December 6, 2022

Nevermind the overblown new Puma SUV – the actual Ford Puma is a purebred quick Ford with elegant dealing with, svelte styling and a bargain-basement costs. Now’s your probability to speculate.

Information from Quick Ford. Phrases: Dan Williamson  

Ford Puma historical past and timeline

  • June 1997 – Puma manufacturing begins in Cologne, Germany, primarily based on fourth-generation Fiesta platform however with stiffer springs and a thicker rear anti-roll bar. One mannequin out there: 1.7 with VCT, ABS, traction management and 15in five-spoke ‘propeller’ alloys.
  • February 1998 – Puma 1.4 (non-VCT) launched with 15in nine-spoke alloys and non-obligatory ABS.
  • October 1999 – 1.7 Millennium version launched, that includes Zinc Yellow paintwork, Alchemy leather-based Recaro entrance seats, air con, passenger airbag and CD participant; 1000 produced.
  • Could 2000 – Minor facelift that includes brake gentle in rear spoiler, nine-spoke 15in alloy wheels, gray inside plastics, revised heater controls, Midnight Black upholstery, greater discs and drums.
  • October 2000 – Puma 1.4 changed by Sigma-engined Puma 1.6 (non-VCT); ABS customary. Millennium version discontinued. 1.7 Black version launched, that includes Panther Black paintwork, 14-spoke 15in F1 alloy wheels, Midnight Black leather-based seats, passenger airbag and air con; 1600 produced.
  • November 2001 – 1.7 Thunder version launched with Moondust Silver or Magnum Gray paintwork, multi-spoke 15in alloys, Midnight Black leather-based seats, air con, scuff plates, electrical/heated door mirrors, heated windscreen and CD changer; 1000 gray/1000 silver produced; a couple of had been 1.6-engined. Puma manufacturing ends.
  • July 2002 – Black version formally discontinued.
  • December 2002 – Puma formally discontinued.

Engine and transmission

Except you desire a Ford Puma purely to shine, keep away from the 1.4 and go for a 1.7 – a Yamaha-developed 1679cc model of the Fiesta’s Zetec SE powerplant, it has solid rods and crank, and variable inlet cam timing (VCT). It’s a cracking little motor, and tunable too. The (non-VCT) 1.6 isn’t unhealthy (it’s a Fiesta Zetec S engine), however why would you trouble?

Neglect is a killer. Cambelt swaps (with new water pump and tensioners) are wanted each 5 years or 80,000 miles, and oil adjustments each 5000 miles. The 1.7’s Nikasil liners require 5W30 semi-synthetic. If the oil stage is allowed to run low, it will probably wipe out all the engine. An unused automotive wants its engine turning over recurrently to keep away from seizing.

Cylinder bore put on reveals up as blue smoke from the exhaust and/or problem beginning. Verify for nasty noises (gentle tapping at start-up is regular), and ensure the engine revs to the purple line.

Search for leaks beneath the engine cowl: oil dripping from the rocker cowl gasket, or coolant coming from corroded core plugs. Leaks drip onto spark plugs and trigger misfires.


Tough operating and lack of energy usually end result from a knackered lambda sensor, airflow (MAF) meter or coil pack. Spluttering at low revs might be because of idle management valve or throttle place sensor failure.

Robust previous IB5 transmission can address Puma energy however suffers from put on and abuse. The gearchange must be slick and exact; a sloppy shift factors to a drained linkage (low-cost to repair) however notchiness or crunching (particularly grinding between second and third gears) recommend synchromesh failure – and a rebuilt gearbox is required.

Rumbling that will increase in quantity beneath acceleration warns of collapsed mainshaft bearings – and time to purchase a brand new gearbox. Rattling at idle that disappears once you press the clutch pedal would be the launch bearings; often nothing to fret about. Clicking from the steering on full lock will likely be a driveshaft fault.

Clutch slip is trigger for concern as a result of it’s dear to place proper. Verify for an abnormally excessive biting level, and attempt to set off in third gear – if the engine doesn’t stall, you’ve received issues.

Ford Puma


Sharp and tight suspension is important – any Puma that’s soggy or uninteresting to drive has one thing amiss beneath.

Obscure dealing with factors to worn dampers or drained bushes, with the highest mounts, entrance decrease arms, anti-roll bar hyperlinks or rear beam often the supply of issues. It’s all customary Fiesta stuff, so low-cost to switch, however polyurethane bushes are advisable; the trip will likely be firmer however not uncomfortable. Knocking noises may be brought on by knackered bushes or a damaged coil spring. Pumas look higher for somewhat reducing however street automobiles don’t reply nicely to coilovers or scraping the tarmac.

Puma brakes are from the Fiesta, so easy to repair – juddering from the entrance will most likely be contaminated pads or discs, whereas the rear drums might leak or seize on the handbrake. From Could 2000, the sooner 240mm entrance discs and 180mm rear drums had been swapped for 258mm discs/200mm drums.

Pumas constructed between March and September 1998 had been recalled for substitute of the brake grasp cylinder, and a few required rerouted rear brake hoses to cease chafing towards the rear beam; yours ought to have been repaired by now.

Brake pipes rot badly on the rear, however are low-cost to repair; spend money on braided hoses to switch soggy rubber hoses. ABS sensors may be defective, inflicting the dashboard warning gentle to light up; cleansing will be the remedy, or perhaps a brand new sensor (not costly).

