Originally Posted by puddlejumper
...looking to buy a 2000 or newer ford f 150 lightning . i need to know is there a year i dont want and what things should i look for or ask about concerning the lightning trucks.
I've answered this question on this forum over the years, and have compiled my responses to make it easier to answer whenever the question invariably arises. So listed below, is the info you seek.
'99-'02 model year had the heads with 4 threads per spark plug holes. This causes a situation where the spark plugs are easily launched from the heads.
This problem is not limited to the Lightnings, as all the modular engines Ford made have this problem.
Starting with the '03 model year, Ford started using heads with more threads in the spark plug holes.
Don't let the plug launching scare you tho. All you need to do is make sure your plugs are torqued to the proper value (12 - 13 ft lbs) and check them every 6 months or so and you'll be fine.
There were intercooler issues on the '99/'00 models. Ford offered a replacement under warrantee though, so most would have been replaced because they leaked like a sieve.
The '99 and '00 model year L's produced 360hp and 440 ft. lbs of torque and had 3.55 gears in the diff.
Starting in '01, due to slight changes by Ford (80mm MAF to a 90mm MAF and some other tweaking), the L's produced 380hp and 450 ft. lbs of torque and were now sporting 3.73 gears in the diff.
Ford also stopped using the 3.5" steel driveshaft and started putting a 4.5" aluminum driveshaft in the L's in '01.
All of the Gen 2 L's have the 4R100 tranny. A very stout unit used by Ford for the 7.3L PSD's.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
As for determining if it's been beat on, look for obvious stuff. Has it been modified and how extensively? If it has been modified, were there any custom tunes put on the truck? If so, how? Chip or flash and who wrote the tune? Someone reputable?
I'd also check how many owners the L has had. Are you buying from a younger adult or an older adult?
One thing I do is look at the engine bay. You can USUALLY ascertain if the present owner has kept the bay clean, or if its just been recently cleaned because it's for sale.
I look for this because, even though its very subjective, usually if the owner is meticulous enough to keep the engine bay clean all the time, then he has an eye for detail and will usually treat/work on/modify and generally take better care of the truck than someone who doesn't clean the engine bay.
Again, that's not a hard and fast rule, but I've found it to be true more times than not.
Get an Oasis report and a Carfax. You can never have too much info.
If you start comparing mileage on different trucks, remember it's all relative. You can have one truck with less than 30K miles on it, has been modified with a chip, pulley, CAI, custom tune, etc and it's been beat to heck, ran hard, and raced at the track every weekend. Compare that to another truck that has 100K miles on it, but has very few mods, and has never been raced.
It's all subjective. It's something only you can decide, because lets face it, the youngest Gen 2 L is four years old, and the oldest Gen 2 L is 9 years old.