Puma 1400 Rally Build

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johnny h
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Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby johnny h » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:39 pm

I started a thread on this site about my rally car build in 2013, but as I have been concentrating all my efforts on the car I have neglected to update my thread. Rather than following on from the last thread I thought it would be easier to start at the beginning with a new thread.

There is a lot more steps (and work) than I have put in the thread below but hopefully it will give you an idea of what was involved.

I’ve no mechanical expertise but I have a Haynes Fiesta manual, a Ford S1400 rally build manual and I have relied heavily on the advice on this forum. As I am not a mechanic I may have made mistakes which will no doubt become apparent on my first event. Whilst writing this, the car is not finished but it’s not far off. There are many more things that I want to do to the car but funds have now slowed me down. Also I want to start competing soon rather than continuing to spend money and time on the car. The other upgrades can wait.

I debated whether to get a 1.7, 1.6 or 1.4 but I decided to go for a 1400. The reason for this decision is that; the 1.7 would put me in a class with 2.0 cars and there is only 10bhp between the 1.4 and 1.6. So I opted for the 1400 to be in the lower class with 1.4 cars.

I have rallied previously in a 205 with my trusty Co-Driver Johnny M, and loved every minute of it. The previous events have all been forest stages but we have decided to try tarmac for a change and therefore I have prep’d the car accordingly.

The story so far……

I bought a low mileage puma in good condition for the donor car. I think there are different thoughts on this as some would go for a cheap car as many of the components are being replaced but I wanted a good strong reliable car as a starting point. Green wasn’t my first choice of colour but as it was in good nick compared to the others I looked at I decided to go for it-

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I then stripped the interior of the car which was great fun….

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Ditched all the metalwork from behind the dashboard to save weight….

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Cleaned up the seams….

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To try and save money I bought an arc welder and had a go at welding the seams but I blew holes in the floor and set fire to the underseal under the car.

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(I have since been advised on this forum that arc welders are too aggressive on thin car metal). I therefore decided to leave the seam welding to the experts and to have it done when I was ready for the cage to be welded in.

Next I removed the sealant from the boot floor to save some weight (it all adds up!)

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After my roll cage was delivered from Custom Cages I then trailered the car up to North Yorkshire to have; the roll cage fitted, seat rails and harness points welded and the seams welded. The quality of the work was brilliant …

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As the puma is quite small inside, the rollcage fitter cut a section out of the cross member to provide more room for the seat….

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Cage fitted and painted, I then fitted a fibreglass fuel tank guard (I know there are stronger alternatives but I needed to keep an eye on the funds)….

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I then decided to change the bushes for poly. The old ones were that worn the back end wobbled like Beyonce’s backside. I decided to go for the black powerflex motorsport ones all round to help stiffen up the ride. I started by removing the old ones by pin-drilling the rubber, then hacksawing into the steel casing of the bush (taking care not to saw into the beam metal) they then popped out quite easily..

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I then painted the beam before putting the new bushes back in…

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I replaced the bushes in the rear engine mount (dogbone) with poly..

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I then stripped all the underseal off the car and painted it white. The nice courier man then arrived with my new Gaz Gold shocks….

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I then put the beam back on, fitted the shocks and ST170 hubs and discs …

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Funny thing that followed was that even with the springs down to their lowest setting, the car’s ride height was higher than when the original ford shocks were fitted (you can see this in the wheel picture further down this thread). I rang Gaz shocks to complain that they had supplied the wrong shocks/springs. They confirmed that they were the correct ones…… so after a lot of head scratching and several cups of tea, I realised that I had re-fitted the beam upside down …dooh!

Easily sorted and back on with the build, I then fitted the front shocks

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I intended on fitting the powerflex bushes in the front wishbones; however they were non-ford wishbones and following advice on here I realised that they would not fit. I then ditched the old wishbones and bought new ones with rose jointed solid bushes. I also fitted rose jointed track rod ends…

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I then fitted the Mondeo big brake set up on the front. I went for mintex 1144 pads on the rear and 1166 on the front. The 1166 are not normally available for the Mondeo caliper, so I had to pay for a special production run. Really impressed with the braking performance of the car now.

