This article was originally meant to be about my silver Lightning which I started “improving” in 2002. However, I sold her a month too soon. So I thought I’d start out with a primer on my original collection and then move on to the saga that is my white Lightning – the Bullrun truck.
Here is the collection:
I still work on the silver truck as the new owner is doing all the things that I wanted to before I ran out of money:
The Harley is a built 2.3 truck:
Currently though, all the effort is going into the Bullrun truck. So here is the whole story and a tribute to an awesome community that has helped me along the way.
This time last year we laid out what it would take to build a truck to perform and represent the Lightning community well. We started with the shell of Screaming01L’s Lightning in the shop, but it needed everything else. Lucky for us, we don’t throw away a thing and had mountains of parts available.
As always, plans on paper rarely match reality, and we quickly got in over our heads since I literally bought a shell and a few boxes of nuts and bolts. I was beginning to think we were in trouble. Less than a week after we posted what we were doing, Brian from Stifflers PMed me saying we needed to use one of his X brace systems. I knew it was a must, but we were already charging things to the CC just to get it together. After some thought and not wanting to take hand outs, I offered to display his and other sponsor business logos on the truck for 2 years in exchange for their support. If I sold the truck or wrecked it, I would pay them back for the mods. If we were picked for the show, I would reapply the decals after the show for another year.
Brain from Stifflers had a full X brace system in the mail in no time. We also came up with a solution to run any exhaust with the system as well as taking it to the next level to incorporate a traction system into the unit
After some research I found out that Hellwig sways were the best we could buy for our trucks. I called up to set up a vendor account and after a short conversation we found out they were huge fans of the show and wanted to help out with a set of sways as well as offer a group buy to the community in a show of support. After the dust settled, almost 40 bars were shipped out!!!!!!!!! They were all made to order, and Helwig even ran out of parts from making so many at one time. They did an amazing job, and some arrived within a week of payment!!!!!!!
A few of the board members helped as well by giving us great deals on parts.
Revolution Performance, Inc gave us a great price on some used rotors.
Other members sold us front springs, Plenum, TB, and pretty much everything else it took to get it back in one piece.
Torrie with Unleashed Tuning has been tuning our trucks since 2004. Without blinking he said ,”yea I am all over it and will dial that girl in”… Since he is great friends with Tony of Tuners Inc and the guys at Hurricane Performance out of Orange Park, things later got out of hand.
I had the truck done in August with a stock Long block. It was eating at me that we would be on the edge of it not holding up to the power. Well who are we kidding – we were well past that point, but that’s racing. Jason “Brickrocket” with Hurricane Performance and I had talked about it. He knew my worries and agreed you only get one chance so why risk it. Jason was in the middle of a rebuild of a Lightning motor and knew I had the parts to build a built motor. In the end he built the motor and he took my stock Long block in trade.
The motor build (as they all do) turned out to be a PITA since I was broke and did not have the money for new parts and just had a bunch of beat on used parts to make this happen. This fact gave Jason fits every step of the way. I will let Jason fill in the details.
In the meantime, word gets out about what we’re doing. My buddy Kurt Kennedy (with a Built Harley) talked about us with his buddy Kris Starnes at Champion Racing Heads in Palm Coast, Florida about doing some work for us. This guy is amazing and is very well known in the Cylinder head world. I get lucky and track down some 8 thread heads, and the port work begins. I’m not sure how many hours are in them, but it’s a lot. When the dust settles Brickrocket has a killer set of worked 8 thread heads to bolt down.
Jason Walter and Kevin Fiscus (Current drag radial world record holder) are the owners of Hurricane Performance where Jason……
OK stop right there. I need to rename some of these “Jasons” because it’s getting confusing.
I am Jason.
Jason Walter, co-owner of Hurricane performance, is now “Long Hair”.
Jason – Brickrocket is now “Short Hair”.
Short Hair goes to Long Hair and explains what the huge mess of parts in the back of the shop is for. In no time Long Hair says,”we will try to help out, what does he need?” In a few weeks new valve springs and a Cobra oil pump are in Short Hair’s greasy little hands. We plan to use Tony’s dyno in Orange park to dial her in.
The local crew was a huge help wrenching. Some helped a few times, and others were there on and off through the whole build. Starting and finishing this project took huge motivation; something like this is hard to stay fired up about.
We knew this was a huge gamble when we started. Getting on a show is like hitting the lottery. All we could do was build the best ride we could and make the best audition video we could. We were swamped trying to get a running truck by July which was when we thought the show was to start auditioning. “Sick” from the Lightning community not only DJs and does mixes, he is also a great video editor. We sent him everything we had. In a week and after a ton of hours, we have what I and others think is the best video to date for Bullrun.
Without the excitement of the community, we would have given up when the word got out that season four may not happen. But during the last month, the Bullrun news has gotten much better. Apparently, the Live Rally will be televised by the MTV network. Hopefully, this exposure will lead to a season 4.
All we can do is keep testing, improving the truck, and making it stronger. Once we get things where we like them, the truck will be ready for some seat time -- and that means new videos!!!
The truck has already done NMRA in Bradenton, tons of small shows, and three legs of the Hot Rod Power Tour. The next rally event will really test the truck. From start to finish, we’ll be covering 3000+ miles with Rally North America at the end of July!!!!!
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