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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Where should I start

I have an 04 Lightning which is completely stock and need help on where to start with performance mods. How far can I go with mods before I need a custom tune ? I have no plans to build the bottom end of motor at this time.also this is my daily driver. Whats the most bang for my buck?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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cat back exhaust,cold air intake and a programmer like the gryphon that can be custom tuned as you do mods.


a moments silence for the shelbyx,i hope her new owner enjoys as much.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 03:40 PM
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Well, first off, welcome.

I own a Modified 2001 Lightning and I will tell you this, once you start Modding, it doesnt stop.
Check out my thread '2 MODS of a large list'

I have had my head wrapped around these things for a good couple years now and have done much of the work myself.

The programmer you will want is the SCT xCal 3.
You will want a Catback to make some sound, an Intake, NGK TR6 Plugs and a 4# pulley for daily driver. 6# you will need a MAF extender etc. I would also recommend a FTVB (tranny valve body) to make it shift smooth and chirp the tires.

Regular maintenance is VERY IMPORTANT for these trucks. Consider it a sports car rather than a farm truck.

Fuel filter should be changed every other oil change, don't let your gas tank go below 1/4-1/2. You don't want to starve it of fuel, or go BOOM.
Our rods are the weak link.

Before SLAMMING down on the gas, be sure to turn O/D OFF. Tranny kickdowns can be disasterous.

I will be taking my 4# pulley off if you are interested, I've only had it on for 7,000 kms or so. I will include the belt too.

I live in East End GTA, if you are willing to meet one day, I can show you some stuff if you'd like.

You can run a 'canned' SCT tune with a 4 # pulley and not necessarily need a custom dyno tune yet. You can also Datalog live with a good tuner via email to dial in the tune.

I am headed down in May to get my ported blower, 6 # lower all dyno tuned.
Should be around 440/510 by that point.

Feel free to ask any questions, I live and breath this damn truck.

PS this is my sweetheart



It's all about the boost!
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 03:43 PM
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Oh PS, i am headed down to my tuner in Maryland for a reason. I would not let anyone around here touch my truck, unfortunately we have no decent tuners for these trucks here in Canada, and I didn't want to be the guinea pig who ended up putting a window through my block.

It's all about the boost!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 03:51 PM
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Oh PSx2 lol.
Another important aspect, especially if you install a pulley, is to monitor your Air/Fuel ratio.
These are 02 sensors installed close to the factory ones on the exhaust, below the manifolds etc.
Most just install for 1 out of 2 banks to monitor, but I bought a dual (both banks) wideband monitor. The unit is not as pretty, but is darn accurate.

Under normal driving conditions, you're A/F readings should be around 14-15ish, under WOT (wideopen throttle) you should be in the 11.5-11.8 range.
Numbers that dip out of this range are BAD, could run lean, then again, BOOM!

Hence, why this guage is important.

I spend more time watching all my guages than the road LOL.

And i'm installing another one soon.

It's all about the boost!
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 04:11 PM
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PSx3
Since you are a new owner, check everything.
IC pump is prone to fail, is this happens, the IC fluid will not flow and you could overheat, more heat can lead to chance of detonation (boom).
IC pump is working if it looks like Rapids flowing.

Change your fuel filter right away, Oil, tranny fluid, rear diff etc.

It's all about the boost!
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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I don't really know what to add after MJG's posts...LOL! Definetly some good tips in there for you.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the quick replys, my first thoughts were for the cat back and air intake,I'm nervous about the pulley change and programmer but I would be interested in MJD's 4# pulley and belt . I just bought this truck in November and my thoughts were I would leave it stock .It seemed quick enough at the time but after driving it a while and reading what they're capable of for a relative low cost I need more power. My mechanical experience is with cars of the 50's and 60's so the tuner part scares me a little, you hear all the horror stories of tunes gone bad.

Also , MJD your truck looks great I've been watching your progress the last couple of months and thank you for the posts of your progress ,your posts helped me decide it's time to start mods.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 04:29 PM
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Your welcome.

If you are nervous about blowing up, you can buy a J&S safeguard, it attaches to your coil packs to a unit/guage on the interior, the guage Lights up like an Xmas tree if knock/detonation is detected at all.

I will be installing this very soon too.

You're best bet would be to buy and Xcal3, CAI, NGK TR6 plugs with a pulley.

4# is the 'safer' pulley choice, creates less heat and is ideal for DD use.

SCT website has uploaded versions for the tune, which will be fine for a 4# pulley, they are just a little rich, playing it safe.

I will have my 4# off when I return from my trip to my Tuner near the end of May. It's a JDM Billet one piece, I paid $320 US + Shipping, but I will sell it much cheaper.

Let me know

It's all about the boost!
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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P.S. I just changed the oil (synthetic) but ,what intervals should I change it on regularly ? the same question in regards to tranny fluid and rearend. The truck has 70,000 km on it now
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