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Okay, so like my username says it's time to start the midlife crisis in style. I'm looking at either a late '90s to early 2000s RT10 versus GTS. What I want to know is if the GTS is truly worth the extra price. What are the advantages to it, do I have to worry about security more so with the RT-10 versus a GTS.

Most of you guys pay for storage or do you just use your standard garage? Do you need to do extra security to your house in order to keep things safe? When you take it out, do you need wheel locks or anything like that try to keep it safe or do you need to take out something like a particular fuse or parts to make it more difficult to steal?

Is there a national group that I can hire to perform a pre-purchase inspection at the dealer where are the car is being sold? What are usually the things I need to look out for that may need to be replaced? How usable is either model for long distance road trips? How bad are maintenance items like clutch replacements? If my driveway has a slight curb, am I going to need to get a ramp for it? Any advice on insurance companies to go with would be appreciated. Any other advice would be appreciated.
 

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Read my Richard TenBarge post of a low mileage Red 1994 I’ve had for 12 years. Only 11K miles. It needs NOTHING,A/C blows cold.
Im a 79 year old owner that’s ready let someone else enjoy. Located in Holland, MI.
 

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Okay, so like my username says it's time to start the midlife crisis in style. I'm looking at either a late '90s to early 2000s RT10 versus GTS. What I want to know is if the GTS is truly worth the extra price. What are the advantages to it, do I have to worry about security more so with the RT-10 versus a GTS.

Most of you guys pay for storage or do you just use your standard garage? Do you need to do extra security to your house in order to keep things safe? When you take it out, do you need wheel locks or anything like that try to keep it safe or do you need to take out something like a particular fuse or parts to make it more difficult to steal?

Is there a national group that I can hire to perform a pre-purchase inspection at the dealer where are the car is being sold? What are usually the things I need to look out for that may need to be replaced? How usable is either model for long distance road trips? How bad are maintenance items like clutch replacements? If my driveway has a slight curb, am I going to need to get a ramp for it? Any advice on insurance companies to go with would be appreciated. Any other advice would be appreciated.
Rich TenBarge 616-560-2375
1994 Red Viper with only 11K miles.
like new, top & windows in original packaging
A/C blows cold🌬
 

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Completely a personal choice issue like color, you will find fans and haters of everything. For me, it was a GTS minimum and preferably a GTS ACR in yellow and thats what I have and I love it. I am not a fan of the RT/10 but don't hate on them, each to his own.
 

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Okay, so like my username says it's time to start the midlife crisis in style. I'm looking at either a late '90s to early 2000s RT10 versus GTS. What I want to know is if the GTS is truly worth the extra price. What are the advantages to it, do I have to worry about security more so with the RT-10 versus a GTS.

Most of you guys pay for storage or do you just use your standard garage? Do you need to do extra security to your house in order to keep things safe? When you take it out, do you need wheel locks or anything like that try to keep it safe or do you need to take out something like a particular fuse or parts to make it more difficult to steal?

Is there a national group that I can hire to perform a pre-purchase inspection at the dealer where are the car is being sold? What are usually the things I need to look out for that may need to be replaced? How usable is either model for long distance road trips? How bad are maintenance items like clutch replacements? If my driveway has a slight curb, am I going to need to get a ramp for it? Any advice on insurance companies to go with would be appreciated. Any other advice would be appreciated.
The difference between a RT/10 and GTS is going to be personal. For some years the GTS had more horsepower. Other than that, it's your choice.

I do not pay for external storage. Some guys do. I keep mine in my garage and I always make sure there is nothing around it. Until my stepson puts a bike in there and drops in on the rear quarter panel (he's paying to get it repainted).

As far as extra security, I treat mine like a car that deserves space. Always in the open area of a parking lot. And I lock the doors. I do have a secondary switch I've installed, that must be closed to active the ignition. But that's more so the kids don't joyride in it while I'm out of town. If thieves want the car, they will take it. Nothing we can do about that.

As far as a pre buy inspection. You're gonna have to give us a region you're in. That way we can point you in the right direction. There is no "national" inspection group for Vipers.

Things to look out for...Well that list can be super long. If you're not a "car" guy to begin with, then it's not worth starting on a Viper. Find someone to do a pre buy inspection. Just know that it's not fixing them that's the hard part. It's finding the parts.

Long rides? I'm 6'4" and can only stand to be in mine for 2-3 hours max. My legs tend to get cramped. But I just installed a 2" seat lowering kit. So time will tell if I can do longer.

As far as ramps. You will have to go out and measure the height of your curb. GEN II Vipers only have 3-3 1/2 inches of ground clearance (at stock height). I had to build my ramps out of 2X12X8's to get mine into my driveway. It's a 97 GTS for reference.

There are several different insurance companies. Haggerty, Grundy and NMS. I went with NMS, because they were cheaper as they price you off mileage. If you're gonna drive a lot, go with the other two.

