Dan Govero, of Imperial Mo., was set to race at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan., this past March with the NARRA (formerly Viper Days); however, due to a late snow storm (6″ of snow) the event was canceled. As a result, Dan decided to plow snow with his Snake—well, not really, one of Dan’s employees thought he’d have a little fun with Photoshop.® “Since I couldn’t race, I may as well have a little laugh about it,” said Dan.
In the fall 2008 issue of VM, we covered Hugh Hoard’s accomplishment of being the first person to exceed 200 mph in the mile at the Silver State High Noon Shootout. Now, here’s a further update from Silver State participant, John Fuchs:
“In the last event, Bill Bagshaw and I won the 150 mph class (again), this time in a 2008 Viper SRT10® coupe, with a time variance of 0.021 seconds and an average speed of 149.9985 mph over 90 miles. In doing so, we beat 21 other cars in our class, nine of which were Corvettes. Another VCA member, David Green, took a second in the 115 mph class in a Neon SRT4,® with a time variance of 0.1267 and an average speed for 90 miles of 114.9948 mph.”
John Seward of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., is justifiably proud of his black 1994 Viper RT/10. “It’s won a number of awards, including many that were Best of Show,” Seward explained.
However, his Viper may be a special breed due to an unusual interior enhancement. Seward said, “It has a black leather interior, possibly the only 1992–1994 RT/10 that does. I was told it was built for a top Chrysler exec.”
How about it? Anyone else have a 1992–1994 with black leather interior? VM would like to know.
By Herb Helbig, Chief Engineer—Viper (Retired)
Q: Just picked up a 1998 GTS. I have surging in 5th and 6th gear at around 60 mph. I also have bucking at low speeds. I can’t find information that spells out the exact procedure to sync the throttle bodies for a GEN II. Can you help?
A: As far as I know, there is no procedure for syncing the throttle bodies on the single throttle cable engine. However, it’s pretty straight forward. The twin throttle bodies are connected by a cross shaft which has a bit of adjustment in it. The cable works the driver’s side TB and the throttle position sensor is on the passenger side TB. Make sure that as soon as the cable moves the driver’s side TB, the passenger side TB is also moving. If this is not the case, bucking is one side effect. Also make sure that when the throttle pedal is released both throttle blades are closed.
Q: It seems like it’s the convertible top or something similar, but I hear a clunking coming from the right rear of my 2006 SRT10® when I go over bumps. The previous owner took the car into the dealer and the report said they found it to be normal for the convertibles. Can you confirm this?
A: No clunk is normal. We didn’t build the top to make noise. A clunk coming from that right rear could be a lot of things. First try and isolate the noise inside versus outside and high in the car or low. Things to think about: loose shock, loose sway bar, check brake caliper etc. If you think it really is the top, look for wear marks where the top links might be rubbing, something may have come loose.
Q: I had the car in for service today and all went well until I noticed on the way home that the oil (temp) gauge was not working. I let the car get to temp and drove it a bit. There was plenty of oil and plenty of pressure. What’s really weird is that when I turn the key to on just before starting all the gauges including the oil gauge are reading correctly. Once I start it up though the oil temp gauge slowly falls back to under 120 and doesn’t move. Any idea what the problem is?
A: My guess would be a faulty sensor or possibly a connector problem at the temp sensor. I’ll admit that if you let the car warm up, shut it off and then just put the key in and get a good read from the gauge is confusing. That may be a more complicated electrical problem.
Q: I own a 1999 Viper GTS coupe with 20,000 miles on the odometer. I have a condition with the car’s HVAC system that has remained with the vehicle since it was new, but always thought it was a normal trait of the Viper. The condition occurs with the temperature knob in the cool position, while the A/C is on or off. The cool air coming thru the ducts suddenly becomes “very warm” for a period of approximately 20-30 seconds and then gradually starts to become cool again. This could happen about two times in the span of an hour on a long drive. Is this a normal condition? Can this problem be ratified with an upgraded Mopar part?
A: If the condition of warm air happens under heavy acceleration, the condition is normal. In order to deliver maximum power under heavy acceleration, the electronics temporarily shut down the compressor so the load is eliminated. If this is not the case, it sounds like the vacuum signal is changing at the HVAC unit. If that’s the case the dealer will need to check it out. If you’re sure it’s with the A/C on or off, then it’s time to visit the dealer.
