Nissan 350z Modification Guide

The Nissan 350z. This iconic sports car from Nissan came to cities and racetracks worldwide after Nissan took a hiatus from building Z cars, resulting in a 10-year gap between the Z32 and the Z33 platforms. Nissan designed the Z with drivers in mind and its lightweight rear-wheel drive and potent V6 engine made for a great combination when it was sold starting in 2003.

Fast forward to 2022 and if you're reading this article that means only one of two things: you either own a 350z and are looking to modify it or you're in the market for one and want to know its potential after turning some wrenches on the old Fairlady Z.

In this comprehensive guide to modifying a Z33, we will cover the basic Nissan 350z mods modifications that most owners do to their Z. Whether you're looking for a list of available coilovers, turbo kits, exhaust systems, or just how to go about building your Z, we hope this guide can help you choose the perfect performance modifications to get the most horsepower and torque out of your VQ35 in addition to making you take that corner as quickly or as slide ways as you want.

Let's get started.

Nissan 350z Suspension Upgrades

"350Z" by Cook24v is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Recently become the proud owner of a pre-owned Z33? No doubt, the first enhancement you're itching to make is to its suspension system. The Z's stock suspension, while reasonable, leaves much to be desired when it comes to handling. Upgrading it with some quality aftermarket parts can significantly refine its cornering and braking abilities.

The Fairlady Z, weighing in at an average of 3,197 lbs (1,450kg), isn't the lightest sports car out there. Some enthusiasts reckon it was designed to be more of a "cruiser," rather than a nimble track weapon. But fear not, we at OverRev are all geared up to guide you through revamping your Z's suspension system. By the end of this journey, your Z33 will feel like a completely transformed machine, ready to tackle both the streets and the track with newfound agility.

Nissan 350z Lowering Springs

Swift Springs Sport Spec R Lowering Springs
Swift Springs Sport Spec-R Springs

Lowering suspension on your 350z is usually one of the first  mods many new owners do to their cars. Though the suspension may be fine for a daily commute and driving down your local touge at a snail's pace, the factory suspension needs some love in the form of new suspension components.

While most 350z owners will most likely want to argue about the pros and cons of comparing lowering springs to full coil-over suspension, you can’t deny the fact that lowering your car will improve its handling by reducing body roll and increasing mechanical grip through your favorite corner.

Using aftermarket lowering springs from a reputable company to lower your 350z is ultimately going to be cheaper than purchasing a new set of coilovers. However, it is always good to remember that lowering springs generally aren’t adjustable and most performance part manufacturers recommend pairing them with a set of hi-performance shocks during installation to get the most bang for your buck.

Here is our list of recommended Lower Spring for The Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Coilovers

HKS Hipermax Coilovers
HKS Hipermax S Coilovers

Coilovers. This suspension part has become so synonymous with performance cars in the last decade that people will look at you funny if you don’t plan on putting them on your car. 

For the Z33, the number of coilovers to choose from is plentiful and comes in a variety of colors and specifications to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a set of coilovers for your track day build or just want to slam your 350z, coilovers are usually the best way to achieve whatever goal you have in mind without breaking the bank.

Here is our list of recommended Coilovers for The Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Air Suspension

AirRex Air Suspension Kit
AirREX Full Kit 

Some 350z owners prefer to build show cars, and maybe of the mindset that the lower the better! The most practical way to drive an impossibly low 350z on a daily basis is by bagging your Z.

Air Suspension allows you to lower and raise the ride height of your Fairlady Z at the touch of a button. Unlike a coil-over suspension, Air Bags will enable you to achieve the slammed look you seek while ensuring that you can make it to the car show without worrying about damaging your Z on the way there due to it’s ride height.

Air Suspension is generally constructed in a similar fashion to your typical coil-over, with the main difference being the airbag sitting on the top of the strut body. As airbags have gained popularity over the years, some performance enthusiasts have begun fitting airbags to the coilovers that they already have on their cars. Unfortunately, this generally requires experienced fabrication skills and may be more of a headache than purchasing a ready-made kit.