Good luck with your choice, but I would lean towards a GTS
 

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Really?! Hmmm. Maybe with spare removed and a Sunday slim bag. I'll see if a golf store nearby will allow me to try before I buy to test laccoca's theory.
My rt/10 fits golf bag with spare and carpet installed. Just cant be a large (most popular style) cart bag, but a slightly smaller bag does fit. No not the sunday bag. You can get one in between sunday bag and large cart bag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Much of this is personal opinion. What are your opinions?

Where do you live? Do people steal things from your cars/garage regularly? This is what insurance is for. Grundy or Hagerty.

The car is low, but who knows what your driveway looks like.

Clutch replacement is 1500-2500 depending on who does it. Most parts on these cars are reasonable. Normal maintenance is not crazy. Road trips are like any very low, small sports car.

The GTS is one of the best looking cars ever made.

hope that helps
The difference between a RT/10 and GTS is going to be personal. For some years the GTS had more horsepower. Other than that, it's your choice.

I do not pay for external storage. Some guys do. I keep mine in my garage and I always make sure there is nothing around it. Until my stepson puts a bike in there and drops in on the rear quarter panel (he's paying to get it repainted).

As far as extra security, I treat mine like a car that deserves space. Always in the open area of a parking lot. And I lock the doors. I do have a secondary switch I've installed, that must be closed to active the ignition. But that's more so the kids don't joyride in it while I'm out of town. If thieves want the car, they will take it. Nothing we can do about that.

As far as a pre buy inspection. You're gonna have to give us a region you're in. That way we can point you in the right direction. There is no "national" inspection group for Vipers.

Things to look out for...Well that list can be super long. If you're not a "car" guy to begin with, then it's not worth starting on a Viper. Find someone to do a pre buy inspection. Just know that it's not fixing them that's the hard part. It's finding the parts.

Long rides? I'm 6'4" and can only stand to be in mine for 2-3 hours max. My legs tend to get cramped. But I just installed a 2" seat lowering kit. So time will tell if I can do longer.

As far as ramps. You will have to go out and measure the height of your curb. GEN II Vipers only have 3-3 1/2 inches of ground clearance (at stock height). I had to build my ramps out of 2X12X8's to get mine into my driveway. It's a 97 GTS for reference.

There are several different insurance companies. Haggerty, Grundy and NMS. I went with NMS, because they were cheaper as they price you off mileage. If you're gonna drive a lot, go with the other two.

Good luck with your choice, but I would lean towards a GTS
First of all thank you for answering my questions and giving the lots of good feedback to consider. The fact is that these cars are rare and there's only one near where I live which is an RT-10 in which I think I'm going to go with a GTS so finding somewhere local isn't really going to be useful.

I'm looking at three GTS's right now. One in Waterloo Iowa, one in Carrollton Texas, one in Butler Pennsylvania. Do you have a suggestion of a local person that can do a pre-inspection report? Also, I'm assuming that I will need to have this shipped from these distances as these are awfully far from where I live.
 

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First of all thank you for answering my questions and giving the lots of good feedback to consider. The fact is that these cars are rare and there's only one near where I live which is an RT-10 in which I think I'm going to go with a GTS so finding somewhere local isn't really going to be useful.

I'm looking at three GTS's right now. One in Waterloo Iowa, one in Carrollton Texas, one in Butler Pennsylvania. Do you have a suggestion of a local person that can do a pre-inspection report? Also, I'm assuming that I will need to have this shipped from these distances as these are awfully far from where I live.
May find owners & enthusiasts near these locations on “other” boards that can at least put eyes on a car. Pics are like Fakebook & Insta-lie posts, deceiving.

What year(s) are in the running?
 

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Prices are climbing. If your willing to travel to Canada our dollar is absolute garbage and when looking 3 weeks ago for mine it's actually cheaper than US. Most were imported up here (mines originally from Rochester, NY) so the speedo is in MPH.

There was a 99' No stripe silver GTS in Windsor (basically Detroit) I had a guy down to $68k CAD. Which works out to just under $50k USD.
 

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Okay, so like my username says it's time to start the midlife crisis in style. I'm looking at either a late '90s to early 2000s RT10 versus GTS. What I want to know is if the GTS is truly worth the extra price. What are the advantages to it, do I have to worry about security more so with the RT-10 versus a GTS.

Most of you guys pay for storage or do you just use your standard garage? Do you need to do extra security to your house in order to keep things safe? When you take it out, do you need wheel locks or anything like that try to keep it safe or do you need to take out something like a particular fuse or parts to make it more difficult to steal?

Is there a national group that I can hire to perform a pre-purchase inspection at the dealer where are the car is being sold? What are usually the things I need to look out for that may need to be replaced? How usable is either model for long distance road trips? How bad are maintenance items like clutch replacements? If my driveway has a slight curb, am I going to need to get a ramp for it? Any advice on insurance companies to go with would be appreciated. Any other advice would be appreciated.
I just bought an RT-10 to weeks ago and just love it. I might upgrade the exhaust, but it's the most amazing car I've ever owned.
 

