Choosing The Best Nissan 350Z Exhaust - The Ultimate Guide

So, if you're reading this guide your most likely the proud owner of a Nissan 350Z, an icon in the world of modern Japanese sportscars. The Z33 is without a doubt a great platform to build and I can already tell you have good taste in terms of cars! The Fairlady Z is loved globally for its potent VQ35 engine, excellent handling, and striking design. Yet, no matter how great a car is, there's always a little room for improvement, right? One surefire way to spice up your 350Z's performance is by upgrading the exhaust system. In this guide, we'll explore how the right exhaust system can take your Nissan 350Z to the next level and completely transform its street presence.

Choosing an exhaust for your Z33 isn't as simple as going for the sickest look or the one that promises to transform your car into a rocket ship. It's about factors like overall quality, the kind of sound it produces, ease of installation, and let's not forget, your budget. Our aim here is to walk you through the research process, simplifying your hunt for the perfect exhaust system for your Nissan 350Z.

Understanding the Nissan 350Z's Exhaust System

Nissan 350Z Underside
Nissan 350Z Under Carriage

Now before we start reviewing some of the most popular exhausts for the Nissan 350Z, let's break down what the exhaust system does for the Nissan 350Z. In simple terms, it performs two critical jobs: it expels used exhaust gasses and sounds generated by the engine, and it helps the engine work more efficiently. When your exhaust system is in working order, you get better performance, improved fuel efficiency, and that satisfying exhaust note that turns heads. Understanding these functions is key when it comes to picking the best exhaust for your 350Z.

Now, it's important to remember that not all exhaust systems are cut from the same cloth. High-quality exhausts are designed for efficient exhaust flow and to give a little extra oomph to your horsepower and torque numbers. They're also built with top-grade materials, offering more durability and longevity. These factors separate the good from the mediocre and have a massive impact on how your Nissan 350Z performs on the road.

How An Exhaust Can Improve Engine Performance

Modified Nissan 350z and Audi A4
"Duck and Lizer" by Anthony dela Merced is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

An exhaust system is like the lungs of your Nissan 350Z. It allows your car to breathe easier, which means your engine doesn't have to work as hard to efficiently expel exhaust gasses. When your engine isn't strained, it can run more efficiently, creating more power and improving acceleration and overall speed - and that means better performance. A good exhaust system can also provide a pleasant, throaty roar that many car enthusiasts love and completely changes the Nissan Z33’s driving dynamic.

Then there's fuel efficiency - a subject that doesn't get much limelight in performance discussions but is just as important. When your exhaust system functions efficiently, it can lead to better fuel mileage. This doesn't just mean more miles per gallon but also means more savings on fuel costs over time, helping you save for that next performance part!

Types of Exhausts for the Nissan 350Z

Tomei Expreme Titanium Exhaust 350Z Cat Back
Tomei EXPREME Ti Titanium Catback

When it comes to choosing an exhaust for your Fairlady Z, there is a broad array of exhaust options available, each providing unique benefits and different exhaust notes. Among these, the cat-back exhaust system stands out due to its blend of performance improvements and general affordability. It replaces the exhaust components from the catalytic converter back, contributing to power increase and an appealing exhaust note that appeals to many Z33 owners.

While the cat-back exhaust is often the go-to choice when it comes to performance upgrades for your Z, some owners couple their new exhaust with other performance upgrades as well. Some 350Z owners often complement their exhaust systems with aftermarket headers for better exhaust flow, or they opt for turbocharging to significantly add to their Z33's overall power numbers! If you're looking to add more significant power adders down the road we recommend ensuring that your exhaust won’t be a choke point for aftermarket headers or the addition of a forced induction setup. Remember the saying  - buy once, cry once!

The Best Catback Exhausts for Nissan 350Z

Now it's time for the part you’ve been waiting for! We're going to dive into the specifics of the top ten exhaust systems for your Nissan 350Z. Whether you're looking for that rich, throaty roar, want to improve your 350Z’s aesthetics, or simply want a more efficient exhaust system, there's something for every 350Z owner in this list.

