The Ultimate 350z Coilover Guide

17th November, 2017 in Editorials

We review five of the most popular Nissan 350z coilovers (Z33) available on the market today. This is the ultimate 350z coilover guide.

nissan 350z coilover guide

The Nissan 350z (Fairlady Z in Asia) (Z33 chassis) is an excellent sports car. Great looks, impressive stock power and a responsive rear wheel drive platform all contribute to making the 350z a solid choice.

These characteristics won the Nissan a place in our coveted Best drift cars for beginners article. Don’t believe us that the 350z is a future classic? Then read what motoring journalists thought at the time the Z33 was first launched:

On it’s launch Autocar’s reviewer stated: “With bags of character, the 350Z is still one of our favourite coupes.”

Honest John summarised the latest Fairlady Z with: “Perfect combination of power, grip and safe but exploitable handling.”

EVO magazine said: “Regular readers will know I’ve become a massive fan of the latest-generation Z-car. I reckon it’s one of the greatest affordable performance cars of the last ten years and, judging by the continuing waiting lists for new ones, a lot of you agree.”

There is no doubting the 350z’s appeal however as with most stock cars, the suspension does leave room for improvement. Early Z33’s will be over 15 years old so refreshing a tired set of suspension should be high on your to-do list.

Aftermarket coilover suspension kits offer a far greater selection of suspension adjustabillity, this is especially helpful if you want to slam the car or to perform well at circuit or drift days.

If you have to replace the tired old suspension anyway then why not upgrade to a set of coilovers?

What is this guide for?

This guide was written to help you find your perfect set of 350z coilovers. The guide focuses on suspension specifications, features, construction materials, spring rates and manufacturer descriptions.

For each set of coilovers we also add our own comments. In addition we have given each suspension system a Drifted rating (1-5) based upon features and price. We are considering budget, mid-range and high end coilovers in this comparison.

Let’s take a look at our 350z coilovers

To read more about any of these products just click on the coilover name or photo.

APEXi N1 ExV Damper Coilover Kit

APEXi N1 ExV Damper Coilover Kit

  • Manufacturer: APEXi
  • Levels of damping adjustment: 32
  • Construction type: Monotube
  • Spring rate front: 10kg/mm
  • Spring rate rear: 8kg/mm
  • Fitment: Nissan 350z, Nissan Fairlady Z, Z33
  • Price: $1187.50
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your APEXi ExV’s at FRSport

Our comment: Our first set of coilovers are produced by Japanese tuning giant APEXi. These coilovers are a great out of the box option for a no thrills sports setup. These would be suitable for anybody looking to improve the looks and handling of their 350z for a reasonable budget. They are the cheapest coilovers in our guide and offer good value for money.

Manufacturer description:APEXi N1 ExV is the newest line of coilover kits from Apexi featuring dual height and 32 way dampening adjustments. ExV, which stands for “Expert Type V” was designed to the be ultimate street suspension with no compromise for ride quality and price.”

“Features include:
– 44mm Monotube Damper w/ 32 way adjustments
– Full dual height adjustable body for fine adjustments
– Spanner wrench and accessories included
– High quality design and manufacturing”

“A must have for anyone doing track days and spirited driving. Will improve car handling and response effectively.”


Tanabe Sustec Pro Five Coilover Kit

Tanabe Sustec Pro Five Coilover Kit

  • Manufacturer: Tanabe
  • Levels of damping adjustment: 32
  • Construction type: Twin Tube
  • Spring rate front: 10kg/mm
  • Spring rate rear: 8kg/mm
  • Fitment: Nissan 350z, Nissan Fairlady Z, Z33, Infinity G35
  • Price: $1691.00
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your Tanabe Sustec Pro’s at FRSport

Our comment: The Tanabe Sustec Pro FIVE is a mid-range coilover. The design features twin tube coilovers coupled with Tanabe’s Slide Valve Technology. This technology comes directly from their Pro SEVEN coilover kit but it is at a more affordable price point.

Something that makes this kit stand out is the compatibility with Tanabe’s TEAS electronic suspension controller. This gizmo (once mounted in the car) allows for remote suspension setup on the fly. It sounds like a slice of Formula One in your 350z! Very cool.

Manufacturer description:Sustec Pro FIVE is an all new adjustable coilover that features a wide array of new circuit-developed technology that is similar to Tanabe’s Sustec Pro SEVEN. However, Sustec Pro FIVE delivers broad performance at a fraction of the cost.”

“Featuring the same slide-valve technology as the SEVEN, the Sustec Pro FIVE also gives a great range of adjustability and function for street and track use.”

“When used with the new TEAS electronic active suspension controller, the wide range of dampening force is accessible through the touch of a button, and is fully programmable to automatically adjust dampening rates according to the speed you drive.”

“Features include:
– Slide Valve Technology
– TEAS Compatible
– Twin Tube
– Spring Rates F/R: 10.0 / 8.0k
– Height Adjustability F/R: -1/4~-1 1/2 in / +1/4~-1 1/2 in”


Stance XR Coilover Kit

Stance XR Coilover Kit

  • Manufacturer: Stance
  • Levels of damping adjustment: 12
  • Construction type: Monotube
  • Spring rate front: 12kg/mm
  • Spring rate rear: 6kg/mm
  • Fitment: Nissan 350z, Nissan Fairlady Z, Z33, Infinity G35
  • Price: $2245.95
  • Drifted rating:xxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your Stance XR’s at FRSport

Our comment: The Stance XR coilovers are a solid choice. 12 way damping adjustment, highly regarded SWIFT springs as standard and robust build materials makes the Stance XR’s a great option for any 350z. They lose out slightly on points as they don’t have a killer feature like the Tanabe Sustec’s TEAS system nor as they as cheap as the APEXi ExVs.

