Viperin’ Through Michigan

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2009

By Michael Brett

Several VCA Minnesota members made the trek to the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (CAAP) to visit with our friends at the Viper plant. The entire staff could not have been more hospitable and informative and they assisted in making our trip a total success. Thank you one and all.

Our route to CAAP and then back home provided several interesting and unique opportunities for ourselves and our Snakes—including traveling across Lake Michigan aboard the SS Badger ferry boat. It was very interesting watching the staff load the ferry with what we thought to be far too many vehicles. Barely enough space was reserved for our Vipers as we were the last to load.

Beyond the semi trailers, we were the only ones given permission to personally drive our vehicles on board. Following a four-hour cruise, we docked in Ludington, Mich., and once again were allowed to drive our Vipers from the ship. Then it was onto Detroit for a visit to CAAP, or as we called it, Viper heaven.

We chose to follow a lengthy route home that took us across the impressive Mackinac Bridge into Michigan’s UP and eventually a visit to Copper Harbor. Just outside Copper Harbor we made the drive up Brockway Mountain for an elevated panoramic view of Lake Superior and the surrounding area.

While setting up for this photo op our Vipers received almost as much attention as the view itself—maybe more. It’s incredible driving machines that generate unimaginable interest and compliments regardless of the destination.

Viper Differential Lubrication Service

Written by editor on . Posted in Tech Notes Plus, Winter 2009

Just like engine oil, your Snake’s differential fluid must be replaced at regular intervals. Not as often, but at regular intervals nonetheless. Chrysler LLC recommends your Viper’s differential lubricant be replaced every 22,500 miles (36 000 km) for 1992–2003 models, and every 18,000 miles (29 000 km) for 2004–2006 models. If your Snake is operating under severe service conditions then change the lubricant more frequently. Refer to the owner’s manual for the exact severe service drain interval. The fluid should be changed immediately if contaminated with water.

Drain Procedure:

  1. Drive the vehicle until the differential lubricant is at normal operating temperature.
  2. Raise and support your Viper. Note the jack locations and safety instructions in the owner’s manual.
  3. Remove the differential fill plug (see Figure 1).
  4. Remove the drain plug (as equipped) and go to step no. 5. Otherwise, install a fluid transfer pump into the differential fill hole. Remove (draw out) the axle lubricant from the differential.

    Go to step no. 6.

  5. Drain old lubricant completely, clean and install the drain plug. Tighten plug to 15 lb-ft (20 N·m).
  6. Fill differential with Mopar® Synthetic Gear & Axle Lubricant SAE 75W-140 GL-5 allowing enough room for 4 oz of Mopar Limited Slip Additive, Part No. 04318060AB. The differential is full when the lubricant is even with the bottom of the fill hole. Clean the fill plug and install. Torque the fill plug to 15 lb-ft (20 N·m).

Fluid Level Check

The exterior of the axle should be examined for evidence of a leak during every oil change. If there is evidence, the differential fluid level should be between the bottom of the fill plug and a point approximately 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) below the fill hole (Figure 1).

Long-Term Storage

Do you store your Snake for more than 90 days? If so, Dodge recommends that you turn the rear-wheel spindles several times each month. This will circulate fluid through the differential and help prevent corrosion of components above the fluid level.

Got A Leak?

Differential fluid leaks can be caused from a number of circumstances including: too much lubricant, worn axle shaft seals, cracked differential housing, worn pinion seal, worn/scored yoke, or a differential cover that is not properly sealed. Need help? Call your local Dodge dealer today.

Dana/226RIA (Model 44) Specifications
Lubricant Specifications

1992–2006 Viper Differentials use Mopar® Synthetic Gear & Axle Lubricant SAE 75W-140 GL-5, Part No. 04874469, meeting MS-8985 and Mopar Limited Slip Additive, Part No. 04318060AB, meeting MS-10111.

Torque Specifications

Differential Drain/Fill plug, 15 lb-ft (20 N·m)

Capacity, Refill

Differential lubricant 41 oz (1230 ml)

Friction-modifier additive 4 oz (120 ml)

All 1992–2006 Vipers are equipped with a Hydra-lok® or Trac-lok® (clutch type) limited slip differential. When replacing lubricant, it is important to add a few ounces of friction-modifier additive to the gear lubricant for the differential clutches. Failure to use this additive will result in clutch chatter and shortened clutch life.

