The Gen 2 SVT Lightning ('99-'04) has a special place in Ford performance history thanks to its supercharged 5.4L Triton engine and an enthusiastic group of owners. They have modified these trucks extensively, and despite having been out of production for nearly half a decade, the Lightning market is still advancing. One of the leading Lightning performance shops, Johnny Lightning Performance (JLP) invited us to its New Providence, Pennsylvania, digs to checkout the latest boost maker from Kenne Bell Superchargers.
Truthfully, we thought Lightning owners were satisfied with the current supercharger offerings, which have brought output near/over 700 rwhp-without nitrous. We were definitely wrong on that one. Johnny Wiker (aka Johnny Lightning) of JLP continually designs better parts and finds new ways to extract more horsepower from the Two-Valve truck engine.
"The Kenne Bell 2.6H is more than enough for the average guy. It can produce up to 650 rwhp, but as you know, there are others who want more," commented Wiker. He then pointed to the latest Kenne Bell 2.8H blower sitting on the counter. The monstrous box (nearly 13-inches long) should be a familiar product to MM&FF readers, as we showed it off on the 725hp Shelby GT500 Super Snake several issues ago ("Snakeskin Suit," Feb. '09). The 2.8H blower was the main ingredient to the car's 10-second performance. We also sampled the 2.8H's power in the '03 SVT Cobra Terminator project car of freelance extraordinaire Vinnie Kung. The blower pushed the Terminator to 643 rwhp at 21 psi of boost on an otherwise-stock 4.6L Four-Valve powerplant ("Wooly Mammoth," April '09).
Kenne Bell brought the "H" blower into service to meet the horsepower demands of its customers. The engineers came up with a more efficient rotor design for greater output without relying on a larger unit. The solution was a rotor combination of six female and four male lobes packaged in a select group of blower casings (2.1L, 2.6L, and 2.8L). The company focused on efficiency to reduce parasitic loss when turning the blower. The new rotor combination pushes more air into the engine while generating less heat, thus leading to more horsepower. In our test, the 2.8H was inhaling 82-degree ambient air. The inlet air temp after the supercharger was showing a reading of only 120 degrees. That was at 25 psi of boost on the stroker Two-Valve mod motor.