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Viability of a drivetrain swap on a Nissan Cube in the US?

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    Viability of a drivetrain swap on a Nissan Cube in the US?

    This is a bit of a silly question for a silly idea, but I'm not too knowledgeable on this. Essentially, if I had any third generation (Z12) Nissan Cube in the US, would there even be parts available to me to be able to swap the drivetrain from FWD to RWD?

    #2
    I'd say anything would be possible if you were determined enough but you'd need to put in a much more powerful motor than stock otherwise converting to RWD would be a pointless exercise.
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      #3
      everything is possible, but you won't find any "off the shelf" parts for it

      and you'd probably end up with a ruined car anyways...
      does a cube even have a transmissiontunnel?
      you need to get the driveshaft to the rear...
      Last edited by bone; June 17th, 2015, 9:53 AM.

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        #4
        Originally posted by MWF View Post
        I'd say anything would be possible if you were determined enough but you'd need to put in a much more powerful motor than stock otherwise converting to RWD would be a pointless exercise.
        Well, yes, I wasn't even considering the idea of keeping the stock engine.

        Originally posted by bone View Post
        everything is possible, but you won't find any "off the shelf" parts for it

        and you'd probably end up with a ruined car anyways...
        does a cube even have a transmissiontunnel?
        you need to get the driveshaft to the rear...
        I don't think the cube has a transmission tunnel, but that's perfectly fine, I'm entirely capable of fabricating and installing sheet metal parts. I know how to form sheets the old fashioned way (with a blacksmith shop), and I happen to be a skilled welder.

        Anyway, thanks for the responses guys. I wasn't really sure if the idea was possible. I'm sure it would be more practical to keep it FWD and just upgrade it normally, but that doesn't seem nearly as fun to me. I'm actually weighing between the idea of installing a mid engine instead of a front. Since the cube has so much interior space, you could put pretty much any engine in the middle. Hilarity would ensue.

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          #5
          Anything is possible. All it takes is money, time, and skill.

          There's a Saab out there that has Viper running gear for example.
          My Cars: 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible (summer weekend car), 2001 Ford Mustang GT coupe (winter car & grocery getter)
          There is no replacement for displacement.
          - Wolfgang Bernhard, then Chief Operating Officer, Chrysler Group talking about the Dodge Viper SRT-10
          ... I ask Herb Helbig, vehicle synthesis manager for SRT and a member of the original Team Viper development group since day one, if they'd ever thought of adding traction control. "It comes with two," he says, pointing at my feet. "Learn to use them." Got it.
          - Motor Trend on the 2006 Dodge Viper Coupe, November 2005

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            #6
            ^is that thing actually driven from time to time?

            i haven't seen a single photo of that car, where the brake discs aren't rusted...

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              #7
              I love all the patronizing and (ironically) childish replies that "anything is possible" and blah blah blah but obviosuly no one actually read the question. He asked if there are parts available to do the swap, he didn't ask if it was possible.

              The answer is no. Not at all. Even on cars that had AWD options, the rear of the cars are typically completely different, with different sheet-metal stampings specific for the rear-drive setup. That would require the rear floor of the car to be cut out and replaced with the floor from the AWD model.

              It's not happening, sorry.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Cavi Mike View Post
                I love all the patronizing and (ironically) childish replies that "anything is possible" and blah blah blah but obviosuly no one actually read the question. He asked if there are parts available to do the swap, he didn't ask if it was possible.

                The answer is no. Not at all. Even on cars that had AWD options, the rear of the cars are typically completely different, with different sheet-metal stampings specific for the rear-drive setup. That would require the rear floor of the car to be cut out and replaced with the floor from the AWD model.

                It's not happening, sorry.
                Thanks for the straight answer. Though I accept partial responsibility for the failure to answer the question specifically, because I wasn't as accurate with the thread's title as I could have been.

                If sheet metal is the only obstacle, then that is really no big deal. I can make my own custom floors if I want to. I've got the metalworking and welding skills and tools for the job, so I'm not quite discouraged yet.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Cavi Mike View Post
                  I love all the patronizing and (ironically) childish replies that "anything is possible" and blah blah blah but obviosuly no one actually read the question. He asked if there are parts available to do the swap, he didn't ask if it was possible.

                  The answer is no. Not at all. Even on cars that had AWD options, the rear of the cars are typically completely different, with different sheet-metal stampings specific for the rear-drive setup. That would require the rear floor of the car to be cut out and replaced with the floor from the AWD model.

