Budget Puma TURBO Project!!


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New member
Jul 20, 2009
Under my car
Hi all, ive decided to put my project up here, yes, its another turbod puma, but hopefully for less then anybody has ever done 1!! Ok, before i tell you how much i have budgeted for it, id like some responses as to how much you all think it will cost, including buying the puma, Y reg, and a turbo set up, along with full exhaust system, and rebuilt engine with low compression (as its low budget, its going to be a decompression plate, for 2 reasons, 1, its alot cheaper then low comp pistons, and also, you actually loose engine capacity if you use low comp pistons, as they takes volume away from the cylinders, and add it to the combustion chamber, where as a decompression plate just adds to the combustion volume, while keeping the cylinders the same).Im going to keep standard ECU (Well it has a racing puma map on it) and use an FMU (like a power boost valve, but adjusts the fuel rail pressure at multiples of the manifold pressures).Also full stainless cat back (Miltek), Gmax suspension all round, shocks and springs, cosworth brakes on the front. Im doing all the work myself, so no labour costs, just my blood sweat and tears! Ill upload pictures as soon as i get access to my laptop! I already have all the bits, and the car, im just taking the engine out, then take the head for skimming, porting, and polishing!
All thoughts and ideas welcome, im not going for massive power here, just a fast, while still reliable car.
First! Nice mate where abouts you from? Cant wait to see the pics and keep informed on this please please keep up with this thread as i feel alot of interest surrounds this subject! the ultimate of puma tuning!
pics will be good on this project.... only thing i can think when someone says "turbo" and "budget" is baaad. my motto has always been buy cheap buy twice.

be good to be proved wrong tho!!
Thanks mate, im from B'ham. Yeah, there always seems to be alot of interest surrounding forced induction, but people are put off by the cost, so hopefully im going to show that it can be done for a VERY low price! Im not going to be 1 of those people who say theyre going to do it, then dont! Ive brought all the bits i need, and am already in the process of doing it. Hopefully it will be 2 weeks from now when its finished! Ill hopefully be able to show what power you can go up to without spending big bucks, what amount of boost an engine can safely take, and ill have links of where you can get it! Oh, and i have a spare 32k engine to use if/when anything goes wrong. Also ill be more then happy to help any1 local out with some of the trickier bits!
Yeah, i know what your saying mate, but if you take into account the physics of any engine, and look at what your actually paying for, you actually pay alot for things that shouldnt necciserilly cost alot. The racing puma, with all standard internals can be modified to over 200bhp, and is exactly the same engine as the 1.7 123bhp engine, so theoretically, you should safely be able to get 200bhp out of the engine! The de compression plate should work, because if you use 1.4, or 1.6 head bolts, they are 2mm longer then the puma 1.7 bolts, so you can use them, and the structural stability should be as good! You just need to machine the heads a little!
No, no secrets, ill tell you everything you want to know, im fed up of people doing things, and not wanting other people to do it, so they dont tell anything! Its a garret T25 turbo off a saab 9000 turbo, and its a refurbed model. Im not spending big on this, because i want to see what i can get max out of it, but if it blows up, i dont mind, i have a spare engine!



Here are some images of the blown engine, put a con rod through cylinder 4, and went through the front, back, and through the starter motor too! And also a pic of my engine bay with no engine in!
This looks like a good thread, i'll be keeping my eye on this, looks like you've done your research. I've always associated turbo's with 'money pits' not cheap. I take it from what you wrote about your going to be turboing the 1.7 puma engine. Not a 1.6?
Yes, its the 1.7, although the 1.6 could possibly be a better base model, as the cylinder walls are thicker. I chose the 1.7, because its the fastest of the zetec SE engines as standard, and the nikasil lined cylinders should be strong enough to take some boost! And i just love the way the VCT drives. Also, although people have rebuilt 1.6 engines before, ive read in a few places that once youve taken the con rod bolts out of it, its scrap, thats why you cant find torque settings for conrod or big end bolts anywhere. I have managed to source some, but the 1.7 can be rebuilt, i got HD conrod bolts from shawspeed, cost me £100, i looked everywhere to find them, even tried ARP direct, but to no avail, but shawspeed were really good!
Im not promising this will actually work, but at leaste ill be able to show you what the limitations of the engine are, and if its possible to do it on a small budget, ill do it!
Oh, and i was wrong about the low compression pistons, they dont decrease the size of the cylinder, i was thinking about it today, because the dip in the top of the piston, takes away from the cylinder when its at the top of its stroke, but then its added on at the bottom of the stroke, so my mistake!
Ive looked into retarding the ignition, but unless i was going for major power, i dont think the engine requires it. Vanaaken do a turbo kit, that safely pushes 5psi through the standard compression 1.6 zetec engine, at 11:1 iirc, and its pretty much the same engine as the 1.7. Retarding the ignition is really only to stop detonation while on boost, but if the 1.6 can take 5psi safely with no intercooler, and high compression, then i think my compression, which is going to be 8.5:1, with a big front mount intercooler, then i dont see any reason that it would need retarding. Its a good point though, and if it requires it, the megajolt unit seems to work well with the ford EDIS unit, and will work directly with the ford crank and crank sensor, so i think that will be the way to go if it does require it, but at the moment, im only hoping to boost to a max of 10psi, and that amount of boost should produce good results with the set up im going for.
And about the torque limiter, if you look at the 1st thread (sorry, i know there was alot to read), it does say the puma i have has a racing puma map on it, so it wont be an issue for this project, however, with the power im hoping to produce, this is my biggest worry!! The standard IB5 box on the Puma is the weakest link, even the 155bhp Racing Puma has shot peened gears, and im hoping (the optimum word being "hoping") to surpass that figure, so if anything is going to go wrong, it may be the gearbox or driveshafts! And for this reason, i think for 1st gear, its a good idea to KEEP the torque limiter! Although a friend of mine who builds race engines has assured me that the drive shafts and standard gearbox, aswell as standard internals of the 1.7 engine are good to around 200bhp, and im not going to get to that figure, so there shouldnt be an issue.
Good stuff :)

I'm considering a Supercharger when i get some money together and my Brother is more than happy to help build an F/I engine with me! In regards to engine management i'm trying to find one to keep the VCT as it seems a waste to lose it and most managements wont support it - do you think the setup you are going for would work just as well with a S/C? I'm also going to be budgeteering to the max and getting used gear and refurbing whatever could go wrong!