Tomei EXPREME Ti Titanium Catback

Created with a blend of lightweight design and high-quality materials, the Tomei Expreme exhaust system is a game-changer for Z33 owners looking to upgrade. This high-performance exhausts, meticulously crafted from top-grade titanium, significantly trims weight compared to the stock exhaust system, paving the way for a notable increase in performance. The Tomei EXPREME Ti exhaust’s distinctive design delivers an aggressively deep exhaust note that helps your VQ35 sound amazing whether you’re daily driving or pushing it on the race track.

What sets this exhaust apart is Tomei’s commitment to uncompromising quality. The EXPREME Ti exhaust system is a culmination of years of motorsports experience resulting in a highly efficient exhaust design that's as straight as possible, allowing for a more efficient flow of exhaust. Equally impressive is the system's approach to pipe design, which allows for both torque and horsepower gains across the VQ35’s full power band. The Tomei Expreme exhaust system doesn't just upgrade your Nissan 350Z, it redefines it.

Revel-Tanabe Medallion Touring Cat-Back Exhaust

Bringing together smooth performance and a mellow sound, the Revel-Tanabe Medallion Touring Cat-Back Exhaust offers an excellent upgrade for Nissan 350Z owners who prefer a subtle exhaust note without sacrificing performance. The cat-back design of this system ensures an efficient path for exhaust gasses and improves horsepower numbers, making it a perfect blend of practicality and power. The exhaust's refined design is a testament to the craftsmanship of the Tanabe Medallion Touring Exhaust, which caters to Nissan 350Z owners that desire a balanced and tastefully built Z.

Beyond its impressive exhaust note, the Revel-Tanabe Medallion Touring Cat-Back Exhaust was crafted with the latest innovations in exhaust system technology. It utilizes the innovative 'continuous strand' ADVAN-TEX packing material technology to ensure exhaust gasses travel to the exhaust’s exit seamlessly. The result is a deep tone without the dreaded VQ drone that stays well under 93db, making it ideal for aggressive driving on the street or at the track without needing a removable silencer. This system is also made with high-quality SUS304 stainless steel, featuring a slim-line oval canister and a special dual wall, angle-cut tip. The Revel-Tanabe Medallion isn’t just a testament to power gains and aesthetics but also durability, making it a great upgrade for any Nissan 350Z.

Invidia N1 Dual Exhaust

The Invidia N1 Dual Exhaust, constructed with high-quality SUS304 stainless steel and CNC-machined flanges, is a great balance between cost and performance. With a focus on improving exhaust flow, this system offers increased horsepower and torque, with a distinctively deep and aggressive sound that sounds good on naturally aspirated or boosted 350Zs. The Invidia N1 Dual Exhaust system features mandrel-bent stainless steel piping for maximum exhaust flow and reduced back pressure. The result is a perfectly engineered design that yields strong mid to top-end power gains.

This exhaust system by Invidia is not just built to meet, but exceed your performance expectations. Every detail is designed with utmost care to provide unmatched durability and strength, even under extreme operating conditions. It's a testament to Invidia's commitment to designing and manufacturing reliable parts that operate at their maximum performance level for as long as possible. Built from top-grade materials, the Invidia N1 Dual Exhaust system delivers both power and reliability ensuring reliable service for years to come.

Z1 Motorsports Single Exit Catback Exhaust

The Z1 Cat-Back Race Exhaust is a high-quality exhaust setup for the Nissan 350Z, designed to improve performance while maintaining a clean look and amazing exhaust note. This Z1 Motorsports exhaust system is perfect for performance-oriented enthusiasts and combines weight reduction of up to 24 lbs with an increase in horsepower and torque.

Crafted from 304 stainless steel and perfectly tig-welded, the Z1 Single Exit Catback Exhaust features a cast stainless steel flange connected to a mandrel-bent 3'' pipe leading to a 12'' resonator, reducing rasp and drone for a perfect exhaust note. The exhaust ends with a single 6'' muffler with a removable silencer, exiting under the left rear bumper for the perfect aesthetic. The Z1 Motorsports Single Exit Exhaust, which is 55% lighter than stock, includes either the Z1 Standard Y-Pipe or the Z1 Modular Y-Pipe and all necessary gaskets and hardware for direct bolt-on installation. This exhaust is without a doubt a top contender for Z33 owners looking for a high-quality exhaust that performs at a high level without draining your bank account!

