A day in the Life of a Fire Engine Red K11

#1
Bought a fire engine red K11, 1300 cc., hydraulic power steering, five doors 1999 with a year’s MOT, no advisories, eighteen service stamps and invoices to match. Looks, sounds and drives sweet just as it should, all good with a Kenwood radio CD thrown in all for £375!

Happy days, all for less than the price of one of those eighteen service invoices.

Acquired for my brother who has finally seen and recognised the proven provenance merits of cheap as chips durable and reliable get to work runabout bangernomics of almost cost free K11 motoring that just keeps going.

It put a smile on his face, lots of happy chappie smiles, long may the happy K11 saga continue and the K11s just keep giving? :)

Micra K11 “bangernomics”; - motoring’s best kept secret.

Reference: http://bangernomics.editboard.com/t125-nissan-micra-k11-is-up-there-with-the-minor

How to value a banger that is old enough to vote:

Reference: http://bangernomics.tripod.com/bangval.htm
 
Last edited:
#7
£375 K11 Update One Year On

Fire engine red 1300 cc just passed MOT for total all in cost of £90. Happy days!

Brothers only car & uses it as runabout & to get to work five days a week starting up @ 0430 hours. Starts first time every time, including freezing cold mornings with a faultless reliability record. I initially checked it over, changed the oil & filter, checked/cleaned the brakes and that’s the only maintenance its needed all year.

Pretty good for an old banger on 114,000 miles in its twentieth year bought for £375 a year ago. Needless to say he plans to run it for another full year of almost zero cost depreciation & maintenance minimal cost motoring.

Long may this very low cost cheap as chips motoring story continue. Very Happy K11 days. :):)
 
#10
Another day in the Life of a Fire Engine Red K11

Deciding when Enough is Enough.

I found tin worm infestation in brother’s 1998 1300cc fire engine red K11 @ both rear inner sills & front cross member, two months before MOT is due.

Welding quotes to MOT std. varied from £300 patch up job to & £600 for a durable repair. OMG, double what the vehicle is worth, the car serves us, not the other way round, can’t be doing with crap like that after getting two years trouble free cheap motoring out of it for its original purchase price of £375. RIP enough is enough.

Looked on Gumtree for another cheap as chips good runner, found a K11, X reg, coil over plugs @ 66K miles with a year’s full MOT & a wedge of old MOTs & service history invoice receipts totalling more than £1700 spent in the last 5 years.

Negotiated the purchase price down to £325, jobs a goodun! Happy days are here again.

Sure beats messing about wasting time & money repairing an old banger that is beyond its economic useful lifecycle, easier to let the old one RIP? No worries. “Why aye man!”
 
Last edited:
#11
Why don't you just weld.it your self? And been a 1.3 it's worth it's weight in parts now
A few bits of clean metal and sold old.engine old.when done
2 years is nothing and £375 is a decent sum
Garages are just going to rip off and normally.do poor work, haven't yet had a micra with good repairs from a garage ,better off doing it yourself
Same as spending a little time sorting the car out when you get it, ie waxoil, ect (not undersea or shultz)
Also spending a little bit of money on it when you get it to future proof it , and abi t later.down the line ,
It's worth it with a old japanese car ,it's why people are turning to the. Over.the newer models
This is what I hate about the micra community is no one wants to spend or out any effort into them,....
 
#12
I've got 3
Bumblebee had just over £700 spent on it and it will keep living fine for many years plus upgrade to.make it better
Celebration, just spend 250 on it plus some ask if on the sill/inner arch and vents ,that will live a long time , and again upgrades to make it better (both have new dampers coils, wheels tyres, brakes, ect)
And a panda one, its.Got corrosion but with some minor work on the sills and odds, should get a a good few years out of maintenance free (other then basic servicing ) ,
Before any more welding is needed , just if welded and sealed then threw a mot on as it sits after willing the spares I'll be in sub £200 for a 78k 2002 tempest that is in good shape and alittle more for the celebration , but I'm going little more and little more money specially on bumblebee and the celebration so they will last longer
 
#14
Why don't you just weld.it your self? And been a 1.3 it's worth it's weight in parts now
A few bits of clean metal and sold old.engine old.when done
2 years is nothing and £375 is a decent sum
Garages are just going to rip off and normally.do poor work, haven't yet had a micra with good repairs from a garage ,better off doing it yourself
Same as spending a little time sorting the car out when you get it, ie waxoil, ect (not undersea or shultz)
Also spending a little bit of money on it when you get it to future proof it , and abi t later.down the line ,
It's worth it with a old japanese car ,it's why people are turning to the. Over.the newer models
This is what I hate about the micra community is no one wants to spend or out any effort into them,....
Agree that ... a grinding wheel, a pot of Krust, old multi coloured end of tin applications of hamerite and compressor sprayed dintrol in the Summer works a treat. Last years. And then old engine oil thinned a little and sprayed on when it's up in the air every now and again will keep these things going forever.
 
