The Ultimate Nissan 350Z Turbo Kit Guide [Best Guides]

WVDOT Automotive is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The 350Z is one of Nissan’s most popular options out there. The company already makes some great vehicles, but this one holds a special place in many people’s hearts.

Although the stock performance of the vehicle is more than enough for almost anyone, there are ways you can squeeze more power from the engine. This is possible, thanks to a turbo kit.

This article will be focusing on all of the things that should be known before getting that sweet turbo upgrade. You should read this article completely because the information is very important.

I will also be mentioning the top Nissan 350Z turbo kit that can be purchased right now.

Safe Limits

The first thing that we should talk about is the safe limits of the engine. If you cross these limits, you can expect sudden engine failure.

When you talk about the 350Z and HP upgrades, the sweet spot is the 430 HP mark. If you go any further than the 450 limits, there is a chance of the engine blowing up. And yes, I am talking about it blowing up literally.

If the recommended limits are crossed, the parts will start to fail almost immediately. That is why it is strongly recommended to settle for a number that is a bit lower than the limit.

And if you were wondering, the engine will not have any issues when outputting 430 HP, and there will be no decrease in the lifespan and anything else. So, it is completely safe to get the HP upgraded up till that point.

Choosing The Correct Nissan 350Z Turbo Kits

After getting the main concern out of the way, I will now be talking about some of the top Turbos you can buy right now for the amazing 350Z. You should read this section of the article in its entirety as the details are quite important.

All of the below products can and should be bought from the companies directly, and you can visit their websites or find a dealer to get these turbo kits.

Product 1: AAM Competition Twin Turbocharger System

Easily taking the first place is this twin turbocharger from a company called AAM. This company has been tried and tested, and they make some amazing products. Let’s dive into the details of this 350Z turbo kit.

The brand starts off the introduction with a bold statement that this is the most powerful OEM turbocharger that you can buy right now. Well, I have no objection because their product history is already quite impressive. The company guarantees that this turbo kit is made for use with stock vehicles.

You don’t have to worry about stuff like turbo lag after installing this. The lag is the main concern with almost all turbo kits. Well, you have nothing to worry about if you choose this twin turbocharger.

This turbo kit uses two turbochargers, which is evident by the name. Both of them have been rated to go up to 500 HP each. That is a total of 1000 HP and is overkill if you ask me.

Plus, the 350Z won’t handle HP that is more than 430, so you don’t have to think about reaching the stars. This turbocharger has been designed to output such a high HP; you can expect the temperature to add up quite quickly.

Many manufacturers don’t account for this, but the heat shields show signs of scorching when used extensively. Well, AAM is not one of them. The heat shields on this turbocharger are stainless. So, this will look in pristine condition, even after years of usage.

Perhaps the best thing about this turbocharger, aside from its amazing power capabilities, is the fact that it has an OEM installation method. This means that there will be no modifications required to set it up, making the installation procedure quick and simple.

The only drawback of this turbocharger is that it does not come equipped with a boost controller. These boost controllers allow you to set the power as you desire. It is something rarely seen shipped with turbo kits, but it would have been a sweet addition.

Pros:

  • OEM installation
  • Capable of producing a total of 1000 HP
  • Uses stainless heat shields
  • Guaranteed no turbo lag

Cons:

  • No electronic boost controller

Before I head on to the next products, let me give you a bit of a spoiler. This turbo kit is indeed the best one that money can buy for your 350Z. It does have a steep price, but the performance upgrade you get is worth it.

Click here to learn more.

Product 2: JWT Jim Wolf Technology Twin Turbo Kit

Jim Wolf Technology is the next brand to come on this article. The company has a fair share of solid reviews. Many of you may not know its existence because they exclusively make performance enhancement parts, like turbo kits, for vehicles.

Now, I must admit that the company’s website does not inspire confidence, but that is something you will forget about when you read about its offerings.

This second product is yet another twin-turbo kit. Many of you may find pleasing about this kit because it is considerably cheaper than the first one. This does not mean that you will be getting poor performance.

The company claims that this turbo kit has been designed to make sure that it meets OEM requirements. This means that they have accounted for everything, from the ease of installation to a lag-free boost.

Let’s talk about durability. Most of the time, vehicle part manufacturers avoid talking about the durability of the products coming from the factory. Well, JWT has a goal to set itself aside from such manufacturers.

There is a guarantee that the specially made castings, used over all junctions, will help the engine retain its efficiency while also eliminating boost lag. This turbo kit also uses isolated waste paths, one for each outlet.

This means that the emissions of the engine will be significantly reduced while also ensuring retained efficiency. The company claims that this turbo kit is made up of 300 parts. It takes a lot of skill to get each of them to the exact measurements.

