Thread: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

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  1. #1
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    Default Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    I'm a new member here on the viperclub forums, but have been interested in these cars since they came out when I was in grade school! I've been shopping around for the last couple years, and think I finally found the car I've been waiting for. The link to the ad is at the bottom of the post.

    I've wanted a GTS ever since I saw the first blue and white cars at the Mopar Nationals. I plan on putting a few miles on this car in the summer, and would like to do a significant amount of SCCA Auto-x events as well.

    I can't say I have a whole lot of RWD experience, but I did auto-x a 2004 SRT10 viper several years ago, and I do have a V10 powered Dodge Ram. I'm also a decent driver, as I've won several Auto-x events in my 86 Omni GLHS including FTD and FTDi.

    Let me know what you guys think about this car. I'm working on getting a carfax, but the owner says the car has a clean title history and he currently has a lien on the car. I have the name of the bank the lien is with and will be contacting them to determine how to make the transaction. I will be paying cash and/or using a certified check from the bank. The seller is only about a 5 hour drive from me, so I will make payment and pick up the car in person.



    Cars for Sale: 1998 Dodge Viper GTS in CUMMING, GA 30040: Coupe Details - 292618650 - AutoTrader.com

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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    The pictures look nice...no glaring issues. The write-up also sounds good. I would recommend that you have it inspected before finalizing the purchase. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by LifeIsGood View Post
    The pictures look nice...no glaring issues. The write-up also sounds good. I would recommend that you have it inspected before finalizing the purchase. Good luck.
    I will run the VIN by the local viper dealer here (Roanoke Dodge) which is/was the largest viper dealer in the country. From what I've read, it's good to check if the TSB's have been performed on these cars. I read that some of the TSB's can be incorrectly performed. Is there an easy way to determine if they are done correctly or not? I'm a mechanical engineer, mechanic, novice bodyman, etc. I feel confident I can inspect this car myself without too much trouble.

    Of course, there's always the chance that I will overlook something on the car that an inspector would catch. Unfortunately, I've had bad experiences relying on professionals to do work I should have done myself, so it's hard for me to rely on somebody else's opinion.

    I spent some time in Iceland, and after driving a rental car in that country, I now know you need to inspect the entire car. You never know what might be bent, cracked, or otherwise missing on a vehicle, including areas you can't easily see.

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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    If you have not already done so...ask for current pictures. If the owner is really wanting to make the sale they should be happy to do so. Ask to see under the fascia, pics of the side bolsters on the driver seat. These are some of the areas I looked at when I was making a long distance purchase.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by 01sapphirebob View Post
    If you have not already done so...ask for current pictures. If the owner is really wanting to make the sale they should be happy to do so. Ask to see under the fascia, pics of the side bolsters on the driver seat. These are some of the areas I looked at when I was making a long distance purchase.
    Good recommendations. I was assured the car looks "like it was new in 1998" as far as the paint, engine, and interior goes. I'll see if he has any additional pictures and definitely take a closer look. Luckily, the car isn't too far away so I'll only be out a day if the car doesn't turn out as nice as advertised.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Steve Fess may chime in here soon, he knows all those IN-KY carsbut I see no issues.

    Dont place too much value on a clean fax report. You can believe the INFO, but No info means NOTHING. No info = No report.

    Trivia: The Dodge exec that was in charge of the OMNI GLHS in the Shelby era has his own in the Chrysler Museum. He later rose the be the head of Team Viper-SRT... so you have a little bit of OMNI in every Viper! And the ash tray is a carryover.......

    Good Luck with your Silver Bullett

    JonB~~~~~:<~

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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by 01sapphirebob View Post
    Ask to see under the fascia
    What would one be looking for, or expecting to find, on a Viper that has been driven 31,000 miles ?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    It is 100% normal to have some scratches under the nose. Maybe LOTS of em. You would have to get down low to see them, but the nose underside can take a beating. Some owners have this area touiched up if it annoys them...... If you 31K nose has NO scratches it has pobably been painted.

    Not a bad thing....

    And the drivers-side outer seat bolster has had hundreds of ingress-egress since 1998. The buttons on a rear pocket wear and can fray this bolster...esp if you have a BIG REAR, er, um POCKET.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Luckily, I plan on driving this car, so I'm not worried about a few scratches down low or a small amount of seat wear. I'm mostly looking for mechanical things, and those can generally be evaluated with a close ear, a test drive, and a quick look under the car.

    The owner mentioned the car shifted "different" from the 2004 he owned. He said it was more notchy. Does this make any sense? I'm pretty sure they are exactly the same trans, but did the shifter change?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    I believe the owner of the car you are looking at is a member on this forum.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    I have a silver 98 GTS. I bought it with 26,000 and now have 28,500 miles. My side sills had some discoloration from exhaust heat and had to be resprayed. The other thing to check is the rubber trim in the stanchions that the back of the side windows seal to. The whole stanchion has to be replaced if the rubber is cracked... Like $400-$500. The stock 98 wheels don't really do the car justice. If you want to change them it will cost $$$$

    Car in the pics does look to be well cared for.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    First off, welcome to the VCA web forums!