Q: I own a 1995 Dodge Viper with 10,000 miles on it. I do a little autocross and road racing with it. Is there a good way of lowering it a little? I have a set of 2003 10-spoke wheels and stock tires and would like to have a little less ground clearance.
A: Due to the suspension design, there is no easy way to lower the car. You could swap a set of ACR shocks on and that would allow you to lower the adjustable spring seat. Otherwise you’d have to come up with a shorter set of springs and swap them on … not an easy job.
Q: I recently purchased a new 2009 Viper coupe and have decided to garage the car closer to my work rather than my home (two different cities). The problem is the garage entrance (commercial underground garage) is inclined and where the inclined ramp meets the garage floor is a rather sharp angle. Standard passenger cars do not scrape the front, however, the Viper with its front air intakes being so low, might pose a problem. I was thinking of air shocks for the front to add lift. Should you need it, I can determine the angle at the garage ramp and entrance. I was wondering if you have encountered this question in the past and have any recommendations.
A: There is no air shock that I know of that would fit your car, so there is no easy way to raise the front end. I’ve heard guys with this problem end up approaching the ramp at an angle that gets one of the wheels up first and allows a more gradual transition up the ramp … hope that helps.
Your technical questions are always welcome. Please remember to indicate the body style, model year and mileage for your Viper.
Tech Notes Editor
PO Box 24425
Shawnee Mission, KS 66283
E-mail: [email protected]
Fax: (248) 499-1950
In reading your recent issue of VM (Winter 2009), I was impressed and most thrilled to see the display of personalized license plates from various states.
Thereupon, I took a picture of my 2003 Viper SRT10®’s rear license plate to submit for your consideration in a subsequent publication.
Furthermore, it has been one of the greatest pleasures in my life to spend time driving this wonderful machine. Everyone that has been seated beside me has also enjoyed the exuberance and exhilaration that comes with the ride.
I would like to take this opportunity also to commend you on the wonderful job you and your staff have done in bringing this fantastic vehicle to light. Keep up the good work!
Raymond J. Bucci, M.D.
Simi Valley, Calif.
Thank you for the kind words about our publication, Dr. Bucci. Regarding the Viper being a fantastic vehicle, we could not agree with you more.—Ed.
VM Back Issue
Could you send me a PDF of the Winter 2009 issue of VIPER Magazine? My friend would like to view this issue. She doesn’t want a hard copy.
Laura, the Winter 2009 issue of VIPER Magazine is available online at www.vipermagazine.com/issues.—Ed.
So Many Combinations
I found the article about the 2008 model year Viper production in the spring issue of VIPER Magazine very interesting. WOW, 121 different paint and body combinations. I didn’t realize there were that many possible combinations.
You’re not alone, Chris. There were many VIPER Magazine readers that were amazed at the number of possibilities for paint and body combinations.—Ed.
I heard the Viper plant is operational. That’s fantastic! It’s music to my ears.
After being idle for over three months, the 392,000-sq-ft Conner Avenue Assembly Plant was temporarily operational. However, as I write this letter, the plant is idle again during Chrysler LLC’s reorganization.—Ed.
Connor Avenue Assembly History:
Built in 1966, the plant was purchased by Chrysler in 1995. Dodge Viper production began in May 1992 at the New Mack Assembly Plant and was moved to Conner Avenue in October 1995. Prowler production began in May 1997 and ended in February 2002. Viper V-10 engine production transferred from Mound Road Engine to Conner Assembly in May 2001.
President Barack Obama’s public address to the nation on April 30, 2009, announcing Chrysler LLC going into Chapter 11 restructuring was shocking and disappointing to many. The world changed for Chrysler employees, dealers, autoworkers, suppliers and many families on that day.
As of this writing, the honorable U. S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Arthur Gonzalez is hearing this case in the Southern District of New York. His experience handling other complex corporate cases will no doubt help in the hearing of Chrysler LLC’s case. At this point we know two things for certain: 1) Chrysler’s alliance and plans with Fiat SpA are subject to U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval and 2) Dodge Viper remains secured under bankruptcy protection.
