The Fairlady should really be called the Fast lady!
The 300zx is often overlooked by a lot of as a true sports car.
The reality is that the engine is able to handle a great deal more power without having internal modifications.
There are a a lot of 300zx enthusiasts around and despite the rarity of the cars there are still a good number of in concourse condition.
When selecting a 300zx look for a full service background and a book of receipts.
Thankfully the 300zx is reliable, at least compared to other similarly powerful cars and there is little to go wrong. It would appear that Nissan have substantially over machined the engine (particularly the twin turbo VG30DETT). Our 300zx owners did some fairly extensive modifications ranging from major engine try to complete styling overhauls.
Tuning tips and articles
Lets get an overview of the tuning options open to you to the 300zx.
The 300zx is sadly overlooked because of its scarcity. It has a bullet proof engine and is just begging to be tuned up.
The engine choices are derived from the 3. V6 block with a NASP engine outputting 220bhp, a turbo version of the VG30 with revised head and manifold was never put into the 300zx (which increases power to 255bhp) but the 300ZX did come with the amazing twin turbo engine with a massive 300bhp output around the 5 speed version.
(Interestingly the automatic transmission had power limited to 279bhp.) The Twin Turbo VG30DETT engine is TorqueCars tuners choice and provide plenty of scope for power gains.
We have seen race prepared 300 ZX twin turbos hit power figures of upto 600bhp but this takes a major rebore and rebuild of the engine and plenty of internal strengthening! A good target for the home 300zx TT tuner is the 400bhp mark.
The following mods are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.
Stage 1 mods: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel
Stage 2 mods: Fast road polished, cam and ported head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,
Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam.
Handling modifications tend to be your first port of require the 300zx. We suggest that you simply fit uprated suspension and minimize the car by 30-35mm (top quality coilovers work most effectively choice). Larger drops require arch work – especially on models fitted with oversized alloy wheels.
Nissan 300zx Tuning modifications.
A speedy road cam will be one of the best power mod you can do mechanically to your engine particulalrly on the NASP VG30DE. When pushing up the power you will need to pay careful awareness of the fueling. Quite simply put, more power needs more fuel and air.
When raising power by 50% you should consider the fueling. To get sufficient fuel you might need to uprate the injectors on your own engine. When increasing your fueling you will also have to get a bigger fuel pump to deliver it.You can improve the 300ZX response to the throttle with a Fuel pressure boost valve. A revised intake plenum was on the NASP version of the engine employed in the Maxima and this could be an easy mod for the VG30E giving another 5-7bhp.
In case you are lucky enough to use a perfect block this can be increased to a maximum of 89mm which will take your cc to 3148cc, in the VG30DETT the standard bore size is 87mm and. When you go for a big overbore you ought to get the block strengthened by cryogenic treatment. (Many blocks will have imperfections and stress areas which would restrict the amount of cylinder enlargement.)
The twin turbo engines respond really well to some custom remap and you can get another 20-40% of a power gain. Adding a variable boost controller enables in car adjustments to the power but for higher boost you have to get a remap. Your biggest problem with improving the boost is engine knock. If you add water use and injection a high octane fuel it is possible to up the boost further and see even larger power gains.
Nissan 300zx Intake and Exhaust.
The next area for modification is the exhaust and intake. The standard exhaust fitted by Nissan is actually a excellent setup but power gains of around 5-9% continue to be possible using a full sports exhaust system. Most 300 ZX owners go with a sports exhaust purely for that sound.
An induction kit will help increase power by around 10bhp (a little more around the Turbo engines) – providing you remember to get a cold air intake fitted as well. Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow through the engine but tend not to go too big. Stick to 2 to 2.5 inches for best results on the turbo engines and 2 inches on the NASP versions.
When you start tuning your 300zx you will find that the standard clutch actually starts to complain around the 400bhp mark so get an uprated clutch whilst there is the engine work carried out.
Nissan 300zx Wheel modifications.
Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. It can be worth noting that although they can look cool on the 300zx big alloy wheels will in fact decrease your performance.
The larger you go the lower you top speed will be due to the change in your effective final drive ratio. Aim to maintain the overall rolling diameter of your wheel similar to supplied from the factory. In every case we do not recommend going above 18 inches and suggest that (depending on your suspension setup) keep with 17’s.