Here is our list of recommended Air Suspension for The Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Sway Bars

Hotchkis Sway Bars
Hotchkis Sway Bars Kit

Also, known as anti-roll bars or stabilizer bars, sway bars are designed to reduce body roll during aggressive driving and whenever your car goes over a bump in the road. One of the weak points of the Z’s suspension for performance driving lies in its OEM sway bars.

A common complaint among enthusiasts, you’ll often hear or read about how much body roll the Z33 has in stock form. While lowering the vehicle helps reduce body roll, if you want to completely eliminate it a pair of aftermarket sway bars are your best bet. 

Most performance sway bar kits for the Z33 are able to increase torsional stiffness up to 250% over stock levels and allow for adjustment to tailor the specific stiffness to your driving style.

Here is our list of recommended Sway Bar for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Sway Bar End Links

350z Sway Bar End Links
SPL Sway Bar Endlinks

In addition to upgrading your sway bars, it is always a good point to address your stock sway bar end links when installing an aftermarket anti-roll bar on your Z33. 

While some sway bar kits include adjustable end links as part of the package, some manufacturers don’t! We highly recommend upgrading your stock end-links to get the most out of your setup and to ensure that everything fits correctly.

You may find yourself unable to install your brand new performance sway bar with stock end links so it's always best to read the manufacturer's specs before purchase!

Here is our list of recommended Sway Bar Endlinks for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Strut Tower Bars

Tanabe Strut Tower Bar
Tanabe Sustec Front Strut Tower Bar

Most 350z owners are lucky enough to come from the factory with a little bit of engine bling in the form of a factory strut bar. 

Often called a “strut brace”, this piece of tubing acts as a brace and helps tie the front end of your Z’s suspension together by increasing stiffness across your engine bay. The strut bar helps ward off body roll during hard cornering 

Some Z owners speculate on just how effective the factory strut brace actually is for your typical street car, and many find themselves removing it entirely when they add a VQ35 plenum spacer to their Z due to clearance issues. 

With that being said, some strut braces are truly works of art and dress up your engine bay nicely. You can also shop around for spacers to raise your strut bar back up to the point of not interfering with your newly installed plenum, making it a win-win situation!

Here are our list of recommended strut bars for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Suspension Arm Kits

ISR Performance Suspension Arm Kit For Nissan 350z
ISR Performance Pro Series Suspension Arm Package

If you're looking to fine-tune the suspension settings and ride height on your 350z, we highly recommend purchasing a set of adjustable suspension arms. 

When lowering your Z it is imperative to keep in mind that the Z33 has incredibly limited camber adjustment in the front and failure to correct both toe and camber will lead to premature tire wear!

Aftermarket suspension arms are the best way to address suspension that is out of spec and to dial in specific settings as you see fit. 

Whether it be a slammed show car or a track day weekend warrior, the 350z definitely needs a set of adjustable suspension arms to ensure your entire suspension setup works seamlessly together at your set ride height.

Here is our list of recommended adjustable control arms for your Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Limited Slip Differentials

Tomei Trax LSD
Tomei T-TRAX Advance HA 1.5 Way

If you're looking for another way to make your 350z perform better, it's worth considering an upgrade to your rear differential. The stock diff in your Z is one of the weakest links as you put power to the ground because of the fact that it comes from the factory with either an open differential or a VLSD in most cases.

While a Viscous Limited Slip Differential will perform adequately for normal street driving, upgrading to a performance-oriented LSD will make your Z feel like a totally different car, especially if you want to start doing track days or drifting your car.

If you are unsure of what differential will suit your driving style the best then read this extensive guide from the experts over at for an idea of what kind of differential you’d like to purchase!

Here is our list of recommended Performance Limited Slip Differentials for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Brake Upgrades

"Smoky" by MIDWST.BLUR is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When addressing your Z33’s overall handling, we recommend addressing the brake components as well as the suspension pieces during the process of your build. This two-pronged approach will not only benefit you in the long run but it makes for less of a headache when you get bit by the horsepower bug!

