Keeping new Viper owners SAFE - a How To:

Policy Limits

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Posts
1,372
Reaction score
1
the safety was a large concern for me personally. I see vids of these things spinning and I think to myself how uncool it would be to not be incontrol at every moment as a vehicle operator.

The traction & stability controls in the V were a huge selling point for me. I understand its due to them being leaglly mandated but honestly "full on" doesn't stop any of my fun in driving and makes me feel more at ease and safer. The prior gens not having them was a variable in me not purchasing one of those models.
 

Allan

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 7, 2009
Posts
2,546
Reaction score
0
Location
La Junta Colorado 81050
That's awesome that you feel that way, and now have a Viper. :2tu:
The 'unsafe factor' has a lot of appeal for most of us old school guys. -not that we're stupid, just crazy.
The earlier cars really are 'not for everybody'. You gotta be nuts to wanna drive one, and push it to the limit.
You have some cool stuff in your signature, and I am glad to see you feel the Viper is something you can add to the stable.
Hopefully it doesn't disappoint you.
 

Allan

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 7, 2009
Posts
2,546
Reaction score
0
Location
La Junta Colorado 81050
*****.

The only positive I can think of from that is, our remaining cars are that much more rare, and that's more parts that Don can sell us.
 

jjrho

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 20, 2014
Posts
88
Reaction score
0
Just got a 14 gen5 .... how much safer is the new cars vs. Gen 1 to 4s with out tcs n esp ? Im a bit weary of the car I jyst got... will be careful but... used to 996 turbo n bmw s1000rr bike... both have excellent traction n stability programs. .. saves my ass a lot of times..
 

Modoc-Scott

Viper Owner
Joined
May 1, 2015
Posts
4
Reaction score
0
Just bought a brand spanking new 2015 Viper SRT, Gun Metal Pearl. Kind of like it without stripes, but I guess thats just my personal taste. I'm a new Viper owner so I joined the boards for access to some sage advice from you guys who have owned them before. Yes, I'm being very careful not to do anything stupid. I know that this car will eat my lunch if I tell it to do anything stupid, because......it will do it.
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
 

Dave1968

Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Posts
79
Reaction score
0
I know I'll take some heat, especially from free 2 "leave" but here goes. Why are you buying a car that you are so scared of?! Everyone seems to be petrified about touching the gas on these things. It's a Viper, not a top fuel dragster. If you can't handle it than buy a minivan. Once you scare yourself, which everyone must do, than you know the outer limits and you learn what you can get away with. Everyone who buys one must be older and has driven many miles before in rain, maybe snow, and has lots of experience because it takes awhile to be able to afford one. Use your previous experience, experiment in a safe place and learn how to drive it. Hasn't anyone done burnouts and donuts before?. **** it up, drive your car, and have fun!
 

Free2go

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Posts
3,290
Reaction score
6
I know I'll take some heat, especially from free 2 "leave" but here goes. Why are you buying a car that you are so scared of?! Everyone seems to be petrified about touching the gas on these things. It's a Viper, not a top fuel dragster. If you can't handle it than buy a minivan. Once you scare yourself, which everyone must do, than you know the outer limits and you learn what you can get away with. Everyone who buys one must be older and has driven many miles before in rain, maybe snow, and has lots of experience because it takes awhile to be able to afford one. Use your previous experience, experiment in a safe place and learn how to drive it. Hasn't anyone done burnouts and donuts before?. **** it up, drive your car, and have fun!



What a weak and subtle...yet effective trolling technique you have. Unfortunately, I have risen from the depths to agree with you on this one.
 

Morketh

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Posts
127
Reaction score
0
Location
Houston, TX
Read each and every post and what I have taken away from this is that I need to go ahead and drop around $500 for some driving classes.
Thanks for this thread and all of your helpful advice!
 

dirkbonn

Viper Owner
Joined
May 30, 2015
Posts
23
Reaction score
0
Location
South Carolina
I too, read every post in this thread. I'm trying to purchase my first Viper as soon as next week.

I think it points out the need to tread lightly when driving one of these machines.

A man in the movies once said and I think it's very appropriate to this thread. "A man's got to know his limitations".

Common sense is very important in everything you do and especially when your life could hang in the balance. (i.e. when driving a Viper)
 

broomrider

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Posts
1,400
Reaction score
3
Location
Louisiana
OK so define older? Sometimes in life the crappy fate fairy shines your way and you get to purchase on of these a little quicker than your age group.
I do agree with learning what your car s capable of and what the two of you are capable of together. Let's face it though it's a VIPER. It is what it is. I plan on having some hellish good fun in mine. BTW broomrider happens to be 39yrs young .
 

