EBB `s Micro Micra project.

[ 18 mai 2011 ]







Other than that please enjoy the Micro Micra project




Dette prosjektet presenterer jeg på Engelsk da det har vært så mange Micra entusiaster fra så mange steder i hele verden som har ønsket at jeg lot dem få lese det på Engelsk. 🙂




 Chapter 1 : » The beginning «


Sometimes it can be cool to look into the small stuff , not just the big HP mega buck engine builds that engine builders like myself often get in contact with.

For me doing something «odd » can be like theraphy,,,you know , something you do just to relax and get your mind off something else…

This little cutie was bought as a car for my daughter so she could have something to practice on while training for a drivers license.
Never did I know what that would lead to as I got quite involved in the car in the time before she got the license…
Here are some snapshots of the car when I bought it :

A 1997 Nissan K11 Micra with a 1.0 litre engine.

Here is how it looked inside the engine compartment , all is dead stock and untouched.


As an avid and happy enthusiast , specially when it comes to engines ,  I was longing to do something with this little poor engine in here. Small engine = small gains they say , but could we get some serious numbers out of it , at least as percentage gain compared to a stock untouched engine ?
What are the actual numbers , even from small modifications , that a enthusiast could acheive by simple means ? Questions like this are to be answered i think so off i went with this project .




Having  done my fair share of work with all kinds of engines i thought it could be an excellent opportunity to experiment and play with on a DYNAPACK :

The Dynapack is a brilliant tool to find even the smallest gain in Hp / Nm and its all measured directly on the hubs and its repeatability  is excellent.
So here in this thread I will show some of the results that I have lured out of this K11 and some of the tricks that you can use on your car.
Some of the first things I did was to check and test the condition of the engine before any work was started :
First I took a compression test to find out what kind of pressure this little mini-monster cranked out :

This simple little tool gives me the readings of each cylinder and its condition relating to cranking pressure.

First ,  out goes the spark plugs :


And here you can see one of the readings :


The engine has run 130 000 km so the result is ok.
Time for cylinder leakage test. Here you pressurize each cylinder to compare numbers and to find out exactly where eventually any leakage exists :
This test tells you if you have leaking valves , headgasket , blown piston rings etc etc.
If You iex. open the throttle valve completely and listen as the pressure is entering the cylinder and hear a whistling noise in the inlet manifold , well then there could be a chance of a leaking inlet valve.
Same if you put you ear into the exit of the exhaust pipe , and hear a clear swooshing air sound in the pipe , then your exhaust valve could have seen better days in that cylinder and so on…
Here is the result of the cylinder-leakage test : img]http://www.raceinfo.no/temp/tn_syllekk.jpg[/img] Quite normal for a fully operational and in good working order engine with that mileage.
Ok , now I have established and found a baseline for the engine and it condition so now to something that is quite important to get some correct baseline numbers on the dynapack :
I check the spark plugs to see that they are of the right heat range and type to be in this engine : [IMG]
There are many issues with spark plugs that makes or brakes a successful engine. [IMG]

This little fellow here is by far probably not the right stuff to produce absolute maximum figures but I will get back to that later and show you the magic…
Measuring the ignition cables is also of value when you want to develop any engine set up so i dug out the ohm- meter .

Here is the measured values for all cables :

Note how different lenght give different reading. Will get back to this later.
So , there you are. A baseline for the project and now its time for some real numbers to pop up from the screen on the Dynapack.


Then  i have finished the first Dynapack sessions and just for reference some info regarding the projects dynapack sessions :

All levels of change will go through at least 3 runs and I will use the highest measurements as final results.
Here is the first result of whats inside this little 1.0 fellow : [IMG]
39.6 Ps  / 5547 rpm 62,2 Nm / 4098 rpm

AFR «as is » :
(Flywheel Nm = hub Nm divided to final drivetrain  ratio ) Hub Nm is of course many times flywheel Nm as a result of ratio differences from flywheel to actual hub. If you have  , lets say 400 nm at the hubs with a final ratio of 4.00 you have a Flywheel Nm = 400 : 4.00 = 100 Nm flywheel.
So this cars engine has almost 40 hp at the wheels available and that isn’t exactly much  but gets the car from a to b.
So can we dos ome stuff to make this better ? You bet , and I promise it gets better and better….
Oki , here is some of the first “ myths “ to be investigated :

New air filter:
The sound & resonance tube that Nissan so kindly supplied these cars with: [IMG]

So these two will define a new result:

I am also going to experiment a little around this intake aerea here :
So what is it going to be now then ?

