How to Choose and Install a Performance Clutch for a Nissan 370Z NISMO?

March 7, 2024

For car enthusiasts, there’s nothing more thrilling than taking an already high-performing vehicle and enhancing it further for optimal performance. Today, you’ll learn how to choose and install a performance clutch for your Nissan 370Z NISMO. We’ll cover everything from understanding the qualities of an excellent clutch to the step-by-step installation process, ensuring you can make the most out of your vehicle’s potential. Ready to discover the art of clutch upgrade? Let’s dive right in.

Understanding Clutch Functionality

Before jumping headfirst into the clutch upgrading process, it’s crucial to grasp a sound understanding of a clutch’s functionality. A clutch plays a vital role in managing the power transfer from the engine to the car’s transmission system, allowing you to change gears smoothly. In vehicles powered by a naturally aspirated engine, like the Nissan 370Z NISMO, which is equipped with a 3.7-liter DOHC VHR V6 engine, a well-functioning clutch significantly contributes to the engine’s overall performance.

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Your Nissan’s clutch is composed of several essential components, including the pressure plate, clutch disk, and flywheel. A persistent issue with any of these components can lead to a decrease in the car’s performance. Therefore, when choosing a performance clutch, it’s essential to select one that not only enhances performance but is also durable and reliable.

Choosing the Right Clutch

Now that you’ve got an understanding of how a clutch works, how do you go about choosing the right one for your Nissan 370Z NISMO? This decision largely depends on your driving habits, the vehicle’s engine power, and your performance goals.

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If you frequently engage in sport driving or track racing, you may benefit from a performance clutch kit designed to handle higher horsepower and torque levels. Clutches made with ceramic materials are often recommended for these activities due to their excellent friction and heat resistance.

On the other hand, if your Nissan is mainly for everyday driving, a clutch made of organic material would suffice. These types of clutches are generally smoother and quieter, making them ideal for standard street driving.

In addition, you may want to consider a single or dual mass flywheel. Single mass flywheels are lighter, improving engine response, while dual mass flywheels are designed for smoother clutch engagement and reduced gear rattle.

Purchasing a Clutch

Once you have decided on the type of clutch needed, the next step is to purchase one. There are several reliable automotive parts suppliers and manufacturers that offer performance clutches for your Nissan 370Z NISMO. You can find these online or at local auto parts stores.

While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest option, avoid compromising quality for cost. Remember that investing in a high-quality clutch is investing in the overall performance of your car.

Installing the Clutch

After purchasing the clutch, the installation process begins. Here’s a brief overview of how to do it:

  1. First, disconnect the negative cable from the battery. Then, raise the car using a jack and place it on jack stands.

  2. Remove the wheels. After this, disconnect the brake calipers.

  3. Disconnect the driveline and remove the exhaust system.

  4. Remove the old clutch from the flywheel, and then remove the flywheel itself.

  5. Install the new flywheel and clutch. Make sure to apply the appropriate torque to all bolts.

  6. Reinstall the exhaust system, driveline, brake calipers, and wheels.

This process can be intricate and requires some mechanical knowledge. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, consider hiring a professional.

After Clutch Installation

Once the new clutch is installed, it’s crucial to break it in properly. This involves driving gently for the first few hundred miles, avoiding hard launches and aggressive gear changes. Properly breaking in your new clutch ensures maximum performance and longevity.

Selecting and installing a performance clutch for your Nissan 370Z NISMO is a rewarding task that can significantly enhance your car’s driving performance. Whether you’re an avid track racer or just an everyday driver, upgrading to a performance clutch can offer an improved driving experience. Remember, though, it’s always best to consult with a professional if you’re unsure about any aspect of the process.

Performance Clutch Maintenance

Considering you’ve now installed a performance clutch into your Nissan 370Z NISMO, it’s time to understand how to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Regular maintenance of your clutch is just as important as the initial installation process.

Pilot bushing, a crucial component of your clutch, often gets overlooked during routine maintenance. It ensures that the input shaft and the engine’s crankshaft are correctly aligned. If not kept in good condition, it can cause several issues, such as uneven wear on the clutch disc or excessive heat, which can lead to clutch failure.

Depending on your driving habits, the clutch fluid should be replaced every 20,000 to 25,000 miles. Regularly checking the clutch fluid can prevent any potential issues as it directly impacts the clutch’s ability to engage and disengage.

Lastly, remember to monitor the wear on your clutch. Over time, the friction material on the pressure plate and clutch disc will gradually wear down. This wear can be accelerated if you frequently drive in heavy traffic or engage in sport driving. If you notice any change in the clutch’s performance, such as slipping or difficulty shifting, it could be a sign that it’s time for a replacement.

Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing and installing a performance clutch for your Nissan 370Z NISMO can dramatically enhance the vehicle’s performance, whether it’s a coupe door, convertible door, or even a touring sport model. Whether you opt for a stage clutch, a billet steel model, or another type, the key lies in understanding your vehicle’s needs, your driving habits, and your performance goals.

However, remember, the installation process requires a fair bit of mechanical aptitude. If you’re uncomfortable or unsure, enlist the help of a professional to avoid potential damage to your car. Once installed, maintaining your clutch is crucial to ensure its longevity and peak performance.

Upgrading your vehicle with a performance clutch is an investment in your driving experience. Whether you drive a base coupe, a touring coupe, a touring convertible, or a NISMO coupe, the satisfaction of improved drivability and power transfer is a reward in itself. Regardless of the model year or the type of Nissan 370Z NISMO you own, you can enhance its performance and enjoyment with the right performance clutch.