1999 Ford F-150 Lightning - Project Stealth Fighter Part 3

Ready To Ride: We Finish the Rear Suspension in Preparation for Asphalt Warfare

Harley Camilleri
Apr 10, 2014
Photographers: Patrick McCarthy
Last month we got started revamping the suspension under our re-imagined 1999 Ford F-150 Lightning truck, dubbed Project Stealth Fighter. In the article we addressed the needs of the front suspension and braking with products from Hotchkis, Belltech, QA1, and Baer. We also found that our newly lowered suspension was detrimental to the longevity of the Nitto tires since the inner wheelwell was making loads of contact with the tire under spirited driving situations. Choppin’ Block built wheeltubs for the frontend and remedied that issue, giving the front wheels and tires the needed travel. This month we delve into the rear suspension to see what lay beneath.
Since the Ford Lightning was built with a thicker frame material than a standard Ford F-150 truck, it responds extremely well to additional handling modifications. The two systems work hand in hand to prevent torsional twist across the chassis while the truck is being aggressively driven. To match our front suspension modifications, we mated 2-inch Hotchkis lowering leafs (3-inch on a standard Ford F-150) with a Hotchkis sway bar, sourced as part of the Hotchkis Total Vehicle System (TVS) line we showed you last issue. Belltech supplied a lowering front hanger to bring the truck closer to terra firma without affecting the action of the performance leaf springs. As before, adjustable QA1 Street Stocker shocks rounded out the performance package. If you’re ready to take your Ford F-150 or Ford Lightning to Mustang-level handling, read along and get ready to push your truck to the limits.
Photo 5/24   |   1999 Ford F 150 Lightning Lowering Hangers Removing
Photo 9/24   |   1999 Ford F 150 Lightning Adding The Belltech Drop Hangers
Photo 13/24   |   1999 Ford F 150 Lightning Hardware Installed
Photo 17/24   |   1999 Ford F 150 Lightning Suspension
Photo 24/24   |   1999 Ford F 150 Lightning Front View

2015 Ford F-150 Specifications

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Fair Market Price $24,627
MSRP $26,030
Editors' Overall Rating
Mileage 18 City / 25 Highway
Engine 3.5L V6
Horse Power 283 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 255 ft lb of torque @ 4,000 rpm
See all Specifications

Sources

Hotchkis Performance
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
877-735-6425
www.hotchkis.net
Nitto Tire
Cypress, CA 90630
877-565-8448
www.nittotire.com
HRE Wheels
Vista, CA 92081
760-598-1960
http://www.hrewheels.com
QA1
Lakeville, MN 55044
800-721-7761
http://www.qa1.net
The Choppin' Block Kustom Fab
Fresno, CA 93722
www.Choppin-Block.com
Belltech Suspension
800-445-3767
http.//www.belltech.com

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Ford F 150

Fair Market Price
$24,627
Editors' Overall Rating
Basic Specifications
MSRP: $26,030
Mileage: 18 / 25
Engine: 3.5L V6
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