    Yes. The shifter in the older cars is not as smooth as the newer ones. That is due to the older trannys.

    If you can, see if another member in the cars area can go with you to inspect it. Most members would be willing to spend some time with you to double check it. Also, I might suggest getting in touch with GA VCA president Chad (known on here as V10speedluvr. He may know the car or know someone in the area that could inspect with you.

    Best of luck and be sure to post your progress!

    Robert

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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Even though there are several cars with T56's in em they are all diff specs. And for example the mustangcobra has a cable operated clutch which I assume feals diff from the hydraulic ones.

    When you reach down and shift the Gen2's t56 it feals like your realy doing something. Completes the experience IMO. After getting used to the gen2 I could sit in a gen3 blindfolded and mistake it for a vette after operating the clutch/shifter.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Welcome, I hope this GTS turns out to be everything you're looking for.

    With that said, I would love to see some pics of your current rides....I loves GLHSs. Heck, I like V10 Rams too (I've owned both).

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by TP_ GTS View Post
    I believe the owner of the car you are looking at is a member on this forum.
    I'm pretty sure the owner is on this forum. The car is actually in the Louisville, Ky area if anyone is willing to meet me on Saturday to look at the car. I know the current owner said he has received multiple PM's about the car on Viperalley. I'm surprised he didn't have it listed here on this site if he's a member.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    My GTS had 35XXX when I bought it and the drivers side door latch went out within a month of ownership, no aftermarket parts either, stealership only. Drivers side outer seat bolster leather was worn pretty thin. pull back the rubber ducting that covers all the door wiring going from the drivers door to the body and take a look, mine had seven wires twisted together with electrical tape holding it together, seems to be a high problem area in older cars. Good Luck with your purchase, nice looking vehicle.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Mopar View Post
    Welcome, I hope this GTS turns out to be everything you're looking for.

    With that said, I would love to see some pics of your current rides....I loves GLHSs. Heck, I like V10 Rams too (I've owned both).
    It's nice to see people here that are familiar with the GLHS. It was really strange shopping for a Viper where thousands were made every year vs shopping for a GLHS where only 500 were made... ever! I know one of the GLHS owners on Turbo-Mopar.com owns a red Viper... and another guy who owns several Ferarris also owns a GLHS. Maybe you guys can help me figure out this phenomenon.

    I'll post up some pictures/video once I get my shop cleaned up. The GLHS is in the process of getting a paint job, so right now the ground effects and grille are off the car. I do have some decent pre-paint action shots of the car, and have some video as well. I also have a mint condition 91 Spirit R/T that has been in the family since new. Sadly, my 87 CSX is going to have to leave in exchange for the GTS. The Viper should be able to do everything better than the CSX, but I think the GLHS may still be the car to drive at some auto-x events.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutts02GTS View Post
    My GTS had 35XXX when I bought it and the drivers side door latch went out within a month of ownership, no aftermarket parts either, stealership only. Drivers side outer seat bolster leather was worn pretty thin. pull back the rubber ducting that covers all the door wiring going from the drivers door to the body and take a look, mine had seven wires twisted together with electrical tape holding it together, seems to be a high problem area in older cars. Good Luck with your purchase, nice looking vehicle.
    Thanks for the heads up on the wiring. I'm surprised about that, as my 86 GLHS and 87 CSX do not have any wiring issues. I guess it shows that you never know what the weak link on a car is going to be. I hear on the 3rd gen Vipers that the blower motor resistor bank fails so you lose all the intermediate fan settings. Friends of mine had the same problem with their other Chrysler products of the same vintage.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    The Gen 2 door-wiring issues that affect the window switches, alarm, and door latch are fairly common. The area of concern is the dash-to-hinge area of the harness. And they seem to begin at about 30k miles, Good Reminder Mutt...........

    Not a catastrophic issue, just annoying. Any Auto-Electric place can splice-repair the stretched/damaged/flawed insulation

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by JonB - PartsRack View Post
    The Gen 2 door-wiring issues that affect the window switches, alarm, and door latch are fairly common. The area of concern is the dash-to-hinge area of the harness. And they seem to begin at about 30k miles, Good Reminder Mutt...........

    Not a catastrophic issue, just annoying. Any Auto-Electric place can splice-repair the stretched/damaged/flawed insulation
    That's an interesting failure. I would have no problem repairing the harness, as I used to do industrial electronic repair years ago. It shouldn't be too difficult to repair/upgrade the harness in that area so it lasts considerably longer than the original design.

    How is the door latch affected by the wiring? Does it have to do with the alarm? Could this be related to the other poster who said his door latch quit working?

