Thread: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

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  1. #1
    Viper Owner
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    Default Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    Apologies if this is the wrong place for this thread or if there are already existing threads covering this, but I was unable to find them.

    I've dreamed of owning a Viper ever since the RT/10 came out when I was a kid. I finally have the financial means to fulfill that dream, but I need some help.

    I currently am planning on getting a third generation convertible. Obviously I'd take it to a reputable dealer to get it the once over before purchasing it, but is there anything specific that I should be on the look for to avoid getting a lemon or a major money sink?

  2. #2
    Viper Owner
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    firt of all congrats on looking for a new Viper. You will not regret it. Items to look for are the following:

    Body or frame damage
    Tire wear
    CARFAX (for some assurance)

    well worth to have a reputable Viper tech inspect.

    Good luck

    Bruce

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    ALWAYS ask a friendly Dodge dealer to run the VIN for you BEFORE you get too excited over a given car...looking for in service date/location, service records (if any), warranty work, recalls, etc.

    Though there were some specific issues on 03's and 04's , the one that I always worry about is the 2004 crank damper bolt issue. I personally don't worry about the engines rebuilt by Arrow...but I do worry about all of the 04's still out there with loose bolts...and even worse, the ones "fixed" with Loctite & retorque by owners having no idea about subtle internal damage done while the bolt & damper were loose.

    That said, I think you'll find a good selection of great Gen III's out there...and they are fun cars to be sure!!

    Just be careful!!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-Indy View Post
    Though there were some specific issues on 03's and 04's , the one that I always worry about is the 2004 crank damper bolt issue.
    I hadn't heard about this issue. Do you have some further reading on it? i.e. Is it unique to the 2004 model year? Was it an issue from the factory? Is there a service bulletin on it? etc.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlknBlu View Post
    well worth to have a reputable Viper tech
    I would most likely be buying it out of state (flying out to see it or whatnot) as there isn't much of a selection locally that I've found. Is there a list anywhere of reputable techs?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    I just thought of another question (sorry! heh) -- how reliable are Vipers in the long term mileage wise? What I mean is that in a normal car, 10k miles versus 30k miles on a used car is going to make pretty much zero difference -- both will be practically brand new. But on a Viper, is it worth paying an extra $5000 or whatnot for the lower mileage car to avoid some issue that is going to crop up? Or do Vipers wear out relatively normally?

    And thanks guys for the responses. Super helpful and much appreciated.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    I'm a little lazy (and running late) this AM...so, here is an old post on the crank damper bolt issue. Please read the facts in my post there as it does shed some light on the issue:

    http://forums.viperclub.org/srt10-sr...ml#post2873333

    Viper Wizard and Tom Sessions also have posted VALUABLE info on this issue...search "crank damper bolt" and it will get you started.

    Please understand that I think 2004 Vipers are great cars...jUst do your homework and you won't get burned!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    Viper007Bond, I REALLY am not trying to monopolize this thread since there are many, many very experienced owners out there with many, many different experiences as well as viewpoints. Keep in mind, that I am pretty conservative (old)...and generally keep our Vipers stock (especially the later models),
    and I usually prefer evidence-based advice over annecdotal-series-of-one comments "massaged" into sweeping generalizations.

    Much of your search should be geared around your end purpose. Since you asked about reliability, I 'll assume that initially you want a good looking, solid, reliable occasional driver. And, YES, a well cared for, pre-owned Viper IS a reliable car and the maintenance of same is both straight-forward and fairly inexpensive...especially given the performance of such a Beast. I personally know of many Vipers (all years) with tens of thousands of miles on the "clock"...all still running well, having no unusual issues, and are expected to continue in such fashions.

    Start modifying things, and one opens up many other sources of "entertainment"...and potential issues...which can be a very rewarding hobby in and of itself.

    Realize that these forums are for sharing info...good, bad, and eve ything in between...none of which should discourage YOU!!

    By the way, if you want a Gen III for modification, you'll be fine also as this model is a pretty flexible HP development platform...be it on a budget of $$$$ or $$$$$$.

    I should also note that 2003 Vipers had quite a list of "growing pains"...most of which have been well sorted/repaired long ago.

    Hopefully others will jump in here now. If you have specific Viper info needs, feel free to give me a call.

  9. #9
    Venomiss
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    You might start by contacting a local VCA Club and asking a few questions.
    They might know of some Viper for sale not too far from where you are located.
    Northern California has a large club.

