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Finally ready to buy a Viper, have a few questions though.

Discussion in 'RT/10 and GTS Discussions' started by xRipx, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. xRipx

    xRipx Enthusiast

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    Hi guys, long time lurker, the Viper has been my dream car since a I was a kid. The time is finally upon me, and I just want to know what I'm getting into. Keep in mind I'm looking for a 1st generation, and this will be driven on both the road and track.
    So a few questions:

    1. I'm 6'8", small waist though. I know that there are seat lowering kits, and a kit to move the clutch back a bit, but I'm hoping (but nothings in stone) to get a GTS, which means hard top. Is there headroom? And more importantly, helmet room?

    2. How is maintenance? One of the reasons the Viper appeals to me is that it uses Dodge's truck engine, which is basically a Magnum V8 with 2 more cylinders. The Magnum family are good reliable motors. So I'm hoping parts aren't crazy expensive/rare. Thoughts?

    3. Are there many hidden "exotic car" costs that come along with owning a car like this? I'm guessing fenders and such are expensive. I know that many fall into getting in over their heads because they didn't realize how expensive it is to not only buy, but OWN an exotic.

    4. Is anything in particular known to be problematic with the 1st gens? I saw a comment once that the transmission is iffy, no idea how credible that is though. Anything I should definitely check when I go to check one out besides the usual (leaks, alignment, fluid levels etc)?

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Camfab

    Camfab Enthusiast

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    Gen II pedals are adjustable, can't answer the helmet question, but 6'8" is tall!
    Motors are really bullet proof unless your talking about a Gen I that has the original paper head gaskets. The other consideration is how many hacks have had their hands on the car. Maintenance items are generally cheap. Body parts and anything Viper specific is costly and being rapidly discontinued.
    The newer the model, generally the better off you'll be. The cars we're evolving even within Generations.
    The basic architecture of the powertrain is simple and very stout. Door hinges sag, door wiring harnesses fail due to low grade wire usage. Tire choice and freshness is critical on these cars. Otherwise they are bulletproof
     
  3. Jay Lopez

    Jay Lopez Enthusiast

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    There was no GTS in Gen 1. It started in Gen 2 in 1996. I am 6 ft and with a helmet in my 1997 GTS it was a little tight. The top of the helmet would touch the roof. The GTS roof has bubbles above the two seats that helps some, but you might be too tall to fit. Get a helmet and sit in one to see if you are comfortable before you buy one. My brother is 6'7" and he couldn't drive my car even without a helmet.
     
  4. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt Enthusiast

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    You likely won't fit in a GTS. I am about 6' 5" and getting into/out of the car is a chore (doors are too short to swing your legs in/out). I had to remove the visors in my GTS just to be able to see. If the visors are in the car I am constantly "ducking" my head to see out. I have tried the seat lowering kit and to be honest, it makes the car even more uncomfortable - you're almost sitting even with your feet. That might work for a car designed for the 1/4 mile but not if you plan to drive on trips of any reasonable length. There is also no dead pedal in a Gen I/II and you will find that is a problem. As a taller guy, your left foot is stuck behind the clutch most of the time.

    As noted, a Gen I is only available in a roadster. I would find one you can sit in and hopefully drive before buying. There are a number of cars I really like but just won't buy because they are not built for taller guys. The Viper is an awesome car - but understand what you are buying and why you are buying it (i.e. how much do you plan to drive it).
     
  5. Sybil TF

    Sybil TF Enthusiast

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    6'8"? Wow! You probably would be better off buying a Shelby Cobra...
     
  6. cigar

    cigar Enthusiast

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    I think you have to actually sit in one to see, people are built differently, in 1981 I bought a Delorean, you basically laid down on those things, I had a girlfriend who was 5'1 and her head hit the roof, I had another girlfriend who was 6' tall, I never thought she'd fit in the car but when she got in she said it was the most comfortable car she ever rode in because she could stretch her legs way out, her head came nowhere near the roof.

    Getting your legs in is a problem, I'm only 5'11 but I have to put the seat all the way back and move the pedals forward. If I got fat I'd really have a problem.
     
  7. dannyv6

    dannyv6 Enthusiast

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    I'm 6'7" tall. I have a 97 rt. Its tight but who cares. I have the 1" seat lowering kit and the clutch pedal mod. I usually slip my foot behind the clutch when cruising.
     
  8. Free2go

    Free2go Enthusiast

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    6'8? You need an H1 Hummer....not a Viper.
     
  9. Dom426h

    Dom426h Enthusiast

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    xRipx,

    A couple Q's:
    Where are you located?
    What is your driving experience & history of cars?



