Paul's Silver Puma


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Good news a 100% Puma related post……
Front struts have gone back on the car with new SKF bearings. Binding/squeaking suspension noise 100% cured. Not sure what was up with the Febi Bilstein bearings as they were brand new but the replacements did the trick.

ABS…… yup got that working to. Bit of an oversight with this bit on my part. I fitted new splash shields when it all went on. Unfortunately the rectangle cut out in the middle of the shield half covers my new ABS hole so the sensor wasn’t getting through properly hence no signal. Bit of fettling and job was a goodun.

I also had the depth of the pocket on the spindles machined slightly two deep so that if needs be I could just space the sensor back out rather than having to remove it all from the car and machining it again. If you are going to use this technique I’d suggest ordering some shim washers to DIN 988. I used ones with an ID of 15mm and OD of 21mm in 0.1mm and 0.2mm thickness. Basically once it’s all bolted on the car pop the sensor in. Whip your feeler gauges out and shim accordingly so the gap is roughly 0.6mm.

Piper exhaust fitted as well. Did exactly what I wanted it to. More noise, better looks (in my opinion) and lots more crackles and pops. I wouldn’t describe it as offensively loud but for me personally I can’t say I would want to drive it to work everyday although it should quieten down a bit over the first 100 miles or so. As it’s a track car though that doesn’t matter as it is still well below any track day limits I’ve experienced in the past so perfect for what I want.

Only thing left then is the noise from the brakes. I have covered 50 or so miles already and its making the noise a lot less now so going to continue to put miles on the car and monitor it over the next week and a bit.

A few pictures of how she sits currently.





Next things on my list
- Custom length braided hoses (On order)
- Suspension setup
- Fit FRP seats
- Weight saving
- Track tyres

So for some of the list above I am booked in for a nut and bolt check on the car, braided hoses fitted, racing brake fluid and a suspension setup at Grinspeed Motorsport on the 27th of Aug (Pending holiday approval at work). Again no affiliation with the business but I first met Steve on the Honda scene via my Dad who has an EP3 for track use (Pretty much built by Grinspeed) so I know him and his work fairly well. The attention to detail, commitment and customer care is above and beyond most garages so for me it’s a no brainer to do the 2.5 hour each way trip so he can check the car over and set it up before I start hammering it around tracks.
Web Link –

In the run up to the 27th I will be fitting my FRP seats as well as starting to remove some of the weight from the car. I also want to tidy up a few little bits like fit clear side repeaters, order some new number plates and generally give it another good clean. After that it just leaves track tyres. Well you won’t be surprised to know I have had a set of new Team Dynamic Pro Race 1.2’s since April so will order a set of AD08RS tyres and get them fitted. I am opting for AD08RS initially because A) it’s coming towards the end of summer and it’s a strong possibility my first track day in the car could be a wet one and B) I will see how she copes on something semi road friendly before going more aggressive with the tyres.

That’s all for now Folks. Next update once the seats are in (could be tomorrow if I get a break in the weather)

Paul Z
Good progress 👍

What is the new brake setup like Vs the original, is the rear disc setup noticeable?

And what are the chances of a guide for doing the conversion with a parts list......😁
I haven't really jumped on the brakes to fully try them, just been driving around normally letting everything settle in for now but immediately they felt better than before. I did have 240mm brakes, old fluid and probably original brake pads before so would hope to have noticed the jump up to 280mm discs with Ferodo DS2500 pads. I will wait for the longer braided hoses and fluid before I try properly as I am still cautious that the rear hoses are standard length.

I also cant say I have noticed much difference with the rear brakes other than the handbrake is better but my driving has been limited and pretty easy on the car. To be honest though I wasn't really expecting much more 'braking' performance as the front does most of the work but It should manage the heat better on track, the drums cant get gummed up with brake dust anymore and if they do provide some extra brake performance will help balance the braking front to back with all the extra bits on the front. Plus it looks way better..... :p

Yes I will pull together a small guide with parts list and my drawings to supplement the existing guide done by Wild E in the near future. His guide is pretty spot on to be honest and other than doing my own drawings, slightly deeper pocket and spacing the sensor out its exactly what I did. The hardest part for me was pulling together all the right part numbers and then finding new parts at a sensible price. Others may find the machining part a bit more challenging/daunting if they aren't used to this sort of thing but in reality its a pretty straight forward set of machining ops any good machining firm could do.