Well then , several runs later on the Dynapack and more numbers to wiew.
Let`s have a look at some of the details found :
These three items were the first one to look at and find out if they made ant difference [IMG]

The air inlet pipe, air filter and spark plugs.
First out  ;  the air filter. In with new one and out with the old one :
RESULT ; consistent increase of 1,5 Hp after multiple runs of testing the filter comparing old versus new.
Almost as anticipated since the old one was dirty and grimy. Took the time to test with and without the filter in the air-box with nearly zero difference in ieither HP or Nm.
Then I worked with the Air-tube or what Nissan has called “air-resonate dampener.» :
RESULT : 2 Hp increase but AFR was considerably weaker in the upper rpm region.
Noticeable lift of NM from 2500-3300 rpm Removal of this tube is the same as instantly lowering the peak point of the Nm to 32-3300 rpm area against the normal peak of  Nm at around 4000 rpm

Air-filter in or out  ; result as above with minute changes.
Did try several solutions on the inlet hole of the air-box , like this one and other cone remedias : [IMG]

None of which gave any positive result in either Hp or Nm.
One thing that became very noticable was the noise of the air rushing into the inlet after removal of the ”resonate-tube ”. One could describe it as quite aggressive and the sound waves hitting the underneath of the bonnet makes this a Baby Ferrari wannabee…
Ok , that’s  these details.
Now I wanted to test something that I have seen has been one of the most misunderstood “quick tune tricks » on the Micras

This wire-mesh in the throttle body has a function of smoothening out the air-flow as it passes on its way down the throttle body and past the heated wire in the MAF sensor that measures the drop of temperature through the wires as a function of how much air that goes by and into the cylinders at any given moment.
More than one time I have seen enthusiasts proclaim a higher output og the engine afterwards when the have removed the wire-mesh. Oki , lets try this then and off it goes : [IMG]

Oki , then it looks like this in here:
After many repeted runs with it in and out the result is :
RESULT ;  1,5 Hp LOST t as a average number of 4 runs tested with / without wire-mesh. So in it goes and it stays there…


Chapter 2 : » sparky «
Next step was something I knew would give a positive result after som juggeling around with spark plugs.
Several types , with the same heat range , was to be put to the test. Ran the same numbers of test with each set of spark plugs.
When the car was bought it ran NGK , with std heatrange  , and all test up until now has been done on them.
A sponsor gave me a bundle of plugs to test so that made it easy for me to do several tests. First set out was BERU , and the factory specified 1.1 mm gap at the electrode in the center. [IMG]
After several runs : RESULT ; Minus 3 HP
Actually , the more runs i gave them , the lower the numbers came out,,,strange.
Well , out they went and a set of NGK , same as the car came with was then tested : [IMG]

NGK at left here. These spark plugs had a cool V-groove in the centre-electrode that the producer of the sprak-plugs claimed would give more efficient and bigger “ bang “ as the spark traveled across the gap,,,lets find out if that’s the case .
After the same amount of runs as the BERU ones they tested out almost exactly the same as the NGK`s that was in there when the car was bought. Maybe a bit towards 1 + Hp ,,,but that’s just maybe near that increase , nothing more.
At least the gave me consistent numbers that did not decrease the power as the test runs increased. [IMG]

Out they went too.
Then I got hold of a type I have successfully installed with positive result in many other cars I had been working on.


These little friends have no less then 4 side electrodes for the spark action to occur from.

Oki , lets put them in and crank up the Dynapack:

Wheyyy , that’s the right stuff and a very positive result compare to the other
Blue =  NGK Light GREEN : BOSCH SUPER 4 After several runs , the BOSCH SUPER 4 gave a little bit more then 1,5 Hp at the tops and even a gain all the way from 3500 rpms. Later tests showed actually more when I opened up the gap to almost twice the normal gap recomended on these SUPER 4 plugs.
Very interesting I must say.
Ok a little conclusion of these latest tests then:
RESULT : Air filter = 1,5 Hp pluss Air-pipe  =  1,8-2 Hp Spark plugs = 1,5 Hp

Highest measured HP uptil now :

44.3 HP

Highest measured Nm uptil now :

69,3 NM
RESULT =  +  4,7 HP and + 7,1 Nm from original.
Over 10 % increase in Hp and Nm. NOT BAD AT ALL !
Comment : The car has now been driven quite a bit on the street and its not the big sceary numbers we are talking about , but definitely noticeable , specially in the mid-range area of the 2500-3500 rpms. Especially when there are more than one person in the car. It also works itself easier towards the higher region of the  rpm range.



