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  • 2000

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first post...

I want to get an RT/10 (gotta have the convertible) and I want the 450hp engine and upgrades that came with the 1996 GTS, so from what I see, the earliest viper I can get, that meets these needs, is the 1997 RT/10... Is there anything I should know about that year? Should I be looking at a 1998 RT/10 instead because 1997 was a poor quality year? Any tips would be appreciated...
 

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Stow-N-Go, Baby!
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1997 is fine, but relatively rare. You may want a 1999 (last of the forged pistons) or a 2001 (ABS), and the cars generally got better each year. Unless you plan on tracking the car, any year after 1996 works fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, I don't plan on tracking the car, just weekend driving...

So 97-99 all have forged pistons? I guess you recommend 99 because it's the newest that still has the forged pistons...

What about milage? Does it matter much with vipers?
 

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Technique said:
What about milage? Does it matter much with vipers?
Not if you plan on driving it. Anything around or under 20K is fine. Above that and you need to look into service history, tires, brakes, clutch, etc...

There are guys on this board with 50-100K on their Vipers and no major complaints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply rock-star... I'll probably look at getting a 98 or 99 with like 20-40k miles on it... I actually prefer a car that has a few more miles on it than one that has just sat for years without being driven much...

Are any of those items you mentioned big-ticket items? (clutch, brakes, etc...) Should I be looking for an extended dodge warranty?

My buddy has a 2000 rt/10 and I think he gets his tires for pretty cheap, pilot sports if I remember correctly...
 

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Sexist
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98 has the alarm override switch which can be convenient.
98 also has higher polished wheels than 97.
99 has 18 inch wheels and power mirrors.

Performance and durability is identical throughout 97-up.
 

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Technique said:
Are any of those items you mentioned big-ticket items? (clutch, brakes, etc...) Should I be looking for an extended dodge warranty?
I'd say the extended warranty is worth it, although the older the car is and the higher the mileage, the more you're going to pay. I'm sure there's a tradeoff point in there somewhere. Do shop around, you'll get a very wide array of prices for the exact same warranty.

Brakes are cheap as long as you're just doing pads. Pad prices will go up some with aftermarket brake systems, but they're still not anything that will break the bank.

A clutch can be pricey, but it all depends on how the car was driven and maintained. My clutch seems fine at almost 40K, but the car has enough power to do serious damage to a transmission in the hands of certain types of drivers.

The cost of tires will turn your stomach, particularly the rears. It's not uncommon to find cars from the period you're talking about that still have the original rubber on them, and that's not good. In the 20K mileage range, you're right around the lifespan of a set of tires (or rears, at least) so things might work in your favor in that respect. Or you might end up with a car with totally worn tires, and you're looking at having to immediately replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Chuck 98 RT10 said:
Technique said:
Chuck 98 RT10 said:
99 has 18 inch wheels and power mirrors.
So 98 and below has 17 inch wheels all around?
Correct. Many of the race prepped Vipers ran 18 front and 17 rear for the added sidewall.
wow... I never knew that... Hmmmm, I mean, for looks, 18 all around seem to be the way to go... Is there much performance difference with the 1998 and 1999? (17 vs 18)?

I think the 17s would look tiny on the viper...
 

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Sexist
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Performance there is little if any difference. I'm not even sure if there are any real gains to the 18F/17R race combo, but that's coming from a track hack like me. PMUM ran them and anything he did everybody followed, including me.

Visual is subjective. More importantly is tire availability and I would opt for 18 for that reason.
 

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Also remember, the 98-up rt/10s have vented hoods while the 97 has a smoothie hood. You might want to look at some pictures.
 

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1997 RT/10 only 117 produced according to the VCA stats. I thought it was more in the 200 range. Anyway they are rare and not to easy to find.

Good Luck on finding yourself the right Viper for you and you'll love it. I have 36K on my '96 and NO problems at all. Do yourself a favor and try to procure a DC warranty for peace of mind as they are somewhat pricey to repair should something major occur (which is rare). All years up to '00 had forged pistons and also earlier Vipers have more aggressive cam profiles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So how much should I expect to pay for a 1999 with 20k-30k miles on it? I am currently in the Washington DC area but I'll fly out to pick up the car from anywhere on the east coast really, or even as far as texas if there's a "good place" to buy used vipers from...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Technique said:
So how much should I expect to pay for a 1999 with 20k-30k miles on it? I am currently in the Washington DC area but I'll fly out to pick up the car from anywhere on the east coast really, or even as far as texas if there's a "good place" to buy used vipers from...
Anyone??
 
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