Paul Z
Hi Paul,
nice project you have there running. I also like the ST. As I have a set of kw coilovers which are similar to APs I have a question. Did the rear ones come with two half nuts or one (full height nut)? The order of fitting is spring - top cap - top mount - nut -chassis - cap&nut (over the arch)? Or spring - top cap - top mount - chassis - cap&nut (over the arch)? My question essentially is whether the rear coilovers go into the car being already one piece (with the first nut keeping them together) or do they become one piece when you put the cap and nut over the arch?

Keep on the updates. Cheers
Hi Alex,

So I think this depends which rear top weight things you have but what I did was back the spring perch right off put the strut together with the top mount and popped the nut on but only to hold it together. Then put it on the car making sure to line the notch on the top mount up with the cutout on the car. Drop the car back down so the springs are under compression. Remove the nut that was holding it all together (Obviously nothing will come apart now as the car is holding it together). Put the rear top weight thing back on. Put nut on and torque to correct spec. Then you can jack it back up and adjust the height to what you want.

Its a bit of a faf but means no extra half nuts etc etc.

Hope this helps but anymore questions just ask.
Paul Z
Made a little bit more progress since the last update, predominantly small jobs but overall getting happier with its condition and closer to its maiden track day.

I managed to fit the FRP seats back on Tuesday. I didn’t get any pictures as it took a bit longer than expected. Seats went in, airbag light came on, bit baffled as id done it before no problem, quick search on here and I realised it was because it needed the earlier type pretensioners. Seats back out again, pretensioners off the old seats, onto the FRP seats and back into the car. Bit of a faf but got them in. Only problem being it was dark by the time I had finished so no pictures at the time of fitting but I did get some yesterday.




Custom length good ridge braided brake hoses also arrived. No pictures because…...well they look like any other braided brake hoses. I will get a few once they are on the car after Tuesday though.
Looking ahead to Tuesday I started a bit of prep work so this is my mid bank holiday weekend update after yesterday’s work.

I started off by swapping out the rear lights. The driver’s side rear had a small crack in which was letting water in and getting condensation building up whenever I cleaned the car. Managed to pick up a nice set from the FB group a while back but haven’t got round to fitting them till now. Took the opportunity to swap both sides and cleaned behind the lights.




To get to the rear lights you have to remove the rear carpets so they came out and I gave everything a quick wipe over to clean it off. I intend to get the sound deadening out at some point but maybe for another time once it’s not so warm. I don’t fancy sitting in the back of the car with a heat gun with the weather this warm. I may look at replacing the speaker bins with custom door cards if I do the fronts but for now they will stay in.



After removing the rear trim I removed the bonnet sound insulation and inbuilt baguette warmer. I gave the inside of the bonnet a wipe down as well.


Next was to replace the side repeaters. I replaced them with clear as I no one seems to sell black/smoked ones anymore and I sold my spare set just before I picked this car up unfortunately.


Lastly was to fit the track wheels. The intention is to not use these on the road but I wanted the wider wheels and tyres on the car when the suspension is setup. I also intend to take it out for a long drive mid next week to get the release agent cleaned off and a few gentle heat cycles through the tyres to toughen them up a bit before track use.




So that’s the car after yesterday. No progress today although I may play around with dropping the front another 10-15mm or so as it looks a bit high. I will also crack out the knock off gopro to see where the best location for track vids and then think about designing something to mount it in the right place if required.

Paul Z
This week’s update is a bit of a milestone for me. It sort of signals that the first phase of development is over. Bar a few changes in plans like the louder exhaust and removing the rear interior this was how I wanted the car to be once I first decided to get another Puma and use it for road and track use. For the remainder of this year it is unlikely I will spend any significant money on the car with the exception of using it as intended. Next year I will most likely throw a few more tweaks and toys at it but I will see how the car goes after some use and a winter break.

Anyway on to the updates, Tuesday was braided lines and setup day at Grinspeed Motorsport. Early start leaving at 5.45am to get there for 8.30am but the drive up wasn’t too bad. Weather was fine and traffic wasn’t too bad except around Birmingham.