Not only that, but you also have to account for leakage and hundreds of other inconsistencies. The company states that this turbo kit is the most reliable one on the market. I am not sure that I support that claim, but I believe that it comes pretty close to the top.

There is one thing that will deter many of you from buying this turbo kit, and that is the fact that it has been designed for off-road use only. The probable reason for this may be the sound output or the emissions, as they may get you in trouble if driven in the city.

Pros:

  • Meets OEM specifications
  • Special castings to retain efficiency
  • No boost lag
  • Uses isolated waste paths

Cons:

  • Designed for off-road use only

Although this turbo kit has been designed strictly for off-road use, those who have such usage will love it. The performance gain is something that you will surely appreciate.

Click here to learn more.

Product 3: Turbonetics 350Z Single Turbo Kit

Finally, arriving in the third and final place is this single turbo kit. Although this kit features a single turbocharger, the performance is still great. Don’t believe me?

Well, you can check out this kit’s features and decide for yourself. This final option is even cheaper than the competition. Its price is exactly 50% of the AAM one.

So, if you have a 350Z and want a performance upgrade without breaking the bank, the Turbonetics turbo kit is for you. There are some claims of the company that are doubtful. For example, it states that this single turbocharger can outperform twin ones, and I can assure you that this is not the case.

One thing that piqued my curiosity was the company’s use of a ceramic ball-bearing design. As ball bearings are designed to reduce or, in some cases, eliminate turbo lag, the use of ceramic ones could make a bigger difference.

The thing that attracted me the most about this turbo kit was that it allows you to keep your factory intake manifold. You don’t need to get a new one, which saves time and money.

This also makes the installation procedure much easier. The manufacturer guarantees that this kit can be installed without a mechanic, and you can perform the job yourself, eliminating the need to pay extra for turbo costs.

If you are worried about durability, I can assure you that the manufacturer is using top-of-the-line materials for manufacturing this turbo kit.

The pipes have been made from mandrel-bent stainless steel, and this includes the downpipe too. So, you don’t have to worry about there being any compromises in this department.

If you compare this turbocharger to the ones listed before, the only drawback you will find is that the above products have a twin-turbocharged design. Setting aside Turbonetics’ insane claim of its product being better than all others on the market, the performance increase will be lesser than the more expensive options.

Pros:

  • Allows you to retain the stock intake manifold
  • Stainless steel-built pipes for maximum durability
  • Uses ceramic ball bearings to reduce turbo lag
  • It can be installed with basic hand tools

Cons:

  • It has a single turbocharger

If you are on a budget and cannot afford the other two turbo kits that I listed above, then this one will be perfect for you. But you should definitely go for the twin-turbocharged ones if you are willing to go all in to boost the performance of the engine.

Click here to learn more.

How To Choose The Correct Nissan 350Z Turbo

Now, it is not as simple as installing a new turbo kit and driving into the sunset. Unless you want to fry your engine, you must confirm that the turbo you are going to install is actually good or bad for your vehicles. Reading the two points below will clarify what I mean.

Option 1: Back Pressure

If you opt for a turbo that is not from this list, then you have to make sure that it is not too small to support the engine’s demands. If it is, then the back-pressure on the engine will increase significantly. As a larger turbo is designed to move huge air volumes, a smaller one may not be able to do the same.

The increased back pressure will increase engine temperatures and will also affect the exhaust output of the vehicle. So, this should definitely be considered before you go on buying a brand-new turbo kit.

Option 2: Torque Output

Many of you may not agree with this statement, but HP is not everything. Being a vehicle enthusiast for a better part of my life has taught me this.

You must also look at what torque the turbo will be able to deliver. If you take a look at this from a mathematical standpoint, then HP depends on the torque.

A greater torque may also mean more turbo lag. This is something that confuses a lot of people. You have to choose an option that does not sacrifice too much on both ends.

The above turbochargers, all of them, focus more on reducing turbo lag. It is certainly beneficial. Most of the others on the market opt for the same thing too.

Frankly, there is nothing worse than a turbo lag. No amount of tuning can fix it as it is a hardware problem rather than being a software one.

Talking about tuning, you should not miss out on the upcoming section as it will provide all the required details of how to tune the engine, with the turbocharger installed, to perfection.

Tuning The Nissan 350Z

Now, the next thing I will be diverting this article’s focus on is the tuning of the Nissan 350Z. Depending on the type of power you are hoping to get, you need to tune the engine so your requirements can be met. Regardless of your requirements, the turbo kit needs to be limited so it will not fry your engine.

