Smooth Shifts - The Ultimate Guide to the Best Nissan 350Z Clutches

Hey there, Nissan 350Z fans!

There's nothing quite like the sound of our VQ35 engines, is there? But guess what could make your 350Z even more fun to drive? A high-quality clutch. That's right, upgrading your clutch can totally change the way your Nissan 350Z performs, helping you get the most out of your car.

Now, finding the best Nissan 350Z clutch can be overwhelming, but don't sweat it, we've got you covered!

In this Nissan 350Z guide, we will show you some of the best 350Z clutches available today and what you should plan on buying.

Whether you just daily drive your Z, drift it every weekend or are building a high horsepower showcar, this guide was written to help you find the new clutch for your Z33 that you’ve been searching for.

Now let's get started!

What is a Clutch and Why Does it Matter?

ACT Street Performance Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z

In simple terms, a clutch is what connects your engine to the wheels. It allows you to smoothly engage a spinning engine to a non-spinning transmission by controlling the slippage between them. 

Your Nissan 350Z is a powerful machine, and a good clutch ensures you're able to control that power efficiently.

Choosing the Right Clutch for Your Nissan 350Z

Before we dive into our top picks, let's consider the factors you should look at when buying a clutch. Think about your type of usage: is your 350Z a daily driver, or do you take it to the track? How much horsepower does your VQ35 make? Do you have a full bolt-on build or did you add some boost to the mix with a supercharger or turbo kit?

The material and durability of the clutch should also factor into your decision, as well as the balance between price and performance.

Each of these variables factor into choosing the right clutch for your Nissan 350Z, as specific clutches are able to hold more torque depending on their construction.

Now with that being said, let's dive into the good stuff!

The Best Nissan 350Z Clutches For The Street

Modified Blue Nissan 350Z and Grey Mitsubishi Eclipse Driving
"tandem 1" by Anthony dela Merced is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

These clutches are perfect for daily driving, offering a balance between durability and performance. Most of the clutches featured in this section can hold up to about 350-500 ft lbs of torque without breaking a sweat.

If you need more holding power than that or drive you Z hard at the track you can skip this section and take a look at the high performance race clutches we reviewed.

Clutch Masters FX100 Clutch Kit

Clutch Masters FX100 Clutch Kit
Clutch Masters FX100 Clutch Kit

Diving into the world of Nissan 350Z clutch upgrades, the Clutch Masters FX100 Clutch Kit is a great place to start. Crafted with high-quality materials, this clutch kit doesn't flinch when exposed to high heat, promising durability as you rack up the miles. With an improved holding capacity of 70% over a stock clutch, this system leverages a Power Plus I Heavy-Duty Pressure Plate paired with a steel-backed organic friction material disc. 

This clutch isn't just for any Nissan 350Z - it's made for owners who have upgraded their Z with minor bolt-ons like an upgraded exhaust or intake system, or 50 hp shot of NO2. This clutch isn't about radically changing your driving experience but refining it. Expect only a slight increase in pedal pressure over the factory setup, a longer service life, and a familiar, smooth feel during engagement and disengagement. Essentially, it's your Nissan 350Z, but better when you replace your clutch setup with the Clutch Masters FX100 clutch kit.

SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch Kit

SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch Kit

The SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch Kit, created for the Nissan 350Z/G35 platform, stands as one of the leading high-quality performance clutch kits in the market. SPEC has crafted this clutch kit with Nissan 350Z owners looking for performance in mind, be it a bone stock daily driver or a fully modified track monster. Its distinct design incorporates kevlar friction material with bonded iron backing, making it strong enough to withstand considerable abuse, yet still comfortable enough for regular street use.

The key aspect of the SPEC Stage 2+ is its multi-friction disc in a full-faced configuration, employing carbon semi-metallic on one side and kevlar on the other. This setup offers the drivability and engagement quality of the SPEC Stage 2 clutch, yet offers a 15-20% higher torque capacity, of up to 440ft/lbs. It features a double-sprung hub with spring cover relieves for added flexibility, along with heat-treated components for improved strength and longevity. Consequently, the SPEC Stage 2+ comes highly recommended for heavily modified, daily-driven Nissan 350Zs that occasionally visit the race track for a day of drifting or hot lapping.