Once arrived she was straight in and up in the air for the braided lines. Only the rear left hose put up a fight but all sorted in the end and Gulf RF800 brake fluid flushed through. When everything was fitted before I just put in your average Pagid brake fluid and bled but the lads did a mega job making sure it was properly bled. They did a far better job than before and the pedal is absolutely rock solid now.

After that it was ride heights and suspension setup. Obviously there isn’t a great deal you can do with camber as standard so it was more about getting the car flat, measuring everything and setting the Toe properly. In the process she was also weighed. She made 1033kg with just over half a tank indicated, the spare wheel and a socket set I had left in the back. Pretty happy with that considering the seats weigh about 10kg more each, bigger brakes, heavier tyres etc. In reality she is probably already less than 1000kg if you removed the fuel, wheel and socket set but I still have a few more things to pull out anyway so will get that down to a definite sub 1000kg without too much effort.

The trip back was pretty rubbish. It took 30 minutes longer than the morning, bit of drizzle and very heavy traffic. On the plus side the car felt awesome. She was always a bit twitchy before and never felt settled in a straight line after the probably rushed tracking I had done. She now drives perfectly straight. No feeling like you are always making minor adjustments to stay straight and the brakes are ridiculously good.
Settings used/measured below and pictures of the setup and one before heading home for your viewing pleasure.

Front camber - 1.4° negative
Rear camber - 1.0° negative
Front toe - 1mm out total
Rear toe - 1mm in
Weight Total - 1033kg






What next, well as I sort of mentioned before I had planned to take her for a proper drive to clean the tyres up and generally just give her a bit of a shakedown as such. So back in the office Wednesday I booked Thursday off and did exactly that. A 150mile trip over to the Brecon beacons and back. Started heading towards Ross-on-Wye, then onto Abergavenny, took the B4246 south before taking the B4248 back north. Then jumped across to the B4560 heading north upto Talybont-on-Usk and looped back south passed Talybont and Pontsticill Reservoir. After that I just took the heads of the valley road back to Abergavenny and then back home via Ross-on-Wye again. It was a much shorter route than I had originally planned but I woke up a bit late….. woops.

Anyway it was great fun. Weather was a bit mehh but the rain held off and did manage a few sunny moments. Car was fantastic. A trip like this is arguably tougher on a cars suspension than a track day in terms of managing all the different road types, bumps, dips and imperfections but she soaked it up all day. Yes it’s stiff but that’s what I wanted and after you get going the car just settles into the road and is only really phased by large knocks that would upset any car travelling at speed. Brakes are just phenomenal, I didn’t do any major braking because well…… it’s public roads and I am not out to be the next Loeb but they have huge capability. It’s a serious step up from the 260mm setup I had on my old car. The 150miles trip has given me huge confidence taking the car to track days and really pushing it with the knowledge that in its current setup I doubt there is much more I can do to prepare and make sure the car is 100%. On my travels I did stop to get a few pictures though.






First track day then. I planned to book onto Bedford Autodrome with Javelin track days on the 9th of September but unfortunately it sold out by the time I got back from Grinspeed on Tuesday so I have gone for Saturday the 21st, again with Javelin at Bedford so looking forward to that. In the meantime I am hoping to make a mount for my camera as well as updating my rear disc conversion drawings and I will write up a little how to as well.

Paul Z
Thanks Brian much appreciated.

I'll get the drawings done this week so add on guide to follow shortly.

Paul Z
The car looks excellent,it really suits being lowered and looks just right from all angles :grin:
I too am looking forward to your rear disc conversion how to.
Enjoy it!!
Hi Folks,

Just a quick one for those following and waiting for the rear disc conversion drawings. They can now be found in the how to section or use the link below.


Paul Z
A two part update on the Puma for this one. A few updates on the car first.

This was something I had done a while ago, put it away in a box and completely forgot about it whilst I was busy doing everything else. I bought a spare gear knob and polished it up and then painted it. Came out alright I thought.


I also had a set of Bosch aero wipers to go on the car which I was waiting to put on the car at some point; I can’t really remember why I decided to wait. It was probably so I could put a ceramic coating on the glass but I thought with the track day approaching I best give the glass a proper clean and fit some new wipers.