ARK GRiP Catback Exhaust

The ARK GRiP Catback Exhaust system offers a remarkable blend of performance and an improved exhaust note for the Nissan 350Z. Built from high-grade T304 Stainless Steel, selected specifically for its performance-enhancing characteristics and overall strength, this exhaust system assures long-lasting durability along with an aesthetic upgrade. The horsepower and torque improvement come paired with a refined yet aggressive exhaust note, making every drive a visceral experience. The meticulously crafted mandrel bends and x-pipe design incorporated into this system ensure a balanced and efficient flow, a feature that sets ARK GRiP apart in the competitive arena of exhaust systems.

ARK Performance strives to set this exhaust apart with its signature mufflers leveraging Helmholtz technology. This technology expertly balances the exhaust's tonality, bringing out a satisfying sound while effectively canceling out any drone, creating an exhaust you can live with during your daily drive. Furthermore, each ARK Performance exhaust offers an assortment of tip finishes and options that flawlessly accent any 350Z, ensuring you're able to find the perfect exhaust for your build. This blend of scientific sound engineering, intricate design, advanced metallurgy, and aesthetic options results in a product that not only improves exhaust flow and engine performance but delivers one of the most complete exhaust systems on the market today.

GReddy Revolution Ti Exhaust

Renowned for providing notable power gains, the GReddy Revolution Ti Exhaust system stands out as a top-tier choice for Nissan 350Z owners with an eye on performance. Lightweight yet sturdy, it is meticulously designed to improve exhaust flow and overall performance, transforming the way you experience your Z33 and its VQ35’s exhaust note. The sound of the GReddy Revolution Ti Exhaust is deep and rich, giving you an amazing auditory experience on the street or at the track.

Designed with a focus on innovation, the GReddy Revolution Ti Exhaust features a free-flowing exhaust and internal straight-through construction resulting in superior performance, setting it apart from the competition. The system incorporates ultra-high-temperature resistant materials for sound suppression and high-quality TIG-welded 304 stainless steel, ensuring top quality at a reasonable price. The Revolution RS model, ideal for turbocharged VQ35s as well as naturally aspirated setups, boasts a full dual 3" Y-back, cat-back exhaust with a dual resonator cross-over pipe for sound control and exhaust pressure equalization. Its aggressive dual muffler canisters and extra-long 150mm length tips align with the Z's aesthetics, providing a sleek finish under the factory bumper cut-outs.

HKS Dual Hi-Power Catback Exhaust

The HKS Dual Hi-Power Titanium Tip Catback Exhaust emerges as one of the best choices for the Nissan 350Z, because of its high performance and distinctly aggressive sound. This system takes full advantage of its dual exhaust layout, and guarantees a completely independent exhaust route for both the right and left banks of the VQ35 engine. By eliminating potential performance interference from exhaust gases, it ensures your engine expels gas smoothly, even at high rpm ranges.

Beyond the performance features, the HKS Dual Hi-Power Exhaust offers little to no drone and a torque increase at lower rpm, facilitated by a balance pipe that adeptly controls exhaust gas pulsation. The HKS Catback system also outperforms the stock exhaust in terms of weight, being roughly 13% lighter than the stock muffler — with the full dual muffler weighing in around 57.3 lbs, compared to the stock muffler's 66.1 lbs. The choice of SUS304 stainless steel for the full length of the exhaust pipe and silencer, topped with a titanium tip, enhances the system's durability while adding a touch of elegance to the 350Z's aesthetic. Furthermore, it incorporates the time-tested "Advantex" glass wool, resulting in an exhaust system that strikes an excellent balance between performance, longevity, and style.

Injen Dual SS Cat-Back Exhaust

Injen's Dual 60mm SS Cat-Back Exhaust offers an excellent mix of performance and sound, transforming your Nissan 350Z into a symphony on wheels. Its design incorporates a built-in resonated X-pipe, crafted to harmonize your exhaust note, while high-quality stainless steel construction provides long-term durability. But the benefits of this exhaust system don't stop when it comes to sound and durability. Each Injen exhaust system is a product of mandrel-bent stainless steel tubing, which maintains its shape and size throughout its entire length, ensuring smooth, unrestricted airflow and lending itself to a notable bump in the power department.