McLeod Tuner Series Street Tuner Clutch

McLeod Tuner Series Street Tuner Clutch

When it comes to a lightly modified Nissan 350Z, the McLeod Tuner Series Street Tuner Clutch proves to be an excellent fit. Designed to offer torque load capacity coupled with seamless drivability, it's particularly beneficial for Nissan 350Z owners wanting to retain an OEM-like pedal feel. The McLeod Street Tuner Clutch is an incredibly driver-friendly clutch makes it a top choice for daily use. 

The McLeod Street Tuner Clutch is designed to hold up to 25 percent more torque, marking them perfect for any street-tuned Nissan 350Z with mild bolt-ons. Each clutch kit includes a high-quality pressure plate matched for your 350Z, an advanced steel-backed disc for smooth and even engagement, a throwout bearing where necessary, and a pilot tool. In essence, choosing a McLeod Street Tuner clutch kit means equipping your Nissan 350Z with a solution that allows for easy shifting and improved performance.

Action Clutch Stage 2 Clutch Kit

Action Clutch Stage 2 Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
Action Clutch Stage 2 Clutch Kit

The Action Clutch Stage 2 Kevlar Clutch Kit is a formidable contender when it comes to the best Nissan 350Z street clutch available today. This clutch isn't just built to handle high temperatures and friction, it's designed to excel under those conditions, making it an excellent choice for Nissan 350Z drivers who enjoy pushing their vehicle to its limits. The Action Clutch Stage 2 Clutch features a Steel Back Kevlar construction that offers a substantial 70% increase in holding capacity. 

Despite this, the pedal feel remains relatively light and the engagement remarkably smooth, making it perfect for aggressive street driving and occasional track use. Action Clutch engineered this clutch specifically for naturally aspirated Nissan 350Z with bolt-ons, ensuring reliable clutch engagement for years to come. For Action Clutch, It's not just about increasing torque capacity with their Stage 2 Action Clutch, it's about providing the most comfortable, reliable driving experience on the street that you can enjoy day in and day out.

Exedy Stage 2 Cerametallic Clutch

Exedy Stage 2 Cerametallic Clutch Nissan 350Z
Exedy Stage 2 Cerametallic Clutch

The Exedy Stage 2 Clutch for the Nissan 350Z is a favorite among Z33 drivers, incorporating an aggressive clutch face with cerametallic friction material. Designed to keep up with modified VQ35 engines, this clutch doesn't mess around. Yet, it isn't all about overall torque capacity – this clutch also provides smooth drivability that you're sure to appreciate. 

What sets Exedy Stage 2 Clutch apart is its ability to take a beating beyond what stock clutch discs can handle, all while avoiding slippage and overheating. This impressive performance is largely down to the unique cerametallic friction material used by Exedy during the manufacturing process. The Exedy Stage 2 clutch is also designed with sprung center dampers to soften the impact and shock loads transmitted through the drivetrain, ensuring a comfortable and crisp clutch engagement every time. And let's not forget its impressive capacity for power handling – this bad boy can hold up to 355 ft-lbs of torque, making sure your Nissan 350Z can put all its power to good use.

ACT Street Performance Clutch Kit 

ACT Street Performance Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
ACT Street Performance Clutch Kit 

If you're looking for the perfect balance between daily driving and the occasional track day, the ACT Street Performance Clutch Kit is a perfect fit for your Nissan 350Z. It offers a blend of impressive performance and drivability, thanks to features like its high torque capacity and long service life. The standout component is ACT's Heavy Duty pressure plate, which is a crowd favorite for its ability to increase the clutch's gripping power and reduce any unnecessary movement, improving the clutch's lifespan in the process.

When it comes to the ACT Street Performance Clutch Kit, they're made with high-quality organic materials, using copper material for excellent heat management. On top of that, the ACT Street Performance Clutch is steel-backed for better strength and the ability to handle high-pressure loads without breaking. The clutch disc is designed for quick shifting and is the perfect way to complement other modifications like an exhaust, intake, or set of aftermarket headers. With the ACT Street Performance Clutch Kit you're not just changing out your clutch, you're upgrading your Nissan 350Z's overall performance!

