Paul's Silver Puma

Do you have a Puma that is a project? Do you want to track the progress with your own thread? Feel free to do it here.

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PaulZ
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Paul's Silver Puma

Post by PaulZ » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:30 pm

Some of you have probably seen me asking some questions on the forum so I thought I would start a project thread for my new toy to keep track of my progress and some of the adventures we get up to along the way. I will also take the opportunity to introduce/reintroduce myself properly so here goes. I hope you enjoy the journey/story and no doubt as many of you already have will help me with questions along the way so thanks in advance.

To start with my name is Paul and I used to have a black 1.4 puma which was my first car. She was a brilliant first car that never gave me any trouble despite giving her hell on track fairly regularly. Unfortunately she met an early demise on the 14th Feb 2018. A blind moron decided she didn’t know how to use a roundabout anymore, changed lanes without looking and crashed into the rear offside quarter pitching us into a spin which ended up with us backwards into a car waiting to join the roundabout. The double impact to the back corner seemed to shunt the rear beam mounting points across quite badly resulting in the car crabbing so she unfortunately went for scrap. I decided I didn’t want another puma because it wouldn’t be MY puma and settled on a Cooper S for its replacement (my wife’s choice).

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Fast forward to the end of 2018 and I was in chatting to my Mechanic about servicing the mini and he had a Puma up on the ramps which looked very clean. It was in fact a car he had rang me up about the previous year but as I had my 1.4 at the time I turned it down. Anyway I ended up having a nosey around. relatively rust free arches, rust free sills and only 48K on the clock. It turned out the owner was thinking of putting it back up for sale shortly so I promptly told him to give me a ring once it’s up for sale. Time skip again to start of Feb 2019 and I get the call, A few days later I was the owner of my second Puma. The car was then stored till I had the space to put it in my garage and work could commence which is where we are now.

So the car? It is a 2 owner Moondust Silver 1.7 Puma with 48K on the clock. The previous owner was an older chap that bought it for his wife back in 2002 when he worked in sales at Ford and it came is as PX. Not much paper work to support the service history but my mechanic who looks after all my cars worked with him back at Ford and has serviced it regularly since he owned it in 2002, even after he left Ford and went independent. The original owner also bought and had it serviced from the dealer they both worked at so the car has and will remain local. Only negative points are that the paperwork or my mechanic don’t have any notes of the cambelt being done so first port of call was a cambelt and major service just to freshen everything up. The last MOT also threw up an advisory for a wheel bearing and a brake pipe so those will get attention at the same time.

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Onto the plans for the car. I won’t give a full planned spec list as that ruins the surprise, it also may change along the way. However I plan to use it as a daily and track car as I did with my 1.4, although I may take it a bit further at a later date. The sole point of the car though is to just have fun down a B-Road and also get plenty of track days in throughout the year which is something that stopped once the Mini came along.

After clearing the garage out I decided to wait for the start of April to tax the car so just used the time to order everything for a major service and new cambelt etc. Had the below all fitted earlier this week so happy to actually drive it without fear of the cambelt letting go now.

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The first picture of the car above was after a quick wash this evening but she desperately needs a thorough detailing session so I will make a start on that this weekend followed by some polishing sessions next week. Then it will be a case of putting some miles on the clock and then carry out any preventative maintenance that I think the car needs.

Once I am happy everything is running right I will refresh and modify the suspension, brakes and bushes in one big job. Whilst it’s all apart, I may take the opportunity to strip apart and paint the rear beam and other components like that. Engine wise I probably won’t do anything significant. Maybe an FRP map, FRP air box mod and then an unsilenced mid-section/cat back for some extra noise. Interior I have a set of FRP seats I bought from Blue3 many moons ago which I saved from my last puma so they will be going in along with the door cards being re-trimmed in black Alcantara. Externally I will fashion together or buy some form of front splitter. Other than that it will be fuel, tyres, brake pads and track days as frequently as I can afford really.

I have tons of questions for how people have gone about carrying out different things, little bits of detail around a job, part numbers as well as bolt torques required but I will ask about them when I get to that job as this post is already pretty lengthy. I will hopefully share my next bit of progress with a properly clean car soon.

Cheers
Paul Z
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Paul's Silver Puma

Post by Wild E. Coyote » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:35 am

Nice car! Good job getting it! :ok:
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Post by red » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:40 am

Nice introduction to the car there Paul 8-)

Sounds like you've found a great base to start your project and have made a sensible start with the major service.
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PaulZ
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Post by PaulZ » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:54 pm

Thanks Folks. She does seem like a really nice car that just needs tidying up a little.

Managed to make a start on polishing the car last weekend (Pictures to follow). It is already a noticeable improvement to the car. Lots of little scuffs have been removed and generally car looks much brighter and fresher with a decent level of shine to it. I am going to give it another going over though with an All in One polish though, then it will be windows and rubbers followed by a couple of coats of wax. Should have the old girl back out the garage in time for the long weekend.

