Team Green's Project Puma


Help Support ProjectPuma:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New member
Mar 28, 2014
Hi there,
Let me introduce myself... and my car!
My name is steve, and me and my dad and brother decided to buy ourselves a puma to have as a purely focused track toy. This is our first track car we've done ourselves, but not the first time we could have been on track.
In the past I have owned a clio 200, megane 265, my dad also had a clio 200 which we took on track, My brother currently owns an MX5 which has been on track, and before that we have hired caterhams (at great expense!)
After giving it much thought for an awful long time, we decided to go down a completely different route, opting for a cheaper car that was cheaper to run.
The idea is to spend a bit of money on a couple of upgrades to make it a fun track toy that the whole family could enjoy. We also are very strict on the fact it MUST remain able to pass an MOT. The project will run for the next year or two, giving me something to do on the weekends.

Our car was bought Via eBay, for £600. The car was a fully standard late 2000 X reg, apart from a K&N Induction kit fitted. The previous owner seemed to have looked after her, completing several service jobs himself, and the car had just had a new cam-belt fitted. There were new discs and pads, and new bushes on the rear.

The bodywork isn't too bad, with the usual rust around the rear arches, and a small ding on the back rear quarter. We are looking to get these sorted maybe one day in the future.


Since purchasing the car, we have done a reasonable amount of work already. I have done the majority of the work myself, with the odd job requiring more appropriate tools from the local garage.

The first job, as you would expect, was ripping out the interior, ridding the car of anything that we could pull off! After our first day we had saved around 60kg, with a nice pile of crap for the neighbours to enjoy on the driveway.

Over the next few days, my brother had the task of giving the wheels a respray in black, which we did on the cheap initially to test the concept and colour. They were sprayed with your off the shelf spray paint from halfrauds. The idea was that we could just add extra coats if needed and spend money, at this stage, elsewhere on the car.


We sat having our usual sunday night whisky discussing what direction we were going to take the car, in terms of upgrades. We had initially decided to spend a monthly budget and upgrade it throughout the year... But that soon changed once i started getting itchy fingers!

The first lot of purchases, costing around £800 in total (after the first week of owning the car!) included a set of AP coilovers, Goodridge braided hoses, ATE blue racing fluid, Ferodo ds2500 Race pads, Rear spacers (20mm), Denso Iridium Spark Plugs, Magnecor HT Leads, A full set of Poly bushes (Powerflex) aswell as a wide variety of tools i would need in the future.



Fitting of the coilovers commenced fairly quickly, using a guide i found on the forum. Fitting of the rears seemed to go smoothly, the fronts were a pig to get on though. Every bolt taken off to date has been seized on. Eventually i got them on though, and after playing with the ride heights we got them where we wanted them. We tried to replicate a 35mm drop gained from switching the Eibach springs.
I also fitted the rear spacers, the ABS sensors were a pig to get out, but soaked them in a mix of vegetable oil and acetone, and they soon came out.
The car was then taken to be corner weighted at a local firm, to make sure the car's balance was spot on after the lowering, and the weight being eradicated.


I kept on at doing little odd jobs here and there, fitting a blanking plate complete with killswitch the the stereo hole, stripping weight out where we could. I had tried to get the rocker cover's cover off, all but two bolts seized in, then found all the spark plugs were seized in too. We had taken it to the local garage who got all but one out and replaced with out denso's. Dad did a little research and we bought some freezing spray from amazon. Gave it a whirl, plug came out like a charm! Fitted the HT leads and then got the Rocker cover's cover painted as it looked a little dull.


We got ourselves a lighter battery, and have since bought a solar charger to keep it trickle charging whilst not in use.

Couple of weeks ago i fitted the braided lines, one of the brake pipes had seized onto the union nut, resulting in a sheared brake line. Nethertheless i got them all on, and went on another trip to the garage to have new one fitted. Whilst they were there, we had the front bushes replaced, as they proved a pig to get off, especially with no ground clearance to get a good breaker bar in. Somehow they managed to leave air in the lines twice in a row, so had to bleed them myself in the end to pull the new racing fluid through.


Trimmed down the rear bumper, saving a few kilo's, experimented drilling holes in it whilst it was off. We bought a spare bumper for £10 for this, incase anthing went wrong!

