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  1. #1

    Looking for someone with Viper service experience in Austin TX

    I bought a 1993 Dodge Viper early last year in the North East and unfortunately had to relocate shortly after and was unable to take the vehicle to Chuck Tater to get the head gasket upgraded. I smell very slight coolant scent around the exhaust manifolds (not sure if that's normal, but haven't seen any runs or puddles underneath vehicle).

    I have reached out to the 2 dealerships listed as friendly viper dealers list and so far its been a terrible experience, going on a week of trying to get a quote. I keep getting a run around and keep being told I will get a call back but never do, email has been even worse as its either we will send you a quote by end of day and nothing. So at this point i'm in a bind. If they are this awful in just getting me basic information I can only imagine what happens when they get a hold of my vehicle (going through a nightmare service / insurance issue on my Corvette about to be 4 months so its left me pretty frustrated for things like this).

    I replaced spark plugs today (they were not wet but smelled of fuel, seemed like a cylinder not firing when I started it up). Found a ripped plug wire so will need to replace that, but I would love for this car to be running at 100%. It only has 9,700 miles on it and I definitely have been feeling that its lacking power that it should have.

    Anyone local to the Austin, Texas area or nearby that would be interested in helping to replace the head gaskets and get this snake back in shape? I am open to paying someone to do this for me based on your experience level. I'd hate for the car to just sit as I just put some brand new tires on all 4 and brakes and planned on driving it more than I've been able to due to reliability concerns (had to wait 6 months before I was able to get tires in since it had the original 1993 ones on it). Spark plug wires hopefully should fix the power issue as soon as I get those but figured I just try to take care of everything at once.

    Let me know, maybe might even be open to selling the vehicle for the right offer (Just bought a GT-R which seems to be taking most of my time now).

    20200214_160426.jpg

  2. #2
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    Calvo.
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  3. #3
    Agreed, Calvo is your best bet. I'm in Leander and would offer my assistance with the more basic stuff but not sure I want to sign up for a head gasket job for a car that isn't mine.

  4. #4
    Supporting Vendor JonB ~ PartsRack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airsel View Post
    I bought a 1993 Dodge Viper early last year in the North East and unfortunately had to relocate shortly after and was unable to take the vehicle to Chuck Tater to get the head gasket upgraded. I smell very slight coolant scent around the exhaust manifolds (not sure if that's normal, but haven't seen any runs or puddles underneath vehicle).
    Tell-Tale Head Gasket deterioration and beginnings of external leaks. Whiffs of coolant.

    Check the gasket seam below the heads. You may see pecker-tracks of coolant stains down the block.

    The hot block evaporates the piss-trickle leak, = No Puddles, yet.

    You may even see dampness at the seam of head-to-block.

    DOOMED to gasket prison
    Jon "JonB" Brobst ~~~~:<~ JonB@PartsRack.com


  5. #5
    Tried Calvo today and they stopped working on the "old vipers" as was stated to me. They only do Gen 4 and up now. He referred me to a guy in California

  6. #6
    Smell could be coolant crossover leaking. Take flashlight and look on top of manifold between the intake runners.

  7. #7
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    How about the Viper exchange in Tomball Tx? They service them. 3hrs from Austin.

  8. #8
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    There are several shops in the DFW area that I could recommend if you wanted to travel. I'm close to that area residence wise as well as I'm in Austin weekly. There's also a mobile mechanic that is well known but a head job plus all that's involved might not be a good driveway project.
    The best thing about this Viper forum....NO DAVE6666!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lalmeida617 View Post
    How about the Viper exchange in Tomball Tx? They service them. 3hrs from Austin.
    Viper Exchange has been a bad experience so far. No one returning calls or responding to emails, got 2 responses back saying they will send a quote end of day, got held up and still nothing. Now have just gone silent. Been going on a week to even try and get a quote or anything from them. Don't want to bring the vehicle down to Houston and deal with someone who isn't responding to me as i'm dealing with this on my corvette for a vandalism repair =(

    Did speak with Nyles Maxwell Dodge in Austin and they have a trusted viper tech who was out at lunch and said they would get me numbers and to schedule an appointment, but they didn't call back by end of day as promised either. Sounded good, but I guess i'll find out if I get a response tomorrow.

    Honestly I can probably do the job myself, I just don't want to risk the torquing aspect and I would like to have paperwork for the job being done by a reputable shop when/if I go to sell the car as I know people would be scared away if you tell them you did the head gasket job yourself lol.

    I've been trying to get it to a dealership because the frame rails recall done on the car was done incorrectly (the whole labeled backwards so the tech installed it backwards and getting the oil filter out is a real pain.)

  10. #10
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    Have you ever thought about doing it yourself? Looks like you have a garage and you don't need any super advanced tooling for this job.
    It's fairly simple to be honest. Just take it easy and follow the procedures in the Viper Manual, which you can buy from Ebay, and you're good to go. Try changing as many gaskets as possible during that time as the car is now 27 years old, low miles or not they do deteriorate.

