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  1. #1
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    Default First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Hello all!! This forum is awesome. I've already learned a lot.

    I took delivery of my first Viper 7 days ago. A 2002 Red RT/10.(One of the last 3 Red RT/10's left for sale in the midwest region).
    I have never owned a vehicle like this before. I fell in love with Viper about 10 years ago, and have dreamt of the day I'd be able to cal one "my own"!!!

    As a new owner I have a few observations and questions that maybe you much more experienced guys (and girls), can help me with. Sorry if this post gets a little long. But I'm just so **** excited to talk with other people who are excited about their car as I am.

    1. I have noticed a very interesting phenomenon when out driving.....more than a half dozen times or so, Mustangs or Corvettes, (or on one occassion a Honda Civic!!), will pull up beside me at a stop light....rev loudly and attempt to peel off in front of me.........of course I'm still in the "break in" phase for the engine...and to be quite honest I'm still learning to "drive" this car, so I'm not about to try to compete with them. Can I expect these shows of macho-ism to be a routine event?
    2. I AM TERRIFIED TO PARK MY CAR AND LEAVE IT!!!!! I have heard of this kind of behaviour before with other "exotic" car owners, but I alwasy thought this was stupid....now I am one of them. This car attracts attention, like a hot naked woman showing it off for free!!!
    3. I love watching people getting whiplash turning their head so quickly as you drive by them. However, is it normal to feel a little uncomfortable at driving such a "flashy" car? Also....I'm not good with receiving complements....people tend to lean out of their car windows from across the street, just to yell out how cool your car looks!!!
    4. Can someone explain the "Shift Lock" that occurs...which sometimes prevents shifting form 1st to 2nd, and forces a change to 4th. The owners manual states it "occurs in certain conditions"...but what are those conditions. So far I have noticed it occurs much more often during slow accelerations.
    Is there a way to over-ride this feature...is it a bad idea to over-ride this feature?
    5. I am pretty much a "car-speak virgin"....I have noted that many of you guys on this forum have performed certain modifications to your vehicles.....I have read words like..."Corsa" and "Ripper" etc...where is a good source to educate myself more in the ways of modifications? I hate feeling like an idiot.
    6. Viper is a very different driving experience, and the car is aptly named....I get the feeling that if the power of this vehicle is not given a great deal of respect it will turn around and bite very hard!!! So I pretty much drive like Granny in it right now. I have read on several occassions about Viper driving schools....I live about an hour and half south of Minneapolis.....does any one know of any driving schools occuring in the midwest in the near future? What kind of driving experience is required for these schools? Do I have to drive like a Nascar driver...or will it simply provide me with the knowledge tools and experience in order to adequately handle this car?

    Anways...thank you for letting me ramble on....I'll probably have more questions as time goes on.

    Oh!! Lastly....is it normal to get this huge *** grin that lasts for many hours everytime you walk into your garage and see you have a Viper sitting there?

    Thank you guys!




  2. #2
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Hawkeye,

    Welcome and congrats. . .it feels great doesn't it?
    I just got my first Viper a few weeks ago.
    My baby is a stunning black 95 RT10.

    First of all, this forum is outstanding- I will probably loose my job because I spend so much time in here.

    I think I can give a fresh perspective on your questions since I am new to "the club" as well; here goes. . .]

    1. Get used to all the clowns trying to needle you on the streets. You both know who has the alpha car; depending on your personality and budget(and once you break it in) you can either show them up or smile out loud as they drive away knowing they wish they were you. I prefer the latter and my most common culprit of this are these clowns in their "souped-up" Camaros. PLEAZ!
    2. There have been several threads on this subject. I am like you about leaving it out of my site. Here is my take: I will only leave it somewhere where "I" valet the car to the spot and the kid gets tipped to watch it and I keep the keys. However, I believe most people just are in awe of these cars and prefer to spectate rather than F with your car; it just depends upon your "part of town" and whether you have a psycho ex-girlfriend with a set of keys!
    3. If you're not comfortable with attention, you bought the wrong car (should have bought a vette). I usually just say "thank you" or give a smile and a wave.
    4. The 1st to 4th mechanism is an "environmental" measure taken to reduce the amount of . . .blah, blah, blah. Anyway, if it bothers you that much, there is a method described in the modifications section of this website that explains how to do it. I usually just push the RPM's in first to skip it off. Then 2nd is no problem.
    5. This website is car lingo 101 ; read,read,read. By the way, Corsa is a header/exhaust manufacturer and ripper refers to people who unlawfully download Metallica songs from the internet (actually type of quick shifter upgrade)
    6. Listen, I was scared to death the first time I drove my Snake and now I feel like "one with the car". Just keep driving; you will get used to it. As for driving schools, they can be fun, informative, and a great way to get aggressive driving experience. It depends upon your objectives, but I don't think it is necessary to get the most from your Viper. . .just keep driving.

    Lastly, the grin is definitely normal. . .everytime my garage door goes up. He!!, just thinkin' about my baby gets me excited. . .I shift gears in my sleep! (Guys, I'm a newbie too, please refrain from hitting the slow hanging curve I just threw)

    Hope this helps.


