Infiniti QX50 Tuning

"Tuning guide to the best Infiniti QX50 modifications."

As many of our forum members have emailed and posted questions about the QX50 and recommendations on how to modify one, so we've put together this page to take you through what we feel are the main modifications that make for improvement and tuning success on this engine.

The QX50 is a great project car to fill your spare time. We see car owners wasting money on their QX50 doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our pointers to avoid making the common mistakes


Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums


Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many QX50 owners uprate the handling of their cars with uprated suspension parts as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Good suspension tweaks that greatly benefit handling for the QX50 include a couple of degrees negative camber and 1-1.5 degrees of toe (set out to improve cornering or in for better stability) on the front wheels.

We would go to a maximum drop of 26mm - 36 mm. on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

Fitting bigger discs and better high friction brake pads can make for sharper improved braking.

Note that motorsport pads will be noisy and will need to be hot before they are effective.

On your regular commute to work the brakes are only applied now and then so will not be effective so specify pads which don't need to be really hot.

Don't just look at the peak power figures, you need to see the whole torque curve when determining if a mod is right for you QX50.

  • 3.7 L V6 VQ37VHR 320 hp (239 kW)
  • 3.0 L V6 TD engine V9X 238 PS (175 kW; 235 hp)
  • 2.0 L I4 KR20DDET 268 hp (200 kW)
QX50 make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine upgrades and handling upgrades you can find!

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars.

Power mods.

These mods tuning kits are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get going.

Getting the best tuning parts for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport parts just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 26mm - 36 mm.), Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Remap.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injector, Power/Sport clutch, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Engine balancing, Competition cam, Sports gearbox, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger).

You should keep as much low end torque as possible and aim to achieve a long power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power spike.


The whole aim of our articles is to give a little insight into the world of customizing mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best performance mods and all aspects of modding cars.A fast road cam often proves to be one of the best NASP power mods you can do from a single upgrade to your engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust durations and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling.

Using higher octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Infiniti project after fitting other kits. To get sufficient fuel you may need to increase the injectors on your engine.

If you are increasing your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine.  Please note that WE DO NOT FEEL YOU GET POWER GAINS FROM INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car massively and are finding that the standard air intake has become limited.

Derestricting the flow of air into the engine is a primary goal of car tuners so get a freer flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound fun but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not really increase power and often rob you of power on most cars.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can buy this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Getting the head polished and ported will further help more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a pro with a flow bench. When you tune up your QX50 you will reach a point that the standard clutch starts to slip so get an uprated clutch. The best mods we recommend for your QX50 are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

Remaps offer massive power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful. However a chipped ECU on a NASP engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

We've also come across some owners toying with twincharged applications and making some very high power gains.

The most impressive power gains for NASP engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Turbos are generally harder to add than a supercharger. Turbos provide boost in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.


Superchargers will give a boost which is correlating to engine speed so is simpler. Alternatively you could perhaps add water injection to minimise knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels can help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones. Get a good directional tread pattern tire to improve your handling and help improve traction on your QX50. Large QX50 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Although some people have gone larger than this without problems we would stick to a 19 inch rim size as the maximum.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss QX50 options in more detail with our QX50 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Infiniti tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

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