Paul's Silver Puma


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Hi Folks,

It has been far too long since I updated this. The car hasn’t been forgotten it’s just with the winter weather set in and various other distractions over the past few months I haven’t really been able to do anything exciting with the car. The only interesting distraction was a long weekend holiday to watch the final round of the Spanish national rally championship called Rally La Nucia. Plenty of old videos on YouTube if you fancy a look. I have also included a few of the videos I took below in a montage but you’ll have to excuse the terrible wind noise in some of them. Unfortunately that’s the harsh reality of standing 600m+ above sea level on the side of a mountain in Nov even if it is in Spain. The highlight for me was getting to see a couple of the 911 R-GT cars which you don’t get to see that often in the UK. It’s certainly the first time I have seen them and what a noise they make. Plenty of other top class machinery on display including a well fielded R5 class which where duelling it out for the overall championship win.


Next up the car. So the issue I mentioned before was the CV joints. I don’t know exactly which one it was or why they let go just yet. Referring back to the, been busy excuses at the top however the car is fixed. I decided to just buy and fit two new driveshaft’s from J&R driveshaft’s. Before fitting them though I removed the standard CV joint grease and repacked it with some Motorsport High temperature stuff and resealed with new clips. All that got fitted up and in the 10 or so miles I have done so far the car has been spot on again. Hopefully the high temperature grease should stop the joints running hot and self-destructing which is what I suspect has happened.

Whilst fitting the new driveshaft’s I took the opportunity to refresh what I could of the gearbox oil. I have now got the old shafts to strip down, inspect and rebuild as spares in case I get this problem again.

Power steering fluid also got a semi change. I syphoned out what I could out of the reservoir then topped it up with new stuff. Drove it around a bit and repeated so not 100% new but at least it’s a bit fresher than before. Only did this because the stuff in there looked jet black and some signs of bubbling over on the cap. Presumably from the last track day were the fluid has got a bit hot.

Lastly I took the opportunity to do a quick oil and filter change. Whilst the car hasn’t done many miles it has gone from an elderly owned car probably gently driven to getting 150mile thrashing sessions. If any carbon deposits etc… have come loose or the engine was starting to fall apart I’d rather flush them out now and check for the sake of £30’s worth of oil. The oil did look brand new when it came out though so that fills me with confidence the engine is pretty clean and running nicely. Obviously fitted the new magnetic sump plug as well so that’s an additional checking point for the future.



So with winter set in she probably won’t be getting out now until March when my first track day of the year is booked. She may come out a bit earlier for a cheeky Boxing Day drive if we get a dry Christmas. We will see.

In the mean time I will make a start on restoring the headlights and fitting new bulbs over the Xmas break. Hopefully get started on removing the glued on sound deadening in the rear as well. I am also considering removing the rear wiper and motor. If anyone else has done this I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on living with no rear wiper. Then in January I will be at AutoSport International on the hunt for some new bits. As I have mentioned before I have a few more toys I’d like to get done next year and January should be the start of that next stage before hitting the track again in March.

Paul Z
Once again far too long between updates but with the country in its current state of panic and frantic shopping then isolation I have actually got some time to sit down and write an update on the car. Unfortunately the plans I had for January have been delayed a little but ill cover that in a separate post once that stage is completed which I hope shouldn’t be too much longer.

In the meantime though the car hasn’t been completely neglected, I have managed to get a few jobs done as well as get her out for a few drives and her first trackday of the year as well. Firstly the Puma was roped into a road trip to London back in January after a pot hole decided to wreck a wheel on the Fiesta a few days before we were due to go. Less than ideal but none the less managed to rack up a couple of hundred miles on the new shafts and no issues to note.

