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May 2013 - keithSRI (P11)

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    Posted: 23 Apr 2013 at 6:51am

Congratulations on winning May 2013 COTM Keith! Both yourself and your Nissan Primera P11 SRi, are a very worthy entry in the NPOC Hall Of Fame!! How does it feel bagging this exclusive award and the awesome COTM trophy as well?

Wowsers trousers! I thought neither I or my old P11 would be worthy of this truly awesome accolade!! I’m well chuffed, thanks for the trophy y’all!!

Before we talk cars, modifications and mechanics, we’d love to find out about you the owner. Please tell us about yourself and what you get up to, away from the NPOC.

OK, so I’m a musician at heart… I’ve always loved alternative music particularly punk rock and dub reggae, but also the more aggressive dance styles like jungle and more recently dubstep. I played guitar in a recording / touring band for many, many years (see and have ran my own recording service here in Milton Keynes for a long time too (see I also DJ (once in a while now), I have nearly 2000 jungle / dnb records and used to DJ at warehouse / woods parties with the Exodus (Luton) and Junction-14 (Milton Keynes) soundsystems. 

Over the last year or so I have transferred my skills to live sound and visual events. I spent most of last year working on the Nissan Jukebox Tour, with the Ministry of Sound, as the main audio / visual tour technician which was utterly amazing. I also ran their content approval website for the project.  I did a small diary thread in the forum Pit Lane Section somewhere, of some of the places I went with it. Also last year I did a quote for Nismo’s new content website here in UK, but they went with another offer in the end, one of my best mates is a director at the PR and branding company Nissan use in Europe so that’s how I got the work. I am now hoping to gain a permanent job for a corporate events audio / visual company that have some big clients here in Milton Keynes.

For the last 12 years I have lived on a housing cooperative, where I held the position of Treasurer for some time. It’s a very interesting way to live when you cannot get a mortgage etc and there are loads of Co-Ops in the UK, have a search online to see what Co-Ops are all about! We collectively do most of the maintenance and admin ourselves on our estate and most importantly, we have no landlords whatsoever!! And the cheapest rent in the city!! I live here in Milton Keynes with my girlfriend of nearly three years, Becky, whom I love and adore.

How did you find the NPOC forums and are we any good? Would you happily recommend the club to other Nissan Primera owners?

Yes I always direct other others this way if I can, as it’s been such a great help and inspiration for me over the years and is really well ran and maintained. I originally had a different P11, a 2.0 SLX model, which I really liked. But after having a few minor issues, I searched online and found NPOC!!  Great advice was offered to me instantly, but the main thing I realised then, was how awesome these cars are and what I could do with one if I spent some time and effort on some changes, with help from people here.

What keeps you coming back to the forums every day?

The main reason is massive amount of help offered by really cool trustworthy people. Also I feel that NPOC is a bit of a one off forum, in that doesn’t act all cliquey when it comes to member’s specific model / trim / engine etc. This means you get so much more out of it than maybe other owners clubs offer, not only advice and help on a wider range of issues, but seeing all of the different Primera model’s being discussed in one place, means you see and learn much more about other members modding projects. I genuinely love this model of car, so am always nosing around seeing what others have done or are currently doing with them.  My phone’s browser always has an NPOC page open!!

What got you into a Nissan Primera to start with, was it on the list of cars to own, or a chance encounter?

To be honest, I was never into cars or the modding scene until I came here. My best mate had a black P10 eZX hatchback that I loved, so when it came to me getting a decent sized, reliable hatchback for my mobile studio gear, the Primera was the first model I started looking at, needless to say I didn’t look anywhere else!! To be honest back then I didn’t know my mate’s eZX was a higher power model than any other 2.0 litre spec, alI I knew was that it was a 2.0 Primera and went like a hurricane!

Do you have a history with the Nissan Primera brand, or is this your first time?

