off to sell, when I turned up and persuaded him to flog me the whole car in one piece.
The long term plan is to convert it to manual, pull the engine and hop it up a bit with some speed parts, then touch the brakes, suspension, wheels etc. I'm aiming for hopefully around 130hp at the flywheel. Yes, I know, it's not the most original of Micra builds, but should keep me occupied for some time and produce a decent little car at the end of it.

First order of business is going to be the manual conversion, so I'm putting together the list of all the bits I'll need. There is also some crust emerging on the passenger side sill in the usual place, so that needs to be dealt with soon before it can spread.

But yeah, there it is. You can all look forward to me annoying you with questions about parts and other such exciting stuff.
 

MaxK11C

Micraless
Moderator
Social Brand Manager
Welcome mate, I’ll be keeping a close eye on this ;)
The forums are a wealth of knowledge, use them as much as you can!
 

LiamC

I've ruined my car 🙁
Guten tag everyone, I've finally got around to commencing a K11 project car that I've been meaning to do for years.
This is it, unfortunately I only have this one crap picture as I bought it yesterday, and it hasn't been delivered to my house yet:

View attachment 65040

The car is a 96 GX (I think). Unfortunately it is an automatic, but everything else about it is right. It has a factory 1.3, PAS, and in my opinion, the correct number of doors. I scored it for a mere £200, because the auto gearbox is knackered, and preventing the car from moving, but it's only done 61000 miles and the engine runs like a top. I quite literally saved it from the scrappers. The guy selling it was in the process of taking the doors off to sell, when I turned up and persuaded him to flog me the whole car in one piece.
The long term plan is to convert it to manual, pull the engine and hop it up a bit with some speed parts, then touch the brakes, suspension, wheels etc. I'm aiming for hopefully around 130hp at the flywheel. Yes, I know, it's not the most original of Micra builds, but should keep me occupied for some time and produce a decent little car at the end of it.

First order of business is going to be the manual conversion, so I'm putting together the list of all the bits I'll need. There is also some crust emerging on the passenger side sill in the usual place, so that needs to be dealt with soon before it can spread.

But yeah, there it is. You can all look forward to me annoying you with questions about parts and other such exciting stuff.
Best colour imo (not biased) always like to see more cinnabar reds around here so keep us posted

Sent from my LG K11+ (yes I did buy the phone specifically to have a K11 phone, I'm that sad)
 
Best colour imo (not biased) always like to see more cinnabar reds around here so keep us posted

Sent from my LG K11+ (yes I did buy the phone specifically to have a K11 phone, I'm that sad)
I've not had a Cinnabar Red car before. This is my third K11. The first one was a dark green Hollywood edition, and the second was a very early one in normal gloss red that had faded to matte pink like they always do. Unfortunately on this one, the bootlid has been replaced with a normal red coloured one, and it's from a facelift, so I'll be on the lookout for a replacement.
 
So the car was delivered a few days ago, and so I've had a chance to give it a thorough wash and a look over.
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Fortunately, the paint has turned out extremely nicely, and with some eventual attention from a detailer, it should come up brand new. There are a few scuffs here and there (looks like it very lightly traded paint with a wall at some point), but overall, for a 23 year old car, it's in pretty good shape.

The gearbox has some kind of problem with the selector. It will only go into park, neutral, and reverse, which somewhat limits your driving capabilities, but no matter, as I will be binning it for a manual. I spent an afternoon removing the driveshafts and draining the gearbox, and then I went shopping for the parts to do the conversion.
 
I had a bit of trouble finding all the bits for my manual conversion, and even my friendly Micra breaker could only offer me the parts from a 1999 car, which he told me would essentially all fit, but would give me issues getting the speedometer to work as it's no longer a cable system. Bugger. So, I jumped on the internet to search some more, and serendipity struck:
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This 1997 Micra Vibe was for sale in Barnsley for next to nothing. Like my car, it is a P-reg Cinnabar Red, and so had the correct colour bootlid, with the optional boot spoiler which is a bit of a bonus, but unlike my car, it is a 1.0 manual. It had just enough MOT left on it for me to drive it home.

I have to admit, the prospect of using this car for parts and then scrapping it, especially as it is a 3 door non-sunroof pre-facelift, didn't sit well with me. Right up until the moment I saw it in the flesh. It looks ok in the picture, but this car is baaaaaad. Every arch is crusty. There is a massive dent on the rear quarter, and half a dozen dents all over the roof that I would say would beyond most bodyshops to fix. The sills have been welded, as the saying goes, by Stevie Wonder with his feet. The windscreen is cracked, the interior is feral, it has galactic mileage, and I'm pretty sure the last time it had a service, David Cameron was still PM. It is, in short, ruined. But, it does have all the parts I need for my gearbox swap, as well as a 1 litre engine that will yield me some piston heads to put into the project 1.3 engine.