Second up is what I’ve probably spent the most time working on over the past month or so. I managed to get the rear of the car properly stripped out and all the sound deadening removed and then a quick tidy up with some spray paint. It wasn’t as bad as I was expected but is a bit of a boring job. I used a heat gun and scrapper to get the worst of it off. I then used a scouring pad and the heat gun again to get all the little bits left behind. It was all wiped down using white spirit to remove any glue residue. I then gave it another wipe down with some Tar & Glue remover to get the very last bits remaining. After that I gave it a couple of light coats with a Moondust Silver spray paint to tidy up the yellowish patches left behind. It makes the back of the car look much neater now. The front will come in due course but that will be a carpet out job so going to wait to do it when I am prepared to deal with any holes in the floor if I find them. At the moment it’s out of site out of mind. Anyway pictures.






Next up I finally got round to tidying up the front headlights. They aren’t perfect and I will revisit them again in the near future however it’s a noticeable improvement I think.



Lastly then an update on my first track day of the year. It was on the Monday just gone (16th March) and at Bedford again. Despite some very slow cars it was a very good day. Not massively warm in the morning with a bit of standing water from the previous day but it soon dried out and by 11 was a bone dry track with an air temp of about 10-12 degrees. No surprise really but it was a quite day with a strong fielding of hot hatches and MX5’s which is always good to see. A couple of M4 and 911’s but nothing ridiculously quick unlike at previous days. Driving standards good as always bar a group of slow moving MX5’s a little reluctant to move over at times but I think it was there first time out so probably a bit nervous or focusing too hard on driving and not watching the mirrors.

Car performed very well again. I am really starting to get dialled into its behaviour on this track and keep scratching away at the lap times, managing to clock a 3:08 on Harrys Laptimer which I am pretty happy with. I want to tighten up the front end and get an even sharper turn in if I can so looking at a few mods for that and I’ll probably up the ante with some more focussed tyres come summer time to.

A track day wouldn’t be without its issues though. Pretty early on I started getting brake judder on some of the bigger stops. Speaking to a few folks online and a chat with Stevie at Grinspeed, I think I am getting pad deposits on the front discs so with that knocking my confidence and after having to get recovered after the last track day I called it quits just after lunch to make sure I could get home without issue. Just as well I did really because when I was changing the wheels back over I noticed the passenger side outer CV boot had split and thrown a small amount of grease over everything. As you can imagine I was pretty annoyed but it was a different joint to last time so going to put these down to cheap boots that J&R shafts use to keep costs down. I managed to nurse the car home without issue so no big deal in the end.

Going forwards I will be replacing all the boots with better quality items whilst also looking to make sure nothing can accidently come into contact with them although I don’t see what could with my current setup but anyway we will see. To deal with the brakes I will be looking to fit some brake cooling ducts and possibly a change to grooved discs to improve general heat management on the front brakes. Brake pads should be recoverable with a bit of sanding back. Anyway some pictures for of the day for your viewing delight, unfortunately no videos though because for some reason id accidently changed the exposure setting and its now just a white blur.






So with that update complete the list of things to be done on top of the above things mentioned. I still want to replace the number plates with some new ones so must get round to that. I will continue the cars diet working towards the front of the car and then finish up the stuff I am working on now before planning what to do next.

Paul Z
So I thought I’d do another mini update since I have managed to make some progress on the car during the lock down.

I started off by removing the seats and carpets to start tackling the sound deadening underneath and also have a look at the floor.
Pleasantly surprised to find the floor in very good shape. I did fine one patch that was looking a bit rough so removed all the loose debris then treated it with a rust converter and painted. Hopefully that will keep it at bay till I decide to get it into a body shop to be repaired properly. I only really use it in the dry though so this isn’t too much of a concern and ill tackle it as part of a larger exterior tidy up.
Sound deadening obviously removed in the process of inspecting the floor although I did leave a few bits behind as they covered some slots in the foot well and didn’t want draftee feet. When refitting the carpet I left the soft sound insulation out as well for a bit of extra weight saving.