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by jckrieger View Post
    That's an interesting failure. I would have no problem repairing the harness, as I used to do industrial electronic repair years ago. It shouldn't be too difficult to repair/upgrade the harness in that area so it lasts considerably longer than the original design.

    How is the door latch affected by the wiring? Does it have to do with the alarm? Could this be related to the other poster who said his door latch quit working?
    The Viper has an electronic solenoid that opens the mechanical latch. The outer latch/button or inside handle triggers an electrical signal to open the door. The harness that comes from the Instrument Panel, thru the hinge-area, inside the door panel is the likley culprit, especially if it is an intermittant problem..

    So, YES, if the other poster{ i did not see} manipulates the harness between thumb and finger, they might interrupt the fault that is causing the problems. The outer or inner latches, window, or alarm could be affected. Diagnosis therefore Confirmed.

    JonB~~~~~:<~

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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by AZTVR View Post
    What would one be looking for, or expecting to find, on a Viper that has been driven 31,000 miles ?
    Quote Originally Posted by JonB - PartsRack View Post
    It is 100% normal to have some scratches under the nose. Maybe LOTS of em. You would have to get down low to see them, but the nose underside can take a beating. Some owners have this area touiched up if it annoys them...... If you 31K nose has NO scratches it has pobably been painted.

    Not a bad thing....

    And the drivers-side outer seat bolster has had hundreds of ingress-egress since 1998. The buttons on a rear pocket wear and can fray this bolster...esp if you have a BIG REAR, er, um POCKET.
    Pretty much what Jon had said. The reason I say ask for pics is if the owner of the car is claiming "never been painted" and the fascia has not one single scratch after 31K miles, odds are it has been painted, so what else is the seller trying to hide. Again, this is all hypothetical. I'm not saying this is the case with the car in question. Also, it's just a good idea to get current pics of the car. Again, IMO.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    I was looking around the web and found the car I'm looking at listed for sale on viperalley.com. It looks like the car was dyno'd at 403hp at the rear wheels. Does this sound about right for a stock 2nd gen? That's only a 10.5% drivetrain loss on a Mustang dyno. I see Corvettes are usually 18-20% down on power from the advertised spec.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by jckrieger View Post
    I was looking around the web and found the car I'm looking at listed for sale on viperalley.com. It looks like the car was dyno'd at 403hp at the rear wheels. Does this sound about right for a stock 2nd gen? That's only a 10.5% drivetrain loss on a Mustang dyno. I see Corvettes are usually 18-20% down on power from the advertised spec.
    The Year Matters..... the '98 in question was one of the BEST performing Gen-2 years, along with 96.5-97. Dodge understated the HP target prior to the Gen 2 launch, and owners were delighted to see as much as an extra 25HP on early dynos back in 1997.

    I did not re-read the ad, but If your '98 has basic mods like Tubes, Filters, Exhaust, the '98 added +25 HP to what it had OE....an OE number certainly ABOVE 450 in 98.

    PS: You are NOT the only person looking at this car! Posting here can get a good car sniped!

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Don't worry, I had the owner hold the car for me before posting to the list! He mentioned he had other interest, but I promised to provide a deposit if anyone else tried to put money down. Cash will be delivered tomorrow morning if the car looks good.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    The car is home. Rear tires are shot, and the driver's side valve cover seems to weep a bit of oil, but not enough to drip on the ground. Other than that, the car drives REALLY straight and is amazing to drive. The stereo isn't bad either.

    Anyone know where I can get Dunlop rear tires to match the fronts that are on the car? I think the fronts are about 2 years old.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by jckrieger View Post
    The car is home. Rear tires are shot, and the driver's side valve cover seems to weep a bit of oil, but not enough to drip on the ground. Other than that, the car drives REALLY straight and is amazing to drive. The stereo isn't bad either.

    Anyone know where I can get Dunlop rear tires to match the fronts that are on the car? I think the fronts are about 2 years old.
    First off you can go to the dedicated vendors section here:
    http://forums.viperclub.org/new-prod...endor-reviews/

    Or check out the dedicated tires section here:
    http://forums.viperclub.org/tire-whe...ke-suspension/

    A big congratulations on the Viper for you and hope you will join the VCA.
    Pictures if you have them!

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Congrats! That's excellent!

    Welcome to the Viper Nation!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by jckrieger View Post
    The car is home. Rear tires are shot, and the driver's side valve cover seems to weep a bit of oil, but not enough to drip on the ground.
    Congratulations! Post up some pictures once you get it all shined up. Also, post some pictures of the issues and we will be glad to help you figure them out.

    Sorry, I can't help you with the Dunlops.

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    Default Re: Soon to be new owner, Need feedback

    It looks like I might be taking pictures of the car in the snow today. We're forecast to get 12-18" in the next 24 hours! Of course, the driveway will be cleared before hand, but I bet there aren't many pictures of GTS's with snowy backdrops. Of course, the car won't be leaving the driveway until the March-April timeframe.

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