I spent most of today with my housemate removing most of the smaller bits for the conversion; clutch pedal, brake pedal, gear lever etc. Tomorrow we will get the engine crane out and pull the drivetrain, then remove any other spares I want to keep (as well as taking some good references for where to drill the project car for the clutch cable), and then it's sayonara for the donor car.

If anyone has lost their job recently and wants to buy the number plate, let me know.
 
Managed to find enough breaks in the horrible weather to fully strip the donor car of all the parts I needed, including swapping over the bootlids to make the project Micra all one colour again., and then some more, including the wiper assembly to fit to my flatmate's very early K11, as his wiper assembly is falling apart. Then I sent it off to be made into a Hotpoint, along with this AX.
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I was looking for something that I could do out of the weather, so I decided to have a go at the interior. I think, in general, we can all agree that, over 20 years later, the interior of the K11 is not its strongest point. It's quite sturdy and easy to work with, but it's very........ grey. Like a laptop that runs Windows 98. So, I had a bit of an idea. I saved both the door cards from the donor car, as they had flat grey fabric in the middle, rather than the cringey 90s bus seat fabric that the door cards in the project Micra have, so were already an improvement. However, they were still far too grey.
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Dullsville. However, I had a bit of an idea. I had a spare spray can of Halfords black plastic bumper paint. I'd used it to repaint a wiper arm on another car and it turned out really well, and considering that 90% of the interior fittings in a K11 are made of a similar type of plastic, I thought it was worth a try. Guys, this stuff is magic. It sticks to the plastic like you wouldn't believe, and makes it look fantastic. Even on the vinyl parts of the door card, it stuck well with a couple of layers applied.
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The only prep work required was a quick wipe over of the parts with a soapy rag to remove 23 years of grime, and then spray straight on. I even used it on the rubber boot thing that goes around the gear stick, and it made it look brand new, and, more importantly, black. I also painted the door handle, the window winder, the escutcheon plate thing that goes behind the door lever, and the door lever itself, and then screwed it all back onto the door. It has gone from this:
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To this:
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A vast improvement, I think you'll agree. It's now very similar to the interior of my 1997 180SX, which I find to be far more stylish. The only problem is, the super cool doors now don't match the rest of the interior, so I now have to paint the whole rest of the interior plastics, which includes the dashboard. I could use fabric dye on the carpet to make it darker, but it's already a nice dark grey that should work well with the black, and also I can't be bothered. The seats are all being binned, and the fronts will be replaced with some bucket seats that I can also match to the black. Should look a lot sharper when all that's done, and best of all, it should cost me less than £50 to paint it all. Bit of a win.
 

MaxK11C

Micraless
Moderator
Social Brand Manager
Great work as always Jess, glad to see you're making progress.

Apologies it has taken me a while to read this, I've been rather busy!
 
I've been procrastinating a lot on the Micra, mostly due to the terrible weather, and also having to work on fixing other crap that I own. However, I did manage to find a set of wheels for the car. Now, I am very anal when it comes to wheels. I'm one of those people who actually pays attention to offset vs wheel width, although I'm aware that's not fashionable these days. I ideally wanted some 14x7 alloys, with enough offset to only require, at most, minimal arch work to the front of the car, and also not put the scrub radius too far out of whack (these things are important, dontchaknow). Using Driftworks's excellent WillTheyFit tool, I calculated the ideal offset on 7J wheels to be between +26 to +35, probably wanting to land somewhere in the middle so that they still look good. I also wanted wheels in the style of Watanabe alloys, the wheels that you see on Takumi's AE86 in Initial-D, because I am a massive weeb. Fortunately, there is a set of wheels out there that are Watanabe replicas, and are 14x7, but they unfortunately only come with a completely neutral 0 offset. Now, I know these can be made to fit K11s, but I want handling, not hard-parking, so they weren't really suitable. Getting genuine Watanabes in the right size was out of the question, as they are horrendously expensive, and in general, 14x7 alloy wheels are not that common, and your choice of tyres is also rather limited. So, I made a style concession and started looking for some 15x7s instead, and as luck would have it, I found these:

IMG_20191116_131625.jpg

IMG_20191116_131650.jpg

Amazingly, these are the real deal; actual Watanabes, for the full JDM factor. They're 15x7, and have an offset of +24. That's not quite within the range I wanted, but it's very close, and considering the wheels are the genuine article, and only cost £500, including tyres and a fresh powdercoat, I wasn't going to split hairs. Besides, if I want in the future, I can probably have about 5mm or so of extra offset milled into them. The tyres they have aren't quite the right size, 50 profile instead of the 45 I would ideally need, but considering they are very good tyres, and have hardly any miles on them, it doesn't make sense to bin them. I ordered some spigot rings, and a set of nice new wheelnuts, and then, as my own Micra is not driveable, I fitted them instead to Scarab, my housemate Seinov's Micra, to see how they fit.