Take a step back and consider that an alliance with Fiat SpA represents Chrysler LLC’s best opportunity for the future. Could the brain trusts at Ferrari and Maserati have any influence on the Viper? Who ever thought that this is something we might contemplate? There’s also a very good chance that a third party may acquire the Dodge Viper. Either way, the future of Viper looks promising and interesting to say the least.
Fiat’s principal investment in Chrysler LLC is its intellectual property – namely the engineering and technology of fuel-efficient small cars. With the price of gasoline ratcheting up again, we all know that manufacturing fuel sippers is the right thing to do. It’s only a matter of time before we see more and more Americans buying smaller, more economical cars.
At this moment, Fiat SpA is working closely with Chrysler management to architect the way for “NewCo,” the soon to be reorganized and newly named company. President Obama has ordered Chrysler’s bankruptcy case to be completed as speedily as possible. It’s critical and necessary in moving the company forward.
Meanwhile, the Viper Nation is geared and ready for the summer driving season. Have you had a chance to go on a club road trip? Nothing beats the fun and camaraderie of a Viper club outing. There are many planned so make it a point to participate. Check out the upcoming events listed on www.ViperClub.org under Events or visit www.ViperMagazine.com and click on Calendar.
You might also take time this summer to plan and outfit your garage. Turn to pages 30–35 to see what some of your fellow Viper-holics have done with their garages. Those could be inspiration for what you might do to enhance yours. And when you’re ready to share your own shrine, submit your photos to [email protected] to be considered for one of our future garage features.
Keep the faith for good things to come and enjoy your summer!
President, J.R. Thompson Company
Publisher of VIPER Magazine
By Jason Mattinson
Greetings Viper Nation! I am beyond excited to finally be a Viper owner and a member of the VCA. This past September I purchased a yellow 1995 RT/10 and have loved every minute of it. The Viper has been my dream car as long as I can remember so I wanted to share my story with VM.
Back in the early ’90s I remember getting several car posters to hang in my room. One was a Ferrari and the other was a Viper; both red. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the beginning of my Viper journey. A few years later I saw the blue and white GTS coupe for the first time. This was a major turning point and my obsession would only begin to grow.
I started out small by collecting scale models of the Viper in various colors. Then I stumbled upon an issue of VIPER Magazine in a bookstore. I purchased it on the spot and read it from cover to cover immediately (Ironically, it was the fall 1998 issue that had a yellow RT/10 on the cover.). Two years later I signed up for a subscription. I received a red Sneaky Pete key chain with my first issue.
About this same time I turned 16 and earned my driver’s license. I begged my parents to let me get a car with a manual transmission. My reason was that I wanted to be able to drive a stick in case the opportunity ever arose to drive a Viper. Through a weird twist of events, my dad promised that we could go “Viper shopping” if he had a good year at work. The year ended great and my dad kept his word; we were off to the local Dodge dealership.
They let us test-drive a red 1994 RT/10. I then built up the courage to ask my dad if I could drive it. At best I was hoping for a big parking lot so that I could say that I actually drove it. The day got even better when he let me take it out on the roads for a few miles. The dealership wrote up the paperwork but we did not buy the car. My dad made it clear that my education was more important. I kept that paperwork to use as motivation for future Viper ownership.
With the help of my parents, I made it through college and into the working world. I kept the Viper as a goal the entire time.
Finally this past fall I was in the position to purchase one. I took that Sneaky Pete key chain I had been saving for eight years so that I could finally add Viper keys to it. Then I hung the “No Parking except for Jason’s Viper” sign in the garage. The sign was a gift from my grandparents from several years back that I had been waiting to hang.
Even though my road to Viper ownership spanned nearly 15 years it was well worth the wait. I cannot thank my family enough for helping me through school and teaching me the value of hard work and going after your dreams. I also need to thank my wife for being very understanding of my Viper obsession. We purchased the car only six weeks after tying the knot. And one final thanks goes out to the Viper community. Many people have helped to answer all kinds of questions before and after I made the purchase. I am very grateful for the help and hope that I can give back to the community to show my thanks.