Nissan 370z headers Fast Intentions
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Nissan 370z Headers Guide

Chandler Stark

Meet Chandler

Chandler is an automotive expert with over a decade of experience working on and modifying cars. A couple of his favorites were his heavily modded 2016 Subaru WRX and his current 2020 VW Golf GTI. He’s also a big fan of American Muscle and automotive history. Chandler’s passion and knowledge of the automotive industry help him deliver high-quality, insightful content to TuningPro readers.

The Nissan VQ37VHR V6 engine inside the Nissan 370z coupe is a fantastic and more than capable motor. It is naturally aspirated and makes between 325-350 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque from the factory — depending on market and trim. Like its predecessor the 350z, the 370z is ripe for engine upgrades and mods that increase both horsepower and torque. Headers are one of the most popular upgrades for the VQ37VHR, as they increase power and enhance the exhaust note. In this guide, we will look at the best 370z headers upgrades, along with benefits, costs, and more.

Make sure to check out our other Nissan 370z content: Including the Best 370z Wheel Upgrades and Common VQ37VHR Engine Problems Guide, find out how the Nissan 350z vs the 370z stack up against each other, and the differences between the 350z and 370z engines with our VQ35HR vs VQ37VHR Guide.

Long-tube vs Short-tube Headers

There are two types of aftermarket 370z headers that are commonly available for the VQ37VHR: Long-tube headers and short-tube headers. As their names suggest, the primary difference between the two of them is their length. Short-tube headers only replace the exhaust manifold up to the catalytic converters. In contrast, long-tube headers extend much further back, all the way to where the cat-back starts. 

Nissan 370z long-tube headers will offer better overall performance gains than short-tube headers. The reason being is that long-tube headers remove or replace the catalytic converters in the system. Catalytic converters are huge restrictions in the exhaust and are responsible for a great deal of back pressure. Removing them or adding high-flow versions cuts down on back pressure, encouraging scavenging and exhaust flow. 

However, there are important legal implications to consider emissions wise when removing your cats, which we’ll get into below. 

Catless vs High-flow Cat Headers

As we mentioned above, the difference between long-tube and short-tube 370z headers is that long-tube headers often remove the catalytic converters entirely. Unfortunately, this means that in some places, long-tube headers can run afoul of local emissions laws. Removing catalytic converters from your exhaust is against federal emissions laws and most (though not all) state emissions laws.

One way to get around this is by instead replacing them with high-flow catalytic converters. High-flow catted 370z headers are usually emissions compliant, because they have a catalytic converter. However, the converters are not as robust as stock, so they still result in reduced back pressure. This is a good halfway point for most people, as it still allows for increased performance while maintaining street legality. 

Short-tube headers retain the stock catalytic converters on the 370z, and they are the best option for those who do not want to touch any emissions equipment. It’s important to note, that in some places even high-flow catalytic converters are considered non-compliant for emissions, leaving short-tubes as the only legal option for some. 

In addition, another thing to keep in mind about fully catless exhaust systems is the smell. With the lack of emissions filtering the exhaust fumes smell absolutely horrible inside the cab, and are another reason to go with high-flow cats rather than being catless. 

370z Test Pipes

For those just looking to remove the catalytic converters from their exhaust and keep the majority of the stock unit in place, some manufacturers make what are known as test pipes. These only replace the catalytic converter section of the exhaust manifold, leaving the rest of it intact. 

Technically, you can add test pipes to short-tubes, but at that point you should probably just upgrade to a full set of long-tubes. Test pipes are good for replacing the most restrictive part of the exhaust, and fall between long-tubes and short-tubes in terms of performance gains. 

