Whether it’s track days, drifting or just canyon carving that you’re into, the Z33 chassis Nissan 350Z is a great platform to play with. Also known as the Nissan Fairlady Z outside of the US, this car is popular for its RWD platform and great balance of power and handling. The 350Z was a reintroduction of the Z line in 2003, after a 7 year hiatus. This 5th generation Z car was sold in the US from 2003 until 2008. They are plentiful and most importantly very affordable these days on the used market. If you are able to pick up a clean, stock example of a 350Z, chances are that the suspension is probably tired and ready for a replacement. The single biggest change you can make to improve your 350Z’s handling and stance is a set of new coilovers.
Redline360 offers a broad range of Nissan 350Z coilovers to suit your budget and needs. We have everything from entry level budget minded setups to track ready setups. We are constantly adding new products to our catalog so if there is something in particular you’re looking for; don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us by clicking: Contact Us.
That being said, let’s discuss the different types of coilovers, their features and their advantages at different price points. One thing to decide on for your 350Z is to determine if you want an OEM style setup or “true rear” coilover system. The front suspension is the same configuration in the front for all kits. However, with the rear suspension, you have the option of going with an OEM style, also known as a “divorced” set up, meaning that the spring is not sitting over the shock. The spring sits separate from the shock in a “bucket” along the lower control arm. The other option is what is known as a “true rear” coilover set up. This means, the spring will sit over the shock on an adjustable collar, just like the front coilovers. Here are just a few of the options we offer that have OEM style “divorced” rear configurations.
MSR 24 Way Adjustable – These are a great entry level coilover and provide a lot of value for your dollar. Aside from adjustable ride height, there are 24 levels of adjustment on the dampers, pillowball upper mounts and 6063-T6 aluminum body construction.
TEIN Street Basis Z – These are a really high quality coilover setup with a name you can trust at a great price. While the dampers are fixed, these are height adjustable between 0.0” to -3.1” in the front and 0.5” to – 2.1” in the rear. This setup is great for cars that will primarily only street.
TEIN Flex Z – These are a step up from the Street Basis Z in that they have 16 level adjustable damping and come with reinforced rubber upper mounts. These feature adjustable height and pre-load so you can lower your car without sacrificing ride quality. The Flex Z are made and assembled in Japan, yet are still affordable due to newly developed manufacturing techniques.
Function & Form Coilovers – This is an OEM style setup that is ride height and pre-load adjustable. They have 32 levels of damping adjustment for fine tuning of your shocks. The shocks have a twin tube design for a more comfortable daily ride. The flagship coilover for Function & Form, these have excellent build quality.
The arguments for the performance advantages a true rear coilover are often debatable. Generally, performance-wise, they are the same. However, there is one notable advantage to using this style of rear coilover. If you switch to a true rear setup, this allows you to ditch the OEM lower arm that houses the OEM spring and replace it with adjustable toe arms. For a street car that generally doesn’t need much adjustment, toe arms aren’t necessary but if you think you may need the adjustability in the future, then picking a true rear coilover set up may be the right choice for you. Adjustable toe arms will also save weight over the large OEM piece. Another small advantage to true rear setups is that it’s much easier to get to the ride height adjustments. It’s not too difficult with an OEM style setup, but it’s further inboard and requires just a bit more effort. Here are some of the options we offer that use a true rear setup:
TruHart StreetPlus – This is an ideal choice for a budget setup using a true rear setup. These have adjustable ride height and pre-load. The non-adjustable twin tube dampers are pre-set specifically for these spring rates. The zinc coated shock bodies ensure that they’ll stay protected from the elements and fight off rust.
Godspeed Mono SS – These coilovers pack so many features for its price point. It’s a true rear design using an aluminum shock body with forged aluminum brackets. The shocks are a monotube design using race quality shock oil that has 16 levels of adjustment.
Another factor to consider is the shock design. The two major types are twin tube and monotube. From the outside, they look similar. Internally there are major differences that factor into the performance of the shock. In a twin tube design, you basically have a tube within a tube. The inner tube houses the shock fluid where the shock piston is, while the outer tube is where the gas is housed. When the piston is compressed, it forces the fluid into the outer tube. The oil and gas work together to control the shock. In a monotube design, it’s just a single tube and the top portion of the shock houses fluid and the bottom part of the shock, which is separated by the piston, is gas charged. Together these work to control the motion of the shock piston. While today’s twin tube designs are very good and are suitable for street and occasional track use, monotube shocks offer a larger shock piston, more capacity for shock oil and a much lower chance of cavitation. The monotube design is superior but comes at a higher price point.
Redline360 has got you covered if you’re looking to step up to a monotube coilover setup. Here are a few examples:
Megan Racing EZ II – The Megan Racing EZ II coilovers are a monotube design damper with 15 levels of adjustability. These have 10k front and 8k rear spring rates and are perfect for canyon carving and the occasional track day while still being comfortable enough to daily drive.
BC Racing BR Series – BC Racing’s BR Series is one of the best street/track coilovers available. These are wildly popular among enthusiasts of many different car models, and for good reason. They feature a monotube design with 30 levels of damping, adjustable height and pre-load and are fully rebuildable. They also offer an extreme drop version which allows you to lower your car up to 4” if you so desire. Also available as a true rear coilover setup.
KSport Kontrol Pro – The Kontrol Pro from KSport is another quality coilover system using a monotube design. These have 36 levels of adjustment for compression and rebound (together). The ride height and pre-load are both adjustable so you don’t have to sacrifice ride quality even if you lower your car an aggressive amount.
There are so many advantages to switching to a coilover setup. You can adjust the ride height and you can adjust how soft or firm you want your ride to be. You can spend a little bit of time before a track day to dial in a lower stance and stiffen up your shocks. At the end of the day before leaving the track, crank everything back down for a plush ride home and to work the next day. One other major advantage to having fully adjustable ride height is that you will have the ability to corner balance your car for optimum handling. Corner balancing is a must for cars that see regular track days.
The best thing about all the choices of coilovers for your 350Z is that there is most likely going to be something to fit your needs and budget. The Nissan 350Z has always had great aftermarket support, and products for this platform will continue to develop. A good quality suspension set up doesn’t have to be expensive. Even the lowest price coilover Redline360 offers will do great with proper install and alignment. To see our listing of coilovers, please click here: Nissan 350Z Coilovers. Again, if there is something specific you’re looking for or have any questions about this article, feel free to leave a comment below or find our contact information by here: Contact Us.