Upgrading your brakes not only means that you’d be able to brake harder and faster, it also means that you’ll be able to do it more often without experiencing dreaded brake fade and a potentially dangerous situation. 

Plus, big brake kits look great as well.

Whether you decided to go all in with an aftermarket BBK (Big Brake Kit) for your 350z or just want to cover the basics with a fluid, pad, and rotor upgrade, our comprehensive guide for addressing your Z33’s brakes will help get you on the right path.

One notable thing about the 350z is that select models came with the hi-performance Brembo calipers from the factory. This is a great set of calipers and if your Z has then you probably won’t need to upgrade to a big brake kit unless you’re pushing big horsepower numbers or are running your car hard at the track. Even then, the Brembo brake package can be easily supplemented with high-quality DOT 4 or DOT 5.1 brake fluid, performance brake pads, and performance brake rotors. 

Nissan 350z Performance Brake Pads

Hawk Performance Brake Pads For Nissan 350z
Hawk Brake Pads

As we mentioned in the last section, while some Z33s came with factory Brembos, those that did not left owners with something to be desired in the brake department.

A common complaint amongst 350z owners is the amount of brake dust that is generated by the stock non-metallic brake pads. The OEM spec brake pads have a tendency to generate a lot of dust and for this reason alone you might be considering getting a set of high-performance pads!

For street-driven Fairlady Zs, most people in the know will recommend a ceramic pad, which offers a good combination of durability, bite, and resistance to brake fade.

If you're looking for something more aggressive you can always upgrade to semi-metallic or full metallic brake pads, however, these more aggressive pads have their drawbacks on a daily driven street car.

Here is our list of recommended Performance Brake Pads for The Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Performance Brake Rotors

StopTech AeroRotor 2-Piece Front 350Z / G35 (Brembo) - Z1 Motorsports -  Performance OEM and Aftermarket Engineered Parts Global Leader In 300ZX 350Z  370Z G35 G37 Q50 Q60
Stop Tech Brake Rotors

When combined with performance brake pads, most 350z owners running slotted or cross-drilled rotors will find plenty of brake performance.

One common misconception that we hear all too often is that upgrading your brake rotors will increase stopping power. 

While this isn’t necessarily entirely false, an aftermarket brake rotor won’t have much of an effect on braking power beyond the brake system’s ability to dissipate heat more quickly. A cooler brake rotor will perform better than a hot one and that’s why performance brake rotors are a great addition to your 350zs brake system. 

In order to get the most out of your Z’s brake system, we recommend upgrading the brake pads, brake rotors, brake fluid, and brake lines. With all of these parts upgraded, it will be easy to notice a big difference in how much better your brakes perform!

Here is our list of recommended Performance Brake Rotors for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z SS Brake Line Kits

EBC Brakes SS Brake Lines For Nissan 350z
EBC Stainless Steel Brake Lines

If you're looking to increase the pedal feel and sensitivity, we recommend upgrading your OEM brake lines on your  Z.

Replacing your old, worn factory rubberized brake lines is one of the best Nissan 350z mods you can do while upgrading your brake system and we highly recommend spendy some dough on this part of your brake system.

Upgrading to stainless steel lines is almost a necessity for tracking your car, as old rubberized hoses are prone to “bulging” and leading to a potential issue while on track.

Here is our list of recommended SS Brake Lines For the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Hi-Performance Brake Fluid

Motul 100949 600 Dot-4 100% Synthetic Racing Brake Fluid Brake Fluid 500ml  3 pck -

 If you’re going through the hassle of upgrading your brake system, it's best to do a brake fluid flush while you’re working on your Z.

While your brake may feel fine on your day-to-day commute, overtime brake fluid collects moisture and becomes less and less effective at helping your brake system dissipate heat. Air can also make its way into your system and cause issues with braking and ultimately lead to an accident if neglected over long periods of time.

Instead of risking a potentially costly repair to your Z, we recommend doing a fresh brake fluid flush as part of your routine maintenance.

From the factory, your Z was filled with good old run-of-the-mill DOT 3 brake fluid. While this DOT rating is fine for the average commuter car, upgrading to DOT4 or DOT 5.1 can help raise the boiling point of your brake system and stave off brake fade during spirited driving on back roads or repeated laps at the track.

