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  1. #1
    VOA Member
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    Keeping up with the Viper

    Hey everyone!

    Just recently picked up a beaut of a gen 2, 2002 Final edition #349. I got it in pretty fantastic shape, with a full service recently done by Ted May at Valaya here in San Jose and all the cosmetics sorted out. I figured I'd start a thread to keep track of my time with the car!
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    DSC_5118.jpg
    When I got the car, it was on the stock dampers on Eibach lowering springs - terrible ride, and a bit too low for me, I couldn't even get in my driveway. First thing to go was the stock suspension. I upgraded to MCS 1WNR (thanks to Dan Cragin for helping me get sorted!), and while I was at it I figure'd I'd throw in the billet steering bushings (probably could have passed these up). Also went ahead and replaced some of the torn ball joint boots with new OEM units (difficult to find and took like 3 weeks to show up) and new sway bar links.
    IMG_3141.jpg

    Got her aligned according to a mix of Dan and Ted's suggestions - about 1.5 degrees of camber front, with about 3mm of toe out, and about 1 degree of camber in rear with 2mm of toe in. Ted performed the alignment by hand, and it came out absolutely perfect! Drives fantastic, and I got it all corner balanced as well and set to a little lower than stock ride height. I was really amazed to see the effects a good ole fashioned hand alignment have on the drivability of the car.

    The radiator leaked a little, and overall struggled to keep her cool but I couldn't help myself - I took it to it's first track day at Thunderhill this passed weekend!
    GBMD1365.jpg
    GBMD3030.jpg
    The car was a total blast. I used my trusty Ferodo DS2500 pads that I have grown to like as a performance street pad (no track pads yet, but they'll be in there before the next day! any recommendations?) and bled with RBF600 and it preformed admirably for the old Michelin's that are on the car. It ran hot, but nothing out of the normal range indicated in the service manual. It was the most fun I have had on track yet, and the MCS dampers start to make sense out there.

    Currently getting the stock radiator rebuilt and recored (again based on Ted's recommendation). Next up will be a set of Toyo R888's or the Rival - I got to do a few burnouts before then . Excited to own this car for many years to come, its been a dream for many years.

  2. #2
    VOA Member
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    uvbnbit's Avatar
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    very nice, and congrats!
    2017 GTS Competition Blue
    1998 RT/10 Silver 6.5 Roe S/C, 1.7 HS RR's, Roe Hi-Flow Cats, B & B Headers/3" exhaust, 3.33, Eibachs, SRT front brake upgrade, Toms 40mm rear upgrade .....

  3. #3
    VOA Mamba Member
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    Crossroads of America

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    If you are going to drive it to the track get the Rival S 1.5s as they are great for auto crossing too ---- and will fit in the 200 TWR Classes. Jon B can help you out and I would definitely suggest you get some serious track pads and even consider going to SRF --- the old Vipers really get the fluid, pads and rotors hot. As you get faster you will really need to consider getting duct work built in as cooling will change the situation a lot. The laminar flow of air over the front of the Gen IIs mean little air can get to the rotors and things can get interesting once you begin to really hustle the machine.

    Sounds like you have old tires , so please don't track the beautiful beast again until you get some new rubber ---- safety first and old rubber is not a good idea on a machine as fast ( and valuable ) as a Viper.

    You definitely need to join the VOA , as NorCal has one of the biggest and most active Clubs in the US. Congrats and welcome!
    Retired and time to get back on track ---literally!

  4. #4
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    Beautiful Viper, and one of the last Gen IIs built for that matter Enjoy it to the fullest and congratulatiuons!
    1998 Viper GTS

  5. #5
    Regional President
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Pemberton View Post
    If you are going to drive it to the track get the Rival S 1.5s as they are great for auto crossing too ---- and will fit in the 200 TWR Classes. Jon B can help you out and I would definitely suggest you get some serious track pads and even consider going to SRF --- the old Vipers really get the fluid, pads and rotors hot. As you get faster you will really need to consider getting duct work built in as cooling will change the situation a lot. The laminar flow of air over the front of the Gen IIs mean little air can get to the rotors and things can get interesting once you begin to really hustle the machine.

    Sounds like you have old tires , so please don't track the beautiful beast again until you get some new rubber ---- safety first and old rubber is not a good idea on a machine as fast ( and valuable ) as a Viper.

    You definitely need to join the VOA , as NorCal has one of the biggest and most active Clubs in the US. Congrats and welcome!
    Congrats on the new ride and for getting it on the track. Definitely can't stress enough to change out the old rubber, quickly! A call to Jon B and you'll have new tires (best prices) at your steps or shop within a day. Have you check the tire build dates?