I then ran HEL braided brake lines throughout, running the lines through the inside of the car. Below are pictures of the rear brake line exiting from the inside of the car just above the rear beam and Tee’d to each wheel….

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I then ran aeroquip fuel lines from the fuel tank to the engine, routed through the inside of the car. I first routed the fuel lines through the side of the rear seat floorpan but the 90 degree aeroquip fittings made the fuel tank sit too low and I was concerned that the fuel tank would be the lowest point under the car (not a good idea for rallying!), so I then routed the fuel lines vertical into the tank as below so that the tank would be higher…

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However I did not like the fuel lines being stuck up like in the picture above in case something rolling about in the car struck them and snapped the connections so I have since modified it so that they are flat on the floor with a 90 degree bend just above the fuel pump with a metal housing above the entry point to cover the holes.

The guy who fitted my rollcage also made me fuel fittings with threads to allow for aeroquip fittings. You can see the standard ford fitting and the threaded type below –

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and the fuel lines connected with a fuel sample take-off (to comply with new MSA regs)…

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Wheels and tyres next….. I bought 4 secondhand speedlines, one of which was damaged so had to be scrapped, I then bought another 2 more speedlines but they were the wrong offset (not as per his advert!), but I have put these wider offset on the front and it seems to handle okay. Cleaned them all up and had the Hankook intermediate rally tyres fitted…..

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Above is the picture with the high ride height I talked about earlier!!

Me and my Co-driver Johnny M then went to Motordrive to be fitted up for the seats. I don’t know of any other seat manufacturer that builds the seat around you! Seats and harnesses then arrive….

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Motordrive 6-point belts fitted to seat rails…

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Drivers seat now fitted along with hydraulic handbrake, brake bias and 2 fire extinguishers – plumbed in and handheld…

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Next was the electrical kill and extinguisher pull cables. I have since moved these two further apart as there would be a chance of a marshal pulling both by mistake….

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I then wired in the aux switches and the cockpit fire pull cable plus fitted an alcantara wheel..

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New air intake…

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Helmet hammock and intercom…

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New 4-2-1 manifold with heat wrap…

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oil cooler…

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And hey presto, an MSA log booked Puma Rally Car….

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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby grayfox » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:36 pm

Bravo! Looks awesome! Skim read a paragraph or two but didn't see mention of an F2 wing, nice.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby CherryVimto » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:17 pm

I've never been a fan of the Pacific green, but that Puma looks great!
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby mrbushrat » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:15 pm

Looks fantastic! Looks like we have found similar problems and solutions Also the same suspension. Where did you get the door squares?

Graeme
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby johnny h » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:33 pm

mrbushrat wrote:Looks fantastic! Looks like we have found similar problems and solutions Also the same suspension. Where did you get the door squares?

Graeme


Hey, glad to see that your nearly there too. It would be great if we were on the same event in the future.

I was interested in buying you suspension before you decided to keep them. ended up paying full price for new ones. Have you played around with the settings yet.. ride height, rebound etc?

Made the door cards.....reversed puma graphic on the back of clear polycarbonate then sprayed black.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby FirstPuma » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:06 pm

nice build did u do something to the engine except the air intake ?
cause i would like to see some upgrades that pay off on a 1.4
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby mrbushrat » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:24 pm

johnny h wrote:
mrbushrat wrote:Looks fantastic! Looks like we have found similar problems and solutions Also the same suspension. Where did you get the door squares?

Graeme


Hey, glad to see that your nearly there too. It would be great if we were on the same event in the future.

I was interested in buying you suspension before you decided to keep them. ended up paying full price for new ones. Have you played around with the settings yet.. ride height, rebound etc?

Made the door cards.....reversed puma graphic on the back of clear polycarbonate then sprayed black.

