The Top 6 Nissan Altima Additions & Modifications. Possibly not the quickest vehicles on the road are the Nissan Altima and Altima Coupe. They can make fantastic project vehicles, though, for upgrades and modifications. The 2.5 and 3.5 liter modded Nissan Altimas can deliver strong speed in a dependable and cost-effective package. That combination is advantageous for everyone, but it is particularly so for those who are new to the aftermarket mods scene. This piece discusses some of the top Nissan Altima modifications, their advantages, power increases, and more.
*The 2.5L QR25DE and 3.5L VQ35DE engine-equipped 2002–2018 Altimas are the main subject of this essay. Many of these modifications work well on both ancient and new models. The precise power increases, fitment, and other details, however, may differ significantly.
Altima engines for Nissan
The 2.5L I4 and 3.5L V6 were the Nissan Altima’s two main powertrain choices from 2002 to 2018. This time period includes the 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation Altima. Both of these engines have been in use for a long time and have undergone upgrades and modifications. It’s crucial to provide some prior information for each engine as a result. The Altima’s motor has a significant influence on the tuning and modification outcomes.
This is the standard engine for the 2.5 S versions of the Nissan Altima. It produces 175–180 lb–ft of torque and 170-179 horsepower. Certainly, the power is a little lacking, but the excellent fuel efficiency more than makes up for it. Furthermore, the overall reliability of the QR25DE engine is excellent. Early 02-06 engines can be a little more difficult to work with, but Nissan improved its engines significantly over time.
A few significant upgrades were made to 2007+ QR25DE Altima engines. For details about some of the changes, see the reliability link up top.
3.5L V6 VQ35DE
Do you know the Nissan 350Z or the Infiniti G35? If so, you probably already know about the VQ35DE motor. Many people adore those platforms because the engine is well known for being very mod-friendly. Additionally, for six years, this engine was included in Ward’s 10 Greatest Engines. Although it is frequently ignored, the Altima also makes use of this fantastic 3.5L V6 motor.
The 3.5 V6 is the obvious choice if you’re searching for the most capable modded Nissan Altima. It comes with 251 lb-ft of torque and up to 270 horsepower. That gives the larger inline-6 motor a disadvantage of almost 100 horsepower. In the Nissan Altima, VQ35DE motors are also more powerful mod for mod.
This 3.5L engine offers similar solid reliability as the QR25 engine.
Descriptions of Altima Motors
It’s wise to search for the 3.5L engine if you’re still considering buying an Altima and want power. A original VQ35 engine is probably still faster than a modified Altima 2.5 S. You would have probably paid more by the time you could get the smaller engine to produce the same amount of power or more.
The larger displacement of the 3.5L Atima also usually makes it more responsive to modifications. Of course, some people might already own a 2.5 and only need a little more capacity. It’s still a capable engine, but it will take a lot of upgrades and money to match the VQ35’s speed.
Greatest Performance Upgrades for Nissan Altima
The following improvements are some of the finest for the 2.5 QR25DE and 3.5 VQ35DE engines in the Altima:
- Booster Set
- April lowering
We will examine each of the aforementioned Altima modifications for power, performance, and handling in detail in this piece. This collection is by no means comprehensive. For the Nissan Altima, a ton of fantastic aftermarket components are available. However, we think that these 6 modifications are among the best ways to increase efficiency and power.
Please be aware that any power increases we mention are approximations. Actual outcomes can differ significantly based on a variety of variables. Some Altima modifications are only meant for off-road use and might not be allowed in all 50 states.
1) Adjustment for Nissan Altima
Tunes are frequently simple to buy and implement, and they can provide good power gains for the money. Unfortunately, the 2.5 and 3.5 liter Altima motors don’t work like that. For these engines, there aren’t really any ready-made tuning choices.
A tune won’t significantly increase efficiency or power with straightforward modifications like an intake and exhaust. You might gain 3 to 7 more horsepower. Even with these simple modifications, some people might see the benefit of modifying the Nissan Altima. However, we don’t definitely believe the expense or hassle are justified.
