I am considering purchasing a 2003 Lightning, but it will need to be a daily driver. Since I live in Ohio, there is some snow to deal with. Not too much, but it is a concern. Does anybody here drive their Lightning in winter conditions? If so, how does it do?
My current vehicle is a 1998 AWD Explorer, so I know the Lightning won't handle the snow like it does, but I do need to get to work even in the winter!
BTW, I did get the opportunity to test drive the Lightning today..... AWSOME!!!! No other way to describe it. In my younger days I owned a 5.0 5-speed Mustang. That was a blast to drive, but this MAY top that car.
It'll drive alright because it has a limited slip in the rear. You might want to get some snow tires. I had a 95 F-150 2wd with a limited slip and some snow tires and you could get anywhere except up steep hills and towing trailers in the winter time. A little weight in the back would help too.
Don't forget that when you get snow tires, Wider is NOT better
The best thing I have found for adding weight are concrete patio pavers (usually 2' x 2' x 2") If you have a bedliner, they work great.
Here's what I do (I have a plastic (drop-in) liner):
Completely clean the bedliner, then put a few 'dots' of silicone adhesive on the raised ridges of the bedliner. Lay the pavers on top of the 'dots', and they will stick in place, so they don't slide around in the back. (be sure to use an outdoor adhesive with good low temp performance)
A Pal of mine uses the traditional 2x4 and Sandbag approach, and it works just as well.
Good Luck, and remember that Nothing beats doing donuts in 4" of new snow
It seems that most people with this truck don't take it out in the snow. Unfortunately, I don't have this luxury, at least now now. I will take a bit more convincing to get the wife to let me get a winter beater.
Last fall I had to deal with your situation; I live in NH, drive into the white mountains and everywhere else with my 99 lightning. What worked for me was this: I took a look at the spare tire set up on the truck, i think it is a 235 70 16 (ck for yourself to be sure)I figured the overall size difference would be close and the rim would have to be large enough to clear suspension and brake components, went to a local large volume ford dealer, ordered up 4 spare tire rims only. (price was around $65 each through a friend at the parts counter) next, check out tirerack.com, there you will find a great winter tire from Michellin called the (4x4 alpin) non studed, works pretty good considering you can actually drive the truck at moderate speed, takeoff and braking. I was actually amazed at the hook up on dry and the stopping on snow. worked for me! Also, my truck has a belltech drop kit which makes it even more difficult in deep snow. good luck!
another note, PLEASE don't ever use any kind of block for weight in the bed of your truck. This becomes an instant projectile in an accident. I could be wrong but I use bags of water softener salt in the bed because it won't freeze like sand will (moisture in it), you can use it if you get stuck and hopefully in the event of an accident, the unfrozen salt bag will disitergrate during an impact...who knows, but its better than concrete...
Thanks for all the info. I bought my '03 Lightning about two weeks ago. Checked out Tirerack.com and for about $1000 they can get me some 16 inch wheels and snow tires. And on top of that, the wheels aren't just steel spare tire wheels. Not the coolest looking things, but they will be reasonable.
I have a water softener, so using the salt for weight on the back end will not be a problem for me.
I agree withy the winter tire post. I at one time had a rear drive sports car with horrible winter traction. I sprung for a set of Bridgestone Blizzax (or something like that) for all four wheels and they made a LOT of difference . It'll help rationalize the cost if you consider you'll extend the wear on your original tires by every mile you put on the winter ones. I do think the rear end drop or leveling kit makes sense for weight transfer reasons as well. Definitely get new wheels for those winter tires.
Sure would like to know what the dealers are "getting" for a new $33,500 White SVT 03' Lightning? Edmunds says we have to pay around STICKER. Which I would NEVER do. Any input would be GREATLY appreciated.
on the price issue, I have portsmouth ford at $32k and then autofair (high, high volume dealer) at $29k (at least the last time i looked...) Prices range. Even at 35k the truck would be a good deal considering its power, handling, braking and in my case it also makes a pretty good work truck for light construction.....