IMG_20191116_141719.jpg

IMG_20191116_141650.jpg

IMG_20191116_141743.jpg

IMG_20191116_141807.jpg

The fitment (yo) is pretty much spot on. The rear wheels are still well within the wheel arch, so no adjustment needed there. The fronts are a smidge inside the arch lip, which on standard ride height like this is not an issue, but with the 40mm drop I have planned for my car, the inner edge of the lip will need to be rolled to prevent scrubbage.

I took the car for a drive, and the extra grip and stability offered by the better tyres and wider track is immediately apparent. The body-roll is still there of course, but it no longer feels like you're going to slide off the road if you take a fast corner. These should definitely be up to the job when my own Micra is finally ready. The satin grey should also go much nicer with my metallic Cinnabar Red than the standard gloss red. The wheels are going into storage until then, so Seinov is going to have to get his own set of sick wheels :p.
 

LiamC

I've ruined my car 🙁
I've been procrastinating a lot on the Micra, mostly due to the terrible weather, and also having to work on fixing other crap that I own. However, I did manage to find a set of wheels for the car. Now, I am very anal when it comes to wheels. I'm one of those people who actually pays attention to offset vs wheel width, although I'm aware that's not fashionable these days. I ideally wanted some 14x7 alloys, with enough offset to only require, at most, minimal arch work to the front of the car, and also not put the scrub radius too far out of whack (these things are important, dontchaknow). Using Driftworks's excellent WillTheyFit tool, I calculated the ideal offset on 7J wheels to be between +26 to +35, probably wanting to land somewhere in the middle so that they still look good. I also wanted wheels in the style of Watanabe alloys, the wheels that you see on Takumi's AE86 in Initial-D, because I am a massive weeb. Fortunately, there is a set of wheels out there that are Watanabe replicas, and are 14x7, but they unfortunately only come with a completely neutral 0 offset. Now, I know these can be made to fit K11s, but I want handling, not hard-parking, so they weren't really suitable. Getting genuine Watanabes in the right size was out of the question, as they are horrendously expensive, and in general, 14x7 alloy wheels are not that common, and your choice of tyres is also rather limited. So, I made a style concession and started looking for some 15x7s instead, and as luck would have it, I found these:

View attachment 66265
View attachment 66266
Amazingly, these are the real deal; actual Watanabes, for the full JDM factor. They're 15x7, and have an offset of +24. That's not quite within the range I wanted, but it's very close, and considering the wheels are the genuine article, and only cost £500, including tyres and a fresh powdercoat, I wasn't going to split hairs. Besides, if I want in the future, I can probably have about 5mm or so of extra offset milled into them. The tyres they have aren't quite the right size, 50 profile instead of the 45 I would ideally need, but considering they are very good tyres, and have hardly any miles on them, it doesn't make sense to bin them. I ordered some spigot rings, and a set of nice new wheelnuts, and then, as my own Micra is not driveable, I fitted them instead to Scarab, my housemate Seinov's Micra, to see how they fit.

View attachment 66267
View attachment 66268
View attachment 66269
View attachment 66270
The fitment (yo) is pretty much spot on. The rear wheels are still well within the wheel arch, so no adjustment needed there. The fronts are a smidge inside the arch lip, which on standard ride height like this is not an issue, but with the 40mm drop I have planned for my car, the inner edge of the lip will need to be rolled to prevent scrubbage.

I took the car for a drive, and the extra grip and stability offered by the better tyres and wider track is immediately apparent. The body-roll is still there of course, but it no longer feels like you're going to slide off the road if you take a fast corner. These should definitely be up to the job when my own Micra is finally ready. The satin grey should also go much nicer with my metallic Cinnabar Red than the standard gloss red. The wheels are going into storage until then, so Seinov is going to have to get his own set of sick wheels :p.
Great to see another Micra on proper real Japanese wheels. I too have Watanabes, funnily enough in a dark grey, on my Cinnabar Red. Mine are 14x6 with an offset of 13 but I have to use PCD adapters to swap to 4x114.3. Eventually once I machine the hubs, I won't need adapters, and the offset of my wheels will work out extremely close to what you deem as a perfect offset which I do agree is excellent fitment on a Micra. Check out my blogs to see mine anyway if you like.

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