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Old 08-08-2017, 08:16 PM
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Default Snake Bite!

Sooooooooo.....in between finishing the Beater Bee....tearing apart the Musclestang...and buying a Trans Am....what else is one to do with all this free time?!?! Simple! Buy another car so it can sit like the rest of them do!.

I've always liked these Blue & White 96/97 Gen II GTS Vipers and thought to myself, "Self? If one came up that was the right car, I'd jump in it!". So after much searching, I stumbled upon this original owner 97 GTS. Actually, a coworker of mine has a friend who's a Viper freak and he found the car for me. 28,000 miles, all original, all paperwork/manuals. The gentleman passed away and willed it to the kids who didn't want the car, so enter me!

I quickly became edjumacated with everything Gen II Vipery courtesy of this newfound friend. I was a little intimidated by the car, since the latest thing I've worked on to any serious extent was a 1970 Challenger. I'm not one to get into Fuel Injection, Compooters, and all that jazzy fancy stuff. But, what the heck!? Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Gen II Vipers need things, and especially the ones with no miles on them or ones that have been driven and enjoyed yet not serviced. With 28,000 miles on the clock, some things were done, some things weren't. The car basically needed everything a 1997 somethingorother needs, but it's a Viper and not a Honda and as such, everything is uber expensive! So with wrench in hand, I took the plunge! First up was to ditch those WWII Incendiary Bombs for Catalytic Converters. I know exactly what a pig in a blanket in the oven feels like with these things roasting my fat-a$$ in the interior! So a 3" Corsa with hi-flo cats were installed. A little cutting and welding, but otherwise a bolt in installation and the sound is friggin' awesome!!!!!

Cheers

Dave
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78 Y82 Trans Am
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:26 PM
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Moving onto the engine bay, what's needed in there? Lots of stuff! Vipers tend to leak a lot, especially with factory gaskets. One of the major culprits is the timing cover gasket. Leaking coolant into the engine bay is NO BUENO!!! That's about the extent of my Spanish, well...except for Las Tatas es muey Grande'!!!! Wait... Can I type that on here? Anyway, it's gasket removal time! Up on deck is a Cometic oil pan gasket, timing cover gasket, water pump gasket, thermostat housing gasket, oil filter mounting gasket, crank seal, and since you can't remove the thermostat without removing the 5ft long intake manifold, an intake gasket too! While I'm in there, a 180 degree thermostat will go in as well as a cleanup of the whole front of the engine due to the leaky timing cover and PCV gasket. Oh yeah, add to the the PCV hose and seal!

Along with these things, a new serpentine belt, tensioner (those always fail), and a much needed power steering pulley and mounting bracket. If you can believe this, the original is plastic! Yes, plastic! Remember those Revell models you built as a kid? Well, they make the PS Pulley and braket for real big cars too! Not really, but it is plastic. I replaced those with billet items. Looks good and lasts a long time!

And last thing is all the hoses get replaced: upper lower radiator along with FIVE, not 2, FIVE heater hoses! Can you reach them easily? Is this your first time reading one of my threads?!?!? Of course you can't!!!!

Cheers

Dave
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:38 PM
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So what's next? Glad you asked! Cooling....this big V10 puts out some heat. So you'd think the radiator would be this big honkin' thingy that could cool a Panzer tank! Nope...try a 2 rwo, puny, Dodge Neon part. A puny little thing with a not-so-powerful single fan. So, yank that out (which is really easy to do hunched over a 6ft x8ft clamshell hood and a body angle of back to floor at 90 degrees...really ergonomic!) and send it to my radiator guy for a 3 core 5/8 tube upgrade. The factory radiator actually has the room for 3 rows, but only utilizes 2. And in addition to that, I added to small pusher fans in front of the condensor. The result? This Locomotive engine will stay around the 195-200 mark in 100 degree, Bottom of the Indian Ocean Houston Humidity all day long! A cool thing is each part of the Viper is signed by the workers. There's three signatures under the front valance alone! Really puts a personal touch on the car.

