How to Increase the Horsepower on a 300ZX Twin Turbo

Written by scott eilers
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How to Increase the Horsepower on a 300ZX Twin Turbo
There are many aftermarket parts for the Nissan 300ZX, some cosmetic in nature and some designed for performance enhancement. (Nissan 300zx interior image by MichMac from

The 300ZX is a two-door rear-wheel sports car produced and designed by Nissan. It was available from 1983 to 2000 in Japan, but the US release was restricted to 1984 to 1996. The 300ZX came in two distinct models, NA, or naturally aspirated, and TT, or twin-turbocharged. The 300ZX TT featured a pair of turbochargers providing forced-air induction to the already powerful 3.0-litre V6 Nissan engine, boosting the machine to 300 horsepower and 128kg-ft of torque. The engine can be made even more powerful via aftermarket modifications.

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  1. 1

    Purchase and install a performance aftermarket cold-air-intake system to replace the stock 300ZX air-intake system. Cold-air-intake systems are a popular aftermarket upgrade due to their relatively low cost, typically £65 to £130, and the ease of installing them. They provide a power boost of roughly 18 horsepower according to dyno testing, with slight variations of a few horsepower between brands. They boost power by sucking in more air and cooling it more efficiently. Cold-air-intake systems may slightly increase engine noise, but this difference is barely noticeable to most drivers.

  2. 2

    Purchase and install a performance aftermarket exhaust system to replace the stock 300ZX exhaust system. Aftermarket exhaust systems typically cost between £520 and £780 and provide roughly an additional 18 horsepower according to dyno testing. Exhaust systems boost power by allowing hot air to exit the engine bay more quickly, reducing average engine temperature and increasing power. Note that aftermarket exhaust systems will increase engine noise and CO2 emissions, and some state regulations prohibit them. Check state regulations before performing this upgrade.

  3. 3

    Purchase and install a performance chip for the 300ZX. Performance chips increase horsepower by reprogramming the engine's on-board computer for performance rather than economy. This provides a slight horsepower boost in an otherwise stock 300ZX, but it also allows the vehicle to maximise the performance increases from other modifications. Performance chips also have the advantage of requiring little in the way of tools or mechanical expertise to install. Because they cause the engine to run harder and hotter, performance chips can slightly decrease the lifespan of the engine.

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