I then I made a sort of rear harness bar type thing to mount a camera onto for some track videos. It’s not structural or designed to add any rigidity so it is made entirely from aluminium. This makes it light but strong enough to not flex about or vibrate when driving. Its mounted to the car via one of the rear speaker bin bolts and then I drilled a secondary hole just next to it to prevent it slipping and rotating round.



Lastly I needed some way of powering the camera so it would last all day. I tried one of those 12V to USB connectors but it didn’t sit very securely in the 12V socket. It also meant that the ash tray/cubby hole thing wouldn’t shut properly despite being a very shallow unit. So I decided to remove the 12V socket and wire in a USB port. I quickly realised you can’t actually do that because USBs are 5V not 12V. A bit of googling and I found a sort of panel mount USB module that will drop the voltage down accordingly. It was pretty straight forward to fit. I removed the existing 12V socket. I then had to fettle the hole slightly as the new module was maybe a mm or two bigger on the OD. The +ve and -ve are also in slightly different locations with the pins both being parallel whereas the existing pins are a sideways T shape. I trimmed the standard connector so one wire was loose and then connected it back up. Job done really. It now sits much lower into the ashtray which means I can close it with a cable plugged in. It’s also a duel USB port so if needs be can charge multiple devices at once.



So that’s the car updates for now. I still need to remove a few more bits from the rear, polish up the front headlights and also get some new number plates because they are really letting the exterior down. Hopefully get these things ticked off over the next month or so.

Second part then…… First track day complete.

It was the Saturday just gone (21st Sept) so as you’ll most likely know the weather was spectacular and perfect for getting back out on track after a good few years away. Bedford Autodrome is a great track in my opinion. It maybe doesn’t have the elevation change of some tracks but corner variety is good, plenty of run off and the length of the lap means everyone tends to spread out a fair bit. Having done a few airfield track days which is quite often peoples first stab a track driving I would fully recommend doing Bedford instead. An airfield just isn’t in the same league.
A strange selection of cars booked on for the day. There is usually a galore of smaller cheaper hatch backs and MX5s but it was awash with newer hot hatches (Megane RS, FK2 Type R, Focus RS, I30 N, RS3 etc) no less than 4 Atoms, probably 5 or so kit cars. A couple of radical type machines, numerous Porsches including a 911 GT3 RS and a couple of BMW M cars to name a few. I felt a bit out gunned in the car park first thing. Bedford has some pretty long straights so the lack of power is really noticeable against machines like these. Not to worry though. Driving etiquette was pretty good throughout the day plus the long straights meant I wasn’t getting in peoples way and generally speaking people weren’t getting in my way through the corners.

I probably did around 140 miles in total which isn’t massive miles for a track day. As it was my first time out in a while and the first for the car I kept the sessions fairly short, just building my confidence on track and in the car each session. I clearly wasn’t the least experienced though because I was far from the slowest which is always nice from a personal perspective.

I know you aren’t meant to time at track days and I don’t go chasing lap times but I tend to do a little bit so I have some idea if I am improving and also how I compare to others on the day. I was lapping around the 3min 15/16s time which isn’t anything record breaking but one of the Focus RS was lapping at the same pace. Most of the new hot hatches were a few seconds quicker overall. It was obvious though that the Puma was significantly quicker through the corners to the point where a few people in a Megane RS and I30 N came down to have a chat and compliment how quick the car was through the corners. Always nice to be complimented and a bit of reassurance this project was worth the time and money.

The GT3 RS was a mere 8s quicker over a 4.2 mile lap. I think that highlights how good these cars really are through the corners when the track has a couple of straights around 1km long, even if he was an average to poor driver my experience of 911’s at Bedford is they comfortably hit 140mph down the back straight so a GT3 should be even quicker. I was maxing out at about 110 on the speedo………..

Despite the apparent pace over some others I still have a lot of learning and refining to do. I knew on the day I was braking too early or not hard enough. A few corners I should be carrying more speed but as I mentioned before this one was more about just having fun and getting back into it so I will let myself off. I have had a watch over the sessions I recorded as well and its highlighted a few other things I can think about next time. I need to open the steering sooner and get on the power sooner, turn in a little bit later sometimes and a different line to try through a couple of corners as well.

That sort of leads me onto how the car performed. You won’t be surprised to see me say fantastically well. The car is just incredible.