Next up I removed the stereo unit and made a blanking plate with a phone holder so I can use a lap timer on track and actually see it. Also handy for maps/music etc when driving to and from tracks.



With no stereo to power the remaining door speakers they needed to come out as well so I went ahead and fitted the track door cards whilst stripping out the speakers. I bought these a while ago and had planned to fit these at a later date but I had the time on my hands and good weather so I made the most of it. These were a little bit of a pain because I had bought them with the expectation of them being pre drilled and wouldn’t need much work to get fitted. Turned out this wasn’t the cause and although the chap who supplied them did apologise and gave me a partial refund it was a right pain putting them on and back off again to drill the holes. As I did it in stages rather than all at once it went on and off multiple times before I was happy. On the plus side though, once id done the one I used that side as a template for the other so it cut the install time right down. I also happen to think they look great and lead the way nicely for some other things possibly in the pipe line if I choose to.





Next up then. As I mentioned before I was contemplating removing the rear wiper so decided to get that done. Bought a blanking plug from B&Q. Ordered some primer, paint and lacquer online then set about spraying it up. Despite ordering Moondust silver the paint match is terrible once it’s been lacquered although does look better in actual sun light. Still it’s better than bright white though so it will do for now. I might take another bash on another one and try a different lighter silver to see what that looks like.




Since I started the car diet I have managed to remove a pretty significant amount of weight from the car and although I have got a few more ideas I thought I would take a stock check of where I was. I have kept everything that’s been removed so I weighed everything and subtracted it from the weight measured at Grinspeed last year. It is not perfect because obviously all the bits of stuck on sound deadening I dissolved with white spirit etc can’t be account for but I have measured everything solid along with the solid chunks of sound deadening with a good level of accuracy. With just over half a tank of fuel she now weighs 990.4kg so about 42.5kg removed in total. I have a few more ideas to get that down a bit further but ill update on those as and when.

I also did a couple of tidy up jobs. The gas struts have never been that great with them only opening about half way then needing to be forced open the remaining distance. I had banged my head on it one to many times working on the car in the garage so I bought some new ones. Nothing majorly exciting but £18 well spent if I don’t keep banging my head on the boot lid.

I also finally got round to ordering and fitting some new number plates. That has helped tidy up the car a lot. The old ones were well past their best.



And then lastly I did a bit of arts and crafts with a spare airbox id bought. My glue gun skills could definitely do with some improvement but overall pretty happy with the outcome. Just need to get it fitted into the car at some point now.




Hopefully with businesses starting to reopen the plans id mentioned in my previous update should maybe get finished and I can get back out on track again for some fun before the summers out.

Paul Z
It has evolved nicely. I have also removed the under carpet sound deadening but have installed again the carpet. I like the car to have a bit of "clubsport" look. Have you also removed the deadening in the bulkhead area? This weigh a bit.

Also regarding the weight of the car does your car has still a/c abs and ps? Also do you know if your buckets weigh more than the oem chairs?

Hi Alex

Yes I put the carpet back in and still have the roof lining in place to. I thought about not putting it back but like yourself prefer it in place. Just makes it more habitable and tidier inside.

I haven't completely removed that insulation stuff as you need to pull the dash to remove it fully but i have gotten rid of everything I could without going that far. It does weigh a reasonable amount once all added up.

A/C, ABS and PS are all still in place. ABS and PS will remain. I spent a lot of time and money getting the rear disc conversion to work with ABS so wouldn't get rid of it now anyway to be honest although I'm glad it's there if I ever did need it on the road. AC though is something on my list to investigate removing.

Don't have an exact weight from the FRP seats to OEM but yes they certainly are heavier than OEM by quite a noticeable amount.

I'll dig the weight out tomorrow for the FRP seats if you have the OEM ones to compare to.

Paul Z
Unfortunately I didn't weighed mine when I had them out of the car. But according to this list each one seems to weigh 24kg together with the sliders. Having lifted them with my hands I'd say that I'd agree. They seem very heavy.

