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Prospective owner questions about 08-10 coupe-hope this is the right place to ask

Discussion in 'New Owner Questions' started by Endeka, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Endeka

    Endeka Enthusiast

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    Hi,

    My name is Ross, I'm not a Viper owner yet, but I hope to be by the beginning or middle of summer. I hope this is the right place to ask questions like this, this is my first post.

    My first car was a Fiero GT, and I moved from that to my 1998 C5 Corvette, which I bought during graduate school and have had for a few years. I love my C5, but having gotten my financials in order, settled down and married, but with kids still at least six years away, I wanted to go for the dream car before I got too busy driving the kids to sports practice to enjoy it. I tried the C6 Z06, but was actually turned off by how staid the experience was. Sure, it was fast and sounded great, but the gentle suspension travel over bumps, the tightness of the finish, and the heated seats made it feel like a Bentley compared to the cars I've gotten used to. I wanted it to take my breath away when I floored it, and the Z06 didn't really deliver.

    The issue I'm having is that I've always liked Vipers (what guy growing up in the 90's didn't?), but now that I'm in a position to buy one, I'm finding it hard to find ways to explore the car. I live in Hatfield, a suburb of Philadelphia, PA, and the nearest publicly listed Dodge Viper coupe (I'm dead-set on the hard top) for sale from 2008-2010 by a dealer (I feel bad going for an exploratory test drive in a private seller's car; I've heard that the Viper can be very polarizing) is over three hours away one way. That's a long way to travel to be disappointed. So I have a cople of questions before I make the trip:

    1. I'm 6'3" and 200lbs, 36" waist, and unlikely to get any thinner. Am I going to fit inside? Most people say it's cramped. I can deal with less breathing room, but I need space for my head.

    2. I'm going to be driving the car very frequently. I have a spectacular 30 mile commute through rolling hills and twisting mountain roads which are almost entirely empty both ways. The drive begs for a driver's car, so anytime there's not inclement weather, I'm probably going to be going to work. Can the Viper handle this sort of thing? I don't care about a rough ride, and I don't care about depreciation, and I do have a Civic Hybrid for bad weather or bad commute days (gotta save the petroleum for the cars that need it!) My questions are, will the Viper boil me alive with cabin heat? (Some reviewers say it's way better in the 08-10 than in prior models, some have said it's still bad even in the 2013). Will it break frequently if driven every day in the summer? Do any of you drive yours almost every day? What are your repair bills like?

    3. I'm very, very handy mechanically; my grandpa was a GM employee, and my dad was a mechanic, and I learned at their sides growing up. My Vette basically goes to the shop for PITA jobs (removing exhaust, etc), or huge jobs where my time isn't worth the hassle of trying it myself (diff rebuild or something). Otherwise, I do everything myself. Is the Viper easy to work on? How is the community here? The Corvette forum guys have been absolutely amazing with providing help in diagnosing and correcting problems. Something that's turned me off of Porsche and Aston Martin is that this is part of the gearhead hobby for me, and those guys seem too concerned about getting grease on their D&G polos to do any of their maintenance themselves.

    4. Finally, if there are any Viper club groups or meetups in the Eastern half of Pennsylvania, and any owners of 08-10 Vipers would be kind enough to talk a lowly Vette owner for a ride along and allow me to sit in the driver's seat (I wouldn't ask you to drive it), I would be very grateful. I would even be happy to give you some money or a gift card for a dinner for you and your significant other to a place of your choosing or something. This could save me a lot of time driving back and forth to the nearest dealer, who doesn't have the car in a color or price range that I would like, only to be further disappointed by the feel of the thing.


    Thank you, and thank you for reading this massive wall of text.

    -Ross
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  2. hou99gts

    hou99gts Enthusiast

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    Welcome Ross!

    1. You should fit fine unless you are long in the torso. I am about 6'2", 195lbs, 35" waist, and fit fine. You might need a seat lowering kit, but that is an easy install with your skills (I don't have one on my car).

    2. Many Vipers have been over 100k miles without issues, it is a very reliable car in stock or almost stock form. The Viper will give you the raw driving experience you are after. The 08-10 are much better with cabin heat, and will not cook you alive (I live in Houston, so you will be fine in PA). Repair costs should be low since you are a DIY guy (if you have any repairs).

    3. There is tons of material here and on other Viper websites for the DIY types, or you can ask specific questions, I have always been able to get answers to what I was needing (I am a DIY guy also).

    4. I'm sure you will find a willing volunteer here, I have done it for several possible buyers here in Houston before.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Scottsviper

    Scottsviper Viper Owner

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Ross go for it. You will fit fine. I am 6'5 285lbs with a 33'' waist. I fit fine it is cramped but was told if I lower the seat it will make it way more comfortable for me. Now getting in and out of the car is a different story when the top is up. LOL! I just bought my 08 convertible about a month ago. The repairs are a bit costly but not Ferrari expensive. The cabin heat I have not noticed but again I have not driven my car on a 30 mile drive yet. And the guys here on the forum are awesome! I was not sure if I could fit in a Viper so I flagged down a guy and asked if I could sit in his car. He thought it was funny and said sure. He is actually a member on here. I bought my car sight unseen and never drove it. I think many guys that buy Vipers do that. You will love driving it and it makes the Z06 seem like a tame kitten (same with the ZR1) The Viper is like a juiced up muscle car that kinda scares you.
     