Thought i just post the first and the last numbers on the project:
Here we can se the first dyno test and what i started with : [IMG]
39,6 Hp and 62,2 Nm
Then here are the numbers so far:

44.3 HP

Highest measured Nm uptil now :

69,3 NM
RESULT =  +  4,7 HP and + 7,1 Nm from original.
Next items to be worked at to finds some more ompa ompa from the engine are these : [IMG]
Anyone want to guess what happens  now ?



This little item was donated to the project and promises heavenly increase in power : [IMG]

Ohhh , yes , it will be tested and the results will be shown here.
Having worked on many competition cars earlier I know the difference between a powerful spark and a weak spark that does not support a peak power producing engine`s need.
So a new , home made set of low resistance cables will emerge  to the project
The work on a new set of copper core spark plug cables has started :

A sponsor donated these items to the project:
Now we are going to build and test the new cable kit to prove once for all if that will give any increase in power as a result of lower impedance through the cables that will bring more juice to the spark plugs and then again give us a bigger “ bang “ = more power.

Here you can see : Old cables ( OEM ) had almost 3 K-ohms resistance The whole coil here with the new copper core cables has : 0 Ohms resistance
Will this have a positive effect on the hunt for power you think ?



thought i showed you how to make a new cable kit with copper core centre:
So this is basically what im building a resistance-free cable kit from :
Here you can see the process of making a kit that will cost you about 12 pounds.
First you cut you desired length of cables to all cylinders.
Then You assemble the one ends cable connector and rubber thingy. [IMG]

The little connector just being pushed into the cables centre and you pinch the sidepieces into the cable for it to stick.
Yes you can solder it if you want to be a superhero.
On the other side of the cable you want to connect to the spark plugs and you use a little “ adaptor “ to be clamped against the cable.
You first take of some of the outer material of the cable like this : [IMG]
Next step is to put the cable into the adaptor and crimp it onto the cables outer [IMG]
I am using a special thingy for this but you can easily do it with a regular crimper.

You want to isolate your end of the cable so that high voltage current doesn’t leak out pass the cable and grounds itself in the cavity where the plugs go into in the head so I just found a cilicone hose thing to cut and use [IMG]
Cut a appropriate length to fit and then pushes it over the cables adaptor and rubber thingy follows after : ( I glue the little hose onto the rubber thingy )

Then you end up with something like this


I have later on used crimp-plastic on the end to make it easier to push the cable into the plug.
So here they are , your new DIY cables with NO resistance at all [IMG]
Then its off to the Dynapack and do some work to test the cables and the little black box i got donated ..



I have now played a little bit more around the ” black box ” and the cables.
The little black box is a small ebay gismo that proclaims wonderful improvement in power bla bla bla. [IMG]
We installed it in the prescribed way for the producer of the thingy.
No matter how it was installed , pluss some creative alternative installation of it , it did NOT give anything positive at all. In fact it just gave us a grunchy ECU that refused to cooperate when it was “in line “ in the system. The ECU simply wouldn’t accept it and the conclusion is ; BMW = Big money wasted.( for anyone spending money buying it.)
Then for something else , our home made HT leads:  they are ready to go in the car.

And off we go again on the Dynapack..



RESULT  = + 1,9 Hp From 43.5 to 45.4 Hp
NOTE : ( 46,2 Hp with even more gap ) We actually managed to open up the spark plug electrode even more and passed  46 + HP but we will not include that number as we only wanted to see what the cables themselves represented.
We changed from the old and the new homemade ones several times and it is a consistent increase using the new ones.
It actually feels as if the car even starts easier but it makes the AFR goes a little bit more lean toward high rpm aerea.
No misfire or problems whatsoever concerning EMP ( electro magnetic puls ) or anything else.
We put the ghettoblaster on in the same room , a tv about 20 meters away and none of them showed any sign of “disturbance “,,puuh.
So off and away with these:

As a side note we did take time to do another test :
Since the OEM Nissan cables might not have been fair to compare against  , old cables with fibercore , age etc  we got a fresh set of cables from a sponsor to do some head to head comparison against the copper core ones.

