Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
1999 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning - Lightning Destruction
Johnny Lightning Performance brings down the house with its SVT F-150 Cobra Jet-like hauler
Deep 1.20 60-foots are the norm for John Wiker and his fully modded and hard-launching '99 SVT F-150 Lightning.
Maybe you've heard of him—Johnny Lightning, owner of Johnny Lightning Performance (JLP). He's been instrumental in giving Ford truck owners a pathway into the high-performance world. Still not impressed? Wiker's Gen 2 supercharged Lightning has run 8.19 at 163.87 mph, and he recently added a '13 Cobra Jet to his growing stable.
Johnny's been hard at work since 2000 with JLP, and he's continually made huge strides in Ford truck performance. A testament to that statement is his current '99 Lightning, as well as past rides such as his '01 twin-turbo Lightning, which many consider the fastest Two-Valve, modular-motored machine, with a pass of 8.01 at 180 mph. In 2012, Johnny even captured the Truck and Lightning championship after 12 years running the class.
The mill cranks out a crushing 1,089 rwhp and 959 lb-ft of torque on 25 psi.
Thanks to long-time friend and loyal customer Charlie Stanley, Johnny got his hands on the sweet '99 Lightning you see pictured here. "Charlie bought the truck brand-new," Johnny explained. "He and I became close friends as we built Lightnings together. Charlie got to the point where he didn't have enough time for it anymore, and one day asked if I would like to buy it. Having known everything that was already on the truck, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. My goal was to race it in NMRA."
Diving straight in, he went to work with the heart of his new ride, a JLP 384-cube Four-Valve stroker 5.4L short-block. A Crower crankshaft twirls the I-beam connecting rods, while pushing the Manley pistons up and down. Compression ratio has been set to 10.2:1. We asked Johnny about camshaft specs, but he wouldn't disclose any information—it's a heavily guarded secret. However, fresh air flows steadily through a pair of Ford GT Supercar aluminum heads, which have been reworked thanks to PR2 Racing of Quarryville, Pennsylvania.
Massive amounts of air are force-fed into the GT500 intake thanks to a Kenne Bell prototype 4.2L liquid-cooled Twin-Screw supercharger. A BigStuff3 engine management system is needed for Johnny to dial in the mill, which cranks out a crushing 1,089 rwhp and 959 lb-ft of torque on 25 psi. A Rossler-built TH400 transmission mated to a Neil Chance 4,000-rpm stall converter is used to haul this beast down the 1,320.
In order to shed weight, he also replaced the chassis with a Tom Brush custom piece. The weight of the truck, with driver, comes in at 3,600 pounds. Out back a 9-inch rearend is setup with a 3.55 gear set and Strange 35-spline axles.
You might be wondering about the exterior looks. Johnny had his truck wrapped to match the aforementioned '13 Cobra Jet that he uses for NHRA Stock Eliminator and for various Mustang events.
According to Johnny, none of this would have been possible without constant support from his wife, Susan, and main sponsors, SCT Performance, and Jim Bell, owner of Kenne Bell superchargers.
As for the 2014 racing season, Johnny plans to step into NMRA Renegade with his Cobra Jet, and he'll continue to compete in the Truck and Lightning class with his '99.
Oh, yeah, he also mentioned that there might be a first-ever 7-second Gen-2 supercharged Lightning on track. Hmmm, we wonder who that might be?