The Ultimate Guide to the 350z Exhaust System

So, you’re a proud owner of a Nissan 350z, huh? Well, congratulations! The 350z is a beast of a car, known for its sleek design and powerful performance. But if you’re looking to take that performance up a notch, one of the first upgrades you might consider is the exhaust system. But why exactly is the 350z exhaust system such a crucial upgrade? Buckle up, because we’re about to dive deep into everything you need to know about the 350z exhaust system.

What Is an Exhaust System?

Alright, let’s start with the basics. An exhaust system is essentially a series of pipes that guide exhaust gases away from the engine. This system not only ensures that harmful gases are expelled safely but also plays a significant role in your car’s performance and sound. For a car like the 350z, upgrading the exhaust system can lead to improved horsepower, better fuel efficiency, and a more aggressive sound. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

Benefits of Upgrading Your 350z Exhaust System

1. Increased Horsepower

One of the primary reasons car enthusiasts upgrade their exhaust systems is to boost horsepower. The stock exhaust system on a 350z is good, but it’s designed to meet a balance between performance, cost, and noise regulations. Aftermarket exhaust systems, on the other hand, are designed to maximize performance by reducing backpressure and improving the flow of exhaust gases. This can result in a noticeable increase in horsepower.

2. Enhanced Sound

Let’s be honest, the roar of a powerful engine is music to any car lover’s ears. Upgrading your 350z exhaust system can give your car a more aggressive and throaty sound. Depending on the type of exhaust system you choose, you can achieve anything from a subtle growl to an all-out roar that announces your presence on the road.

3. Better Fuel Efficiency

Surprisingly, an upgraded exhaust system can also improve your car’s fuel efficiency. By improving the flow of exhaust gases, your engine doesn’t have to work as hard, which can lead to better fuel economy. It’s a win-win situation – more power and better mileage.

4. Aesthetic Appeal

An upgraded exhaust system can also enhance the look of your 350z. With options like polished stainless steel and titanium, you can add a touch of style to your car’s rear end. It’s a small upgrade that can make a big difference in the overall look of your vehicle.

Types of 350z Exhaust Systems

When it comes to upgrading your 350z exhaust system, you have several options to choose from. Here are the most common types:

1. Cat-Back Exhaust Systems

A cat-back exhaust system replaces everything from the catalytic converter to the exhaust tips. This type of system is popular because it offers a good balance of performance and sound improvements without requiring major modifications to your car.

2. Axle-Back Exhaust Systems

An axle-back exhaust system only replaces the exhaust components from the rear axle to the exhaust tips. This is a more affordable option that still offers improved sound and some performance benefits. It’s a great choice for those looking to enhance their 350z without breaking the bank.

3. Header-Back Exhaust Systems

For the ultimate performance upgrade, a header-back exhaust system replaces everything from the exhaust headers to the exhaust tips. This type of system offers the most significant improvements in horsepower and sound but requires more extensive modifications and a higher investment.

4. Performance Headers

Performance headers replace the stock exhaust manifolds with high-flow headers. This upgrade improves the flow of exhaust gases from the engine, leading to increased horsepower and torque. Headers can be combined with other exhaust components for maximum performance gains.

How to Choose the Right 350z Exhaust System

With so many options available, choosing the right exhaust system for your 350z can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Performance Goals

Think about what you want to achieve with your exhaust system upgrade. Are you looking for more horsepower, better sound, or improved fuel efficiency? Your goals will help determine the best type of exhaust system for your needs.

2. Budget

Exhaust system upgrades can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Set a budget and stick to it. Remember, the most expensive option isn’t always the best for your needs.

3. Material

Exhaust systems are typically made from stainless steel, aluminized steel, or titanium. Stainless steel is a popular choice due to its durability and resistance to corrosion. Titanium is lightweight and offers excellent performance but comes with a higher price tag.

4. Sound Preferences

Different exhaust systems produce different sounds. Listen to sound clips or watch videos of various exhaust systems to get an idea of what you like. Keep in mind that some systems may be louder than others, which can be a consideration if you drive your 350z daily.

