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2008 Nissan 350z - Power Pages

The dyno doesn't lie.

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Dynamometer Model: SP Engineering Dynojet
Text and Photos: Scott Tsuneishi

Baseline

Pros
In ’07, Nissan gifted the 350Z with its fourth-generation VQ-series motor. The VQ35HR 3.5L engine was designed from the ground up, offering a stronger block design and a 6hp bump over the previous model VQ35DE. The VQ35HR features a dual-path intake, variable intake and exhaust camshaft timing, and an increase in compression ratio (10.6:1), among other improvements, enabling the Z to deliver 306 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. The HR engine continued its production through ’08 to the early model ’09 350Zs before being succeeded by the 370Z and its 3.7L VQ37HR the same year.

Cons
A $19K resale value for an ’08 base model 350Z and $22K for a convertible makes the Z an affordably priced used sports car. The Z is a great bang for the buck if you’re looking to achieve style, power, and impressive handling, but does have flaws like bad visibility (blind spots), small trunk space, and mediocre fuel economy, which can impact your wallet if you proceed to drive it like you stole it. If standing out from the crowd is your forte, you can always opt for the Nismo-spec 350Z, which can run you a cool $28K—used, of course.

Notes
Prior to our baseline run, the 350Z was given an oil change and spark plug check/replacement before being strapped onto the dyno. In stock trim, the 350Z delivered 251.3 hp and 220.8 lb-ft of torque.

DC Sports Short Ram Intake

Parts
Intakes, filters, brackets, nuts and bolts, clamps, instructions

Tools
8, 10, and 12mm sockets, 10mm open-end wrenches, ratchet, extension, screwdriver, pliers

Installation time
40 minutes

Pros
DC Sports’ short-ram intakes are manufactured from mandrel-bent 6061 aluminum and come with silicone hoses, T-bolt clamps, and hardware kits for easy installation. The DC Sports intake system was designed to use the 350Z’s factory air ducts to provide cooler outside air to the air filters. The washable and reusable dry filter elements incorporate an integrated velocity stack designed to eliminate turbulence while smoothing air as it passes over the mass airflow sensor for accurate readings.

Cons
Due to the cramped engine bay, we found it easier to install the intake pipes separate from the air filters. Both intake pipes required proper alignment before installing the filters and finally securing them with T-bolt clamps.

Notes
The DC Sports intake system increased both horsepower and torque throughout the powerband, as our 350Z recorded the largest gains from 6,500 rpm to redline, of 7 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque. Consistent gains of 5 hp and 3 lb-ft of torque were seen from 5,300 to 7,300 rpm over our baseline run.

DC Sports SCS Dual Exhaust

Parts
Exhaust, X-pipe, mid-piping, gaskets, mounting hardware, instructions

Tools
10, 12, 14, and 17mm sockets, 10, 12, 14, and 17mm open-end wrenches, ratchet, extension, crescent wrench and WD-40

Installation time
70 minutes

Pros
The DC Sports exhaust system features dual 2.5-inch mandrel-bent piping and a high-flow muffler for optimum performance. Constructed out of polished stainless steel and finished with dual 4-inch polished 304 stainless tips, the DC Sports SCS exhaust system replaces the factory Y-pipe with a performance X-pipe to help scavenge exhaust pulses from one bank as the opposite exhaust pulse passes through the X, delivering horsepower throughout the rpm range with an emphasis on high-rpm power.

Cons
Due to the DC Sports exhausts four-piece design, we suggest asking for assistance to help speed up the installation process.

Notes
Dyno testing the exhaust revealed an increase in power and torque throughout the powerband, with peak gains of 6.6 hp and 6.6 lb-ft of torque. The DC Sports exhaust made 6 hp and 10 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm over our previous run, with plenty of gains in the midrange to top end.

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