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Hello there

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:43 pm
by SimonhSmith
Hi all,

Newbie here, looking to buy a 1.7. Been wanting to buy a Puma for a while, my neighbour opposite told me last week he was looking for a car for his son - he is now buying my wifes Fiesta so she needs a new car, perfect excuse! I live in south Manchester and a few for sale round here, really looking for a good one with minimal / no arch rust (yeah I know, good luck with that!). Off to see one tomorrow, 47K advertised as rust free but with crease in rear panel for £1600. Sounds a lot but a dealer nearly is (trying to) sell a Thunder with 144K for £1495! Didn't know the Yamaha engines would last that long (although my wifes Fiesta (diesel) is on 152k and going strong).

Hello there

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:02 am
by mad4jags
Hi there,welcome along.
Good luck in your search,finding a rust free example is getting very hard these days,although not impossible :grin:
Best thing is not to rush in,the right car will come along....sometime!!
There are genuine bargains to be had,I scooped my 1998 42,000 mile gem for just over £1000 a couple of years ago...she's near perfect,a real time warp example.
The engines fair very well if regularly serviced,and it''s good practice to let them fully warm up once started. :wink:
There's a wealth of knowledge on this forum,so you're in the right place.

Hello there

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:27 am
by red
Welcome and good luck with the search!

The engines (1.7) were only tuned by Yamaha, not a full block developed by them. Maybe this helps :grin:

Hello there

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:07 pm
by tuonokid
Hi Simon
It's not only the rear arches that rust you really need to look at the underneath where the rear beam mounts as well as the sills and floorpans. you will be really lucky if you find a car now without serious corrosion in these areas.

Hello there

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:10 pm
by SimonhSmith
Thanks for the welcome and useful hints.

After looking into several examples I have gone for the one described up top for £1475. In terms of paintwork there is absolutely no rust even around arches, upper sills, door bottoms. Within the limits of a driveway inspection with head under car and lifting carpets etc including boot I could not find any significant structural rust. Checked all MOTs and no advisories for rust. Car has near FSH (a lot by independents) and drove very well - but the brakes are crap aren't they! There is an oil leak, first noticed under engine sump and tracking from LHS rear lower pulley; looking from up top oil is evident at rear of cam cover so may just be this. Car was serviced 800 miles ago (plugs, oil etc) and all fluids looked good. I could not however find confirmation that it has had a cambelt change so this will need doing asap (not by me, well beyond my skillset). I am collecting Saturday and taking to a mates house who has a vehicle ramp in his garage so we can do a thorough underbody inspection, Waxoyl treatment to follow.

Now to find someone to do the cambelt.....

Hello there

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:22 pm
by red
Good luck with the new car 8-)

There's lots you can do with the brakes, most people find that just a good service and refresh helps sort things out (fluid, drums, disc, pads, bleed etc)

Depending on your year you will have either than 240mm or 260mm (approx) discs, it's an easy upgrade to the older models to change the calipers across. You could also think bigger and there's many choices for alternatives.

Hello there

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:19 pm
by YOG
It's been said many times before, but, for your engines safety, make sure you find someone who has experience of changing the 1.7 Cambelt Kit.

There's also useful info in the "How to Guides" section:

Where are you based, someone may know who you could go to to get the cambelt done.

Here's a link, when I did some of my rust-proofing: ... opic=97645

Hello there

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:19 am
by SimonhSmith
I am based in south Manchester.

Ref brakes, yes I will at some point do a full service and replace the brake hoses to start with. Certainly helped with my Kawasaki. In general I want to keep the car as original as possible and it will not be 'enthusiastically' driven in general so reasonable performance will be OK.

Ref cam-belt change, I assume perceived wisdom is to replace water pump and aux belt at the same time; also saw reference to doing the camshaft seals, anything else to consider? I intend to keep the car long term so would want to do everything sensible in the one hit.
I have yet to trawl closely through all the documentation, but in the worst case scenario the cam-belt could be original so knocking on 20 years old (car is W reg). I will arrange to get it done as soon as I can find someone trustworthy to do it but how much risk would I be taking using the car (gently) in the meantime? It will be my wife's daily transport which is a 10 mile round trip city commute.

Thanks a lot for the info on rust treatment too, again a lot to digest but really helpful. A question on what to use; by default I would use what I used to use many years ago on my 1275GT mini (sadly demised) which was Waxoyl (black and clear), I suspect the products mentioned here are somewhat better - the guide is from some time ago, are these still the best products to use? Again as this will be a keeper happy to pay a bit more for the best stuff.


Hello there

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:18 pm
by YOG
The nearest specialist to you that I would recommend, is Chris at Allison Automotive:

Re rust treatment, I used Bilt Hamber products, as they are highly rated on many car forums:

Hello there

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:43 pm
by SimonhSmith
Moment of truth.......

I picked the car up last Saturday and took it to my friends with the car lift so we could do a proper underbody inspection. Removed all the arch liners, dug out handfuls of dirt (how does so much accumulate??) and rinsed it all down. I could have cried...... for joy! There is ZERO rust anywhere on the inner body panels. It is almost mint condition (see pics). The whole underneath of the car is excellent, with just very light rust at the bottom edges of the rear frame near the suspension. The only significantly rusty thing is the exhaust - the centre pipe could be treated and painted but the rear silencer box is really shot and will need replacing. Can you get a split system rather than the whole thing? I need to check. The only downer is I had missed a dent in the passenger door which is strangely bent in and out - not sure if it can be repaired but am waiting on a quote from a fix-a-dent place.
Overall however really pleased. As a temp I have sprayed Waxoyl under all arch spaces. I will look at doing a proper job (thanks YOG) next summer.
I looked into the Allison Automotive rebuild info provided and they certainly know their stuff; I am now a bit torn what to do. My garage friend also has a (somewhat more typical) Puma and having watched the videos and read the guides he recognises the difficulties but is confident he can do the cambelt and tensioner change and setup (he has done other cars before) - he will even do his 1st to be sure! However I am thinking that although £700 (including clutch) is a lot to spend on a car I've just paid £1475 for, given the cars condition it could be a worthwhile investment getting it done by the pros - once done it will be good for many years to come and would give real peace of mind. Hmmmmmm..........

Hello there

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:44 am
by red
8-) it certainly looks pretty clean!