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ArthurDent Reader
11/30/11 3:51 p.m.

I just bought this 1989 Nissan Micra. It isn't pretty but is a 5spd should be much more fun to drive than the nasty automatic Corolla I couldn't bear to drive. These were sold in Canada but not the US and are getting a bit rare here. The Canadian ones were a bit unique having the sealed beam headlights and offered only the 1.2L engine with either a 5spd manual or automatic.

It was pulled behind a RV in a previous life so the hood is missing a lot of paint.

Not sure what my eventual plans are for it but short term I'm going to add some 13" rims with decent tires on them. The stock ones are 12". Comes with three good 12" tires but I have no idea where I'd find a fourth. After that I dunno. It needs to be my winter beater but come summer the options are wide open. This thing is light and has the the thinnest sheet metal I've ever seen. Wikipedia says 1,490 lb and all of 60hp!

Engine is a tiny, all aluminum four cylinder with a carb on it. Rather similar in size to the Suzuki Swift engine. I'll post some pictures when I get it home.

1989 Nissan Micra

1989 Nissan Micra

Zomby woof
Zomby woof SuperDork
11/30/11 4:01 p.m.

You should still be able to get new 12's, or good used ones on Kijiji. You sure don't see as many of those as you used to.

JoeyM SuperDork
11/30/11 4:01 p.m.

you should have held out for the pink convertible....I expect they could be purchased very cheaply after clarkson said they looked like part of the male anatomy

Vigo SuperDork
11/30/11 4:14 p.m.
Wikipedia says 1,490 lb and all of 60hp!

Thats actually better power to weight than my Insight and i take that thing to 100mph all the time.

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
11/30/11 4:14 p.m.

........ What can you swap into one of these?

ArthurDent Reader
11/30/11 4:26 p.m.
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote: ........ What can you swap into one of these?

Not sure. There are some rumblings of people putting in a SR20DE in them but they are tiny so not sure about engine bay space. Here is a stock picture I found online.

1990 Nissan Micra K10 Engine Bay

Lesley SuperDork
11/30/11 4:30 p.m.

That was my first car!

mad_machine SuperDork
11/30/11 4:51 p.m.

wow.. the alternator is almost as big as the engine.

I see a lot of room in there

ArthurDent Reader
11/30/11 5:00 p.m.

I just read an article ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/triggerscarstuff/sets/72157615401781913/with/3362344749/ ) saying the engine weighs 152lbs - pretty light. There was a 1.0L version too but Canada didn't get it.

NineLivesJohnny New Reader
11/30/11 5:14 p.m.


Streetwiseguy Dork
11/30/11 5:26 p.m.

The reciprocating assembly in those is pretty, as I recall. They appeared to be capable of a lot of rpms, but were held back by the carb. And the size.

SVreX SuperDork
11/30/11 5:52 p.m.

That looks a lot like a Justy...

Winston Reader
11/30/11 7:34 p.m.

Is there an Index of Performance trophy in Rallycross?

11/30/11 9:46 p.m.

A friend of mine had one in high school. One day 5 or 6 of us picked it up and carried it behind a grove of trees. She was pissed when she couldn't find her car.

Can't say that you could carry almost anything made these days.

irish44j Dork
11/30/11 9:50 p.m.

is it me, or does the rear end look just like a Hyundai Excel, with the exact same taillights...?

Rusted_Busted_Spit SuperDork
12/1/11 8:16 a.m.
SVreX wrote: That looks a lot like a Justy...

I was thinking the exact sme thing.

integraguy SuperDork
12/1/11 8:45 a.m.

A search at TireRack and DiscountTireDirect gives you a total of 2 brands of tire (each store has a different brand) but not knowing the exact size it's hard to give more advice. Each store lists a tire 145 X 80-12 and one of them has a 165 X 70-12...which is close to being the same size as the 145, just a lower profile.

If it helps in your search, Ford Fiesta and I think Ford Festivas used 12 inch tires. You might call around to some tire stores if you haven't already, sometimes they can give you a lead on where to find an obscure size.

Raze SuperDork
12/1/11 8:47 a.m.


mad_machine SuperDork
12/1/11 10:46 a.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: The reciprocating assembly in those is pretty, as I recall. They appeared to be capable of a lot of rpms, but were held back by the carb. And the size.

so.. twin carbs or megasquirt and rev the snot out of it to get some power?

4cylndrfury SuperDork
12/1/11 10:54 a.m.

looks like there ought to be plenty of room for some SR20 power up front...

ArthurDent Reader
12/1/11 11:36 a.m.

There seems to be a couple SR20 swaps out there. Bike carbs have been done too and are intriguing.

Japan got a turbo version but they reduced the displacement to sub-1.0L

Zomby woof
Zomby woof SuperDork
12/1/11 11:54 a.m.

Find a core, and I'll grind you a nasty bumpstick

Too bad 175 50 13's aren't available anymore.

ArthurDent Reader
12/1/11 10:14 p.m.

Drove it home tonight - windy as heck and felt every gust in it. Engine runs like top but is pretty gutless. Gearbox is the proverbial spoon in porridge. Handling is has a good amount of body lean but still fun to kick around. Feel better once it has some better tires on it.

No more pictures except this fancy engine shot.

1989 Nissan Micra engine

Taiden Dork
12/1/11 10:19 p.m.

"Little Bandit"


neon4891 SuperDork
12/1/11 10:29 p.m.

Bike motor?

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