i have a 99 lightning and it just slung a rod??? nope i was not being are have i ben bad to my truck it only has 25000 miles on it at the most... oil changed at the most every 2500 miles its ben about 100 miles in the last three weeks and no noise are running problems at all... i just have a few minor things done exhaust.. air flow meter k n and of course the super chip... anyone heard of such a thing... can i put any 5.4 in my truck??
The connecting rods are junk! As mentioned they are made of powdered metal because it is the cheapest way to make a rod. All factory rods used to be forged, but the bean counters have brought that to a halt. Your experience is not uncommon. FWIW, the 03 and up Cobra come with Manley steel rods. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I would gladly have paid $500 more for my truck to have real connecting rods. Another problem with these trucks is spitting out spark plugs.
The blown Lightning 5.4 is a lower compression engine than the N/A 5.4, so the short answer to the queston of using any 5.4 is no. If you really wanted to, you could probably put one in, but by the time you got it installed and changed all of the accessories and computer you may of well just bought a Lightning motor and had it built. Just my opinion though.
I've been thinking about buying a Lightning, but the "connecting rod" issue bothers me. There are a few Lightnings and Boss 5.4 trucks for sale around here. The Boss is sweet, but I rather have a Lightning. When did Ford figure the "rods" problem out? I think it was around the time they were building the '03-'04 Cobra. If I'm going to finance a car, I'm probably better off with an '03-'04 Cobra.
I disagree with all who say the rods are junk or are of poor quality. They may be the weak link, but they are far from junk!
The rods Ford used in the Lightning engine hold up quite well to the stock power produced by the Lightning. That is far from junk. It's not until one starts putting modifications on their Lightning, requiring a custom tune, that the rods perceived weakness comes into play. Ford didn't engineer the rods to hold up to the type of power, abuse, and "pushing-the-envelope" tuning a lot of guys throw at their Lightnings. And because they didn't, the rods are now junk? No, like I said, they do quite well for their intended purpose. We just would prefer them to be stronger!
There are many guys running quite a bit of power through their stock block, because a very safe tune keeps their engine from detonating. When their tune is too aggressive, or they have quite a bit more HP and torque being produced than what the engine was designed to do, that's when people have problems with ventilated blocks. But that doesn't make the rods junk. Just the weak link!
josh99, who created the tune on your SuperChip? Was it a dyno tune? What was the timing set on it? How about your A/F ratio? Was it an "off-the-shelf" tune? Was it specifically tuned for your truck and modifications?
Yes, stock rods work well on a bone stock, and even a mildly modified application. Given the nature of the beast though, with better rods, there would've been much more potential with with aftermarket parts and forged rods...I mean, SVT put Forged internals in the 03-04 Cobras, why not put 'em in a heavy azz truck too that produces more torque.
Also, I've been doing my own software tuning for quite a while now and pre-detonation will kill a piston long before it will a rod...torque is a rod-killa.
i don't know what the big thing is with people saying a powdered rod stinks . instead of cunks of steel being melted down to to make the rod they use powdered steel to melt down and make the part. its not like they are trying to press the part out of cold powder. it's how the metal is when it starts off, before being melted down to be cast or stamped out in a forgeing.
if any thing these rods are cast powdered metal not true forged where they are stamped out of a forged steel plate .look at one some time you will see the mold halfs in the center of the beam.
the biggest problem is the part is made and designed to handle so much power and most of us "self included" have added power adders and gone above the that spec.
i definetly would not cross out a lightning because you think the stock blocks are junk.i can give you a list of guys that are putting over 500 to the rear with stock blocks.(me being one of them)having a good tuner is really key once you start modding them and they will handle alot.my 2001 has been modded since day one.first 2 years 4l.b. pulley,sbtb,filter and chip(tuned on the dyno)i ran consistent 12.6 w/slicks putting down 411 r.w.h. now for the last three years or so i have been running a 75 shot,ported eaton,power cooler and a couple of little tricks.on the same dyno i got retuned and put down 529 r.w.h. and 703 r.w.t. all sae.100% stock block and converter.which i ran 11.9 @114.(crappy track)and as far as the plug issue they only blow out when they are loose so check them once in a while make sure there tight and you will be fine.ive been bored so last month i just finished some changes i wanted to try something new so decided to go with stage 3 ported heads and stage 2 cams with a kenne bell.(still on my original block with 68000 miles)ill be going to the dyno in the next week or so and see what happens.
FWIW some of the power stroke diesels use PM rods. They seem to hold up well but they can be broken when power adders are used.
What puzzles me is that Ford made a truck that was designed to be a hi-performance vehicle. The majority of people who buy a vehicle like that are going to enhance it at least a little. I think the engineers should have realized this and compensated accordingly. Maybe they did and people enhanced things more than the engineers predicted.