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ChopsQube 06-06-2010 12:23 PM

2010 Nissan Cube in the neighborhood!...
 
Just joined up here last night after browsing the forum for a few days. Found it via GasSavers.org in fact.

As it says in the title, I have a Cube that I bought new back in January. I drive roughly 112-118 miles a day, 100 miles on the highway and 12-18 in town. It had 50 miles on it when I got it, now I'm at 12,080 miles. I've been running Amsoil Signature in it since 8k miles. I did the first oil change at 900 miles with regular oil, then again at 3000 miles. I switched over to the Amsoil Signature 0W20 at 8000 miles. Somewhere around this time, I also replaced the stock 15x6 steel wheels to aftermarket 15x7 aluminum wheels. The stockers weighed in at 15.6 lbs each. The new ones weigh in at just over 12 lbs each. It's not a major improvement, but it was a noticeable improvement in acceleration. I'm running the stock Toyo A20 195/60-15 tires which Nissan claims are LRR tires, which oddly enough I can not find any information on, even on Toyo's site!

Since browsing both forums, I've applied a few tips to my driving style and my Cube. For the Cube, I first raised the tire pressure from the recommended 33psi up to 40. I didn't notice much of a change if any, so yesterday I bumped them up to 50psi. The max sidewall is 51. After bringing them up to 50psi, I noticed an improvement in ride quality (I like a little firmer ride), but it's also smoother if that makes sense, turn-in is crisper, and steering input feels better. I can tell that it takes less effort to start rolling and that it wants to roll on its own longer now.

I just ordered a 10 pack of VG's that I'm going try, just to see if they do anything for my car. I'm also going to try changing my driving techniques to get better FE. I'm going to start looking into adding some tire/wheel spats front and rear, possibly even adding some paneling under the front and rear bumpers to smooth out the air flow. I'll eventually lower the Cube too, about 1.5" all around. I might even look into making the fog light "cups" smoothed out flush with the rest of the bumper, or remove the stock covers and make some kind of engine compartment or brake vents/ducts out of them as well as possibly doing a partial grill block.

ShadeTreeMech 06-06-2010 03:26 PM

glad to see another nissan on board! Turns out there are quite a few of us Nissan owners here.

You'll hear it eventually, so if you get a scanguage it'll help out a ton. the ton of info available from the thing is astounding.

Here's an interesting article for you.

Nissan cube

ChopsQube 06-06-2010 03:47 PM

Thanks for the welcome!

I do in fact have a Scan Gauge II. I've used it in a total of three different vehicles now and it was installed in the Cube the same day I brought it home.

Also, I've seen that article already, as well as just about any other article out there about the Cube as there's aren't many.

I just wish there were more Cube's on these "eco" forums.

Clev 06-06-2010 03:51 PM

Welcome! Looking forward to your fuel logs. My wife really wants a Cube, and I'd be interested in seeing how it does FE-wise.

ChopsQube 06-06-2010 04:04 PM

Well at the moment, I'm getting an average of 26.8mpg. But now I'm running much higher tire pressure and am in the process of changing my driving techniques, so I'm hoping to see some improvements in the next few tanks.

And now that I can add some pics, here's the Cube...
http://charlest.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v8/p624091308-4.jpg

And here's the SG II in my last car, a 2002 Miata 5-speed...
http://charlest.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v1/p809877503-4.jpg

http://charlest.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v8/p555764763-4.jpg

And before that, an 2002 Chevy Blazer 5-speed...
http://charlest.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v2/p541033972-5.jpg

http://charlest.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v7/p634411875-4.jpg

RobertSmalls 06-06-2010 05:02 PM

I've added the Cube to our Vehicle Drag Coefficient Wiki. Cd = 0.35, CdA = 9.48ft².

Most of your energy is spent overcoming aerodynamic drag, so your biggest gains would come from reducing your cruising speed or improving your drag coefficient.

After a few stealthy mods, your ability to lower Cd without drastically altering the character of the Cube will hit a wall. Those stealthy mods include wheel covers on the inside of the wheel, a grille block behind the grille, and underbelly work if Nissan overlooked any. Beyond that, maybe you could work in some quirky looking rear wheel skirts. Unfortunately, cubes (not Cubes) have fundamentally bad aerodynamics, especially at the rear, that can not be cured without taking much of the cubicness out of the Cube.

ChopsQube 06-06-2010 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertSmalls (Post 177883)
I've added the Cube to our Vehicle Drag Coefficient Wiki. Cd = 0.35, CdA = 9.48ft².

Most of your energy is spent overcoming aerodynamic drag, so your biggest gains would come from reducing your cruising speed or improving your drag coefficient.

After a few stealthy mods, your ability to lower Cd without drastically altering the character of the Cube will hit a wall. Those stealthy mods include wheel covers on the inside of the wheel, a grille block behind the grille, and underbelly work if Nissan overlooked any. Beyond that, maybe you could work in some quirky looking rear wheel skirts. Unfortunately, cubes (not Cubes) have fundamentally bad aerodynamics, especially at the rear, that can not be cured without taking much of the cubicness out of the Cube.

Actually, I just figured out the CdA of the Cube a couple hours ago and it's not 9.48, it's 8.51.

I figure if guys with the original Scion xB's can get 35-45mpg, there's no reason why I can't. Aerodynamic wise, they're about the same. Even the new xB's aren't much better.

I've got some VG's coming my way just for the heck of it, but no way am I putting fender skirts on my car, not to mention they wouldn't fit over my rear wheels anyway. I'll try installing some tire spats though.

RobertSmalls 06-06-2010 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChopsQube (Post 177887)
Actually, I just figured out the CdA of the Cube a couple hours ago and it's not 9.48, it's 8.51.

Well, here's my method. That's height times width times Cd times packing factor. The only one I didn't google for was the packing factor, which is a guesstimate. 0.84 is what I usually use for most sedans, wagons, and trucks, but I figure the Cube fills out its frontal area a little better than most.

With a p.f. of 0.84, you get CdA = 8.85 ft².

I don't like picking on the newcomer, but I would like to hear where our calculations differ.



In any case, it's got aerodynamics somewhere between that of a minivan and a midsized car.

ChopsQube 06-07-2010 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertSmalls (Post 177925)
Well, here's my method. That's height times width times Cd times packing factor. The only one I didn't google for was the packing factor, which is a guesstimate. 0.84 is what I usually use for most sedans, wagons, and trucks, but I figure the Cube fills out its frontal area a little better than most.

With a p.f. of 0.84, you get CdA = 8.85 ft².

I don't like picking on the newcomer, but I would like to hear where our calculations differ.



In any case, it's got aerodynamics somewhere between that of a minivan and a midsized car.

I believe I read in your "CdA list" thread that you multiply by 0.81...


Width = 66.7" = 5.56ft
Height = 65" = 5.42ft
Cd = 0.35

5.56 * 5.42 * .35 * .81 = 8.54

CdA = 8.54 ft^2


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