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Hey all. Sorry, but I'm kind of a noob when it comes to working on cars. Im not quite 21 yet and I havnt had many opportunites to further my experience. About a month ago I got my first truck, a 94 Lightning. It came with traction bars, a Banks Trans-Command, and a Bassani exauhst. Since I've owned it I've replaced the fuel regulator, distributor cap and rotor, plugs and wires. Unfortunately this is my only vehicle and as such has to be my daily driver. I'm considering a cold-air kit to squeeze out better mpg's. Would it be worth it??? Also, whats the difference between that and mass air. Being the noob that I am, I never heard of it before this forum so I don't know what exactly mass air is. Also any advice on other relatively inexpensive mods that would help gas-mileage and/or power would be greatly appreciated!
Basically mass-air calculates the amount of air coming in, speed density assumes the amount of air. mass air has an "air meter" in the inlet tube and speed density doesnt. not really a difference until you start modding.
what either system does is tells the computer how much fuel to add based on how much air is coming into the motor. just does it different ways.
cold air shouldnt hurt anything and will give you a little power(not much) mpg's will probably go down because you will have your foot in it all the time. lol
youre lightning should be speed density unless its already been converted.
2 answer youre 2nd question. power and gas mileage dont go together. if 1 goes up the other usually goes down.
the truck is pretty good from the factory. and there really arent any inexpensive mods to do. came with decent heads(better with work done to them) and a good intake. a cam and rocker arms would be nice but that can run into some $$.
i would check the timing(thats free). if you use good gas i would set it at 16* base and go from there. if it pings back off 2*. then if it didnt have longtubes on it i would save for those.
Thanks much! I did some poking around under the hood and found some badging on the headers. They are Hooker Super Competition. I figure thats pretty damn good! lol. But I just bypassed the smog pump tonight with a 91 inch belt and it seems to be running a bit leaner. (Probably the O2 sensor not sensing as much air in the exhaust and telling the ecu to back off on the gas.) When you mentioned doing work to the heads what did you mean/have in mind?
I have not..thats the next thing I'm going to get done. Timing is something I know next to nothing about really, so I'm gonna have my mechanic do it. But eventually as I learn I'll probably get a timing light, along with a code reader and whatnot..
Advancing the timing is easy and it'll just take few minutes once you get your hands on a timing light.
The headers, trans-command and traction bars are good upgrades for that truck. Electric fans and underdrive pulleys will free up a little rotational HP as well.
Intercooled Vortech, Victor Jr. heads, roller cam, 62lb injectors, 2800 stall converter, Eaton Locker, Pickrel Headers and Exhaust, FMS Mass Air using SCT tuning software. Road trip and dragstrip ready!
Ok. Thanks! It already has electric fans, not sure about the pulleys. But I plan on doing those sometime soonish, particularly make the alt quite a bit bigger than the crank. I pretty much don't use anything electric except fans and lights. I hardly use the radio even.
Ok, I just bought my first lightning as well. One thing i can certainly tell you to do is if it has the stock intake replace it with less tubing and a descent size filter. Will free up some horses and help it breath. No point in having a good exhaust if you cant bring the air in.
If it has the Smog equipment on it, depending on where you live i took mine off and formatted the computer with tweecer(a separate tuner/computer to keep engine codes from coming up. That will help with mileage a little if you keep your foot off the gas. I'm sure if the person who had it before you did electric fans they did the underdrive pulleys. Pretty easy. Advancing timing is a GREAT simple way to gain HP and TQ.
But be careful that if you advance past a certain point you need to run higher octane fuel to keep proper combustion and get the gains you are looking for.
Also look at your alternator and see if it was upgraded to a 130amp and not a stock 90amp. Not sure how you can tell anymore but that will help with powerband if you have fans, radio, and lights on at same time(i do when i street race at night). These motors are do not do well with low volts off the line. They act a little sluggish and it can be the difference between .1 in a quarter from my own experience.
with the traction bars that should have fixed the wheel hop issue that is common so no worries there.
