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The story of Toothless Mike

I've been a petrol (and diesel) head since I was a kid and have ventured through the world of veteran and vintage French, British, German and American iron as life and finances have allowed. ......I've currently got a bloody raft of vintage vehicles all sorned and in various states but my daily driver gave up the ghost last month and rather than get my old 2cv or Trekker out for the daily drive I decided I would finally get a newish Japanese car. .....I have always loved K10s, since I was a teen and my mate had one. ....actually had a full on fist fight in the back of his one once (dont ask) :)
Anyway, started searching for a k10 but everything was either s#*t or .......well actually they were all s#*t......then I found my little beauty, and a £6 bus journey to collect and boom. ....I tootled home grinning all they way.
So now I'm addicted to washing and polishing the car and due to my removing the front bumper it has gained the title Toothless Mike (Mike for micra) by the family. Even my wife, who loathes cars love it.
On inspection, Mike is very very clean, the interior is particularly good but in order to keep it this way I invested in a manual and have set about systematically refreshing and rust proofing stuff......dinitrol rc800 is my new best buddy. .....and gunk degreaser :)

Here's Mike :
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Over the last few days I've stripped off some bits for painting and I've been getting ready to underseal the crossmember and sills......
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Yesterday I went and bought a load of replacement stainless fasteners as well. ....so that'll be something else that won't rust.

And here's today's work. .....got some underseal on. ....refinished the front bumper so I don't have to look at the rusty bits through it. ....and I made a boot floor cover from rubber matting, £16 for the matting, then cut it to match the carpet.....looks ace but smells like a fire in a condom factory :) although the smell isn't lasting. ...thankfully
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Right now I'm aiming to get her all together again so I can drive to work on Friday. ...:)

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So. ......just back from holiday and I had ordered a few goodies whilst away so I came back to a whole host of bits for the car. On the list were:

- new dizzy cap
- new rotor arm
- condenser
- some 6x13 weller wheels :)
- paint
- aero wipers
- some generic sticker bomb decals for the door sill/step
- a pre facelift radiator grill

So nearly everything except the wheels and paint had arrived. I set to and quickly covered the door "step" areas with the sticker stuff and then sorted the wipers. I have to say I really like the look of the colour on the sill and it was cheaper than clear film to protect the paint from scratches.....bonus.

I toyed with the idea of a sticker bomb filler door. ....but I thought she'd look wrong. ....well see.

Replaced the ignition parts with the new ones. ....non oem and not brilliant quality but the original ones were a bit worn and pitted.....on testing she does seem a little smoother too. ...so worth doing.

Then the grill. Well I'd read and worked out the conversion but I didn't really know where to start. I removed the bumper and grill and offered up the new one cutting bits off and remeassuring as I went. ....took about an hour. ....and still needs painting to refinish the previous shop storage marks on the grill. ....but it's a really nice fit. To anyone doing it is say the following:

1. Don't be afraid to cut it up
2. Measure twice
3. The bonnet hinges protrude too much so you have to recess them into the grill
4. The original grill mounts are too shallow so you have to work around it or build them up with epoxy.
5.......em. .....just do it. ....it looks ace ;)

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And the best bit of the day. .....the writing on the the inside of the grill package said:

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It says : Nissan Micer

Lol lol lol







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So today, refinished the grill and after sanding I gave it a few coats of paint.....it looks ace. The Nissan logo on the nearside is missing so I thought of something to cover up the hole. A little bit of old plastic from a washing powder container some make and do and I had a neat removable cover until I get a decent replacement. .....
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Covered with stickers and fitted it. ....I actually like it.

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Once that was done I had time to do some interior cleaning.....have the beast a hoover and then cracked open my new bottle of "Son of Gun" protectant. .....what a bloody disappointment, they must have changed the formula because it doesn't smell nice like the old stuff did and doesn't cover or shine anything like as well. .....frankly it gobbled bollock big time and for the money I won't be buying it again.

