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Greg Smith (Forum Supporter)
Greg Smith (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/1/21 12:42 p.m.

I've loved these since new, but reading about yours is awesome :)

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
4/5/21 1:30 p.m.

Well, got my covid shot, round 1, the other day.  In 3 weeks I'll have #2.  Once the time has passed and I'm good, I can look into joining into autox and HPDE.  I didn't do jack and all last year because I'm at risk and so is my partner, so I am looking forward to VROOM VROOM!

So let's talk open cars, sanctioning bodies, and restrictions.

I think at autocross, with the car being stock, a rollbar probably won't be needed.

However, at a trackday?  Don't know.  Anyone have experience with a stock roadster style car at HPDE?  Do they require rollbars?  There's a part of me that's going, "IF they do I should just get it out of the way and done." and a part of me that goes "IT is stock though, so I shouldn't cut, drill, and modify it." and a part of me that goes, "It's a god damn viper, drive it and have fun."

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
4/5/21 1:52 p.m.

I needed to keep my t top glass in for HPDE in my 280zx.  I was not required to have anything else installed

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
4/5/21 2:08 p.m.
mikeatrpi said:

I needed to keep my t top glass in for HPDE in my 280zx.  I was not required to have anything else installed

Doesn't that technically qualify as a partial roof though?  I think with a roadster it may be different.  I'm not sure entirely.  I reached out to the place that's locally been doing trackdays to see if they require anything for it.

RedGT
RedGT Dork
4/5/21 2:08 p.m.

For autocross it's completely fine, no bar needed.

For track day stuff, it will vary by organization and depend whether the viper counts as a 'convertible' or a 'targa/T-top' car.  If it is classified as a convertible, you'll need a roll bar for more groups than not.  Most I have seen that would let convertibles run on factory equipment only, define acceptable factory rollover protection to start some year in the mid-2000's, at any rate, way later than 1995.  It's probably safer and smarter to have one anyway, if you can get it far enough from your head to still be OK on the street.

 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/5/21 2:21 p.m.

The need for a roll bar at a track day is going to depend on the sanctioning body and it should be in their rule book.  However, I personally wouldn't run an HPDE event without out one even if the sanctioning body is OK with it.

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
4/5/21 2:35 p.m.

Valid points on the distance from the head for street use, and also regarding having one for HPDE regardless.  I'd really love to do HPDE with it and go have fun with it outside of autocross.  But I do know that having a rollbar on the street can be bad in an accident, so there's all kinds of things to consider.

RedGT
RedGT Dork
4/5/21 2:40 p.m.

Autocross enjoyment in a large powerful car can vary greatly depending on the region, site, and course design.  There's "tiny mall parking lot" and there's "national style courses" and then there's "we put a few cones on this racetrack".  The second two, the viper would be great fun at.  The first one not so much.

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
4/5/21 2:56 p.m.
RedGT said:

Autocross enjoyment in a large powerful car can vary greatly depending on the region, site, and course design.  There's "tiny mall parking lot" and there's "national style courses" and then there's "we put a few cones on this racetrack".  The second two, the viper would be great fun at.  The first one not so much.

Generally ours have recently been using the entire fair grounds parking area, which is pretty damn big.  There's also some local ski resort parking areas with elevation changes that have been cool.

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 HalfDork
4/5/21 5:14 p.m.

I can't imagine going out to my garage and seeing a Jalpa and a Viper. What an awesome sight it must be. 

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
4/5/21 6:58 p.m.

The local trackday place got back to me:
 

Derek, 

After doing some research and asking around it seems that you would need to have a roll hoop, if there isn't a documentation of Dodge certifying the stock form in a roll over protection.

I hope that makes sense. Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

Yours for the sport

In this case, there is a giant sticker on the car that says on the door liner:

"Top support behind seats is not a roll bar.  This is an open vehicle.  Drive carefully" 

So that settles that.

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
5/21/21 1:16 p.m.

Well y'all I was FINALLY able to hunt down a stock airbox I can use to compare data between the two setups.  

Finally arrived.  I will not modify the stock box, but I will likely change the nose ends with some 3d printed upgrades once I've had a chance to go through it.

Autocross is this weekend, and the viper is going, so I am very excited.

N7Prime
N7Prime Reader
5/21/21 6:48 p.m.

Is the OEM Steering wheel a Nardi?

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
5/22/21 10:35 p.m.
N7Prime said:

Is the OEM Steering wheel a Nardi?

That is a fantastic question to which I am uncertain of the answer to.  It looks sort of like a momo to me but I'm not sure Dodge would get that fancy.

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
5/22/21 10:47 p.m.

Got my toupee on, it's been raining, so... when in rome.  Batteries are charged for the action cam, mounts have been brought..  Helmets are packed up.  Food packed.  I am ready to go get beat by miatas!

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/23/21 7:20 a.m.

Lolz!

 

Have fun!

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
5/24/21 12:04 a.m.

