Nissan 350z tuning modifications

Car tuning tips:Nissan 350Z Tuning"

Nissan 350Z Tuning Guide

Nissan have not had a performance Z car for a fair few years, which is a real shame as they were pretty impressive performance wise by even today standards.

The 350z was released to a loud fan fare and much praise. At last Nissan have captured the Z magic of the originals and packaged it up with some modern engineering principles.

Handling and performance of the 350Z is stunning and certainly a car you should shortlist, but under a critical eye it is not perfect and with some sensible 350Z tuning modifications you can create the perfect 350Z.

So onto our 350z tuning tips:-
The car is fitted with a strong and reliable 3.5 litre engine the VQ35DE V6. It was tweaked a little in 2005 to give a bit more power and the low down torque was improved this engine was better suited to the automatic transmission. Again in 2007 the engine was again tweaked (VQ35HR) and power and peak torque were increased again. The engine now required a bulge in the hood and is the easy way to identify a 2007 model 350z.

One criticism levelled at the 350z is the engine has to be revved hard to get into the power band, a common complaint levelled against many Japanese cars.  To a certain extend the engine revisions in 2005 and 2007 tried to address this a little.

 A 6 speed gearbox means lower gear ratios and faster acceleration so if you have  4 speed box you have an obvious upgrade path. The 6 speed box also suits the engines power bands more readily.

The 3.5 engine will need some major work doing to it if you are after a good power gain as Nissan have already wrung out a decent amount of power. You will need to fit larger valves, get the head ported and polished and have a 3 angle valve job done and this sorts the head paving the way for some big power modifications lower down. Increasing the compression ratio of this engine will further maximise the power gains and you also have an option of a rebore.

Stress test the block first before reboring and a cryogenic treatment will toughen up the engine and reduce surface friction. While the engine is in bits it is worth blueprinting and balancing the engine and this allows you to fully exploit the top end power of this engine and this will help to raise the rev limit.

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Other modifications you should consider for your 350Z engine tuning project. Fast road cams, are a great way to increase the power and move the power band, don't get a very aggressive cam though. Most other popular mods on the 350z include the air intake and sports exhaust & port matching.

For the power mad you always have the option of fitting a supercharger which interestingly Nissan did on a GT-S version using standard internals. The supercharger pushed power up to 382hp, if you lower the engines compression you should see larger gains than this.  Another option you may consider is adding nitrous injection kits, this alone can add 50bhp more power to your engine.

What other modifications?
Brake upgrades are an essential, if you are making the car faster you must pay attention to it's stopping ability. Some 350z owners have upgraded their brakes with a big brake kit with vented and grooved disks. 330mm brakes sit nicely behind 18 inch wheels and Brembo brakes were offered on a Nismo 350z version.

Standard brakes can be uprated with a decent high friction brake pad. We would avoid track, or competition pads as these need to be warm before they become fully effective.

Handling mods are also worth considering for your 350z, we would recommend that you get fully adjustable  coilover suspension kits so you can set this up to suit your driving style. If you are lowering the car then stick with a drop of around 20-30mm. We also wouldn't go with suspension that is too stiff as this can cause skipping and upset the cornering.

Further reading.
We suggest that if you want a bit more information on 350z Tuning you consult the following sources. TorqueCars have a comprehensive  350z tuning article and also a very active, friendly and helpful Nissan forum.

If you have any tips to pass on please use our comments box below and we will update this article, after all we are all here to share knowledge. Please also let us know if we've missed out an engine or performance mod that you feel should be included in here.

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Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

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One Response to “Nissan 350Z Tuning”

  1. Jose Martinez says:

    Would it matter what oil you use?