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Lightning ECM on a stock 5.8

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Lightning ECM on a stock 5.8

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  #1  
Old 03-10-2018, 02:50 AM
One eyed Jumpin Jack
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Lightning ECM on a stock 5.8

Hey y'all, I have a line on a refurbished ECM from a gen 1 speed density lightning. Will it make any noticeable difference on my bone stock '94 5.8 Bronco? I have only had the Bronco for a couple months and haven't had the opportunity to do what I want to it yet, although I do have a mental parts list going. It will eventually get the mandatory Basani y pipe and 3' single into a dual exit muffler, a new intake, either Eddy truck or lightning, and 1.7 rockers for the stock heads. I'm happy with the stock roller cam and the and mannerisms it has. I also understand and the limitations of the S/D system. That's the main reason I really am not bothered to mess with the cam. Maybe I'll scavenge the GT40p heads from my friends 96 Exploder if it ever dies, so I'll probably hold off on headers until that happens..

My question for now is will the lightning computer do anything for the seat of your pants dyno or will I need to make the intake/exhaust upgrades before installing it? No, I'm not interested in going MAF or any wild aftermarket craziness. I just want to keep the stock power curve, but elevate it across the board. Will the lightning ECM sacrifice the off idle power or enhance it?

I have a 5 year plan for this one which includes a 4" BDS lift with new radius arms, paint, a torsen rear, some sort of locker up front and a fresh interior. It will eventually be a very nice Bronco. It runs and shifts great, and has almost zero rust, although the window rubber is high on the priority list. Hell, it even has the factory towing package, stock 31" tires, twin shocks which I happen to love, and a nice trailer brake setup. I feel like I stole it for $2,500.

I bought it off a kid who didn't even have it long enough to get hard tags. He told me it was the shop ride for a mechanic shop and the engine and E4OD have been "rebuilt" I imagine that to just mean head gaskets and new lining in the tranny, but I haven't had the need or opportunity to even pop a valve cover as it idles as smooth and quiet as it did in 1994. At 260,000+ miles I need to do brakes, exhaust and ball joints first. I am hopeful the new ECM would be a quick and satisfying plug and play upgrade in the mean time. I believe the bit about it being a mechanics truck as it has BRAND NEW carpet, but the leather seats (it's an XLT) are stained with grease and oil. Every interior panel has been beat to hell but every button in it works, even the rear window.
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:02 PM
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guys have run a lightning ecu in the bronco. what gains if any are unreported. everything you plan to do should be fine on the stock efi. the gt40p heads are not worth the hassle of trying to find headers that work on the bronco in my opinion.

if it runs great now, i wouldnt bother with the ecu. if you want better shifting from the E4OD look into "ThePunisher" he builds valve bodies for that trans and they are outstanding. Exhaust work should be first on the list though, you do not need the bassani Y pipe. Have a reputable exhaust shop make you a y pipe while they are doing the rest of your exhaust. 2.5" Y all mandrel bent running a hi flow cat.. you know the rest.

good luck
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:41 PM
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The Lightning computer has a more aggressive timing curve and transmission pressure/shift points. On a stock 5.8L engine the timing change may not be very noticeable IMHO.

Is the Lightning PCM a 1994/95 model year version? If so you are good to go.

If it is a 1993 version it was designed to work with the earlier Push-Start Ignition. May get mixed results when trying to use it on your 1994 Bronco since it uses the later Computer Controlled Dwell (CCD) Ignition.
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:28 PM
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uhy

Thanks for the replies guys, I may just buy it and save it for when the intake/exhaust is done. It's only $108. Thankfully, it's not my dd.
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:39 PM
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whats the push start ignition about, would be a pain to have to push start your car every where.
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Skip1970 View Post
whats the push start ignition about, would be a pain to have to push start your car every where.
I think it's the modern equivalent of the crank start.
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Skip1970 View Post
whats the push start ignition about, would be a pain to have to push start your car every where.
Some good reading attached
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rla2005 View Post
Some good reading attached
Excellent reading indeed. One of the nuances that can easily be overlooked for sure. Thank you for linking that.

I'm not gonna go nuts on the engine.There is no need as It is pretty adequate as it is. The Bronco is not the heavies vehicle compared to the other 90's efi Windsors I've driven. I've driven. Just gonna let it breathe better and see how she does. I'm half torn between ain't broke dont fix and wouldn't it be a fun experiment on the ECM. Althought I remember a certain E250 in our fleet back then that would smoke every other truck/Van we had. I wish I could remember the year it was. I knoiw it was a 5.8. Maybe it was just geared better? We were pretty wild with the company trucks back then. I've probably driven and severely abused every Ford truck model up through F-450 of this generation, Back when they were new, they were the best truck/van/big SUV around. period.

Hey look!, an ATF leak! YAY!! Is there an overflow on the E40d? I may have put a pint too much in. Dammit. If it's a leak I'll get it with the exhaust Install. Priorities.
 
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by One eyed Jumpin Jack View Post
Is there an overflow on the E40d? I may have put a pint too much in.
I believe there is a vent on top of the transmission case. About the only way for fluid to come out the top is rolling the truck on it's roof.
 
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rla2005 View Post
I believe there is a vent on top of the transmission case. About the only way for fluid to come out the top is rolling the truck on it's roof.
So that's what the problem is. I'll roll it back onto it's wheels tomorrow. Thanks!
 
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