I'm in the process of researching F-150s, and I really like the Lightning, but don't think I can afford it. Plus, I don't like the fact that there is only one row of seating. So, which truck should I look at if I want to convert it into a Fake Lightning? I'm thinking a 4x2 Flareside XLT. What year? How difficult is this type of conversion. I'm thinking I first want to do the SC, fuel managment, exhaust, and then body/suspension. Has anyone anything like this? Can you provide any links? I thried to conduct a search, but came up empty handed, it's hard to wait 40 sec for a new search when you strike out. Anyone, please help.
It would probably be cheaper to get a nice used one. You would have to change the electronics. The bottom end of a Lightning is stronger to hold up to the added boost. The tranny has beefed up internals to hold the torque. The suspension is lowered with better springs and shocks. You could change everything yourself, but it would be costly and very time consuming.
I would think that they would be more like a Lariat due to the leather seating and stuff.
plus the lightning is a 5.4L and the xlt flareside only has a 4.6L. It would be pretty hard to get the same amount of power out of a smaller V8. I think your best bet would be to go with a used lightning. You would wind up spending a lot less money by going with the lightning.
I found some complete "Lightning" conversion kits in an ebay store a while back. Around $900 for the kit, which includes front/rear bumpers. Sides and fogs, things like that. Only looked though. If you just want the bumper you can get them seperate.
I have a 2001 Flareside Supercab XLT Sport. Its probably as close as you can get. Maybe a Lariat would be closer in some regards, but I wanted silver and for some reason they don't come in silver. I too coveted a Lightning, but the 800 lb maximum payload and no rear seat made it just too impractical even if I could have justified the cost. If money is not a consideration, the Harley is now supercharged and comes in Supercrew and, I think, Supercab versions. Its not quite as fast as a Lightning, but it should be close. I don't know what their load capacity is.
The Flareside takes the Lightning tail lights (just be sure to use shorter mounting screws), and any cab will take the other trim and light parts. I believe the Supercrew will also take the Lightning tail lights.
I'm sure you realize that a real Lightning has many, many changes besides the supercharger. To name a few: transmission, exhaust, springs, shocks, shock mount, rear sway bar, wheels, tires, and brakes. But there's no reason you can't do at least some of these things over a period of time!
I would get an extended cab styleside and bolt on a Magna charge with intercooler kit, get that external package, and look for used L wheels. A brake upgrade to an expy, shift kit, a few other cheap mods, and you'd have a pretty fun truck. I wouldn't expect the Lightning boys to help with a clone. Just keep the phony badges off.