If your looking for a simple solution, heading down to your local parts store for a few bottles of DOT 4 brake fluid will do the job.

If you're looking for better fluid than what you’ll find at the local parts store we recommend finding a local race shop or ordering a few bottles of hi-performance DOT 4 or DOT 5.1 brake fluid online.

Here is our recommended list of Performance Brake Fluid for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Big Brake Kits

StopTech BBK For Nissan 350z
StopTech Big Brake Kits

When upgrading your Z33’s full brake system still isn’t enough to slow you down, it’s time to start looking at a BBK (Big Brake Kit) for your car.

If you’re Z happens to be a lower-level model that didn’t come from the factory with the Z33 Brembos, this may be as far as you need to go for a budget BBK kit. When paired with a good pad, rotor, fluid, and stainless steel lines, the factory Brembo calipers are a great way to save some cash for other Nissan 350z mods.

If you're looking to upgrade from the factory Brembos or skip them altogether, you are in luck. The 350z has a plethora of different brands still making BBKs for them and finding one is relatively easy.
If you can’t quite stomach the big price tag that comes with upgrading your BBK, you may also want to consider upgrading to the Nissan 370z/ Infiniti G37 Akebono calipers. While the Nissan 370z/ Infiniti G37 is still quite new compared to the 350z, some owners have decided to upgrade to a big brake kit themselves and sell their factory Akebono calipers.

Installing the Nissan 370z/ Infiniti G37 calipers is a fairly straightforward installation, all you need is a set of 370z/G37 Akebonos and an adapter bracket you can purchase online. The Akebono kit is reported to be better than the 350z’s Brembos, so this may be worth the cash if you don’t want to spend more than is necessary on a BBK. 

But for those owners that only want the best braking power that’s currently available, you’ll have to look to the aftermarket for a performance big brake kit. Sizes for BBK’s range from 4 to 8 pot calipers, so the amount of braking force you require is only limited by your wallet!

Here is our recommended list of Big Brake Kits For the Nissan 350z

Choosing A Set Of Wheels For Your Nissan 350z

Wheels can often make or break the look of your 350z and everyone has their own preference.

Most Z33 owners will step up from the factory 18-inch wheels to 19” or 20” wheels to help fill out their wheel wells and give their Z a more aggressive stance. These sizes are generally the best option for most owners because it’s a good combination of both looks and weight affecting the car’s overall handling. Some show car builds will incorporate even larger wheels, of course, to achieve the perfect look that they are looking for. 

Factory Nissan 350z Wheel Specs

Stock Black Nissan 350Z

From the factory, the Nissan 350z came with the following wheel sizes:

2003-2005 Base: 17×7.5″ +30mm front / 17×8.0″ +33mm rear

2003-2005 Touring v1: 18×8.0″ +30mm front / 18×8.0″ +30mm rear

2003-2005 Track v1:  18×8.0″ +30mm front / 18×8.5″ +33mm rear

2005-2007 Touring v2:  18×8.0″ +30mm front / 18×8.5″ +33mm rear

2006-2008 Track v2:  18×9.0″ +30mm front / 19×10.00″ +30mm rear

2007-2008 NISMO:  18×9.0″ +30mm front / 19×10.00″ +30mm rear

These sizes are worth noting if you are a Z owner looking to change the look of your car but don’t want the change to have a drastic effect on your car’s driving dynamics.

Nissan 350z Aggressive Wheel Fitment Specs and Recommendations

Free A Nissan 350z at a Dock Stock Photo

If you're looking for aggressive, “flush” wheel fitment on your Z33, you’ll most likely want to start with these parameters in mind for an effortless installation. Also keep in mind that depending on how low your Z is, you may need to roll your fenders for more clearance with your new wheel setup.