    One of my friends is 6'-9" and his head brushes the headliner when sitting in the passenger seat.

    I think you might have to forget about the helmet & track and just stick to spirited backroad runs...
    Around me there is a variety of backroads from flat country twistys separating farmland, to woods runs with abrupt elevation changes. Once you intimately know the car and roads it can be just as thrilling as a trackday.


    Hmmm, actually you might have a chance that an aftermarket seat with no slider mechanism mounted on custom side-mount brackets could get low enough for you.
     
  10. Nsane1

    Nsane1 Enthusiast

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    Welcome to the club.. I remember my first post asking about GTS' as well a LONG time ago... I agree with all the above, you will need to sit in them to make your decision. There are gen 2 roadsters, that may be more to your liking if you want to do a helmet. Even with the lowering kit, etc, you're likely not going to be comfortable in a coupe. It GTS IS the best car out there IMO, but if you really want to drive it, hard, you may have to consider other options.

    G2 engines are pretty bulletproof... You can also consider an early gen3 (03/04). These are mostly convertibles, still have moveable pedals, have a lowering kit, have ABS but you will find them more comfortable...

    Enjoy and let us know!
     
  11. AZTVR

    AZTVR Enthusiast

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    FYI.
    Here is an interview with Dick Winkles, one of the original engineers on the program, talking about the myth that the Viper uses Dodge's truck engine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGDdBFbikUQ&feature=youtu.be&t=225
     
  12. DaJerseyViper

    DaJerseyViper Enthusiast

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    6 '8" ? You will not fit..
     
  13. steve e

    steve e Enthusiast

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    Yea, You will not fit, I am 6' 5" and I am like a caned ham when in my 99 GTS.:omg:
     
  14. Bill Pemberton Woodhouse

    Bill Pemberton Woodhouse VCA Member VCA Member

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    Sorry, but blanket statements that you will not fit are totally irresponsible. You need to find someone you can sit in as I have sold folks your height numerous times. It is all about body type and guys who tend to have long legs and shorter torsos often can get in a Viper. Have one 6'8" customer who has a Gen II, Gen IV and Gen V , so time to find out by locating someone who can let you get into theirs. There are seat lowering kits for the older cars ( 1 and 2 inch ) and the trick in many of the newer ones is to extend the pedals all the way back, move the seat up a notch and then angle the seat back. What part of the US are you in??
     
  15. DaJerseyViper

    DaJerseyViper Enthusiast

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    Correct, general statements that you will not fit are irresponsible. Im 5-11 270 lbs and the viper fits me like a glove. Im sure with enough major modifications you could squeeze into a viper, but a standard off the shelf Viper, good luck.My guess is the getting in and out will be the problem..I have a hard time contorting with the roof on my RT10 getting in and out. 6-8 is not goint to make it easier, dont care if your legs are long or torso ect..
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  16. steve e

    steve e Enthusiast

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    You are right, I apologies for the statement you will not fit, if you cut a hole in the roof and remove the doors you will be fine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  17. DaJerseyViper

    DaJerseyViper Enthusiast

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    Hahahaha, anything can be modified to MAKE it fit..with enough time and money..lol.. Im 5-11 270 lbs and look like a bear driving a rollerskate with the roof off..lol
     
  18. Sybil TF

    Sybil TF Enthusiast

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    You can make almost anyone fit but will he be comfortable is the question. I would guess not at that height but I would love to see pics of someone 6'8" driving any viper...
     
  19. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt Enthusiast

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    "Irresponsible" is probably not the right word but should the original poster come back to this thread, Bill's advice to find an opportunity to actually sit in a Viper and hopefully get a chance to drive one is very helpful and I think completely aligned with the intent of the advice provided throughout this thread.
     
  20. steve e

    steve e Enthusiast

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    Yes, with out clowning around anyone can fit in a Viper, its how bad do they want that car, I am a big guy that really is not comfortable driving my car, but I wanted that car so bad I did not care, to shift the car right its easier to have the door open and my head is tilted to one side to see out front
     
  21. Free2go

    Free2go Enthusiast

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    I'm 6'2 and a ruggedly handsome 250 lbs...but enough about me. Anyone 6'8 is not gonna fit comfy in a Viper. No way no how.
     
  22. xRipx

    xRipx Enthusiast

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    Thanks so much for the replies guys. A couple of things come to mind. Firstly, I meant "Gen I/II", but the main thing that compelled me to post was finding out if I can fit in a late 90s GTS with a helmet, as that's my favorite Viper. However, I'm perfectly happy with a 92-95 RT/10, which it sounds like I'm going to have to get. I'm OK with that, I suspected a GTS wasn't going to be possible and the early RT/10 is my very close second favorite anyway.

