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Looking at buying 97-02 Viper GTS

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Looking at buying 97-02 Viper GTS
Old June 8th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #1
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Looking at buying 97-02 Viper GTS

Hey guys, im new to the forums and was just looking for a little insight on the 97-02 GTS Viper. I currently own a Built 03 Svt Cobra and 98 Trans Am. Im looking to sell both cars and then pick up a viper. I live in a small town so there are no vipers i can go to test drive and check out for myself. I love the cobra as my main car but always get tired of people saying its "just a mustang" and people asking me if its a v6 or not. I mean its a quick car(puts down 513RWHP) but im looking for something that has the looks and is unique. So was just looking for opinions from those who have owned a viper. How hard are they to work on and get parts for? Are they fairly reliable? Any common recurring problems with these cars? Any just basic likes/dislikes? I basically just dont want to sell my cars only to get a viper and not like it, as doubltful as that would be since the viper has always been my dream car. Thanks for any help you guys can give me.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #2
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if its going to be your daily driver DONT BUY IT!!!
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Old June 8th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #3
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Actually really easy car to work on, parts are expensive though. No a problematic car at all. Figure out what year you wanting etc, probably tell you whats common on that year.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #4
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No, i would be buying a beater car as a DD. I would still drive the viper alot though. i get around 15 or so mpg on average in cobra so id expect a stock viper to get around the same. Im wanting a 97-99 viper gts, i want the forged motor incase i ever try and mod. Being 21 i figured insurance would rape me royally, but i have gotten a quote and and its cheaper than my cobra, go figure. So far sounds likes the viper would be a good fit. another thing is the exhaust sound, not too excited about the sound but maybe it will grow on me, thanks for the input guys.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 01:29 PM   #5
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As with any car, they're reliable if you don't fuck with them beyond basic bolt-ons. They're easy to work on; I never fucked with my cars until I got a Viper. I've done quite a bit of work myself on each. 15mpg is easily attainable on the highway.

There are tons of deals out there. If you wait till winter, them northern dudes don't want to store their cars for one more season so more deals show up. Good luck!
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Old June 8th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #6
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I daily drove my first GTS (stock) and had no problems.
On the highway in 6th gear, I routinely got 21 mpg.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #7
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What colors do you want and what is your budget?

Forged motor is great for mods, but do some research first. Modding a Viper is not like modding your Terminator Cobra. A whole new level of tax that you have not experienced.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #8
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Well ive never really been picky about colors but if i had my choice, i like blue with white stripes. my budget will be at most low 30's. higher milage does not bother me either. I do realize a viper would be alot more expensive to mod than my ternminator. I would be content just keeping it stock until one day i had the money to put a supercharger on it maybe. i wouldnt necessarily turn down a 2000+ GTS if the price was right, but from what ive seen they seem to be more expensive than the 97-99 cars.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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for the low 30's in the middle of summer you're probably going to find a car with stories.
You could get an rt10 most likely.

My viper has been very reliable. in 3 years and 20k miles of abuse I've only changed the oil, plugs, coolant and the water pump.

I find the engine compartments to be fairly spacious so working on things isn't a big deal. Viper parts seem to be all over the place, some way cheaper than I expected (spark plugs, oil filters) some way more expensive (500 dollar water pump)

you'll enjoy your viper, it'll never be just a mustang and you can throw wider tires out back for harder launches.

before you buy one do a leak down test to get an idea of the engines health and don't get snake bitten from the low end torque. You're not in Kansas anymore with traction control.


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Old June 8th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #10
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If you have any mechanical sense at all you should be able to work on a Viper. And for God's sake, son have some respect and capitalize the word Viper.



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Old June 8th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #11
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B/W cars are holding their values... some would say one of the most desirable colors.

For mid to upper $30's you can get a really nice Gen II, low $30's you'll have to search. The cheapest car isn't always the best deal. Maintenance, fluids changed, tires, water pumps, power steering bracket/ pulley all cost money. I would pay a few extra bucks for a car that is well maintained.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 03:25 PM   #12
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A Viper won't be as comfy as your Termi, but it is quite a car and I'm sure you will have lots of fun with it if you end up getting one. For $30K - $35K you can find a real nice GTS as many on here have. A VERY NICE 2000 Steel Gray ACR sold on here recently for $37K. It also had a blower and some really nice mods. Good luck in your search.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:01 AM   #13
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Just sold my 03 10th vert to get my 98 Red GTS. Plan to take a bath on yours. The cars are like apples to oranges. It is unlike anything I have ever owned or driven. It is an extension of you. As you said a Cobra is just a nice mustang. A viper is an exotic.
Parts are insanely expensive. Lots of stuff is not avaliable aftermarket and dealer prices are nutz. Plan on doing a front cover gasket, mine started leaking after about 100 miles. Remember everything on the car is 10 + years old. Working on the car so far has been easy.
Loose the cats, as the side sill temps are alot more manageable. You also get to shoot flames out the exhaust. A 3:55 gear would also be a nice upgrade.
When looking for a car, there are alot of rough examples. I would try and stay local if at all possiable. Stay away from cars with "stories". Only 4900 GTS cars where made. Up to 40% have been damaged and or rebuilt, so a car fax or someone with Viper experience would be a good idea.

Good Luck and enjoy your search, I did.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #14
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Viper is a lot more purpose built than the Mustang or the T/A. No frills, no ABS, traction control, power seats, mirrors etc. They are a ton of fun to drive, but a total drivers car. I wouldn't daily one, but more because I'm OCD on keeping them clean.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #15
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #16
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Hello guys.I am in the same boat.I just sold my 64 gto and 37 dodge street rod.I like the 96 gts,blue and white,but have found 01-02 for the same money.I know nothing about these cars.I drive my cars alot but not everyday.Why are there so many for sale.Are they hot inside,not dependable,seats suck.I'm 57 but i would think it would be a better ride than my 64 gto was.My daily driver is a shelby gt 500,cranked up to 600hp and i'm not to fond of it.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #17
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Lot's of great advice in the thread so far. I bought about five months ago after searching around here and the VCA forum, and getting some great info. If you shop intelligently, you won't be disappointed. I've owned several performance cars such as a Z06 and a FFR Cobra, but this car gets much, much more attention. It really is a one of the most affordable exotics out there. I would be less worried with the year, as I would the condition. Even the 2000-2002 motors can handle @650 at the rear. I'm sure I'll upgrade my half-shafts and u-joints before anytihing else!

Best of luck with the search!
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Old June 9th, 2010, 05:10 PM   #18
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Once you find a couple of cars, get a hold of RevHeat on here and he'll give you the skinny based on the VIN. He's got a great database and some good info about the cars.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #19
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I daily drive my viper and have no problem with it, but I m also 27 and I think the part that gets most people is getting in and out of the car.

I plan on upgrading to a srt coupe so mine will be for sale soon. Asking 35k, custom painted black/white and it's my daily driver...
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Old June 9th, 2010, 05:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by carcrazy53 View Post
.Are they hot inside ? seats suck ? I'm 57 but i would think it would be a better ride than my 64 gto was. My daily driver is a shelby gt 500,cranked up to 600hp and i'm not to fond of it.
a viper is not for you, sorry
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