The most popular “flush” wheel specs for a Z33 are as follows:

It’s generally accepted that the following wheel widths and offsets work well on a 350z:

Front: 9.5″ +12mm

Rear: 10.5″ +22mm

Nissan 350z Engine Upgrades

Modified Neochrome Nissan 350z
"Shiny" by MIDWST.BLUR is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Looking to add some more power to your Z? Then you’re on the right track!

The Fairlady Z is far from being a slow sport and that is because of the VQ35 V6 powerplant, with even the “slowest” Z33 putting down 306 horsepower (228 kW) from the factory. The 2003-2006 models came equipped with the VQ35DE 3.5L V6 engine while the later 2007-2009 models are powered by the VQ35HR 3.5L V6 motor.

One minor note is that particular Z33s came with what is known as a Rev-Up VQ35, found primarily in 2005-2006 models and 35th Anniversary Fairlady Zs. There are a few things that make this motor special including a tweaked ECU, upgraded engine internals, and intake plenum, along with variable valve timing, bumping power up to 300 crank horsepower. 

All Nissan VQ35s found in the Z33 chassis are great engines and making power on them is relatively easy with a few popular bolt-ons. Maximum naturally aspirated horsepower without crazy engine modifications for the 350z is around 270 wheel horsepower. Anything beyond that will require a lot of money and you’re better off adding forced induction to the list with a turbo or supercharger kit.

Adding Power To Your 350z - Air Intakes

Stillen Air Intakes For Nissan 350z
Stillen Ultra Long Dual Tube Air Intake

Arguably one of the most straightforward modifications you can undertake to boost your Z's power and give it an aggressive growl is swapping out the stock airbox with a high-performance air intake. Just like any modern sportscar, your VQ35 engine thrives on a consistent supply of cool, fresh air flowing into the air intake. This not only keeps the engine running efficiently but also substantially improves engine performance.

It's true that a significant number of 350Z owners stand by the efficiency of the stock airbox, claiming it serves its purpose adequately. However, in the quest for more horsepower, a cold air intake system provides an effective, simple solution. It's a modification that's easy to undertake, yet its impact on your Z's performance is definitely noticeable.

By drawing in cooler air from outside the engine bay, a cold air intake allows the engine to run more efficiently, generating more power and improving throttle response. With the added benefit of producing an aggressive, deep engine note, this simple modification not only enhances the performance of your Z33 but also improves your overall driving experience.

Here is our list of recommended Air Intake Kits For the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Plenum Spacer

Nissan 350z Plenum Spacer Kit
Skunk2 Intake Plenum Spacer

One of the most popular 350z engine mods is definitely upgrading your intake plenum with an aftermarket spacer.

The plenum is where the cold air from your aftermarket (or stock) intake meets the intake manifold on your VQ35 engine.
Upgrading the intake plenum with a simple plenum spacer allows your VQ35 engine to breathe better, leading to better engine response and an increase in power felt in both the low and mid-range of the VQ’s powerband.

Installing the plenum spacer is a fairly easy process that can be accomplished in a day if you are willing to turn your own wrenches.

Its important to note that once your 350z has an intake plenum spacer installed it will need to be retuned to take advantage of the additional air available to the engine. Failure to do so will lead to the car running rough and could ultimately lead to engine damage if left untuned for a prolonged period of time and ran hard.

Here is our list of recommended Plenum Spacers the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Performance Exhaust Systems

Nissan 350Z Exhaust System | 350Z Exhaust System | ARK Performance
ARK GRIP Stainless Catback Exhaust

As you continue to continue to look for ways to increase power and torque with a few 350z mods, another easy way to achieve horsepower and torque power gains is by replacing the stock exhaust system.

The ideal performance exhaust system will not only keep your engine running cool, but it will also improve throttle response and power, all while lightening the car. Dropping weight on your Z is important so keep in mind some exhausts are made of stainless steel, aluminum or titanium. 

An aftermarket exhaust cat back system is definitely one of the most popular 350z mods and is generally one of the first things that owners do.

In the same vein as selecting a set of wheels, choosing an aftermarket exhaust is a personal choice depending on how you want your Z to sound. One of the best ways to get an idea of how a particular exhaust may sound is by going to a local Z meet and asking other owners what exhaust they have equipped and how it sounds. Short of that, you can always compare exhaust notes on Youtube but hearing an exhaust in person is the best way to tell if you can live with your new aftermarket exhaust every day.

