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Mods so far...

So I'm coming up to a couple of months of owning my ZC33S and thought I would share my progress. As an Engineer, I've researched everything I've done obsessively for peace of mind. Pics are at the bottom.

HKS Super Power Flow:
As we know, the Swift is very quiet as standard, but this certainly adds some welcome noise! While crawling around local streets, there is a bit of exhaust burble without being offensive to anyone. The fun starts when the turbo spools up where you can really hear the air rushing in and a subtle roar from the OEM exhaust.

Pick up is improved quite a bit also and you can really feel the difference. Filter elements are dead easy to replace and should be done every 6-12 months. Installation is easier than the instructions make it seem.

Forge Blow Off Valve:
Made in the UK and a reasonable price compared to the likes of HKS and Blitz. Easy enough to install as long as you don't drop a nut through the open pipe you just fitted 🤦‍♂️ Operates quickly and makes the best sound of them all in my opinion.

Taking it easy it sounds like the air brakes on a bus. Give it some and it sounds like a loud whooshy whip crack! Advantage to this one is it can be serviced in less than 10 mins without tools! Good operating range and easy to upgrade springs if tuning hard.

HKS Power Editor:
I did an awful lot of research on this one, and most of the information came from Japan where they are extremely popular. I also exchanged emails with Masaya Yumeda, boss of HKS Europe (very pleasant guy!).

Installation takes a few minutes and I had no issues installing the software on my Windows 10 laptop. I stuck with the standard map that's preinstalled with a 9% increase. From what I've read, you can safely go to 12% without needing to modify the AFR.

It genuinely surprised me the difference this made! Normal driving you won't know it's there. Push the revs to just over 3.5K or so and my god you get a real kick up the backside! Very handy for fast overtakes and motorway slip roads.

HKS do provide instructions for setting it to IIRC 7%, 9% and 12% increase. Definitely triple check the numbers you put in the software to avoid any issues, but again, it's a dead easy job that takes minutes. I may go for a remap one day when I have chance to get down to CTC, and the PE can be removed and sold on.

Scangauge II:
Another easy installation with this one, just needing to be plugged into the OBD II connector and mounted where you please. Nice long 6ft cable is included.

The quick start guide gets you up and running quickly and the main manual has much more info including how to add XGauges. I currently have it displaying battery voltage, boost, intake air temp and water temp.

Very easy to use and set if you stick to the basics but you can go further and set up fuel consumption, journey cost, speed, 0-60 time, 1/4 mile times etc. Really a massive number of functions!

Only 2 issues I have with it is that the Swift doesn't seem to send the required info for AFR, which is a shame since I would have liked to see this. Other one is that boost level comes from the 2 pressure sensors I connected the Power Editor to. So it will show up to around 14.7psi before the PE kicks in and it drops to around 12.5psi or so, even though you obviously feel the increase in boost. This is just because the PE is dropping the sensor voltages to tell the ECU to give more boost. I'll solve this one day with a physical boost gauge but at least it will show if you have a boost leak.

It will also read any current or pending error codes that can throw up a check engine light and you can clear them if needed.

Overall a very handy device for a very reasonable cost. I have it mounted as the pic below. Stops it distracting me but I can see it with a quick glance down and doesn't feel out of place to me. Very easy to relocate or change vehicles.

I'm taking my time with next steps but will look at the Cusco braces for the underside and I have a Cusco strut brace coming from CTC. Exhaust I'm not sure about yet. Don't want the hassle at MOT time with a decat and don't want to annoy the neighbours with early starts at work. It has a nice bit of subtle roar for now.

Definitely a very easy car to work on and to modify to your liking! Really enjoying it so far!

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Nice Mods, the HKS exhaust was a good decision, once they are worn it it sounds AMAZING! 🙂

Sorry Kris, I should have clarified, it's the Super Power Flow air intake I have. Exhaust is OEM for now. I was looking at the HKS one with the carbon tips though. Looks and sounds very good!

I think with the intake especially, if I have the exhaust and downpipe swapped out, I'll be into remap territory which I want to avoid for just now. I'll do all that one day with an uprated intercooler too.

So much to do and not enough disposable to do it as quickly as I would like 😂

It would be interesting to see dyno figures at some stage. Clearly you have achieved some worthwhile subjective results. What it illustrates to me is that the loss of some power in the new hybrid version can be easily recovered with minor tuning mods at relatively low cost.

Good stuff. And keep up the good work Ben.

I agree Ken. Should I get the opportunity to anytime soon, I would be very interested to see real world figures. From my overly intensive reading of Japanese forums, I found a couple of cars with the same couple of mods apparently making around 185bhp/285Nm on premium fuel. I would have liked to see the proof to really believe that, but I guess they could have really pushed the boost and octane levels up just for a quick dyno run and rounded the figure up!

I'm sure I read about a 10bhp difference in the new hybrid, so it should be easily reclaimed for little spend. Plus I'm sure it will make up for it low down at least with the instant torque electric motors generate.

Edit: Just found a graph that HKS published after installing a Power Editor on a stock ZC33S using the preloaded map. Works out to almost 175bhp! So I guess with the intake and possibly playing with boost/fuel it's probably not too far off.

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Great feedback!

Is HKS exhaust really the best option? Isn't an exhaust too expensive, considering that if I'm not in error, it has the same diameter as the original exhaust?


I don't have a HKS exhaust (yet at least), just the intake and Power Editor. The restriction in the exhaust comes from the down pipe and cat. CTC do an enlarged pipe and there are a few sports cats around (or decat if you want to risk it at MOT).

Your car looks almost like a carbon copy of mine 😀

I have the same BOV, air filter and i also have the cusco strut brace.

Besides that i have a HKS sport cat, Remus cat-back exhaust and a remap. Non-performance mods are Greddy hood lifters so i don't have to deal with that stupid hood support (as a car mechanic i hate these with a passion, always have to fish around for 'em..) and i also have the Greddy carbon fibre steering wheel.

My car with these mods and remap produces 180HP/330NM. With dyno papers ofc.

Keep up the good work, i love it 🙂
And if you do get those underbody braces, do tell me if they make a significant difference because i was thinking about getting them too along with the c-pillar brace.

Hi Daniel,

That's crazy! I've made a list of mods to come and some for further in the future and you're matching me even more!

Been looking at the HKS sports cat for a while, have the GReddy carbon hood lifters on the list along with the Cusco C pillar brace! I'll probably be getting that brace along with the rear underbody brace within the next month. I'm sure it was Chris at CTC that said the strut brace and rear frame one make a big difference.

I saw the carbon steering wheel on and it does look very nice! I've gone the pretend route there and ordered three carbon look plates designed for the Jimny but fit the Swift. They fit on the bottom centre plate and the L/R surrounds to the buttons. For what they cost I thought I would try them out.

You've got a healthy amount of torque there too!