When you think of an affordable JDM sports car, what comes to mind? If you a fan of Nissan, I’m sure you're a fan of the long-running Z sports car lineage.
The Nissan 350Z is often thought of as Nissan finally returning to its roots after the company’s lineup was without a Z from 1996 to 2002, and was a smash hit amongst enthusiasts around the world.
Just like the Nissan 350Z, the Nissan 370Z took what worked - a potent VQ engine, sport-tuned suspension, and a sexy exterior - and kept the good times rolling along with several enhancements to the aging Z33 chassis.
Soon after being introduced to the public in 2009, the new Nissan 370Z became a fan favorite amongst enthusiasts and the public in general. This led to a vast assortment of performance parts for Z owners to install and upgrade their Zs to their heart's content.
Fast forward to now and after an 11-year run, the Nissan 370Z has been discontinued. Luckily there are almost 160k 370Z models that were purchased in America, so finding one is relatively easy.
Now if you are reading this tuning guide, it's a safe assumption that you either own a 370Z and want to modify it or, are looking to purchase one in the near future.
In this tuning guide, we will cover the Z34 chassis from top to bottom mechanically and help you get a better idea of what you’d like to upgrade on your Z.
Ready? Let's get started!
When you start to think about modifying your Nissan 370Z it's important to think of all of your upgrades working cohesively to enhance one another.
Throwing a turbo kit on an otherwise stock 370Z may be fun for some, but imagine how much better the overall driving experience would be with a little bit of work to the suspension!
That’s why we start all of our tuning guides by first addressing the suspension on the car in question.
Now while the Nissan 370Z is no slouch when it comes to cutting up corners, as with all mass-production cars there is definitely room for improvement.
We suggest laying the foundation that is suspension upgrades to enjoy your 370Z to the fullest extent.
After all, that's why you’re modifying it in the first place right?
If you're looking for a subtle lowering solution for your 370Z or prefer to save your money for other Nissan 370Z mods, installing a set of lowering springs may be the best option for you.
While lowering springs are often overlooked nowadays because most Z owners just purchase a set of coilovers, it's important to note that a set of quality lowering springs and performance struts can often outperform a set of low-quality entry-level coilovers.
The biggest drawback when it comes to lowering springs is the fact that you cannot adjust the ride height and stiffness of the strut housing like you can on most coilovers.
While aftermarket struts sometimes allow for limited adjustments to the dampening, they often can’t compare to the level of tunability that coilovers offer.
Even so, lowering springs are still a great option for a daily driven Z and for those owners that don’t want to slam their car to the ground.
Here is our list of recommended Lowering Springs for the Nissan 370Z
When it comes to modifying any car’s suspension nowadays, the most popular mod that comes to mind is coilovers.
Your basic coilover system consists of a strut and a coil spring that come packaged as an assembly for easy installation.
Coilovers are generally considered to be one of the best Nissan 370Z mods that you can easily install on your car, usually costing you about 1-2k USD and taking less than a day to install for an experienced DIYer.
The reason why so many Nissan 370Z owners install coilovers on their cars is because it allows for the lowering of the car, improving the handling characteristics by lowering the center of gravity and helping stabilize the chassis.
Ride height can be easily adjusted with a set of coilovers installed as well as the dampening stiffened or softened with the twist of the adjustment knobs.
If your looking for the ultimate suspension upgrade on your Z, installing a set of quality coilovers is the best bang for your buck.
Here is our list of recommended Coilovers for the Nissan 370Z
If you're looking for the best way to slam your Nissan 370Z without having to worry about damaging parts, then installing a set of air struts may be the best option for you.
Air suspension is a popular Nissan 370Z mod amongst owners that are building their Z34s into stanced show cars and allows for the raising and lowering of the suspension almost instantaneously.
While air suspension doesn’t offer the same performance benefits as a traditional coil spring setup, having the ability to lower and raise the car at will is a great modification if you own a show car or are building one.
Here is our list of recommended Air Suspension Kits for the Nissan 370Z
As you continue to upgrade your Nissan 370Z, keep in mind that lowering the car will only have a limited effect on reducing body roll as you take a corner at speed.
One of the best Nissan 370Z mods that can help complement the rest of your suspension upgrades is by adding a set of aftermarket sway bars on your Z.
Sway bars help stiffen the chassis by resisting the lateral forces that shift the weight of the vehicle to the outside tires when going into a turn.
A set of stiffer sway bars also help distribute that force to both sides of your Z34, allowing you to dial in the specific amount of oversteer or understeer that suits your driving style best.
Adding a set of anti-roll bars is a great bargain mod and will have a significant effect on helping your Z corner more sharply.
