Infiniti QX80 Tuning

"Thanks for reading this Infiniti QX80 tuning tips."

We get emailed and see posted questions for some recommendations on improving the QX80 and which tuning modifications we rate as the greatest, so this guide has been assembled which covers our go to modifications and methods of modifying and tuning on the QX80 engine.

The QX80 is a great tuning project to have. Sit down first and research QX80 tuning to avoid making the usual costly errors we see.


Tuning tips and articles

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


Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many QX80 owners uprate the handling of their cars with fast road suspension parts as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.


We found that most QX80 factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe (set some toe out to improve cornering or use toe in for better stability) and you only need around 1-1.7 degrees, and a small amount of negative camber will dramatically enhance your cornering and handling.

We would go to a maximum drop of 29mm - 36 mm. on most models. You risk handling compromises if you go lower than this.

For greatly enhanced stopping fit better high friction brake pads and match this with bigger discs.

As a word of warning please note that motorsport brake pads can grind and will need a lot of heat before they bit.

On a road car the brakes are only used rarely, therefore will not stop you as well so choose friction pads which don't need to be really hot.

Turning our attention to the QX80's engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

  • 5.6 L V8 VK56DE 2004 - 2010
  • 5.6L V8 32-valve VVEL(VK56VD) 2010 onwards

Following our guidance for tuning your QX80 you will end up with a practical sporty car that will potentially out perform bigger cars.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Engine tuning mods.

This list of the stages and tuning mods are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to go before you start.

Getting the correct grade of modified modifications for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport mods just won't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Suspension upgrade (drop 29mm - 36 mm.), Remap, Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Sports exhaust.

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

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

You really need to keep as much low end torque as possible and aim to achieve a long power band rather than a narrow top end power spike.


The point of our guides is to give a starting base of tuning 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 modified kits and all aspects of modding cars.A fast road camshaft is generally one of the best NASP power mods you can do mechanically to your engine.

The exhaust and intake flow play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip to fully release the power gain.

Don't forget to look at the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after performance upgrades are done can usually be traced to fuelling or timing issues. To get sufficient fuel you may need to improve 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.  Induction kits are only beneficial to increase performance if the cars air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most stock engines will see NO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

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

Sports exhausts can usually air flow from the engine but do not go too large or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Head porting and polishing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools When you tune up your QX80 you will usally see that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutch. The best mods in our opinion for your QX80 are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

Turbo engines are just crying out to be remapped. You will see phenomenal power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and phenomenal modifications for your money. The most significant 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 th engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tires) for your car, a good directional tread pattern tire can really enhance your cars handling. Large QX80 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Due to this fact try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases not going over 19 inches.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss QX80 options in more detail with our QX80 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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