Snailherder's Cube
  • I thought I'd start a thread to track the progression of my Cube.

    Picked up my Cube (actually a Cube 3/Cubic) on Friday 16th September. Here's what it looked like when I got it home.
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  • On Saturday 17th September I fitted a set of 17" Momo Winpros with 195/40 tyres. Also fitted a pair of smoked side repeaters.
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  • On Sunday 18th I gave the Cube a proper detailing. I started with a rinse, then washing using the two-bucket method and Chemical Guys Hybrid 7 wash soap. Another rinse, then a dry with microfibre towels. Claybarring next using Meguir's clay and detailing spray. Amazing the filth that came off with the claybar!

    I then used a dual action polisher and Sonax cutting paste with a Chemical Guys Orange Hexlogic pad to cut back the paintwork very slightly. Next stage was using Poorboy's World Black Hole Glaze applied with the the polisher machine using a Chemical Guys Black Hexlogic Pad and buffed off by machine using a Chemical Guys buffing pad.

    Final stage on the bodywork was applying a thin coat of Chemical Guys Black Luminous Glow wax by hand using a foam applicator, then buffing off by hand. Then cleaned the glass, gel on the plastic and the tyres.

    All in all a 7 hours job! But with the good foundation I know that it'll only take an hour or two to get it looking great next time. It was getting dark when I finished, but here are a few pictures of the result.
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  • Looks fantastic! I am gonna clay bar my Cube soon, just need to find that grey day and some decent wax!! Love the car looking great! Maybe we should hit some jap shows next year everyone! Seems to be a few new members!
  • Eibach Sportline 50mm lowering springs fitted today. Very pleased with the look, the drop seems just right to me. Surprisingly happy with the ride as well. Not having lowered a car before I thought it would be very rough but it's still pretty comfy, and most importantly the handling is much improved.

    I also had the car undersealed using black Tetrasyl Waxoyl.

    I'll keep a running list of what's been done to the car:
    - Momo Winpro 17" wheels with 195/40 tyres
    - Painted brake calipers red
    - Smoked side repeaters
    - Eibach Sportline 50mm lowering springs
    - Undersealed with black Tetrasyl Waxoyl
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  • Looks amazing! Keep the updates coming, great to see the car evolve.
  • looking good and been a busy boy so far! which method did you use to paint the calipers? rattle can or brush?
  • That looks epic, so nice and clean. The drop looks so much better as well, really fits well. I need to sort my wheels out, they're too small, yours fit so nicely and evenly in the arches.
  • Cheers all! Cube's with the audio installer now, waiting for the call to pick it up.

    Terry - I used the brush method for the calipers. Like everything on my Cube, the calipers were really clean so a few minutes with a wire brush and they were looking good. The E-Tech caliper painting kit came with a cleaning/de-greasing spray which I used liberally.

    Once that dried I applied three coats of paint to make sure it was really bold. I'm pleased with the effect and you have to get really close to see any imperfections. I'll admit you would get a better finish by disassembling and spraying the calipers, but the finished result is good.
  • OK, so the first stage of the audio is now fitted! Head unit is in, a double DIN Pioneer AVH-X8800BT. Subwoofer is in, an In Phase USW12. And I also added a steering wheel mounted CD-SR110 bluetooth remote control for the Pioneer.

    I've included a 'before' photo in this post so you can appreciate just how hideous the dash looked with that awful Japanese after market single DIN unit. Not pretty was it?

    Dash looks complete now in my opinion with that gap filled. Inside the glove compartment are a couple of USB leads connected to the back of the head unit to allow USB thumb drives, phones, hard drives etc to be connected discretely.

    The main feature of the head unit I wanted was Android Auto compatibility. I downloaded the app, it told me to connect the phone to one of the USB leads, which I did...and nothing happened. Turned the phone off and on, nothing. Turned the head unit off and on, nothing. Went through the settings, all set up to auto launch Android Auto, yet still nothing. After about half an hour of turning devices and settings off and on I had a flash of inspiration, nipped indoors and got a fresh USB cable - bingo, connected straight away. Nothing appeared to be wrong with the old cable but it just wasn't up to the job.

    Android Auto works like a charm. I was able to set navigation points, use voice commands to play music, send text messages, and have the unit read received messages to me. Probably a lot more features to check out when I get time, but very impressed so far.