However, tuning becomes much more useful as more modifications, such as headers, throttle bodies, cams, etc., are added. In these circumstances, the tune alone may result in increases of around 10–20 horsepower. The takeaway is that while altima tunes can be a fantastic mod, it’s generally best to finish the other upgrades first.
Best Altima Tuning Choices
We’ll have a distinct manual for tuning the 2.5 and 3.5 Altima engines in the future. Depending on the year and model, there are a ton of various options, and we are unable to cover them all here.
Many Nissan Altimas frequently choose the UpRev customization option. These will be as near to the typical off-the-shelf tuning for the majority of models as possible. A shop that can implement the tune for about $300 might be found. Others might charge more or demand that UpRev provide the required connections. Another common tuning choice is Bully Dog.
You’ll then encounter real engine management tools. As they have some engine management systems for the VQ35 engine, Haltech is a suitable illustration. It will cost you at least $1,500, and that doesn’t even take installation fees or motor tuning into account. These systems are typically used by people who want to generate significant power, normally through forced induction.
Related : The Nissan VQ35HR vs. Nissan VQ37VHR
2) Improvements to the Altima 2.5 and 3.5 intake
Most vehicle enthusiasts regularly upgrade their intake systems. It’s challenging to locate a modified Altima (or virtually any other modified vehicle) without an intake upgrade. Why? These modifications are affordable, straightforward, and provide decent value.
The terms filters, cold air intakes, performance intakes, and intake devices may also be use to describe intakes. There is a difference when talking just intake filters, though. We’ll talk about that shortly. Let’s talk about the advantages of Nissan Altima speed intake modifications right now:
- Increases of 3–10 horsepower
- Similar increases in torque
- Improved accelerator sensitivity
- Enhanced noises
An altered Nissan Altima inlet can result in a 3–10 horsepower increase. Expect outcomes that are on the lower end without other mods. You’ll acquire similar amounts of torque as well. The overall power band is widened somewhat by the power/torque increases, which are spread across most of the rev range.
With Altima intake modifications, many report improved throttle feedback. Particularly if you choose an intake with straighter piping, this is accurate. The air passage into the engine may be slowed by the stock Nissan Altima intakes’ slight bending. It’s also a big factor in why the intake improvements deliver significant power increases. Although the sound won’t likely alter significantly, intakes can help perk things up a little.
Upgraded Air Filters Versus Intake Systems
An air filter that is simply made to fit the stock air-box is known as a drop-in filter. For the Nissan Altima, there are lots of choices available. Since it’s just a simple filter rather than an entire air-box, filter, and piping system, they’re much less expensive. The power increases from a filter upgrade alone, however, will be negligible to nonexistent.
Once more, the factory-installed intake plumbing on the Nissan Altima isn’t the best. Because of this, complete intake upgrades provide the power that they do. Basically, you’re looking for something with clean, smooth piping.
Top Altima Intake Mods
We prefer to stay with premium air filters made by businesses like K&N or S&B. Although there are other high-quality products available, inexpensive, inferior filters should be avoided. You want straight and smooth pipes to the throttle body when it comes to the complete system. The majority of intake kits will provide comparable power and efficiency aside from that.
You can choose a less expensive option, but we suggest investing in a better filtration. As you might anticipate for a $50 intake device, reviews are mixed. But if it works, it’s not a bad choice. Then, for around $20 to $40, you could easily locate a cone filter from S&B, for instance.
On the other hand, K&N sells some excellent alternatives as full Nissan Altima speed intake systems. Due to the brand name, they are slightly more expensive, but they are excellent kits.
- Altima 2.5 K&N Induction System, 2007–2013
- Altima 2.5 K&N Speed Intake for Years 2013–2018
- 3.5L K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for 2007–20123)
3) Nissan Altima Exhaust Modifications
An exhaust system comes next on the list of the best Altima modifications. The 2.5 and 3.5 exhaust don’t move very well, just like the intake. Bends are also a major factor. It prevents exhaust gas flow in a straight, effective route. There are many different Altima exhaust upgrade choices, more than we have time to discuss here.