Benefits of Nissan 370z Headers Upgrades

  • +10-30 horsepower
  • +5-20 lb-ft of torque
  • Improved throttle response
  • Reduced back pressure
  • Increased exhaust scavenging
  • Increased exhaust sound

By themselves, a pair of headers will give gains of 10-20 horsepower and 5-15 lb-ft of torque. With tuning, you can expect to see a little more, in the neighborhood of 15-30 horsepower and 10-20 lb-ft of torque. As we mentioned, long-tube headers will provide more horsepower than short-tube headers. In addition to just peak power, you’ll also notice a more responsive throttle, and the entire powerband is larger and more usable. 

The increase in horsepower and torque is a result of the reduced back pressure and increased exhaust scavenging. Not only will this result in better power, but you’ll also notice a pretty big increase in exhaust volume, too. Catless and high-flow cat (HFC) long-tube headers will be louder than short-tube headers by a significant margin. 

Horsepower Gains

Now, let’s get back to the most important part about header upgrades – the power increases. As mentioned before, upgraded 370z headers will typically give gains of 10-20 horsepower and 5-15 lb-ft of torque without a tune. With a tune, gains generally increase another 5-10 horsepower and 5-10 lb-ft of torque. 

ECU calibration is highly recommended for any header upgrades, because headers significantly change exhaust flow characteristics. Without tuning, upgraded 370z headers can cause lean air-to-fuel ratios under wide-open throttle. This leads to detonation and pre-ignition, and can eventually cause catastrophic engine failure.

Once again, 370z long-tube headers will typically provide more power throughout the rpm range compared to 370z short-tube headers. This is because short-tube headers still retain the restrictive factory catalytic converters. Short-tube headers will still give a noticeable power increase over stock, but it’s nothing compared to what long-tubes will bring. Additionally, other upgrades like intakes and cat-back exhausts will also help to increase overall air and exhaust flow.

Headers are a great upgrade for getting a little extra power and volume without adding forced induction. When coupled with aforementioned mods like intakes and cat backs, enthusiasts can really tailor their exhaust note to their choice by exploring all of the different combinations.

Best Nissan 370z Headers Upgrades

Headers 370z Motordyne
  • Fast Intentions
  • Motordyne
  • PPE Engineering
  • Z1 Motorsports
  • DC Sports

Now for some headers 370z recommendations. This list is not aimed to be exhaustive or comprehensive, as there are so many potential choices out there. Rather, this list is meant to be a look at the top practical 370z headers available on the market today. The list has both long-tube and short-tube headers, keeping in mind a variety of budgets, setups, and power goals.

Our Top Pick – Fast Intentions 370z Long-Tube Headers

Price: $1,359.00 – $1,899.00

Fits: All years

Design: Long-tube

Our top header pick for the 370z is the Fast Intentions 370z Long-Tube Headers. There are two different versions, one for the 2009-2011 models and one for the 2012-2021 models: All are catless. They are also available with two different finishes, either non-polished stainless steel or black ceramic. The black ceramic can withstand temperatures up to 1,600°F – though it is a $450 increase to go with it. The manufacturer notes they specifically engineered the header to be firing order specific, so that proper scavenging is achieved and turbulence is reduced.

According to their website, when coupled with a high-flow cat back exhaust they saw average gains of 8 wheel-horsepower, and a maximum of 15 wheel-horsepower and 18 wheel-torque. The product is hand-built and made to order, and is the loudest option Fast Intentions has.

They can be a bit on the pricey side with the ceramic coating, but they are still a good deal and solid option for a 370z long-tube header upgrade. Reviews on the FI headers are fantastic and praise the sound and performance gains.

Nissan 370z Headers Upgrade FAQ

How much horsepower do 370z headers gain?

With 370z headers, you can expect to gain 10-20 horsepower and 5-15 lb-ft of torque without a tune. With a tune, gains generally increase another 5-10 horsepower and 5-10 lb-ft of torque.

What are the best 370z headers?

The best 370z headers are the Fast Intentions Long-Tube headers. They provide the most performance at the best price.

Are headers a good mod for the 370z?

Yes. Long-tube or short-tube headers will add both horsepower and torque, and improve the entire power band of the Nissan 370z.

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