Power Unleashed - The Ultimate Nissan 350Z Exhaust Header Guide

The Nissan 350Z, a marvel of engineering with its potent VQ35 V6 engine, is a sports car that encapsulates the true essence of a exhilarating driving experience. It's dynamic power delivery and time-tested aesthetic make it a fan favorite among automotive enthusiasts. However, the key to fully unlocking the Nissan 350Z's potential lies beyond a few key upgrades that you can make.

One such upgrade is upgrading the exhaust manifolds. Replacing the 350Z's stock headers with a set of performance exhaust headers can greatly improve the engine's ability to expel exhaust gasses more easily, significantly improving its performance. This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth analysis of the top Nissan 350Z headers available, factors to consider when choosing headers, and what other supporting mods you may want to consider to get the most out of your Nissan 350Z..

Now lets get started!

Choosing The Best Nissan 350Z Headers Available

ISR Performance HGC Long Tube Headers

ISR Performance HGC Long Tube Headers - VQ35DE/HR 350Z / G35 / 370Z
ISR Performance HGC Long Tube Headers

With a laser focus on improving performance, the ISR Performance HGC Long Tube Headers are a excellent choice for those looking to upgrade their 350Z. Crafted from resilient, high-grade 304 stainless steel, these headers offer sturdy flanges and a stepped primary design that increases torque, particularly at low and mid-range. The ISR Long Tube Header design, which reflects cutting-edge engineering principles, allows for maximum exhaust flow and improved scavenging over many of the other options on the market. 

The innovative HGC design also combines maximum ground clearance with no compromise on performance, and the inclusion of two o2 bungs located downstream of the collector accommodates the factory upstream and downstream o2 sensors. For those looking for a major upgrade from the factory exhaust header, these Nissan 350Z long tube headers perfectly marry innovation and ISR's performance engineering, delivering a notable improvement to your 350Z’s overall engine performance.

PPE Engineering Race Headers

PPE Engineering Nissan Infiniti 350Z/G35 race headers
PPE Engineering Race Headers

Setting a high standard in the industry, PPE Engineering Race Headers' intricate design serves as a testament to master craftsmanship. Fabricated with high quality materials, these headers are not only aesthetically pleasing, but are known to help you make some notable gains on the dyno. PPE headers come coated with a JetHot ceramic coating, acting as a formidable thermal barrier to help keep temperatures low. This feature not only increases power but also significantly lowers engine bay temperatures, an essential aspect to sustaining your 350Z's performance. 

Engineered to maximize overall power, in house dyno testing conducted on a 2006 350Z revealed an impressive improvement both in top-end power and midrange torque compared to a shorty headers and test pipes setup. Along with optimizing the 350Z's performance, the inherent design of these headers effectively diminishes exhaust back pressure, making them an excellent upgrade compared to the stock 350Z exhaust manifold. If your looking for the best of the best when it comes to Nissan 350Z headers, a set from PPE Engineering is definitely hard to beat!

aFe Twisted Steel Headers

aFe Twisted Steel Headers 03-06 Nissan 350Z /Infiniti G35
aFe Twisted Steel Headers

The aFe Twisted Steel Headers offer a hi-quality shorty header, unrivaled durability and efficient exhaust flow design that is a welcomed improvement over stock exhaust manifolds. These headers, constructed from 304 stainless-steel, are mandrel-bent to provide unrestricted flow and feature 3-to-1 formed collectors that decrease turbulence and increase exhaust velocity. This results in a set of optimal tube lengths that improve flow and performance. The 100% hand TIG-welded construction guarantees maximum strength and durability, able to stand up to whatever you throw at it with ease. 

On aFe’s in-house dyno, these headers installed on a 2003 Nissan 350Z produced an impressive gain of +9 horsepower and +11 ft. lbs. of torque. The direct bolt-on installation requires no cutting or drilling, ensuring a hassle-free installation. So what are you waiting for? If your in the market for a set of quality shorty headers for your Z33, the aFe Twisted Steel headers might be the perfect set you’ve been searching for!

Tomei Expreme V2 Exhaust Manifold

TOMEI EXPREME Exhaust Manifolds v2 - Nissan 350Z/G35
Tomei Expreme V2 Exhaust Manifold

The Tomei Expreme V2 Exhaust Manifold, popularly referred to as the 350Z Tomei headers, is the epitome of high-performance engineering and Japanese design. Developed specifically to provide an unparalleled increase in power, this manifold's performance curve showcases the notable power gains you can expect when installed on your Nissan 350Z. The unique header design aims to minimize exhaust resistance, thereby improved engine performance across the entire RPM range. Constructed from super lightweight and robust SUS304 stainless steel pipes, the Tomei headers are noticeably lighter than the stock manifolds, providing another benefit when it comes to weight. The manifold comes complete with bolts, gaskets, and heat wrap, all designed for extreme heat resistance. 