Here is our list of recommended Sway Bars for the Nissan 370Z -
As you consider what brand of sway bars you want to install on your 370Z, we think it's also important to consider upgrading your sway bar end links at the same time.
While some performance sway bar kits include a set of aftermarket end links, more often than not you have to buy a pair for the front and the rear sway bars that you are replacing.
Suspension experts recommend getting aftermarket sway bar end links for your new Z34 sway bars to help correct suspension geometry and ensure that the sway bar is able to work effortlessly with the rest of your suspension components.
Here is our list of recommended Sway Bar End Links for the Nissan 370Z
As you modify and upgrade the suspension on your 370Z, you may run into adjustment issues when it comes time to align the car.
While the Nissan 370 has a decent amount of adjustment in the stock suspension arms when lowered several of these arms essentially run out of adjustment and cannot be set back to an ideal spec when on the alignment rack.
Luckily this shortcoming can be addressed by purchasing a set of adjustable aftermarket suspension arms for your Nissan 370Z.
Whether your looking to get your toe, caster, or camber back into factory spec or you're looking to have certain parameters set up, upgrading to adjustable suspension arms is the best way to achieve your perfect alignment.
Here is our list of recommended Adjustable Suspension Arms for the Nissan 370Z
While adding an aftermarket limited slip differential isn’t an absolutely necessary Nissan 370Z mod, we definitely recommend replacing the factory VLSD if you plan on tracking or drifting your Z.
The issue you will run into on track with a VLSD (especially while drifting) is that the factory unit isn’t up to spec when it comes to hard driving or sideways drifting for long periods of time.
The VLSD won’t be as much of a limiting factor for Nissan 370Z owners that take their cars to track days until you’re so quick on the track that you start to notice it limiting your ability to turn a fast lap.
The VLSD will severely limit your ability to drift the car consistently and will ultimately lead to it being worn to the point of acting like an open differential.
So while installing an aftermarket limited slip differential isn’t necessary for most daily driven Zs, we definitely recommend this upgrade if you drive your car hard at the track on a consistent basis!
Here is our list of recommended Limited Slip Differentials for the Nissan 370Z
Choosing a set of wheels for your Nissan 370Z is one of the most impactful modifications that you can do to your Z.
Not only will it affect other things like the size of tires you run, adjustments to your ride height and suspension, and whether or not you can easily run a big brake kit, wheels will also have a drastic effect on your car’s appearance.
Adding a set of quality wheels will definitely set your Nissan apart from other modified Zs in your area and can be a tricky decision when deciding what wheels look best.
We recommend looking at other people’s setups to get an idea of what looks best and to get an idea of what size of wheel and tire you can fit your Z like a glove.
The Nissan 370Z came with three specific model trims - Base, Sport, and Nismo. Here are the stock wheel diameters and offsets for each model.
Base - 18x8 +43 Front, 18x9 +15mm Rear
Sport - 19x9 +47 Front, 19x10 +30 Rear
Nismo - 19x9.5 +40 Front , 19x10.5 +23 Rear
If you're looking to drive your car hard on the track or want it to perform at its highest level on the street, picking out a set of wheels that enhances your Z’s performance capabilities can go a long way.
While track fitment prioritizes function over form, having a set of well-fitting wheels with meaty tires can look just as good as an aggressively stanced 370Z in our opinion.
If your looking for the ideal track setup consider these popular options that other Z enthusiasts run on their performance-oriented Nissan 370s.
Street Driven - 18×9.5 +15 Front and 18×10.5 +15 Rear
Track Driven - 18×10.5 +15 (Squared)
For those Nissan 370Z owners that are looking to build a show car or just want to have a cool stanced daily driver, don’t worry we’ve got you covered too!
As for those that are familiar with how fitting aggressively sized wheels go, sometimes you’ve got to do a bit of massaging to make your new set of wheels work.
While people have certainly fitted more aggressive wheels to their Z, we are going to focus on popular fitments that can give you the perfect stanced look without having to do much more than a fender roll for your new set of wheels.
Flush Fitment - 19x9.5 +22 Front and 19x10.5 +12 Rear
Hella Flush Fitment - 19x9.5 +15 Front and 19x11 +10 Rear
The Nissan 370Z is just like most sports cars that roll off of the showroom floor - it handles well, is relatively quick and the factory brakes are pretty good.
But if you’re like some 370Z owners, good isn’t going to cut it when it comes to your Z car.
Like the suspension upgrades that we covered in the previous section, addressing the factory braking system on your Nissan 370Z is a great way to continue to upgrade and improve your Z.