These have fiber core as the OEM ones.
We brought out the OHM reader and looked at the new cables values [IMG]
Then straight into the car for testing

Here is what happended :

The 2 graghs with the lowest numbers are the new fiber ones: 2 with highest numbers our home made copper core cables
The difference in no less then 2,6 Hp and 4 Nm in disfavour of the brand new fiber core cables with higher resistance and less «big bang » for the spark plugs.
-Copper core cables DO give more power -Used in Nissan Micra they DO NOT create ant el.interference when using the car -New fibre cables DO NOT perform better than OEM or copper cables
So , then our new results are :


Nm :

A quick look at numbers :
After last test =  45,4 – original 39,6 = +  5,8 HP  and  Nm = 71,5 – original 62,2 =+ 9,3 Nm
Not to shabby , or what guys ?


CHAPTER 3 : » Snake oils «



Testing so called ”low-friction ” oil and other snake oils ( at least that is  what it normally end up to be ) was not my intention on this project , it just became as a result of a sponsor contacting me and telling me about their experience with some “stuff “ they had tried.
Earlier in my work with both engines and performance cars I know how oils and additives actually can be of benefit for both stamina and power output.
Just never thought about it before this opportunity came along in the form of a sponsor GIVING ME FOR FREE all this to try.
This is what I will present some result of : [IMG]
Engine oil specially formulated to do and give you all the best bla bla bla and even for the gearbox so we can see if there is anything to be gained for us in power at all.
After the oils I will present you for a real killer in form of a oil “ additive “ that has always blown me away in earlier tests with other engines undergoing heavy testing. Have used this product over several years and wanted to show you all how “good stuff “ actually keeps  what It promises.This sneaky oily additive is the real deal , I promise you all !
I only show them here `cause it was donated to the project. That is why I have left out the sponsors name and you will never see me refer to any dealer or anything as a result for these tests. They are only and truly just a result of my own testing and that’s all.


Ok guys ,  the Dynapack has run wild on lots of runs testing oil and oil additive.
First I started with doing several control runs to see if the last measured HP / Nm was the same as now and after 6-7 test it was clear that the power was the same. I thought that was best to do as I didn’t expect the biggest numbers on these oil issue so I had to have full control of numbers before / after.
Started off by emptying out the old oil , changed filter and drained all the oil in there.
This is how the old semi-synthetic looked like in the tray : [IMG]

Nothing special at all and happily no debris or small parts in there.
Putting the REDLINE special oil in = put the amount in as described by Nissan.
When all the fillng was done and new filter on I fired up the engine: [IMG]

Remarkably  , the oil light has never turned off so quick before..hm.
Warmed up the engine to normal working temperature and when several runs later was done this is what the result was :

Hp went up from last measured   45,4 to 47 Hp = + 1,6 Hp gain !
That’s good considering that the producers of the oil says that the engine oil has to be run for some K`s before it is fully “working “.
Comment : there is now a distinct change of internal engine noise then before. Specially on idle as we earlier had something of a little tiny rattle noise from what we thought was the upper chain part and that noise is strangely enough totally gone.

Nm =  up  + 1,4 Nm
Oki , at least a gain for us so happy days again
We wanted to test the sponsored low friction gear oil  :

Fillng the correct volume of gear oil:


That is done by filling through the speedometer drive , where the cable enters the gearbox. Unscrew the 10 mm bolt , pull out the waier and fill it up through the hole. You can drain the gearbox from underneath undoing the special bllt using the back of a 3/8 ” ratchet square head.
Then its off with multiple runs again on the Dynapack and in the end we have worked up a normal oil temp in the gearbox and this is how it looks at the speedo in the car. [IMG]

A little blurrish but you get he point of the action going on.
A small increase of 0,5 Hp registered after several runs of testing. [IMG]
But again , the producers promises lower friction as the miles goes on so there will be a follow up on these teste later on in the project to see of that is the case…

Nm from 73,3 til 74,4 =  +1,1 Nm
COMMENT ; Its without question a positive effect on the way you now can both handel and feel the gearbox working. It is easier to shift and specially when the temperature drops down to under  minus 5 C or lower you will easily notice how more lightly it will be shifted. As a enthusiast I also feel that the speed you now can shift with in driving activities like Auto-x etc makes it worthwhile.
So let us have a look of what these low-friction oils gave us:
REDLINE  engine oil  1,6 hP / 1,4 Nm + Gear oil 0,5 HP / 1,1 nm .
RESULT  =  2,1 HP / 2,5 Nm  gain compared to what we had before.
That brings us to the final number of :
47,5 HP og 74,4 Nm

Not to bad i dear say !
And , as i promised you , THE KILLER !

