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STILLEN

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Amuse Vestito Front Bumper / Carbon Signal V1 Fenders / Aeroflow Dynamics Side Splitters / STILLEN Rear Spoiler / Satin Vampire Red/Carbon Fiber 3M Wrap
Rohana RFX5 19×9.5 / 19×11 on Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 Tires / Tein S-Tech Springs / Hotchkis Sway Bars / 3.7 VLSD

John J is a Z man today- though for years that wasn’t the case – and through a strange twist of fate, John found himself both cursed and enamored by Nissan’s legendary sportscar. John currently has a 370Z, but picked it up after getting over a bit of tragedy. The pic above you see is one of the photos of the car in its original form – a far cry from the crimson machine in the driveway today. After getting through his suite of Nissan 370Z Mods, fate stepped in to put the original car he’d dreamed about as a teenager and young adult in his driveway.

the Z31 300ZX 2+2 driven by Bruce Willis in BLIND DATE

(Bruce Willis, Driving a Z31 300ZX 2+2 in the film Blind Date… read more about that here)

“Naturally, when I was growing up, the Z was one of my favorite cars.  A cross between a muscle car and a roadster.  I fell in love with the Z31 300ZX and the pointy nose driven by Bruce Willis (this is a reference to the film BLIND DATE). For many reasons, I never purchased a Z in my youth.  Money, priorities, responsibilities or whatever it may be…  I never even had the opportunity to ride in a Z!
That changed one night in 1997, at what was supposed to be the culmination of an awesome night out with friends, John got his first chance to ride in a Z in the back of his dearest friend’s boyfriend’s Z32 300ZX 2+2.

Buckle up, it’s storytime, but stay with us here and you’ll see how this all comes full circle.

“At 3:30 a.m. on August 7, 1997,  that long awaited opportunity turned into the beginning of the worst day of my life…”

The Z became a curse in an instant when the car they were riding in side swiped a semi tanker, carrying a fuel even more dangerous than gasoline, Aviation fuel. With the 300ZX travelling at one hundred twenty miles an hour as it struck the fuel tanker, the impact was horrific, hurling the car some 800 feet down the road, pinballing off of the guardrails along the way. Even the best engineered vehicles aren’t designed for crashes at that speed – and car versus semi crashes never end well.

John’s close friend Jenny, sitting in the front passenger seat was ejected from the car, killing her instantly. The driver was injured badly, but survived the disaster. John and another friend who had also been stuffed into the back seat were very lucky, as John and the other rear passenger climbed out of the ruined hulk with hardly a scratch… but the damage was done. His close friend Jenny was gone at the age of 22, and what was once John’s dream car had now become a continuous reminder of that awful event.

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“I barely had a scratch externally… but for years after, I never looked at another Z.  I had no interest whatsoever for obvious reasons that were associated with PTSD from the accident.”  Seeing a Z was a trigger that brought back the terrible feeling of ‘survivor’s guilt’- something all too common among those who endure tragedies of this caliber- questioning your decisions wishing you had made one of a thousand decisions differently that night, and begging to change places with someone you loved, whose life was cut way too short.

John spent almost 20 years distancing himself from Nissan’s iconic sports coupe, but a simple trip carshopping for his next daily changed that.

“I didn’t look at another Z, not until March of 2016, when my search to lease a new Nissan Murano SUV with my girlfriend and life partner Sandy brought us to the local Nissan dealer.  So we are walking through the lot, talking with our salesperson about trying to get the best lease possible for the next utilitarian vehicle I will be driving, and walking towards the entrance to their dealership when Sandy pointed at these two cars sitting in front of the doors.

Naturally, like any dealership, they had their best on display -a couple of 370Z’s were front and center.  Sandy was the first to look closer and asked me to take a look at the car (noticing the affordability in comparison to leasing a Morano).  So I casually glanced at the Z at first, and then I couldn’t help staring at the car.  Since that night in 1997 I have always lived my life for two people, Jenny and I.  When presented with a decision that puts him out of his comfort zone, whether it is jumping off of a 30 foot high cliff in Jamaica or buying a defining car in his life John has always asked himself “what would Jenny do?”.

 Then it hit me. I thought to myself, I am 46, kids out of the house, I have been thinking about getting something for me, I have a wonderful girlfriend that supports me, and Jenny’s memory will be a part of this car and a part of my continuing recovery.  

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Amuse Vestito Front Bumper / Carbon Signal V1 Fenders / Aeroflow Dynamics Side Splitters / STILLEN Rear Spoiler / Satin Vampire Red/Carbon Fiber 3M Wrap
Rohana RFX5 19×9.5 / 19×11 on Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 Tires / Tein S-Tech Springs / Hotchkis Sway Bars / 3.7 VLSD

So, rather than the Murano, we purchased the 370Z and started our mod journey to create a car that came from my heart, and bonds me with her.  The 370Z’s name is Jenny for that reason.” So out of that tragedy, John and Sandy found a way to heal, and like any good Z car, gave the car its own bit of soul – the car itself a way to memorialize a friend gone too soon. It’s not at all uncommon amongst gearheads like John, we tend to find ways to rebuild our broken hearts by turning wrenches – go to any busy car show, you’re sure to find a vehicle built in the memory of another, a way to remember those who have left our lives too soon, so our hearts never forget.

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Amuse Vestito Front Bumper / Carbon Signal V1 Fenders / Aeroflow Dynamics Side Splitters / STILLEN Rear Spoiler / Satin Vampire Red/Carbon Fiber 3M Wrap
Rohana RFX5 19×9.5 / 19×11 on Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 Tires / Tein S-Tech Springs / Hotchkis Sway Bars / 3.7 VLSD

Long after John and Sandy first started their journey with Jenny, their Fairlady 370Z, a spark of inspiration nudged him to pick up a second Z… We’ll get into that other “new” car in a moment, but let’s talk about what’s been done to Jenny, this incredible Satin Red 370Z first.