What’s Your Question?

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us to cover in Tech Notes Plus?
Please send your suggestions to
[email protected].

In the lap of Luxembourg

Written by editor on . Posted in Parting Shots, Winter 2009

Hello Viper Friends!

I’m sending this message from Luxembourg, a small country in Europe that only has eight Viper owners. As far as I know, we have two 1994 RT/10s, a 1997 GTS, a 1999 GTS, three SRT10s and my yellow 1995 RT/10 in the entire country.

I wanted to share these photos of my Viper, along with some of my other vehicles. In my garage I also have a 1972 Dodge Charger R/T with the 440 cid engine, and a Ram pickup.

My wife Martine, our son Billy and I are all big Dodge fans. I also have a large collection of models and most of them are Dodge and Mopar® products. Thanks for making such a great car.
I will always be a Dodge and Viper enthusiast.

René Mahr

Luxembourg, Europe

Only in California

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2009

When developing the ACR, the experts at SRT® added an aero system for the vehicle that would produce more than 1,000 lbs. of downforce at 150 mph. Leave it to Maurice Liang in California to come up with a way to add an optional 100 lbs. of downforce to the package.

Revved Up Rookie

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2009

Roger Paim, from Wareham, Mass., is new to this whole Viper thing, so he was understandably thrilled to find out how much fun it is to be a member of the Viper Nation. He explained, “I’m very excited to be in the Viper Club of America. I’ve only been a member for three months and the people I’ve met so far have been incredible.”

He continued, “I attended the Pocono event and I got to meet Ralph Gilles (Vice President of Design for Chrysler). He was so down to earth and even walked outside with me to look at my Gen 1 Viper. We talked for awhile and he even posed for a picture with me. It was a great experience for me and I can’t wait until the next event.”

Seeing Red

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2009

By Scott Hirko

Here is an image I shot in my studio of my 2000 GTS. When I bought the car a few years ago I decided I need a nice shot to make a print for my wall. As a commercial photographer, I had all the tools I needed. I spent a day in my studio lighting the Viper and shooting various angles and detail shots for the image. Then I spent several hours in Photoshop® working on the image and adding the background. The finished image is pretty close to what I envisioned in my head. I call it “Seeing Red.”

Scott Hirko Photography Inc. is located in Newbury Park, Calif., and you can see more images on

Boy And the Hood

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2009

Everyone came away from VOI.10 in Detroit with something, even if it was just some great memories. However, Dan Mishler, son of WV/PA VCA club member Tom Mishler of Hollsopple, Pa., walked off with something a little more tangible.  Dan won the Viper hood through the random drawing at the Invitational. Now all he needs is the rest of the car to go with it.

Senior Moment

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2009

The graduation photos of high school seniors have certainly come a long way from the old days of posing in front of a white backdrop in the school cafeteria. Linda Thomas, of Sarasota, Fla., is a photographer who has been doing these photos for years, but when her granddaughter was in town from Effingham, Ill., she wanted to do something special.

She said, “We’re Viper people and I wanted to share this photograph. Her name is Macy Koester and as I was doing her senior pictures, this was the photo that she chose.
I know you have a section that prints photographs of people and their Vipers and I thought you might want to use this one. She’ll freak when she sees it.”

Just think how much more often grandchildren would visit if grandma and grandpa owned a Viper.

Lucky 13

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2009

By Alex Ristanovic

If only every event had weather like this. Under blue skies, 78 degrees, and a cool breeze, you couldn’t have a better setting for one of our biggest racing events of the year. This was Viper War XIII—an annual event held by the Illinois VCA.

The setting for this Viper War was the famed Autobahn Country Club. It’s one of the best tracks in the area! Speeds are moderate, the venue is safe and the asphalt is great. While experienced drivers hit the track, novices attended the class at the very beginning of the day.

The day was absolutely magnificent and without a single incident. There were three run groups total and members had quite a few sessions to run the track. Folks certainly got their fill. At the end of the day all the members got together under the tents to present the awards and say their goodbyes.

And last but not least, we crowned our newest Triple Crown winner who went home with a large glass award and the coveted traveling winner’s cup! Our 2008 Triple Crown winner is Howie Frank!

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