And finally, just before i decided to actually start logging our progress in this thread, we had ordered and fitted a rear strut brace, front lower strut brace, completely replaced all the engine mounts with Vibra Technics ones, with the exception of the gearbox mount which we had replaced with a flo flex bush (regardless of the endless bad rep i seem to be reading about!), bought a pair of part worn ao48's from a guy who seemingly knew nothing about tyres, despite being a competitor in an RGB series (that's a story for another day :D)
aswell as grabbing another ebay bargain, a full milltek exhaust system, complete with both a decat and sports cat. Picked it up for £450, and was in excellent condition!

The engine mounts completely transformed the car. We opted for the competition kits, and the car vibrates like crazy now, with little to no no movement from the engine block itself. Added with the larger free flowing manifold, it's hard to believe its the same car we started with just two months ago.








Next on the todo list:

  1. Fit racing steering wheel and boss that's been ordered
  2. Wire up kill switch
  3. Order and fit bucket seats and harness for both seats
  4. Fit the brake pads, and discs (Ordered some Cryogenically treated Nitrac's)
  5. Fit engine strut brace we have ordered
  6. Mount track tyres on secondary set of rims
  7. General tidy up of interior
  8. Mock up and fit custom door cards
  9. Get on track!

With the following planned at some point when everthing else is done:
  1. Fibreglass bonnet
  2. Fibreglass wings (Full body kit?)
  3. Plastic rear windows
  4. remap
  5. Cut down / Remove dashboard

List of total bits done to the car so far:
20.5mm spacers
Full powerflex bush kit
AP Coilovers
Nitrac Discs
Ferodo ds2500 Pads
Goodridge braided brake lines
ATE Racing Brake Fluid
New Rear Brake Cylinders
Vibra-Technics Engine Mounts (LH + RH)
Floflex bush in Gearbox Mount
Front Lower Strut Brace
Front Upper Strut Brace
Rear Strut Brace
Full Milltek Exhaust System
FRP Airbox mod w/ Pipercross Panel filter
CAF to front bumper
Racing Battery
Denso Iridium Spark Plugs
Magnecor 8.5mm HT Leads
Fitted Kill switch
Racing Steering Wheel

Thanks for reading so far, i will be keeping the thread updated as and when I get more bits done to the car.
I look forward to hearing any feedback and suggestions, and hopefully may see some of you fellow minded owners on one of our outings!
:cool: Thats a great write up so far.

Sounds like you've invested quite a lot in terms of upgraded parts for it now, hopefully it'll perform on the track well!
Nice! It's a good car to take on track but I would advise to get a baffled sump just to make sure oil gets where it should.
Yesterday I had a parcel waiting for me when I got home :)

I set to work fitting it, with the boss I had ordered. Was a fairly quick and easy job, although I managed to blow the fuse for the horn whilst I was at it!

And here is the finished product
Small update today. Got round to fitting the new brake discs and pads.
Need to bed them in when i get chance.

Looking at booking a track day very soon!





Really like this mate! all great changes and strong move going for full competition mounts! love to see how it performs on track too.
Been busy over the last week or two, so thought i would check in with out progress.

First things first, i managed to wire up the kill switch, so its all working. This involved running a length of cable from the engine bat to the cabin, cutting the battery's positive wire, and connect each end to the wire.
This then connects to the main terminals on the kill switch. In the picture, you can see how is wired.
White wire connects to the resistor supplied, then to an earthing point.
The red wire (small one) connects to the main terminal on the kill switch.
The orange and green wires are from the ignition switch to the ignition coil.




Tidied up the wires with some shrink tubing. A few more pics of the engine bay:



This brings me to the next step. As you can see in the pics we have fitted our engine strut brace! (Weichers from DCPerformance)


Just need to get the turrets sealed again now.

Next up, we had bought a second hand airbox to mess about with, I found a thread on this forum somewhere about converting it to an FRP style box. So i set about messing about and managed to get it looking spot on (sorry no pics of this, but feel free to search for the thread in question!)
The FRP i believe used a cold air feed to the box, so we got our own installed.


We then had a change of heart, and decided to spray the inlet trumpet green!


And finally, we got round to spraying up some alloys and fitting our front track tyres :)

Here is my brother prepping the alloys in primer


Followed by masking up the centres



And finally, the finished product!


We are very pleased with the result. Mounted tyres yesterday, and fit them on the car today to see what they looked like. And that's all for now! So i will finish with a few pics of the car as is stands at the moment :)

AO48's on front


Cool mod to the wheels!