Have a picture of under the hood?
MAF is not needed unless you are pushing a turbo or supercharger or stroking the motor to be honest. S/D is just fine if it is a daily driver. Also look at upgrading to a MSD ignition coil/ distributor/ and wires.... Can really make a difference on how smooth it runs and the proper spark you need. Sometimes upping the injector size helps but might need to tune it a little or you will run WAY rich.
Other than that you are looking at ALOT of $$$. Sounds like most bolt ons have been done already to this truck. Personally i would not waste my time Port and polishing these heads. I think it is worth the extra few hundred to get a fresh pair of heads that are already set to flow that high and get yourself some descent springs, rods, etc and build yourself a NICE set of heads. The stock GT40 are great but very restrictive without ALOT.. I MEAN ALOT of porting!!
Just do the research and ask questions. We all know a little of this and that and can pretty much tell you what you need to know between all of us.. i hope
I actually just replaced the stock filter with a Spectre universal one today and just put it on the stock tube where the stock air box was. I zip-tied it to the coolant and washer fluid tank bracket so it won't bounce around. Thursday when I get paid I'm going to assemble a new tubing set with Spectre universal pieces and fittings. My plan is to have the the filter end up just below and behind the radiator with a heat shield mounted on the engine side. I'll post pictures once its all done. Hopefully I'll have time to pull out all the smog equipment that day too since I've already bypassed the pump. And I'll check the alternator next chance I get.
I've been doing a bit of reading on tuners, and I've heard good things about Moates Quaterhorse. Any opinions on it or another good easy to use tuner I could get eventually? I know you used tweecer, and I'm considering that too, I just have no experience with tuning.
As far as other mods go, I want to keep it fairly simple for now, eventually I'm going to pull the engine and build it into 393. I'd probably end up putting AFR 205 heads on it. Thats several years down the road though.
Also, if I have an oil breather cap do I need a pcv valve. The previous owner has removed it and I have no clue where exactly it would go. I've read its on the back of the lower intake, but theres no room for me to reach back there and get to it without removing the upper.
I just did a spectra filter today myself! Went to the biggest one they sold in stores. Trying to keep the red and black theme with some chrome in my truck lol.
But with the PCV valve i honestly am not sure. The guy who owned it before me did the delete of it, he never explained it and i never checked it.
For tuning options i have heard quarterhorse is great. Personally i am getting ready to go to a full independent fuel injection system by megasquirt. I was going to do this to my Inline 6 before i bought this truck but now that they have v8 capabilities i am going to let the money fly and my truck go faster for it haha.
Just do some research, read EVERY DETAIL BEFORE YOU INSTALL ANY TUNER!!!!!!!!! You risk blowing your motor, running lean and causing issues, etc ,etc. If youdo it right and with the right tuner i have heard people getting 25mpg or more on highway with economy tune and nice lower 13's with just bigger injectors and what upgrades you have now.
Please post some pictures though. Would love to see your ride. I am in process of recieving my long bars now... dang things are gonna help sooo much with wheel hop!
Just did my stereo as well today, new amp, headunit, kept my speakers as they cost me 1k for the 4 when i bought them 2 years ago.. they are amazing with clarity and loudness.. very rare to have both.
I put the actual Spectre aluminum intake tube on last night. Love hearing it suck in air as accelerate! As far as pics go I'll take some new ones tomorrow if I have time and post them. There's already several on my profile in my garage. This a a vid I took a while ago before the smog bypass and intake. lightning.wmv - YouTube
Nice video. I'll check the pics out. What is the gauge that is sitting on the right side of the front bezel? I couldnt read it... But i like the look, the Gen 2 badge by the fender looks sharp. I was thinking of doing the F150 SVT tag, im not sure yet, i might get a custom one... all depends on what i am feeling!
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