Last things were K&N Air filter and smooth tube intake runners. This alone was worth it's weight in performance and sound. When you walk by the front of the car, the sound from that NACA intake vent from the air being sucked in my that yyewwge (that's Houston for Huge) air pump is like the snake hissing at you! Really cool to hear!!!! Jump on it and between the exhaust growl and the intake hiss, you're senses are overloaded with pure Detroit venomous muscle awesomeness!!!!!!!

Next up tomorrow is a brake upgrade and then it's off the upholstery shop for a few really cool, tasteful, and factory looking upgrades! More to come.....

Cheers
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:50 PM
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I was able to get the daughter of the original owner to send me a few pictures of him with the car, and this is my favorite picture of him. He looks like an 8yr old who just got his favorite toy for Christmas!!! Just priceless...

Of course, and one with Kelly who know apparently owns this car too...:biggt humpup:

Cheers

Dave
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:31 AM
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very nice, Dave.. lots of patience needed with this cars, huh?
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1971 Torino 351c 4v GT convertible. White/white with black,4 speed, shaker, am/fm, ps/pdb, buckets/console, ac, flip headlights

1969 GTO Judge Warwick blue/blue, RAIII, 4 speed, tach/gauges, safe t track, flip headlights, 3.55's, ps and radio.

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Old 08-09-2017, 01:31 AM
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Dang, that was allot of typing in on day. . Very neat stuff Dave
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:51 AM
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Welcome to the club!

I bought this old gal new, in late 1992 for our magazine project car. Still sits in the garage with 8,000 miles. Back in '96 I bought a new Viper coupe under the program they had that gave vouchers to current registered owners of Vipers. I sold it a couple years later. For two years it stank to high heaven of the out-gassing solvents from the fiberglass (or whatever the polymer body panels were made of back then). I would get a sore throat from just sitting in the car for more than a minute. Kind of like that acrid smell of a stack of new tires in a tire warehouse.

Back in the old days Dodge was always sending me spare "heavy" stuff for the project. A large section of my basement is still full of the parts in boxes. I have the original exhaust system from the actual Viper Pace Car in the stack of pipes. (The long muffler set with no cat). Several boxes of the aluminum NOS rocker side pipe panels, spare rims and unused 1992 Michellins XGTZ's. One of these days this stuff might actually be worth something when people start restoring these cars.

I also made sure and ordered every single rubber coolant hose and weatherstripping item from the dealer while they were still available. Some of those crazy heater hoses go behind the block against the firewall. Insane design!
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A12pilot View Post
I was able to get the daughter of the original owner to send me a few pictures of him with the car, and this is my favorite picture of him. He looks like an 8yr old who just got his favorite toy for Christmas!!! Just priceless...

Of course, and one with Kelly who know apparently owns this car too...:biggt humpup:

Cheers

Dave
What a fun new toy to play with! The car! You're right, the previous owner does look like a little kid in that picture. RIP
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:00 PM
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Having you driven your coupe much since you did the upgrades?

The boy and I had the old girl out last night for the first time in years. (Just changed the oil...last time was 2009 at 7,850 miles! It's got 8,148 miles now) I forgot how much scary fun these are to drive. My ears are still ringing (headers with 4" Borla XR-1 racing mufflers). It's like being in the front row at a Ted Nugent concert.
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Last edited by njsteve; 08-20-2017 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:39 PM
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Good on ya, Steve-O! Yep... love this car and it grabs more attention than any other I've had. Amazing. It seems to draw everyone to it. I love letting people sit in it and get pictures. The sound with the Corsa is awesome!! I've put about 250 miles on it since I got it. Once the brakes are done I'm through with maintenance items on it.

The brake redo is new slotted rotors, pads, a flush, and the calipers are being coated Red. Should be back on the road in another week. Then its onto a few interior improvements. Pics soon! It's running great, and cool, since the fan and radiator improvements.

Cheers
Dave
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68 Mustang S-Code GT Fastback
78 Y82 Trans Am
97 Viper GTS

Last edited by A12pilot; 08-20-2017 at 03:44 PM.
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