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8,228 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Considering the majority of the email tuning and work that I get here in the shop revolves around getting these trucks running correctly and raising the level of power and torque up a bit lets talk about your particular goals.

Race trucks make up less then 1% of the Lightnings out there IMHO so 99% of those out there might occasionally race but its not a max effort kind of setup. Most of what I'm email tuning is bolt on trucks, maybe a handful of built motor trucks but those built motors are your standard good shortblock, trickflow heads, good cams and 2.3 or 2.9 Whipples which will make around 600rwhp at around 18psi.

The problem trucks are the ones that have seen so many owners that the new owner has no idea what he has or where to go with it so I always advise maintenance first and then bolt on's with tuning. I actually wind up spending more time diagnosing mechanical issues then I do tuning for my email tuning customers.

So to get the discussion going on what your goals are I'll start with my shop trucks goals and then let you know what I've got going on here in the shop with two different Lightnings.

My shop truck is an 01 with 160k miles on the stock motor. It has a 2.9 Whipple, Dynatech LT's, no cats, magnaflow catback, stifflers long bars, 60lb injectors and 255lph pumps. It runs on E85 and runs 11.70's at 4790lbs (race star 17's on a M/T DR) My goals are to push it a bit this fall and maybe dip into the 11.20's or so at the same weight its at now so I know i'll need a converter.

In the shop I have a 2000 Lightning with a KB 2.6, with pretty much everything else you can think of. The truck had been sitting for three years due to the owner getting sick of trying to have it fixed correctly. (two other shops blew it up). Now its here and has gotten a bottom end re fresh, trickflow heads, my cams, better injectors and I have just started tuning it this week. The customers goals are to enjoy it again and drive it without issues. His initial problems all started because shops took his money with no regard to how it ran or if it lasted more then a week. He does not need or want 800hp, he wants a reliable, powerful daily driver and thats what I am going to give him.

The other truck in the shop I just started on last night. It too is a truck with a problem motor and I'm not really sure of its history but its getting a built shortblock, trickflow heads and my cams along with getting rid of the shorty headers for Dynatech Longtubes and of course my tuning. It also needs some wiring repairs and other little items but its a stock ported blower truck that will most likely make mid 500's and be a reliable daily driver.

So what are your goals for your truck? What is the number one thing you care about more then anything else when it comes to your truck or your build? I'd like to know because I think the majority of us will be on the same page pretty much.

Thanks for your time,

[email protected]
 

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local painter
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2,889 Posts
At this point I care most about reliability. I’m ready to enjoy the truck. My goal is 600hp and eventually dip into 10s after a few more supporting mods I think that’s not impossible with my build. I know weight reduction will be needed. If I can’t meet my goals with the mighty TVS2300 then I’ll go with the 2650R. I believe I have all nessesary supporting mods other than race wheels and tires. Mod list is in my Signature
 

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Dude
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2,290 Posts
My goals are to get mine on the road again. it's been down a year. I'll be fixing a head gasket leak that has plagued me for some time now. I am on my 5th Mishimoto radiator.That and clean up the wiring and Engine bay. Also to have my KB2.3 Autorotor rebuilt. And maybe it's time to throw some 60lbers on and let her eat, and of course I'll need a new tune from you JJ.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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Registered
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482 Posts
Goals are to get it running right,then hit the track and get some decent numbers and show what these 20yr old trucks are capable of,also get in contact with a good tuner that will actually take me to those goals.Took it to a local dyno tuner that gave me a base tune and a ms-109 racing tune but I think there is so much more to get out of it. Build is on sig
 

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Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius!
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9,977 Posts
My 04 Lightning is strictly a pleasure driving vehicle for myself and myself alone. It has a MP blower, JLP plenum, Accufab throttle body, C & L elbow, LFP intake, two pound cog set, back two cats deleted, EGR deleted. Fuel system totally stock and no intention of changing it. It runs awesome as it is now, takes full throttle in cold weather without fanfare. My main reason for even wanting a tune at all is to get the CEL off for the deleted EGR. The truck is never raced and will never see a dyno, nor do I have the capability of data logging anything. No extra gauges because I don't want to fuck around with damn wiring. I wouldn't mind having a fuel pressure gauge and wide band, but as I said, not interested in getting involved with wires. Maybe one day I'll tempt fate and try it. ;-)

I jsut want a tune to delete the EGR, and maybe dial up the performance just a little for the minor things I've done. Couldn't care less about outright performance. I have two motorcycles, one of which can scare me to death anytime I ride it. LOL!!

I saw a post on here recently, about one guy wondering about a four pound lower. The response he got was it was a minor tune that didn't require data logging or a dyno tune.

If this is possible, I'm interested. Otherwise, I'll just go on driving it like it is now, with a piece of black tape over the CEL.

I'm the second owner btw, and the original owner did nothing performance wise but a Borla catback and eliminating the two back cats. I didn't even know about the two back cats because I never knew they came with four. But a friend pointed it out while he was under the truck taking ground clearance measurements for my Mag-Hytec trans pan.