Door squares what you put your numbers on not door cards lol.
Had a bit play around with the suspension at Croft but it's to hard for mull. Need to use 200lbs front and 150lbs rear as it's 300 front and 200 rear.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby johnny h » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:26 pm

FirstPuma wrote:nice build did u do something to the engine except the air intake ?
cause i would like to see some upgrades that pay off on a 1.4


The only engine upgrades so far are the air intake, 4-2-1 manifold, performance exhaust and high flow fuel pump. As I mentioned in my thread i'm running low on funds now but I hope to fit performance cams and ecu remap soon so I'll let you know how that feels. Would recommend improving your handling and brakes though.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby johnny h » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:43 pm

mrbushrat wrote:Door squares what you put your numbers on not door cards lol.
Had a bit play around with the suspension at Croft but it's to hard for mull. Need to use 200lbs front and 150lbs rear as it's 300 front and 200 rear.


LOL..... the door squares were from Creative Vinyl

I think from memory my springs are 350 front and 250 rear. These ratings were specified by Gaz technical dept. If you do get new springs let me know how you get on.

One observation is that with the car in the air, the springs on the front are loose, ie they are no longer compressed. is yours the same and is it an issue? Just thinking that they may not be line up true after landing from a big jump.

My rears came with the thin helper springs so they don't do the same.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby mrbushrat » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:48 am

I would of thought that them lbs springs are far to hard. Mine were spot on for croft and will be fine for smooth stuff. I have just put the film on the windows so mine is about ready for its logbook. I have another car to build before mull but it just needs the safety bits and bobs doing as it's our road rally car so suspension, brakes ect are all sorted. I like the graphics on your car but I have a few sponsors so need room to put there stuff on.
Car should be out for Ingleton for its first event but I won't be driving. Looking like mull will be my first event in the car!
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby Ziggy » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:32 pm

johnny h wrote:One observation is that with the car in the air, the springs on the front are loose, ie they are no longer compressed. is yours the same and is it an issue? Just thinking that they may not be line up true after landing from a big jump.

My rears came with the thin helper springs so they don't do the same.


Sounds like you need some helper springs on the front as well.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby Andrew Hebron » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:07 am

Looking good Johnny. What's your first event?

mrbushrat wrote:Need to use 200lbs front and 150lbs rear as it's 300 front and 200 rear.

johnny h wrote:I think from memory my springs are 350 front and 250 rear. These ratings were specified by Gaz technical dept.

I'm using 220lbs on the front and 110lbs on the rear. We can compare notes in due course.

I use 9" on the front and 10" on the rear, both with helper springs. On gravel, I may use 10" on the fronts as I'd like the higher ride height anyway.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby johnny h » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:10 pm

Sounds like I need helper springs for the front.

I'm a bit concerned about the springs though. Andrew... are your spring ratings for gravel?? Graeme... are you just doing tarmac? Are your choices from experience, theoretical or advice?

We've pencilled in the pendragon stages in August but would like to fit one in before then. Any suggestions? Still got a few jobs left on the car. I need to fit longer wheel studs on the front but the hubs need separating first which destroy the bearings. I'm also waiting for a fabricator to make my sump guard. Would like to do some testing first possibly take it to Anglesey on a track day. Also concerned about noise testing, do you know what the max level is on tarmac events?

Andrew...What's your first event? Is the gear selector easy to sort?
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby Andrew Hebron » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:07 am

Hi Johnny,

As far as springs go, they're for everything but I have 3-way adjustable dampers so I can stiffen or soften the suspension with that. I have no real idea if they are right or not, but I took some advice from Birkbeck. I certainly didn't find them too soft on the bit of testing I did on concrete.

Thinking of weight distribution of the car though, I'd expect the rears to be much lower rating than the front so am a bit surprised at 250 for the rears. I've been helping my mate set-up a rally parts business for C2s and cracking the suspension conundrum has been the hardest bit. He's spoken to loads of suppliers and I did at the Autosport show; many of them are very circuit-focused and tend to specify overly hard springs. The good news is that springs are relatively cheap to replace and experiment with.

I was going to do Woodbridge Stages at the end of this month, but I've pulled my entry. I might get everything fixed by then but not tested as well. The gearbox needs a rebuild. I think the gearkit is OK - it'll be a selector fork or something I hope.