Power in a can ? Lets find out , shall we ?
The producers says ; 100 ml pr liter of oil and we pour in 4 dl into the engine. [IMG]
Some of the benefits PROLONG is to give you.


As it is in Norwegian it basically says ; -lower friction -reduced wear -reduced working temperature -easier cold start -etc etc etc
This product will , as the low friction oils , take some K`s of running before it give full payback of it advantages but we will for sure see if it gives any measurable gains straight away from the bottle.
So off we go with a 20 minutes drive to make sure it has got a fair chance of blending in with the rest of the stuff in there and hopefully even started to give us superlatives to view on the screen of the Dynapack.
RESULT :  49,3 HP !!! An immidiate increase of power of =  1,8 Hp after 6 runs.


A little bit more than 1 Nm , not much but measurable anyways.
COMMENT : The engine runs more smooth on idle and in fear of being to enthusiastic involved I would say that it is noticeable how more willing the engine is when it is being pumped on the throttle. The car is to be driven for many miles to , as mentioned , be tested later on to see if the benefits will be even greater. We did managed to get up to 49,5 Hp by doing some runs that same day.
(Note ; i have used this product on many cars earlier and was not surprized that it gave a positive result. Normally it takes some km of driving before its full effect shows up at the tests. )
So for the numbers on oils / additives:
+ 3,9 HP og 3,6 Nm if my calculations are not to far off.
Then our latest numbers  visualized here: [IMG]

The only thing you can see is different is the cables.
Let us have a look at what we have achieved up to now then  in the “ Micro Micra “ project:
HP  = 49,3 / 5699 rpm :


Nm  = 75,5 / 3216 rpm :
That means from the original  to todays version :

39,6 hk –> 49,3 hk =   + 9,7 HK

62,2 nm–> 75,5 nm =  +13,3 Nm
That my ladies and gentlemen is no more than :
24 % + for HP 22 % +for Nm
That is big bang for the bucks if you ask me !
Even better is that this is absolutely achievable for everyone with a Micra by doing something like this to their own car….
Here is a screenshot of some of the beginning ( lower graphs ) and one where we are about now  so it is easy to see the direct results that we have so far :



Did i hear anyone say : More !



Chapter 4 : » fossile fuels «


Now the Micro Micra has run some miles with the oil additives in and I took a new compression test to see if there has been a change :

If we compare to the first test we can now see that we have actually a increase of 0.3-0.5 bar through the different cylinders :

This corresponds with  what the producers of the oil additives claims with their products and that is good. Note : later tests has shown even higher numbers.
The Micro Micra project has now come to the point where we have found some OEM limitiations of what we gan get away with without  touching anything than merely small details for more power. One thing that I have seen is that the fuel system is limiting the ability to give us more than a “ economical “ view of point conserning more ompa ompa on the hubs.
I need to be able to juggle around some more stuff with the AFR ( Air fuel ratio ) to go further.
I decided to put in a  adjustable pressure regulator to do some more research. This fuel rail is the OEM from Nissan [IMG]

(marked with red line)
4 fuel-nozzels are working in a predetermined pressure set from factory through a set regulator on the end of the fuel line.

I was lucky to be sponsored by a company called : TURBOKING with this new adjustable regulator [IMG]

( chinese is no problem when you speak the language—ha-ha )
To make it work on the OEM fuel rail I had to make a adaptor from a piece of aluminium so that I could fit a fuel line into the rail


Here is the little piece of Alu i used on the OEM regulator to the right
Thought i put in a new fuel filter at the same time to makes things  predictable: [IMG]
The reulator is installed and with a proper pressure-meter i will be able to see what pressure i use at all times when i change it.
The pressure regulator has a built in function of lowering the pressure by a vacuum outlet that gives lower pressure near idle and around high vacuum conditions.  The regulator is highly adjustable in even the smallest increments.

So why put in a adjustable fuel regulator ?

Just because it gives you a fair chance to get involved in some minor tuning scenarios and work around AFR issues you wouldnt otherwise be able to do.