Its change in direction is ridiculous for something on a pretty basic coil over setup. Braking is fantastic as well. As I mentioned earlier I wasn’t fully using them and that’s something I can improve as confidence grows with more seat time but you hit the pedal and the car just pulls up. Stability under braking is spot on. Even in my old 1.4 I found the back wanted to come round under some of the really big stops. Not a whiff of it on this setup. It could be I wasn’t braking hard enough compared to before but I suspect the rear disc conversion is helping to balance the extra braking on the front as I originally suspected it might. The proper suspension Geo setup is probably helping with the stability under braking as well.

Tyres were impressive. I’ve had some experience of a few different track tyres on other cars but previously I had only ever used Toyo T1-R on a Puma on track. I was lucky with them if I got a couple of flying laps before they went off and even luckier if they survived two tracks days.

These AD08Rs look like they have worn much more evenly across the tyre. Probably thanks to the stiffer sidewall and better ability to deal with the heat. I had a play around with pressures throughout the day and found 32 PSI hot seemed about right. I dropped them down to 30/31 and they felt like they were rolling over on the shoulder in the really tight corners so I pumped them back up. I did keep the sessions short but I never felt they were being over used and needed to back off despite the 25°C and clear blue skies that day. Hopefully they should be good for at least 3 or 4 track days before I need to consider replacing them.

So a few pictures of the day. I have also included a video from the day although the quality isn’t great. I hope to have that sorted for the next one though. Towards the end is the Focus RS who was lapping around the same pace as me. Unfortunately just after I got past and started pulling away the fuel light came on so I didn’t get to see how much ground he made up on the two back straights. The rest of the videos are on YouTube if you want to watch those as well. It is best to skip the first 5-10 minutes generally as it’s just me getting ready and then a lap or two warming everything up.






The next one is booked for the 21st Oct at Bedford again. I will hopefully get the few little jobs I mentioned done before, then other than that and a good wash she will sit in the garage having a well-deserved rest.

Paul Z
Thanks Wild E. I am really pleased with how she turned out as well. Great little cars for what they are.

I hope the posts aren't to long or just me rambling along but i hope it also benefits others if they ever fancy doing something similar.

Paul Z
So another track day complete on Monday. Bit of a mixed day really. Weather was cold and cloudy but luckily no rain bar a brief amount of drizzle that didn't amount to much. Being a Monday traffic on track was lighter than the last however that didn't seem to stop me getting caught up behind people. Car variety was a bit more in tune with what I have seen in the past, Lots of cheaper hot hatches etc with some exotica for good measure. A McLaren 520, Audi R8 and 911 GT3 RS are probably the stand out cars but an Evo 8 or 9 that was seriously rapid takes my vote for car of the day. Not sure what was under the bonnet but god did it move.

The driving standards weren’t really an issue again although some peoples driving/ technique/lines were questionable at times so just remained patient and stayed safe which is the most important thing.

Pleased to say the car was phenomenal again and confidence growing throughout the day. I didn’t manage to get any timing done on the day as the app I had opted to use wasn’t playing ball and my usual time keeper (aka dad) wasn’t present unfortunately. I have looked back at the in car footage though and pretty pleased to see that at the end of the day I was down into the 3:11, which is a big chunk of improvement over the last outing where I was doing around the 3:15/3:16 mark.

Now for why it was a mixed day…… Unfortunately on my way home I had a bit of a break down with a suspected CV joint failure. I had to get recovered in the end because despite trying to nurse it home it just got to bad and the car felt pretty awful. I have had to drop the car off at the garage so waiting for them to have a look at it and check for certain that it is the CV joint that’s gone. Not a big deal if it is although if anyone can suggest any good quality or uprated CV joints/Driveshaft’s I’d be interested to know as I don’t want this to be a reoccurring problem.

Anyway some pictures from the day. A pretty poor selection of pictures from Javelin Track days unfortunately. Despite me doing over 150 miles this time I was a little disappointed to only see 7 pictures of which 5 are basically the same photo. I have also linked up another video but more are available on YouTube if you are interested.





I didn’t manage to get any of the tidy up jobs I had planned but with the car out of action for now I suspect that will be my last track day for the year so I will focus on tidying her up over the winter and making sure she is all up to scratch with maybe a few new toys for good measure in the new year.

Hopefully have an update on the CV joint shortly.

Paul Z

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