With the new V2 version, Tomei has included an additional  heat shield and a flexible thermal tube, replacing the need for header wrap. This improvement helps increase performance while mitigating heat loss, a win-win. It's not just about performance, though. The Tomei Expreme V2 also transforms your Z’s exhaust note, delivering auditory bliss whenever your behind the wheel. Tested under real road conditions and on dynos, the Tomei Exhaust Headers are testament to the company’s commitment to providing parts that offer a competitive edge. This exhaust manifold truly embodies the perfect combination of power, sound, and efficiency, ensuring a riveting driving experience.

ISR Performance Shorty Headers

ISR Performance Shorty Headers - Nissan 350Z Z33 Infiniti G35 VQ35DE
ISR Performance Shorty Headers

The ISR Performance Shorty Headers stands as a notable choice in the market, striking a balance between notable performance increase and cost-effectiveness, making them particularly attractive to budget-conscious buyers. Constructed from robust 304 brushed stainless steel with durable flanges, these headers feature 1-3/4" primary tubes. This design allows for an improvement in mid-range torque, while also allowing for significant top-end horsepower gains. Each header incorporates strategically located O2 bungs to accommodate the use of factory O2 sensors, emphasizing their user-friendly and adaptable design.

The Performance Benefits of Nissan 350Z Exhaust Headers

When it comes to the Nissan 350Z, its VQ engine layout makes it the perfect candidate for aftermarket header upgrades. A well-crafted 350Z exhaust manifold improves the efficiency of exhaust gas flow, help to improve overall engine performance. Upgrading to a set of high-quality Nissan 350Z headers can dramatically improve the vehicle's torque and horsepower.

What To Look For When Choosing Your New 350Z Headers

ISR Shorty Headers For Nissan 350Z

Material quality and durability play a major role when selecting headers for your Nissan 350Z. You should also take into account the compatibility between the design and your engine. Price versus performance is another important consideration, ensuring that the headers you choose provide value for money. Finally, factor in the complexity of the installation process. Some headers may require a more complex installation process, while others might be simple enough to install in a few minutes.

Installation Guide for Nissan 350Z Headers

When installing new headers, having the right tools at your disposal is crucial. Following a step-by-step header installation process can make the task less daunting and easier than you may expect. While some owners might opt for professional installation, it's worth weighing the pros and cons, considering factors like cost, time, and the complexity of the headers chosen.

Performance Mods to Support Your Exhaust Headers

Once you've installed your new Nissan 350Z exhaust headers, you should definitely consider additional modifications to unlock even more of your Z's performance if you haven’t already.

An aftermarket exhaust system is a great supporting modification that can compliment your new headers, reducing back pressure and improving the engine's breathability. It also refines the sound of your 350Z, providing a satisfying, throaty roar that's music to the ears of car enthusiasts.

Cold Air intake upgrade will increase the amount of air available for combustion in the engine, thereby improving its power output and efficiency. Aftermarket cold air intakes are a popular choice as they draw in cooler, denser air from outside the engine compartment.

Lastly, tuning your engine for maximum performance with your new headers is crucial. This may involve adjusting the fuel and ignition timings for better combustion efficiency. ECU tuning or a reflash can work wonders in this area, ensuring the entire system is optimized to work together harmoniously.

OverRev’s Nissan 350Z Exhaust Header Guide

Modified Burnt Orange Nissan 350Z
"This work" by Mark van Seeters is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Upgrading your Nissan 350Z headers can truly take your ride to the next level. By choosing a high quality header for your Nissan and keeping up with maintenance, you're ensuring your 350Z will continue to perform at its best. We genuinely hope this guide has made your decision a tad bit easier.

As always, we appreciate you sticking with us through this guide and we hope you’ve learned something new or interesting about your Z33. Why not check out some of our other content on the Nissan 350Z? We've got plenty of tips, tricks, and reviews that you might find handy!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the signs of a failing header? 

The signs of a failing header can include loud or unusual noises from the exhaust, decreased power or acceleration, or visible damage to the header itself. An exhaust leak, often evident from a ticking sound, especially during the start-up or acceleration, can also indicate a problem.

Can a header increase fuel efficiency? 

Yes, headers can contribute to improved fuel efficiency. By allowing exhaust gases to escape more easily, headers reduce the engine's workload, which can lead to a decrease in fuel consumption. However, this also depends on your driving style and conditions.

How often should headers be replaced? 

The need to replace headers largely depends on their quality and the conditions they're subjected to. High-quality headers can last a lifetime if properly maintained. However, damage due to accidents, rusting, or extensive wear and tear may necessitate a replacement.

Can I install headers myself or do I need a professional? 

While it's possible to install headers yourself if you're mechanically inclined and have the right tools, it can be a complex process. For most people, professional installation is advised to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. Keep in mind that poorly installed headers can cause problems and may even damage your 350Z.

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