Competition Clutch Stage 2 Clutch Kit

Competition Clutch Stage 2 Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
Competition Clutch Stage 2 Clutch Kit

If you're searching for a Nissan 350Z clutch that easily balances handling an increase in power while maintaining a smooth engagement for street driving, the Competition Clutch Stage 2 Street Series clutch kit is an excellent choice. Designed with Nissan 350Z enthusiasts in mind, the Competition Stage 2 clutch can comfortably manage an 80% increase in torque capacity. This makes it suitable not only for spirited street driving but also for moderate track use. 

The secret to its superior performance lies in its construction. This clutch kit utilizes Carbon Kevlar material with an alloy backing, working in harmony with a performance pressure plate. The result? An impressively smooth engagement and extended service life.So if you're looking for a high-quality clutch for your modified Nissan 350Z, the Competition Stage 2 clutch just maybe the perfect clutch you’ve been searching for!

South Bend Clutch Stage 3 Daily Clutch Kit 

South Bend Clutch Stage 3 Daily Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
South Bend Clutch Stage 3 Daily Clutch Kit 

For Nissan 350Z owners who need a clutch capable of enduring aggressive driving and lots of power, the South Bend Clutch Stage 3 Daily Clutch Kit is for you. Purpose-built to deliver outstanding durability and performance for everyday driving, Sound Bend Clutch made this clutch for high horsepower Nissan 350Z owners needing a clutch pedal feel akin to the stock experience. The result? A clutch that only needs 20%-25% more pedal effort making it comfortable enough to daily drive with. 

The South Bend Clutch Stage 3 Daily Clutch Kit uses an organic friction material made with a significant metal content to improve torque capacity while maintaining low operating temperatures during aggressive driving, effectively reducing wear and glazing. The kit is ideal for daily driving and the occasional track day without issue. With a torque capacity rating of 530 Ft-Lb, the South Bend Clutch Stage 3 Clutch is for Nissan 350Z enthusiasts who value durability, and performance, and don’t mind a slightly stiffer pedal feel

The Best Nissan 350Z Race-Spec Clutches

Black Nissan 350Z Drifting
"leaving work on a Friday" by MIDWST.BLUR is licensed under CC BY 2.0

If you're looking for a clutch that can hold up to consistent abuse at the race track or your high horsepower twin-turbo Nissan 350Z, then we’ve got you covered. In this section of our Nissan 350Z clutch guide, we’re going to be covering Race-Spec clutches that are able to hold at least 500 ft-lbs of torque. These clutches are built to withstand the stresses of your average track day or race weekend with ease. 

If you're looking for something more in-line with a lightly modified daily drive 350Z check out our best Nissan 350Z street clutches in the last section above!

Competition Clutch Stage 4 Ceramic Clutch Kit 

Competition Clutch Stage 4 Ceramic Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
Competition Clutch Stage 4 Ceramic Clutch Kit 

Crafted with the racetrack in mind, the Competition Clutch Stage 4 Ceramic Clutch Kit for your Nissan 350Z is ready to handle a whopping 250% increase in torque over stock. That's right, it's ideal for Nissan 350Z owners who have made significant modifications and need a clutch strong enough to manage the significant increase in power. 

But that's not all - the Competition Clutch Stage 4 clutch is built with a double spring, a six-rivet carriage that's designed for seamless gear changes even in high horsepower applications. The 6-puck ceramic clutch disc, coupled with a heavy-duty pressure plate, gives your Nissan 350Z’s transmission the ability to handle just about anything you throw at it. In essence, the Competition Clutch Stage 4 clutch offers the perfect blend of performance and driveability, making it an excellent choice for your highly modified Nissan 350Z.

ACT Xtreme Race Clutch Kit 

ACT Xtreme Race Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
ACT Xtreme Race Clutch Kit 

The ACT Xtreme Race Clutch Kit, designed specifically for high-powered Nissan 350Zs, promises an improved driving experience on both the race track and the street. Created with a focus on increased torque capacity and swift heat dissipation, the ACT Xtreme Race Clutch Kit ensures your Nissan 350Z’s transmission won’t be overworked during extended track sessions. This kit consists of a sprung 6-pad race clutch disc and ACT's popular Xtreme pressure plate. Together, the ACT Xtreme Race Clutch Kit offers moderate to heavy pedal effort, aggressive engagement, and an ability to handle torque up to an impressive 695 ft/lbs. 

