The Guide to the Ultimate Nissan 350Z Turbo Upgrade

The Guide to the Ultimate Nissan 350Z Turbo Upgrade. The Nissan 350z is a fantastic driver that many automobile aficionados still admire today. It’s powered by the 3.5L VQDE35 until 2006, and the VQ35HR after that. The 350z already delivers respectable performance with 287+ horsepower from the factory. Those wishing to take their 350Z to the next level, on the other hand, should consider a turbo kit. In this tutorial, we cover all there is to know about boosting the Nissan 350z and propose a few of the top turbo kits on the market.

The Guide to the Ultimate Nissan 350Z Turbo Upgrade

What kind of power can the VQ35DE handle?

Of course, the safe limits of the 350Z’s VQ35DE engine are a vital consideration before going turbo. It’s never easy to talk about an engine’s safe limits. If only it were as simple as saying, “the 350z will last for a long time at 400whp, but it will blow up immediately at 425whp.” There is no such thing as a flawless response.

The VQ35DE, on the other hand, is a powerful engine. It’s normally good for 400-425whp without sacrificing longevity. A bit more power is feasible with proper tuning, supporting mods, and feeding. Nonetheless, the more power you throw at the 350z with a turbo kit, the greater the risk.

*The newer VQ35HR engines in the 350Z are a little stronger, but the restrictions remain about the same. It’s usually excellent for an additional 25-50whp.

Ensure a Secure Turbo 350Z

There are a few ways to assure a safe, reliable setup if you plan on pushing the limits of the 350z with a turbo kit. A few examples are:

  • Turbo Configuration
  • Tuning
  • Modification Support
  • Fueling
  • Interior Improvements

There are numerous sub-topics to discuss inside each of these themes, so we’ll divide this into sections below. All of this is necessary regardless of your unique objectives. With a good setup, your 350z VQ35DE should be OK around 400-450whp. The VQ35HR should be capable of 450-500whp. Those who want to take things a step further might explore some internal improvements.

So, let’s get started and talk about the things listed above. Then, at the end, we’ll look at some of the top 350z turbo kits.

1) Nissan 350Z Turbo Configuration

Again, this is more about the VQ35DE and VQ35HR engines themselves. We’ll go through particular turbo setups later. Various 350z turbo kits will result in varying engine safe limits. We’ll try not to get too technical here, but this is a good starting point for selecting a turbo kit.

What are your power objectives? If you’re simply looking for 400whp, it won’t take much turbo to get there. They are typically smaller twin turbo kits with little latency and a lot of low-end torque. Isn’t that fantastic? Smaller turbos, on the other hand, have some drawbacks.

The BMW N54 engine is well-known to us, and it is a brilliant example. 550whp on a small stock frame twin turbo starts to strain the engine’s safe boundaries. Large single or twin turbos, on the other hand, are often good for 650-700whp on the standard motor. There are numerous causes for this, and we’ll discuss a few of them briefly.

Back-Pressure 350Z

Back-pressure will be higher with a smaller turbo(s). This happens when the turbo is simply too small to propel significant amounts of air. The back-pressure is bad for any engine, including the VQ35DE and VQ35HR. Excessive back-pressure raises engine temperatures and reduces exhaust scavenging.

This could be its own section, since PSI/boost isn’t everything. The volume of air (CFM) is another crucial metric. Due to their higher CFM, larger 350z turbos can provide more power at lower Pressure.

Nissan 350z Power Distribution

This is significant. Thus far, we’ve only mentioned the Nissan 350z engine’s horsepower limits. Yet, because torque is the actual measure of force, it is the preferable number to go by. Horsepower is simply the number of times you can generate that force in a given amount of time (RPM). The following equation demonstrates this point.

Torque x RPM / 5252 = HP

Bigger turbo kits will pump more air, allowing the engine to maintain torque further up the curve. As a result, you’re producing more horsepower for the same peak torque since torque is peaking further right on the curve.

Selecting the Correct 350z Turbo Size (s)

That is the trade-off. Larger turbo kits cause greater latency, but they are also safer and simpler on the VQ35 engines. If your aims are well within the engine’s safe limitations, smaller turbos are probably the way to go. You’ll benefit from faster spooling and a lower boost threshold.

If you want to make 450-500whp on a factory 350Z engine, you need look into turbos with higher power. There will be larger turbo kits with higher lag, but they will aid in engine safety while pushing the limits.

Anybody with larger ambitions should just select the proper 350z turbo kit and opt for a constructed motor.