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Post by PaulZ » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:16 pm

So little update after the long weekend. Managed to finish up the machine polishing. Not sure if the pictures really show much difference buts its hugely noticeable in person with a much clearer and crisp shine to the paint. Aerial was pretty brittle at the bottom and fell apart when I removed it to polish the roof so fitted a new genuine Ford one (Part No. 1948182) which cost about £10 on EBay. Still a few other little bits to tidy externally. Possibly some new number plates since they look pretty tatty but generally pleased with the improvements on the outside. I will get started on the interior next week sometime possibly.

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Also rolled the old girl out for her first proper road trip today. A solid 250miles and it didn't miss a beat. Coming from an EP3 Type R and still got the R56 Cooper S I was expecting it to feel somewhat slow but in all honesty real world driving its got plenty of go to have a bit of fun on a sunny day. Properly chuffed to be back in a Puma and looking forward to cracking on with the suspension and brakes refresh soon.

A few pictures of how she sat last night, before the 250mile fly swatting session.
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Post by red » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:10 am

8-) definitely got a nice shine showing.
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Post by Wild E. Coyote » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:06 am

Very nice indeed! :ok: :ok: :ok:
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Post by PaulZ » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:57 pm

No big update since the last one really. Interior still needs a good clean but gave it a quick tidy up. I will strip all the seats out and clean it properly when the rear interior comes out for the suspension rebuild and FRP seats going in.

On that front, parts are coming together nicely. 95% there with just some poly bushes and front pads to arrive which are due any day now. Once iv got all the bits ill write up a full spec list and post some pictures because everyone loves shiny new parts right?

We have been on a few road trips though which has been good to put some more miles on the car. One down to Burnham on Sea to collect a nice set of 9 Spoke wheels from another forum member and then being in the Cotswolds took the Puma out for a little drive out last Wednesday with some friends from work (cars varying from Caterham's, GTR's to beach buggies). It was a pretty brisk 55miles which highlighted how woeful the 240mm discs are and most likely fluid age related but managed to start boiling the brake fluid which is a first for me. It came as a little bit of a surprise especially as I wasn't driving particularly hard. I know how bad the 240 brakes are and in the company of cars present wasn't even remotely interested in trying to keep up but still felt the pedal getting a bit longer and softer towards the end of the route. Ill put it down to old gone off fluid and always planned to get refreshed when I do the suspension and brakes which should be very soon.

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New wheels and boots fitted. Never been a fan of the prop wheels to be honest and really think the 9 spokes make the car look a lot younger, plus they fit ST150 brakes without spacers :-D .

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EDIT: Pictures added

Cheers
Paul Z
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Post by PaulZ » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:43 pm

So part collection is complete. I now have everything I need for a full suspension refresh, brakes overhaul and a few choice upgrades as well.

The aim was to use good quality parts throughout and build a really solid foundation for track use but without compromising tooooo much on road use. My mileage isn’t huge and I don’t have to do any commuting in it so I have aimed it slightly more towards track than road= if I am honest. Despite this I haven’t gone to silly on mods and spent £1K+ on race suspension or race spec brakes. As before though I have chosen what I deem to be good quality parts that will make a noticeable difference for my application. Anyway parts list below.

I’ll start with possibly the most interesting parts.

Mandatory set of AP coil overs from Venom Motorsport. I toyed with getting something a little more track focussed but decided I wasn’t happy spending £1K on GAZ gold or AVO GTX coil overs. I’ll use these till I think they have had enough abuse then may consider upgrading at that time.

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Any guesses what’s in the box?

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Nope? Yep?

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What about now?

Nope?

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So first up are a set of ST150 front calipers followed by Mk1 Focus rear calipers. Fully refurbished by Bigg Red. Bigg Red are a brake refurb company just up the road from me in Worcester. This is the second time I have used them now and both times I have been over the moon with the results. Naturally though rear callipers can only mean one thing. Yes I am doing a rear disc conversion with fully functioning ABS. This leads me onto …..

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Thanks to Wild E. Coyote, Tuonokid and XAF for their experience and input so I could get these rear hubs ready. For anyone wanting more info on how to get parts machined up just let me know. These are untested as yet so will confirm once fitted and working but I prepared some 2D drawings which should make the task easier when approaching an engineering firm in the future. I work in engineering so it was fairly easy to get this done but if anyone doesn’t have this background the drawings show the main intent more clearly and any good machinist should be able to use a bit of artistic license to get the job done.

Thanks to CherryVimto for the ABS part number. Easily sourced online and a straight ended ABS sensor. Not really sure if I need it since I won’t be using spacers but at least I have it should the old one fall apart when it gets removed (which it probably will).

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The rest is all fairly generic suspension parts with the exception of a full set of Black series polybuses and DS2500 front brake pads. DS2500 are my tried and tested brake pad. I have used a few others but in all honesty nothing comes close when it needs to be Road legal/friendly and still give good track performance. Black series bushes are new for me so we will see how it goes.