    Initially I tried placing the bluetooth remote control on the right side of the steering wheel, as that felt like a more natural position, but I think the bluetooth signal was going through too much material and seemed to be blocked. Moved it over to the left and it worked fine. The remote control can be clicked out of the cradle if required. The cradle is held on by a couple of rubbery ties with square holes which locate on notches inside the cradle. They are tightened then cut to length. The remote control has buttons to control basic music and phone functions, plus volume buttons on the reverse.

    The sub is a totally self-contained unit and is adjusted by its own wired remote control. The installer located the remote control just to the left of the steering column, which seems like a good place to me. Unfortunately the subwoofer didn't fit horizontally under the seat as I had hoped, so the installer did the best job he could and put it as far back under the passenger seat as possible. Not totally ideal, good enough for now though, I'll have a think about a better location.

    Sound quality from the setup is now much improved, subwoofer is as I wanted - makes a nice racket inside the car but doesn't announce my arrival down the street a quarter of a mile before I get there. Overall, very happy with today's install.

    I'm booked in Friday next week for a Spectrum amp to be installed under the driver seat, and Spectrum speakers all round.

    So, the current list of mods and equipment stands as:
    - Momo Winpro 17" wheels with 195/40 tyres
    - Painted brake calipers red
    - Smoked side repeaters
    - Eibach Sportline 50mm lowering springs
    - Undersealed with black Tetrasyl Waxoyl
    - Pioneer AVH-X8800BT double DIN head unit
    - In Phase USW12 underseat subwoofer
    - Pioneer CD-SR110 steering wheel mounted bluetooth remote control
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  • Tiny update for today - swapped the long whip aerial for a shortish 20cm one. I thought about going shorter, but to me this length looked about optimum, and besides I wanted to actually retain some radio signal quality.

    Current list of mods and equipment stands as:
    - Momo Winpro 17" wheels with 195/40 tyres
    - Painted brake calipers red
    - Smoked side repeaters
    - Eibach Sportline 50mm lowering springs
    - Undersealed with black Tetrasyl Waxoyl
    - Pioneer AVH-X8800BT double DIN head unit
    - In Phase USW12 underseat subwoofer
    - Pioneer CD-SR110 steering wheel mounted bluetooth remote control
    - 20cm stubby aerial
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  • Today's addition - custom stainless steel full exhaust system.

    I went to Fast Lane Styling in Essex where they tailor an exhaust from scratch to your exact requirements while you wait. They start by getting the car up on a ramp and seeing what the options are, then discuss your requirements. I said I wanted to get a little more sound out of the car, but not to sound like a boy racer. The advice was to keep one of the middle boxes and lose one.

    So I went for a walk while they did the initial work, got a phone call and went back to listen to the exhaust to check it was what I wanted. Sounded good to me so I went with a small back box to not quiet it down too much. They finished the exhaust off and added my choice of pipe.

    Another choice they gave me was to have the exhaust mounted so it hung beneath the bumper, or to cut the bumper and give the exhaust fit a more 'factory' look - I opted to cut the bumper.

    And so, here are the results. I like the look and the sound is a bit more interesting without being antisocial. Bit of a hum while on the motorway but not a noisy drone.

    Current list of mods and equipment stands as:
    - Momo Winpro 17" wheels with 195/40 tyres
    - Painted brake calipers red
    - Smoked side repeaters
    - Eibach Sportline 50mm lowering springs
    - Undersealed with black Tetrasyl Waxoyl
    - Pioneer AVH-X8800BT double DIN head unit
    - In Phase USW12 underseat subwoofer
    - Pioneer CD-SR110 steering wheel mounted bluetooth remote control
    - 20cm stubby aerial
    - Full stainless steel exhaust system
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  • Very nice!!!!!
  • So today's job was replacing the standard rear light clusters with a set of smoked LED ones. Bought them from a company called Mars Performance in Australia. Took a couple of weeks for them to arrive and get through customs. The clusters are each held in place with just a single bolt beneath the rear registration plate, so releasing them is simple.

    The left cluster had the expected cable and plug, also an additional long and short cables ending in plugs. After removing the original left cluster I could see that the additional long cable was for the registration plate illumination lamp, only the plugs on the new and old didn't match. Bit of cable clipping, soldering and heat-shrink wrapping saw that working fine. I was still confused about the extra short cable, but put the cluster back in anyway. All worked fine, except the indicator signal was blinking quickly - I've had this before when switching to LED lights as the LED has virtually no initial resistance. I knew that a resistor would need to be added into the circuit, but had no idea where to wire it in so planned to speak to my local mechanic about it on Monday.