    Not sure if you're getting any sloppiness/movement in the shifter, but another thing to check out is your transmission cross member mount bushing. Mine literally fell apart when I replaced it with a billet cross member and poly bushing. The shifter felt much smoother afterwards.

    Congrats and good luck! It's a great Viper region over there, so make sure you meet up with some of the members.
    Matt-
    2002 GTS - Graphite Metallic with Silver Stripes

    NY/CT VOA - find us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nyctvoa/

  6. #6
    VOA Member
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    Buys viper and immediately hoons it on a track. I like your style!

  7. #7
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    Congrats on the new car and hats off for immediately getting out on track!
    -2008 Venom Red ACR Hardcore

  8. #8
    Regional President
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonin88 View Post
    Buys viper and immediately hoons it on a track. I like your style!
    Could not agree more, Great Job, its what these cars were made for

  9. #9
    VOA Member
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    I've gotten several recommendations for the Rival S 1.5's. A bit more expensive than the R888R's, but they're probably a good bit better for a car that's not dedicated to track. I'll reach out to Jon about getting a set! Brake ducts are also a planned upgrade once I see how the brakes hold up to my driving with stickier tires.

    Thanks for the warm welcome everyone! Excited to continue sharing my adventure with this car.

  10. #10
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    DSC_5308 10.29.12 AM.jpg

    Forgot to post my favorite photo of it!

  11. #11
    Supporting Vendor JonB ~ PartsRack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzystig View Post
    Hey everyone!

    Just recently picked up a beaut of a gen 2, 2002 Final edition #349.
    GBMD3030.jpg
    The car was a total blast. ....... Excited to own this car for many years to come, its been a dream for many years.
    HEY ! Congrats, but That car is SIDEWAYS, cross-track: Black Flag for YOU!

    Want some sticky tires? JonB@PartsRack.com
    Jon "JonB" Brobst ~~~~:<~ JonB@PartsRack.com


  12. #12
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    Got the re-core'd radiator in and flushed the coolant system. All good on the cooling system front now. Question for those with the MCS 1 way adjustable dampers on these cars - what settings do you keep them at? Running the recommended 10 from full soft I feel like the rebound stroke is a little underdamped and the car seems to bounce around a bit, but only in the rear. On track it was great, but the track is smooth. I played around with the adjustment knobs, but I didn't find much difference in the two extremes. Now that everything's settled and properly torqued, I want to play around with them more.

  13. #13
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    Experiment and keep meticulous records! It's possible that the springs are a little too stiff for the available valving.

  14. #14
    For what it's worth, I ran R888r on my daily GTS. R888r is going to be much more sticky (treadwear 100 vs. 200).

    Looks like you're at full lock in that pic, pop off the steering rack spacers (stoppers) and you'll get more angle out of the steering.

  15. #15
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    A couple quick updates! Got oil pan baffles from IPSCO installed while doing an oil change. It was really easy to do, and hopefully serves as cheap insurance for any track driving. and ofcourse, some more photos!
    front shot.jpgcanyon.jpg

  16. #16
    Enthusiast StrokerAce's Avatar
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    As a Gen V owner I will say the Gen II GTS is the best looking Viper of them all.
    2013 GTS
    2018 RAM 1500 4x4
    1999 Camaro SS

  17. #17
    VOA Member
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    So since the last update, I did the best upgrade I could have: new tires! I went with R888R and what an awesome tire. This last weekend I managed to get out to Buttonwillow, and with the new tires + a re-cored, non-leaky radiator I had a great time. I was able to drive hard for the entire 20 to 25 minute sessions without overheating, and the tires offered phenomenal grip and predictability. I set my hot pressure to about 34-35 front and rear, and have my damping set about equal front to rear. The result was a super neutral setup that was really easy to tell if I was heading toward oversteer or understeer. But of all the vehicles I've driven on track (my trusty mk7 GTI, and my brothers 996 Turbo), this felt by far the most rewarding.

    Next up: track pads, or big brakes. Haven't decided yet. IMG_7268.jpg

    Oh also! Picked up some sweet marketing materials from back in the day!62465840932__41E63DB9-04E3-4214-A720-7CCE634B0A9E.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    VOA Member
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    Looks like you’re having a blast! Enjoy!

