The stock Puma tyres were 14 inch Pirelli CN36, 185/70 in front and 195/70 at the rear.

I previously found that the Puma is so light that it tends to aquaplane with wide tyres — instead of pushing the water out of the threads you just go over it. Unsafe, in a very interesting way. So I’d prefer to go with a narrower tyre. 185/65s are readily available because they fit on City Golfs.

Using the Wheel & Tyre Bible, the rolling diameter of a 185/70 is 1853mm and a 195/70 is 1895mm.

1. Rear: 185/65 have a rolling diameter of 1798mm. So for the same engine revs I’ll go 5% slower than the Puma specs.

2. Front: The stock Beetle wheel is (I think) 165/80 R15 with a diameter of 1945mm. This means my speedo (assuming an original Beetle speedo) will be out (high) by 8%.


Posted in progress, technical | 1 Comment


Bought these rims from Gumtree for R1000.

They’ll need a bit of a polish, maybe.

Edit: the “bit of a polish” was a full straightening… set me back R2400. But now they’re brand new, basically.

VW part number 17S 601 028A, 6J x 14 H2 ET38. If this means nothing to you, it’s all explained in the Wheel & Tyre Bible. It’s a 14 inch rim, 6 inches wide, with a J bead profile, a hump on each side to keep the bead on, and an offset of 38mm. It takes a 175 to 195 wide tyre.

Posted in progress | Leave a comment

Fish Hoek

My brother needs the space and I need to spend more time on the Puma, so we dropped the body on to the pan and towed the Puma to Fish Hoek.

(Yes, this is a long term project…)

Posted in progress | 2 Comments

These pages are now a blog

I’ve decided to move my Puma section to a blog. I’ll backdate the stuff that was here before as blog entries.

Posted in admin | 1 Comment

Technical stuff

Some technical notes on:

  • The best engine for a Puma
  • Type IV pulley timing marks
  • Mating a Type IV engine to a Type I gearbox
  • Oil temperature sender
  • Dipstick tube
  • Building a “freeway flyer” gearbox
  • Building a large fast Type IV engine
Posted in engine, technical, transmission | Leave a comment

Disk Brakes

I bought this kit from the back of CAR magazine. It
consists of two mounting plates, hubs and outer
wheel bearings. The plates get bolted to the stub axles with
M10 sunken head capscrews, and the calipers (from a Golf 1 / Fox)
bolt to the plates with their standard bolts. It uses a standard
beetle bearing and seal on the inside of the hub, and a special
bearing on the outside. I havn’t figured out how the wheel nuts
or studs will work yet.

The disks are vented Golf 1 disks from Goldwagen. Doesn’t look as
if the vented disks play well with new brake shoes — not enough space.
Are there thinner shoes for vented disks? I don’t know.

I will need to add 5 to 4 bolt convertors on the back, otherwise
I’ll have two wheels with four bolts in front and two wheels
with five bolts at the back.

They also tell me I must use a Golf 2 master cylinder — work in progress.

Posted in brakes | 1 Comment

New floorpan

New sections welded in, zinc sprayed, painted.

Posted in chassis | Leave a comment

Body off

The floorplan was completely rusted out, so I pulled the body off and suspended it from the garage roof (with appropriate strengthening of the beams).



Posted in chassis | 1 Comment

The big rebuild

So I’m starting to rebuild the Puma.

[Not-so-good picture of Puma rear lights]

The early Pumas used VW/Audi taillights, the part number on my righthand taillight is 105945241. One of our list members, Armand Botha, tells me that these are the same lights as fitted to Brazilian Type III VWs.

I’m planning to fit Hyundai taillights, if I can get them.

Posted in bodywork, progress | 1 Comment

Armand Botha on building a large Type IV engine

Armand Botha proposed the following for a not-too expensive big engine.

Use a 411 block. The cylinder holes need to be enlarged, for the rest the block is standard. The fuel injection block is the best choice since it has a windage tray. (Note from Wouter: my FI block had none).

Make sleeves from old Deutz (Industrial or Samil) sleeves, which are readily available at about R10 each. (Note from Wouter: A Samil is a South African Military vehicle, and readily available is in SA, of course). The sleeves are 100mm and can be bored to 101mm after which they are discarded — we bore them to 101.6 mm to take Chev pistons. The sleeves must also be shortened to about half their original size. This can be an expensive exercise if you don’t know someone with a lathe.

The Chev pistons need to be cut to take circlips, the aluminium pin buttons do NOT work. The heads also need to be cut to take the new sleeves, and the fins need slight modification too. The holes for the studs (wrm: I assume in the cylinders) are almost right and can be doctored with a file.

Using a 1700/1800 crank, displacement is 2140cc, and with the 2L crank you get 2300cc. I find that the smaller engine revs better, up to 7000+ rpm, but of course the bigger engine makes more power.

Use Nissan valves (big and cheap), 2.8 Skyline inlet and 2.4 Tracker exhaust. This does wonders for the breathing. Use 2L hydraulic valve springs, they can take the punch.

Send your camshaft to Ritchie Jute in Johannesburg and get him to cut the profile VW13, send him the lifters too for rebuilding. This cam profile gives about 280 degrees which is not too temperamental.

The rest of the engine is standard.

My fastback got 6000rpm in fourth (4.125 diff) using two 36 webers from an alfa and the electronic distributor from a 1900 wasserboxer.

You won’t believe the performance of this engine.

(freely translated from Afrikaans by wrm)

Posted in engine | 2 Comments