Anyway, sparkling interior done so of I go to collect my son from football......yep that's right covered in mud and back to square one ;) lol

I was supposed to crack on with the airbox and rocker cover painting this week but I've got the wheels arriving any day now and I'm keeping all my time free to get them refinished straight away.....we'll see

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Still no wheels...... checking parcelfarce tracking every 5 mins like an obsessive compulsive and trying to pretend I'm cool. .....I'm not cool, I'm effing dying to get these wheels done and fitted. On a positive note got the paint in the post..... bright orange gloss. ....I hope I bought enough. ....did a test spray and the coverage isn't great but it's an awesome colour :)

Got bored later on and started dicking about with the suspension as I'm gonna cut the springs until i can afford the coilies.....inspite of loads of penetrating oil and elbow grease nothing budged....the neighboured echoed to my cheap porno-style grunting and occasional outbursts of that lovely C word until i gave up in fear of a hernia......decided to do small jobs instead....so checked the gearbox oil level as I had found it very slightly louder when driving from cold.....sure enough the level was down I little. ..nothing worrying but worth a top up, as the whole box only takes about 2.5 ltrs I'm gonna drain and refill it with fresh oil. ....she deserves it.

Once that was all looked after I was toying with the idea of fitting a front spotlight. ...I have a couple lying about and really liked how they looked but couldn't commit. ....so eventually I just went for it. I know its red but I like it. ...and it's not wired up so that should help with the legality of it. ...a little.

In typical idiotic fashion I decided to do it without removing the grill or bumper. So, after over a half hour of effort that a Cirque du Soleil contortionist would be proud of it was done and left me with marvellous multiple lacerations across my lower arms giving me the look of an emo self-harm cutting fetishist.

Anyway, here she is:

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I know it looks small in the pics but it actually looks fairly balanced in reality.



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The epic wait for the wheels continued today so I decided the get busy doing the gear oil replacement. .....well I seemed destined to uncover more impossible fasteners .... the bloody drain plug is stuck fast and I actually ended up shearing off the square wrench.....
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That's what you get for using crap quality tools :)

Then at last the wheels arrived......in two neat little packages.......they are perfect, good nick overall, some scrapes and some dents that ironically were caused in transit (you could see the damage to the packing) ......either way, nothing to worry about as they are being refinished anyway.
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To start I used a bronze drift to drive out the dents, then rolled the edges and corrected until they were true.
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Then I took Aldi's finest monkey metal files and dressed the rims......this was actually very easy and they look better already.
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After filing, I sanded and wire brushed the wheels before degreasing and washing them......all is good.

Couldn't resist a test fit. ......

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I'll try to get some paint on tomorrow.....


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Got a few coats on the back of the wheels today......the colour manages a perfect blend of "yuck" and "awesome"......I hereby declare it Yawesome (patent pending)

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Now for a 2 hour motorway drive...... 55 all the way. .....

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Thanks buddy, not much to report today, normally I work odd shifts so i get a lot done but I'm being an inspirational father today which means my beautiful wheels are sat lonely at home......on the plus side I got two thumbs up from random drivers on the M5......one assumes because of the car......????? Both women though, so I fancy that it might have been my raw animal sexuality (on second thoughts, I'm pretty sure it was the car)

Interestingly....years of driving rotten and derelict classics means that my immediate reaction to having anyone waving or noticing my car whilst driving is "what's fallen off this time" ...or ...."Is oil or smoke belching out of it"




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Got home from another long, faultless (and boring) trip to Birmingham ......during which I mentally calculated the outlay on the little beasty since her purchase......on arriving home I realised that as of this week I have spent more on mods and service items than the car cost me.....

On the plus side though, she is still a damn sight more fun than most cars at the price and I don't begrudge her a penny. However, for the amount I've spend per week in the time I've owned her I could possibly have managed a small coke habit. ......I'd like to think the coke habit would have involved more hookers.....but the micra has been pretty awesome too (and I haven't got an itchy crotch from it yet)

As a side note......my son had a mate around to play who he promptly took outside especially to see the car and show him the mods.....apparently the micra is "sick" (in the modern parlance) .....so another seal of approval there..... (ironic when you consider that until 5 weeks ago she belonged to an 86 year old woman and avid radio 4 listener)

And finally, think I've sorted a very cheap pre-face bumper.....so that'd be amazing as I've already painted the front valance and it looks ace without the later style "air dam" covering it.....