                  It's not happening, sorry.
                  Thanks for the straight answer. Though I accept partial responsibility for the failure to answer the question specifically, because I wasn't as accurately descriptive with the thread's title as I could have been.

                  If sheet metal is the main obstacle, then that is really no big deal. I can make my own custom floors if I want to. I've got the metalworking and welding skills and tools for the job, so I'm not discouraged yet.

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                    #10
                    "Parts available" means "Do you have plate steel?" in some circles.

                    A much more practical question than "can it be done", however, is "will it be legal to drive it on roads" and that's highly state dependent.
                    Oh hai guys. This is a signature.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Cavi Mike View Post
                      The answer is no. Not at all. Even on cars that had AWD options, the rear of the cars are typically completely different, with different sheet-metal stampings specific for the rear-drive setup. That would require the rear floor of the car to be cut out and replaced with the floor from the AWD model.
                      Now hold on a minute, I'm a bit skeptical of your claim here. Different sheetmetal stamping is added complexity (read: cost) so I'd find it hard to believe Nissan would do that for a mainstream model like the Cube. I'm actually working on a related issue at work right now and its all about adaptability. Hell, even some cars that are FWD only have driveshaft tunnels because they share a platform with AWD/RWD cars. If a RWD Cube existed, it would be possible to just buy all the correct powertrain/drivetrain parts and do a straight swap. It wouldn't be easy, cheap or quick, but definitely doable. But since theres no such thing, its a much bigger challenge.

                      EDIT: Did some digging around. I can confirm the FWD and AWD Cubes have the same floor - so no cutting required for a driveshaft.

                      AWD:


                      FWD:


                      There is some difference around the spare wheel area, however that seems minor and rests on top of the actual structure.

                      Last edited by CrzRsn; June 19th, 2015, 5:26 PM.

                      1997 Audi A6 Avant 2.8 quattro - 12/2006-04/2007 - Totaled
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                        #12
                        AWD ford galaxie wagon perhaps?
                        1993 Ford F-150 Flareside - July 2010 - August 2013
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                          #13
                          Wait, I thought the only AWD capable version of the cube utilized electrical power for the rear wheels in order to save on the space that would otherwise be taken up by a normal AWD drivetrain. Is that not the case?

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                            #14
                            Huh? I didn't know that. But it looks like you're right - I cant find any sort of driveshaft parts





                            That said, there still is clearly a tunnel - perhaps used on a different vehicle with the same floor.


                            EDIT: Hmmm, looks like the floor is Cube only. Another possible explanation is that in the early design phases they planned on a conventional AWD set up, but that got canned after the basic architecture was finished - that too is possible. Barring that, I'm not sure.
                            Last edited by CrzRsn; June 19th, 2015, 7:39 PM.

                            1997 Audi A6 Avant 2.8 quattro - 12/2006-04/2007 - Totaled
                            2005 Audi TT 1.8T quattro - 07/2012-11/2012 - Traded
                            2013 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 - 11/2012-
                            1992 Mazda Miata 1.6 - 03/2013-07/2017 - Sold
                            1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 - 12/2014-



                            Twitter/Instagram: @SeenOnWoodward

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                              #15
                              Japan has an AWD cube. They will have just taken the Jap car and modified what needed to be done to work in the US. Redesigning the floor pan is a waste of time.
                              1989 Mitsu Mirage Turbo Hatch, 4G63T swap and more goodies to make it a low 12 sec car.
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                                #16
                                Originally posted by C53A_4G63T View Post
                                Japan has an AWD cube. They will have just taken the Jap car and modified what needed to be done to work in the US. Redesigning the floor pan is a waste of time.
                                Read before posting!

                                In the AWD cube, the rear wheels are driven by an electro engine. It doesn't need a transmission tunnel either

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                                  #17
                                  CrzRsn, you are such an engineer
                                  "Men with guts attack those corners!" - Keiichi Tsuchiya
                                  2006 Acura TL and 1999 Mazda Miata

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                                    #18
                                    A rear-engine cube would be pretty cool.

                                    [ speramus meliora; resurget cineribus]

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                                      #19
                                      ^i challenge you to find one car where that isn't the case

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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by bone View Post
                                        ^i challenge you to find one car where that isn't the case
                                        VW Type III.



                                        Rear engine, desperately uncool.

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