    The right cluster had a thin black wire snaking through a hole inside the bumper, which connected to an opaque red bulb. Any idea what that bulb is for? I clipped the wire. There was also a short cable ending in a plug, same as the left cluster which I couldn't see what it was for. I connected the new cluster and bolted it back in. All good except for the fast blinking indicator.

    I was about the throw the box out when I noticed a little bag with a couple of components in the bottom of it - you guessed it - resistors. They were heat-sunk, and were supposed to connect to those short plugged cables which I didn't know what to do with. Whipped the clusters off, added the resistors, back on and everything perfect.

    I'm really pleased with the result, love the smoked look.

    Current list of mods and equipment stands as:
    - Momo Winpro 17" wheels with 195/40 tyres
    - Painted brake calipers red
    - Smoked side repeaters
    - Eibach Sportline 50mm lowering springs
    - Undersealed with black Tetrasyl Waxoyl
    - Pioneer AVH-X8800BT double DIN head unit
    - In Phase USW12 underseat subwoofer
    - Pioneer CD-SR110 steering wheel mounted bluetooth remote control
    - 20cm stubby aerial
    - Full stainless steel exhaust system
    - Smoked LED rear light clusters
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  • Those look brilliant, I've seen them on ebay and fancy them myself. On a black car it adds to the stealth. Any action shots? I've gone to LED lights before but don't like the ridiculous heat of resistors. The Cube and my old Merc van are the first vehicles I've ever owned which don't go crazy at me just for having an LED fitted, so I'm gradually migrating :-)

    So jealous of your car, it's what I'd like to own/do if I had the budget!
  • I'm going to say the random red light was your Fog lamp, doesn't look like you have one unless it was included within the new lights and as a lot of people take them off between MOT's due to the number of times you actually needing one being so few and far between. at a guess the previous owner used to hok out one of the reversing lights and drop the red bulb in but as it would look like a fried egg in the clear shell with the red bulb in it all the time
  • Thanks for that Terry. Good news then as I have all the cabling in place I need to add a temporary fog light for MOT purposes.
  • As requested Sam, action shots of the LED rear light clusters. Tried to upload the video but the filetype wasn't allowed so here are some screen grabs. In order:

    Side lights
    Brake lights
    Right turn
    Left turn
    Hazards
    Reverse (with brake lights on)
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  • I finished black badging my Cube today. I was ready to use the 'dental floss' method to get the badges off, but in the end the best method was carefully levering them off using a set of plastic tools for removing car trims. Also I didn't much like the look of the dark grey fog light surrounds, so decided to paint them black too.

    With the badges off I got as much of the old gummy adhesive off he car as I could using cloths and detailing spray, and gave the badges a light sanding. For spraying I set them up in my garden (see picture below) with a bent paperclip attached to the rear of each piece and the paperclips inserted into the open end of bamboo sticks jammed into the ground. Looks like a modern sculpture - reckon the Tate Modern might be interested?

    Firstly I sprayed the pieces with a degreaser, then I used PlastiGrip adhesion promoter followed by a coat of grey primer, three coats of satin black, and three coats of satin lacquer. To re-adhere the badges I used 0.15mm black double sided 3M acrylic tape sheets; I stuck them to the back of the badges, carefully cut round with a sharp blade to remove excess.

    The fog light surrounds clicked into place nicely and the front badge went on fine - as it sits in a plastic insert I as able to scrape the adhesive off fully. The rear badges didn't stick quite so well - I hadn't got all the old adhesive off. So off came the back badges again and I bought some 3M General Purpose Adhesive Remover. This got all the gum off really easily. I scraped the adhesive sheets off the back of the badges and put new ones on. As the weather had turned a bit cold I used a hairdryer to heat the badges and the part of the car I was sticking them on (an odd sight for passersby!) - this time the badges stuck on perfectly.

    I know black badging isn't to everyone's taste but I'm liking it. I need to do something with the front grille but not quite sure what yet...maybe I'll just paint it black...
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  • One more small update...

