From 1993 to 1995, Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT) stopped working on Mustang models and developed the 1st generation Lightning. That’s right. The Ford F-150 SVT Lightning is brought to you by the same design team that made the legendary Ford Mustang. Regardless of how amazing your truck is, there is going to come a time where you need to know the Lightning bolt pattern.
The first generation Ford Lightning has a 5×5.5 inches (5×139.7mm) bolt pattern and has a center bore of 3.40 inches (87.1mm). The Lightning for this generation uses 5 lug nuts that have a thread size of 1/2″ – 20 UNF. These lug nuts have to be tightened to 100 ft lbs.
The second generation Ford Lightning has a 5×5.31 inches (5×135mm) bolt pattern. This generation Lightning also has a center bore of 3.40 inches (87.1mm) and uses 5 lug nuts but they have a thread size of M12 x 1.75. The lug nets for the second generation Lightning need to be tightened to 150 ft lbs.
This is not the only information that you are going to need, however. It’s certainly useful in its own right, but it doesn’t paint the entire picture. In this article, we are going to go over the Lightning bolt pattern in greater detail for each generation.
Also, we will tell you exactly what type of lug nuts that are needed for the Ford SVT Lightning. After that, we will discuss things like torque specifications of the bolts and the center bore size. Finally, we will examine all the rim and tire options for each generation’s various engine configurations.
Ford Lightning Bolt Pattern
When it comes to consuming data with lots of numbers in it, tables make things a lot easier. So, we made some of them for you to take a look at below. The table covers the various Ford Lightning bolt patterns. After that, we will go into a lot of information regarding tire and rim size options for a particular engine configuration.
|Year Range||Bolt Pattern||Center Bore||Lug Nuts||Thread Size||Torque Specification|
|1993 – 1995||5×5.5 inches (5×139.7mm)||3.42 inches (87.1 mm)||5||1/2″ – 20 UNF||100 ft lbs|
|1999 – 2004||5 x 5.31 inches (5x135mm)||3.42 inches (87.1 mm)||5||M12 x 1.75||150 ft lbs|
Wheel Fitment Specifications Per Generation
If you plan on being able to properly fit and mount a wheel on your ultra fast truck, then you are going to need to know a whole lot more than just Ford Lightning bolt pattern.
So, we took the time to lay out all the factors that you need to take into consideration for each generation of the Ford Lightning. This information includes the center bore diameter, lug nut tightening torque, and the thread size of the bolts.
1993 – 1995
The first generation Ford Lightning is equipped with a 5.8L V8 engine that produces 240 HP. This version of the Lightning uses a tire size of 275/60R17 and a rim size of 8Jx17 ET55.
|Engine Size||Horse Power||Tire Sizes||Rim Sizes||Bolt Pattern|
|5.8L V8||240 HP||275/60R17||8Jx17 ET55||5×5.5 inches (5×139.7mm)|
1999 – 2004
The second generation Ford Lightning is equipped with a 5.4L V8 engine that produces 360 HP. This version of the Lightning uses a tire size of 295/45ZR18 and a rim size of 9Jx18 ET60.
|Engine Size||Horse Power||Tire Sizes||Rim Sizes||Bolt Pattern|
|5.4L V8||360||295/45ZR18||9Jx18 ET60||5 x 5.31 inches (5x135mm)|
Properly Tightening The Bolts
All Ford Lightning models use 6 lug nuts that you have to make sure to tighten in a specific criss-cross pattern. These bolts also must be torqued to a specific pressure. This, of course, can always be found in the Ford Lighting Lightning user manual, but we put it here for you with the rest of the info.
The very first step is to tighten your Ford Lightning lug nuts manually with a hand wrench first. Wait! Do not tighten them all the way. If you do, then you are going to have a hard time tightening them all down evenly. This can lead to vibration and alignment issues which could be dangerous and even light threatening.
After that, what you have to do is properly tighten them down with a torque wrench to the correct ft lbs. This has to be done in a criss cross pattern. Again, make sure not to simply radially titan your lug nuts. If you do, you are bound to run into serious issues later.
Also, make sure to do a lug nut loosening test. This can be done by driving for 30 miles and then checking the lug nut torque. If any of the lug nuts come loose, then tighten them all back down again. After that, drive for another 30 miles. Check your lugs again and if any of your lug nuts are loose after the second test, it means that your rim is warped and is no longer safe to drive on and needs to be replaced.
Rotating Ford Lightning Tires
In general, tires will last for about 75000 miles. This figure can range higher or lower depending on how you drive. So, when it comes to how long tires last, your mileage will literally vary.
Tires need to be rotated far sooner than they need to be replaced. As a matter of fact, rotating your tires at regular intervals will make them last a lot longer than they otherwise would have.
Like most vehicles, it’s best to rotate Ford Lightning tires around every 7,500 miles or so. Rotating tires is a simple process. All you need to do is move the tires from the left side of the car to the right side of the car while also swapping them front to back.
Time can take its own toll on your tires. From the very moment tires are produced, the rubber is slowly breaking down. Sure the fact that it’s vulcanized makes that process slow, but it does not completely stop it. So, air and moisture will eventually have its way with it and the tire needs to be replaced. So, if your tires are older than 5 years old, you should replace them regardless of how many miles are on them.
The Ford Lighting is a super powerful version of the Ford F-150, which is already the best selling truck in America over the last 30 years. Regardless of how fast your truck is or how American its lineage, you will eventually need to know the Ford Lightning bolt pattern.
If you have a first generation Ford Lightning, then it has a 5×5.5 inches (5×139.7mm) bolt pattern and center bore of 3.40 inches (87.1mm). This version of the Lightning uses 5 lug nuts that have a thread size of 1/2″ – 20 UNF. These lug nuts need to be tightened to 100 ft lbs. If you, however, have a second generation Ford Lightning, then it has a 5×5.31 inches (5×135mm) bolt pattern and has the same center bore of 3.40 inches (87.1mm). It also uses 5 lug nuts, but they have a thread size of M12 x 1.75 and need to be tightened to 150 ft lbs.
We hope this article helped you learn everything that you needed to know about the Ford Lightning bolt pattern. Thanks for reading!
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.