Whether you drive your Z at the track, daily drive, or just take it out as a weekend cruiser, upgrading the stock brakes is a great investment to make when it comes to Nissan 370Z mods.
In this section, we will cover all of the ways that you can improve the factory brake system and how each upgrade works in tandem with the others.
Let’s get rolling!
Brake pads are one of the most crucial parts of your Nissan 370Z’s braking system. They see consistently high levels of heat and friction as you press down on the pedal, whether you’re slowing for traffic or the next turn on the race track.
Because of this reason, upgrading to a performance-oriented aftermarket brake pad can pay dividends when you really need that extra bit of stopping power on track or in an emergency situation.
Upgrading your brake pads is one of the key components if you're looking to overhaul your brake system and we recommend deciding on what type of driving you do most before purchasing a set that will serve you the best.
Here is our list of recommended Brake Pads for the Nissan 370Z
Once you’ve settled on a set of performance brake pads for your Nissan 370Z, it's time to start thinking about upgrading from your stock brake rotors as well.
One thing to keep in mind with aftermarket brake rotors - they won’t necessarily help you brake harder or slow down faster than OEM rotors.
The magic of aftermarket brake rotors lies within their ability to dissipate heat quicker than a stock rotor can. This added benefit comes into play if you are tracking your car or driving on your favorite twisty road and notice that the brakes aren’t performing as while as they were at the start of your run.
Upgrading to a set of aftermarket brake rotors will help alleviate this issue and ensure that your brake system is up for whatever you throw at it!
Here is our list of recommended Brake Rotors for the Nissan 370Z
One of the final components to address when upgrading your Nissan 370Z’s brake system is by replacing the stock brake lines with a set of aftermarket stainless steel lines.
The issue that you’ll run into with stock rubberized lines is that over time they have a tendency to swell and crack as the miles and wear and tear of the road takes their toll.
The beauty of upgrading to a stainless steel brake line set is that they resist the same forces that break down rubberized factory brake lines and also provide a more direct, improved pedal feel to the driver.
So if you need another budget Nissan 370Z mod to add to the list, consider upgrading your factory brake lines with a set of aftermarket SS lines instead!
Here is our list of recommended Brake Lines for the Nissan 370Z
As we continue to review all of the ways to help upgrade your Nissan 370Z’s brake system, it's also important to mention one thing that you may overlook - brake fluid.
Having your brake reservoir filled with high-quality brake fluid has a major role when it comes to helping you slow down your Z.
Whether you choose to drain and fill the system with high-performance DOT 4 fluid or use a few cans from your local parts store when flushing your system, bleeding your brake system on a regular basis is the best way to ensure that your brakes are working correctly.
If you do find yourself in need of something that can resist brake fade better than the average brake fluid, it's worth paying a bit more for some racing brake fluid and doing a flush to ensure that you’re brakes perform when they are needed!
Here is our list of recommended Brake Fluids for the Nissan 370Z
Whether you’ve completely overhauled your factory brake system and it still doesn’t suffice or you’re looking for another part to help set your Nissan 370Z apart from the crowd, adding a big brake kit may check all your boxes when it comes to the ultimate upgrade for your brakes.
Big brake kits for the Nissan 370Z come with everything you need for a smooth installation and will drastically improve braking performance over the stock brake system.
So whether you are sick and tired of cracking rotors every track day, have a twin-turbo Nissan 370Z with double the factory horsepower, or are building a show car, adding a high-quality big brake kit is an awesome upgrade if you have the means to purchase it!
Here is our list of recommended Big Brake Kits for the Nissan 370Z
Now that we’ve covered upgrading your Nissan 370Z’s handling capabilities and have addressed its braking prowess, it’s time to start adding some power to your VQ37VHR.
Like the VQ35 that powered the Nissan 350Z, the VQ37VHR is a great motor that responds well to bolt-on modifications and loves boost!
In this section of our Nissan 370Z tuning guide, we will break down all of the crucial aftermarket parts you need to add some more power to your 370Z. Whether it be an air intake, cat-back exhaust system, or turbocharging your Z, we cover all of the Nissan 370Z mods to help make your Z faster than you’d imagine!
If your looking for another easy Nissan 370Z mod to help increase the horsepower from your VQ37VHR, then look no further than bolting on a set of air intakes.
Installing a quality cold air intake on your VQ37VHR to replace the stock air filters definitely wakes up the engine and provides an incredible induction noise from your engine bay that will have you in love in addition to the extra power gains across the powerband.
In fact, the long tube intakes on the market for the Nissan 370Z regularly see a horsepower gain of up to 10-17 horsepower depending on the brand!