#15
DIY welding rotted tin sheet filigree could be a plan, however it does not comply with our strategy of minimal time, effort & cost banger economics motoring with due regard to our discerning priorities, resources & skillsets.

Welding underneath compared to a relatively pleasant hour spent on the Web searching for a nearby minimally priced old banger with a new MOT & invoices documenting all necessary repairs & advisories completed for an all-in purchase price of £325, with no timewasting DIY work required, was our favourite optimal solution.

Now all set for another two or three years of reliable no maintenance, no timewasting DIY jobs K11 minimal costs motoring. We just put petrol in the back, ourselves in the front seats & just drive the thing serving us, exactly what it was built for. (y)
 
#16
But if we're to spend what let's say 5 hours a year on welding that may cost £20/30 it's cheaper and better then spending £325 every 3 years
For example my bumblebee, cost £220 with 8months mot and wanted front crossmember /repair,
When I overhauled it I went overboard but just to make it a good standard and to last
Realistically £100 on metal ,paint and brakes I would have happily get 3+ years no problem easy and be more then presentable
Tbh your strategy is poor, if your want cheap more maintenance free car why don't you just buy a newer vehicle , your currently buying cars that .if maintained would be more viable to save more, it's just lazy if your got the ability and time sort it dont,
Some times the car can be beyond repair but from what you have said you've got the plain jane fairly simple repair job ,

I bought two micra s from the scrap yard and one needed a small patch and a gearbox the other wanted two tyres , and 3 patches and that's why there were scrapped
After the repairs, and parts they came up £250 each with mot , and I know both are still on the road and passed their fine , and if the current owners spend a little time and work those two cars are going to last a few more years, even in their current state they should pass another mot , all cause I spend a little time and effect , didn't really cost much ,
And sitting on the internet all the time is crap, should I know done it before ,
 
#18
I agree with both of you.
However, as pml has said before, the killer is the back of the sills. I find I am rustproofing this lethal area every year to keep the rust at bay but, though, it is a small price to pay as I know the history of the car which pml does not really if he is changing every three years. Plus, there will come a time when you can't get a cheap k11 for 3 to 4 hundred.
So, I am with Nissanboy. But if can get them cheap I am with pml!
It is a good thread and topic.
Would be interesting to hear what others think.!
 
Last edited:
#19
I agree with both of you.
However, as pml has said before, the killer is the back of the sills. I find I am rustproofing this lethal area every year to keep the rust at bay but, though, it is a small price to pay as I know the history of the car which pml does not really if he is changing every three years. Plus, there will come a time when you can't get a cheap k11 for 3 to 4 hundred.
So, I am with Nissanboy. But if can get them cheap I am with pml!
It is a good thread and topic.
Would be interesting to hear what others think.!
Is a good discussion for sure. I think it's a curve ... once you took an 'unknown car' and shook it down .... the normal raft of brakes, pipes, bushes, bearings, oddball electrics and a service and a metal grind down, then you then essentially have a 'known car'. But for sure that can come at an effort and to some extent a cost. The welding is what confines most cars of this age to the scrap yard ... rarely the running gear and that's a shame I think. I've been through that same pain curve as Nissanboy on our K11 and 106 Pug and I do believe it to be worthwhile ... if a little hard work on the hands.

Looking across the folks I know, they tend to buy a car, get all enthusiastic about it, tell everyone 'what a good deal it was' then realise that it came their way for a reason ... not every time, but in the main because someone knew it was about to incur time and cost. And then of course they quietly dump it and then discover a new jewel that they repeat the same enthusiasm and process with and ECP get very fat off these folks. Now just to say that clearly does not apply to plm who more than clearly knows his stuff and knows his strategy and I have zero doubt works for him....but the folks round me? ... a lot less so.

A great example relates to our current K11. Lent it to daughter No.2 at a rough period of life (it tends get doled out to strugglers and then return home) as it was solid, cheap to run, rock solid and eliminated cost for her. All good. She gets to a slightly better phase of life and another relative decides she should not be driving 'that old knacker' and buys her a Pug 307 for £500. And in fairness it looked superficially rather good, a diesel, solid looking. But 3 years on, it's cost her nearly £3k in repairs ... worse still she has a friendly and competent mech who lets a lot go for free and what he does charge for, is very reasonable...most of that is bits!!!

