The £650 Puma

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The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:26 pm

What was the last car I considered when looking for a cheap bit of fun? Well, it was the Puma. It was only after leafing through the back pages of EVO magazine when I saw the verdict - Pluses: Everything. Minuses: Nothing.

A quick skim through Pistonheads, Autotrader etc proved that a usable 1.7 Puma could be had for about £900. After thorough research (well, about an hour) an ad on Gumtree caught my eye. 94,000 miles, history, 11 months MOT, 11 miles away, £850 ono. A quick email to the seller confirmed that it was still available and that he was keen to sell. I agreed to see the car the following day and, with a healthy dose of the flu (yes, proper flu not man flu), I went to view in the dark.

A look around the car confirmed that it was a bit tatty, rusty but well loved. It also ran beautifully and all the controls felt as they should. Only downside was the rattling rear beam and the slightly wobbly feeling that you only get with four utterly different tyres on each corner.

"£650?" I joked through a haze of Beechams cold and flu and a mild fever.

"Yeah, alright, done."

"Oh, uh, great!"

A week later, I drove my proud purchase home and very good fun it was too! Here's a couple of pictures (after a new set of Falken 912's today).

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So, tyres done, next is a bit of a service (all in £43 for oil, filter, air filter, plugs just need to actually do it...), new rear bushes and probably a cambelt, tensioner and water pump change then it's on to the body work.

I've already made a start on the keyed bonnet which came up very well after a clay, Meguires Scratch-X and a polish...

Before (fairly deep keying):

Image

After (keying gone!!):

Image

Lots of fun to come!
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by Reeso-Puma » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:45 pm

wow for £650 that’s a bargain mate and can see loads of potential with this one keep us updated :)
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by yippeekiay » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:16 am

Nice one ;)
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by badger_ » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:09 am

Looks great for the price :)
I decided on a Puma after reading Evo too :)
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by red » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:16 am

Looks like a great car for the money :grin:

Keep up the good work.
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:30 pm

Been out for the first properly spirited drive across some twisty B roads (to a local brewery to pick up some NY cheer) and am thoroughly impressed! How much grip?!? Also, the engine and gear ratios are so well matched. Still have a daft grin on my face (as does my neighbor that came for a spin, I think he'll be looking for a Puma soon...)! It's certainly a whole lot easier to drive quickly than my old 205 GTI and much less intimidating.

As an added bonus, whilst showing off the engine bay, I spotted a sticker proclaiming that the cam belt was done about a year ago. That's a sizable bill that's no longer there! Also found the six disc CD changer under the front seat which I'm chuffed about. I was resigned to digging out my old cassettes from the loft but I don't need to bother now. It's the bargain that keeps on giving!

Finally, does anyone know the colour of my Puma (in the pictures above) or the paint code? Sort of grey-blue colour?
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by red » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:41 pm

Sounds like you got a cracker :D

The colour would appear to be Cuirass which was an early colour on Pumas.
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:44 pm

Ah brill, thank you red. Any colour name with 'ass' in it is worth having!
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by boospuma » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:21 pm

wish you all the best with the car ...... realy a bargin off a life time :twisted:

what about rust,brakes exc .....
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by haGGard » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:10 pm

Bargain, doesnt look too shabby either to be honest, the bonnet has came up well.

Yea by far the best thing about the 1.7 is the VCT, just keeps pulling and LOVES to rev till the tappets dance!!
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:40 pm

what about rust,brakes exc .....
Yep, it's got both of those!

Rust is in the normal places, rear arches (both not too bad) and the sills have a good amount of surface rust that will clean up ok. There's plenty more I'm sure but hey, it's a 13 year old Ford. The only problem is that I originally bought it for a year of fun and stuff it if it doesn't survive. However, I'm starting to fall for it so can see a running resto coming on. Need to find a good body shop and try not to go mad as we've got another baby on the way in June!

The brakes are not great but the discs look fairly recent and it pulls up alright considering the tiny set up on the early Pumas. The MOT shows an advisory for brake lines slightly corroded so that'll be something to look at when the weather picks up and I can be bothered to break out the tools.

The clutch also feels like it hasn't been done too long ago either so all in all, I expected it to be in far more ropey condition than it's turned out to be!
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by boospuma » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:45 pm

your too late ..once you drive this cars ..its like an adiction .... i yust cant stop .... i love'it ...... hope it dosent fail on you then .... soo the kids will enyoy it alsow :twisted: 8)
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:59 pm

Well, with the temperature hovering at a balmy 2 degrees, today seemed a good day to do the service. To top it off, it snowed a bit. Perfect.

Donned a fleece, thick coat and some ski socks and set about draining the oil. Before anyone starts worrying about the lack of axle stands, the jack was just used to take a bit of weight of the suspension enough to clear the oil catcher (about an inch).

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Remember that, if it's cold, a cup of tea is essential.

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It looks like it's gone a fair while without a service if the black gloop that came out is anything to go by.