The ACT Xtreme Race Clutch Kit is best suited for high horsepower street-driven or race-prepped Nissan 350Zs. The pressure plate features an exclusive diaphragm design, increasing clamp load, reducing deflection, and maximizing clutch life for your Nissan 350Z. The 6-pad spring-centered race disc also ensures faster shifting and properly dampens torsional vibrations, resisting failure under harsh conditions. If you're looking for the perfect clutch that you can use on both the street and the track for your 350Z race car then the ACT Xtreme Race Clutch Kit may be just what you're looking for!

South Bend Clutch Stage 4 Extreme Clutch Kit

South Bend Clutch Stage 4 Extreme Clutch Kit

Crafted specifically for the adrenaline-pumping demands of racing, the South Bend Clutch Stage 4 Extreme Clutch is one of the best race/high horsepower clutches for the Nissan 350Z available today. Not only does it have the torque capacity to manage high horsepower engines, but its design is engineered for clutch control during release and engagement. This isn't just any clutch, it's a "build to order" kit, aimed squarely at Nissan 350Z owners that are pushing big power numbers. The standard torque capacity is an incredible 800+ ft/lbs, with more torque capacity available with different setups should you need it.

The Race Engineered pressure plate is fine-tuned for the highest plate load possible. As for the clutch discs, they come in a puck design with both sprung and unsprung options for ultimate versatility. The South Bend Clutch Stage 4 Extreme Clutch kit offers friction material choices too, including robust Sintered Iron and advanced Graphite Impregnated Ceramic. Bear in mind, though, that the engagement characteristics can be abrupt - this clutch means serious business. South Bend Clutch also recommends you pair this clutch with a single mass steel flywheel that's SFI approved for safety in addition to upgrading the slave cylinder and other drivetrain components to ensure reliability. As you can see, this clutch is for those who don't just drive their Nissan 350Z, but command it.

Clutch Masters FX1000 Twin Disc Clutch Kit

Clutch Masters FX1000 Twin Disc Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
Clutch Masters FX1000 Twin Disc Clutch Kit

Designed to endure the rigors of the race track and easily take care of heavy street use, the Clutch Masters FX1000 Twin Disc Clutch is a great clutch setup for any high horsepower 350Z build. This race-bred clutch brings durability and remarkable performance to the forefront, ensuring your Z won’t skip a beat. Created with the rigors of the track and big horsepower builds in mind, the Clutch Masters FX1000 Twin Disc Clutch effortlessly manages anything you may throw at it.

Even under the most aggressive conditions—like hard launches, constant clutch kicking, or high RPM shifting—the clutch maintains exceptional performance. Moreover, the Clutch Masters FX1000 Twin Disc Clutch is designed for the discerning Nissan 350Z owner who doesn't just need a race-spec clutch but also desires an excellent pedal feel. The Clutch Masters FX1000 Twin Disc Clutch is the perfect addition to any high-powered Nissan 350Z, truly bringing out the best on the street or at the track.

SPEC Super Twin SS Clutch Kit

SPEC Super Twin SS Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
SPEC Super Twin SS Clutch Kit

Ideal for those Nissan 350Z owners whose driving style is a mixture of aggressive street driving and track day visits, the SPEC Super Twin SS Clutch Kit is built to handle extreme horsepower and torque, the range of 700-1500 ft-lbs of torque. The SPEC Super Twin SS Clutch Kit not only provides an increased clamping load for high-power applications but also ensures that drivability and pedal feel is as close to stock as possible. 

What sets the SPEC Super Twin SS Clutch Kit apart is its unparalleled service life and hassle-free installation with no need for shimming or setup - it's a straightforward bolt-in process. With its all-billet construction made of aircraft-grade aluminum and high carbon billet steel milled to an exceptional .001 inch, you can expect a high-quality twin-disc clutch setup. The clutch disc, which is dampened and full-faced, is made from carbon graphite, although other material options like organic fiber and full metallic discs are available. Plus, it's easily rebuildable, either by SPEC or yourself, which means it will be a long-term upgrade for your Nissan 350Z. Whether you're into street driving, drag racing, drifting, road racing, or time attack, the SPEC Super Twin SS Clutch Kit is a reliable partner for your high-horsepower Nissan 350Z.