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So far this week I've been doing night shifts so no progress at all on the painting.....had some time today but the weather was too changeable and it's a bit cold for spraying ):

On the plus side, I have had another load of stuff in the post. ...I'm truly broke as a result but in now the proud owner of some very tasty NOS nissan preface bumper goodness
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I've also got my spigots and wheel centres. .....I really resented forking out £25 quid for the centres but they'll look ace when they're fitted.
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The spigots were a real find......I needed 59.1 centre bore but because of the chrome centres I only needed 69.3 OD on the spigot and not 70mm as the wheels are. ......found a set of 69.1-59.1 spigots for £7 on fleabay.....what a win, they fit like a glove
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Now I just need a few days of to paint and then some money for tyres.......

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Ha ha ha.....I know right it's almost immaculate too !!!!

However, other than that I've had bugger all luck getting any parts locally.

Managed to get a few coats on the front of the wheels on Friday during the nice weather then I've been working days since then so I'm busting to finish them. ....hopefully I'll flatten them back and do final coats tomorrow

Tomorrows to do list:

-Flatten back wheels
-Spray wheels
-Go and find stainless fasteners for bumper
-Attach bumper
-Try and loosen all the shock mounting bolts ready to start adjusting the springs



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Started today much later than planned due to the clock change/exhaustion from night shifts and a beer or two last night (I don't drink, so I was wasted on two) .......flattened back the wheels, which was horrible to do as I was sanding back beautiful shiny paint ...... ....worth it in the end i suppose.

Only got the backs painted today, so I'll finish off the fronts tomorrow with any luck.

Did a test fit of the bumper once I'd got some nice screws for it ....... I needed to do this so I can adjust the already altered front grill. ....I think it's gonna be fine ..... I've got to get a nice set of jap plates now too

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It looks sweet......love the front valance being visable (glad I sprayed it before) ......kinda looks like it's crying out for a splitter though
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So tomorrow I'm gonna hack away at the suspension bolts to see if I can get them loose. ......bent one rachet already I'm pretty sure I'm gonna end up taking her to the garage just to get the bolts freed before I mess the heads up.

Also gonna look at some tyres ......I'm thinking of 185/55 r13 from Toyo .....I'd like wider and cheaper but the only low 195 width I can find in a 13" are trailer tyres.....lol....makes me want to try them though at £160 a set

Actually. ....I've just found a set of nankang 195/60 13 @ £45 a corner. ......very interesting

If anyone has any great tyre ideas let me know, I'm all ears



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Depends what's the rim width. I suggest you hit up tyrestretch.com and use the search function. Pretty nifty when you want to find out how a certain setup will look.
 
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What a totally shi##y day...... I have gone backwards in my work on the car and had the stress of running around too......not good. Its days like these when I think maybe tiddlewinks or golf seem like a better pastime

So......the bad:

1. Knuckles all skinned and no bolts loosened whatsoever.....ouch and grrrr
2. Wheels painted. ...but then rained on so need to start again ....aaaaargh and grrrr
3. Went to drive car to school pick up only to find the boot light has been left on for over a week and has slowly emptied all charge, leaving me with 10 mins to get it started and get to school with no spare battery or jump leads..... ......words do not describe the rage

The good:
1. Organised a guy to get an air wrench on the bolts on Thursday
2. Wheels will still look good in the end even if they need another sanding down and I have just enough paint left to finish them.
3. The awesome and tiny little car that she is managed to bump start her single handed on the flat with a 5m run .....1st time......no drama.....fired straight up.....got to school with a minute to spare .....arguably the easiest car ever to bump start.... (even easier than my 2cv) Its times like this that I'm glad I replaced the points and plugs



So after all that annoyance I'm in no mood to work in the rain, I hope tomorrow is a bit brighter. In an attempt to stop me going mental I'm gonna go and order some Jap reg. plates now as a form of retail therapy .......its either that or cry-wanking in the corner for a few hours .....