As so many of us do, John started with audio -the first mod to the 2016 Nissan 370Z was upgrading the radio and audio system – and right after those, first performance parts on the list was the 370Z intake and 370Z exhaust.

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After doing extensive research online, on the forums, and in the local Z/G clubs to pick other enthusiasts’ brains about what the best option was, John opted to go with a STILLEN Gen 3 Intake for 370Z, matched with a STILLEN Cat-Back 370Z Exhaust for maximum effect.

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The Stillen Gen 3 intakes feed into a Custom ported upper plenum

“The Stillen Gen 3 intakes are the best in breed and every other intake is referenced to it.  It opens up throttle response and lets the engine breathe.  The Stillen cat back exhaust isn’t the loudest and as a daily driver I appreciate that.  I don’t hear exhaust drone when cruising while hearing the car roar when accelerating.  Combined, my bolt on NA 370Z tuned at 330+ RWHP (with a large chunk courtesy of STILLEN).  Given their relationship with Nissan, STILLEN are who I trusted to provide the most power from my VQ37, and they came through.”

It’s no surprise the Gen III intakes are still considered one of the best possible options for naturally aspirated VQ37HR and VQ35HR engined cars – after all, we did go through fifty six – yes, 56, different prototypes before we worked out the design you’ve come to know and love that delivers the best gains available. Paired with a custom ported Upper Intake Plenum, throttle response is quite sharp.

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Stillen Cat Back Exhaust / Kinetix HFCs Give the 370Z An Aggressive Roar

As far as the exhaling side of the VQ37HR’s breathing was concerned, John opted to enhance flow with the STILLEN Cat-Back Exhaust for Nissan 370Z. The oversized polished tips look great whether ensconced in the factory rear bumper, NISMO or any other option. Offering power, style and sound, the STILLEN Cat-Back is truly the complete package, offering a low-drone way to get a richer, more satisfying exhaust note out of the 370Z – you can still have a conversation with your date, codriver, business partner, dog, or whoever you talk to most often in your Z.

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The etched STILLEN logo on each tip gives the system a custom-tailored touch as well. After the performance modifications, next was the exterior – a new bumper, side skirt diffusers, a spoiler and a color change courtesy a custom wrap transformed John’s 370Z from ‘little black dress’ to ‘Jessica Rabbit’ aesthetic virtually overnight.

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Rounding out the visual modifications is a Stillen rear wing, custom-wrapped in Carbon Fiber look vinyl, adding a nice bit of detail against the intense satin red.

Lowered on Tein S-Tech Springs, the stock wheels have been swapped out for a set of Rohana RFX5 19×9.5 / 19×11 with a set of Hotchkis Sway Bars keeping the suspension compliant. Then to ensure the power is getting to both rear wheels, a 3.7 ratio viscous limited slip rear differential was fitted as well.

 

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Amuse Vestito Front Bumper / Carbon Signal V1 Fenders / Aeroflow Dynamics Side Splitters / STILLEN Rear Spoiler / Satin Vampire Red/Carbon Fiber 3M Wrap
Rohanan RFX5 19×9.5 / 19×11 on Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 Tires / Tein S-Tech Springs / Hotchkis Sway Bars / 3.7 VLSD

“With the continuous love and support of my amazingly supportive girlfriend Sandy, we have started this journey with Jenny. I’ve been given an opportunity to work through another hurdle in overcoming the events of that fateful night and embracing the anxiety of seeing a Z32 as an important step in the healing process… as a result I have fallen back in love with the Z.” 

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Amuse Vestito Front Bumper / Carbon Signal V1 Fenders / Aeroflow Dynamics Side Splitters / STILLEN Rear Spoiler / Satin Vampire Red/Carbon Fiber 3M Wrap
Rohanan RFX5 19×9.5 / 19×11 on Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 Tires / Tein S-Tech Springs / Hotchkis Sway Bars / 3.7 VLSD

Check out the rather impressive list of mods the car already sports:

Current:

-Rohana RFX5 wheels 19X9.5/11 with Hankook tires

Tein S-Tech Springs

-Amuse Vestito front bumper

-Carbon Signal V1 fenders

-Aeroflow Dynamics side splitter

STILLEN Rear Spoiler

-iJDMToy smoked rear 4th brake / fog / reverse light

-3.7 ratio VLSD swap

STILLEN Gen 3 Intake

-Custom Ported Upper Plenum

STILLEN Cat-Back Exhaust for 370Z

-KINETIX HFC

WRAPPED IN:
-3M Satin Vampire Red primary wrap color with Black Carbon Fiber and gloss black as accent colors

Future Mods:

-Brake Upgrade (in-the-works… Akebono brakes currently at powder coat,  just waiting on new rotors)
-34 row oil cooler (Florida life)
-STILLEN Supercharger (once car is paid off)
-Level 10 built 7AT transmission
-Quaife Rear Differential & Upgraded Housing

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As fate would have it, right after Sandy and John had started talking about what their next car purchase would be. They were considering the ‘second car’s intended use – they agreed on the idea of a convertible garage queen to drive on the weekends… and then about a month ago, a neighbor two doors down pulled a gorgeous pearl white ’90 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo [Z32 TT] out of the garage.

“Naturally, I had to talk to him (though we’d only talked twice in the 5 years we’d been neighbors) about the car… and where it came from.”

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“I tracked down my neighbor and got the story on the Z: It was his wife’s father’s and had been given to (my neighbors) as a wedding present.  To my disappointment, he said someone had come and put down a deposit already, but did mention whoever it was had not picked it up yet – or paid in full.” With the neighbors new car occupying the Z’s former spot in the garage, the immaculate Z32 300ZX Twin Turbo now sat in the sun, waiting for its new owner to fetch it. Surely, someone who left a deposit will be back to get the car, right? Well.. maybe not.