    Secondly, I should also clarify that I meant the V10 was BASED on the Magnum LA V8s, not that they actually put a truck motor in the Viper. I know that Rams didn't even get the V10 until 94 anyway, and that Lamborghini casted the Viper V10 in the beginning. But thanks for the info, AZTVR, that was a good watch!

    I'm located in northern Orange County, in Southern California. My driving experience is probably a bit greater than an average joe. Every "sport" or "sporty" car I've owned I've taken to auto-x schools to learn how to drive properly. I've owned a few rear wheel drive, powerful cars, mostly Pontiac Trans Ams of various years, my latest one being a 400 hp WS6.

    Guy, I want to be very clear about something. This is my dream car, this will happen one way or another. To put it bluntly, I don't give two sh*ts about comfort. If I did, I wouldn't get a Viper. My first car was a Suzuki Samurai (and at 16 I was 6'8"), and you know what i drive right now? A 1966 Jeep CJ-5. If you go to the Jeep CJ forums, they'll tell you you'll never fit in a CJ-5 at 6'8" without hacking up the body. But with custom seats and steering column I made it work. Is it comfortable? No, not even if I were 5'8". But the CJ-5 is my dream off-roader.
     
  23. Free2go

    Free2go Enthusiast

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    ................. 10325383_10205622024895196_8516164913037736721_n.jpg
     
  24. Fatboy 18

    Fatboy 18 Enthusiast

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    Hoy! I have one of those, well close a SJ410 ;)

    [​IMG]

    1987 SJ410 Santana Sport :)

    xRipx Without doubt you will need to fit a seat lowering kit, these come in two types, there is a 1" adjustable seat lowering kit which still uses slide rails to move the seat forward and back formally made by "Northwind" or there is a 2" lowering kit which is a non slide rail version to really get that seat down.

    Im 6ft 2" and have the 1" lowering kit, I can see out of the front screen fine and have room for a helmet on track days.

    I have a friend of mine who is taller than me at 6ft 4" and he could not fit in my car even with the seat lowered, it was not his body that was the problem but his legs, he could not get his knees in the right position to use the clutch as his knees were wedged against the dash even using the adjustable pedal rack. He now owns a ZO6

    The only way forward is to turn up at one of the regional car meets and try out the Viper for size!

    You may find in an RT/10 vert that you fit in the seat but your eye level will be dead in line with the windscreen frame? You really have got to go and try some cars first. :)

    Good luck with your quest.

    Let us know how you get on :)
     
  25. Batboy

    Batboy Enthusiast

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    FWIW, I'm 5'7" and hit my head on the headliner of my GTS with a helmet on. But I find the car quite comfortable. Don't know what you tall dudes are complaining about. :dunno:
     
  26. Paul Hawker

    Paul Hawker Enthusiast

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    As others have said, everybody is built just a bit different. Best way to determine how comfy you will feel in a Viper is to get is some.

    You may notice that Coupes since 96 have had a double bubble roofline to allow helmets to fit better inside. This may give you what you are looking for.

    If you can get down to San Diego (Rancho Bernardo), I would be most happy to give you a ride and sit in the drivers position. I have a 1" seat lowering kit in mine, so this might help you answer your questions.

    There are lots of big and tall guys driving Vipers. They seem pretty happy to me.

    I remember some heavier guys simply bending out the seat bolster wings by hand to make them more comfortable. Simple, easy solutions, are sometimes the best.
     
  27. Free2go

    Free2go Enthusiast

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    I guess if Kratedisease can sardine his ass into a Viper...the OP can too.
     
  28. Free2go

    Free2go Enthusiast

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    I'm not trying to discourage the OP, but I'm having a difficult time imagining him fitting in a Viper without the use of baby oil and a shoe horn.
     
  29. DaJerseyViper

    DaJerseyViper Enthusiast

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    Shirt on or shirt off?
     
  30. jwolf

    jwolf Enthusiast

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    I have a friend, I think is 7'2" former NBA center. I know he ducks to get in standard building doors. He is on his second Viper.
    First was gen II RT10 the second a gen II coupe. I did not help him with the couple but I think he just transfer stuff from the RT10. On the RT10, first he put a racing seat (thinner) and mounted it to the floor. Second the removed the airbag got a second steering wheel and machined it to just a hub the mounted another steering wheel on top to hub to give him knee room between the peddles and the wheel so he could shift. He has really long legs. He still has the coupe.
    With his height I think he is used to cramming is to seat made for people a foot shorter than him.
     

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