When you change to bigger throttle blade or other details that makes the engine breathe easier you will , if nothing else is done , end up with a less then ideal situation regarding AFR ( air to fuel ratio ) and power being produced.
With such a smart little pressure regulator you will be able to find ( at least working on a Dynapack as i do ) the different power peaks as you project progresses along after different modifications. But with certain limitations of course.
But as a crude rule of thumb you will normally get away with a better result after some work with the pressure compared to having no means of adjusting it at the same level of tune your in at that moment of time.
Yes , it will run more richer at some points of the rev / laod range but at the same time it will definitely run better at the most interesting aerea  ; where you want it to produce more power , and thats not near the idle or low rpms .
have a look at this picture :


( The graphs are from another Micra project i am involved in. )

Here you can see 2 different working line pressures , made possible by a adjustable fuel regulator and how it affects the AFR ( air fuel ratio ) in the engine.

Higher line pressure generally means lower AFR and vice versa for lower fuel pressure.

This is the exact same engine and everything , exept we are now able to make a different AFR in regard to power etc..

Here are the 2 corresponding power graphs of the earlier posted AFR / fuel press , graphs :



Simply by increasing the fuel pressure =  you will get nearer the AFR that the engine will produce more power from. Just by using a adjustable fuel pressure regulator that i showed you.


Chapter 5 : » Breathe «



Here is next step in the Micro Micras adventure :

The throttle body itself is from Nissan a quite clever little thing.
Nissan has integrated several details of engine “ management “ into it and will be able to , in a small modified edition , support quite a raise of power output. _Not htat the totally stock OEM throttle body doesnt support more power , its just that it does so in a even better way with a slight surgical procedure
One little detail I found out when I was working on my flow-bench ( Superflow 130 M )is that I has a restriction inside in form of a way to big throttle blade axelshaft which is , when power starts to increase , a “speedbump “ that is unnecessary.
Testing many Micras on my Dynapack has shown a consistent increase in power with a small and swift surgery of its shaft area. Not so much with the subtle increments that the projects steps are into now but more later on as we go along.
This is how : When we flip our throttle body and see underneath  it you will find this: [IMG]
After some small calculations and some work on the Flowbench i know there is room for improvement.
Look at the actual dimension of the axle shaft itself , framed in red : [IMG]

This area is restricting the incoming air more than it has needs to and as being in the way of the incoming air-masses it will play a role of how much air that will pass at any given time.
In my works with the Micras I have found that there is small gains in almost whatever you do in the air-path before the throttle blade , in regards to different types of air-boxes , hoses , ducts etc. Except from a proper inlet “ air-horn “ fed by cold air as shown earlier in the thread.
On the other hand , all the details you can incorporate that will make the incoming air`s work easier after the intake blade makes a huge difference. Specially with some of the modifiactions that i will show later in the project.
At least if you compare the money spent versus power gained. It is not uncommon that you would pay 50-100 pounds for something put on before the throttle-body and not getting anything back..
So what I do is simply to make this restriction a little smaller by machining it flatter with a simple die-grinder and you will end up with something like this :


Takes about 1 hours of work and now you can see the difference in available area for the air to pass through.
This is several CFM ( cubic foot pr minute ) more capacity then STD axle and if you want to push some buttons on the calculator, quite a few more square mm in percent of the original area available and that’s what we are after.
Bear in mind that at this level in the project  im am only using the OEM throttle body and NOT a bigger one . That is because i want to show that the OEM will , with this small modification, support substantional increase in power WITHOUT any negative feedback from the process. After having done many such modified throttle bodies i know its worthwhile.
This modification in conjunction with this little thingy I am making here will be my next test object in the project : [IMG]


First I am turning it in my lathe to get the right diameter and height. [IMG]
Using a piece of Nylon bolt that was laying around in my garage.
Here it is ready to be machined further and I have clamped it onto my cnc milling machine. [IMG]

Oki , this little “ thingy “ is going to be a spacer between the throttle body itself and the inlet manifold:
The notch on one of the sides has this purpose :

I use a gasket to mark the outlines of the underside of the ”thingy ” : [IMG]
Make some cutouts for bolts to go through :

Then I mill out the interior of the spacer with a long end mill: [IMG]
When the interior milling is finished I will use a die-grinder and some grinding flap wheels to sculp it smooth as I want it to get a nice transition from the throttle body into the plenum in the intake.