If your looking for the best of the best when it comes to a cold air intake for the Nissan 370Z, the Stillen Gen 3 Ultra Long Tube Intake Kit is widely considered the best on the market right now, offering +17.5 horsepower with this intake alone!
One last thing to keep in mind before pulling the trigger on a new cold air intake for your Z - most aftermarket manufacturers offer cold air intakes in both long and short tube designs.
If you're looking for maximum horsepower, go for any of the long tube cold air intake that are on the market.
If you are worried about hydro locking your Z while driving in the rain or having to do a bit of cutting to make the long tube intake fit, you can still get some modest gains with a short tube cold air intake too!
Here is our list of recommended Cold Air Intakes for the Nissan 370Z
Short Tube Intakes
Long Tube Intakes
Another way to add a bit of horsepower and torque to your power gains is by installing an aftermarket exhaust on your Nissan 370Z.
Adding an exhaust system to just about any car is one of the most popular performance modifications car enthusiasts do because it not only helps with maximum performance and power gains, it often completely changes the driving experience for the better!
The Nissan 370Z is no different and the VQ37VHR engine sees some impressive power gains from adding a cat-back exhaust system.
Here is our list of recommended Exhaust Systems for the Nissan 370Z
As we continue to help you understand the basics when it comes to upgrading your Nissan 370Z with the perfect choice from the myriad of available exhaust systems, another thing to think about upgrading is your stock catalytic converter.
Often times the stock cat is one of the most restrictive portions of your car’s exhaust, as it filters the noxious exhaust gases before exiting the tail pipe.
People often argue about the benefits of running a catalytic converter but for some enthusiasts, it's mandatory because of local emission laws.
Luckily the aftermarket has stepped up to the plate and offers several high-flow cats that increase performance and keep your exhaust system legal.
Here is our list of recommended Hi-Flow Cats for the Nissan 370Z
When it comes to choosing between a test pipe or an HFC for your Nissan 370Z, it's important to think about the benefits and drawbacks of running a test pipe.
For example, do you know if you can legally run a test pipe where you live?
For a naturally aspirated Z, opting for a test pipe won’t benefit your VQ37VHR much beyond making your exhaust even louder than before. However, if you’re turbo or supercharged it may be worth considering to help with the maximum performance from forced induction.
Here is our list of recommended Test Pipes for the Nissan 370Z
Most of the time when it comes to modifying the exhaust system for the Nissan 370Z, your average Nissan 370Z enthusiast opts for a cat-back exhaust coupled with either a test pipe or an HFC.
But for those looking for maximum power gains, adding a race header to your VQ37VHR engine is usually the last bolt-on mod to help squeeze the last bit of power out of your exhaust system.
When selecting a set of headers it's important to keep in mind that for the best performance you should purchase a set of long tube headers.
Shorty headers won’t do much beyond making your car louder and adding a few extra horsepower. Long tube headers on the other hand take full advantage of your VQ37VHR’s engine and maximize power.
An added bonus is the fact that adding a set of performance headers will have a drastic effect on your 370Z’s exhaust note, adding a bit of spice and making it sound completely different than the average 370Z.
Here is our list of recommended Exhaust Headers for the Nissan 370Z
When it comes to factory manual transmissions, Nissan without a doubt has some of the best shifting manuals on the market.
Not only do they feel smooth and shift effortlessly from the factory, but both the Nissan 350Z and Nissan 370Z also have incredibly stout transmission assemblies that can take an incredible amount of power without breaking a sweat.
But as with all things related to a project car, the Nissan 370Z’s transmission components can be upgraded to be even better than before!
As with all manual sports cars, over time your stock clutch will wear out and be in need of a replacement.
For the Nissan 370Z specifically, the stock clutch is capable of lasting quite a long time if it isn’t being constantly abused.
However, once you start adding power and or driving your Nissan 370Z hard, you may notice that you once-perfect factory clutch just isn’t up to the task and is either slipping under acceleration or won’t engage at all!
Luckily for you, there are a lot of options when it comes to upgrading your Nissan 370Z’s clutch with an aftermarket performance unit.
Here is our list of recommended Clutch Kits for the Nissan 370Z
As you know, the other part of the equation when it comes to crisp shifts in any sports car is a quality flywheel.
The Nissan 370Z comes from the factory with a dual mass flywheel weighing in at approximately 26 pounds, creating a significant drain on the rotating mass in your engine.
Upgrading to a lightweight flywheel offers a few major benefits, with the most prominent one being that instead of resurfacing your Dual-Mass flywheel for $1200 dollars you can upgrade to something better!