A few weeks go by, during which time John and Sandy rented a Mustang convertible – and ended up not liking the convertible experience in a Mustang. This got them talking again about that ‘second car’, and what they didn’t like about a convertible… so a full convertible was out, but both of them agreed they loved T-Tops. So their plan for ‘a convertible’ had changed to ‘a car with T-Tops’. It should go without saying, but while Targa roofs have stuck around, the list of “Cars that Came with T-Tops” hasn’t had any new additions in a while.
‘Hmm… what car has T-Tops…’, they mused… and like a flash of lightning it the idea struck. The Z car sitting two doors down has T-Tops, and it’s no longer in a garage and exposed to the sun!

John went to see his neighbor the next day – weeks had passed and the car was still here, so he asked his neighbor what the deal was with the Z’s buyer.  John’s neighbor said still the guy hadn’t come to get it and hadn’t heard from him in a while. So, John told him he would be more than happy to take her (the 300ZX) off of his hands right now, if he was good with it. While money talks, for some people, it’s also about who the car is going to. John’s neighbor accepted, saying, “Absolutely! I know you’re going to take care of her (the 300ZX), which will make my wife’s father very happy that the Z he loved went to a good home!”

“Naturally, I had to name her (the 300ZX) after the woman that has been there by my side and supported me through this journey. I call her mZSandy.

 

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This ’90 Z32 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo is clearly not stock – while that’s not our aero kit (our guess is WingsWest), the STILLEN badging in various places on the car and level of modification suggest there may be a few goodies of ours – either produced by or sourced by us – hidden in there. The modifications are tasteful while also offering a snapshot of 90’s tuning trends. John’s as in the dark as we are, and the car is currently being gone over at a Z specialist to work out what’s been done and what, if anything, it needs.

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A front strut tower brace firms up the chassis of this T-Top equipped Z32, and as was the trend, there’s an abundance of red details like the wire looms and radiator supports.

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Out back, the polished mufflers of a STILLEN Exhaust for 1990-96 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo gives the car a more authoritative growl, sharper response and more power on tap when the twin turbos hit boost.

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While the plan for now is to work out what’s on the car, John’s planning a STILLEN Crankshaft Pulley for 300ZX in the future. Once the check-up is complete, this beauty should be a real joy to log miles on this summer.

A big thank you to John for sharing his story & photos with us and for making us a part of his build.

Thanks for joining us, and we hope you enjoyed the photos.

Interested in modifying your Z? Whether you’ve got a 300ZX or a 370Z, our experts here at STILLEN can help make it even better. Check out the site at STILLEN.com, chat live with the team using the LiveChat window to ask questions and get answers in real time, call us at 1-888-250-5542 7a-5p M-F PST or just stop by the shop during regular business hours. See you next time!

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During its initial rebranding from “810” as a Datsun to become the “Maxima“, the car underwent a curious time – Nissan needed a way to make their offering stand out amid a swath of blah Detroit iron or a ‘typical Japanese’ appliance. With its sporty handling and Nissan’s strong racing heritage, they realized that what they had on their hands was a 4-Door Sports Car – and thus the 4DSC moniker was born.

The 8th Generation Maxima is the latest iteration of the #4DSC concept and Colorado Springs Nissan has made a few STILLEN additions to this 2018 Nissan Maxima to bring out the car’s sporting character.

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Up front, the Maxima’s been fitted with a matte black painted STILLEN front Splitter for 2016-2018 Maxima to give the somewhat restrained sport saloon a more aggressive character. The Painted Matte Black finish works especially well, giving it the appearance as if it were a factory accessory. The aggressive look compliments the impressive performance of its big V6 under the hood and really captures the feel of that original “4-Door-Sports-Car” aesthetic.

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Rounding out the package with both power and style, Colorado Springs Nissan has fitted this Maxima with a Matte Black painted STILLEN Rear Diffuser for 2016-18 Maxima models along with a STILLEN Exhaust for 2016-18 Maxima which gives the car quicker acceleration, sharper response, but most importantly, a deep satisfying exhaust note when you stomp the go pedal that announces your arrival, but refined to virtually eliminate unpleasant drone when cruising to allow you to best enjoy Nissan’s big 4-Door.

Interested in picking up a Maxima that’s more fun right from the get go? While we don’t offer an SMX Package for the current generation Maxima, you can pick up this example at South Colorado Springs Nissan at 1333 S Academy Blvd, in Colorado Springs, CO or call 719-493-9566. Thanks again to our friends at South Colorado Springs Nissan for sharing these photos with us. Tired of your Maxima looking stock? Doesn’t matter what year, give us a call at 866-250-5542 between 7-5 Mon-Fri Pacific Time or chat live with the STILLEN team using the LiveChat on STILLEN.com – and of course, you’re always welcome to come by during business hours.

Thanks for joining us, we hope you enjoyed the photos.

 

 

 

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Every once and a while we get photos back from Nissan and Infiniti dealers across the US, showcasing vehicles modified with products and guidance from STILLEN. This customized 2018 Nissan Altima SR was sent in by Priority Nissan of Newport News. The 2016+ facelift of the Altima is a bit plain-jane (anonymity is a bit of a hallmark of the Altima‘s class), but with the addition of a few minor tweaks, Nissan’s midsize sedan can look worlds better and be much better to drive.

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Giving the four-pot Altima a bit more oomph under the hood is a STILLEN High Flow Intake for 2013-18 Nissan Altima, good for a moderate but noticeable 6WHP gain and sharper throttle response – and unlike many aftermarket intakes, this one’s 50-state emissions legal, thanks to its CARB Exempt EO#, and STILLEN parts (when installed correctly by a professional) will not void or affect your factory Nissan powertrain warranty.