I ended up “juggling” the SLX with my P11 SRi (meaning I sold the SLX for exactly the same I bought the SRi for!). The SRi was in better condition and I preferred the tighter feeling suspension and body colour and so I never looked back.  Except at some of my mates in the rearview mirror that is! Haha!  

So the only Primera history was with my mate’s P10. I borrowed it a few times for various reasons (mainly being me owning a cut and shut Escort) and it was awesome. He paid virtually nothing for it and it went like the clappers.  Unfortunately he never had breakdown cover and I believe the gearbox went after 2 years of him having it, but he was miles from home so it was scrapped there and then. I said to him years later I thought it may have been the common driveshaft issue but he said using the gear leaver was like stirring ice cubes in a drink so maybe not…!!

Would you say you are a car modifier, or just passionate about keeping the Primera on the road and using the opportunity to replace failed factory parts with upgrades?

As above, I was never into modifying anything but maybe guitars and computers before I found NPOC, but you sure get a taste for improving things once you know what can be done!! That said, all I’ve done really is make simple changes compared to other members here. So yeah I guess I like replacing old bits with better or nicer bits if I can. For example I only got the rear light fittings due to a crack in one of the original tango lenses and saw the Lexus ones and so got them instead of an original lamp from a scrapyard. 

Also the body kit is a funny colour as is the KV7 paint. However all I originally wanted was a normal DR2 green kit, but at the time I could not find any being broken and all the KV7 parts came up for sale in the same month (from “Grim”s first breaking of a Primera!! and a guy from AOC). So I just ended up with them and a plan to spray them DR2. That never happened and it looked quite cool after I sprayed over some previous damage to front bumper, so I also matched it with the KV7 spoiler and side strips. My current plan is to re-spray just the very sides of the rear bumper, as it does look funny from a full side view when the bumper colour flips and the rear quarter panel doesn’t!! I’ll leave the rear of the bumper KV7 though, with a matt black tailgate, so from the rear you’ll pretty much only see KV7 (spoiler and bumper) and matt black (tailgate).

Any previous cars, you have thrown a lot of love and money at, in making it “your own”?

None at all, my previous cars were few and all completely useless! A 1.6 mk2 VW Golf that hardly ever worked and a Ford Escort 1.4 LX that I truly believe started off as two different halves! My first P11 was the first car I didn’t need to cross my fingers for when trying to start it. It was also the first car I changed anything on though, I meshed the silver bonnet grills and fitted the Lexus style rear lights.

On to the modifications, now would be a great time to tell us all about your gorgeous Nissan Primera P11 SRi! So please list your full spec and all modifications, inside and out:

1998 Nissan Primera P11 2.0 SRi hatchback in DR2 metallic green.


GTSE body kit, spoiler, door strips and fuel filler flap

GT bonnet grills

Seat Cupra splitter

Nissan N16 Almera wheels (unsure what model they’re from)

Genuine Nismo smoked side repeaters (Yes, genuine!)

Aftermarket P10 style eyebrows in matt black, and all front lamps tinted

HID 6k dipped beams

Extra SRi badges at side

Front GT spec mudflaps

Team Heko wind deflectors

Rear aftermarket Lexus style smoked lamps

Chrome door handles

Removed door pillar vinyl

Bee sting aerial

NPOC member stickers for extra torque and improved downforce.

Performance / engine

eBay SS manifold and downpipe with copper gasket set

Custom Powerflow SS cat back system with short tailpipe (original cat left in place)

K & N panel filter

P11 GT SR20DE exhaust cam fitted and timing adjusted to 17 degrees


Full P11 GTSE interior

Genuine P11 144 front floor mats, genuine P11 rear rubber floor mats

Chrome dial rings

Genuine front door sill chrome plates

P11 144 sunglasses holder

Kenwood BT92SD

Fli Trap 12 active sub

Fli rear speakers in parcel shelf (very cheap but sound OK surprisingly!)

Momo gear knob and Nismo gear shift sticker

Chrome interior handles

What’s the most enjoyable change you’ve made so far?

