1994 RT/10, might be buying one and needs some tips

TT540

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Is there a sticky or noob section for what to look for when buying your first gen I viper? I am looking for a list of things to focus on and questions to ask when looking at the car.

For what it is worth, I have been building and working on cars since I was 15 and I am 40 now. So if you want to drop a short list on me in this post, that'd be great. So far, I know to look for:

1) Rocker panel sill area around exhaust will blister due to heat and also rust.
2) Leaking thermostat gasket.
3) Phenolic power steering pump pulley can crack. Is this visible from the top side?
4) What are some rubber items that may have gone bad? suspension bushings? hoses?

Is it true that Gen V wheels and tires swap over with no additional work? Backspacing and speedometer work?


Can someone share real world information on the price points for a 94 RT/10? I have been reviewing old posts and see a wide range of prices, most notably ones that I think are high and as a result are not selling. I *humbly* think the range should be $35k - High, $30k - med, $25k - Low. Where Low assumes it can drive and not need immediate work, but has been unloved and parked outside. Being that it is my first car, I have to get into for a good price in case something goes wrong. Gotta stay married. :)
 
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Steve-Indy

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Welcome to the Viper world !!

You are quite correct to do your homework on these cars..especially provenance, service history, utilization, and condition.

Feel free to call me if you want a ton of
specifics on the cars and fact finding procedure. 317-402-9013

As I am merely an old, retired, multi-Vioer owner and NOT in any business, I stay out of the price guessing game other than to add two points: don't fall in love with a low price and plan to spend another $6,000 to $10,000 to get a Viper of this age to the point of being dependably road worthy.
 

lane_viper

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I believe all Viper wheels fit all other Vipers with no modification. I'm not sure on the speedo answer though.

There's a thread on a sister forum site talking about sale values. {fact check. We do not have a sister site}

Most are seeing prices going up on vipers, So $25K on the low side of a RT/10 may not be attainable anymore. It would be a bargain find. I don't think you will find any RT/10s that were parked outside.

The things you list are definitely things to check. Age of fluids is also a concern. I've had to do a full refresh on the Cooling system on mine (radiator, hoses, thermostat, water pump, gaskets) and it didn't **** me, but it wasn't cheap.

Is this going to be a daily driver?

If so, keep in mind tires for Vipers are on the high side, factor in at least $1000 per set, and mileage is prob around 10k- 15k. Also, due to the wide tires, Vipers aren't the greatest in rain, and I wouldn't dream of taking it out in winter weather.

Some RT/10s didn't have AC, and the early ones didn't have glass windows. You might find one with aftermarket top and built in windows, but stock they had plastic rail mount windows.

To me, a Gen I Viper doesn't lend itself to be a good daily driver, but of course, its your car.

Good luck in your search.
 
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TT540

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Thanks guys. It will be a part time toy.
Steve, I will be in touch after the first inspection once I have a better understanding of the condition.
 

Steve-Indy

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Anytime is fine. Hopefully, you can find a Viper Tech trained on the early cars...or at least an owner of a Gen I car who has a solid experience working on the Viper to lend a hand...and another set of critical eyes. Good luck !!
 

fed007

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I have some pretty good pictures on my 1995 for sale Ad - ~45,000 miles. I would say that is the typical state of car that age, I plan to drop the price to around $34K this weekend. I have higher mileage but the car is solid and enjoyed a nice life. I would be more wary of Gen1s with heavy wrenching. Mine is otherwise stock with some nicer rims than the three spokers.

For example, I have my price I am willing to part with but if I end up holding it, I will just let it increase in value and refine it.
 

Richard S

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The rear tires are currently around $400 each. The front tires are about $360 each... this is for the original 17" wheels. I don't know the cost for tires that will fit a Gen V sized wheel. But the rear 17" Michelin tires can go in/out of production. It took me several years to get the rears during a period of time that they were out of production. They are currently back available last time I checked a few days ago. As the cars age and originality becomes more important, many owners are restoring the cars back to the original wheels and Michelin tires.
 

kssssnake

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Bought a set at Tire Rack last year $350 and $450. There was a special run of just that size. Don't know if they are on the shelf anywhere. Mine got a new ROE racing radiator, hoses, thermostat and water pump. Did it myself. Radiator $700. Try to find one with an after market hard top and windows. Mine got a new clutch before 30k miles. Good idea to get all four corners off the ground and feel the bearings for slop. Found only one set of rear brake pads in the entire world. Parts are getting harder to find. Just discovered mine has a slightly bent wheel. Just got a replacement. Give that a visual while in the air. Just about every Gen I has been four wheeling at some point. Check that the hood stays up. That assembly looks like a nightmare to change. There were a few seat mount variations. See if those are original or not. Lumbar pump still there? Check the paint on the underside of the front spoiler. Good indication of how many things it has run over. Your pricing seems typical of what sells online. Headed out today to get it on a lift and look for a small brake fluid leak. Always something.
 

Titan1969

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I picked up by '95 in 2015 for $24K with 45K miles, unloved, basic maintenance was not done. I was fortunate to bring it to Dan Cragin in LA and he gave me a thorough list of what he recommended after inspection, which I did everything.
This required $15K investment and to me was WELL worth it, no issues with car after 8k miles of fun driving in 4 years.

Partial list if what was done...
Tires ( shot and rock hard )
Clutch, fluids and slave ( shot , cant believe it didnt slip no face left )
Pulled motor replaced all major/minor gaskets, including heads ( leaking known issue in Gen 1 )
Motor mounts ( ripped )
Rad (cracked leaking)
Many new hoses in engine bay
Upgraded Rear End to 3.73 my choice :)
Brake fluid change
Power steering fluid change
I installed headers and remove cats :) MUCH lower side rail temps
Removed shocks sent to rebuild ( took forever, but awesome cornering now)
Replace fuel pump and sending unit ( yes I have a working fuel gauge )
other tid bits...like plugs/wires

This may read as overkill, however Im keeping the car for a long time, so money well spent for the piece of mind every time I lay into the throttle or hard corner...weeeeeeeeee we goooooo
 

kssssnake

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Oh. The biggest awe snap was that it was Florida car. It had no coolant. Only water. Don't even know why I checked it.
 

MoparMap

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The rear tires are currently around $400 each. The front tires are about $360 each... this is for the original 17" wheels. I don't know the cost for tires that will fit a Gen V sized wheel. But the rear 17" Michelin tires can go in/out of production. It took me several years to get the rears during a period of time that they were out of production. They are currently back available last time I checked a few days ago. As the cars age and originality becomes more important, many owners are restoring the cars back to the original wheels and Michelin tires.
Tire costs are pretty similar across the board for all Viper wheels, at least I was seeing similar prices for my 18/19 gen 3 combo. There are some cheaper options out there with different brands, but I've stuck with the Michelin Pilot Supersports as they've been a great all around tire for rain and the track. A full set usually runs somewhere between $1200-1500.
 

Steve-Indy

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Just heard of a red 93 in NC coming to the market soon with 11,000 miles on it. While I am not familiar with this car, I can certainly furnish the name of a very experienced Viper tech in the same state who could inspect the car.
 
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