The single hole in the middle is to be able to utilize the idle-control valves air-passage needs so that is drilled into the spacer.
Now all of the machining is finished and I will mount the spacer onto the manifold and I now need some longer bolts and I just use these that you can pick up cheap at the hardware store for a few pounds: [IMG]
As gaskets i just use universal gasketmaterial that i will use a small ball-ended hammer to knock out the wanted material. This is a easy way to make any gasket you might need : [IMG]
Finally I can mount the spacer and check that everything is right : [IMG]
Looks ok and everything is as planned when assembled into the car [IMG]
So her it is finished and this spacer will have several purposes as i go along in this project and the first thing a will show is just its use in combination with the modified throttle bodys axel shafts…


Here you can see what the result was after just putting onto the manifold the modified throttle body and spacer : [IMG]
(Our last measurement was :50.00 HP / 75.8 Nm ! )
NOW : 52.3 HP and 77,8 Nm That was a net gain of 2,3 Hp and 2 Nm
A gain throughout  the rpm register was noted and not just at the top and more torque lower down. For the first time the engine now produces power passed 6000 rpms.
-The throttle blade modification gives the engine increased breathing capabillity that will give us even more potensial as we progress with the next levels of tune. The increase / gain in power is not the biggest at this stage of tune but nevertheless an important turn to understand the potensial of increased capacity on breathing.
-The spacer is contributing with more even distribution of air into the manifold / cylinders , giving more torque and helps the engine breathe easier in this state of tune and thereby give us more power. Plenum volume is important with the layout of the Micra manifold. The spacer will be even more important later on in another level of tune.
So then , this project started with this : 39,6 HP / 5547 rpm 62,2 Nm / 4098
And now we have : 52,3 Hp / 6127 rpm 77,8 / 3403 rpm
(Note how we now got more torque at lower rpm than std. The spacer is one of the reasons for this )
So the gain we have achieved  for now is then : 12,7 HP & 15,6 Nm !
So we have got away with over 12 Hp by simple methods that actually is proven and works everyday in the car.


Chapter 6 : » Exhale «



It is time to do some more work on the Micro Micra project.
We are now going to look some more at these things

Will show some work on them to see if we can tweek some more out of this little fellow here.
The OEM ex-manifold didnt interest Nissan any much at all.


Rather poorly designed and very small passages internally , specially  in the “neck “ area of the manifold.
The cat is also very often showing up to be a pain in the a… [IMG]

This one also with a not so good bolts in it that I am going to fix.
My goal is just to find out if the manifold , via very simple approach , can be reworked to give us some more ompa ompa. Nothing professional  , just plain and easy understandable stuff.
Oki , lets find some stuff to work with here:

I have some junk pipes laying around and I will find something here to improve the manifold with.
I will try to cut the oem manifold open like this:

A couple of swift cuts with a angle grinder and voila :


Here you can se the internals of the manifold and the small passages inside it.
My approach is quite simple and straight foreward. Cut , add & weld !
But since i am a workaholic i thought i start doing this : [IMG]

Strap it onto my milling machine and mill the heck out of it
When it is finished it looks like this:


Some grinding i did too innside.
Cut some pipes and dont know what…

Basically I just swapped the cut out part with these parts: [IMG]
I pre-heated the hole lot on a cooking plate , Tig-welded the lot in a jig and it was only about 0.3 mm out of shape after it was finished.
That I just shimmed in my surface grinder like this :

Put a couple of layers of some heat paint over it :


Presto !
Now it hopefully will work some better. Before ;


You can see that i also welded in a new place to put the 02-sensor in. After ; [IMG]
The Cat got some bolts repaired and I ripped out the internal web of cat-material that was all melted rock hard [IMG]
Put some paint just for fun on that one as well:

In the car it looks like this :


Have put in a new o2-unit as well.


Well , here are the result of the home “adjusted “ manifold :
RESULT = + 3,5 HK ( @hubs )
So we are now up to: 55,8 HK / 6280 rpm 78,4 Nm / 3520 rpm
In a scale from 1-5 in how this can be felt it must be a 4 points on that.
Now it revs more freely and more easy reaches the top rpms on the Dynapack and on the street.
We are now in a situation where we have got 16 + more HP out of the engine by just easy stuff and that is a tod over 38 % increase in power !


 Chapter 6 : » crossroads «

So now i have come to a crosspoint of determination of what to actually throw into this pile of experiments on this car.

The goal was to get as much for as little as possible , acheived so far , but could there be even more simple tricks to get more ?