Good luck with the track day. Get some pics up!
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby mrbushrat » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:33 am

The springs I got with the kit. They are fine on smooth tarmac as we did a track day at Croft and they were spot on. And almost ran into the back of some porches out braking them. The springs are far to hard for the road let alone bumpy tarmac think you will find your springs far to hard for the pendragon but you don't know till you try. I also have a puma road rally car and that handles bumps and yumps brilliantly. Was just out in it yesterday testing for a road rally next weekend. So got a good idea where the car needs to be.

Graeme
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby Ziggy » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:13 pm

I think FWD race cars run harder rear springs to reduce the effects of understeer by making the tail loose on corner entrance. Around 250 lbs front and 450 lbs rear for dedicated circuit car, some go over 500 on the rear along with rear tyre pressures well over 40 psi.

"Sealed" surface rallying is different and again and so is rallying on the loose - all have different requirements, including suspension travel!
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby johnny h » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:03 pm

This gets more interesting!!

Following on from the above posts, I looked in the Ford 1400 kit car build manual and that states a recommended set up for tarmac as follows-

Springs (N/mm)... Front 200/70/75 Rear 250/60/40

Is this saying 200 on the front 250 on the rear? And what does the other figures relate to? Are they to do with the height?

it then states ...

Helper springs ....Front 40/60/40 Rear 50/60/30

What are these figures?
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby TGPlayer1 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:10 pm

I would assume they are mm measurements, as the fronts are shorter and fatter than the rears. It may be something like rest length, compressed length and width?
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby Andrew Hebron » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:41 pm

johnny h wrote:This gets more interesting!!

Following on from the above posts, I looked in the Ford 1400 kit car build manual and that states a recommended set up for tarmac as follows-

Springs (N/mm)... Front 200/70/75 Rear 250/60/40

Is this saying 200 on the front 250 on the rear? And what does the other figures relate to? Are they to do with the height?

it then states ...

Helper springs ....Front 40/60/40 Rear 50/60/30

What are these figures?


It's metric. When you quote a spring rate in pounds, you actually mean lb/in as it is a measure of weight required to compress the spring a set distance. N/mm is simply Newtons (instead of pounds) per millimetre.

The 3 numbers in the spring specifications are length, internal diameter and rating. So to convert into imperial, it is saying:

front: 8 in long / 2.75 in ID / 428 lb/in rating
rear: 10 in / 2.35 in ID / 228 lb/in rating
helpers: you can do the maths!

You can see these three specifications in action on the Eibach part of the Demon Tweeks site.

It's a shame the build manual doesn't give a gravel rating as that would be much more useful as I think these figures are for super-smooth tarmac. As I said above, Birkbeck suggested 40 N/mm (228 lb) fronts and 20 N/mm rears to me to cover bumpy tarmac upwards. If you do need springs then I've had great service from Faulkners - give them a call.

Further to the examples of race boys having mega-hard rears, it's useful to note that both the Birkbeck suggestion and the build manual have the rears at half the rating of the fronts.

I hope this helps...I think we are all "learning by doing"!! :lol:
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby mrbushrat » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:47 am

I think between us we will have this puma suspension cracked this year lol. I think best way is to get out there and try the car on the tarmac as everyone has a different driving style and how they want the car to feel. We have some bumpy roads round us but at the moment they look like this. Image
Got the road rally car out next weekend so been out for a run but still lots of snow in places.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby drmotorsport » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:59 pm

looking good, where did you get the rose jointed wishbones and track rods from?
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby johnny h » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:21 pm

Andrew, thanks for the explanation, it's all clear now. On yours and Graeme's advice I'm going to fit softer springs.

Graeme, what neck of the woods are you from? snow? It's almost tropical in Bury.

DR sport.....got the wishbones and trackrod ends from Compbrake.com really happy with them.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby Andrew Hebron » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:52 am

johnny h wrote:On yours and Graeme's advice I'm going to fit softer springs.


Oh blimey...
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby mrbushrat » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:22 pm

I am up on county durham.
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Re: Puma 1400 Rally Build

Postby joedeltahf » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:33 pm

interesting about the rear springs. I have standard shocks / spring on the rear will fiesta ones fit and be softer?
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