Evan J. Smith
September 16, 2006

Step By Step

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Mmfp_0609_09z 1999_ford_f150_lightning Midplate
We cleaned off the intercooler core and bolted it to the Whipple midplate. The Whipple midplate has a much larger inlet hole when compared to the Magnum or stock blower. It also features an air bypass valve, which allows air entering the engine to bypass the blower screws under high vacuum situations, such as cruise or deceleration. This reduces heat and improves efficiency and mpg.
Mmfp_0609_10z 1999_ford_f150_lightning Bolt_in_midplate
Lacko slipped in and bolted down the Whipple mid-plate.
Mmfp_0609_11z 1999_ford_f150_lightning Twin_screw_rotors
This is the underside of the Whipple, showing a small portion of the twin-screw rotors.
Mmfp_0609_12z 1999_ford_f150_lightning Supercharger_clearance
There wasn't much clearance between the firewall and the back of the blower, so Lacko was careful when he installed the blower.

While few could argue the Fridge "was" near perfect, there's always room for improvement. That's where the Whipple came in. For the most part, we knew we could increase the power-but could we do so without wrecking the awesome driveability?

In our quest for power, we considered spraying the 5.4-but to what end? We could run low-10s or even 9s with nitrous, but then, no matter how quick we went, people would always assume we were on the gas. While there's nothing wrong with nitrous, we think we can run mid- or low-10s without it. With that, we decided the Whipple was the way to go. We placed our order and received a giant box with a bad, black Whipple Charger inside. We then made our way to JDM Engineering in Freehold, New Jersey, for the install and tune. While the kit included all that's necessary to complete the install, we did not use all the components. Instead, JDM went with its Racer Kit, which uses a different air filter system, different routing on the intercooler hoses, an EGR delete valve, and relocated power steering reservoir.

Installation was straightforward, so we began by disconnecting the negative battery cable and draining the coolant from the intercooler and radiator. Then, the Magnum Powers unit, which served us well, came off and the new blower went into place. Shaun Lacko performed the operation, and by the following afternoon The Fridge was makin' noise.

Jim D'Amore took the reins and strapped our rig to the dyno rollers. That's when the fun began. As we mentioned earlier, the 5.4 produced 579 hp with the Magnum, but with the Whipple, we'd be pumping more boost, which would hopefully translate into more power.

The tank was filled with VP C16, which would allow us to go for broke with boost. But first we used the largest pulley, sized at 3.375 inches. D'Amore began feeding the beast by making easy pulls to be sure the air/fuel ratio was in check, then he cut it loose. He revved the Triton to 5,800, and we saw 18 psi of boost. With that, power peaked at 627 at 5,500 rpm for a gain of 48 hp. Torque was 661 lb-ft at 4,000, up from our old mark of 620 at 4,000. This was our street tune, with timing and boost levels designed for 93 octane.