Lightning - Trip to JLP (4lb and Tune)

For a long while, I've been toying with the ideas of putting some real mods on the truck. When my significant other and I decided to take a road trip, and chose to go down south, the decision became easier. I didn't feel comfortable with an "off-the-shelf" chip - I wanted something a little more customized... If I could plan a trip near one of the major tuners, I'd be set. But, which one???

Johnny Lightning was the tuner that I decided on. He has a great reputation, and one of (if not the) fastest Lightnings around. Hershey (land of chocolate) was also right around the corner, which allowed for a fun vacation, too. At 600 miles away, his would be the longest trip the truck has ever been on (only had 7,000 miles on it, prior to the trip).

My biggest complaint about my time with JLP - I forgot to bring my camera, so I don't have any pictures :( I had a 4lb lower blower pulley (increases supercharger output by 50%), a dual-program chip (fast and faster) and Denso spark plugs installed. Johnny also did some datalogging, to help ensure a safe tune. Johnny and Sue are great people, and I'd strongly recommend JLP (even if he didn't give me a free shirt)!

Here's a message that I sent to Johnny, which sums up my thoughts, quite nicely. This will serve as my thoughts, until official stats can be posted.

Johnny / Sue,

Hello from Canada! I'm Mike - Silver 2001 Lightning that got a pulley, chip and plugs on Monday morning. I just wanted to send a thank you note, now that I've arrived back home.

It was great to meet you both, and I'm really glad I had an opportunity to do it.

The drive back was great, even with off and on showers, and the new found power has kept me smiling! I averaged almost an extra 2 mpg on the ride home, so that's a nice side benefit. Crossing the border ended up a non-event - I went through without any hassle.

I have a G-Tech, and thought I'd do some playing around, to see how much improvement the modifications made... My average 0-60mph (normal street trim - full tank, 33lbs in the tires) has increased by 0.5 seconds (from 5.1 - 5.6)! I used to be able to hold it at 1000rpm, then ease into it. Now, the same technique, with the hotter program, results in spinning through almost all of first and chirping second. Guess I need a driver mod ;)

I can't wait 'til I get the truck out on the track, but I guess I'm going to have to work on my launch technique and try to feather it a little more!

Again, I'm really pleased with the products, results and especially the service! You definitely made my trip a great one. I look forward to doing business with you again!

I knew after the install that I could definitely feel the difference, but I hadn't done any "official" testing (drag strip or dyno)... Until this weekend. I took the truck to Cayuga, on August 23rd, and am pleased with the results. Traction wasn't great, but I did see low 13s (best time before was a 13.58), and when I cut a 1.959 60' I ended up with a 13.008 ET. I know with the current tune, I'll see a 12-second run, with either cooler weather, better traction, or both! I still would like to get it on a dyno, to see exactly what the incremental improvement is.

UPDATE: With no other changes (just more experience and cooler weather), the truck has seen it's first 12 second pass!

I have now finished the install of the switch. As seen below, I've installed it in the cup holder, to keep it hidden, until needed. For a ghetto install (total cost = $0), I think it turned out pretty good! Click here to see how it was done.


I had a very good time on the vacation, but on a dark highway, at about 60 mph, something jumped in front of the truck. As a result, my grille is now cracked :( The quote from Ford for the replacement, $500CDN, without labor! That's nucking futs! Looks like it stay this way for a little while, until I find a nice billet piece..

An unexpected modification