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Write what you drive

A showcase of independent motoring journalism and automotive travails

JTurn Fleet: Puma MOT Time & MR2 at 90
I celebrated a year of Puma ownership in July, and the use of the word celebrated should indicate that it got through its MOT first with all things motoring though, it didn't go without a fight.

The ABS light had been on since I bought the car (arguably I should have known better given my previous experiences with the flakiness of the Mk3 Golf Teves system, but optimism and/or arrogance prevailed) and after some GCSE Science style experimentation with a multi-meter I narrowed the fault down to the front right sensor. This is where the fighting started as for what is ostensibly a small piece of plastic held in with one screw; it is amazing what a labour intensive operation removing an ABS sensor can be.

What I believe was the original exhaust also took a fair amount of persuasion to leave the car after 14 years of happy matrimony. This despite the fact it had decided to separate behind the muffler - which lead to some impressive pops and bangs (for a 1.7) on overrun but wasn't entirely conducive to passing an MOT.

This did allow me to indulge my new hobby further in order to select a replacement. Since I only required mid and rear sections, I knew performance gains were pretty much out of the question. I also wasn't interested in being party to the questionable trend of small cars with huge burbling exhausts so I went with the tasteful sounding (according to Youtube and forums) 3" Piper stainless back box and standard mid.

I was slightly disappointed with the sound when I first fired up, but this improved with time as the system bedded in and it now puts out a fairly meaty note on the gas without making me blush every time I drive through middle-England town centres.

In JDM world, the MR2 blasted through the 90k barrier (km/miles conversion notwithstanding) and the engine still feels as strong as the day I bought it. Suspension wise, it's starting to feel a little wallowy for something that sits so low and clunks from the rear suggest to me that the drop links need replacing.

New springs, shock absorbers and bushes would undoubtedly tighten matters up but for Turbo models parts prices are rather prohibitive. I may pick the collective brains of Rogue Motorsport on the most cost-effective way of improving stiffness and feel.

I did treat it to a winter coat of Turtle Wax "Creme Wax", which was arduous to apply and didn't leave much of a shine on removal but did result in the following piece of bead art...

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Regular Features
20th January

Just when you think everything is going well...

7th October

Puma passes MOT despite struggle

28th June

MR2 Turbo in France

31st March

Further money "invested"

6th January 2013

'90s reigns as the current JT Fleet is introduced