  4. swexlin

    swexlin Viper Owner

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    There are MANY of us Viper owners here in suburban Philadelphia. Quite an active area, actually. While I have a 2003, feel free to PM me, I can give you my phone number, and we can talk.
     
  5. Steve M

    Steve M Enthusiast

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    Dayton, OH
    1. 6'4", 235 lbs. here with a 36" waist...I fit snuggly, but it is not uncomfortable.

    2. I don't drive mine daily, but the cabin heat is not an issue on mine (and I've driven it on 90-100 degree days). Aside from a few minor things (oil cooler lines prone to leaking is one of them), they are reliable cars.

    3. Working on a Viper is pretty easy, as everything is pretty well laid out and easy to get to. Dropping the entire rear suspension for a clutch swap? That's a Vette thing...all the major stuff (transmission, rear diff, etc.) is easy to get to, meaning you don't have to disassemble half of the car to get to what you want to fix. I prefer to work on everything I can myself to avoid the Viper tax, because from what I've seen, people will charge you more just because it is a Viper.
     
  6. Steve-Indy

    Steve-Indy VCA Venom Member Venom Member

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    Welcome to the Forums, Endeka !! There is lots of good info here, and a group of folks eager to share their thoughts, experiences, and opinions. I think that the 08-10 Coupe will make a great Viper for you...and, agree that you should find one to sit in soon, though I am fairly certain that you will "fit"...though I will not try to tell you that it will be as comfortable for you as a Vette. I will warn you in advance that due to the nature of the Beast and its LONG history of biting new drivers, be prepared to be turned down on test drives by both dealers and private individuals alike. Don't let that deter you in your quest. There are folks out there who MAY let you take a test drive, and many others who MAY offer you a test ride. Be patient, and you will find a Viper and seller to match your needs. Having "played with" these cars for 17 years, I will confess that I test drove NONE of our Vipers prior to purchase. It our case, it helps to deal with the "top dogs" in the Viper biz...thus making the lack of a pre-purchase test drive a non-issue in my mind. After the trailer delivers the car and the deal has been done, I generally take my time getting to know the new Beast...and have not regretted our buying process with any of our Vipers.

    However you get the job done...I'm sure that you will not be disappointed with a Gen IV Coupe.

    Good hunting !!!!
     
  7. Torquemonster06

    Torquemonster06 Enthusiast

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    The heat that you are hearing about usually only occurres in the 3rd gen cars. 2003-2006. This is due to the cross over exhaust that crosse under the cabin. "Almost" all aftermarket exhaust's get rid of the cross over. We own a 2006 coupe and I am 6"1" 240 lbs. weve been on alot of long drives 2,3,4,5 hours long with no discomfort at all. Exept for my face which hurts from the big A$$ grin that is plastered on it while driving. As mentioned before, there is lots of great people on here along with TONS of great information on all years of the viper. :2tu:
     
  8. Natrops

    Natrops Viper Owner

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    Wisconsin
    Welcome to the forum Endeka. I was in your shoes this same time last year. I ended up purchasing my first Viper, a 2008 Vert after jumping on a plane to NC. I had not even sat in a Viper, let alone driven one. But I knew I had to have one. After reading many posts on the forums, from so many great people, I also wanted to be part of this group, not just for the sake of the car, but for the great people.

    As you can see, many people will be happy to provide information and I'm confident you'll find someone near you that would be happy to take you for a ride and let you take a seat in the cockpit.

    I'm 6'0" 240lbs 36/38 waist...I love the feel of the seats. It's actually relatively comfortable, I actually love how the seat hugs your body. It really does feel like you're in a cockpit.

    The car definitely puts some heat out, although as others mentioned, they fixed the main culprit in 2008 (the cross-over exhaust). I don't really have to worry about it in the vert, but if it gets too warm, pop on the AC.

    Depending on the In-Service date of the vehicle you find, you might also think about adding an extended warranty...you can pick them up pretty reasonably from Dodge and can add it on within 4 years of the In-Service date. I added one to mine when I bought it...just a comfort factor and maybe worth while if you're going to use it as a DD.

    Best of luck!
     
  9. mkviper96

    mkviper96 Enthusiast

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    Bath, PA
    Ross,

    I am the President of the WV/PA club. You can check out our website to see activities going on. The website is www.pawvviperclub.com. We have the state set up in zones. The zone director in your area is Jonathan Santomauro his information is under our officers section. He has events going on locally in the Philly area.

    I would be glad to answer any questions about the club or cars. Our club members just helped a guy from Nebraska buy a car here locally in Pa. So we have a great bunch of guys.

    I can be reached at [email protected] or home number 610-837-4892

    I look forward to speaking with you,

    Mike Kuchavik
     
  10. Endeka

    Endeka Enthusiast

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    Hey everybody,

    Thanks for all your responses. I'm frankly overwhelmed by the level of organization and helpfulness here. Thanks to the many who allayed my fears about fitting into the cockpit, the cabin heat, and the difficulty finding a car to try out. I have meetings at the office until 9:00PM tonight, but I'll definitely be getting in touch with some of you in the near future. The PA Viper Club website looks really awesome. I'm excited to start looking in earnest.

    -Ross
     
  11. Steve-Indy

    Steve-Indy VCA Venom Member Venom Member

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    Zionsville,IN. USA
    If you get near Indy, look me up !!!
     

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