Other improvements include more powering being put to the ground, a faster revving engine, and improved shifting.
As you can read, upgrading your flywheel when you replace your stock clutch is a great time to upgrade your Nissan 370Z when you’re doing this major service.
Here is our list of recommended Flywheel Kits for the Nissan 370Z
Like the clutch and flywheel upgrades, adding a short shifter to your Nissan 370Z can have a significant effect on how your Z drives.
While some may argue that short shifters aren’t needed because they prefer a longer throw, we think that having a direct, short throw is the best way to ensure that you are in complete control of your car.
Here is our list of recommended Short Throw Shifters for the Nissan 370Z
When it comes to upping the ante power-wise on the Nissan 370Z, adding a bit of boost to the mix is the best recipe for big horsepower gains.
While it’s certainly possible to achieve 350-400 horsepower from a naturally aspirated VQ37VHR, you can easily eclipse that number with a turbo or supercharger installed on your motor.
Adding boost to the Nissan 370Z’s engine is a fairly straightforward modification, with the VQ engine being overbuilt from the factory and ready for boost!
The biggest thing to keep in mind when it comes to boosting your Nissan 370Z is who is going to install and tune it. These two factors will have a big influence on just how reliable your Z34 will be long-term, whether you are running boost on a stock block or a fully built engine!
If you're looking for maximum power from the Nissan VQ37VHR, then you should definitely consider adding a turbo to the mix.
As mentioned in the last section, the VQ37 is more than capable of handling boost easy. Many Z34 owners daily drive their turbocharged Z without reliability issues constantly sending the car to the shop for repairs.
The VQ37VHR is capable of holding up to around 500 horsepower and 400-foot pounds of torque reliably on the stock block.
The biggest issue that you will run into with adding more boost and breaking that 500 horsepower mark is the bottom end of the VQ not being able to hold more than 400 TQ reliably.
This issue can be addressed with the bottom end being built, but we recommend staying below the 400 torque mark to keep your motor healthy and increase reliability.
Here is our list of recommended Turbo Kits for the Nissan 370Z
If you're looking for an alternative to slapping a turbo to your VQ37, you should consider installing a supercharger kit to your Z34.
Superchargers perform very differently than a turbocharger because of the way that they generate power.
Unlike a turbo system that uses forced air to spool the turbocharger, a supercharger draws its power directly from the engine’s rotational forces to increase power.
The biggest benefit of a supercharger versus a turbo is that when you take a look at a dyno graph, the supercharger’s power output is instantaneous, and “turbo lag” is a null point!
While superchargers don’t generally make as much power as a turbo will, we think that adding a supercharger to your Nissan 370Z is a great mod if you're looking for reliable power and daily drive your Z.
Here is our list of recommended Supercharger Kits for the Nissan 370Z
When it comes to modifying a project car, many enthusiasts aren’t able to drop thousands of dollars and transform their project into their dream car overnight.
Because of this reality, when you start your Nissan 370Z modification journey it's best to prioritize what upgrades make sense first before others.
We can help make those choices easy with our step-by-step guide on how we recommend modifying your Nissan 370Z from top to bottom.
As we covered in the suspension section at the beginning of this tuning guide, addressing your suspension and brake system should be priority #1 on your 370Z modifications list.
Upgrading these components first will lead to a more enjoyable ride and helps keep you safe when it comes time to add more power to your VQ37VHR with bolt-ons or forced induction.
We recommend improving your 370Z’s handling characteristics with these specific Nissan 370Z modifications -
Now that we’ve addressed your suspension and brake system, it's time to add a bit more power to your VQ37VHR to take full advantage of its upgraded handling and braking capabilities.
Adding more power to your Nissan 370Z can generally take two paths - the full bolt-on naturally aspirated route or the forced induction path.
It’s important to note that some of the modifications from the N/A route will work seamlessly with your turbo or supercharger setup while others won’t.
With that being said our recommended Nissan 370Z mods for achieving maximum power gains are as follows -
As we come to the end of our comprehensive guide on Nissan 370Z modifications, we hope you've found the content written is helpful in your quest to modify and improve the performance of your Z. Each modification discussed serves as a unique opportunity to significantly upgrade your 370Z, both in terms of power and aesthetics.
As you continue working on your Nissan 370Z, we invite you to delve deeper into our massive library of content. Here, you'll discover even more expert advice and insights that will pique your automotive interests. We appreciate you reading through our blog post and taking the time to check out what we've written. It is your visits to our website that fuels our commitment to delivering high-quality content, aimed at helping you extract the maximum potential from your Nissan 370Z. Happy wrenching and we'll see you next time!