New Owner Journey

ninetyfive

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I started looking for a sports car earlier this year and Vipers were always out of my price range. So I kept looking and stumbled across a yellow 95 from a guy nearby. Ended up picking it up for $39k. Something I should have done before purchase is get it inspected by someone that knows Vipers and I could have probably negotiated several more thousand dollars. But I didn't have any Viper friends to guide me through the purchase. Overall I'm happy with the purchase.

Neither of us knew much about the history of the car. Previous owner picked it up from a dealer. I ran the VIN and it looks like he was the second owner. The car was sold at an eBay auction the year prior and originally sold in Illinois and transferred to Pennsylvania. From the little information found in the glove box, the car might have been involved in a ****** for-hire of an FBI agent, but I still need to dig a little deeper. For now that's the story :)

So I drove the Viper for a couple weeks, let my father-in-law drive it, let my friend drive it. Everyone loves it and no major issues have been identified. I started looking for a knowledgable mechanic after taking it to my local guy to take a look. My local guy is good, but this is the first one he has seen. Finally found Brian at Flossmoor Family Auto. I took it over there, Brian drove it, we put it up on a lift and started going through it. Brian knew the car like the back of his hand. We went through it for a couple of hours and made a list. We found an issue with the diff and he didn't want me to drive it back home (~70 miles) so I left it there. While we wait for parts, he was accommodating and put the car in storage.

I started going through the forums, all the on-line parts stores and came up with this list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12fB72pYmEHCvD9v-M7lyY9ifZP2OxS6_PljvdpPh1ME/edit?usp=sharing

Brian and I went through the list and he talked me out of doing the suspension this year, because it didn't really need to be done. So maybe next year, we'll hit all the bushings and a couple ball-joints.

For now, I'm waiting for all the parts to come in while having withdrawals at night. I'll update this with pictures and progress as Flossmoor gets started on the work. Thanks to Jon, Chris, Jennifer, and Cory for hooking me up with all the parts I need.

-Chris

1992-1996 Roe Parts List
MotoIq Project Viper
 

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Monopoly

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Nice story! Yes the 1st gen rear diff is weak. Make sure to drain all fluids out possibly plugs and wires. Typical new old car owner stuff.
 
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ninetyfive

ninetyfive

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The diff is getting sent out to Wisconsin for inspection, u-joints, resealing, and we'll see what else...
Dumping all fluids, plugs and wires are on the list.
 

MoparMap

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Welcome to the family! I think you'll find the Viper is actually relatively easy to work on, at least as far as "exotics" go. Parts can be a challenge, but more just because of age than anything else. The early cars were sort of "parts bin specials" and utilized many components from other vehicles in the Dodge fleet at the time, which can sometimes help for availability, but in reality any car that used the same parts is still just as old, though maybe sold in much higher volumes to keep spare parts on the shelf. Drive it and enjoy it! The more time you spend behind the wheel, the better you'll get to know the car and how it handles. They aren't the wild death machines that a lot of people make them out to be, they can be as regular as you want them to be based on how you drive them. They just have a higher performance envelope than a lot of other cars and very immediate power delivery that I think catches a lot of people. They talk about EVs having instant torque, but the Viper was doing that way earlier. My 04 makes 400+ ft-lbs from 1500 rpm on, so that's about as instant as it gets.
 

lane_viper

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You prob know this, but don't run on old tires. Get some new ones.

First thing I did on mine when I got it, as tires were over 9 years old on mine. I've heard the original RTs are even worse.

Everyone talks about how sketchy Vipers are, and a lot of that must be due to old tires, and people not understanding how to drive them.
 
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ninetyfive

ninetyfive

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You prob know this, but don't run on old tires. Get some new ones.

Date code is 3 years old. Next year, I'll be looking for new tires, which brings me to the wheels. Do I have more tire options if I change to 18" or 19"?
 

MoparMap

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Date code is 3 years old. Next year, I'll be looking for new tires, which brings me to the wheels. Do I have more tire options if I change to 18" or 19"?

You don't have many to start with, but going up to the gen 2 or gen 3+ sizes does potentially offer you a couple more options. The 17" gen 1 setup is pretty much limited to a single tire from what I recall, though maybe that's changed. The gen 3 and up stuff really isn't a whole lot better at the moment as Michelin seems to only make a run of tires every couple of years, but I think Pirelli and one or two others have tires in the same size to at least give you a few more options. Jon B on here (runs Parts Rack) usually has a good stock of tires though, so you might contact him and see what he's got or can get.
 

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