So Micra spend = £0 and never missed a beat despite being abused and unkept, 307 = £3k (and rising) and regularly breaks down

Think the twist or stick thing is best (unless you very very rational and/or a total enthusiast) is better sticking with and working though ... to get to that 'known good commodity' but that can be a good deal of work. And I've noticed an increase in folks literally knocking on the door to ask if we want to sell the K11 and the 106 ... the K11 is tidy, the 106 less so but very solid ... folks are starting know that these things are bomb proof if they been shaken down properly and know the value I think.
 
Last edited:
#20
What Successor to the K11 Durable/Reliable Low Cost Legacy?

Quote 0ne: “there will come a time when you can't get a cheap k11”

Quote Two: “I've noticed an increase in folks literally knocking on the door to ask if we want to sell the K11 and the 106”

What is the next natural durable long term reliable cheap as chips banger successor to the K11?

I have in mind the early Yaris, Jazz & Corolla? (Timing Chains Essential).

Any others worth considering that can stand the test of comparison with the K11 legacy?
 
#21
What Successor to the K11 Durable/Reliable Low Cost Legacy?

Quote 0ne: “there will come a time when you can't get a cheap k11”

Quote Two: “I've noticed an increase in folks literally knocking on the door to ask if we want to sell the K11 and the 106”

What is the next natural durable long term reliable cheap as chips banger successor to the K11?

I have in mind the early Yaris, Jazz & Corolla? (Timing Chains Essential).

Any others worth considering that can stand the test of comparison with the K11 legacy?
That's a scary thought. Struggling to progress past K11 and 106 1.5d but I did read an article about the Jazz that said said of a car reliability survey (something like the JD Power thing) that the Jazz (recent model) had ZERO faults or complaints!!! Think that is a 17 / 18 model but you get the point ... maybe that applies to older models, not sure.

Yaris I've watched other friends run (badly and without care) and they seem to not be affected by the abuse ... so again supports your suggestion.

What more recent models can you run without the aid of a diagnostics tool? Forget what they call them but those plug in units? Given that more recent models don't tend to rust away like the mid 90's models, is the problem area the electrics? Not sure. Sounds a bit mad but I've only ever had very top end company cars, (E class, S80's 5 series etc) or base model units like 106, K11, etc .... the difference between work world and retirement :)

Then there's that middle ground like Xsara? Not my weapon of choice but the son has one and not a patch of rust, works rather well in the main bar steering wheel clock spring and emissions.
 
#22
On my MOT's I always budget for £200 - £400, I see this as fair price for a year on road legal motoring and it's 1.3 CVT and can't get another car for the money and + I know the exact history.
It's getting to the age where corrosion is taking hold, though I might start looking a a decent panel for replacements going forward.
 
#23
What Successor to the K11 Durable/Reliable Low Cost Legacy?

Quote 0ne: “there will come a time when you can't get a cheap k11”

Quote Two: “I've noticed an increase in folks literally knocking on the door to ask if we want to sell the K11 and the 106”

What is the next natural durable long term reliable cheap as chips banger successor to the K11?

I have in mind the early Yaris, Jazz & Corolla? (Timing Chains Essential).

Any others worth considering that can stand the test of comparison with the K11 legacy?
Fiat panda and , c1,107 and aygo?
They both suffer from rust on sills and rear, engine wise the panda is a simple 8v cambelt engine, the c1 is a 3 cylinder twin cam ,
Both are getting cheap ,parts are cheap, tho the panda has been proven good so long serviced (just rust .mainly kills them) the c1 can be questionable due to claimed oil pump/timing chain problems, clutch,water pump ,door seals, , then rust on underside ,sills ,inner rear.arches ,but this seems to be very over model and year
 
#24
What Successor to the K11 Durable/Reliable Low Cost Legacy?

Quote 0ne: “there will come a time when you can't get a cheap k11”

Quote Two: “I've noticed an increase in folks literally knocking on the door to ask if we want to sell the K11 and the 106”

What is the next natural durable long term reliable cheap as chips banger successor to the K11?

I have in mind the early Yaris, Jazz & Corolla? (Timing Chains Essential).

Any others worth considering that can stand the test of comparison with the K11 legacy?
 
#25
Do you have a garage or the potential to put a garage up to keep a car in and help keep the rust at bay? I have a suggestion but a garage more be the useful thing to have to accomplish it:unsure::p
 
Top