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The most obvious change up front is the Matte Black STILLEN Front Splitter for 2016-18 Nissan Altima. With contours that echo the Altima’s factory styling and optional pre-painted matte black finish, the STILLEN front lip looks like it could be a factory accessory.

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Spicing up the rear end’s appearance, giving the Altima a much sportier and distinct aesthetic is a STILLEN Rear Diffuser for 2016-18 Nissan Altima. This diffuser installs directly over the OEM rear bumper and highlights the STILLEN Exhaust for 2016-18 Nissan Altima as well. Speaking of which – this particular Altima features our exhaust. With a mild note at idle but a bit of growl under throttle, the Stillen Exhaust for the Altima offers a nice balance of performance, style and sound that’s easy to live with in traffic – and that means no drone.

Thank you to Priority Nissan for sharing these photos with us – with this Altima dressed up like this, it’s sure not to stay for long – call Priority Nissan of Newport News at (757) 369-6600.

Want your Altima to stand out from the crowd? Call us today to order the same STILLEN Upgrades seen here for your vehicle.

 

 

 

Z32 300ZX ZZRIDER Red at STILLEN (2)

It’s getting rarer and rarer to see a Z32 in good shape anymore, so that’s why when this particular example from Huntington Beach stopped by last week, we had to stop and snap a few photos. Rocking a classic red/chrome aesthetic, the chrome plated Z32 5 spoke 16’s key in beautifully with the polished tips of a STILLEN Exhaust.

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Despite its age, this Z32 looks like it came out of a showroom yesterday – even the black behind the clear lens of the tail lamps was fade-free and the lenses flawless.

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The contours of the car still look sharp – it’s hard to believe this design debuted 30 years ago.

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From this angle, it almost looks as if STILLEN Z32 300ZX TT Intercooler Ducts are present, but it’s hard to tell.

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The STILLEN Generation I Nose Panel for 300ZX looks fantastic and keys in with the car’s front end aesthetic, but it’s functional as well. STILLEN’s nose panels for the 300ZX give the Z some much needed additional airflow to the radiator, making the stock cooling system much more effective and making even better use of an oversize radiator.

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A fun fact about the Z32 is that the Lamborghini Diablo used 300ZX headlamps.

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Red is a particularly difficult color to keep nice, as red oxidizes faster than other colors, for some reason. The gloss and clearcoat here is flawless.

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One of our favorite 90’s features was T-Tops. The fun of a convertible but without dropping the top! Unfortunately, they’re not great for structural rigidity, so they’ve mostly disappeared.

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Thanks for joining us, we hope you enjoyed the photos!

If you’re looking to get more power out of your Z, G or Q naturally aspirated, this car proves that not only can it be done, but there’s a good bit of power to be had before forced induction. Call us today to see how we can get more out of your car! Shop our selection of Z32 300ZX Parts here.

Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next time.

2018 Infiniti Q50 STILLEN Diffuser Splitter Spoiler (2)

When it comes to selling cars, it’s almost an unwritten rule that a flashier car gets more people interested. Competition Infiniti certainly has that figured out, having fitting this showroom-fresh 2018 Infiniti Q50 with a suite of STILLEN 2018 Infiniti Q50 parts to make this sport sedan stand out from the crowd. Up front, the Q50 has been fitted with a matte black STILLEN Front Splitter for 2018 Q50. The painted matte black finish gives the splitter the appearance of a factory equipment option.

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We totally redesigned our front splitter for 2018, and the results certainly do look sharp on this 2018 Q50 at Competition Infiniti.

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Compared side by side, it’s clearly more aggressive than stock and spices up the car a good bit. Molded in rugged, durable and resilient urethane, this front splitter is built to survive the road again, and won’t be wrecked the first time it brushes a steep driveway or something, as would happen with carbon fiber or fiberglass. This means you’ve got parts that will look good for years to come. The aggressive lines compliment the fluid styling of the ’18 Q50 refresh.

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Completing the look, at the rear of the car, the Q has been equipped with a STILLEN 2018 Infiniti Q50 Rear Diffuser, painted in matte black, like the front splitter.

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Check out the side by side comparison – the rear diffuser especially dials up the aggression, and gives the car a race-car-for-the-street aesthetic sure to pique the interest of everyone that walks through the doors at Competition Infiniti. The cherry on top here is a STILLEN Trunk Spoiler for 2018-14 Infiniti Q50, which pairs beautifully with the diffuser.

All in all, these three simple cosmetic parts made quite the difference in this car’s aesthetic.

Check out the full collection of STILLEN Styling Parts for the 2018 Q50 here.

Interested in buying this Q? Visit
587 MIDDLE COUNTRY ROAD
ST JAMES

SMITHTOWN, NY 11780
(631) 361-4636

PARTS FEATURED:

STILLEN Front Splitter for 2018 Q50 (Painted Matte Black)
STILLEN Rear Diffuser for 2018 Infiniti Q50 (Painted Matte Black)
STILLEN Trunk Spoiler for 2018-14 Infiniti Q50

STILLEN manufactures a wide range of performance parts for numerous cars and trucks, both domestic and import. Each set of STILLEN Sway Bars is influenced by founder Steve Millen’s years of championship winning Racing experience and knack for chassis dynamics to create suspension parts that truly improve the vehicle, tailored to each application. We wanted to so show you what goes into making our sway bars, so taking inspiration from the How It’s Made series, we decided to make our own version and give you an inside look at just how a set of STILLEN Sway Bars is manufactured.

In this video, we’ll walk you through the manufacturing process from start to finish and show you that everything really is Made In The USA, right here in Costa Mesa, CA.

Sway Bars are an important part of a performance vehicle suspension system, and serve to tie the left and right side of the suspension together for better balance and more composed handling.

A stiffer or softer sway bar can alter the behavior of a car towards understeer or or oversteer, making them a particularly attractive way to tailor your car’s handling characteristics to your driving style.