Nathansvt

Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Posts
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
I didn't see it here, but wanted to chime in also regarding engine braking. With a 10cyl pushrod motor you have a LOT of reciprocating mass (compared to today's turbo-4s) even when the HP is the same. Natural reaction if you come into a corner too hot is to lift throttle. In an AWD car or FWD car with factory alignment and swaybars, you'll push (understeer) off the end of the corner, but still be pointed straight. In a track-setup AWD or low-displacement RWD, you will get some rear wiggle but you have to yank on the wheel for things to go awry badly. There's just not enough engine braking to lock anything up.

The Viper is different. I was shocked at how little lift-throttle is required to radically change the balance.

This video (not me) is a perfect illustration:
Viper Crash at COTA

Car is pointed straight. Missed shift. Massive engine braking and the rears lock up (failed to put both feet in IMMEDIATELY). Day over.
 

zgoo

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Posts
5
Reaction score
0
Location
98607
I didn't see it here, but wanted to chime in also regarding engine braking. With a 10cyl pushrod motor you have a LOT of reciprocating mass (compared to today's turbo-4s) even when the HP is the same. Natural reaction if you come into a corner too hot is to lift throttle. In an AWD car or FWD car with factory alignment and swaybars, you'll push (understeer) off the end of the corner, but still be pointed straight. In a track-setup AWD or low-displacement RWD, you will get some rear wiggle but you have to yank on the wheel for things to go awry badly. There's just not enough engine braking to lock anything up.

The Viper is different. I was shocked at how little lift-throttle is required to radically change the balance.

This video (not me) is a perfect illustration:
Viper Crash at COTA

Car is pointed straight. Missed shift. Massive engine braking and the rears lock up (failed to put both feet in IMMEDIATELY). Day over.

I thing he shifted into the wrong gear.
 

steel snake

Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Posts
248
Reaction score
19
Location
Nevada, Washoe county
Good thread. I got my warnings off my first visit to the VCA site years ago.....and applied them, most of them. I still drove on the original Michs (plenty of tread) on first 2000 RT10 w/1700 miles bot in 2003. Got frisky one time and broke the rear loose, but it snapped right back when I got off the gas. Got lucky. My 2nd (bot 2 yrs ago) 2002 RT10, 5000 mi, had the (like new) originals Michs too. They were gone the next week replaced by some nice tacky Goodrich Rivals. DON'T TRUST OLD TIRES!
 

Chad Spackman

Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2021
Posts
46
Reaction score
11
Location
Chester Springs Pa
For me I’ve wanted to understand the physics behind the mishaps. Torque and power are not the fundamental in my reasoning. The viper is 10, high compression, cylinders. As much as this contributes to forward ****** it also provides very large compression drag on accelerator liftoff. So if one panics on an acceleration tail-out and lifts off, the back rear wheel skid gets worse because of rapid wheel deceleration. Exacerbating this is the cars moment of inertia. It’s lower than one might think because much of the mass is so close to the middle of a viper. Any object that is spinning as it gives up energy to friction, precesses. This is conservation of angular momentum. Angular momentum is the product of radius times mass. In a car the nonskidding turn establishes a fixed initial angular momentum which is based on the full mass of the car about the radius it is turning. When traction is lost the initial angular momentum approaches zero as the car breaks free from its turn. Conservation of angular momentum means that rotational energy must be translated from the initial angular momentum with a large radius, to the same angular momentum with a vastly shrunk radius. This radius is about the distance from the gear shift to the door handle. Maybe a little more but that huge engine and trans are pretty close to the middle. This all means angular momentum is conserved with a very high rotational spin. The gen 1 viper was very on/off near zero throttle so “lift/of” could happen even if you had a pretty good feel for it.
 

MoparMap

VCA National President
VCA Officer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Posts
2,431
Reaction score
268
Location
Kansas
It's really not that high of compression though (only around 9.5 static, would be even less than that when you factor in cam timing), and I'm not sure 8 vs 10 cylinders would make any difference either. I do agree that lift off is part of the problem, much like the Fiero or MR2 of old. It's a knee **** reaction and not good for dynamics in any car to rapidly change the forces acting on the wheels at any point. It might not be that you have extra braking from the V10 as much as you just have a larger delta in torque between power on and off because the engine makes so much more torque at lower rpm than other cars. So the idea is still there (bigger change in torque between power on and off), but in a different way (bigger number to zero instead of small positive to small negative).

