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Monday 19th March 2012

PH Fleet update: Ford Puma

Riggers makes his very own shed all shiny - because a wash is as good as getting that suspension sorted...



We don't really do product reviews here on PH. So when Autoglym popped along to PH HQ a little while back, eager to show off its brand-new, re-formulated range (complete with a new-look bottle, logo and everything), we were a little embarrassed. How could we give them a bit of coverage without it seeming like nothing more than editorial puff?

Mmmm....foamy...
Mmmm....foamy...
The Puma calls
Fortunately, one of the chaps who came along for the demonstration spotted my Puma nestling forlornly beneath the trees in the car park, complete with bird-sourced garnish. Taking in the brake dust, the withered-looking window seals and said bird-doings, and muttering disappointed noises as he felt with his hand the frankly crappy nature of the paintwork, he solemnly handed me a packet of bird-dropping wipes. "These'll do for a start, but perhaps you'd like to bring your car over to us at some point, and we can show you what the full range can do."

Now, being a chap who likes the effect of a thoroughly clean car, but not the effort apparently involved, it was all I could do not to bite the poor fellow's hand off.

Now for the science bit

Enough products for you?
Enough products for you?
A couple of months later I duly arrived at Autoglym's HQ in Letchworth. After a brief tour of the facilities that included the lab (like a posh school science room, only with expensive machinery that actually works) and the main factory (oddly like a distillery or wine-maker's, but with cleaning unguents in the massive vats instead of alcohol) we headed off to the valeting bays.

These are a car cleaning fetishist's wet dream, with a 'wet bay' replete with super high-pressure jet wash and a 'dry bay' with an example of every single product line Autoglym makes. And it was in these two bays that I saw Barney (kind of a Yoda figure for apprentice car valeters, only not a wizened, fictional alien) work something akin to magic on the Puma, without much in the way of visible effort.

A spot of 'beading porn'
A spot of 'beading porn'
I won't go into detail over each product he used, as it would not be the most exciting thing to read. But a few things really stood out. Like how much dirt you can shift without using a sponge, or how you wash and polish in straight line rather than swirls, so scratches are less likely to show if you accidentally get grit on your sponge or cloth.

Other titbits? If you're going to use a clay bar on your car, pop your fingers in the cellophane wrapping of a cigarette packet and run them over the paintwork of the car before and after - the plastic accentuates your sensitivity to the lumps and bumps on the paintwork that the clay removes, and the before-and-after feeling is so much more satisfying.


As I left - with a very clean car indeed - a bag chock full of various polishes, waxes and shampoos was pressed into my hand, most of which I must confess I already had tucked away in my collection at home. Like I said, I like the idea of a wax-tastic car, but suffer too much inertia to actually get stuck in on a regular basis.

But, courtesy of Barney's sage advice, I now know I needn't put in too much effort, and since then the Puma has received a quick wash every weekend, followed by either a polish, a quick liquid wax, or a 'high-definition' wax.

Why so much effort on a shed?
All of this might seem borderline obsessive, especially on a car worth - at its absolute best - a grand. But if you're reading this then you don't need me to tell you that, for the likes of us, car ownership is not about logic or pragmatism.


Autoglym's best efforts can't reverse the march of ferrous oxide on the Puma's rear arches, of course, nor can it sort out the suspension, which I am convinced is far from perfect, but haven't yet had the guts - or cash - to tackle.

But the ACF-50 corrosion blocker I wrote about in my last report seems to have prevented the rusting arches from significant deterioration over the winter, and I keep telling myself I'll sort out the suspension soon.

In the meantime I can keep myself distracted from the truly pressing issues by keeping AX51 GGA nice and shiny...


Fact sheet:
Car:
2001 Ford Puma
Run by: Matt Rigby
Bought: June 2011
Purchase price: 1,000
Last month at a glance: Time to get AX51 GGA spruced up with a spring clean - potential suspension issues brushed under carpet


Previous reports:
Continental jaunts and Corrosion block for Riggers's Puma
Riggers is finding it tough to trust with his new Puma

Riggers
2
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Author Discussion

FWDRacer

Original Poster:

3,277 posts

111 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Was all that handbagging less than a set of polybushes for the Puma.

Talk about scewed priorities. Polishingheads now is it?

Dave Hedgehog

7,331 posts

91 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
the foams worth more than the car wink

never really liked the puma/tigra, bargain motoring thou

Riggers

1,851 posts

65 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
the foams worth more than the car wink

never really liked the puma/tigra, bargain motoring thou
Tigra? In the same sentence as the Puma? How very dare you... wink

Dave Hedgehog

7,331 posts

91 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Riggers said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
the foams worth more than the car wink

never really liked the puma/tigra, bargain motoring thou
Tigra? In the same sentence as the Puma? How very dare you... wink
I did resist mentioning "girly car" after the death threats I got in the boxster article tongue out

Mind you this puma would spank my car now frown

MadDog1962

456 posts

49 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
These Pumas are really great little cars. Just because you only pay a grand for it ("shed" money) doesn't mean it does not deserve a bit of TLC.
Advertisement

Riggers

1,851 posts

65 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
I did resist mentioning "girly car" after the death threats I got in the boxster article tongue out

Mind you this puma would spank my car now frown
'Tis quite a girly car - just one that handles beautifully. Unlike a Tigra biggrin

Papa Hotel

12,753 posts

69 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Riggers said:
'Tis quite a girly car - just one that handles beautifully. Unlike a Tigra biggrin
Don't let them bully you Riggers, it's not a girly car.