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So, on to the oil filter. The next two and a half hours were spent cursing the idiot that had decided to put the old filter on, presumably, with a ten foot breaker bar. My removal tool was too big to fit in the tiny recess and the mass of air-con pipes meant I could get any purchase on it. A borrowed chain whip wouldn't grip either so I was scuppered. After a grumpy roast dinner, I swallowed my pride and went to Halfrauds and bought a natty metal tape style tool which I could just about get in there but it still wouldn't budge. I lost my temper and whacked it with a rubber mallet while shouting 'Why won't you f*uk(ng move!?!' and it finally started turning!

With that finally off, I smeared the rubber seal on the new filter with a bit of oil, cleaned the mating face and spun the new one on and tightened it, and this is the important bit, HAND TIGHT! Filled with oil and checked and double checked, oil change done.

Next, plugs. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but NGK sparkplugs have never had a pointed electrode like the ones in the following picture. Also, gorilla mechanic had been at these too and was lucky that he hadn't stripped the threads as I had to use a mid sized bar to shift them! New ones put in and neatly pinched up just a bit.

Image

Now, considering that it has a fairly good service history up until fairly recently, I can only say that the garage that serviced it clearly cut plenty of corners! I wonder if the plugs have ever been changed?

Mucky air filter next!

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Coolant was next which was sitting an inch shy of the minimum mark so topped up with antifreeze mix.

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Lastly, topped up the screenwash and tidied tools, safe in the knowledge that a job that should have taken no more than an hour took most of the day.

I'm not sure why people feel the need to do things up so tight when most know that for things like the oil filter, it only needs a tweak to be on properly! Ah well, done now and starting to get the feeling back in my hands!
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by yippeekiay » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:18 am

Nice one :ok:

I had the same trouble with my oil filter...luckily I have a huge screwdriver that did the trick i.e. hitting said screwdriver on blunt end caused sharp end to spear previously mentioned oil filter. A little jiggery pockery in the correct direction loosened off aforementioned filter....lol.
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:57 am

Yep, would have loved to have done the same yippeekaiy, but there just wasn't the room for some reason! As it was, the slim tool I bought would only just fit right on the top of the filter and the handle had about 1/2" of clearance before it hit the potruding edge of the sump. Nightmare!
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by yippeekiay » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:33 am

I didn't say it was easy....lol.

Far from it. I had to spear it off centre so I could at least get it to move a little, then spear it a few more times so I could inch it round a bit at a time then use the previous holes to repeat. Once I'd speared it once I had no alternative but to keep doing it as the car was disabled basically and no way was I walking to my nearest Halfords...ehhe!!
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by zara#014 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:31 am

Awesome work mate!!1

Just goes to show if you actually shop around abit you can pick up a bargain!! gad your enjoying it!!

looks like a decent one at that! :D
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by Cherie » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:10 pm

I miss my old cuirass puma, wait until you get it in the early evening sunshine on a summer's day; the hint of purple in the paint will really show up! :wub:
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:02 pm

I have to admit that the colour looks pretty dull in the winter! Glad it looks good in the sunshine but we've had precious little of that so far! It'll need quite a bit of work to get the paint back to anything approaching decent as it's been washed with grit by the looks of it. Still, it wouldn't be any fun if it was perfect to begin with!

Picked up a stone chip whilst out the other day so parked up until I can get hold of a repair kit (can't really fork out on a new windscreen just after Christmas and the roads are terrible around here, it's bound to crack). If anyone's had experience with the kits before, I'd be glad to hear about whether they work or not.
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by Cherie » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:06 am

I've plenty of photos of my old puma: http://s405.photobucket.com/albums/pp137/R501MJF/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; some show the colour better than others, but there's some from Ford Fair 2007 that I love. One of them crops up in the site banner now and then.

I'd have checked your insurance, as that's likely to have windscreen cover on there, and I think repairing stone chips (as opposed to replacing the windscreen) is usually free.
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:24 pm

It's only Third Party F&T so there's no windscreen cover but I will check just in case.

I've already had to have the windscreen on my C4 replaced last month for exactly the same reason. Glad that was covered as it was about £750 worth of glass!!

Pictures look great by the way although I don't think mine will be looking that tidy any time soon!
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:51 pm

Honeymoon period is over now as I found both the driver and passenger foot wells good and soggy. Looks like Sunday will be spent with tube of sealant and re-aligning the drivers side window (it does bind on the way up occasionally anyway)! I guess this is the most likely source of the drivers side being damp? The other side will be much posted grommet issue I imagine!

As my wife said, "you'd have probably sold it by now if there was nothing to tinker with"!
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by nutty » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:18 pm

Hi
NICE CHEAP CAR :grin:
A car that does not need work is very rare. And thats the best part of a puma tinkering :lol:
Check your water as it may be the heater matrix.


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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:29 pm

Coolant was a little low but nothing abnormal. Doesn't smell of anti freeze and it's only appeared when it started raining yesterday so I'm not that worried. 8-)

Will try the pollen filter box as well as that seems to come up quite a bit on searches. Sad thing is, I'll probably enjoy tracking it down...
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Re: The £650 Puma

Post by The Arch Bishop » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:21 pm

I've been having a flick through the Ford TIS cd to see about how best to tackle the pollen filter box. It mentions removal of the air-con pipes to enable the release of the bulkhead extension. It doesn't look like that's necessary though but can anyone who's done the job give me an idea of whether they really do need taking off?

Edit: Not to worry, was reading it wrong. Must remember to think before I post!
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