The Injen Dual SS Catback Exhaust offers dyno-proven gains - up to 16 hp and 17 lb-ft. of torque compared to stock. But it's not just about power; the unique Injen exhaust design allows for maximum exhaust flow, letting your VQ35 breath easier. Quality extends to the style of the exhaust too, featuring a show-quality embossed stainless steel muffler that matches its performance. When it comes to this exhaust, it's about Injen’s commitment to performance, quality, and craftsmanship that makes their exhaust systems a product of pride, designed and made in Pomona, CA.

ISR Performance Single GT Exhaust

The ISR Performance Single GT Exhaust, characterized by its incredible blend of value and excellence, is an enticing choice for budget-conscious Nissan 350Z enthusiasts. It is celebrated for its user-friendly installation process and the performance gains it delivers, striking an ideal balance between cost and functionality. Constructed from mandrel-bent stainless steel, this y-pipe back exhaust system ensures unparalleled reliability and quality. Despite its affordable price tag, it generates a deep, aggressive exhaust note that's bound to leave a lasting impression.

Distinguished by its unrestricted flow, the ISR Performance Single GT Exhaust has been shown to increase horsepower and torque numbers, making it an excellent choice for both naturally aspirated and forced induction applications. It also offers a lighter weight than the factory exhaust, helping your Z33 feel a little bit more nimble through the corners. Crafted with precision TIG welding, the ISR Single GT’s stainless steel construction ensures a long service life, while its brushed stainless finish adds an aesthetic edge. As you have read, the ISR Performance Single GT Exhaust stands out as a compelling choice that promises both performance and an impressive exhaust note at a price that’s hard to beat.

Stillen 350Z Stainless Steel Catback Exhaust

Celebrated for its proven performance and durability, the Stillen 350Z Stainless Steel Catback Exhaust is more than just an exhaust system – it's a long-term commitment to performance and style. Masterfully crafted from stainless steel, this exhaust not only adds a stylish accent to your 350Z but also delivers consistent performance gains along with a deep, resonant sound that Z33 owners crave. The Stillen exhaust is designed with a dual split rear exit, perfectly complementing the vehicle's existing exhaust cutouts, lending an aggressive yet sophisticated look that matches the intoxicating exhaust note.

Constructed with 304 stainless steel for longevity, the system features 4.5" dual wall tips and polished mufflers. The Stillen SS Catback Exhaust stands as a testament to the company's years of experience with VQ35 engines and is 100% CARB legal for California 350Z owners that have to deal with restrictions. Stillen’s vast experience with Nissan engines has allowed them to uncover hidden power in the Nissan 350Z's factory exhaust, with this cat-back system providing net gains of up to 16 rear-wheel horsepower. Offering mandrel-bent piping for smooth flow, the system delivers improvements in performance, sound, and even MPG. On regular cruises, it delivers a calm, mellow exhaust note, but on hard acceleration, it transforms, delivering the aggressive, throaty roar Stillen is known for, without any annoying VQ35 drone. As a testament to its quality, the system comes with a lifetime warranty, affirming its status as a leading choice for those seeking a potent mix of quality, performance, and an improved exhaust note.

As you can read, each of these exhaust systems brings something unique to the table, be it in terms of performance, sound, or aesthetics. Each exhaust has been chosen to offer you a wide variety of exhaust options for all sorts of goals with your Z33, from power-hungry enthusiasts seeking aggressive exhausts that wake up the neighbors to the 350Z owners wanting more performance with a low-key exhaust note. 

But the choice isn't merely about power or sound. It's also about factors like durability, aesthetic appeal, and budget. Thus, the best exhaust for your Nissan 350Z may be one that not only aligns with your performance goals but also resonates with your personal preferences and driving style. It's about transforming your Nissan 350Z into a machine that truly feels like an extension of you on the road and makes you feel proud of your Z wherever you go.

Choosing the Right Exhaust for Your 350Z

Modified Nissan 350z on track
"350Z" by Cook24v is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

When it comes to picking the right exhaust for your 350Z, remember to consider your driving needs first. Are you looking for a performance upgrade? Or perhaps you want that deep, throaty roar when you hit the gas? Maybe you're seeking a balance between the two, or just want an aesthetic upgrade to make your 350Z stand out? Once you figure this out, half the battle is won.