I also have PS and ABS in my car which I think is a must for a road car. I have deleted the A/C though as I'm installing a supercharge in the place of the A/C pump.

So I weighed the FRP seats at 23.09kg and I know for a fact they are heavier than my OEM seats from when I swapped them so not sure how accurate that quoted weight is.

When I next get my OEM seats down I'll weigh them as well and post up the weight.

Supercharger nice :cool:. Another thing on my list to look into at some point. I'm not chasing power at the moment but if I did I think supercharged would be my choice.

Good luck with it though and keep us posted :eek:k:

Paul Z
Thank you!

Yes it seems the weight on this list might not be so accurate. I have to open a thread for my car. There are some examples of supercharged pumas in the FB page.

You could convert PS to electric.
Either by installing an electric pump,
or replacing the hydraulics altogether with a steering column motor.

I doubt the weight difference would be much, but it removes the draw from the motor.
That's a good suggestion. I know it's pretty common on track Clio's to do this as well.

Do you have any experience with fitting EPAS?

Paul Z
IMHO I wouldn't want to mess with the PS. One of the best features of the puma is its steering. It's quick, precise and with nice feedback. Especially if you drive newer cars with EPAS and then dirve the puma you immediately see the added feedeback its steering has so you can judge accurately the available traction.

If your just replacing the fluid pump with an electric alternative you haven't actually changed anything that provides the mechanical feedback. You do get the benefit of less load on the engine as mmc757 says.

I wouldn't go for a replacement column or rack though because then you will loose that feedback you mention.

Paul Z
PaulZ said:
If your just replacing the fluid pump with an electric alternative you haven't actually changed anything that provides the mechanic feedback. You do get the benefit of less load on the engine as mmc757 says.

I wouldn't go for a replacement column or rack though because then you will loose that feedback you mention.

Paul Z
Thats kind of my thought too. The idea of getting rid of extra stuff in the engine bay is nice but the truth is that unless you have other plans for that space, there's no real advantage to the steering column motor vs an electric pump. Plus, you could put an electric pump pretty much anywhere you want anyway so even the space advantage is dubious at best.
I would recommend using the EHPAS from Toyota MR2, the later model. It is all in one unit with ECU incorporated and you get to keep the steering rack as it is. Check my thread for details on that
Thanks Wild E. I'll have a look back through your thread.
Was it a relatively straightforward swap?

Paul Z
Next update then. I have been trying to make the most of the Covid quite time so managed to get a few more things done on the car.

I actually did this a little while ago now but hadn’t gotten round to writing it up till now. With the FRP air box mod completed in the last update, naturally I needed to get this fitted. I probably went a bit far and took this as an opportunity to remove the bumper. It also meant I could check for rust and have a bash at making a splitter using trublustu’s guide.

First up then. Removing the front bumper and old air box. Happy to report it was pretty clean under the bumper.





Next up was onto marking up and cutting out of the splitter.






After that I treated the wood with a couple of coats of exterior varnish and then finally finished off with some exterior black paint. The finish isn’t perfect but since it’s a first attempt and probably going to take a hammering from stones I am not too worried.



Then it was time to refit the bumper. I also took the decision to remove the rubber skirt behind the little side openings in an attempt to get a bit more cool air to the inside of the wheel wells. It’s not ducted so we will see how it goes and maybe look at that in the future. Also the picture makes the finish look awful. It’s not actually like that. It is just dust and dirt that’s stuck on from me fitting and removing the bumper when I was trial fitting and marking things up before it all went together properly.





Lastly then was to refit the new FRP air box. I have kept the original side feed in place but blanked off the resonator box. The new FRP feed pipe is then receiving cold air piped in by some ducting from behind the front grill.



There we go then, That’s the latest so far. I do have another update which should be ready very soon. I am just trying to finalise the last few bits so hopefully have another update shortly.

Paul Z

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