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Neat! Funny thing, I was wondering recently how this particular combo would look. Not gonna drop my foglight grille, but a preface bumper would be definitely welcome.
 
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Yeah, I think it's a good combo, I've actually grown to prefer the facelift bonnet with its lower front..... it looks ace with the preface grill and bumper......

Still think the car looks like it's got an overbite though.....I'd love to do something to highlight the front valance, a splitter might be cool......we'll see

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Got Toothless up on the lift this morning ......legend of a mechanic let me tie up his lift and workspace just to loosen those difficult bolts on the suspension. The impact driver sorted them out and nothing sheared off either bonus. After letting me do that he then offered the use of his tools if I needed anything else doing the job. .....what a great guy....

Got to do a bit of inspection whilst she was in the air and there is hardly any rust at all anywhere.....

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Got her home and decided to crack on with the springs in spite of the rain......took an hour and a half but it was very very easy going. I ended up cutting 1" less than a full 2 coils, it was easier than other cars I've worked on and the results are awesome. Only did the back today. ....I'll do the fronts asap.

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Kept the springs cool during cutting
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Dropped from 23" at the arch
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To 21" at the arch
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The car looks mental now as the fronts are stock
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The ride is much stiffer and the handling is totally different already

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And this is her now:
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Granted, the wheels look retarded ......but I'm nearly where I want to be with it visually

Had an extra 2 hours free that I didn't expect this evening. .....so off with the front shocks.....
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I took 2" less than 2 full coils out of the springs and they aren't as low as the rear set. .....but they look bloody awesome. .....I will go lower eventually but for now she is still comfy and useable with being too hard. .....that said, she handles so so much better.

These cars are a bloody dream to work on .......

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Bought a cheap can of "stained glass" paint and decided to have a go at tinting the headlights......

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Even though I've got a good nearside unit coming from one of the lads on here, i had to sort the break in current one before I painted it. ....
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This conical piece of glass is what was knocked out of the back of the headlight when it took a stone, making a hole on the front.....it is technically a concoidal fracture and it illustrates the forces involved really well.

Anyway, a bit of epoxy and I actually managed to fit the piece back into the hole.

Prepped the units and sidelights with acetone before giving them 4 coats each of the spray .......
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The photo doesn't give a realistic idea of either the colour or the opacity......TBH I'm not gone on the process or outcome, I had tried it after seeing some guys using spray to tint headlights, I've always used film in the past and the results are not as good with spray.

Firstly, the colour isn't quite right. Secondly, the finish is a bit dull. Thirdly, the finish is a little more opaque than I would like and overall the look isn't quite right. I will keep them for a while, but then I'll either scrub them back to clear or use film on them. Glad to try new things but a reckon film is the only way to go.

I'm gonna try to get them back on tonight, but I don't want to disturb the paint until it's definitely cured......I'll post some more pics when their fitted

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Managed to get the lights back on and I'm actually much happier with them fitted ....... they do look very very yellow but it kinda works ....... still not sure I'll keep them ..... but for now they certainly look different

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I'll also be interested to see what sort of change they make to the light output

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Ha ha ha .....you and me both well, the wheels are finished, the colour is ace but they were languishing without tyres as I couldnt afford them.....however, my amazing wife surprised me with a new set of tyres as a pressie (which I'm not sure I deserve ) ......so they are due here on Thursday

I'm totally stoked about how it will look.

Today I only had time for a little tinkering and some paint touch up that had been bugging me.

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Came home from a 12 hr shift to find this beautifully well packaged headlight
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A very big thanks to OldSammoHung for sending it so quickly and so safely.....what a legend.

Just shows that forums like this really do keep these little beasties on the road and purring like they should

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First day off after a load of night shifts and I decided to have a go at a couple of things that were bothering me:

- panel dent in the drivers door
- discoloured door upholstery

I thought I would kill two birds with one stone if I took off the door panel so away I went.....