  11. #11
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    Airsel
    Reach out to Chris Johnson at Performance Motorsports (if he keep the old shops name he took over from SW) 512-426-7007
    He replaced the rear pinion seal on my 96 GTS back in August. He has worked for several well known shops in Texas (One was Vipers) and some known around the USA.
    NOTE: If he has his nose down in an engine bay or under a vehicle he is working on it can take him a day to return you call or text.
    Ray
    1996 GTS Icon Blue with White Stripes
    Belanger Headers, Corsa Cat-back
    Forgestar F14s Gloss Gunmetal Gray, 3.55 gears, Eibach 1" lowering Springs
    IPSCO Power steering pulley and bracket, Roe Silicone hoses, Pinned Crankshaft

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ViperTim View Post
    Have you ever thought about doing it yourself? Looks like you have a garage and you don't need any super advanced tooling for this job.
    It's fairly simple to be honest. Just take it easy and follow the procedures in the Viper Manual, which you can buy from Ebay, and you're good to go. Try changing as many gaskets as possible during that time as the car is now 27 years old, low miles or not they do deteriorate.
    Yea thats kind of the last option, ill try to see if i get anywhere on March otherwise i have a week off in April to tackle the project myself.

    I would need new headbolts or can you reuse the original ones? Literally the only part pf the job that worries me is breaking a bolt in the head.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by airsel View Post
    Viper Exchange has been a bad experience so far. No one returning calls or responding to emails, got 2 responses back saying they will send a quote end of day, got held up and still nothing. Now have just gone silent. Been going on a week to even try and get a quote or anything from them. Don't want to bring the vehicle down to Houston and deal with someone who isn't responding to me as i'm dealing with this on my corvette for a vandalism repair =(

    Did speak with Nyles Maxwell Dodge in Austin and they have a trusted viper tech who was out at lunch and said they would get me numbers and to schedule an appointment, but they didn't call back by end of day as promised either. Sounded good, but I guess i'll find out if I get a response tomorrow.

    Honestly I can probably do the job myself, I just don't want to risk the torquing aspect and I would like to have paperwork for the job being done by a reputable shop when/if I go to sell the car as I know people would be scared away if you tell them you did the head gasket job yourself lol.

    I've been trying to get it to a dealership because the frame rails recall done on the car was done incorrectly (the whole labeled backwards so the tech installed it backwards and getting the oil filter out is a real pain.)
    I sure hope their Viper tech is more competent than their others. Took my Jeep there under warranty as it smelling like coolant and the overflow was almost empty. They had the car for 3 weeks and tried to give it back to me 3 times saying nothing was wrong and they couldn't find a leak. The tech even told me the overflow was full until I explained to him that what he was showing me was the wiper reservoir and not the coolant one. Turned out being the radiator. Did the same with our Durango RT. 2 weeks with that car before I accepted it back and took it to the Dodge dealership in Taylor. Waterpump was leaking. Taylor is an hour drive for me where Nyle is 10 mins. I go to Taylor now for warranty work.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by AM.MSCL View Post
    Airsel
    Reach out to Chris Johnson at Performance Motorsports (if he keep the old shops name he took over from SW) 512-426-7007
    He replaced the rear pinion seal on my 96 GTS back in August. He has worked for several well known shops in Texas (One was Vipers) and some known around the USA.
    NOTE: If he has his nose down in an engine bay or under a vehicle he is working on it can take him a day to return you call or text.
    Ray
    Just spoke with Chris, really cool guy. Was telling me about the projects he doing and he created boostlogic before selling it. I think i may have a winner!

  15. #15
    About to order the gaskets and i found these 2 different sets. Any recommendations?

    http://viperspecialtyperformance.com...roducts_id/269

    Or


    https://viperpartsdepot.com/collecti...92-96-rt10-oem

  16. #16
    This is one time you don't want to go OEM. Get the Cometic gaskets for this job.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by 98RedGTS View Post
    This is one time you don't want to go OEM. Get the Cometic gaskets for this job.
    The second one says MLS for their head gasket, they just have additional gaskets in there like valve cover gasket etc. Not sure if i need all those other ones? (Says valve gasket usually are reusable), but theres a rear cover, front cover etc in there also. Just want to make sure it has everything that is recommended to be done while im at it

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by airsel View Post
    Yea thats kind of the last option, ill try to see if i get anywhere on March otherwise i have a week off in April to tackle the project myself.

    I would need new headbolts or can you reuse the original ones? Literally the only part pf the job that worries me is breaking a bolt in the head.
    You need new headbolts (I'd do studs from ARP to be honest, because the price is probably the same and they both quench better and are re-useable), headgasket, you should do header gaskets at the same time, intake gaskets, thermostat gasket, timing cover gasket.
    Maybe send the injectors for some cleaning and flow testing.
    And maybe do the spark plugs while you're at it.

    It'll honestly be a more complete job than letting someone change headgaskets as they will only change what's necessary.

    Also, remove the hood. Don't be afraid of removing it as it's only 4 nuts and you ruin zero adjustments by just taking it off.
    And that makes the job 1000 times easier.


 

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