I bought all these from a company called Performance Link - www.performancelink.direct/.
I have no affiliation with them but a colleague from work (The Owner of the red MR2 above) pointed me in their direction after I was fishing for a 10% off at Demon Tweeks. If you have a look you’ll probably notice they are more orientated to Jap cars but I got in touch direct and they sorted me out with competitive prices and delivered in a very good time frame so very happy with the service received.

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Some new rear splash guards from Ford.
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Then finally all the remaining parts to finish the job. Front and rear Pagid brake discs, Febi Bilstein top mounts all round, Moog track rod ends, Moog ball joints, Meyle HD drop links, SKF front wheel bearings, Ferodo Premium rear pads, ST150 rear handbrake cable, and an assortment of bolts I may or may not need. Any eagle eyed viewers will spot the magnetic sump plug to. This won’t get fitted until the next service though.

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So there we are, Stage one of my plan is ready to go. I have started removing the rear interior ready but will save that for another post over the weekend.

Cheers
Paul Z
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Post by red » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:27 am

8-) certainly feel different when that lot goes on I expect.
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Post by grogee » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:14 am

My favourite mod is the ironing board. Presumably direct-fit onto rear hatch?

just kidding... your mods list looks a lot like mine although I'm keeping factory suspension as I'm not using it on track (and am using it to commute).

Did the ST150 brakes myself using the Big Redd seal kit and some high temp paint. Their finish is certainly superior to mine!
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Post by Wild E. Coyote » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:20 am

Looking nice. The ironing board in the last picture is also part of the upgrade? :grin: (grogee beat me to it)
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Post by st220kyle » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:19 pm

Those wheels look familiar, good job.
Be nice to see you do the rear disc conversion when you get around to it
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Post by PaulZ » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:27 pm

hahahaha. These comments made me have a little chuckle. I probably should have moved it :lol:
or..... It is actually part of my elaborate development strategy with this falling into the aggressive aero package stage. I have actually been working with rebellion racing to develop big wings for their 2019 LMP1 car.

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Get in touch to order yours today........ :P
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Post by PaulZ » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:30 pm

st220kyle wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:19 pm
Those wheels look familiar, good job.
Be nice to see you do the rear disc conversion when you get around to it
hmmm I wonder why...... :-D. I should have it all fitted up over the next week and a bit so will give some feedback then. Fingers crossed it all works as planned.
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Paul's Silver Puma

Post by PaulZ » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:39 pm

So little update following on from the last.

Basically just stripped out the rear seats, door cards and seatbelts ready for the rear suspension change. Done it plenty of times before so no big deal really with everything coming apart nicely. No broken clips which is a bit of a result. Once I get a bit more time I will take the chance to pull the rear speaker bins and check if anything is lurking behind. Fingers crossed it will be pretty clean. Excuse the interior back in the car. Only having a single garage I had to store it somewhere for the time being.

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Also spent a little time prepping the coil overs. Plenty of grease on all the threads, fitted the front bearing and torqued up to 20Nm as per the instructions. I also set the front spring heights. Not sure where the exact range starts or ends seeing as the amount of thread is a lot bigger than the supposed dropped range of the coil over but I set it a little over 25mm from the bottom once the threads are fully formed. If the lowest drop is at the bottom of the threads I should see around a 35mm drop on the front which should be about right id imagine. No idea if that's correct though but once its on the car I can always tweak it to suit. For the rear I will set that once its on the car seeing as the lock nut appears to go on then just come off again to hold the top cap on.

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Hopefully have another update soon.

Cheers
Paul Z
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Post by PaulZ » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:23 pm

So a little ish update.

Everything is on the car now but I have a few niggles to iron out.
1) It sounds like the front left caliper is dragging a bit when pulling off. Not sure what it is or why so need to investigate that.
2) When applying steering lock the front suspension sounds like the springs are binding. Applied loads of grease on the top mounts but that didn't really fix it so may need to strip them back down and investigate further.
3) Rear ABS isn't showing any signal when plugged into diagnostics (Fronts are) so not sure if its the sensor or the machined parts. I have ordered a new Ford Puma loom rather than the escort one and hoping that as I am not running any spacers at the rear it will fit ok.

At least on the plus side its all on and in a drivable condition. Brakes are mega and a massive improvement over the 240mm setup it had before. I haven't had a chance to properly drive the car other than the odd short test drive. I also haven't adjusted the ride heights since fitting. The car is just sat how I had the dampers set before fitting but it feels much more planted now. Not that the Puma rolls a huge amount anyway but feels noticeably more controlled even at the low speeds I test drove it at.

Hopefully iron out the little issues over the next week or two and all will be good and complete.

Cheers
Paul Z
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Post by st220kyle » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:08 pm

We need pics!

And a guide on the rear disc conversion 😁
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Post by PumaJay » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:29 am

Nice little build you've got going on here!
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