The 350Z, as well as its sister model the G35, is definitely a fun tuner platform. Those that own one would say pitching it sideways is one of its high points. Upgrading the differential is a must on most enthusiast’s lists, to get more control out of their drivetrain. Especially for those vehicles that didn’t come with the OEM Nissan VLSD. Another must while replacing the LSD are the differential bushings because the OEM ones blow out pretty easily. If you are acquainted with these cars, you can see the rear bushing fail, because it is oil-filled, and leaves a trail down the rear differential cover.


350z G35 leaking differential bushing

Got to love the trail of oil the bushing leaves on your differential cover. That’s okay; a Nismo performance one will take care of that.


On this NA 350Z, the customer wanted to install a new final drive set. The OEM final drive, for the six-speed models, is 3.538. Switching over to a 4.08 will increase acceleration by about 15% compared to stock. We suggest the Quaife LSD, for most applications, because of the helical’s smooth engagement for street driving. (We can’t all be race car drivers.) The Nismo differential cover is for better cooling characteristics, and hey, it looks really cool too. Lastly the WHITELINE differential bushing set.


350z G35 Quaife LSD Nismo Differential cover 4.08 final drive set

Complete replacement of the carrier bearings and seals are required.


To begin the job, first we’ll need to remove the complete differential carrier. Get ready, that’s almost the complete removal of the exhaust, rear sway bar, driveshaft, and axles. Installing the final drive and LSD is a very technical installation and we don’t suggest it unless you have all the right tools and knowledge.


Look at the casting of the Quaife(left) compared to the VLSD, the construction mush more sturdy.

Look at the casting of the Quaife(left) compared to the VLSD, the construction is much more sturdy and better finished product.


When talking about LSD’s, you will hear a lot about 2-way, 1.5-way, 1-way. When you here this, they are talking primarily about clutch type LSD’s. So in the case of the Quaife, because it is a Torsen LSD, it is none of these. Unlike conventional plate-style limited slip differentials, the Quaife helical LSD differential relies on gears rather than clutch plates for it’s operation. That means it is much smoother in operation. The helical LSD differential never locks harshly with a set pre-load of wheel-slip across the driven axle, like conventional LSD’s. Rather, the helical LSD differential automatically biases the torque, away from the spinning wheel, across the axle, to a constantly varying degree, and never locks. The Quaife requires very little maintenance, hence the Quaife lifetime guarantee. It is more suited for track use rather than drifting. The Quaife will be amazing in the bends and pull you right round the corner, however the down side is that under hard acceleration in a straight line, it will cause you to move across the road from side to side. It will do this more depending on the power you are putting down.


350z G35 Quaife input shaft mod

A requirement for installation of the Quaife LSD is to cut one of the input shafts.


350z G35 4.08 final drive setting pinion depth

You must properly set up the pinion depth.


350z G35 Quaife LSD 4.08 final drive setting backlash

Setting the backlash.


Checking the contact pattern in relation to the pinion depth ant the backlash.

Checking the contact pattern in relation to the pinion depth and the backlash.


Now there are several different options for performance replacement bushings: WHITELINE, SPL Suspension, and Energy Suspension. (There may be more but who wants to name them all?) The WHITELINE bushings are the ones we chose for this specific replacement for one primary reason. The OEM bushing uses a metal sleeve just like many OEM suspension bushings. If you had the Energy replacement bushing, you would have to remove the insides out so that you could re-use it. The WHITELINE does not require this step, making the installation more cost/time effective for most consumers.


350z G35 OEM differential bushing

The OEM bushing can be extremely hard to remove without the right tools.


350z G35 WHITELINE differential bushing install

The WHITELINE bushings still require pressing in, the yellow is so pretty.


In the end, you have a great setup; more response from your drivetrain! The Quaife LSD hooks up both wheels, not only on acceleration but also de-acceleration, unlike the OEM 1-way LSD. In addition, the WHITELINE bushings cause less deflection over the OEM bushings. In our opinion, these are some of the best upgrades you can do to your car.





Purchase the WHITELINE bushings


Purchase the Quaife Differential

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