2) Tuning for Nissan 350z

So, we’ll move through this tuning portion a little faster. The precise tuning for the 350Z will be determined by your individual turbo configuration, supporting mods, fueling, and so on. As a result, we’ll concentrate on some broad principles in this part.

The most critical aspect of having a safe setup is debatably tuning. When you’re ready to move on to the tuning phase, keep the following points in mind:

  • Work with a reputable, high-quality tuner.
  • Maintain a conservative stance.
  • Often log data

We could go on and on, but these are some of the fundamentals. Tuning is best left to the professionals unless you’re really knowledgeable. Locate a bespoke tuner who is well-versed in the VQ35DE engine. Understanding your own objectives is also essential. Your tuner should be able to tell you if it’s a good goal or too aggressive.

Even after the tune is perfected, it’s critical to grasp basic data-logging parameters. We recommend logging data as frequently as feasible, or at least every couple of weeks. You want to know whether your 350z is leaning out, knocking, or anything else.

3) 350z Turbo Supporting Mods

Another lengthy discussion is supporting mods for 350z turbo improvements. A few modifications are required, such as fueling enhancements. There are also other supporting mods that aren’t always required. However, for safe, dependable, and consistent performance, you should consider some more 350z mods. Here’s a quick rundown of some helpful mods:

  • Basic add-ons
  • Fuel enhancements (pump, injectors, etc)
  • Modifications for cooling
  • Brakes, suspension, wheels/tires, and clutch are all important components.

Again, the list of 350z mods that support turbo upgrades may be much longer. These are things to think about if you desire between 350 and 500whp. If you want to achieve 500whp or more, the list expands and grows.

Basic Bolt-On Modifications

Most turbo kits will include some of these basic bolt-on turbo engine upgrades. Most, if not all, 350z turbo kits should include an intercooler and downpipes.

Other from that, you’ll probably require an intake upgrade, which some turbo packages include. Another straightforward bolt-on mod to consider is a full exhaust system from the downpipe back.

Fueling Improvements for the Nissan 350z

Fueling changes are included in certain complete Nissan VQ35DE and VQ35HR turbo kits. If not, you’ll need injectors and a fuel pump update at the very least. Fuel lines and other minor modifications are possible but not always necessary.

It’s worth noting that we’ll have in-depth guides for all of these mods available in the near future. There’s a lot to cover in this post, so we’ll stick to the fundamentals. Do some study on injectors and fuel pumps to ensure they can handle your requirements.

It is also crucial to consider whether you intend to use E85. This will be covered in the following section.

Related : The 3 Most Common Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.0 Engine Problems

350Z Cooling Modifications

With the increased boost and power, the 350z engine and transmission temperatures will rise. With modest ambitions, you can probably get away with only a few cooling mods at first. If you follow this method, keep a watch on the temperatures to determine if anything has to be changed.

Those with higher power objectives will require some cooling modifications. A excellent place to start is with the radiator, engine oil coolers, and transmission coolers. You also want a 350z turbo package that includes a high-quality intercooler. If your IATs are high, this is another good update.

Miscellaneous Turbo 350z Modifications

Some good turbo Z changes include brakes, suspension, wheels and tires, and clutch enhancements. Again, how far you go on this is going to be determined by your power objectives. You might not need any of these tweaks if you have a simple setup and driver.

But, most folks will most likely install a 350z turbo kit to appreciate the power. Suspension and tires will aid in transferring power to the ground. Brake enhancements will, of course, ensure that you have a secure stopping system. Clutch upgrades are vital, and the clutch that is best for you will most likely rely on your preferences and power/torque goals.

4) Fueling VQ35DE / HR

Please accept my apologies for some of the lengthy topics. When it comes to VQ35 turbo upgrades, there is simply too much to cover. Nevertheless, we’ll get to the point quickly, but fueling choice is critical.

Ethanol, often known as E85, is the ideal fuel for almost every forced induction engine. It is less efficient than pump or racing gas and places a 30% higher demand on the fuel system. Nonetheless, E85 contributes to the safety of a stock 350z engine. Some of the advantages of E85 include:

  • Resistance to knocks
  • Cooler temperatures
  • High octane fuel

E85 has a stoichiometric value of 9.75. That means you need one component fuel for every 9.75 parts air. In comparison, gasoline has a rating of 14.7. It’s ultimately less fuel efficient, but the extra fuel helps absorb heat and lower temperatures. E85 also significantly minimizes the likelihood of pre-detonation, a major cause of blown motors. Finally, the octane rating of E85 is 108. To summarize, E85 provides numerous power improvements while also improving engine health and safety.