    Northern California VCA

    Oregon Viper Club Home

    Viper Club of America

    Also try the search feature and pop in differences in years or Gen 3 Viper problems.
    http://forums.viperclub.org/srt10-sr...ing-about.html

    http://forums.viperclub.org/srt10-sr...king-gen4.html

    This was posted by wormdoggy and he got it from someone else in a search-

    Here are some differences :

    03 and 04 came with factory 7/70 powertrain warranty
    04's possible cam bolt torque problem is built prior to 01/31/04
    04's had a different oil pressure and temp gauge
    05's had a different factory head unit
    05's and up have a slightly diff. valve cover. vent tubes at the front
    04's and up came with trunk mat
    03's and 04's factory oil fill is 10w-30 while 05's and up 0w-40
    no special editions made in 03
    2003 have different connecting rod then 04's. they are forged in the 03's and PM in 04. Crank balance is also different
    05's have different PCM
    crank trigger location moved from the flywheel in 03/04 to side of block in 95.
    05's up changed the damper bolt to 3/4" vs the smaller 13mm in 03's and up.
    Main bearings changed in 05 to 180 degree mains from 120 in order to address oil starvation issues at rods. this is the reason for the lower oil pressure at idle for the 05 cars
    04's up have red calipers
    timing cover changed in 05 to incorporate a wire holder for the cam sensor. old covers used a bolt on clip.

    Hope this helps. I printed this off from some other post and have had it ever since. Thanks to the writer for some great information.

    Patrick



    You might be better off trying to find a Viper closer to you.
    It's a bonus to meet the owner and know the background on the Viper which might save you money in the future.
    Last edited by Venomiss; 04-24-2011 at 02:54 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-Indy View Post
    Please read the facts in my post there as it does shed some light on the issue:
    Thanks. I will certainly read through that thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-Indy View Post
    Viper007Bond, I REALLY am not trying to monopolize this thread since there are many, many very experienced owners out there with many, many different experiences as well as viewpoints. Keep in mind, that I am pretty conservative (old)...and generally keep our Vipers stock (especially the later models),
    No worries at all and I plan to keep it entirely stock. At the very most I'd only be modifying the exhaust. 500 HP is more than enough for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venomiss View Post
    You might start by contacting a local VCA Club and asking a few questions.

    [snip]

    You might be better off trying to find a Viper closer to you.
    It's a bonus to meet the owner and know the background on the Viper which might save you money in the future.
    This has been incredibly helpful. Thanks! I will for sure contact the local clubs.

  11. #11
    FrgMstr
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    Worth mentioning as well, I took my 2005 Vert, that I bought in October that was not in warranty any more, into a Dodge dealer and had them do a "Preowned Certified Inspection." It costs a couple hundred bucks, but is very in-depth and covers a couple hundred points, much more valuable than just "having it looked at." My car was signed off on and given a "cherry" status by the tech which gave me a damn good feeling about buying it. After this inspection the vehicle was once again eligible for Chrysler's Gold Warranty package. Warranty was $3200 for 3 years, unlimited mileage. I put 5000 miles on the car since October and the warranty has almost already paid for itself.

    Anyway, something to think about. Good luck with your quest.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrgMstr View Post
    Worth mentioning as well, I took my 2005 Vert, that I bought in October that was not in warranty any more, into a Dodge dealer and had them do a "Preowned Certified Inspection." It costs a couple hundred bucks, but is very in-depth and covers a couple hundred points, much more valuable than just "having it looked at." My car was signed off on and given a "cherry" status by the tech which gave me a damn good feeling about buying it.
    I had actually been wondering if dealerships had that option. I know they could give it a look over, but knowing they have a specific checklist and such gives me quite a bit of relief. Thanks for the info.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrgMstr View Post
    My car was signed off on and given a "cherry" status by the tech After this inspection the vehicle was eligible for Chrysler's Gold Warranty package. Warranty was $3200 for 3 years, unlimited mileage. I put 5000 miles on the car since October and the warranty has almost already paid for itself.
    Did you mean the warranty gave you piece of mind or you have needed almost $3,200 in repairs since the purchase and the inspection?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Things to check for when buying a used SRT-10?

    Did you mean the warranty gave you piece of mind or you have needed almost $3,200 in repairs since the purchase and the inspection?
    This is my question as well. If it mean repairs, then it seems to me the car wasn't "cherry" after all.

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