Cat-backs, axle-backs, y-pipes, complete exhaust systems, and other options are available. The power increases will be greater the more exhaust you replace. Additionally, choosing catless systems will give you the greatest performance and value for your money. They are only meant to be used off-road, though. Benefits of 2.5L and 3.5L Nissan Altima exhaust improvements include:
- 10 to 20 horsepower
- Comparable power
- Engine and tailpipe noises
A 5whp gain may be an aggressive figure for simple modifications alone. However, with extra modifications like tuning, intake, headers, and more, a good free flowing exhaust can provide significant power gains.
In the end, an exhaust can be a fantastic modification for the Altima. Given that you can get greater power increases in relation to the price point, it wouldn’t really be at the top of our list. Many exhaust systems will cost between $500 and $1,000. For those who want music with a side of power, we believe exhaust upgrades are the best option. Money would be better spent on other mods if all you wanted was strength.
Combustion noise from an Altima: too loud? Far too racy?
Alright. Here, a brief portion is devoted to engine and exhaust noises. It’s virtually impossible to adequately describe sounds using words (often, videos fall short). Even so, some people may find some exhaust configurations to be too loud or raspy. This is a major factor in why we think Altima exhaust systems are the best for people seeking a distinctive or louder exhaust tone.
Headers, which we’ll talk about next, are the finest modification for increasing exhaust power. Headers are going to be your best choice if strength is what you’re after. Headers and a full exhaust can make things loud and cause more drone, so use caution when mixing the two.
4) Modded Altima Exhaust Headers
Do you want to modify your Nissan Altima for the lowest possible cost? If so, headings rank fairly high on the list. The exhaust pipe is another name for headers. Headers fasten to the cylinders’ exhaust ports immediately. Because of where it is in the Altima’s exhaust system, it is the most crucial component.
Reducing back-pressure is the goal of muffler modifications. The power gains are greater the closer you are to the engine because back pressure is lessened. Altima header modifications have several advantages.
- 8–15 horse power
- Equivalent power
- Less EGT is better for the motor.
It’s challenging to match these power increases when most headers cost between $100 and $300. However, compared to the majority of the other Nissan Altima modifications on this list, Homemade exhaust manifolds are more difficult.
Another advantage is that most headers don’t make unbearably loud noises if the remainder of the exhaust system is stock. Reducing back pressure is good for the engine as a whole and serves to reduce temperatures as well.
Headers with a high flow versus those without a cat
For both the Altima 2.5 and Altima 3.5 motors, a variety of aftermarket headers are offered. The following key differences:
- Long vs. small tubes (shorty)
- Catless versus High-Flow
The term “short-tube headers” actually refers to the exhaust pipe. The Y-pipe onto which the junction is bolted is part of long-tube headers (the y-pipe is only for 3.5L engines since there are two separate banks). If increasing power is your main objective, you should think about upgrading to a complete long-tube manifold. The benefits from the y-pipe, however, don’t compare favorably to those of the manifold alone. If you want the few additional horsepower, get the long-tube headers even if your Nissan Altima is modified with short-tube headers.
- VQ35 3.5 Long-tube Headers, 2002–2006
- Altima 2.5 Header Modifications for 2002–2006
- Additionally, there are some excellent alternatives for more recent Altima versions here.
5) Altima upgrades for the pulleys.
We’ll move through these upcoming parts a little more quickly. The pulley that the drive belt connects to weights about 4-5 lbs on the stock 2.5 and 3.5 Altima engines. This pulley could be replace with a lighter model to help decrease rotational mass. In essence, it makes driving the belt and pulley simpler for the engine.
Although Nissan Altima pulley modifications don’t produce much more power, they are still a relatively cheap improvement. With a new sprocket, anticipate the following horsepower and torque gains:
- 3- to 7-horsepower
- Force of 3–7
It may not be very alluring. On NA engines, however, horsepower increases aren’t always simple to find. For some well-liked alternatives for the QR25 Altima 2.5 motor, check out 2J-Racing. The 2.5 and 3.5 engine choices are also available from Stillen.