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If you’d like to know more about sway bars, check out our SWAY BARS 101 STILLEN U Post here.

STILLEN has been designing and manufacturing sway bars in-house for more than 20 years.  We private label manufacture swaybars for some of the largest “suspension manufacturers” in the industry.

We have also manufactured sway bars for OEM vehicle manufacturers as well.

In addition to our swaybar manufacturing expertise, we design and develop complete suspension packages for use on street, track and off-road environments.

Bottom line: you can buy and install STILLEN swaybars with confidence!

Got more suspension questions?

Call one of our Automotive Counselors for expert advice at (866) 250-5542.

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Pulleys – physics happen and you go faster.

For decades, racers and tuners have always sought ways to extract as much power from an engine as possible. Most of the time adding power is a matter of getting more air and fuel into the engine, but what if there was power there that you could “free up”. Well, there is – and you can reclaim that power with a set of STILLEN Performance Pulleys. If you’ve read our piece on lightweight flywheels, this analogy might sound familiar, because the same physics are at work here.

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Imagine you’re trying to run, but you’re wearing heavy work boots. You probably can’t run very fast, and it takes effort to start moving or slow down. Your stock crank pulley is kind of like that. It is a heavy pulley designed to drive the accessories, and it’s often weighted for the same reason as your flywheel – it makes operation slightly smoother, but just as often, the pulleys are heavier than they have to be simply because it’s much cheaper to use a heavier material.

Since the OEM pulleys are heavier than they have to be, lightweight pulleys offer an easy way to free up horsepower that’s otherwise lost. A lightweight pulley accomplishes this simply by reducing rotational mass – or in leymans terms, because it weighs less, it takes less horsepower to spin the pulley, so more horsepower gets to the wheels.

 

STILLEN 370Z Pulley 400370-01 AFTER DYNO OVERLAY

Consider that stock crank pulleys typically weight 4-10 lbs… this varies depending on manufacturer and engine size. As we mentioned earlier, most manufacturers typically make their pulleys in cast iron, which while it is cheap and strong, it’s also heavy, which is why there is some benefit to be had in a lighter weight set of pulleys.

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Manufactured completely in house at STILLEN HQ in Costa Mesa, STILLEN Lightweight pulleys are machined from Aerospace grade 6061 billet aluminum and have been engineered to remove all unnecessary mass while still creating a stronger, lighter part than the OEM unit they replace.

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For Example:

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G37 Stock Crank Pulley = 4.75 lbs

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STILLEN Crank Pulley = 1.30 lbs

That weight savings of around 3.5 lbs makes a noticeable difference on the motor. Some might say 3.5 lbs isn’t much, but you have to remember that since it is spinning, the physics acting on it make it behave as if it’s many times heavier when it’s in motion.

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Stock Crank Pulley – Heavy, Cast Iron Construction

The engine has to spin that extra weight over 1000 times per minute (RPM) at idle alone, which explains why, after upgrading from an OEM pulley to a lightweight pulley, we typically see gains of 5-8 whp. Mind you, these aren’t nonsense numbers like that can be accounted for by dyno variance – there’s no snake oil here, there’s less drag on the engine, thus, more horsepower gets to the wheels.

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STILLEN Underdrive pulleys have all the same benefits of a lightweight pulley and further decrease the workload of your engine. By decreasing the diameter of the crank pulley by a small percentage, we are able to slow the accessories (power steering pumps, alternator, and/or AC compressor), reducing the load on the engine even further. Underdrive pulleys still operate the accessories within their required operating parameters, but use 10-20% less engine power to turn compared to the stock diameter pulley. The combination of a lighter weight pulley with reduced engine load generally yields results of 10-12 whp.

Just as with a lightweight flywheel, a lightweight or lightweight underdriven set of STILLEN Performance Pulleys will make the car generally feel more lively and responsive and quicker to both gain or drop revs.

As a result of the reduced load on the engine, a set of lightweight pulleys has the additional benefit of being more efficient as well, meaning that you might even see an increase in MPG (if you keep your foot out of it.)

In closing, the TL:DR is that if you are looking for an upgrade that increases power and efficiency (better gas mileage), pulleys might be a great option for you.

If you have any additional questions please feel free to give a call (866-250-5542) or shoot us an email (sales@stillen.com).

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How to Pick the Perfect Aftermarket Swaybars

Every week our automotive experts get questions about swaybars from automotive enthusiasts.

No wonder…swaybars, a.k.a anti-roll bars, are a popular and cost-effective way to significantly improve vehicle handling in corners, through slaloms and during evasive maneuvers.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question: “Which swaybar is right for me?” Picking your perfect swaybar requires consideration of key factors including:

  • The make and model of your car or truck
  • How and where you’ll drive it
  • What you hope to gain from suspension upgrades like sway bars

This sway bar buying guide will help you decide which anti-roll bars are right for you.

Soon you’ll be on the road to happier handling!

Stillen sway bars shown on Infiniti Q50

You can enjoy simple, cost effective handling improvements with a set of STILLEN sway bars

How Do You Drive, And Where Are You Driving?

By which we mean:

  • The best sway bar for you depends on how you’ll use your vehicle. Is it your daily driver, canyon carver, weekend track car, full-time race car, rock crawler or desert mauler?
  • The right sway bar is part of an integrated suspension system that reflects your primary vehicle use. For track days or racing, the optimal suspension setup may include shocks, springs and wheel alignment changes along with aftermarket sway bars.

THE BASICS – What Sway Bars Do

So what is a swaybar exactly? Simply put, it’s a metal crossbar that ties the driver and passenger side chassis and suspension together. When a car is traveling straight down the road or track, a sway bar has little effect on handling.

But as soon as you crank on the steering wheel and enter a corner, a sway bar ‘springs’ to life to help control the weight shift that occurs during cornering.

