Ways to Increase Performance of Your Ford Lightning
Was reading an old blog post over at Lightning Force & saw some great tips for boosting performance of your ford lightning. Here are the top 7 from the list. By the way most of these parts can be found at Lightning Force, except for the Intercooler/Heat Exchanger which is from Kincaid Performance. The links are in the articles for those looking to start boosting up their vehicle asap.
ICE YOUR INTAKE or Get a Intercooler?
There are many basic tricks to unlocking horsepower from your Lightning. One of them is run with the engine coolant as cold. Ice cooling the stock manifold or the aftermarket Lightning Power Plenum makes the air entering the engine denser & helps to increase power. But doing it this way you have to remember to remove the ice before racing and to soak up any water so it doesn’t make a mess on the track or get under your tires. Many people opt to just get a Ford Lightning Intercooler (heat exchanger) so you don’t have to constantly ice in between races. One that works well & comes with the drag option is called a Killer Chiller at https://killerchiller.com. They specialize in heat exchangers for different makes & models of cars/trucks.
(Use my coupon code for an extra $100 off your order. Use “uk3” without the quotes at checkout to save.
INSTALL AN AFTERMARKET EXHAUST SYSTEM
In addition to gaining an awesome exhaust note, aftermarket exhaust systems are a quick and easy path to additional horsepower. Much like the factory air intake, the factory mufflers are designed to be quiet first and efficient second. If you replace the quiet factory muffler with a quality after-market unit, you’ll see a slight increase in horsepower and enjoy a hearty exhaust note.
If you replace the factory exhaust system with an after-market tuned cat-back exhaust, you may see gains from 5 horsepower to as much as 20 horsepower (depending on the size of your truck’s engine). Finally, if you replace the factory exhaust manifold with a set of after-market headers, you can pick up a few more horsepower…just make sure you understand that changing your factory exhaust manifold can change your truck’s torque curve. Long-tube headers, for example, often increase horsepower at the expense of some low-end grunt.
INVEST IN AN ENGINE TUNER
The factory engine tune on most trucks isn’t necessarily the best for generating maximum horsepower. Your truck heads to the dealership with a tune meant to make it shift smoothly, offer a good combination of fuel efficiency and power, and to operate as quietly as possible. If you re-program your truck with a more aggressive tune, you can often pick up considerable horsepower. Depending on the type of truck you have (gas or diesel) and engine size (small V6 or massive diesel), engine tuners can increase power from 10hp all the way up to 50hp.
Most engine tuners are handheld units that plug into your trucks’ diagnostic port. They are pre-programmed with a variety of tunes, and they’re generally very user friendly. If there’s a downside to using an engine tuner, it’s that they cost a fair amount of money (some cost more than $400) and they often require you to buy premium gas. However, if you’re willing to invest, an engine tuner can really maximize performance…especially on trucks that already have other performance add-ons (like intake, exhaust, etc.).