Ad Radar

2009 Nissan 370Z Touring - Power Pages

The dyno doesn't lie.

Text By Brendan Moran, Photography by Brendan Moran

Owner: Rich park
Tuning: Chris schoen-kiewert
Dynamometer Model: Mustang 500 AWD
Testing Facility: EFI Logics


At the 1969 New York Auto Show, Yutaka Katayama (aka "the Father of the Z) let loose his creation on U.S. soil with these words: "The 240Z represents the imaginative spirit of Nissan, and was designed to please a demanding taste that is strictly American." Forged from this mantra, the 370Z is the latest reincarnation of a performance vehicle more akin to something straight out of Detroit. Although Nissan refers to the 370Z as an "enhancement," of its predecessor (the 350Z), some key modifications were made-most notably, the introduction of the VQ37VHR powerplant. Having increased displacement by 0.2L over the 350Z's VQ35HR, the VQ37VHR produces 26 more horses with a significantly flatter torque curve, thanks in part to Nissan's new VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) technology. Although Nissan's engineers had to add nearly 200 pounds of government-mandated bric-a-brac, select models actually weigh less than those of the 350Z, further proving Nissan's dedication to Katayama's vision of a lightweight, powerful, and (relatively) affordable sports car.

Like the case with its predecessor, modifying the 370Z is akin to dealing with an obstinate child-contemptuousness toward change and a stubborness to follow direction. Therefore, one must approach working on this car with the patience and tolerance of a Buddhist monk, or risk hours of mental and physical agony.

Rated at 332 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel, our chassis dynamometer baseline figures of 284 hp and 227 lb-ft of torque represent a mere 15-percent drivetrain loss for the 370Z-not bad for RWD.

Stillen 370Z Dual Exhaust System with High-Flow Cat

Stillen cat-back exhaust system, metallic catalytic converters, exhaust gaskets, 21/4-inch clamps, flange bolts, flange nuts

10-, 12-, 14-, and 22mm sockets/open-end wrenches, ratchet, 36-inch extension and swivel socket, WD-40, PB Blaster, cutting tools

Installation Time
180 minutes

Outstanding, linear power gains; a deep and assertive note; polished, 304 stainless construction with 4.5-inch tips; excellent fitment. Overall, the Stillen exhaust is both a fantastic performance and style upgrade to the 370Z.

While installation was relatively effortless, the primary difficulty arises when attempting to remove the two flange bolts that secure the headers to the OE cat. Often referred to as the "bolts from hell", they can only be accessed from the engine bay with a very long ratchet extension, making it very difficult to get a firm grip on the bolts. Then, even with Mark McGwire's forearms, it would still be a feat to break them loose without rounding off the heads.

The bulk of the three hours it took to install this system was spent removing the stock components. Despite our best efforts to remove the OE exhaust system intact, we managed to break a hardened steel ratchet extension and both bolts. Unfortunately, we found it necessary to cut the flange on the OE catalyst, effectively destroying it. Also, although this system retains the use of catalytic converters, it doesn't automatically make the system street-legal (check your local laws).

By Brendan Moran
Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!
Import Tuner