Here’s how a swaybar works:

  1. As your vehicle turns into, say, a left-hand corner, a portion of vehicle weight transfers (‘rolls’) to the right-hand side of the vehicle.
  2. This rolling effect loads the suspension, steering and tires on the right-hand side of the vehicle. Some side loading is desirable and necessary as long as it’s controlled.
  3. A sway bar helps control this rolling effect by twisting along its axis as the chassis and suspension moves.
  4. As the bar cycles through its range of travel, it offers progressively more resistance to twisting.
  5. The sway bar’s ever-increasing resistance to twisting works to counter the force of vehicle roll.

Check out this cool animation showing a swaybar in action:

Not all Plants are Potted

After installing a swaybar, the effect you’ll notice from the driver’s seat is that your car feels level or ‘planted’ as you take a corner.

This ‘planted’ stance is the result of better weight distribution and traction.

Not only does it feel good, it offers big benefits:

  • A car that’s more planted through a turn allows for better rotation and more control
  • A car that’s more planted lets you get back on the gas sooner, resulting in quicker acceleration out of the turn

With the right sway bars on board, you’ll soon be taking familiar corners at higher speeds than you used to.

And grinning a lot more too.

Stiffer Isn’t Always Better

Is an aftermarket swaybar always necessary?

Given that STILLEN is a leading manufacturer of aftermarket sway bars, our answer may surprise you.

The answer is: No, an aftermarket sway bar isn’t always the best solution for every vehicle, driver or environment.

Here’s why:

  • In most cases, an aftermarket sway bar is going to be stiffer than the factory sway bar
  • In most cases, this is going to improve the performance and handling of the car
  • For most drivers, these improvements are going to make them happy and they’ll quickly adjust to the improved handling characteristics of their car

But we won’t tell you that installing a swaybar is the right thing for all drivers vehicles and situations.

Real World Results May Vary

For instance, suppose you’re looking to improve the handling of your daily driver and you install a sway bar rated at 200% stiffer than stock.

Rather than improve, your cornering performance, ride quality and traction will suffer on real world road surfaces. Potholes, mid-corner dips, and road kill will all fight against your uber-stiff setup.

Say your left side front wheel hits a bump mid-turn. Stock suspension or a moderately stiff aftermarket sway bar will transfer some of the energy to the passenger side front wheel – no biggie.

But an extremely stiff sway bar will transfer much more of the energy – maybe enough to unsettle the suspension and reduce traction by creating tire lift on the inside wheel and excessive sidewall flex on the outside tire.

The swaybar you installed to improve handling can work against you, especially paired stock springs and tires (more on this later).

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Newfound Glory

Even world-class car handlers like STILLEN founder Steve Millen don’t automatically run stiffer swaybars.

Here’s a great example of a situation where an aftermarket sway bar wasn’t optimal for the conditions:

In 2009 the STILLEN rally team headed to Newfoundland, Canada, to compete in the Targa Newfoundland rally with a NISSAN GT R. Prior to the trip, the team engineered new Penske coil overs and new sway bars along with a host of other performance parts designed to enhance the already formidable GT R.

They also packed the factory front sway bar into the trailer.

You might think: “Well Duh, rally car….if you crash you need spares.”

But in reality, the team wasn’t convinced the stiffer sway bars they’d developed and tested on smooth roads during the Southern California summer were going to be suitable for the rough roads of Canada.

Especially when the forecast called for plenty of rain North of the border.

When driving in the rain, tire compliance is key to maintaining traction. When the road is dry and offers plenty of tire grip, you can stiffen the suspension and make the tire work harder.

But when traction is limited, a stiffer setup overworks the tires and traction suffers. Better to soften the suspension and make it more compliant to conform to the road surface.

In the end, the team found that the optimum setup for the STILLEN GTR on the Targa Newfoundland roads: run the OEM front sway bar and the STILLEN rear sway bar.

By retaining the stiffer rear sway bar they reduced the car’s natural tendency to understeer and made the car rotate better through the turns.

The next year when they took the car to the Targa Rally in New Zealand, they re-installed the STILLEN front sway bar and ran stiffer coil springs on the Penske shocks.

The roads in New Zealand are faster and offer more grip even in rainy conditions. The stiffer setup was spot on for maximum control in the challenging environment of rally racing.

Check out the results in this video from the 2011 Targa Rally:

AltimaRearSwayBar-1 Altima Coupe Stillen Sway Bar Up

Moderation for the Masses

For the vast majority of drivers using their vehicles for daily driving, canyon carving or occasional track use, sway bars that impart a moderate increase in stiffness are the best choice. The incremental stiffness will retain factory-like ride quality while offering improved handling in the corners and slaloms.

For even more versatility and fine-tuning, adjustable sway bars might be your best option.

The more adjustability a sway bar offers, the more you can fine tune your suspension to suit your needs and preferences.

What’s more, adjustable sway bars allow you to set up your suspension to favor:

Oversteer (when a car turns more sharply than desired by the driver), or

Understeer (when a car turns less sharply than desired by the driver), or

Neutral Handling (when a turns exactly as desired by the driver)

Illustration of a car in oversteer

Car in understeer condition

UNDERSTEER happens when a car does not turn as sharply as driver intends.

Z Well Adjusted Z

The Nissan 370Z is ideal for explaining understeer and oversteer and for illustrating the versatility of adjustable sway bars.

Check out the stiffness ratings of the 370Z sway bars listed in the below chart.

