Cube Speed Short Shifter. R154 Review - Lexus IS Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Cube Speed Short Shifter. R154 Review

Here goes a little write up.
Cube speed short throw shifter for the r154 mounted in the is300.





Exactly what was in the ebay ad. I spoke with the guy about it he seemed legit sounded like a good newish product so I thought what the hell since my stock r154 shifter was popping out of the plate at the top.

Now for the part that I wasn't expecting and is some info that should be out there for people who would like to buy it.

It installs just fine but if you want to keep the oem look it will Not fit through the oem shift boot. The should at the threads end will not fit through. Meaning you can't thread your shift knob back on and snap the plastic bezel back in flat.

Remedy: for those that have access to this kind of machinery. I do so this wasn't a huge problem more of an inconvenience.
I took the top portion of the shifter to work and in a lathe turned the shoulder down and also put a chamfer on the shaft for the shift boot to sit nicely on. Also, adding threads to the shaft so it would sit lower when the knob was screwed on.



The thread were not made on the shaft yet in that picture.

Afterwards it fit perfectly and looks completely stock.. expect the shifter knob I made haha.




Now for some measurements:



I did not shorten the shaft. Could have but simply chose not too. A good fit was to turn it down to a total 1-3/4" and then add a chamfer.

Onto the important part, How does it work! Works great! Nice and tight shifter feeling compared to the oem r154 shifter. No huge shifts anymore I'd say the shifts are reduced to.. estimate 55-60% of the old shifter. Another bonus is that if you are losing oil out the shifter top from sloshing around under hard take offs, I haven't noticed any oil getting past this set up.

Cheers
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 05:12 PM
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How's the noise compared to the stock shifter? And does this also fit the W55/8?

02' Manual w/MKIII LSD and no sunroof.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Not really sure what noise your talking about. Its a shifter.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 04:40 PM
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Some short shifters vibrate more than the stock shifters because they don't have the damper on them. I'm wondering if you noticed more noise or vibration with the new shifter.

02' Manual w/MKIII LSD and no sunroof.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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oh ok, no it doesn't make any noises or shake. Not yet anyways. Fingers crossed
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2016, 12:01 PM
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Thanks for the write-up! That looks great!

Does your r154 have the shifter extension tail on the back of the trans? I'm a bit suprised you went w/ the slightly angled Cube Shifter versus the other model they offer which looks like a Z.



I was under the impression this one would be needed if the R154 doesn't have that shifter extension - to put it in the right spot.





Supraforms: jong
1986.5 NA-T Supra (Sold)

2003 IS300 NA-T

http://www.chippernut.com/
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2016, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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This is my extension





It may work with that shape, In my case the transmission to be tucked up into the tunnel I don't think that would have worked out. I suppose if you start cutting the tunnel it might be a viable option. I dont like cutting if I don't have to though. Were you planning to buy that one?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggity View Post
How's the noise compared to the stock shifter? And does this also fit the W55/8?
Found one on eBay seems like it will fit on w55
https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/321567946549
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiftnGears View Post
This is my extension

It may work with that shape, In my case the transmission to be tucked up into the tunnel I don't think that would have worked out. I suppose if you start cutting the tunnel it might be a viable option. I dont like cutting if I don't have to though. Were you planning to buy that one?
Interesting -- I was planning to get that Z bend one in the hopes I wouldn't have to cut the tunnel or weld up some custom housing extension. Maybe that's just not possible?

I guess I'll have to find out. The ebay ad does make it sound like that's what the purpose is.

Supraforms: jong
1986.5 NA-T Supra (Sold)

2003 IS300 NA-T

http://www.chippernut.com/
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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In theory it works, however once you mount the transmission up, you would have to have in on a steep downward angle almost pointing the output shaft at the ground. See where the block is on the shifter (Cube speed) it raises the shifter up about an inch or so and then the actual shift lever itself is above that point. I will try to take another picture after this weekend and you give a visual of what I am trying to explain.
Reference the first picture on this thread. Where the half sphere with the slots is.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiftnGears View Post
In theory it works, however once you mount the transmission up, you would have to have in on a steep downward angle almost pointing the output shaft at the ground. See where the block is on the shifter (Cube speed) it raises the shifter up about an inch or so and then the actual shift lever itself is above that point. I will try to take another picture after this weekend and you give a visual of what I am trying to explain.
Reference the first picture on this thread. Where the half sphere with the slots is.
I see what you're saying now. I think I will have to make that shifter extension. I have a metal shop at work so it shouldn't be a problem - Seems like that's easier than modifying the trans tunnel.