5. Installation

Some exhaust systems are easier to install than others. If you’re planning to do the installation yourself, look for a system with straightforward instructions and minimal modifications required. Otherwise, factor in the cost of professional installation.

Top 350z Exhaust Systems on the Market

Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at some of the top 350z exhaust systems available:

1. Invidia Gemini Cat-Back Exhaust System

The Invidia Gemini Cat-Back Exhaust System is a favorite among 350z enthusiasts. It offers a perfect blend of performance and sound, with a deep, aggressive tone that’s not overly loud. The system is made from high-quality stainless steel and features polished exhaust tips for a stylish look.

2. HKS Hi-Power Cat-Back Exhaust System

The HKS Hi-Power Cat-Back Exhaust System is designed for maximum performance. It features large-diameter piping and a straight-through design for improved exhaust flow and increased horsepower. The system produces a deep, sporty sound that’s sure to turn heads.

3. Tomei Expreme Ti Titanium Exhaust System

For those looking for the ultimate performance upgrade, the Tomei Expreme Ti Titanium Exhaust System is hard to beat. Made from lightweight titanium, this system offers significant weight savings and excellent performance gains. It produces a loud, aggressive sound that’s perfect for track use.

4. Borla S-Type Cat-Back Exhaust System

The Borla S-Type Cat-Back Exhaust System is known for its distinctive sound. It produces a deep, throaty growl that’s both aggressive and refined. The system is made from high-quality stainless steel and features a straight-through design for improved performance.

Installation Tips for Your 350z Exhaust System

Installing a new exhaust system can be a rewarding DIY project if you have the right tools and some mechanical knowledge. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Gather Your Tools

Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary tools. This typically includes a socket set, wrenches, jack stands, and a torque wrench. Check the installation instructions for any specific tools required for your exhaust system.

2. Raise Your Car Safely

You’ll need to get under your car to remove the old exhaust system and install the new one. Use a hydraulic jack and jack stands to raise your car safely. Never rely on just the jack to support your vehicle.

3. Remove the Old Exhaust System

Start by removing the old exhaust system. This usually involves unbolting the exhaust from the catalytic converter and any hangers or brackets holding it in place. Be prepared for some rust and corrosion, especially if your car is older.

4. Install the New Exhaust System

Follow the installation instructions provided with your new exhaust system. Make sure all connections are secure and properly aligned. Use a torque wrench to tighten bolts to the specified torque settings.

5. Check for Leaks

Once the new exhaust system is installed, start your car and check for any leaks. Listen for any unusual sounds and inspect the connections for signs of exhaust gases escaping. If you find any leaks, tighten the connections or use exhaust sealant to fix the issue.


Q: Will upgrading my 350z exhaust system void my warranty?

A: It depends on your car’s warranty and the specific exhaust system you choose. Some manufacturers may void the warranty if aftermarket parts are installed. Check with your dealership or warranty provider for specific details.

Q: How much horsepower can I gain from an aftermarket exhaust system?

A: The exact horsepower gains can vary depending on the type of exhaust system and other modifications to your car. On average, you can expect to gain anywhere from 5 to 15 horsepower with a high-quality aftermarket exhaust system.

Q: Is a loud exhaust system legal?

A: Noise regulations vary by location, so it’s important to check your local laws. Some areas have strict noise limits for vehicles, while others are more lenient. Make sure your exhaust system complies with local regulations to avoid fines and penalties.

Q: Can I install a new exhaust system myself?

A: If you have basic mechanical skills and the right tools, you can install a new exhaust system yourself. However, if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to have a professional do the installation.

Q: What is the best material for an exhaust system?

A: Stainless steel is a popular choice due to its durability and resistance to corrosion. Titanium is another excellent option, offering lightweight and high-performance benefits, though it comes at a higher cost.


Upgrading your 350z exhaust system is one of the best ways to enhance your car’s performance, sound, and overall driving experience. Whether you’re looking for increased horsepower, a more aggressive exhaust note, or better fuel efficiency, there’s an exhaust system out there that fits.