Methanol Injection or Racing Gas

If you don’t have access to E85, race gas and methanol injection are both viable choices for the 350z. Both of them provide similar benefits to E85, albeit to a lesser extent. Still, these are all excellent gasoline choices when compared to conventional 91 or 93 octane.

Internal Nissan 350Z Improvements

Internal improvements are required for individuals who are serious about taking the 350z to the next level. If you want a safe, dependable system, you can consider considering 400whp improvements. But, it is expensive, which is why most people don’t take this path unless they are above their safe limits. Internal 350z upgrades include:

  • Pistons
  • Bearings for rods
  • Cams
  • Head that has been ported

Your particular build will be determined by your goals and intended use for the Nissan 350Z. We’ll leave it at that for the time being because anyone taking this way should undertake significant research.

Best Turbo Kits for the 350Z VQ35

Alright. Finally, we get at the most fascinating portion. After you’ve chosen your budget and objectives, it’s time to select a turbo kit. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and best is a subjective term. There are numerous excellent turbo kits available for the Nissan 350Z, and we just do not have the time to review them all. As a result, we’ve selected a few kits that we believe offer an excellent blend of pricing, quality, and performance.

1) AAM Competition 350Z Dual Turbo Kit (700+ horsepower)

Price: $9,995.00

VQ35DE and VQ35HR applications

This dual turbo kit is available from AAM Competition for both the VQ35DE and VQ35HR engines. Some people may be put off by the price right away. Yet, this is a fantastic-looking entire kit from head to toe. It even includes modifications to the fuel pump and injectors, as well as engine management.

For quick spool and reaction, they use high-quality BorgWarner ball bearing turbos. With a built motor and all the necessary supporting upgrades, this kit is capable of producing 700+whp. Yet, even for those aiming to create only moderate power, it’s an excellent setup. Yet, this AAM 350z turbo kit may be too expensive and overkill for those searching for 350-450whp.

2) JWT Nissan 350Z TT Kit (350-450+whp)

Price: ~$7,500

VQ35DE is the single application.

Jim Wolf Technologies’ (JWT) twin turbo kit is a tried-and-true solution. The kit was developed in collaboration with Garrett and includes GT25, GT28, or GT30 twin turbos. Unlike the AAM kit, the JWT package does not feature any fueling or engine management changes.

JWT twin turbos are an excellent choice for small installations. It was created with the factory 350z engine in mind, therefore the sweet spot for this turbo kit is 350-450whp. But, with the right accompanying mods, you should be able to get even more performance out of these turbos. This 350z turbo kit has been available for some time, and we believe it is one of the better possibilities.

3) Turbonetics 350z Single Turbo Upgrade

Price: $3,500

VQ35DE is the single application.

These kits are a little more difficult to find and aren’t particularly well-known for their quality. We’ve heard about problems with turbos, turbo seals, damaged pipes, clamping troubles, and so on. Nonetheless, if you don’t mind a few headaches, this package can be worth the money.

It’s a bit of a gamble because most turbo kits cost $6,000 to $10,000 or more. We have no personal experience with Turbonetics or this exact kit, therefore we cannot comment on quality. Even if it isn’t particularly reliable, the Turbonetics 350z single turbo kit’s low price may persuade some to take a chance.

Synopsis of the 350Z Turbo Upgrade

The 350z is a fantastic car that had excellent performance for its day. Yet, its stock output isn’t particularly spectacular in the present era. Thankfully, the VQ35DE and VQ35HR engines can produce some extra power, which can be easily unleashed with a turbo kit. 350z engines typically produce 400whp or 450whp for later HR engines.

Nonetheless, it is critical to recognize that even with moderate power increases, there is still risk. A solid 350z turbo setup can help lessen the risk, but it cannot remove it. Make sure you get a good tune with the right mods and fueling. Those willing to test the limits should select a constructed motor from the start.

Once you’ve determined your goals and budget, it’s time to select the best turbo configuration for you. There are numerous possibilities, however as the 350z ages, some turbo kits become increasingly scarce. AAM provides a fantastic complete turbo kit for all 350z years, including the VQ35DE and VQ35HR engines. JWT also has a well-proven and capable VQ35DE kit. Those seeking for a low-cost solution might consider the Turbonetics single turbo kit.