Jepp , there is and it is coming from this lump of metal here :


This is a donor 1,3 liter Micra engine that will part with some of its inner parts 🙂

Some measurements shows that this is going to work quite easy without to much fuzz.
And no , there wont be bent valves or anything after we`re finished.
So then , lets go straight to the point :
Changing over the 1,3 camshafts to the 1.0 engine is not that complicated at all and I will show a rough way to how to do it.
( First check all your valve clearanceses before doing anything . Use a Haynes manual or likewise )
First you place your cylinder no 1 in TDC ( top dead center ) and then the camshafts will look like this in the cylinderhead:

Made some reference marks that you can see at the 2 bottom lower circles and note how the camshafts lobes are positioned in the upper 2 blue circles. In that way you have some additional reference marks when you put them into the 1 liter engine. You can make similar markings on your 1.0 liter before you rip them out.
Down at the lower crank pulley you will see the corresponding markings for the right position here at the blue circle [IMG]
After that you will detach the 2 pc of 12 mm ( head measurement)at the dizzy and just push it out about 10 mm. [IMG]

( blue circle )
You can mark the 2 cam sprockets as i did and you have even  more references of how to put stuff back together( red lines )

When that is done , loosen the 2 pc of 22 mm bolt-heads in front of the camshafts at their sprockets You can hold the camshafts by the 6-points marked with blue circle.

The chain tensioner is next and you can detach that by unscrewing the 10 mm bolts. You can access it by removing the left front engine mount and removing the front cover of the engine. [IMG]

Just compress it gently together when you take it out.
Now you can remove completely the pair of 22 mm bolts at the sprockets. [IMG]
Then you detach all of the camshafts carriers


Keep track of them and have them in a orderly manner on your bench.
If we take a closer look you can se the mechanical lifter buckets that transfer the camshafts lift onto the valve stems. You can also see the lifter bucket shims that takes care of the right valve clearance. [IMG]
The 2 camshafts of the 1 liter engine is now out and I have just machine washed them nice and clean. [IMG]
Lets have a look at the 2 pairs of camshafts and compare a little bit just for fun. [IMG]

Inletcams in compare ; 1.0 to the left and 1,3 to the right.
Bring out a caliper and you will find out that there is difference in lift [IMG]

1,3 camshaft

1.0 Camshaft 2 mm more lift on the 1,3 then…
Good stuff , more is better , right ?
Ok , then we just put the ripped 1,3 camshafts into the 1 liter then: [IMG]
Assemble all in reverse with a check of all our previous marked details for control of putting everything back on right. [IMG]
The tensioner just screws back into its housing so that it will go back into its lowest position so that you can put it in again.

Covers and everything back to where it were before


The valve clearences will need to be checked to 0,40 mm at both sides to make sure everything is ok.
Note ; if everything, regarding clearences  is ok with your own 1 liter engine , then it is almost 99 % for certain that the clearences that you had will do for the new 1.3 liter camshafts. I have done several changes and NEVER needed to change the shims on any of them so far with this procedure.

Then everything is in place..


So lets see what the final result of the Micro Micra are then with this camshaft switch.


Then we have the results of the camshaft changes  in the Micro Micra project.
HP :

Nm :

That means that just by adding the 1.3 camshafts  directly bolt on we went from :
55,8 hp to 62,3 Hp = + 6,5 Hp !!
Nm from 78,4 Nm to 81,8 Nm = + 3,4 Nm


Now it is time for me to close this project by showing what the total result was after our little journey with the Micro Micra project :


 +22,7 Hp

 +19,6 Nm



SUMMARY ( short version ):

For me as a enthusiast of cars this journey has simply been fun an learningful at the same time.

It represents something different than building serious machinery for a competition car or a street racer and all the rest i do as a engine builder. Simply said refreshing and petite fiddling with something else 🙂


The Micro Micra project was done completely during a period of 30 days  as a project just to show what can be done in an easy and non-sofisticated way.
More then 100 000 viewings on several forums worldwide during s short time proves that it has cought some peoples attention and i appreciate all the comments that has been given.
The Micro Micra has now rolled many thousands Km on the street without a single fault after it was finished as a project.
It has participated in several events as Autoslalom , track and street events and there has only been positive feedback everywhere it showed up.

The » Micro » has proved even very good mileage during many thousand km on the street and a 100 % reliable vehicle despite the small funny things we did to it..
The proud new owner with a fresh drivers license will hopefully enjoy this little car even more than we did working on it.


PS : If you look in the menu you will find  another cool Micra project  : MAXI MICRA.

There you can take a look at a more than 100 % increase in engine power with some pretty nice twists of how to do what 🙂

 Thank you for looking at the Micro Micra project 🙂