Supraforms: jong
1986.5 NA-T Supra (Sold)

2003 IS300 NA-T

http://www.chippernut.com/
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 02:36 PM
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I just finished my r154, assembled it per the TSRM with all new Marlin Crawler parts (bought the rebuild kit from SupraStore with everything but the 5-R shift fork). I gotta say, what a clunky trans. I also put in a steel SPEC flywheel, SPEC 3+ Clutch, and Steel 1-pc Driveshaft

I put the cube shifter in because the R154 stock shifter hits the trim around the IS300 shifter hole (that's w/ the 2.5" extension too). The cube shifter is a LOT more difficult to shift than the stock R154 shifter. I'm certain this is due to the lower fulcrum point requiring more torque between gates... It's gotten to a point where 1-2 shifts are very difficult (needing at least 2 seconds of pulling to get it in) and getting it into Reverse either requires some trickery shifting into another gear first, or using both hands to slam it into gear. Not kidding it's a *&@# bear to get into reverse. I'm not sure if any of this is due to a crappy build, some incorrect tolerance, or just the transmission 'breaking in' or something else.. I used feelers throughout the process and everything was within TSRM spec..

I put the stock R154 shifter in and it seemed to shift through the gears like butter -- leaving me to think that perhaps the problem lies in the tolerances of the Cube shifter. I tried playing with the orientation of the parts and it didn't seem to make a difference. If you have any ideas, I'd welcome them.

Anyways, here's something useful. I used my laser measure to compare the W55, R154 Stock, and R154 Cube shift distances. Enjoy!

............W55.....R154 Stock.....R154 Cube
N - 1.....1.31".....2.25"............1.47"
1 - 2.....3.13".....4.5"..............2.84"
2 - 3.....3.44".....4.59"............2.88"
3 - 4.....3.75".....4.63"............2.88"
4 - 5.....3.53".....4.28"............2.84"

Average Gate to Gate Shift distance
W55 - 3.46"
R154 Stock - 4.5"
R154 Cube - 2.85"

So the Cube shifter is a 37% shorter than the Stock R154 and 14% shorter than the stock W55.


EDIT: Update. So I did some experimenting last night and this morning. I found I can get it into reverse with ease if I follow this procedure.
1) Push Clutch
2) Shift to 4th
3) Wait 3 seconds
4) Shift to R (goes right in)
5) Ease out clutch and enjoy going backwards

** but the 1-2 shift is still pretty difficult.
FRaCTioNaL likes this.

Supraforms: jong
1986.5 NA-T Supra (Sold)

2003 IS300 NA-T

http://www.chippernut.com/

Last edited by jong1; 10-05-2016 at 07:36 AM. Reason: Clarification, Update
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 09:18 PM
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I just ordered the Z shaped cube shifter for my is300 turbo build. I will tell everyone how it feels when I get it installed on my r154.

Are saying that the shifter is hitting the top of the transmission tunnel before it goes into the vehicle?

I wonder if putting the shifter in before putting my trans and engine back in will let me shoehorn the thing in without having clearance issues.
Maybe a bit of persuasion of the tunnel with a hammer will help the situation lol.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 07:25 AM
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I believe ShiftnGears is right, the Z-shaped shifter won't fit no matter which way you install it. It will hit the trim and/or push the knob so far back it'll be above your cup holders. The angled one is the way to go - and you have to do the 2.5" extension unless you want to cut out your transmission tunnel. No amount of hammering will resolve clearance issues.

What I was trying to say before is that the stock R154 shifter hits the plastic trim (center console cover w/ the cupholders, chrome bezel, ashtray, 12V socket, etc). The transmission does not hit the transmission tunnel if you mount it correctly. However, if you use the stock mount without spacers, it will impact the transmission tunnel. You have to lower it at least 1.5".

I also wouldn't recommend installing the trans w/ the shifter pre-installed. It sticks out like a sore thumb -- I think you'll know what I"m talking about when you do the swap. Do you have a vehicle lift? I did my swap on jack stands w/ just enough clearance to slide the R154 under the car... It was just as much fun as it sounds.

Good luck and please post up your experience w/ the shifter. I'm curious to see how you make it work.

Supraforms: jong
1986.5 NA-T Supra (Sold)

2003 IS300 NA-T

http://www.chippernut.com/
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Jong - Thanks for the input in the thread! The measurements of the throw reduction is great info! Yes the Z shape may cause some problems clearance is an issue. I will take photos of mine this weekend and Update some more info on here for others. I am still using mine even at the drag strip and I do not have any complains on the shifter. I also have the complete driftmotion kit and marlin crawer parts in my trans. I did notice the shifter took a bit more muscle to get it into gear. Now it just feels like a transmission that means business. My extension is 2-1/8" no impact to the console. Maybe once you drive it a bit the feel might loosen up a bit. On my car it is very noticable if your in gear or not. Its like a firm clicking and the shift throw stops crisply. Reverse can be a pain though. I am using redline mt-90 for oil. Cheers!
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