Gen 1 (94) Viper starting issues

Coley

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Hey folks, I’m another guy with some starting issues. Car just clicks even when hooked up to a jump starter. Battery less than a year old, hooked up to a tender. Battery charger and tender both independently think the battery has a full charge. Car started just fine a month ago. Some things I’ve noticed are that when I turn the key on the voltmeter in the dash can give different readings from 10 volts all the way to 16 volts, not varying but just different each time I turn the ignition to ‘on’, yet nothing if not hooked up to a charger. I’ve also noticed depressing the brakes drops the voltage from 16 back down to 10 during jump start. Also, last time I drove it everything worked great except for the radio acted up and only played through base speakers. My fix for that was to just turn off the radio and down shift a few cards for audio entertainment. I know i do have a clutch pedal switch problem but I’ve been able to work around it by patience and persistence. This time its acting like some sort of electrical issue, which I hope not bc while mechanically inclined I’m electrically ********. When trying to jump start it will click but never turn over. Does this sound like anything anybody else has experienced? New to the Viper community, bought this bad boy two years ago and it has been both rewarding as hell and challenging my mechanical skills at least every few months. ‘94 Gen1 with 27k miles.
 

Viper Specialty

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Your battery is bad and/or cable is loose. STOP JUMP STARTING IT or you are going to cost yourself a pair of control modules in the blink of an eye. FIND AND FIX THE PROBLEM.

NEVER, EVER JUMP START A VIPER UNLESS YOU ARE STUCK ON THE SIDE OF A ROAD, and never, EVER use a wall-plug based jump starter!
 
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Coley

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WOAH! Duly noted. Thanks for the quick response. Guess I’ll try swapping the new battery.
 
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Coley

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Battery was dead. (Facepalm)

These things really are very picky with batteries. Took me a bit to convince the autoparts store employees to let me swap it out bc their charger said it was ‘good enough’. Crazy that it killed a diehard in just 1 year, even while hooked up to a tender. Good thing is I still had the warranty and they just gave me a brand new one. Swapped in the new battery and she fired right up. Thank God I didn’t blow up a control module with my redneck troubleshooting.
 
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Viper Specialty

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Battery was dead. (Facepalm)

These things really are very picky with batteries. Took me a bit to convince the autoparts store employees to let me swap it out bc their charger said it was ‘good enough’. Crazy that it killed a diehard in just 1 year, even while hooked up to a tender. Good thing is I still had the warranty and they just gave me a brand new one. Swapped in the new battery and she fired right up. Thank God I didn’t blow up a control module with my redneck troubleshooting.
For what its worth, be very careful. When a PCM starts to become more sensitive than it should be with regard to battery voltage, its usually indicative of a pending failure. Normally this isn't a big deal... but seeing as G1 controller tend to fail catastrophically, it is a very big deal.

I usually advise preventative remans.
 

JRSViperRT

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Your battery is bad and/or cable is loose. STOP JUMP STARTING IT or you are going to cost yourself a pair of control modules in the blink of an eye. FIND AND FIX THE PROBLEM.

NEVER, EVER JUMP START A VIPER UNLESS YOU ARE STUCK ON THE SIDE OF A ROAD, and never, EVER use a wall-plug based jump starter!
What is the best way to jump a viper if dead on the road or garage in your experience?

I hope with preventative maintenance and a tender I can avoid having to do so, but I want to be prepared and not mess things up
 

Steve-Indy

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In my opinion, the safest and easiest way is to connect a portable battery jumper pack under the hood at the designated positive and ground jump posts...as outlined in the owners manual (particularly on 1993.5 through 2002 Vipers where direct access to the battery is not available). Just yesterday, I used a fully charged Group 78 AGM battery to start a Gen II Viper with a DEAD battery. I suspect that the Viper's battery had developed an internal short.

The above mentioned jumper posts can be used when jumping with another car. While it can be done with the donor car's engine off (safer for both vehicles), this does not always work...especially with batteries being commonly located in remote locations. In such cases, the amperage loss over both vehicles' internal battery cables that run from their jumper posts to their batteries can easily add 20 feet more wire resistance in addition to the 10-15 feet of external jumper cables. This setup usually requires the donor car's engine to be running.

When making the connections, complete the setup by making the last connection to the negative terminal on the car with the dead battery. If the dead battery car starts, remove the connections ASAP to avoid possible damage to either vehicle...again, removing the negative cable on the dead battery first. Sparks near a charging battery can net a hydrogen explosion. In times of stress, getting careless with the cables can produce a powerful electrical arc and subsequent injuries if they short positive to negative.

While others may add useful pointers that I have forgotten to mention, I would suggest that folks read through these processes on automotive sites.

Here is a "decent" link:

 

Goggles Pizano

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What is the best way to jump a viper if dead on the road or garage in your experience?

I hope with preventative maintenance and a tender I can avoid having to do so, but I want to be prepared and not mess things up
In the garage there is no rush so tricker charger.

Else what Steve said.
 

JRSViperRT

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In my opinion, the safest and easiest way is to connect a portable battery jumper pack under the hood at the designated positive and ground jump posts...as outlined in the owners manual (particularly on 1993.5 through 2002 Vipers where direct access to the battery is not available). Just yesterday, I used a fully charged Group 78 AGM battery to start a Gen II Viper with a DEAD battery. I suspect that the Viper's battery had developed an internal short.

The above mentioned jumper posts can be used when jumping with another car. While it can be done with the donor car's engine off (safer for both vehicles), this does not always work...especially with batteries being commonly located in remote locations. In such cases, the amperage loss over both vehicles' internal battery cables that run from their jumper posts to their batteries can easily add 20 feet more wire resistance in addition to the 10-15 feet of external jumper cables. This setup usually requires the donor car's engine to be running.

When making the connections, complete the setup by making the last connection to the negative terminal on the car with the dead battery. If the dead battery car starts, remove the connections ASAP to avoid possible damage to either vehicle...again, removing the negative cable on the dead battery first. Sparks near a charging battery can net a hydrogen explosion. In times of stress, getting careless with the cables can produce a powerful electrical arc and subsequent injuries if they short positive to negative.

While others may add useful pointers that I have forgotten to mention, I would suggest that folks read through these processes on automotive sites.

Here is a "decent" link:

Thank you Steve. I want to take care to prevent further or future problems but also know how to properly do so if i had to.

I have a NOCO portable charger pack large enough for this engine. Would that be acceptable or is it preferred to use a running donor car?
 

Steve-Indy

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A portable battery pack is preferable to a running donor car in terms of avoiding damage to either car.

The NOCO battery packs that I have seen are labeled 1000 -3000 amps...which should be enough.

But, if you have a bad battery (regardless of age), the best thing to do is to change it to a new battery...that has been tested. I prefer to charge new batteries with a well matched charger ( not a tender) before I install it...ESPECIALLY on the Vipers requiring the wheel to be removed in the process.
 

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