6) Turbo Module for Nissan Altima
We won’t go into great detail about turbo kits in this piece. To even begin to scratch the surface of this extensive subject would require a lengthy article. We’re primarily including a turbo kit here to talk about more significant engine modifications.
There aren’t many modding options for naturally aspirated (NA) engines like the 2.5L and 3.5L Altima motors. When NA mods are no longer sufficient, it’s time to think about more significant, pricey modifications like turbo or supercharger systems.
Additionally, while running boost, it increases the chance of engine damage and issues. Not for the weak of heart is the addition of forcible induction. On modest boost, the QR25 and VQ35 perform reasonably well. If you’re seeking to add more than 50whp, it’s a good choice.
When everything is said and done, you could easily spend $5,000 or more on motor modifications alone. After that, you should think about suspension, wheels and tires, and other modifications to manage the extra power. The benefits from turbo kits or other similar upgrades might be alluring, but costs can quickly get out of hand.
Upgraded Altima Engine Power Increases
How much power can you anticipate from combining specific Nissan Altima mods? How powerful can a completely customized Altima get? Since results can differ greatly from car to vehicle, there isn’t a perfect solution. Let’s move on to some basic statistics and the top Altima mods for achieving particular objectives.
Altima Modifications For Gains Of 10–20whp ($1,000)
The modifications listed below are an excellent place to start if you want to add 10–20 wheel horsepower for under $1,000:
These modifications are doable for at least $1,000. An Altima should gain at least 10whp with an inlet, pulley, and tuning. Gains could even be slightly greater, particularly for the 3.5L VQ35DE Altima engine. Here, you can also make substitutions for particular modifications, such as choosing a muffler over a tune-up.
Holding off on the melody is a good idea if you intend to install headers or perform other more significant modifications in the future. After headers, you’ll have to retune the vehicle to maximize output, which can add unnecessary cost. If you intend to stop after a few simple modifications, a tune is a smart choice here.
Upgrades For Increases Of 20–30whp ($1,500)
The following Nissan Altima modifications are recommended for those seeking more power:
The aforementioned improvements on modified Altimas should result in overall gains of about 20–30whp. The QR25 motor might have a little less power, or the Altima 3.5 V6 might have a little more power. In any case, the roster is essentially the same as the one above but with headers. The additional 10-15+whp can be picked up by these alone.
You are free to add or remove modifications from the list as you see appropriate because none of this is an exact science. When headers are fitted, a tune is unquestionably a good modification to have. Still seeking more strength? It’s time to include a few more modifications.
Profits of 30–40+ whp ($2,000+)
Without more costly modifications, we’re fairly close to the Altima 2.5 & 3.5 engines’ maximum allowable power gains. Without forced induction, the 2.5L QR engine may even fail to see these gains. With the bigger V6 Altima motor, it ought to be a little simpler. To achieve 30-40+whp gains, anticipate needing the following modifications:
- Engine chassis
- Cams (optional for more strength) (optional for more power)
- Mandatory enrollment (optional for more power)
Almost all of the fundamental bolt-on modifications for the Nissan Altima are covered by the first six modifications on this list. You could acquire close to 30 to 40 whp with all of these modifications. Again, the 2.5L inline-4 motor might find it challenging. It becomes more costly to travel much farther on either engine. More significant modifications like cams, turbo or supercharger systems, etc., will be on your radar.
The Top Nissan Altima Modifications
The Nissan Altima isn’t the first vehicle that most people think of when mods and upgrades are discussed. They can, however, be excellent, entertaining, and adaptable vehicles. Even the VQ35DE engine feature in Nissan 350Z models is used in the Altima 3.5. When it comes to performance ability, it is the best engine for the Altima from 2002 to 2018. But that doesn’t mean the 2.5 is a total dud.
Depending on how far you go, a few simple bolt-on Nissan Altima modifications can help release about 10–30whp. Intake, exhaust, headers, and belts are all excellent places to start.
Whatever the case, fundamental modifications to the Nissan Altima maintain its reliability. Pick the modifications that best fit your needs and price range.