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If it's a Gen 1, be SURE your tires are pretty new! Vipers have adjustable CASTER angle at the rear suspension. It is a CRITICAL measurement/adjustment for predictable handling. There is really no practical way to measure it on a commercial alignment machine. Very good threads at the VOA on the subject. Rear Caster Angle measuring and adjusting
 
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Update: I bought a 98 Viper GTS. The rear tires are Toyos from late 2019 and the fronts are from 2020. At what point do I need to get ready to purchase new ones due to age. I see that currently Toyo is not listed as having any tires available on Tire Rack, just Michelin. My question is do the different tire companies take more or less turns on producing tires for the size or can there be a couple year gaps between being able to get tires? In the event of a blowout during a time period when they are not currently in production, what are you guys do just wait for months or years before a new tire is built or can you special order them at a massively increased cost?

Also in the limited part availability. Do we just group together and order items that are scarce that have to be built whether we need them or whether we believe we may need them soon?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Also, how often do you do fluid changes on these? I'm not anticipating driving much more than a few thousand a year (even that might be a stretch). How often should oil changes be done? Once every 6 months or once a year? Is Mobil one still the oil to use or can we use the Pennzoil Platinum or ultra Platinum than Chrysler is using? Do you use the OEM oil filter (which looks to be a pretty standard wix-based design or wix knock off) or would any high end oil filter ( Fram ultra, Royal Purple/Amsoil, Mobil 1, Wix XP) be sufficient? What fluid to use in the transmission and how often should it be changed? The coolant looks to be the traditional universal green antifreeze. Is this the case? Mine has the Viper key but it's the only one I have. The column the viper is using appears to be nearly identical to the one my dad's Dodge dynasty (and my Grandparents Spirits/Acclaim) had back in the day only no column shift. I am hoping this means the key type is the same trapezoid style as any old early '90s k car, first generation LH platform, and so many other Dodge and Jeeps that any old Ace hardware would have available for an extra or do I have to specifically buy another of those Viper keys for them to cut assuming they even make them anymore.

Any recommendations on upgrading the security system? For that matter, is that even a good idea or could that damage the electrical system and put scarce electrical components at risk?
 

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The owner's manual is a good read. For your duty - even mine - full synthetic oil only needs changing about once a year, or less. Your tires are good for several more years, that is if you can stand the groaning tread noise of the Toyos. There is no better source for Viper tires than PartsRack. They deal with primarily OE-sized tires and 80% of the time, you will have them on your front doorstep in less than 24 hours.
 
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Also, how often do you do fluid changes on these? I'm not anticipating driving much more than a few thousand a year (even that might be a stretch). How often should oil changes be done? Once every 6 months or once a year? Is Mobil one still the oil to use or can we use the Pennzoil Platinum or ultra Platinum than Chrysler is using? Do you use the OEM oil filter (which looks to be a pretty standard wix-based design or wix knock off) or would any high end oil filter ( Fram ultra, Royal Purple/Amsoil, Mobil 1, Wix XP) be sufficient? What fluid to use in the transmission and how often should it be changed? The coolant looks to be the traditional universal green antifreeze. Is this the case? Mine has the Viper key but it's the only one I have. The column the viper is using appears to be nearly identical to the one my dad's Dodge dynasty (and my Grandparents Spirits/Acclaim) had back in the day only no column shift. I am hoping this means the key type is the same trapezoid style as any old early '90s k car, first generation LH platform, and so many other Dodge and Jeeps that any old Ace hardware would have available for an extra or do I have to specifically buy another of those Viper keys for them to cut assuming they even make them anymore.

Any recommendations on upgrading the security system? For that matter, is that even a good idea or could that damage the electrical system and put scarce electrical components at risk?
Everyone will have different answers on most things. Especially oil. Do your own searching and go with what you think is right. There's really no wrong answer on oil as long as it's the right weight and a decent brand.

Here's my thoughts fwiw. If you dont have a solid history on the cars recent services, always change all fluids, front to back. Oil, use your preference and the OEM oil filter. I like Rotella T6. OEM fluids for the trans and diff as well. After that Change your oil once a year if youre under ~3k miles. The trans and diff fluids are probably good for a lot longer. Depends how mental you are about it. Every 3 years is probably fine a low use car. Brake Fluid andCoolant probably the same as diff/trans. Do everything now and rest easy for a while. It's all super simple to do yourself as well (brakes a little less so).

If it doesnt have the upgraded PS pump pulley and bracket do that now. Might as well change the plugs and wires if youre unsure on the history. Air filters, & smooth tubes (if it doesnt have them). Same with belt and tensioner.

These are pretty robust cars, they aren't ferraris or lambos. They don't need yearly "everything" just because.

I'd never put an aftermarket alarm in a car. It almost never ends well and it certainly wont stop anyone from stealing your car. Just get over the fear, you have insurance.

Your best bet is just to search the forum and read up. You'll find a lot of answers instead of just a couple random ones.
 
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