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Help with Lightning mods

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Old 12-14-2004, 02:50 PM
Whaler Whaler is offline
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Thumbs up Help with Lightning mods

I've been a GM guy my whole life but just bought a 2002 Lightning. Who says you can't change? This is my daily driver so I don't want to go overboard (yet). My questions are if someone knows what HP and TQ differences in the K & N replacement filter and the FIPK system or any other air filter system. Is the FIPK worth the difference? Is the fuel economy any different? Also, I have a major traction issue with this truck. It has F1's and they are in good shape. 1st gear is almost useless (in and out of the gas to try to get it to hook up). I've had strong muscle cars in the past but don't know a lot about this truck other than I like it alot. What mods to start with? Any info on air filter systems, chips, traction devices or anything I left out would be appreciated.
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Old 12-15-2004, 06:57 AM
yysenhimer yysenhimer is offline
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Forget the K&N drop in, go with the FIPK, then get a chip and a pulley. That's all you need to run 12's depending on your altitude and weather conditions. With the FIPK you'll see the boost come up quicker and maybe an extra pound or two of boost. Also, make your own boost bipass so that the truck doesn't shut down on overboost situations.
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Old 12-15-2004, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for the info. Where do I find out about this boost bypass? Also, Which chip do you reccomend? I'm at sea level on the coast in South Carolina and its normally very humid. Any reccomendation on traction bars?
Whaler
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Old 12-15-2004, 10:26 AM
Silver Streak Silver Streak is offline
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12's should be easy at sea level. I've gone 13.18 at 700 ft with no chip, pulley or nitrous on my F1's.

I wouldn't worry much about the FIPK. I've got a drop in filter (Amsoil TS21) and a 4" hole in the bottom of the airbox with a duct running down between the inner fender and frame. Works just as well as the filter kits without spending $200. We tried this setup on another truck with a 4lb pulley and chip and his open filter was worth 1hp more on the dyno. $170/hp isn't a very good return on your investment.

For the money, I don't like any of the available traction bars on the market. The only one I am interested in is the Competition Engineering Slide A Link, which is ironically the most epensive. The ones that seem to work best are the bars that bolt between the bottom of the axle housing and the frame. All the available slapper bars hit the spring 4-6" behind the spring eye which isn't much of a help. I ended up building my own slappers that hit right on the eye, but they won't clear a stock exhaust.

I've never had any problems with the boost bypass. Even doing 300 ft burnouts through 3 gears it doesn't cut off. Some people have problems, some don't. If your truck doesn't kill the boost don't mess with it.
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Old 12-15-2004, 12:09 PM
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Your Lighting, or anything else in the 300-to-600ft lb Torque level will benefit the most from the torque arm style traction bars. LFP http://www.lightningforceperformance.com/home.php has a nice set.
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Old 12-15-2004, 12:12 PM
easterisland easterisland is offline
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Get a 4lb pulley, chip or programmer from a reputable tuner, and a K&N drop in filter(unless you must have a kit then get the PSP air filter kit. Then call it a day. You should be able to get a low 13 or 12 second truck with that stuff.
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:12 PM
yysenhimer yysenhimer is offline
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Lightningforce has a lot of the same parts everybody else sells, but Mark's prices are usually a lot better. I would do what easter said about the tuning though. Stay with one of those three and you shouldn't have a problem.

Whatcha doing hanging out on this site easter?
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:39 PM
easterisland easterisland is offline
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I've been here since 2002...
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Old 12-15-2004, 04:26 PM
Silver Streak Silver Streak is offline
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Before you get a chip get your truck dyno'd and monitor the a/f ratio. My truck with a stock tune runs at 13.1:1. If I stuck an off the shelf chip in my truck the rods wouldn't make it out of the driveway.
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Old 12-15-2004, 06:27 PM
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What should the a/f ratio be? Also, this truck boosts to lbs. initially then to 10 lbs.as it starts to pull (@4000 rpm). I thought they only boosted to 8 lbs. I've had cars that ran high 7's & low 8's in the 1/8th mile and I swear it pulls harder once it hooks up. I've tried to ease into the throttle and feather the gas and it lights the tires every time I get back into it. Should I try a certain tire pressure?
Thanks again for all the advice.
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Old 12-15-2004, 09:11 PM
easterisland easterisland is offline
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A good chip will richen the mixture to around 12:5 or less while at wide open throttle it will also alter the timing. The extra 4-5 lbs is safe the engine as long as you use good gas. It will also take out the hesitation between the 1-2 shift if you want.
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Old 12-16-2004, 03:52 PM
Silver Streak Silver Streak is offline
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The ratio should be no leaner than 12.5:1. Most stock trucks are in the 9.5-10.5:1 range. That's why an off the shelf chip would kill my engine. They would burn the chip to run even leaner with more timing and burn it down. With a/f data they will know where they are starting and where they need to go.

Whether or not an extra 4-5 lbs is safe depends on who you ask. There have been a lot of stock trucks throw rods and spit plugs. With a pulley and chip you will probably have a rough time getting either of those covered under warranty even though it should be a nonissue.

The boost is supposed to be 8psi, but it is highly dependent on existin weather conditions. I've seen mine anywhere from about 7 to 12 psi. The stock gauge is also notorious for inaccuracy.

The tire pressure I've had the best luck with is about 26-28 psi on the stock F1's. I have the best luck leaving from idle, giving it about 1/3 throttle immediately and then gradually give it the rest. Others brake torque it to about 1200 rpm and go with good results, but I've never had any luck with it. You'll just have to experiment.
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Old 12-16-2004, 05:23 PM
easterisland easterisland is offline
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Just because you may run 13:1 now on a stock tune does not mean you would run 16:1 with a chip. There are tables in the chip which control how much fuel or timing to give the engine at certain times.
You may have a bad fuel pump, BAD o2 sensors or a lot of different things which could make your stock air fuel leaner than most.

Also when I say chip I mean a hand held programmer such as a predator or superchips where you can install a custom tune through the OBDII port and don't have to scrape the pcm leads. Just don't use the Predator stock tunes...

Last edited by easterisland; 12-16-2004 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:04 PM
Silver Streak Silver Streak is offline
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There are tables that control the fuel and spark maps, but since almost all trucks run very rich from the factory, all the generic chips are set up to lean them out. If the truck is lean already it will only get worse. If the tuner has a/f info from the start they know what they need to do to get it right. I can't tell you how many local guys have installed a chip from a reputable tuner (JLP, JDM, PSP, et al) only to lose 3 or 4 tenths becuase there was no a/f data top base the tune on.
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Old 12-20-2004, 04:08 PM
easterisland easterisland is offline
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I don't know anyone with a chip who lost mph or et. I probably don't know as much as you do so I'll go back to where I came so you can spread some more BS trouble free.
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