Here is our list of recommended Performance Exhaust Systems for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Exhaust Aftermarket Headers

Evasive Motorsports: Tomei Headers Version 2 - Nissan 350Z 03+
Tomei Expreme Exhaust Manifolds v2

If your looking to maximize NA performance from the VQ35 engine, upgrading your exhaust manifolds to aftermarket race headers is a sure-fire way to pick up some more power.

Not only will a new set of headers add some additional bling to your engine bay, but a set of high-quality exhaust headers will also increase throttle response and power in both the low end, mid-range, and top end of your power curve.

Here is our list of recommended 350z Aftermarket Exhaust Headers

Nissan 350z Hi-Flow Catalytic Converters 

Berk Technologies Hi-Flow Cats For Nissan 350z
Berk Technology Metallic High Flow Cats

Emissions. Just about every car enthusiast that you talk to about how to achieve power gains will most likely say that emissions are a drag on your 350z’s engine.

One of the biggest restrictions in your exhaust system is the stock catalytic converter. While the stock cat improves the tailpipe emissions your Z emits, it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to making the most power you can.

While some people just straight pipe their  Z and get rid of the cat altogether, others will choose to install a Hi-Flow catalytic convertor to help with exhaust noise, emission requirements, or both.

Installing performance parts like a hi-flow catalytic converter gives you the best of both worlds for your street Z, keeping exhaust noise down, ensuring your car’s exhaust is legal, and helping you pass emission testing if where you live still requires it.

Here is our list of recommended Hi-Flow Cats For the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Test Pipes

Nissan 350z Test Pipes
Berk Technology Resonated Test Pipes with CEL Fix

Test pipes are for strictly “off-road” use just about everywhere in the world nowadays. Many jurisdictions and their law enforcement officers would love to give you an exhaust ticket for just this reason and I’m sure you have read stories of police searching cars for as many illegal mods as they can tack on during traffic stops. 

 While many choose to run test pipes instead of a Hi-Flow Cat, you usually won’t see much in terms of power gains when you straight pipe your 350z’s cat-back exhaust system. 

Most of the time you will see test pipes installed with performance in mind when you go the turbo route on a Z33, but unless you're running a massive turbo and shooting for big numbers, a Hi-Flow cat is a better choice for a street car.

Here is our list of recommended test pipes for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Transmission Upgrades

Nissan 350z Transmission

Taking the time to upgrade a few parts on your Z33’s transmission is a great opportunity to improve the car’s drivability.

Whether you’re replacing an old worn out clutch and flywheel or installing a new short shifter, we are here to show you a few Nissan 350z mods that make sense when it comes to modifying your transmission.

One important thing to note is that the Nissan 350z has a pretty strong transmission and people rarely report issues unless they are running insane horsepower numbers. Even then, the CD0009 found in later Z33’s is more than capable of handling big power without breaking a sweat.

Keep reading to learn about some of the 350z transmission upgrades that we recommend to round out your full performance parts list!

Nissan 350Z Clutches

OS Giken Triple Disc Clutch For Nissan 350z
OS Giken Clutch Kits

Your stock 350z clutch is a great stock clutch from the factory. Not only is it durable, but many 350z enthusiasts enjoy the pedal feel and feedback of their stock clutch unit.

If you’ve recently purchased your 350z or have been driving it for a while, chances are your stock clutch is still in relatively good shape if you use the car for daily driving duties.

But for those that are or want to take their Z to track days, drift events, or drive aggressively on the street, you may notice that your clutch will not be up to the task of repeated abuse over time.

Luckily, there is a large number of aftermarket clutch kits available for your Fairlady Z and installation is relatively easy with a friend willing to help.

Some of the benefits of upgrading your clutch to a high-performance unit include its ability to operate at higher temperatures and not slip, increase clamping force for hard launches, and the ability to put more of that precious horsepower to the ground, increasing both acceleration and power at the wheels.