Here are the before pics of both the door card and dent :

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Stuff all came off pretty easily:
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I used a technique that I learned working on my old chevy to remove the window winders......I have a special tool but it sucks.....the quickest and best way is to take a tea towel and just slide the edge of it up and under the back edge of the winder, then drag the towel to one side.....it catches on the clip and pops it out best way and always works.

Anyway, got the dent out with a soft mallet and then put dinitrol on any rough spots inside the door while I had the card off

All gone:
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And nice and clean:
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As I finished that the tyres arrived by courier......

They are ace......but I'm a bit concerned about the rolling diameter......I wanted something close the the originals but with the extra width and the dropped springs is gonna be a very tight fit. .....

Had to do a quick test of the wheels with the trims on too......bloody awesome....

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So ......I reckon at worst they won't fit at all..... at best I'll squeeze them in
.....and somewhere in the middle I'll have to raise the suspension on 35mm springs ......exciting times.

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The wheels are finished !!!!!!!

Got the tyres on today and they look great accept for the problem I had anticipated ...... the diameter is massive and way way bigger than suggested on tyre calculation websites ( a word of warning ) ...... this in some ways will serve me well as I didn't want to compromise wheel size in an attempt to maintain decent fuel economy. .....however, I had calculated the fit on the figures I'd found online

So. ......do they fit. ......yes and no

The fronts are sweet......even with the 50mm drop I've got full lock and no interference, although I'll defo need stiffer shocks and maybe some assisters to stop any rubbing.

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(Excuse the soon to be removed yellow headlights)

The rears however, do not fit....

Tested them at different heights and the will be ok at stock of possibly with up to a 35mm drop......but anything more and they will chew up the tyres

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So I've ordered some rear springs and I'll have to adjust them to suit.....its shame as I really really loved the 50mm drop, however I reckon the overall look and feel can still be balanced out with a bit of fettling

I really love the offset.....they look bloody wicked ..... totally changes the style of the car
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So, what have I learned .....never trust the offset of an eBay wheel (they were supposed to be et35 but they are actually et15 ) ,dont trust Internet tyre calculations (the diameter quoted is way way off ....by 30mm ish ) and I learned that et15 13"wheels will fit even with 195/60 tyres and look awesome as the track now looks super wide.

I reckon I won't get the springs til Wednesday so I've got days of twiddling my thumbs as the sight of such orange wheely goodness slowly drives me insane ........think Jack Nicholson in The Shining (but with less snow and more axe murdering)

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".....lol


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Back again...... bought a house and so k10 things have taken a back seat. barely done anything for two weeks other than get some stock rear springs on to make the wheels fit.

Essentially the wheels fit but not easily......I need damping adjustable coilies there really isn't any other option. At the moment the arse of the car is on stilts and the front rubs something awful on any bumps even with the mudflaps taken off and spring assisters thrown in as a stopgap. The handling is utter ####e. ....but the car looks bloody amazing .....i keep getting people commenting about the colour, it really works. For the stance I want and the ability to adjust ride height to suit coilies are gonna work but until they are sorted I'm gonna have to drive like a snail on my commute to work which just happens to have ten speedbumps .....I get a sore face from cringing as I go over them

The clever amongst you might say :"why not go back to stock wheels and drop the back again until the coilies arrive" ......that would be way way too easy and I really love how she looks and thankfully the rubbing isn't cutting or damaging the tyres

Met up with Connorstew off the forum last week and had a decent chat about his reshell project and saw some of his neat JDM k10 sales literature ......he kindly donated a starlet strut brace which we decided would cut down nicely into the rear of the k10......

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After cutting I realised the hole diameters are about a mm out so reamed then out with a diamond file
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But well worth the effort, the whole thing only took about 20 mins, fits great and once it's sprayed its gonna look ace.

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So. .....here is how she sits now :
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Also.....having recently lobotomised myself on the fantastic self lowering tailgate feature of the k10 (can't be bothered to fork out for new gas struts) I came up with a neat fix using some cut up old tire valves ......

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Cut and put on the strut and it stops it dropping when it's open for long periods

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Quality bodge!


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