  3. #3
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    Chuck 98 RT/10's Avatar
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HawkeyeViper:
    1.more than a half dozen times or so, Mustangs or Corvettes, (or on one occassion a Honda Civic!!), will pull up beside me at a stop light....rev loudly and attempt to peel off in front of me.
    Can I expect these shows of macho-ism to be a routine event?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, and it never ends. Get used to smiling and waving them off.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HawkeyeViper:
    2. I AM TERRIFIED TO PARK MY CAR AND LEAVE IT!!!!! This car attracts attention, like a hot naked woman showing it off for free!!!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Always park up close at restaurants and way out away from everything, but in plain site at malls.

    Never let a valet drive it. Slip the valet $10-$20 and ask them to move the car that's in the space you want and park it yourself.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HawkeyeViper:
    3. I love watching people getting whiplash turning their head so quickly as you drive by them.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Don't get in the habit of watching other people instead of the road.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HawkeyeViper:
    I'm not good with receiving complements.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Get in the habit of a thank you smile and a wave anytime you hear or see someone looking.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HawkeyeViper:
    4.The owners manual states it "occurs in certain conditions"...but what are those conditions.
    Is there a way to over-ride this feature...is it a bad idea to over-ride this feature?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Putzing along at a slow speed, such as in a parking lot causes it. It doesn't bother me, but yes you can eliminate the feature without hurting anything. I think the tech section on this site has instructions.

    5. chic answered this one.
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HawkeyeViper:
    6.does any one know of any driving schools occuring in the midwest in the near future? What kind of driving experience is required for these schools? Do I have to drive like a Nascar driver...or will it simply provide me with the knowledge tools and experience in order to adequately handle this car?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Definitly do some road racing and get comfortable flogging your Viper around a track. Sign up for a Viper Days www.ViperDays.com event. They are safe, fun and worth every penny. There are also clubs like Porsche, BMW, etc. that will have events in your area. Go to www.chasinracin.com to find tracks in your area.

    Good luck and congrats.



  4. #4
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    HawkeyeViper

    Congrats on your new Love!

    "Paul Newman"
    "Holder Luke She's Headed For The Rhubarb"




  5. #5
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Too bad that you got the slower RT/10 and not GTS


  6. #6
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ElDiablo Viper:
    Too bad that you got the slower RT/10 and not GTS

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Wrong thread El.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Hey Hawk, How bout them Huskers! Bet you hate hearing that.

    Couldnt resist....

    Nice Snake, and congrats!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    I've just had my Viper for a little over a month and I've been coming to this Viper site for over a year previously reading every post and using the search engine here to learn all I could. My Viper is the first manual shift car I have ever owned.

    Try to drive your Viper every chance you can get in light traffic so you become familiar with it. You live in a beautiful state for driving - I found the western half of Iowa to be most enjoyable for doing my break in on my journey from Woodhouse in Nebraska to my home, just south of Dayton, Ohio. The eastern half of Iowa had quite a bit more cars than the western half and the further east I drove the more cars were on the road.

    Follow the break in proceedure so you will have a trouble free car many years from now - there will be plenty of time to run it hard after the break in period. Always respect the Viper and be somewhat fearfull of it, too. Relax and drive smooth. Be aware of everything around you because the Viper has limited visibity to the sides and many cars like to pull up around your blind spots to gawk and drool. Unless you are extremely proficient at running your Viper hard, you would be better off not racing other cars. You can beat 995 out of a 1,000 cars on the street and the 5 that are faster than you are too fast to be racing on the street anyway.

    Drive around your town a lot at or slightly below the speed limit so the police in your area become familiar with you and the fact you are not speeding. I have had no problems with my local police because they associate me with driving the speed limit. When they aren't around I usually accellerate quite quickly in first up to 5 MPH over the speed limit and then shift to whatever gear I choose or press in the clutch pedal and just coast. On the interstates in the western half of Iowa I bet you can safely exceed the speed limit temporarily, but if you cruise at well over the speed limit you may overtake the few of Iowa's Finest out patrolling the interstate.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Hawkeye-

    Welcome! Congrats! Wish mine was new again. I've got 11,500 smiles now, in about 13 months. Its been the most satisfying car experience I've ever had, out of like 15 other cars. Nothing has the personality of the Viper. Sure, other cars have their own personality. But the Viper is not a copy-cat sports car. Its an original creation, loaded with individuality. That still impresses me, after a year and a month of ownership.

    Answer to your point #1. Yes, now and then. Frequency of challenges varies depending on where you are driving, time of day or night. If I go out late Saturday night, I will find a race without fail. Its out there, if you're looking.

    Learn to feather the gas on a start, to control the spin. Make sure its pointed straight before you spin 'em.

    Most cars don't have enough torque to break 'em loose in a turn, (unless you rev 'em up, or catch a shift) But the Viper can break em loose if you just punch it hard in a turn, even at lower rpm's. Something like 70% of its maximum torque is available just over idle speed. This can catch you off guard. Try to find a big empty lot, and practice spinning the car around. Learn the limits. The tires are cheaper than a crash repair. (average $25K). So learn the limits, so you don't crash. I think it has been said that something like 37% of new Vipers are crashed within a few months of ownership. Inexperience, big HP, big torque, cold tires, all add up to a high incidence of early ownership crashes. Don't jump on it until the tires are warm.