    The Pioneer head unit has a couple of USB cables which feed through to the glove compartment. In order to use Android Auto I have to connect my phone via USB cable, but I don't like cables being visible and don't want my phone to be rattling around in the glove compartment.

    The solution I wanted was to use the cubby beneath the head unit to hold the phone, so I needed the USB cable to come through the back of the cubby. I removed the lower glove compartment, the housing for it, and also the upper glove compartment. I then drilled a 14mm hole in the back of the cubby and passed a fish wire through to guide me.

    It was surprisingly easy to pass the USB cable through the back of the dash and guide it into the back of the cubby. I then lined the cubby with self-adhesive rubber sheeting - the phone sticks to it so it stays in place and won't rattle about.

    Current list of mods and equipment stands as:
    - Momo Winpro 17" wheels with 195/40 tyres
    - Painted brake calipers red
    - Smoked side repeaters
    - Eibach Sportline 50mm lowering springs
    - Undersealed with black Tetrasyl Waxoyl
    - Pioneer AVH-X8800BT double DIN head unit
    - In Phase USW12 underseat subwoofer
    - Pioneer CD-SR110 steering wheel mounted bluetooth remote control
    - 20cm stubby aerial
    - Full stainless steel exhaust system
    - Smoked LED rear light clusters
    - Black badged
    - USB cubby
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  • Thanks for the action shots! Looks awesome. I wondered how the sidelights/brake lights would look. The black badging isn't quite for me, although the front badge I think looks awesome against the grille. It's turning out to be quite a smart looking build!
  • Today I had phase two of the audio install completed. Sextons of Portsmouth did an excellent job for me. I chose Rainbow speakers and amplifier. Had Rainbow Experience Line EL-W6 6.5" drivers fitted front and back, Rainbow Experience Line EL-T19 tweeters at the front, a Rainbow Dream 4 amplifier under the driver seat, and sound deadening material fitted inside the door panels. The sound is crisp, clear and nicely loud, very pleased with it.

    Current list of mods and equipment stands as:
    - Momo Winpro 17" wheels with 195/40 tyres
    - Painted brake calipers red
    - Smoked side repeaters
    - Eibach Sportline 50mm lowering springs
    - Undersealed with black Tetrasyl Waxoyl
    - Pioneer AVH-X8800BT double DIN head unit
    - In Phase USW12 underseat subwoofer
    - Pioneer CD-SR110 steering wheel mounted bluetooth remote control
    - 20cm stubby aerial
    - Full stainless steel exhaust system
    - Smoked LED rear light clusters
    - Black badged
    - USB cubby
    - 4 Rainbow Experience Line EL-W6 drivers
    - 2 Rainbow Experience Line EL-T19 tweeters
    - Rainbow Dream 4 amplifier
  • Snail herder, can you drop me a PM with an email address I can contact you at? Have a request for you.
  • Snailherder, great work! 

    Did you need to do much / any arch work?

    Could I get away with a 50mm drop on 15's? If so, would you mind sending / posting a link for the springs?
  • Cheers DrMurdoch!

    I was prepared to get the rear arches rolled via a friend of a friend, but didn't need to in the end. There's no rubbing from the front on full lock in either direction, and by the narrowest of margins the rears avoid fouling the arches. The Momo wheels I chose are 7J width, so if yours are the same or any narrower you won't foul the arches. In an ideal world I'd like to add some spacers and get the rears to fill the arches a little more, but that would mean getting the arches rolled for sure, so maybe a little later down the line...

    I must admit though that when I have four people in the car it doesn't take much of a dip in the road (A27 - I'm looking at you here!) to hear the tyres rub the top of the arch. Having more than one passenger in the car is quite unusual so maybe not too much of an issue for me, but if I were to regularly have more passengers I would change the 50mm drop springs for 40mm drop ones. Another option of course would be racing coilovers, I may end up going that way for flexibility long-term.

    From your other post I see you also have a Cubic, so with the slightly longer wheelbase there's a little more weight over the rear axle and those springs are having to work a bit harder. Bear in mind the springs used are designed for Nissan Micra use. Other Cubesters have done the 50mm drop without any issues, so chances are you'll be fine too, and being on 15s you'll have a bit more tyre and the ride will be a bit smoother.

    I bought the springs direct from Eibach, here's the link:

    http://www.eibachshop.co.uk/eibach-sportline-performance-spring-kit-e20630100122_p31222875.htm#.V_89H0_ruP8