As for those on this site who criticize me for buying all these nice performance parts and not going for ultimate performance, JJ seems to know there are a lot more like me, than thee. ;-)
 

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35 Posts
Get it running again for starters and then to echo what others have said, reliability. New built block being dropped in with a lot of new supporting goodies, but gonna stay with ported Eaton and 8 lb lower for now. Really something nice to pull out of garage and enjoy. Just gotta find freaking time to put crap back together and get back with you for that tune.......thanks for the shiny, new fuel system though !!!
 

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Carbon Fiber Addict
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12,723 Posts
I think I hit a point where I want my truck to be with its current setup. 10's with a 2.3 KB pushing 15lbs of boost and a safe 10* timing on pump gas. I can drive it to the track and go on a weekend cruise or car show after.

My goal now is to focus more on CF parts to make it even more unique. CF bedsides and doors is all I need to make it full CF other than the cab. Also going to be narrowing my front qualifiers to 5" and powder coating the centers black to match the look of the truck.

Might also even try out another hood for a different look.

538780
 

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2,478 Posts
My goal..is to not break anything expensive lol...if it does it will be sitting for a very long time.

10.3 or faster in the 1/4, then it will probably retire from the 1/4 track. If i get closer to 10.0 I might get the itch for a 9.9 just to say I did it. But i'm not chasing records of others, just records of my own. However I still plan to race 1/8 in "mexico". But mostly, cruise it,take it to car shows and just enjoy driving it.
 

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Slevin
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954 Posts
I just want a reliable 500-600 rwhp truck I could drive daily and not have to worry about things breaking. I'm already built with mild cams and a 2.3KB.
High 11s would be nice.

I just need to get off my ass and finish up some small projects and finish the tuning process to get it driving nearly the same as stock. I don't even know how much boost I make at WOT.
 

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44 Posts
My goal is to have a basic bolt on truck, no major work by any means, simple 4lb or 6lb lower, tune, ported blower, full exhaust, etc and have it cosmetically like i want to make it a good driver. If it will run 12.50's or so in street trim ill be happy as can be
 

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Administrator
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18,297 Posts
JJ is right. Most on the forum are not serious track racers. We have a couple, but most want a good running reliable truck. I will say that the most fun with real confidence of safety was when my truck had a stock motor, 2# upper pulley, open air intake, cat back, Predator handheld, long bars and Nitto 555R drag radials. It was fast for 2004. A sweet running combo. And never a fear of venting it. But...

I got the bug to go faster. Better MP blower. Lots of boost. Hurt the motor street racing. so...

Built block. Same MP blower. Targeting 11.5s and getting the notoriety of being booted from track for no bar. Hmm...this combo is going faster and faster. Maybe tens is possible like The Fridge and Fast Gator did with the Magnum Powers. Quicker it went with small changes. Got the 10 sec pass. Got the MP record. Hmmm...if I spray it, can I run with the bigger blowers??? Yep! Took the MP/Spray truck down to 10.11. And one day out of nitrous, I took the kit out and reset the MP boost record. Truck running 10.11, is a nine second pass doable? I thought so. Tires spun on the 10.11 run so I tried on a day where the DA was great. Temps colder than I wanted. But good sun heating a flypaper track. Lets push the boost and timing. Hurt the motor. Only headgasket. But at JDM I was presented an offer to buy a GT aluminum block with10:1 compression. Decided to get new heads and I had already bought a 2.3 Whipple on closeout. So I gave up the goal of running nines with the baby blower. So...

I had a new goal. Still to run nines. But with the 2.3/Spray combo to chase all streetable Lightnings.(no fast turbo trucks yet) So I took it to the track. Ran 4 runs. Went 10.23 on first outing with horrible traction issues. Played with suspension. Took the tuner to JDM where I worked with Jim Sr. to take some teeth out of the hit. Took WAY too much out, but it went 9.98 back to back runs on it's second outing. Identical to the 100th! First 2;3 Whipple to run in the nines! Figured I had a lot to look forward to with spray on top of this baseline. So...

Truck took a back seat to another life's passion. Maybe divorce and lack of funds helped push that direction. But I got involved coaching High School sports. Still consumes a lot of my time. But I am starting to be pulled back to the truck again. I have accumulated many items. Primarily a 8" rear and a ladderbar/coilover setup. Also a nasty intake setup full of nitrous nozzles and set up for a centrifugal or turbo. Truck WILL be getting a rollcage. And I am sure it will weigh in less than 3500#s. So my goal is to get this badass street truck into the 8s. And drive it over 300 miles to and from on race day.

Jim
 

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11.42 @119.87 Stock Block
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2,858 Posts
My goal id to get my 10sec pass that has been eluding me. I have fantastic driveability out of the truck runs a drives great I could daily drive it but it doesn't race well need to get that dialed in.
 

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Just like some others, I just want it to be a reliable 500hp and the body and suspension mods to be pretty light, i just want a driver. Its got pretty high mileage.

I want it a bit lower and I want to find some nice 20" wheels, not the big 22" bling wheels it has on it right now lol

Gonna change all of the fake carbon fiber crap that's on it including the tail lights and put a small amp and sub in it.

It has billet grills unfortunately, so instead of finding OEM for astronomical prices, im just going to powder coat these ones black.

Oh and the leak from the rear window, probably have to get it resealed or something.
 

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2,468 Posts
My goals.
900rwhp boost only
9s in the 1/4 @ near full weight
 
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