Manufacturer description:Stance XR Coilover Damper Kit for 2003-2009 Nissan 350Z is a high quality monotube suspension kit. The XR offers features 60mm OD casing and an inverted monotube design, which reduces rod pressure for consistent performance. Swift Springs are made from H5S.TW which is stronger than our regular silicone chrome material.”

“The monotube suspension design is the key difference that makes this coilover stand out. The oil and gas are completely separated from each other which results in precise damping characteristics and performance. Heat is also dissipated much quicker than conventional twin tube suspension.”

“With customizable spring rates, urethane upper mounts, 12-way adjustable damping, and an adjustable lower bracket, this coilover is everything you need for any kind of driving.”

“Features include:
– 12 Way Damping Adjustment
– Inverted Monotube Design
– Helper Springs
– Swift Springs
– Powder Coat Finish
– Spring Rate: 12K Front and 6K Rear
– Urethane Upper Mounts
– Adjustable Lower Bracket
– Includes Hardware”


H&R Street Performance Coilover Kit

H&R Street Performance Coilover Kit

  • Manufacturer: H&R
  • Levels of damping adjustment: ?
  • Construction type: Monotube
  • Spring rate front: ?kg/mm
  • Spring rate rear: ?kg/mm ?
  • Fitment: Nissan 350z, Nissan Fairlady Z, Z33, Infinity G35
  • Price: $1422
  • Drifted rating:xxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your H&R Street coilovers at FRSport

Our comment: H&R is a German brand that has been manufacturing high quality suspension components since the 1970’s. These monotube constructured and street focused coilovers are another solid entry level coilover set for your 350z. While a little sparse in the features department, H&R have a built great reputation for the quality of their products.

Manufacturer description: “H&R coil overs are engineered for street use. Unlike traditional twin-tube shock absorbers, H&R Coil Overs feature a state-of-the-art mono-tube gas shock construction. Combined with the knowledge and skill of H&R’s suspension engineers, the use of this state-of-the-art technology results in the best suspension product that you can buy for your vehicle.”

“H&R is the originator of the true coil over system for the street and continues to lead the market with an extensive line of applications. Each shock is tuned with a progressive rate spring that is engineered from its inception to work with the shock’s valving, creating a finely tuned suspension system. H&R Coil Overs are the suspension answer for everybody, from daily drivers to the serious tuner.”

“Features include:
– Unrivaled comfort, performance
– Lowering range of 1.0 to 2.5 inches on average
– Fully threaded shock body for adjustable vehicle lowering
– Awesome handling and ride comfort
– Street Performance Coil Over
– Front Lowering: 1.2 – 2.2in
– Rear Lowering: 1.0 – 2.1in”


APEXi N1 Evolution Circuit Coilover Kit

APEXi N1 Evolution Circuit Coilover Kit

  • Manufacturer: APEXi
  • Levels of damping adjustment: 20
  • Construction type: Monotube
  • Spring rate front: 12.5kg/mm
  • Spring rate rear: 12.5kg/mm
  • Fitment: Nissan 350z, Nissan Fairlady Z, Z33, Infinity G35
  • Price: $2778.75
  • Drifted rating:xxxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your APEXi Evolutions at FRSport

Our comment: Serious about the track? These coilovers could be just what you are looking for. Stepping into the higher end of the suspension market, the APEXi N1 Evolution coilovers offer thick monotube dampers, 20 way adjustment and full dual height adjustment means that you (or your engineer) can tweak the suspension settings to your hearts content.

If you are serious about your track work this level of suspension fine tuning is a very powerful tool for reducing your lap times and building confidence in your car.

If the price power was lower we would give this set 5 Drifted stars.

Manufacturer description: “APEXi proudly introduces the S1 Damper system for the Nissan 350Z Z33 Chassis as one of the line of coilover kits from Apexi featuring dual height and 20 way dampening adjustments.”

“Ride quality and handling performance are not mutually exclusive. Almost all coilover suspension systems are designed for track use, but are not well matched for street use. In fact, most are sprung and dampened improperly for street use, which not only gives a harsh and unpleasurable ride, but also hurts grip performance when the suspension cannot conform to the terrain.”

“To address this gap, Apex proudly introduces the S1 Damper line, with a specifically selected recipe of spring rates, oil and valving for hi-performance street cars that doubl as weekend track machines. 100% made in Japan, with precision Japanese components.”

“Features include:
– 45mm Monotube Damper w/ 20 way adjustments
– Full dual height adjustable body for fine adjustments
– Spanner wrench and accessories included
– High quality design and manufacturing
– Spring Rate: F-7K; R-7K”


Our winner

Our winner is the APEXi N1 ExV Damper Coilover Kit.

Based upon specifications, features, quality of build materials and the low price point our winner is the APEXi N1 ExV Damper Coilover Kit.

The ExV’s are a solid coilover packed with features and at a price point that can’t be challenged. A clear winner in this guide.

APEXi N1 ExV Damper Coilover Kit

APEXi N1 ExV Coilovers

Runner-up

One clear runner up to the APEXi ExVs is the circuit-oriented APEXi N1 Evolutions. These high end coilovers would be the perfect fit for a 350z owner that is serious about track work.

APEXi N1 Evolution Circuit Coilover Kit

APEXi N1 Evolution coilovers

Thank you for reading our Nissan 350z coilover guide

Now that you’ve sorted your 350z’s suspension why not add some power? Like things on the loud side – our 350z exhaust guide is right up your street.

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Written by The Drifted Team

This article was written by the Drifted team. Follow us for more drifting content like this.

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