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Tech Tips: Nissan 370Z


Jason Vogel
AAM Competition
9015 Junction Drive
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
aamcompetition.com
(301) 497-9212

One thing Nismo-model 370Z owners should look for when first receiving their cars is shipping spacers in the springs. These spacers are used to raise the car and make loading and unloading easier. Sometimes they’re overlooked and not removed before delivery, resulting in a harsh ride and a disappointed driver.

The steering lock mechanism on 2009 and early 2010 models are susceptible to failure, leaving the car inoperable until repaired. This can be a costly repair at the dealership. Luckily, there are a few DIY repair threads on the 370Z online forums.

The stock clutch slave cylinders have been known to fail at times, especially with an upgraded clutch. We generally recommended installing a slave cylinder elimination kit.

The 370Z is a great base for modifications. It’s very receptive to upgrades, and the stock block generally holds a lot of power with forced induction.

The exhaust is usually the first part to be upgraded. The stock exhaust systems on the base and Sport Package cars are restrictive and leave a bit of room for improvement. An intense upgrade would be the Amuse Full Titanium Exhaust. If you want something a little more price friendly, we suggest our AAM Competition 3-Inch True Dual setup.

If you really want to make a difference in your 370Z, a twin-turbo setup is one of our biggest sellers. The 370Z has a very strong bottom end. We manufacture a twin-turbo kit for the car and have been able to make over 500 wheel horsepower with no internal upgrades. The stock 3.7-liter V6 has been known to take a good amount of power and holds up to the abuse.

We also have a lot of customers looking for suspension upgrades. We offer a wide range of options depending on your desired performance level and price. If you’re looking for a good entry-level setup, we suggest a set of Fortune Auto coil-overs. However, if you really want to squeeze the last bit of performance out of your suspension setup, the KW Variant 3 kit may be the best option.


Kyle Millen
Stillen
3176 Airway Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
stillen.com
(714) 540-5566

The 370Z is a great car from the factory. Nissan did an excellent job building on the original Z33 chassis and really improved the performance, handling and overall build quality of the Z34.

That being said, some areas of the car that need additional improvements. One of the biggest complaints concerns the engine oil temperature. These cars simply need an oil cooler, especially if being driven on track. Fortunately, it’s a pretty easy fix, and we offer four different coolers for all different kinds of driving.

If you want to adjust the car’s ride height, the factory suspension is very limited in how much adjustment can be made in order to correct the alignment. Again, this is a fairly simple fix, and we have different suspension components that allow for plenty of adjustment for any desired ride height.

If you’re thinking about taking your 370Z on the track, there are a few improvements that should be made first. Like I mentioned earlier, an oil cooler is a must. No questions about it. Second, the brake cooling. If the brakes become overheated, the car experiences an “ice mode” where it literally feels like you’re driving on ice. You have to be pushing hard to overheat the brakes, but of course this can vary based on many different factors, including track configuration, ambient temperatures, driving ability, etc. Again, it’s a fairly easy fix, and Stillen offers a bolt-in brake-cooling kit that doesn’t require any cutting or drilling to install.

Finally, the only other thing I would recommend looking at before hitting the track would be the differential. The stock units in these cars could do with an upgrade. If you’re capable of pushing a car hard and plan on running for extended periods of track time, a differential replacement is recommended. There are a lot of different options available, so it’s a pretty easy upgrade.

One of the upsides of a 370Z is that it doesn’t really require any special maintenance above and beyond normal practices. Routine fluid changes and inspection of wear-and-tear items are all that’s really necessary to keep having fun with these cars.

These cars respond very well to a well-engineered cat-back exhaust and cold air intake combination. We have seen increases of more than 30-plus horsepower with just these two parts.

Adjustable anti-roll bars are also very popular on these cars, as they really allow you to dial in the suspension and improve the handling tremendously. Brakes are a good consideration as well, whether you use an AP Racing big-brake kit or just replacement hook slot rotors and metal matrix pads.

The 370Z is a great car to own and drive. Nissan really did a good job of learning from the 350Z and working out any major issues before the 370Z. We haven’t seen anything that jumps out just yet as a “regular problem” to be aware of. If you’re in the market for one of these cars, just make sure you get a good prepurchase inspection performed and look under the car thoroughly. Keep in mind: This is a low-slung sports car, and you never know what might have traveled underneath while someone else was at the wheel.

Parts and Service

AAM Competition
aamcompetition.com
(301) 497-9212

Motorsport Auto
370zsource.com
(714) 639-2620

Stillen
stillen.com
(714) 540-5566

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Comments

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bmw88rider
bmw88rider HalfDork
3/30/15 10:13 a.m.

Interesting point on the Oil Cooler. How does the G37 fit in with that? Is it a 3.7 VQ issue or a 370Z specific issue?

I just picked up a G37 sedan for my DD that I don't think I'll track too much but Texas heat is bad and any extra protection for the motor is never a bad thing..

racerdave600
racerdave600 SuperDork
3/30/15 11:14 a.m.

I recently sold mine, and to say they don't have common problems is not correct. Granted they aren't huge, but if you are going to buy one, you need to check them. First is the diff bushings. If they haven't been replaced, they will need it. Mine did at little over 30k miles, and it was never autocrossed, tracked, or even driven hard. There had been talke about a class action lawsuit against Nissan for this. The standard Nissan fix is to replace the rear subframe. Aftermarket is not that sever however with Whiteline seemingly to be the bushing of choice. Along this line, my rear subframe had to be dropped and re-torqued, as at 32k it had somehow "worked loose", with much "rear-steer" ensuing.

Mine also had the clutch slave failing, and of course the flywheel rattled like they all do.

The biggest failure was the body control module. It stranded the car is a semi-start mode. Reprograming seemed to work, but who knows if the problem will come back. I also replaced two of the key fobs in 2 years, at over $200 apiece, and the front brake rotors warped at 15k miles under light driving.

Having said all of that, I loved mine and was sad when it drove off into the sunset. I will not miss the big bills it took to keep it however.

kanaric
kanaric Dork
3/30/15 2:20 p.m.
racerdave600 wrote: I recently sold mine, and to say they don't have common problems is not correct. Granted they aren't huge, but if you are going to buy one, you need to check them. First is the diff bushings. If they haven't been replaced, they will need it. Mine did at little over 30k miles, and it was never autocrossed, tracked, or even driven hard. There had been talke about a class action lawsuit against Nissan for this. The standard Nissan fix is to replace the rear subframe. Aftermarket is not that sever however with Whiteline seemingly to be the bushing of choice. Along this line, my rear subframe had to be dropped and re-torqued, as at 32k it had somehow "worked loose", with much "rear-steer" ensuing. Mine also had the clutch slave failing, and of course the flywheel rattled like they all do. The biggest failure was the body control module. It stranded the car is a semi-start mode. Reprograming seemed to work, but who knows if the problem will come back. I also replaced two of the key fobs in 2 years, at over $200 apiece, and the front brake rotors warped at 15k miles under light driving. Having said all of that, I loved mine and was sad when it drove off into the sunset. I will not miss the big bills it took to keep it however.

I had all kinds of issues with my 350Z as well. The claim that they are reliable cars is not well founded lol.

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