The First Thing You Should Do Is Get A Good Quality Tuner

The market is filled with dozens of different options, but the cheaper ones normally cause more issues than they can solve. So, it is recommended to go for brands like Bully Dog and Hypertech. These are two of the big brands that you can trust blindly.

If you are not sure about which tuner to get or which settings to tweak, then it would be better if you left this job for the professionals. This means you need to find a mechanic that is an expert in tuning vehicles.

Data Logging

After tuning your vehicle, you also need to get a data logger. You could use one that can be plugged in once every few weeks to assess the performance of the engine.

On the other hand, if you want to get more technical, the best way to do so is by getting a display that mounts on the dashboard of the vehicle. It will update you, in real-time, of how the engine is performing.

Additional Turbo Modifications

Did you really think that this is all you have to worry about when upgrading your 350Z? There is still a long way to go for you to be knowledgeable about everything that concerns installing a turbocharger for your vehicle.

You may need to modify the engine in some manner, so there will not be any conflicts between the new and the old hardware.

You may need to:

  • Get new bolt-ones.
  • Get new pumps and injectors.
  • Improve the engine’s cooling system.
  • Get an improved suspension system.
  • New engine pistons and cams.

All of these modifications may be compulsory, depending on how big of a turbo you are installing. The most important changes are the new pumps and the injectors. The thing with Nissan parts is that they are usually designed to work on stock settings.

Pump And Fuel Injectors

Any performance upgrades and there may be a failure. This leads to my talk about the injectors and the pump. They may not be able to handle the demands of the engine and may fail, which may result in a catastrophic engine failure.

So, when you are spending thousands on a new turbo, it should not hurt to spend a few extra hundred dollars to get a new aftermarket pump and injectors.

Cooling

Let’s now talk about the engine’s cooling. That increased HP gain will surely increase the engine’s temperature by quite a lot. So, you need to make appropriate adjustments that will help keep the engine temperature lower.

As is the case with the fueling system, the cooling system is designed to work on stock settings only. You will not need to get a whole new cooling system but make some modifications to the existing one.

If you get a turbo kit, like the one from JWT, then there is an intercooler included in the box. You should definitely install that one as it will help in keeping the engine’s temperature low.

Other than that, you should use better quality oils and coolants so that the heat is dispersed more quickly and evenly. If not, then overheating can cause several different problems to include part failures and leaks.

It does not end there. There is a way to improve the cooling of the engine even further. This is possible with ethanol. Hold on! Before you rush on to the nearest hardware store to pick up a few gallons of the chemical, you must know what you are getting. The ethanol I am talking about is commonly called E85.

This is the only one that the 350Z’s engine will accept. If you get something else, then the engine may have a chance of getting badly damaged. Some of you may be curious, why ethanol?

Well, ethanol has the ability to:

  • Reduce engine knock.
  • Cool the engine quite quickly.
  • An octane rating of 108.

Yes, that’s right. There are some properties of it that are quite amazing. It will cost you a lot, significantly more than normal gasoline, but I think it is worth it. I am repeating this again, the use of ethanol is not the only option you have. Using better oil and coolant is more than enough to keep the engine relatively cool.

Other Mods

The wear on the vehicle’s parts will definitely increase with a new turbo kit. Unlike vehicles that already ship with turbochargers under the hood, the parts are not able to handle the improved performance. You may need to upgrade the brakes and the suspension system.

When you do this, you should not forget to get an improved clutch, which is designed for your torque and horsepower range. These upgrades are compulsory because, without them, there is a very high chance of the 350Z’s failing sooner rather than later. If not, then its longevity will be significantly reduced.

Pistons, Rods, And Cams

This is the most important change you have to make after installing a new turbo kit in your Nissan 350Z. As the pistons and the rod bearings will have to work harder, there is a decent chance of them failing. This includes the camshaft too.

If the turbocharger you chose is quite big, then the changes are compulsoryunless you are willing to pay for a complete engine rebuild in the near future.

Conclusion

Now, I must apologize for this article getting extremely lengthy, but I wanted to make sure that I covered everything there is to know about getting your 350Z turbocharged. The upgrade is definitely not as simple as it seems which is evident by the length of the article.

There are a lot of factors to consider before you get an expensive Nissan 350Z turbo kit. From the power curve to the cooling of the engine, everything must be accounted for to ensure the longevity of the engine.

Although there was quite a lot to cover, I can assure you that nothing has been left out. I also recommend checking out the three turbochargers, which I wrote about above. I hope you find your new upgrade satisfactory.

Resources:
1. https://www.drifted.com/350z-turbo-kit/
2. https://tuningpro.co/ultimate-nissan-350z-turbo-upgrade-guide/