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Looking for a bit of advice on a salvage Viper

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Looking for advice on salvage (Engine bay pics pg 6)
Old September 5th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #1
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Looking for advice on salvage (Engine bay pics pg 6)

Hey all...I am a 3000GT owner. I have touched every single bolt in it, installed turbos, intercooler, injectors, swapped engines, transmissions, even replaced an output shaft with the transmission in the car, all in that little engine bay. I installed all the aftermarket electronics myself, installed a CarPC to monitor everything and to tune with. I even taught myself how to paint, and painted it myself. (pics below)

I found a 95 rt/10 for sale, asking price $20,000. It, of course, has a salvage title. Front end damage. I can get a loan for it (personal loan). I can insure it with liability and collision. I need to inquire about getting the title transferred to Illinois, but it should be no problem.

I make decent, money, but I'm also selling my newly painted 3000GT for $10,000 (upped the value from $4500 with my rookie paint job, excellent!) So, I wouldn't really be making payments out of my pocket til halfway through the loan, even.

The car has been cammed, has headers, and the Unichip Q+ installed. Dyno sheet shows 545 hp and 650 tq or so.

My plan is to drive to see the car tomorrow night. Trying to make an appointment to have it inspected on Saturday morning. I'm not bringing the funds with me, so if the guy needs to have it inspected next week then that's ok, too. So...question...if the inspection comes through, if the frame is totally perfect and there is no evidence of water damage, would this be a decent entry into the whole Viper world? As far as it looks, the car has been fully repaired, but I'll have a professional inspect and sign off on it.

I am very competent with mechanic-work, but I've never worked on engine internals. I can do body work and paint. In fact, I intend to paint this one, probably, once paid off. Sorry for the rambling...someone smack me.

Assuming I can talk him down to $18,000, is this at least reasonable? I've always been told that salvage titles should be avoided like the plague, but if it's 100% fine and repaired, and I don't car too much about resale value, then....pull the trigger???

Gratuitous paint job pics....I would do this Viper in the same yellow once I pay it off.
www dot fragoutmilsim.com/img/car/done.jpg

Last edited by shifty556; September 12th, 2013 at 02:29 PM.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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first, what is a ""Unichip Q+"" is that on the viper ?

18K for a viper, regardless of salvage title is fine in my book. you cant get too hurt if its in good shape. id be more worried about tires, new ones gonna cost you 1500 a set ? check head gaskets to see if they have been replaced

post some pics of it for help
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:04 PM   #3
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I will definitely check.

The performance work was done by a shop in California post-accident, I'm sure. I'll see all the paperwork Saturday morning. He has the hard top installed, and I already have a buyer for the soft top (how much should I charge?) that's never seen the light of day.

Unichip Q+ is some sort of piggyback fuel controller. The cam in the Viper is mondo-aggressive. Guy says it needs a little encouragement to prevent dying at idle.

And tires look really decent. An older gentleman owns it, pretty wealthy, and seems (I know I can't assume) that he drives it very sensibly.

At the very least, I get a test drive in a very, very powerful car for the price of a 7 hour drive.

Last edited by shifty556; September 6th, 2013 at 06:16 AM.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:08 PM   #4
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This question should go in the new owner forum, but since the can of beans is already popped...cost of ownership? My 3000GT VR-4 is not the cheapest car to own...1992 car, 175k on chassis, 20psi and ~450 hp, driven in 20+ Illinois/Iowa winters.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:08 PM   #5
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I didn't think they made a Unichip for Vipers.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:09 PM   #6
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cam sounds like a mess, im betting it has issues. do your homework on that and head gaskets. its probably safe to assume the gaskets got replaced when the cam was done but who knows..

never heard of the controller
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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found the car.... id be nervous. nitrous installed and the ad says its 18" wheels and they are 17" shown

http://www.autotrader.com/ is where the car can be found from this google link https://www.google.com/search?q=Unic...-US%3Aofficial

link wont work....

id do a leakdown test to make sure the engine is tight. (not a compression test)
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:10 PM   #8
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Yeah, will definitely get the scoop on the performance work that was done, I am assuming he has the receipts for it if he has the dyno numbers from right after installation.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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Hmm, in the ad I saw and called on, I don't believe it said anything about nitrous, but I haven't pulled up the ad since I called the guy a week ago.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by plumcrazy View Post
found the car.... id be nervous. nitrous installed and the ad says its 18" wheels and they are 17" shown

New Cars, Used Cars - Find Cars at AutoTrader.com is where the car can be found from this google link https://www.google.com/search?q=Unic...-US%3Aofficial

link wont work....

id do a leakdown test to make sure the engine is tight. (not a compression test)
Fail....................

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=66118&endYear=1995&modelC ode1=VIPER&showcaseOwnerId=576792&startYear=1995&m akeCode1=DODGE&searchRadius=0&mmt=[DODGE[VIPER[]][]]&listingId=350069541&listingIndex=13&Log=0
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #11
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from the ad

Quote:
This car is not a stock Viper. It has been modified to include Brembo Evolution HP Brake System, Autoform Viper Hardtop, Unichip Q+ Tuner, NOS kit, and other engine modifications. It has 1988 18" Viper wheels along with a 2002 Viper radio and CD player. Runs good and looks good
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #12
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Would there be a preferred place to take this car to on Saturday (or have him do it during the week) to get a leakdown test done? I don't mind a 5 hour one-way drive to fiddle around in a Viper, nice little weekend diversion at the very least, but I'd like to do all the right homework.

Dealership? Performance shop? What should I expect to pay?

I appreciate the help very much. I'm not helpless, but I'm a bit in a rush to get some answers so i can critique the car intelligently.

If NOS was listed when I saw the ad, I must have skimmed over it. I do recall the Brembo's, hardtop, etc.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:14 PM   #13
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where is the car located ?
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:15 PM   #14
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Any dealership or decent/competent auto shop can do a leak down. Just do a search in the area where the car is located. For 18K, grab it.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:15 PM   #15
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So, as stated, at least I can get the "Viper bug" out of my system, if nothing else. If it should be avoided like the plague, then I will certainly respect your guys' opinions. For the nitrous, I'd like to assume it's like 95% of nitrous installations out there. i.e., someone has it installed when they have their car upgraded and use one bottle of it then stop because it's ridiculously expensive and it's not like a V10 needs it. I know that the nitrous kit is not installed right now, and this owner has had it 100% of the post accident miles. As stated, he is an older gentleman and SEEMS to drive it pretty sensibly. All will be revealed when we see the car and have it checked out.

Would love to grab it if it checks out and if the frame is straight.

Last edited by shifty556; September 6th, 2013 at 06:21 AM.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #16
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Those garage doors give me pause.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #17
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LOL - good point.

If taken with a cell phone camera, the perspective and depth perception gets skewed pretty quickly.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 08:51 PM   #18
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I'll report back with my findings, a video of it idling, revving, in car acceleration, leakdown test, frame inspection, etc, and we'll go from there.

Much appreciated guys. I'm so giddy...my first drive in a Viper (modded one at that)! We'll see if it's as uncontrollable as Gran Turismo would have me believe.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 09:06 PM   #19
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We'll see if it's as uncontrollable as Gran Turismo would have me believe.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #20
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No, seriously, high-HP rwd cars in that game are way more uncontrollable than I think they oughtta be. I have no frame of reference - my 450hp car is all-wheel drive and I have to really strain to get the wheels to chirp.

I wasn't making a serious point, just trying to be goofy.
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