Ford Puma


Uncared for Pumas have tatty interiors, with scuffed plastics, rattling dashboards and trim, and even lacking items across the seats and sills.

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Age and mileage additionally causes put on: anticipate the driving force’s seat bolster to be frayed and/or collapsed, and assume the steering wheel’s leather-based rim will likely be effervescent up and soggy.

If you happen to’re tall, it’s possible you’ll favor a later-model (1999-onwards) Puma, by which the seats sit decrease; they’re recognized by a recessed deal with for tipping slightly than a lift-up knob. The motive force’s seat on pre-1999 Pumas is electrically adjustable for peak, however mechanisms are liable to failure.

Early Pumas even have half-moon devices and analogue mileage show, later changed by round dials and digital. The primary 1500 had a numbered gearknob, however by now many have been nicked.

From Could 2000 the upholstery and inside plastics swapped from Alchemy Blue to darkish gray.

Verify the entrance footwells for damp carpets, which result in the ground corroding. Most leaks are brought on by lacking grommets from behind the fuse field or servo, or a blocked aircon drainage pipe, which will be cured with silicone.

Attempt all of the devices to make sure they work – particularly electrical window and central locking motors. If the heater blower works solely on the very best setting (place 4), the resistor packs have burnt out; if it’s sticking on scorching or chilly, the heater management valves have failed; each issues are low-cost to repair. Don’t be shocked if the air con (the place fitted) doesn’t blow chilly air.

If the tailgate wiper or demister doesn’t work, assume {the electrical} contacts to the tailgate are chafed or soiled.

Most certainly, the rear parcel shelf may have collapsed; wrap the pins with insulating tape.

Ford Puma


Above all else, purchase on bodywork situation. Mechanical bits will be changed however a rotten Ford Puma is scrap.

Most evident would be the rear wheelarches, which will be changed by welding in Peugeot 206 entrance arches (not low-cost, taking into account loads of paintwork will likely be required); watch out for repairs bodged with filler. Look at the door bottoms, across the window climate strips, the bottom of the mirrors, door pillars and hinges. Verify the sills, then get beneath and examine the entire floorpan – particularly inside the entrance inside wheelarches. Raise the carpets contained in the automotive and look within the boot too. Stroll away from severe corrosion; you’ll quickly discover a higher Puma.

Don’t be shocked to search out cracked bumpers and damaged grilles; loads are round second-hand, in order that they’re not expensive.

Headlamps might look uninteresting, however sharpening the lenses will replenish their sparkle.

Ford Puma

Ford Puma verdict

Jamie King, Quick Ford editor:

“The Puma was all the time by some means that little extra unique than the Fiesta upon which it’s so carefully modelled. For my part the Racing Puma would be the subsequent large factor in collectors’ circles (it ticks all the suitable containers: motorsport pedigree, restricted version, constructed at Tickford, and so forth) and this may undoubtedly inflate costs of standard Pumas. Proper now they’re about as low-cost as they’ll ever be, so discover the very best (rust-free!) instance you possibly can and also you’re positive to be onto a winner; a automotive that may be each loved and can nonetheless admire in worth.”


Dan Williamson, contributor and Ford Puma proprietor:

“I need to admit, I used to be by no means a fan of the Puma till I drove one – and that’s once I realised it’s a lot greater than the sum of its components. It feels alive and agile in a manner that solely the very best front-wheel-drive scorching hatches can muster. It’s additionally certain to be a quick Ford basic, which is why I added one to my very own assortment – a July ‘97 launch mannequin in Melina Blue with all of the choices. After all I’d slightly have a Racing Puma, however after they’re fetching Cossie cash, a blue 1.7 would be the subsequent smartest thing.”

Ford Puma key contacts

Venture Puma

Puma Folks

Racing Puma House owners’ Membership

Ford Puma Tech Spec:


1388cc/1596cc/1679cc in-line four-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC Sigma (1.6) or Zetec SE (1.4/1.7) with alloy block and head, sequential digital gas injection, Ford EEC-V engine administration, digital distributorless ignition, 1.7 with variable inlet camshaft timing (VCT)


Entrance-wheel drive with IB5 five-speed handbook gearbox and three.82:1 remaining drive ratio (1.7)


Entrance: MacPherson struts, gas-filled dampers, coil springs, L-arms on separate subframe, anti-roll bar; rear: torsion beam, gas-filled dampers, coil springs, anti-roll bar; PAS steering rack with 2.9 turns lock-to-lock


Entrance: 240mm ventilated entrance discs (258mm from 2000 onwards); rear: 180mm rear drums (200mm from 2000 onwards); ABS (non-obligatory on 1.4)

Wheels & tyres:

6x15in alloys and 195/50VR15 tyres


Three-door coupé physique primarily based on Fiesta floorpan with body-colour bumpers, tinted glass, electrical entrance home windows, non-obligatory metallic paint, electrical/heated door mirrors and heated windscreen. Millennium added electrical door mirrors. Thunder added electrical door mirrors and heated windscreen


Sports activities entrance seats in Alchemy Blue with Silverstone material trim (Midnight Black with Chrome/Twill from 2000), leather-rimmed steering wheel, aluminium gearknob, sports activities devices with white dials, non-obligatory air con and passenger airbag. Millennium version added air con, leather-based Recaro entrance seats, passenger airbag, CD participant and dashboard plaque. Black version added black leather-based seats, passenger airbag and air con. Thunder version added black leather-based seats, air con, scuff plates and CD changer