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Transformation of the Black Box.


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Hi everyone, 

My name is Len and this is my Rukus story...

Ive always wanted a car with utility and some x-factor. Ive always been drawn to the Jeep Wrangler, Range Rovers and other boxy SUVs. I hated the modern day sleek low roof profiles of cars and found them claustrophobic. Car designs are all about form over function these days.

Once I saw the Mercedes G-Wagen it became my new dream car. Knowing how unaffordable and impractical it was with its huge tall body and gas guzzling beast of an engine I thought I'd keep a look out of something cheaper, more economical and at just the right height with unmatched reliability...

Then I found the Nissan Cube. I liked it's square boxy body and thought it had a lot of room while still being easy to park in the city. I thought that was the car.

I started seeing this other car on the road albeit rarely but when I saw the Toyota badge I needed to do some research. A Toyota version of the Cube sounded perfect for me... I found the TOYOTA RUKUS. It was on my mind everyday from then on.

I took to Carsales and found a black Toyota Rukus model 3 for cheap (I got very lucky). I saw the potential in this average looking black box that could be passed as a fugly delivery car/small van.

I test drove it during a work lunch. I loved the ample space, head and leg room, window visibility, massive sunroof, the leather seats, the 9 speakers with subwoofer (it's standard like wtf!?), the ride quality and it's surprising power from it's bulletproof 2.4L Camry engine.

For a 2010 model with 100,000km on the clock with 1 elderly owner the body was immaculate and the logbook filled with regular Toyota servicing.

I bought it straight after the test drive.

My grand plan was to make this as close to an all black G-Wagen but a more practical and reliable one.


First pic 2.jpeg

First pic.jpeg

Edited by R-Wagen34
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First mod I did was a matte black set of 18" Hussla 1-way Directionals with red painted calipers. I wanted 19s however I read in this forum that ride comfort suffers a bit so decided to go for the smaller rim for more comfort on the cruise.

I wanted this to be more SUV like, so I didn't dump the car. I like the higher ride height.





Edited by R-Wagen34
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I continued the blacked out theme with plastidipping badges, exhaust, tail lights, mirror indicators and rear reflectors.

It was cool looking but thought the tail lights were too dark and the non-existent red reflectors would someday get a copper defect notice.

So I peeled the plastidip off the mirror indicators and rear reflectors.

Bit better.






IMG_20201107_095357 (1).jpg



Edited by R-Wagen34
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With all the chrome at headlights I wanted to stay with the dark theme so I tinted the headlights and also the mirror indicators for that smoked look. Me likey!

I was concerned about the rear lights not being that bright with the plastidip layer and headlight beam was a bit dim during my test night drive, so I decided to upgrade both sets of stock head and tail light bulbs (even inside cabin) with LEDs.








Edited by R-Wagen34
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The plastidipped tail lights just didn't look right with the shiny appearance of the car so I peeled them off and decided to put a darker more blacker tint wrap.

I managed to find someone who was able to do cut outs for the brake lights which gave me more assurance that police wouldn't pull me over as it didn't degrade the tail light visibility. With the LEDs installed it performs better than many stock cars' tail lights.

Wow! The wrap was perfect! 



Edited by R-Wagen34
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I did another test night drive with the new mods applied and noticed LED headlights weren't that bright and struggled to penetrate the tint...

So silly right? Lol!

I loved the smoked appearance so I decided to keep them and install the brightest xenons for the projector style headlights to compensate. 

Although the xenons started up slower than instant LEDs, the night performance was so much better. Plus they look sexy when the blue turns to white!



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For my next mod was to install DRLs. I managed to get the replicas of the genuine Scion XB DRLs on eBay.

A mobile car electrician put them in nicely and swiftly.

Good job sir!



Edited by R-Wagen34
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Wow! Look at them glow!

I love the gentle glow of my bumper now. It looks unique to other cars with daytime running lights. It looks more like a newer model ride.

Sexy AF for an 11 year old car!







Edited by R-Wagen34
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Last week I converted the stock single exhaust into dual 4" matte black exhaust tips.

I did a resonator delete and although I loved the sound, the droning at low gear stop start driving was annoying.

I then installed 2 resonators and now it's a nice smooth and sportier exhaust note on cruising speeds. 

I hope you enjoyed my Transformation of the Black Box from October 2020 to May 2021.

My R-Wagen is finally a reality... 😎🔥🍻🎉😍









Edited by R-Wagen34
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  • R-Wagen34 changed the title to Transformation of the Black Box.
  • 7 months later...

Love seeing the transformation mate! Do you mind if I grab a link to the replica fog lights from ebay you chucked on? Look clean as, cheers 

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/4/2022 at 12:49 PM, Ceelojs said:

Love seeing the transformation mate! Do you mind if I grab a link to the replica fog lights from ebay you chucked on? Look clean as, cheers 

Hey mate cheers! For sure go for it. It's actually at a discount right now!


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