  19. #19
    Enthusiast RedTanRT/10's Avatar
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    Great for you! Beautiful Final Addition!! Where is SoCal are you located? Mike
    1994 Red/Tan RT/10, '99 red ACR- sold, '06 Red/Silver Coupe-RIP, '06 Red/Silver Coupe - Sold, '08 Red/Silver ACR-C sold, 2006 Comp Coupe C-92

  20. #20
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    MO_Better's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzystig View Post
    A couple quick updates! Got oil pan baffles from IPSCO installed while doing an oil change. It was really easy to do, and hopefully serves as cheap insurance for any track driving. and ofcourse, some more photos!
    canyon.jpg
    I love this photo - where do you find a road like that!!!???

    Mark
    Mark O'Dell
    2002 Viper Competition Coupe Prototype P4

  21. #21
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzystig View Post
    So since the last update, I did the best upgrade I could have: new tires! I went with R888R and what an awesome tire.

    Next up: track pads, or big brakes. Haven't decided yet.
    I'm not sure if anyone still makes an adapter bracket, but a very popular Gen2 brake mod was Porsche 911 air deflectors. They are basically turning vanes that redirect some air up into the rotor/wheel space. It made a significant improvement on my car with stock rotors, along with AP racing brake fluid. I always ran PFC pads when I was tracking a lot, but rears were always hard to source. Chuck 98 RT10 still tracks his regularly and has been using Hawk pads, but not sure what combo. Just be sure to get your foot off the pedal once your braking is done so they can cool.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by GTS Dean; 11-05-2020 at 08:57 AM.
    96 GTS. Viper Days Modified Class. Fresh motor 10-2020!

  22. #22
    VOA Member
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    Still loving every moment with this awesome car - over 4k miles in my few months with it, and three track days down!

    Latest update has been swapping the transmission fluid with Redline MTL at the recommendation of Ted May at Valaya, along with redline gear oil + friction additive in the rear diff. Both were easy to do with a little $5 fluid transfer pump from auto zone, and the results were awesome! The gear lever used to get uncomfortable hot when at the track, but yesterday at Thunderhill (on an admittedly cold day) the transmission tunnel and the gear lever stayed cool to the touch with the new oil. Didn't notice any difficulty shifting at 40 degrees when leaving for the track, and thats as cold as my car will see so I was happy!. Car feels as amazing as ever on the track, and the Toyo R888R's are amazing as well. On my old Michelin's best I could do was 2:16, and yesterday on these Toyo's I was consistently putting 2:06's, though thats expected when my baseline is ten year old, out-right dangerous tires!

    Ferodo DS2500 pads - not quite a track pad, but it works well enough - only lasted 2 track days and about 3,000 miles though! chewed almost right to the backing yesterday and had to call it early. Gonna try out a set of Pagid RS29's for the track next and will report how it goes! Otherwise, everything seems to be in good order. No oil leaks, it seems to be getting oil pressure throughout the whole track with the oil baffles + 1/2QT overfill, and with the new radiator I've not seen any temperature issues.

    Hopefully I don't have much to do from now on but maintenance, but a BBK sure is sounding nice...

    And to answer some of the earlier questions, the picture was in San Luis Obispo! I've since moved up to San Francisco so now I'm up in Northern California - if anyone in the Bay Area wants to get together for a drive, lemme know! Need more excuses to drive this beautiful machine.

  23. #23
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    I was just reading this thread last night and wondering what happened to you! My car is back on the streets again, but not yet to the track. I just ordered a set of Hawk DTC50s for the front and DTC30's for the rear. My favorite PFC pads are NLA.

    Keep those updates coming!
    96 GTS. Viper Days Modified Class. Fresh motor 10-2020!

  24. #24
    VOA Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTS Dean View Post
    I was just reading this thread last night and wondering what happened to you! My car is back on the streets again, but not yet to the track. I just ordered a set of Hawk DTC50s for the front and DTC30's for the rear. My favorite PFC pads are NLA.

    Keep those updates coming!
    Where’d you find the rear pads for yours? I guess the 2000-2002 are different than the earlier years in the rear, I had trouble finding any decent rear pads. Had to settle for EBC Yellow’s but they’re not my choice.

    Saw some posts from you about your motor work - awesome to hear it’s back on the road!

  25. #25
    VOA Member
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    This is a great thread. I doff my hat to you sir.

    You are in good hands with Ted even though he can be a hard man to track down at times.

    I'm just a few miles north of you PM sometime if your are looking for another Viper to go for a cruise with.

    You mite want to consider joining the club Nor Cal is very active with many track days. Well not so much this year.
    2000 GTS built/Paxton:Sold
    2013 GTS
    2010 SRT10 Coupe


 
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