Brand Front Rear Adjustable
(F/R)
% Stiffer (F/R) Best For Size (F/R) Color Construction Endlinks Bushings
Stock Yes Yes No Stock N/A 26.5mm/24mm Black Hollow Stock Stock
Nismo Yes Yes No N/A N/A 27mm/25.5mm Black Hollow Stock Uses Stock
Eibach Yes Yes 2 way / 3 way 76, 117% / 67, 98, 130% Street & Light Track 32mm/29mm Red Hollow No Yes
Hellwig Yes Yes No / 3 way N/A Track & Occasional Street 35mm/25.5mm Grey Hollow No Yes
Hotchkis Yes Yes No / 3 way 205% / 40, 75, 120% Track & Occasional Street 35mm/28mm Grey Hollow No Yes
STILLEN Yes Yes 5 way/ 3 way 21-48% / 37-70% Street & Light Track 27mm/25.5mm Red Hollow No Uses Stock
Suspension Techniques Yes Yes 2 way / 2 way 55, 88% / 30, 66% Street & Light Track 28mm/24mm Green or Black Solid No Yes

 

You’ll notice the STILLEN option is a little different. We conducted extensive (and fun) road and track testing to get a feel for the 370Z and determine the best sway bar setup to optimize handling without diminishing the inherent nature of the car.

Like the majority of vehicles on the road today, for safety purposes the 370Z is set up from the factory to understeer a little.

The reason for this is liability and safety.  Auto manufacturers like Nissan have to build their cars for typical drivers who aren’t trained to handle a car in high-stress situations.

When the average driver experiences understeer, their natural reaction is to panic, let off the gas, and apply the brakes. Conveniently enough, this is exactly how to counter understeer.

With less gas and more brake, the vehicle will slow down, the tires will regain their composure and the vehicle will resume traveling in the desired direction. 

Too bad, because one of the biggest advantages of a rear wheel drive car like the 370Z is the ability to power through turns. With the factory setup favoring understeer, this advantage is lost.

All that beautiful power going to the rear wheels is pushing the car in a direction you don’t want to go.

Using a STILLEN adjustable sway bar, a 370Z the driver can fine tune the suspension to balance and improve the handling of the car.

This balanced feel will a give the Z pilot the confidence to  carry more speed through a turn as they begin to feel the car rotate through the turn as opposed to pushing through it.

Stillen 370Z rear sway bars

STILLEN rear sway bars take 370Z handing from great to superlative.

Through extensive testing and refinement, STILLEN identified stiffness increments we selected offer the 370Z driver great options. The STILLEN sway bars can be adjusted for a good balance of road comfort and crisper handling for spirited daily driving and canyon carving.

2009 370Z Blue Stillen Sway Bars3

At the other end of the spectrum, drivers looking for maximum performance can adjust the bars to a stiffer setting for track days.

2009 370Z Blue Stillen Sway Bars5

All Together Now

Along with a stiffer sway bar, for track or racing use, the key to maximum control and handling on the ragged edge may include shock or spring upgrades, tweaking wheel alignment and selecting the proper tires.
Here’s what the STILLEN experts recommend:

  1. Determine which tires you are going to run
  2. Select the springs you’ll run based on tires, track layout and conditions
  3. Select which sway bar is right for you
  4. Adjust wheel alignment to suit, keeping in mind a more aggressive sway bar usually requires more aggressive alignment settings

For example, for track use you might run an aggressive tire like a Nitto NT-01 or a Nitto NT-05. If you don’t mind running an aggressive alignment specification, a really stiff sway bar should work well.

However, if you’re using your car primarily for road use, you might run tires like the Nitto NT555 or an Nitto INVO. The ideal sway bar will be slightly stiffer than the factory bar. 

Sway Your Opinion

Bottom line: a properly matched set of sway bars will really improve the balance of your car or truck and is a great way to fine tune handling.

The result: major improvement in the joy you get out of hustling your ride through your local canyon roads or on your favorite race track.

Most drivers will be happiest with a moderate increase in stiffness. An adjustable sway bar offers the versatility to fine tune handling as desired.

STILLEN has been designing and manufacturing sway bars in-house for more than 20 years.  We private label manufacture swaybars for some of the largest “suspension manufacturers” in the industry.

We have also manufactured sway bars for OEM vehicle manufacturers as well.

In addition to our swaybar manufacturing expertise, we design and develop complete suspension packages for use on street, track and off-road environments.

Bottom line: you can buy and install STILLEN swaybars with confidence!

Got more suspension questions?

Call one of our Automotive Counselors for expert advice at (866) 250-5542.

The 2015-18 Subaru WRX is one heck of a car, once again delivering on Subaru’s winning recipe for all-wheel-drive fun. As with every Subaru of the last 20 years or so, enthusiasts are feverishly modding 15+ Subaru WRX’s.

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STILLEN Front Splitter for WRX / RS-R Coilovers (1.4in Drop) / Wedsport SA72R 18×9.5 / 18×9.5
265/35-18 Nitto NT05 Tires

In their zeal to throw parts at it as quickly as possible, the FA20DIT engine has developed a reputation for being notoriously finicky among Subie lovers. In particular, the issue is that many aftermarket intakes cause a Check Engine Light or worse, resulting in quite a few ‘horror stories’. All the ‘horror stories’ have created the impression the motor will blow up if you look at it wrong. While that’s a wild exaggeration, there is some truth to the fact it’s fairly easy to hurt these motors.

DEAN WRX CORRECTED

STILLEN Front Splitter for WRX / RS-R Coilovers (1.4in Drop) / Wedsport SA72R 18×9.5 / 18×9.5
265/35-18 Nitto NT05 Tires

Longevity with a performance car like the WRX can be a concern, so that’s why we wanted to take this opportunity to do a Long Term Review of the performance of our Hi-Flow Intake for 2015-2018 Subaru WRX to see how it really held up in the real world.

Subaru WRX 2015 Intake Installed View 1

STILLEN manager Dean has been running the STILLEN Hi-Flow Intake for 2015-2018 Subaru WRX on his daily driver WRX for the past two years – without issue. As you may or may not know, the STILLEN WRX intake doesn’t require a tune to make the power advertised or to avoid a CEL.