Dr G

11,303 posts

129 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Good work, driving around in a lovely sparkling clean car is quite satisfying; particularly when the car wash mongs in car parks start waving at you. "What exactly do you plan on cleaning, mate?" laugh

mistergixer

103 posts

39 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Riggers said:
Tigra? In the same sentence as the Puma? How very dare you... wink
I bought a Puma at the weekend (my second Puma), on the test drive the dealer commented that 'I can't understand why a bloke would want to buy a car like a Puma or a Tigra, they're very girly.'

Whilst I let the girly comment pass, I wouldn't stand for the Tigra insult. There's a world of difference between them - unlike the Corsa coupe, the Puma is more than just a Fiesta in a shiny dress.

He did, however, change his tune somewhat later, and said 'Well, I think that's probably the briskest test drive I've ever sat in on'.


biggrin

Dave Hedgehog

7,331 posts

91 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Riggers said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
I did resist mentioning "girly car" after the death threats I got in the boxster article tongue out

Mind you this puma would spank my car now frown
'Tis quite a girly car - just one that handles beautifully. Unlike a Tigra biggrin
no arguing with that wink still a bargain

Tophatron

296 posts

108 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
mistergixer said:
Whilst I let the girly comment pass, I wouldn't stand for the Tigra insult. There's a world of difference between them - unlike the Corsa coupe, the Puma is more than just a Fiesta in a shiny dress.
Is it that much more though? I love the Puma, don't get me wrong but the Fiesta itself was a great fun and nice handling car, whereas the Corsa was rubbish. That seems to translate pretty directly across to their coupe sisters...

scholesy

143 posts

49 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
I actually quite fancy a puma for track abuse, basically a swoopier fiesta with a slightly better engine (in 1.7 form versus the zetec s fiesta) lots you can do to them for not much money, and spares are plentiful with so many going cheap. Can nearly afford to buy a decent car with an engine failure etc as a spares car!

Repent

260 posts

60 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Take it away Tiff...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbr1K3uuOPk

Wicked little cars the Puma's, as said could not be further from the Tigra, horrific chassis.

As for the paintwork, sounds like good work to me! But who wouldn't take up such an offer. I went through a stage of anal cleaning (in car hygiene terms that is, no irrigation ta), and one day thankfully woke up to realise I was spending ridiculous amounts of money on a hatchback. On the more luxurious end of a stables metal, yes. Im thinking Maser's, De Tomaso's. On most road or 'weekend' cars, waste of time in my eyes. A nice polish, wax, wheel wax etc is all good, but all these Odod pastes and accessories are only so popular thanks to some very well structured forum placements by the firms marketing and selling the stuff.

I remember following a link to a guy on detailingworld who'd bought an Arden Blue Astra VXR shortly after release, and spent a lot of time, effort and moolar on detailing it to within an inch of its life even though it hadnt got much further than delivery miles. Its a f**king Astra.


Edited by Repent on Monday 19th March 12:18

Neil G60

618 posts

111 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
The Yamaha derived 1.7 is a peach, as is the wonderful gearchange. Comparison with the Tigra is an insult! wink

If you're looking at the suspension do NOT buy Eibach springs as they make it all but undriveable on British roads. I sucessfully ruined by wife's Puma in this way a few years back!

And the front bushes failed at 35k miles on our Puma and it was more cost effective to just get new lower wishbones with new bushes already pressed in place

Edited by Neil G60 on Monday 19th March 12:52

School boy

945 posts

98 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Can I pay them to do my car?

MagicalTrevor

5,420 posts

116 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Riggers: It'll be all nice a clean for when you do the IAM drive that you said you'd do tongue out


jellison

12,754 posts

164 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
You know you will have to cut the rear arch rot out sometime (I ordered the german replacement arches).

Just had >700 on wifes, reear bushes and lambda being main things - amazing how you get used to it degrading and just go along with it.

It is So fast now fuleing right (revs like made), but will bring the mpg back as been crap last 6 months+. Handling now go-kart like again (Eibachs help, as do the massive ST170 stoppers on wifes.

johnpeat

4,327 posts

152 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
scholesy said:
I actually quite fancy a puma for track abuse, basically a swoopier fiesta with a slightly better engine (in 1.7 form versus the zetec s fiesta) lots you can do to them for not much money, and spares are plentiful with so many going cheap. Can nearly afford to buy a decent car with an engine failure etc as a spares car!
I love Pumas but I'm not sold on them as track cars, they need too much work to make them track happy IMO

They are BRILLIANT road cars tho, they're nippy, light and they soak up the bumps without question. Lovely gearchange - decent steering - all adds-up to a package which is VASTLY better the tedious understeering stodge of the Tigra.

For track work you'd want stiffer suspension and bigger brakes at the very least - and they still feel a bit 'top heavy' to me even then.

There are far better track slags - leave Pumas on the road, it's their habitat.

Garlick

40,601 posts

127 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Shame the interior of his cars look like this


Riggers

1,851 posts

65 months

[news] 
Monday 19th March 2012 quote quote all
Garlick said:
Shame the interior of his cars look like this

Cheeky. But possibly fair.

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