Thanks guys. I'm not real happy with the fit and finish of the pipes, but the sound is a huge improvement over stock and for what it cost, I can live with it. Everything I've done so far is pretty basic stuff. Hopefully, it'll help save some wrecked cars, and help guys with older cars keep them in good shape and on the road.
Bad-ass thread! Read it "cover to cover"; Jeff, you sir, have a fine eye, and well trained hand. These are my favorite types of threads--where someone rescues a vehicle from the previous owners neglect. The car is coming together admirably! Bravo.
I did some routine maintenance this weekend. The Viper's idle quality had been becoming increasingly erratic over the past few months. The problem is that the IAC gets carboned up and sticky. It wasn't enough to really trouble me, so I let it slide for awhile. Lately though, it'd gotten bad enough that it would sometimes stall when coming up to a stop sign. It's reasonably common on higher mileage cars, and at 46K miles, mine was due for a cleaning and I decided I should probably just fix it. The IAC is on the passenger's side of the intake, and is held on with just two bolts, with a big hose running to the air box. Since Acetone is the primary ingredient in many carb and throttle body cleaners, that's what I used, along with a tooth brush and some q-tips to clean all the way around the valve. Then I sprayed the whole thing off with TB cleaner.
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While I was at it, I decided to clean the throttle bodies too for good measure. They get a ring of gunk around where the throttle blades seal, and can sometimes cause some issues. Same thing here, Acetone and a tooth brush, followed by TB cleaner.
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I noticed an immediate difference in the way the car runs after cleaning. It starts quicker, and the idle is much more consistent. If I'd known it would make so much difference, I'd have done it much sooner.
Winter is fast approaching and with my two stall shack unheated, I'm quickly running out of updates. I'm used to driving very low cars, heck for many years my '55 Plymouth had just 3/4" between the skid plate and the ground. Because of that, I'm used to watching where I drive and occasionally scraping the road. Sometimes though, I get myself into an unavoidable scraping situation. When I got the Viper, I noticed that the bottom of the bumper was very scraped up from it's previous owners. The air dam section I can live with(and I have to fix it anyway), but a large section of the chin is very scuffed and I'd rather not wear a hole in it.
There is a company that makes a bolt on chin guard, but it stands out too much for my liking, and if you really smack something, you'll bend the "fingers" and then it looks really bad. I decided to make my own. I used 1/8" x 1" aluminum with some 3M trim and emblem tape. The bars are curved to match the bumper, and the paint rubs told me where to put them. You can just barely see the tips sticking out when the car is on the ground, not enough that most people ever notice. I've had them on for a month or so and they've taken a few minor scrapes alright. My thinking is that if they ever do fall off or get scraped off, I'm only out a few bucks vs. the protection they offer for every day driving.
You are correct, it hasn't been done. I looked everything over and no cracks so far, and I'm debating whether or not to have it done since I don't plan on tracking the car. With so many being done wrong, I haven't taken the time to find a qualified Tech within driving distance yet.
Given your skill set I would think if you can get your hands on the kit you could do it yourself. You may have to buy/borrow a Pneumatic Cherry Max rivet gun. Not really sure you can get the kit though.
I could do it myself, and have a friend at my local dealer that could get me the kit, but the rear doesn't look like much fun and dealers do it for free. It's on the "things I should get around to" list, along with stuff like the PS pulley and bracket, better motor/trans mounts, etc.
On another note, I had what may be a first in this car's history. I work odd hours, and get done with work around 1:30AM. I walked out into the parking lot last night...and it was snowing. Not enough to stick to the road, but snow none the less. The car looked pretty with a dusting of snow, it's a shame my camera ***** at night pics. Sadly, it's getting close to storage time, with the whole summer tires in the winter thing not working very well.