I reckon probably the bigger manifold and downpipe. Most people here fit them to GT’s and feel a nice difference, to me the difference was amazing for the price, as the SRi had an even smaller system than the GT’s do to start with (and had a pre-cat getting in the way)! So I gained a whole load of oomph there. Also though, the full leather interior made it into a new car for me. The horrible old red and green triangle design cloth looked totally nasty and also I (stupidly still) smoke, so the leather doesn’t end up smelling like ashtrays like the cloth ones might.

Any horror stories of something you thought was going to be an awesome idea but just didn’t work when it went onto the car and can now be found in a bin somewhere LOL??

Yeah I fitted a tiny Corsa splitter to the original smaller front bumper which looked kinda dumb, then even worse I cut it into small outer sections and tried to hang them off the back bumper as spats – not good… So in the bin they went! Very similar story to the last time I drank a bottle of red. It also ended up in someone’s bin, after my belly decided it was a bad modification to have done to myself…. I’m full of bad ideas, but every now and then think of a good one. Which is normally confirmed by learning it was someone else’s idea first anyway…

If I gave £500 right now and told you it had to be spent on the car, what would you buy?

I’d be really boring and get the rust sorted! Haha.. The OS wing and NS rear arch are looking worse by the hour!! I dare not look under the sideskirt! Or if not repairing bits, it would be to replace the suspension to lower it a bit, nothing special, Tein springs and new shocks. I wanted the KYB adjustable shocks really, however not sure they can be sourced new anymore, so I’d may well go for coilovers.

If money was no object and you could do anything you wanted to your Nissan Primera P11 SRi, what would you do?

VE lump, proper coilover suspension, bigger brakes, a nice set of 18’s, full matt black wrap. All rust gone with full underseal etc. Or… I’d book it into RML ( near to me in Wellingborough, as I met some of their techs last year who were great to hang out with (they built the Nissan Jukebox system cars and the Juke-R, you can find the build videos on Youtube) and they were the company responsible for the BTCC Primera builds in the 90’s. I’d pay them to go nuts.

Do you carry out most of the repair work yourself and is there anything you wouldn’t take on and out of 1 – 5, what rated spanner monkey do you consider yourself to be?

Ooh, only maybe a 1 or a 2?! I do servicing myself, including brakes and I’ve replaced calipers with no problems, all exterior bodykit and interior changes are easy, however anything more than that on the mechanical side of things I don’t really have the tools or space for, it’s been other members here that have fitted my exhaust and completed the cam swap etc. I think it’s maybe a matter of trusting yourself, and I am the king of doing dumb things… Last time I saw member “Grim”, I drove 80 odd miles there after I asked him to change a driveshaft, then quickly realised I’d left the locking wheel key at home. In fact it had been sat at home for an entire month whilst I drove about blissfully unaware that if I’d have had a puncture, there’d be no way of removing the wheel and fitting my spare steelie. So yeah, I don’t always trust myself with seemingly simple “common sense” things let alone any proper mechanical work!!

Time for the quick fire question round!

What makes you smile? 
My cat Voodoo. Also the fact that at 33 years old, I still wear Reebok Pump. 

What makes you sad? 
Apparently the fact at 33 years old, I still wear Reebok Pump.  Also that the world is over-run by greedy, power welding, bigoted people….

Tell us something we don't know about you..
I was named after Keith Richards.  My middle name by family tradition should have been Richard after my Grandfather, until my Mum realised my Dad’s plot and made him change it, if I was to be named Keith.  So I then got Ronald as a middle name….. Which happens to be the other guitar player in the Stones! My Dad is a Stones nut!  Although I learnt drums first, I started playing guitar at about 9 years old.

Your favourite colour? 

Your lucky number? 
I’m not superstitious and I don’t believe in fate.

What will it say on your gravestone?
Game over – Insert Coin to continue…

Your favourite drink (any)? 
Double Lavazza espresso.

Your sub £10K second hand dream car would be? 
If I could find a really nice spoiler less R34 it’d be that. 