And don't forget about quality and fitment. Not all exhausts are created equal, and not all will fit every model of the 350Z. Do your homework and make sure the system you choose is compatible with your specific model. And finally, always remember to balance your budget with quality. Yes, high-end exhausts can be expensive, but they often provide better performance and durability, proving to be a wise investment in the long run.

Installing an Exhaust on Your Nissan 350Z

Installing an exhaust system on your 350Z can be a bit of a chore if you’ve never done it before. If you're up for a challenge, you can take things into your own hands with the DIY route. There are many comprehensive guides and videos (like the one above) available to help you through the process. However, remember that it's a pretty hands-on task, and you'll need some basic knowledge about how to safely work on your Z33 and install your new exhaust correctly.

If DIY isn't your cup of tea, or you're unsure about installing it yourself, it's best to get the exhaust professionally installed. Yes, it's an additional cost, but it ensures the job is done correctly and safely. Once you've got your new exhaust installed, don't forget about maintenance. Regular checks and cleaning can prolong the life of your exhaust system and keep your 350Z purring like a dream.

OverRev’s Complete Nissan 350Z Exhaust Guide

"Z33" by MIDWST.BLUR is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Installing the right exhaust system can totally transform your Nissan 350Z, making it into an even more enjoyable Z33, complete with a resounding exhaust note that's sure to impress. We've taken a deep dive into a wide variety of options for your Z, from the feather-light Tomei Expreme Ti to the budget-friendly ISR Performance Single GT. These exhausts cover the spectrum of price and performance, promising something for every 350Z enthusiast.

Let's not forget that an exhaust upgrade is just one part of the puzzle. The Nissan 350Z's charm lies in its versatility and nearly endless potential when it comes to upgrades. Besides a high-quality exhaust system, consider other upgrades such as coilovers for an improved suspension setup, a cold air intake for improved airflow, or a set of high-performance brake pads for better stopping power. Pair these with the perfect exhaust, and you're sure to take your 350Z to an entirely new level in terms of performance and style.

Choosing an exhaust system, much like any other performance upgrade, requires an understanding of your personal needs and preferences. Once you've got this down, the journey toward building a Nissan 350Z that truly represents you becomes an adventure in itself. So buckle up and enjoy the transformation of your Nissan 350Z into a more exhilarating, efficient, and enjoyable Fairlady Z!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a good exhaust system cost for a Nissan 350Z?

The cost of a good exhaust system for a Nissan 350Z can vary widely based on the specific system you choose. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 to over $1500. Factors affecting the price include the type of exhaust (e.g., cat-back, axle-back), the materials used, the brand, and the complexity of the system. Remember, though the upfront cost can be high, investing in a quality exhaust system can improve performance and potentially save money on future repairs if you choose a sub-par exhaust system.

Can a good exhaust system improve my Nissan 350Z's fuel efficiency?

Yes, a good exhaust system can contribute to improved fuel efficiency in your Nissan 350Z. A high-quality exhaust system can help reduce engine load and improve gas outflow, allowing your VQ35 to operate more efficiently. This can lead to better fuel economy. However, it's worth noting that while the improvement may be noticeable, it likely won't be a drastic change.

How often should I replace the exhaust system on my Nissan 350Z?

The frequency of exhaust system replacement will depend on several factors, such as the quality of the system, the driving conditions, and how well the system is maintained. That being said, a good-quality exhaust system should last for several years. As a rule of thumb, consider inspecting your exhaust system at least once a year to keep an eye on potential wear and tear.

Can I install a new exhaust system on my Nissan 350Z myself?

Yes, it's possible to install a new exhaust system on your Nissan 350Z by yourself, especially if you have some mechanical know-how and the right tools. Many exhaust systems come with detailed installation instructions. However, if you're not comfortable with such a task, or if the system is complex (like a catback exhaust system), it might be better to have it professionally installed to ensure it's done correctly and safely.

What are the signs of a failing exhaust in a Nissan 350Z?

There are several signs that your exhaust may be failing. These include a noticeable decrease in performance and fuel efficiency, a louder-than-normal exhaust noise, and the smell of exhaust fumes inside your car. Other signs can include rattling noises from the exhaust area and rust or corrosion on the exhaust system. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's crucial to have your 350Z checked by a professional to diagnose the issue correctly and avoid potential damage to your engine.

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