Exedy Hyper Twin Cerametallic Clutch Kit

Exedy Hyper Twin Cerametallic Clutch Kit Nissan 350Z
Exedy Hyper Twin Cerametallic Clutch Kit

The Exedy Hyper Twin Cerametallic Clutch Kit, with its advanced cerametallic friction material and twin-plate design, is engineered specifically for high-power, high-torque applications. If you've heavily modified your Nissan 350Z and are pushing over 500 wheel horsepower, or you enjoy taking your car to the track, this clutch is precisely what you need. Exedy's cerametallic clutches are crafted to withstand the rigorous demands of high-powered modified engines and the Exedy Hyper Twin Cerametallic Clutch Kit is no exception. 

The cerametallic friction material offers an impressive torque capacity compared to stock clutch setups, without slipping and fading due to aggressive driving. Integrated spring center dampers work seamlessly to mitigate impact and shock loads, ensuring a smooth driving experience. And with a torque capacity of 615 ft/lbs, the Exedy Hyper Twin Cerametallic Clutch Kit isn't just robust - it's a track-proven choice for any 350Z owner with a need for a dead-reliable clutch that’s built to get the job done.

Understanding Clutches: The Essentials

We've gone over a lot of information when it comes to available clutches, but it's important to understand the basics of what a clutch does and how it works in your Nissan 350Z. As you know, a clutch is a drivetrain component that engages and disengages the transmission from the engine’s rotating assembly. When you change gears in your car, you're essentially disconnecting the clutch from the engine’s flywheel

But not all clutches are created equal. Some are designed for easy street driving, while others are built to withstand the rigors of the race track. Your choice of clutch will depend largely on how you plan to use your car.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Clutch for Nissan 350Z

When choosing a clutch, consider how you'll be using your 350Z. If you're mostly driving on streets and highways, a street clutch kit will serve you well. However, if you plan to hit the track, a race clutch is a better choice. Also, think about the material and durability of the clutch, and whether the cost matches its performance.

How To Install and Maintain Your Clutch

After finding the best Nissan 350Z clutch, you'll want to ensure it's installed correctly and maintained properly.

How To Install Your New Clutch

Installing a clutch on your 350Z isn't for an inexperienced DIYer, as it can be quite a complex job. If you're a seasoned DIY mechanic, you might feel comfortable tackling it. But if you're unsure, we'd recommend having a professional to do it. After all, you want to make the most of your new clutch's performance!

Essential Clutch Maintenance Tips

Maintenance is key to the longevity and performance of your clutch. Regularly check your clutch fluid and replace it as necessary, and listen out for any unusual noises when you change gears. A squeaky or grating sound could indicate a problem with your clutch as well as any clutch slip if you 

OverRev’s Nissan 350Z Clutch Guide

Black Nissan 350Z drifting on track
"Smoky" by MIDWST.BLUR is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Choosing the best Nissan 350Z clutch can really improve your driving experience. Whether you're looking for a street clutch that delivers reliability for daily use or a race clutch that can handle the intensity of the track, there's something out there for you. We've run you through our top picks, and hopefully, you've found something that suits your needs. Remember, it's all about finding the right balance between performance, durability, and cost.

Be sure to check out our other Nissan 350Z content. Whether you’re interested in buying a set of coilovers, finding a new exhaust, or may be interested in a set of intakes for your VQ35HR, we’ve got you covered! Thanks for reading and we hope this guide can serve you well!


Can I Install My Nissan 350Z Clutch Myself?

It depends on your skill level. If you're a seasoned mechanic, you should be able to handle it. However, if you're not experienced with car repairs, we recommend having a professional do it.

How Long Should a Nissan 350Z Clutch Last?

Typically, a clutch should last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. However, this can vary depending on your driving habits and the quality of the clutch.

What Are The Signs of a Failing Clutch?

Common signs include squeaking or grinding noises when you press the clutch, trouble changing gears, and a high release point on the clutch pedal.

Is It Better to Go for a Performance Clutch or Stick to an OEM?

Performance clutches are designed to handle more power and abuse than OEM clutches, making them a great choice for modified vehicles or for those who enjoy spirited driving.

What Impact Does Changing My Clutch Have on My Nissan 350Z’s Performance?

A new clutch can offer improved performance and a longer service life. It can also allow for smoother gear changes and better control of your vehicle's power.

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