    Has anyone told you the Arrow break in procedures?

    EDIT- Oh, yeah, Sun Ra Kat brings up a good point about the blind spot. Focus your door mirrors so there is only a little overlap with the center mirror. That way your blind spot is almost covered. The GTS has a big blind spot, and one time I gently tagged someone in my blindspot, when I first got the car. Now I'm used to having my side mirrors pointed outward, and I think its much safer.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Congrats HawkeyeViper!

    Like Chuck said, get used to waving the Mustangs, Camaros and Imports off but relish it when a vette wants to try you on.

    Also, get used to the grin cuz 'it lasts a long while'.

    Lastly, welcome to the Viper Nation!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Welcome!! Your in good company


  12. #12
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Welcome and enjoy your new ride!!


  13. #13
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Hawkeyeviper the only way to discribe the driving experience, it's a love affair in progress. It only gets better!!!!


  14. #14
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    HawkeyeViper,

    Congrats on the new ride!! Nice color choice..

    Your an hour and a half from Mpls? Cool!! There is 8-10 of us going for a cruise on Sunday, you are welcome to join us, email me if interested ([email protected]). Also check out the Mn website (http://mn.viperclub.org/frames.html).



  15. #15
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Welcome Hawkeye!
    Your attitude sounds absolutely perfect for a new owner/driver. Keep the fear/respect in your right foot for a while. You'll stay out of trouble and enjoy the leaning experience more. The first time (and there WILL be a first time) you really let loose you will need a change of underwear...better to have that happen later than sooner (IMO).

    No one has given you the layman's straight on the "shift lock". It was designed to force a driver at low rpm to upshift from 1st to 4th in order to save gas and get a better gas mileage rating on the car. I believe that there is a 15% formula (damm if I know the math) that locks you out of 2nd. With a little more umph, the lock out (and the indicator light) will open. There is a product commonly referred to as a skip-shift eliminator that some of us install which, as indicated, eliminates the lock out. A few "site vendors" sell it. Try http://www.snakeoylproducts.com/ and search on skip shift eliminator.
    Like everyone says....the grin stays


  16. #16
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Welcome, Hawkeye, and congrats ! Good to see more snakes in
    nw Iowa. How about them Cyclones ? ( from Spencer, ISU grad)
    call Bill Pemberton about midwest track, driving schools, and anything else. Join VCA ! several other Vipers around you there, in Des Moines area, etc.
    The smile is permanent, get used to it. Wave and say thank you, or as I do " You have excellent taste" when told it's a wow car.
    Read, read, read, search, ask.. this site is a goldmine.



  17. #17
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    On your way to Mpls to see Jamie, Gerald and Glen stop by and see me in Owatonna and I will buy you a beer. I recommend you meet up with these guys. First of all they all own RT/10s and would be happy to talk shop with you and secondly they are a bunch of decent people..
    Jerry in Owatonna.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....


    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>
    On your way to Mpls to see Jamie, Gerald and Glen stop by and see me in Owatonna and I will buy you a beer. I recommend you meet up with these guys. First of all they all own RT/10s and would be happy to talk shop with you and secondly they are a bunch of decent people..
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Heah thanks Jerry!! Would you like to join us on Sunday too?



  19. #19
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Thank you guys for all of your "Welcomes" and thank you even more for your advice!!

    I'm glad to know there are several more Viper owners close to me, would be great to cruise with you guys when possible!

    One last question....my Dodge dealership here has only sold two Vipers. Mine being one....and while they do have a viper technician on staff...he probably doesn't get to work on many vipers in this area......I'm anxious to know if there are any other dealerships close by (Des Moines or Southern Minnesota), that are more experienced, to service or upgrade my snake?

    Also here is a shout out to all Iowa State fans this weekend against Florida State....Go Noles!!! (Sorry....Im a Hawkeye through and through)


  20. #20
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Congrats! And just press on the gas to avoid the "skipt shift". As soon as the light comes on, give it a little gas and you go through it.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    Harry Browns Dodge in Faribault MN has a Viper Tech on Staff.. They have sold a few Vipers don't know if this tech would be better than your local one....
    Jerry In Minnesota.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    HawkeyeViper,

    Greetings and Congratulations...

    My only advice is don't let your local dealership "practice" on your brand new baby...they may be highly reputable for regular cars, but you new RT ain't one of them...For the most part, those of us up here who actually drive our cars, wrench on them ourselves...nothing major...YET! Just the usual oil changes, brakes, exhaust, etc...stay tuned! As Jamie said, we are only an hour and a half away, so any time you need help wrenching on your new toy, just let us know...

    And what's up with the Iowa interstate speed limit of 65? My cruise only sets between 75 and 140...what gives? I can't get out of 3rd without breaking the posted speed limit!



  23. #23
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    Default Re: First time viper owner....first time poster....

    The fact that you did not start out typing in all caps like some newbies makes you alright in my book already. Welcome to the World of the Viper!!!!


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