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A place for Puma owners and enthusiasts to ask questions, provide answers, and post information of interest.

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Puma help

Hi Everyone,

I recently purchased a 1974 Puma which is South African built. My Puma was imported in 2015 so now I guess it the second in Australia. When I first spotted this gem in a museum I just had to have him.
Because I'm in Australia parts etc is not available...and I'd certainly love to drive him.
My intention is restore the Puma and as a Vw enthusiast I've run into a few problems.
Firstly this puma is based on a shortened beetle pan, and one issue is changing worn bush on shifter linkage... I would really love a service manual to sort one of many issues.
Could anyone point me in the right direction


Re: Puma help

Wolfsburg West should sell the bushing you need. The shipping will be more than the part. I was surprised to hear that your Puma was based on a Bug pan. Bug pans are too narrow for the Puma body. Brazil used Brasilia pans, and some folks here in the US have taken Karmann Ghia pan halves and modified them

Re: Puma help

All South African build Pumas are based on shortened Beetle pans.
Karmann Ghias were never officially sold through VW in South Africa so the floorpans and associated parts were not available. Hence before Puma production started, the body was modified to fit readily available Beetle pans and also converted to a RH dash layout. The sills are a lot wider to fit on the narrower Beetle pans.
Regards Frank

Re: Puma help

Purring Pumas in the USA has manuals and parts.
Running gear and parts like shifter bushings are standard VW.

Re: Puma help

Replacing that part was to most terrible thing i ever did on my Puma. Hardest was moving the shift linkage out of the way and back. I used a cloth wrapped around to move it. Hope you dont have big hands! Add a short shift plate while you are at it. Cheap part and way better shifting.

Re: Puma help

That is precisely the issue Dennis,
And to add to the issue... I've hit a slight snag in doing the procedure, there's no hole in the fibre body apart from the front to slide the rod through.
I'm believe the rod must travel through the boot area which at some point has been poorly repaired (maybe an accident from earlier in its life).
Any pics as to where this hole should be positioned? Not really keen on drilling a gaping hole. I have bought a coupling with the quick shift to sort out the gear selection.
The rabbit hole seems to get deeper too... Some idiot decided to fit an electric fuel pump instead of using the mechanical one which just keeps pumping fuel even when the engines not running.
The soles carb is also faulty and don't really feel like buying those cheap looking carbs from China either. This poor car has definitely seen better days... But one thing at a time.

Re: Puma help

I will see if I have some pics or post a video on youtube. I dus use the hole to use a broomstick to push everything back in place. As i could not apply force any other way.... will get back in a few days... happy hollydays

Re: Puma help

Putting the rod back in, it's best to start with two people. One in the front trunk area with the simple wooden tool i sent you the email of, and one person in the passenger compartment. Take a foot or so of electrical wire and bend it in a loop. The person in the passenger compartment uses it to support the rod as soon as they can see it, and help guide it into the hole in the bracket. Be sure the shift rod is well cleaned, with rust removed, then a fresh light coat of grease.
Best regards,
Jim Schield

Re: Puma help

Hi Jim,

Your question was a good excuse to upload a new youtube video

Hope this works, and helps.

Damir, do you stil need help to replace the bushing? Your question is a bit older, and maybe you allready managed. Please let me know, so I can make a small video to guide you in the right direction.


Re: Puma help

Yesterday I marked out the hole in the boot and drilled the access hole. I found out that someone patched the area with fibreglass and random bits of sheet metal. However got that sorted. Removed the cover plate and removed the rod without drama. The rod hanger however was broken, so I removed the hanger and rewelded it and put it through the tunnel... Painful but ready to weld it back up. I bought the empi coupling kit from the UK and I compared it with the original and found that the V cutout for the rod end is a few millimetres too small and won't fit...absolute rubbish then fitted the original coupling with the new bushes and seems ok. I was looking on the net and found a brass shift rod bushing that replaces that flimsy plastic one and I'm considering buying the brass one before I weld up the hanger. Don't really feel like changing the plastic one anytime soon. Apparently for about $40 you get the kit which has the brass bush, retaining clip and the offer a lifetime guarantee.
I'll let everyone know how this pans out.
Happy holidays to everyone