If you could steal the keys to someone else’s car (on NPOC) for 1 day, which car would you steal and why? 

Ooh, “Mad Maru”s SR20DET. Or can I cheat and choose not a Primera, but “Grim”s GT4RC instead?! Haha!!

So you’ve been an NPOC member for 5 years now (WOW!) and to date, we’ve never met you, or seen you at any of our Club Meets – I’m genuinely interested as to why?

I’ve always been a busy chap, but if truth be told, I’ve been a lazy git I guess… It is a bit odd being in the middle of the country as the South meets are quite a way and also the north ones too!! I should have gone to Peterborough or Ace Café by now though. I’ll get along to one soon as I can this year I promise!!

Can you see yourself owning this car for a long time, or will it’s time sadly come and you’ll be driving something completely different?

I was thinking this the other day, I wouldn’t want anything more than a decent condition P11 at present still really. Even though at the end of last year I was contemplating swapping it for something a bit quicker like a 200SX (can’t fit much in the boot though!), I do plan on keeping mine as long as possible now I think. I would definitely search high and low for another P11 in good nick to transfer the nice bits from mine over to, if it does go at any point. They are getting quite rare to see now and even my old SRi turns a few heads and I think that makes the Primera even better to have. The P11 GT shape is quite aggressive I think, which I like a lot. That said, in my opinion all models prior to the P12 looked great, but I’m not a fan of the P12 shape at all I’m afraid…

If I was to move on I’d still look at older Japanese cars I think. I might start looking at some of the old Mitsubishi Galant models they did (like the VR4!), or maybe if being a bit more practical a big import wagon like a Stagea, so I could get more recording gear in there!

NPOC for life (regardless of what car you own and drive) or leg it when you change car?

I’m on the site every day without fail, even if just seeing what others are up to, so I’d like to think I’d stay for as long as you guys keep running it, rather than when I change car! As above, I plan to try and find another nice Nissan Primera P11 first if mine gets too rotten, so can’t see me going anywhere!!

Sum up in a few words, why everyone should own a Nissan Primera??

They feel great to drive whether you’re an enthusiastic driver or not, they’re also great as low maintenance family cars that can be driven happily, for no end of time with virtually no loss of comfort, performance or reliability. Plus the P11 shape sill looks really cool with the GT kit on, even 17 years down the road from its release.

Tell Carlos Ghosn why he needs to bring back the Nissan Primera brand:

It should be bought back as a higher powered model, like the Z cars, as part of a Nissan Racing Heritage range! All of the guys I’ve met at Nissan (including Steve Robbins at the Tech Centre here in Cranfield who worked on the UKDM P11) agreed they were an awesome design, extremely well balanced and performed brilliantly on both track and road.  

From 2013 onwards in every COTM feature, my final question to all winners is going to be this one... If you could change 1 thing about the NPOC Forums, what would it be and why (and don’t be shy)?

I think it was suggested recently, but a section that shows your active threads would be great, for threads you have not just started yourself, but have participated in at some point. I’m forever getting lost as to where I was contributing!

Many thanks for telling us all about yourself and your Nissan Primera P11 SRi Keith, you have a cracking car! Congratulations once again for winning Car Of The Month for May2013! Please end this feature, in your own words and feel free to thank anyone who’s made this one possible.

Thanks to everyone over the years that have helped me with tips, advice and parts so I can keep enjoying my Primera! Not least “shade” and friend Ade who have helped countless times now, with fitting various exhaust parts and driveshafts amongst other things! “Grim” for his endless help with keeping club parts stock (lol!), helping me with sourcing loads of other bits over the years and doing the cam swap / timing for me and “edk_N16” for the alloys.

The forum has been totally ace, and to all the moderators that keep on top of things – Well done and thanks. It’s a really great, well run site for all levels of users. Many thanks again to all for the award! I’m well happy!!

See y’all soon promise!

Congratulations once again to Keith!

May 2013 COTM - keithSRI

Written by essNchill

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