If you’ve already done a handful of 350z mods that we recommend to your Z, it might be time to upgrade the clutch to take full advantage of your work!

Here is our list of recommended Clutch Kits for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350Z Lightweight Flywheels

McLeod Flywheel For Nissan 350z
Mcleod Flywheel Kits

While most Z car enthusiasts know that replacing your stock clutch with a high-performance part will help with getting more power to the ground, most may not realize that an upgraded clutch is only half of the solution.

Installing a performance flywheel when you do your performance clutch is a great idea for a number of reasons including the fact that it’s always recommended that you replace both clutch and flywheel at the same time because they are wear and tear components in your Z’s transmission.

Picking out a lightened flywheel is a great opportunity to pair it with your new performance clutch and several manufacturers make it even easier by selling both performance parts together for easy ordering and installation.

Together with an upgraded clutch, a lightened flywheel will make your VQ35 feel even more responsive and lively as you push through the entire powerband. While installing a lightened flywheel won’t add any more power to your Z, it will let you regain a handful of horsepower as there is one less source of parasitic drain on the rotating assembly.

Here is our list of recommended Flywheels for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350Z Short Throw Shifters

Torque Solutions Short Throw Shifter For Nissan 350z
Torque Solutions Short Shifter

While the 350z’s transmission is relatively crisp from the factory, one part you can install to take it to the next level is a short shifter.

A short shifter will help you change gears even faster than before with your OEM 350z shifter, leading to better acceleration.

Adding a short throw shifter is one of the most popular Nissan 350z mods around and it's because they are not only easy to install but they are also relatively cheap compared to some of the other 350z mods covered in this guide.

Another notable feature is that installing a short throw shifter will be felt as soon as you make you start changing gears. Installing a short throw shifter on your Z33 is a great way to improve the car’s driving characteristics with relatively little work!

Here is our recommended list for Short Throw Shifters for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Forced Induction

So by now, you’ve read about most of the basic bolt-on performance parts for your Z. Whether it be air intakes, exhaust, headers, plenum spacer, or hi-flow cat, the sections above are among the easier things to do for your Fairlady Z without extensive work or breaking the bank.

Now that we have covered that set of performance modifications, let's jump into the big power adders that will require modifying the engine itself or adding forced induction to your VQ35.

Whether you have a VQ35DE or a VQ35HR, you may simply get used to the factory performance of the naturally aspirated VQ and will want more power.

If you’ve read this far into our guide, I think it’s safe to assume you’ve done the usual bolt-ons to your Z including an intake, exhaust, plenum spacer, and headers. From this power level forward, things start to get more difficult as you look to break the +280 wheel horsepower barrier. 

In the next section of our Nissan 350z mods guide, we will be talking about turbochargers, superchargers, and ECU reflashes.

Keep reading if you’ve got the need for speed and are looking to make big power on your VQ35.

Nissan 350z Turbo Kits

AAM Competition 350Z HR Twin Turbo Kit - Tuner Series | AAM Competition  Nissan GT-R 370Z Infiniti Q50 Q60 Turbo Performance Specialists
AAM Competition 350Z/G35 Twin Turbocharger System

While the 350z looks fast, there is no denying that this Japanese rear wheel drive sports car is a bit on the heavy side and could definitely use a bit more power. 

Lucky for you, Nissan engineers designed the VQ35DE and VQ35HR with durability in mind and thus make it possible to turbo the V6 engine with little hassle. Owners have reported that 400WHP is possible on a stock VQ35DE and the VQ35HR is capable of 500WHP because of its even beefier components and upgraded parts.

Bolt-on turbo kits are an easy way to double your Z33’s horsepower with forced induction and provide one of the best bang for your buck upgrades you can throw at your car.

If you are considering installing a turbo kit on your Z, we highly recommend upgrading the supporting mods that we have previously mentioned including an air intake, plenum spacer, full exhaust system, and either a test pipe or high flow cat for maximum power gains.