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Dean’s WRX runs a basic COBB AccessPORT for tuning and datalogging, a KILLER-B Intercooler, as well as the prototype STILLEN Exhaust for 2015-18 Subaru WRX (currently in development), and that’s about it.

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STILLEN Exhaust for WRX (PROTOTYPE) / RS-R Coilovers (1.4in Drop) / Wedsport SA72R 18×9.5 / 18×9.5
265/35-18 Nitto NT05 Tires

Dean’s WRX is not ‘wildly modded’ by any means, and it’s worth saying Dean doesn’t drive like your grandma – he also enjoys spirited driving in the Rex. After 2 years of normal commuting and typical maintenance, Dean’s WRX is still running great – no check engine lights, and the motor has not exploded. Furthermore, it still makes every bit of the power it did 2 years ago.

2015-2018 Subaru WRX Hi-Flow Intake Kit 402000

PN# 402000 – Mandrel-Bent Aluminum Tube, Black Powdercoated Finish, Compatible with OE Air Duct

Given the FA20DIT’s ‘reputation’, that’s remarkable. The OEM airbox is rather restrictive and could really be in virtually every regard, airflow, sound – which is part of why our intake was able to safely achieve 30WHP gains.

This really highlights the value of the work we put into developing our performance parts here at STILLEN. When we were designing the STILLEN Hi Flow Intake for 2015-18 Subaru WRX, we wanted to create an intake that delivered power safely and would work well with the OEM ECU.

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Dean tells us that around town, the intake sound remains fairly subtle until you tip in the throttle, offering an intoxicating and rich boxer four intake note, yet is still quiet enough to have a conversation with passengers. Given the power gain, longevity and sound level of this intake, this intake is a great option for any commuter WRX or any WRX enthusiast chasing horsepower.

That’s another quality we strive for in our performance parts- we aim to offer subtle, refined tones in our intakes and exhausts that sound GOOD, avoiding obnoxious drone and unnecessary noise that can take away from enjoying a car.

After dozens of prototypes, we settled on a shielded design that retains the factory air duct – the end result being a walloping 30whp / 32wtq peak gain. That’s one of the perks of doing all of our manufacturing in house – since every STILLEN intake is manufactured right here in Costa Mesa, CA, we’re able to produce and test numerous prototypes to fine tune diameter and design for safe, reliable, consistent power.

Stillen 2015 WRX 1v5

We wanted more than just “peak numbers” with this system – by carefully tweaking the airflow, we were able to make a huge dent in that infamous FA20/FA20DIT “torque dip” between 4300-5500 RPM that normally takes the fun out of things, offering a huge improvement in usable power across the entire rev range.

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STILLEN Front Splitter for WRX / RS-R Coilovers (1.4in Drop) / Wedsport SA72R 18×9.5 / 18×9.5
265/35-18 Nitto NT05 Tires

Considering that our intake delivers huge power, nearly eliminates the infamous torque dip and won’t cause a CEL, we’re not just blowing hot air when we say the STILLEN 2015-18 Subaru WRX Cold Air Intake is quite possibly the best intake for FA20DIT WRX models. The only question left is – why don’t you have one yet on your ‘rex?

Talk to our Performance Counselors including Dean. Give us a call today at 866-250-5542, shop online at STILLEN.com or chat live with us at STILLEN.com

What happens when a Nor Cal computer expert gets his hands on a stock 2012 Nissan 370Z ? Great things in the form of a complete performance upgrade for this lucky 370Z! This Z owner was looking for performance and handling gains, so he contacted our experts, booked his appointment at the STILLEN performance shop and shipped his 370Z to the shop so work could begin. From radiator to wheels, there isn’t much that wasn’t upgraded by this performance-hungry STILLEN customer!

Stock 2012 Nissan 370Z

Before – Stock 2012 Nissan 370Z

The 2012 Nissan 370Z Modification List:

Since this is his first heavily modified car, he spared no expense to make sure that it would perform up to his exacting standards, while still being extremely reliable. With this in mind, our experts recommended top brands like RS-R, CSF, SPC and STILLEN for his 2012 Nissan 370Z. Check out the full list of modifications below:

Performance Upgrades:

2012 Nissan 370Z with STILLEN Supercharger, Oil Cooler, Transmission Cooler and CSF Racing Radiator

2012 Nissan 370Z with STILLEN Supercharger, Oil Cooler, Transmission Cooler and CSF Racing Radiator

Suspension Upgrades:

 

2012 370Z Getting RS-R Sport-i Coilovers, STILLEN Sway Bar Kit and SPC Front Control Arms & SPC Rear Camber Arms

2012 370Z Getting RS-R Sport-i Coilovers, STILLEN 370Z Sway Bar Kit and SPC Front Control Arms & SPC Rear Camber Arms

Brake Upgrades:

Exterior Upgrades:

New Rays Gram Lights Xtreme 19" Wheels

New Rays Gram Lights Xtreme 19″ Wheels

  • Rays Gram Lights Xtreme 19″ Wheels – call for more information

The Result

As you can see from the video above, this 2012 Nissan 370Z can really put out the power! Not only that, but with the other upgrades, it also handles extremely well and can stop on a dime. This is exactly what our customer is looking for and we can’t wait to hear how great his Z is doing after he puts some miles on his car after the install. Who knows, we might even see him whipping his way around the track, leaving the other cars in his dust!

Ready to Upgrade Your Z? Contact Us!

Whether you’re looking to add an intake to your 370Z or do a full makeover, trust our experts to help you get the most from your Z. From our expert sales staff to our ASE certified STILLEN technicians, the STILLEN team knows Nissan and Infiniti vehicles inside and out. If you have any questions about the 2012 Nissan 370Z parts we sell please give us a call at (866) 250-5542 and we will be happy to help you!