All that said, any car with s similar weight balance and polar moment of inertia should exhibit those same traits by that logic. I believe Ferraris are of similar dimensions to the Viper as well as weights, but I'm not sure they tend to have the same sort of spin characteristics. I think what sets the Viper apart is the driver's location and what that means for the feel of the car. In a rear mid engine setup your front feet are often more or less on top of the front axle. On the Viper you are basically sitting with your back against the rear tires. When the car pivots around the front wheels you are going to get a different sort of feeling between the two. It might be that with the more rear seated setup that you just don't feel the spin as quickly so by the time you do any small change in traction has a much larger effect on the dynamics.
 

Chad Spackman

Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2021
Posts
46
Reaction score
11
Location
Chester Springs Pa
I’m just theorizing about gen1s and their reputation. My gen1 still exists so I have no reason to believe the reputation is anything but inexperienced people or BS. I suspect a combination of the 2. There was this nonsense on this forum that 50% of the gen1s were cracked up on the way home from the dealer. BS for sure.
 

Chad Spackman

Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2021
Posts
46
Reaction score
11
Location
Chester Springs Pa
Re: Compression ratio. You are correct about this. It’s not compression ratio alone. It’s the product of compression ratio, and displacement, spread across 10 cylinders (and the gear you’re in). Gen1 vipers know when you let off the throttle in 2nd or 3rd, the steepness of the hill you can go down, And not decelerate, is really steep. Lift off is just a whole lot more severe in a viper compared to a high revving counter part. It’s a ton of back wheel only braking.
 

icmn223

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 16, 2022
Posts
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Union City
It's all about the tires, nothing more. The original run-flats on the Gen3 are absolutely horrendous. No grip and, if they're old even if they have plenty tread, forget about it. When I bought my '06 it had the original run-flats and it was dangerous as heck. I would never even think about driving it in the rain much less on dry roads where it was apt. to spin out at the drop of a hat. Ever since I replaced those with a set Toyo Proxes R888Rs, I've slowly regained full trust in the car and have no fear of driving it under any conditions. Now it has plenty of grip and it never gets loose whereas before, it was all over the place. I've seen too many new owners total their cars when all they needed was a new set of tires. Very sad.

Case in point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-6bCmGD_ug
 
Last edited:

Biff Brown

Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 15, 2000
Posts
235
Reaction score
8
Location
Alexandria, Va., USA
I’m 63 and have had my Viper for 30 years, purchased new in 1994 got 72k mikes on her. Raced a few years with Skip Thomas and the guys.
Pulling out from a car dealership one day and a group of guys are standing around and one yells “ show me what it’ll do”…. I crank it, going about 100 and miss the 3-4 shift and pull it to second! Fortunately I was just starting to go uphill and the hill took the brunt of the force, went into 2 immediate 360 degree circles, came to a stop facing backwards, car and tires smoking… slowly turn it around, creep home, sell my trailer and all racing tires and gear. Took me 2 years before I hit 100 mph again and to this day my 3-4 shift is focused and deliberate!! You don’t get too many second chances ….. Thank you Lord!!
 

Stray Cat

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Posts
162
Reaction score
4
Location
Dayton
Biff - there was a young man killed in Dayton Ohio, doing that exact same thing about 20 years ago or so. When I purchased this last Viper (a year ago) I was driving back from Indy where I had Toney at Joes Transmission go through it. This is my 3rd so I am well aware of the scare factor (I could talk all day on this) . A Z06 pulled up to me on the Highway, tried to get me to race. I didn't. I'm 63 too. Been there, done that. I called Toney, asked "Toney, my Gen II would let you shift from 5th down to 2nd at 120 MPH. No lock out. Was dangerous. Is this Gen III the same ? ; "John, I want you to remember 3 words when you are driving that car; It Don't Care! All other cars out there will work hard to salvage a stupid move with Traction control, stability control etc. Not your Viper. Stupid moves in this car show up real fast.

Then last Jan or Feb, while my car was being working on, a young man and woman lost their lives in Florida. I think excessive speed in a residential Area. The car was cut in half. You can look that one up to. Horrible. In speaking with Scott at Roe Racing, I said that there have been a bunch of people who do not know what they are doing, hurt themselves in Vipers. He said back, and this is key to me "John, there have been a LOT of people who DO know what they are doing, and hurt themselves in these cars anyway". He also said to me ; " When you think you are proving that your car is fast on the street, just remember this. Your car has proved itself over and over and over, all over the world. When you do that, you are showing YOUR skills, not the cars capabilities. " That has stuck with me.

I don't baby it, but I do not drive it anywhere close to what a professional driver could. But I have a ton of fun in it and that is what matters. All years are beautiful and gorgeous cars. Lucky to call myself an owner.

John

PS. I often look at it and say to myself; " Are you shi_ing me ? I own an F'1ng Viper? Wow!" Very fortunate.
 

Latest posts

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
153,091
Posts
1,681,238
Members
17,582
Latest member
viper6000
Top