Here is our list of recommended turbo kits for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z Supercharger Kits

Nissan 350z Supercharger Kit
Vortech V-2 Si Polished Tuner Kit w/ Charge Cooler

If you're looking at boost for your 350z, there is no doubt that you’ve probably also considered supercharging it as well.

As you may well know, a supercharged car is a blast to drive and a supercharged Z33 is no different! Because of how the linear power band that a supercharger provides, a supercharged 350z can be a lot tamer on both the street and at a track day.

Another notable thing about superchargers that may change your mind about choosing to turbo your Z is the fact that they are far more mechanically simple when compared to a turbo kit. Because of this, they are generally easier to install and require less tuning to dial in after being strapped to the dyno. 

So if your looking for modest power gains beyond the usual bolt-ons, a supercharger kit might be the perfect blend of power and ease of installation to get your Z’s power level to where you want it to be!

Here is our list of recommended supercharger kits for the Nissan 350z

Nissan 350z ECU Tuning

Uprev Tuning — Evans Tuning

Now that we have covered the two major forced induction options available for the 350z, let's talk about getting your Z a fine tune.

An ECU reflash on your stock Z33 won’t do much in terms of adding power but will help all other supporting engine mods work in harmony when installed. Some mods that will see the benefits of an ECU reflash include an exhaust, cold air intake, and a turbo or supercharger kit.

 An ECU upgrade is required when you install a plenum spacer as you remember so we recommend adding as many other power mods as you can before purchasing a tune so you don’t have to keep having it reflashed with every new upgrade.

Depending on the tuner, an ECU reflash will smooth out the power band and will eliminate the electronically imposed speed and rev limiter from the factory. Some tuners also offer advanced features as well including launch control, anti-lag, EGR removal, and straight pipe tunes to ensure your Z doesn’t throw a check engine light. 

Here is our recommended list of Nissan 350z ECU Tuners

In what order should I modify My 350z?

Modified Yellow Nissan 350Z
"Black & Yellow" by MIDWST.BLUR is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Looking for a cheat sheet on the best mods for your Nissan 350z? Here is a list of the most popular mods that are generally installed in order by other 350z enthusiasts:

For most Z33 owners, they prefer to modify their car in this order:

  • Suspension - Coilovers, Lowering Springs or Air Suspension
  • Wheels and Tires
  • Brakes - Pads, Rotors, Brake Fluid, or Big Brake Upgrade
  • Exhaust - Catback Exhaust or Full Exhaust with Hi-Flow Cats
  • Cold Air Intake Kit
  • Clutch and Flywheel Kit
  • Plenum Spacer Kit
  • ECU Reflash
  • Engine Mods and or Forced Induction (Turbo or Supercharger)

OverRev's Nissan 350z Modification Guide

"Do you?" by MIDWST.BLUR is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Modifying your Nissan 350Z is a truly personalized journey. You may opt for a track day weapon, a JDM-inspired drift machine, or a head-turner for everyday use - the choice is all yours. Here's hoping our guide assists you as you build the ultimate Z33!

Don't forget, we've got a wealth of other guides covering specific modifications to help you morph your vehicle into the Nissan 350Z of your dreams. Keep exploring, keep learning, and most importantly, keep enjoying the process. We're here to fuel your passion. Thank you for reading and happy tuning!

Nissan 350z Performance FAQ

What mods can you do to a 350z?

If your looking to modify your 350z, the sky is the limit. From suspension parts to engine swaps, the Z33 chassis is an excellent platform for any performance enthusiast that wants to modify their new car.

How much HP can a 350z take?

In stock form, a VQ35DE is capable of 400 wheel horsepower.
In stock form, a VQ35HR is capable of 500 wheel horsepower.

Both engines can be built to withstand +1000 horsepower with the performance parts installed.

How can I get more power out of my 350z?

The best way to make more power on your 350z is with the simple bolt-on the setup of intake, exhaust, and a plenum spacer.

If you’re shooting for big power we recommend getting a single or twin-turbo kit for your Z.

How to make a 350z faster?

The usual bolt on setup of intake, plenum spacer, exhaust is a good start.

If you want a really fast Z33 look into turbo or supercharging it.

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