My ,2nd. Puma a Thunder !


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John Woodward

Well-known member
Oct 3, 2020
Near Oxford
I went to the other side of Cardiff to purchase a brand new genuine Ford stainless exhaust for my other Puma which is in very good condition and currently on 52,500 miles. I really love driving it, but don't want to put too many miles on it
Whilst there, the seller showed me his Puma Thunder and said he would be advertising it in a couple of weeks time, he said a price and a deal was struck. The main reason for purchasing it was I wanted a spares car and leather seats for my other one. We were due to be on holiday in Tenby late April, so as it had a short MOT we could collect it on the way home.
The Thunder had done 147,000 miles but one owner from new, with a fully documented service history, it has rusty arches, a dented passenger door and quite a bit of rust.
The previous owner had made an access hole to get to the fuel pump !IMG_20210506_154029715.jpgIMG_20210502_145441503_HDR.jpg
We collected as arranged and it got me home OK, but was doing odd things, temp gauge not working, cooling fan on max speed etc. all intermittently, turned out to be the engine coolant temperature sensor, so an easy fix. as well as the fuel gauge not going below 3/4 full and a strong smell of petrol. Both of these problems were advised by the seller. A new gasket on the pump/sender stopped the smell of petrol OK. So I've been driving it for 3 weeks and about 500 miles with no major problems. The previous owner fitted the incorrect pump/sender unit, as it was a far cheaper option.
On Monday I took it for an MOT and it failed, I wasn't surprised, but it only needs a repair to the O/S inner sill, plus advisories on 2 tyre's, the body shop have quoted a price of just over a £100, so well worth doing, but they're very busy and can't do it for a week or so, they are very good and do work to a high standard, so I don't mind the wait. I've decided that instead of breaking it for spares, I can get it through the MOT and use as a daily driver, this will save it being scrapped and stop the mileage increasing on my other one.
Whilst waiting for the welding work, I have taken the actual fuel pump off the incorrect sender unit and fitted it to the original sender, so now have a fuel gauge that appears to be working correctly. I can change the seats and door cards, plus use a few things like fasteners and screw covers on the door cards to get the other Puma really tidy.


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Unfortunately its body isn't great, has had a fair bit of welding repairs and is quite rusty. Its previous owner purchased it new and had covered 147,000 miles using it to get to work as a daily driver for several years.He has recorded his DIY service history. It has a few "unique" features, like the access hole cut for the petrol pump and a miniature bucket on the back of the engine, to collect some of the oil leaking from the cam cover gasket !Oil catchment bucket.jpg
I'm going to try and stop the rust getting any worse and just try and preserve it as is and use it as a daily driver, I don't intend spending a lot of money on it (I've spent a lot on my Medium Steel Blue one). The engine pulls well though and is definitely leaking more oil than its burning, gearbox is smooth and quiet, but its not quite as good as my other one to drive, but that has only done about a 3rd. of the miles.


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It failed it's MOT, but only the O/S inner sill, only advisories was the 2 front tyre's Had to wait a couple of weeks for the body shop to be able to get the time to get it done, worth the wait as it was a very good price. MOT retest yesterday, the 2 front tyre's that were needed, managed to find some S/H Nokian ones on eBay, (Auto Express all season test winner in 2015) whilst waiting for the welding, virtually new, had them fitted today for free !
So now I can enjoy driving a Puma all year, keeping the low mileage one for high days and holiday's and the Thunder as my daily driver.
Just needs an oil and filter change, also from the service history it seems to have an appetite for rear beam bushes, replaced at 110,000 and 130,000 miles and they're a bit worn again, so I'm thinking of fitting new poly bushes, i know they'll be a bit harsher, but should last a bit more than 20,000 miles.
20k out of bushes isn't great but I guess they also age with time so they could have still been old.
Long story, but short version, have a damaged tyre, Goodyear Vector 4 seasons G2, most tyre places have only the newer G5 version. so according to Halfraud's website they have them in stock, so as they are only 10 miles away, ordered 4 days ago for one tyre to be fitted today. I asked to see the tyre to make sure it was the G2 not the G5 version and as you can probably guess, they haven't got the tyre, but wanted me to leave the car.
So wasted an hour and drove 20 miles for nothing.
Had the same sort of hassle in fitting a DAB radio a few years back, so lesson should have been learnt.
Well the Thunder served me well, I did 10k miles in the 18 months that it was taxed, spent less than £150 to get it through 2 MOTs and it never let me down. I like having 2 Puma's, so decided to sell it on and purchase a tidier one, I've always wanted a Red Puma and eventually found one in good, not perfect condition, it has only ever failed 1 MOT and that was rear shocker too mounts and has never had any welding, the previous owner had sprayed underneath with engine oil every year. I've replaced a front wing and it's going to have the rear arches done, but the passenger one is far from bad .
The Thunder was sold on after 22 months of ownership to a buyer from Staffordshire, who intends keeping it as a Puma, which is really good.
According to "How many left" there are less than 2,500 Mk1 Puma's left on the road and I wanted the Thunder to be saved. A friend told me yesterday he scrapped a Rover 25 as an end of life vehicle and was paid £450.
I purchased the Thunder with the intention of breaking it, but it was far better than I expected, hence why I kept it as a daily driver and it will still be kept alive by the new owners. Before I sold it, i swapped the leather interior,wheels and electric mirrors to the "new" Red Puma
Last year I was fortunate to find a Puma in a local old fashioned breakers yard and managed to get a lot of parts, including a new unused pair of the cheap Ebay arch repair panels, they are going on the Red Puma, I know they're not as good as the Ex pressed Steel ones, but they were virtually free and I've spoken to a few people who have used them with no major problems.

Photo's of the seats and wheels from the Thunder fitted to the Red puma/


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I quite like the look of those wheels on your red Puma. I’ve been considering putting a set of those onto my red one. Think I’ll be keeping my eyes open for a set.
They're the standard Thunder wheels, I think they look really good on the Puma's, I have them on my Medium Steel Blue Puma as well. In last months Practical Classics there was an article about Martin Anderson's Melina blue Puma, he has the Thunder wheels fitted as well and they look fantastic with that colour Puma.
Its all a matter of personal preference, I'm not that keen on the Fanblades, but others are.

Photo of my MSB Puma at Hook Norton Classics meet last Sunday, with the Thunder wheels fitted.


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