I hate wires but your doing fine judging by the pics
Great looking project, cant believe how many of these are now being turned into track cars... makes me feel like I need to up my game a bit!

but please tell you paid £300 for a strut brace?
Them wheels are smart. Have you driven it with the modded air box??
Great progress so far, the puma is an awesome car to turn into a budget track day thrill. Including the car i am in at around £1200 and it is do much fun and handles great.
Haven't really had a good drive with the box yet. Much quieter than the cone filter we had on though. Our concern was under bonnet temps on track, so whilst the frp mod + CAF may not give us any more horses, it should help to eliminate losing any :)

Last time we had it weighed, it was 927KG with about a quarter tank of fuel. Since then, we have done bits here and there (such as taking metal frame out dash etc) and added weight back in from the strut brace, but we estimate another 10kg out or there abouts.
Next big weight save will come from a fibreglass bonnet and replacing both the standard seats. Our goal is to get it sub 900kg at the minute!
See ive got a cone filter on mine and my car defo feels more responsive than the standard air box. My air box wasnt modded like the racing puma one though.
Finally got round to updating the next step in our project. We have now taken ownership of a carbon fiber bonnet, that used to belong to pumanoob. When we picked it up, it wasn't in the best shape, so we sanded the whole thing down and changed the colours around a bit.

Here's a pick of what it looked like on arrival:


We then got to work!" onclick=";return false;

We used some nitro to strip the old paint of the vents, and re sprayed them.


Then got to work respraying the old blue chequers to match our theme




Finally, re-lacquered the bonnet. Here is a before and after shot


And the finished product" onclick=";return false;

Then onto fitting on the car, complete with aluminium hinges



Now sitting proud on the car!




need some minor adjustments here and there, as the corners of the bonnet catch if you sit it flush, resulting in it sat too far forward at the moment. Nothing a hacksaw wont sort out :)

Think we are just about ready to get it booked on track! :D
Haven't updated this thread in a while, but have been awfully busy doing bits and bobs to the car.
We have done 2 trackdays since, an evening at cadwell and a full day at blyton. so here is whats been happening since the last post!

First of all, we have been saving weight where we can. We started off gutting a second set of headlights, stripping and cutting down the interiors. This saved us a couple of kg, being able to swap them over on a track day.




It wasn't long then before our first outing in the car since work began. We had an evening at cadwell, and the car performed better than expected.



I managed to get hold of a set of corbeau seats from ebay, costing around £50 for the pair. And they are in excellent condition! the frames were bought from larkspeed, and the total saving was about 6kg per seat, 5kg of which was in the frame itself.


One of the frames they sent was for a different variation of puma, and ended up being to high


but this was a quick fix, thanks to the forums, as i found out i needed one of these! found at a scrappy for £2 :D


There was a bit of welding work thats been done, so i could fit in the harness'. I attached some eyelet bolts on spreader plates, so i could get the angle recommended by the FIA. A friend did this so cut down on cost. Harness cost £50 for a pair, from an ex-rally car.
Pics are in the next post down.

One thing we did want to get sorted before our next track day (blyton) was to fit a splitter to the car. We got in touch with richard mansfield, and he sent us one out with the fittings and we got to work.







There was some other bits and bobs we tidied up, and it wasn't long before we were booked on at our next track day. Disaster struck from the start...
We were on the way up to the event, when my dad noticed the splitter was resonating at an extremely high frequency. Its a surprise it didn't rip off the car!

Seeing as we had limited time and resources on arrival, we had to come up with a temporary solution.




not pretty, but it did the job. It held up all day long, with the tape needing re-applying every so often as it stretched under the load. You could see the damage, as it had completely ripped the seals around the edges we had applied.

Only got one video of it setting off, we are yet to add an in car cam, but this is on the todo list for the next outing.


Aside from the splitter, the only other thing to work on is brake cooling, blyton was pretty hard on the brakes, although we never suffered from and fade at all. The fluid we used (boiling point 280C) had started to boil by the end of the day resulting in a slightly soft pedal. We have bought some ferodo super formula now though, with a boiling points of 330C.

The next date we have booked is a donnington on the 26th october. It is clear we have a few things to do, many of which are already in motion. First up we set about addressing the splitter's resonating problem.
I bought a couple of stays from, these being the longest we could get without spending stupid money.




Whilst the bumper was off, we bought some revotec brake ducts (inspired by aaron86) and cut a gap to fit them on the bumper





We have yet to fit the bumper back on, and try an utilise these efficiently, but failing that we thought it wont hurt either. At least with the splitter on, it will promote airflow into any gaps in the bumper.

so the todo list before donnington is as follows:

- Oil change
- Auxiliary belt change (its squeaky!)
- Brake fluid change
- Fit bumper + brake ducts

I think that's about it, will post updates upcoming to the track day, and hopefully we should have some videos this time round too!