Well y'all, I kept missing gates on the slalom because I got weird info.  First, I was given a course map and said "Just follow this" - so I did, and got "Well the gates were wrong on the hill" and told them what I did and I was following the map, they said I must have been following the map wrong.  Later I was told the map was printed wrong in comparison to the pointers, and to follow the pointers, but my runs were over by then.  I should have just trusted the pointer cones and ignored the map... BUT, I'm not racing for points, so it's all good.  The good thing is, I kept shaving more and more time off my runs, and made some great progress. 

Learned a lot more about the car, and man those tires that are on it are trash, it needs better tires.  The PO told me he had all of them replaced, turns out, the rear was replaced and the fronts are old, and hard as a rock.  Felt like scrubbing hockey pucks.  Realistically, my bad, I should have checked that, and not trusted what someone told me at face value on the purchase.

I never got out of first gear since it's geared to like 65mph, and even though it's a quick course, i just never had an area that got that fast lol.  Had a blast pushing it though.  Even locked coming out of the uphill slalom way too hot, and coming into the stop box hot.  But it was nice to finally push the car in an environment i felt safe doing so because I did not want to be "one of those guys" who did so on the street and ends up posting, "Viper, salvage title, needs body work" on a for sale post.

I can't beat myself up too bad.  Learned the car better, had fun, got to flog it, and do it all in a good, controlled environment.

 

 

RedGT
RedGT Dork
5/24/21 10:17 a.m.

Looks like fun, glad you got to flog the car!

A shame about the map, bad info is worse than no info :(.  But from the perspective of a frequent autocrosser, uh, that course.  Wow.  There is a lot to unpack there.

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
5/24/21 7:08 p.m.
RedGT said:

Looks like fun, glad you got to flog the car!

A shame about the map, bad info is worse than no info :(.  But from the perspective of a frequent autocrosser, uh, that course.  Wow.  There is a lot to unpack there.

I still had a lot of fun, it was a great experience and nice to get better acquainted with the car.  I wasn't going for points anyway so it was nice to shave time off, and get to learn it better.  Looking forward to some better tires for next time!

N7Prime
N7Prime Reader
5/24/21 7:22 p.m.

In reply to corsepervita :

Check behind the spokes with a mirror. That's not a MOMO bolt pattern. 

Norma66-Brent
Norma66-Brent Reader
5/24/21 8:37 p.m.

If the aforementioned "for sale" post ever happens I know a guy. And I have always wanted to twin turbo a 10 cylinder!

congrats on getting this thing back to be being loved and actually driving it!

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
6/28/21 12:46 p.m.

Well ladies and gentleman, we get to do an overhaul on the engine.

A few days after autocross she started knock knockin' - I was admittedly pretty concerned.

Took it to a friend's shop and got it on the lift and the previous owner, or one of them, left me some oil pan accessories that was starving the ol' girl of oil.

Now, you can't see it in this picture, but moving my finger through the oil looks like a beautiful sparkly galaxy full of stars.  Pretty to look at, but we all know that means bad things.

So here's what happened:

I spoke to Viper Specialty Performance (and if anyone in here has a viper, give Dan a call because holy E36 M3 that guy knows his stuff.) and started asking about my findings.

On these engines it's more common to starve the bottom end before the top end.  The suspicion is:  I have roasty toasty rod bearings that haven't completely eaten through yet, or the oil pump is eating itself a live, or i'm lookint at a roller that has seized up and is eating at the cam.

Turns out, on these oil pans, the original gasket acts as a spacer for the pickup tube.  In this case, the rtv was so smashed down on it, the pan was metal to metal, meaning the oil tube was smashed up against the pan already restricting flow, along with the wonderful amounts of rtv or silicon floating around.  The engine starved.

Now, it doesn't sound like death, it's a pretty light knock, so I caught it EARLY.  There is no bad scoring on the cylinder walls or anything along those lines, and there's no chunks of bearing material.  I also checked for play in the rod bearings and didn't catch any.  However, tonigth I'll be pulling them since they should now be replaced anyway.

I'll be documenting the process and what I find.

Good news is: It's not as expensive or as nightmarish as working on a Lamborghini engine out of a Jalpa, so, you know, that's a plus.

 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
6/28/21 2:25 p.m.

That's really unfortunate that you have to pay for someone else's incompetence. Are you going to pull the engine, or just replace the bearings from underneath? I replaced the rod bearings from under the car, with the engine in, on an older build of mine and it wasn't that bad. 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
6/28/21 2:32 p.m.

I like your attitude.  Hopefully it's not something too difficult / expensive to fix.  The ropes of sealant in the pan are quite something...

corsepervita
corsepervita HalfDork
6/28/21 3:00 p.m.
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

I like your attitude.  Hopefully it's not something too difficult / expensive to fix.  The ropes of sealant in the pan are quite something...

 Thanks man!  It'll be whatever it is.  I'm not too worried.  The reality is that sooner or later something would break anyway since it's getting raced, and enjoyed.  At least I caught it before it was catastrophic failure.

JeremyJ said:

That's really unfortunate that you have to pay for someone else's incompetence. Are you going to pull the engine, or just replace the bearings from underneath? I replaced the rod bearings from under the car, with the engine in, on an older build of mine and it wasn't that bad. 

Entirely depends on what I find.  Pulling the rod bearings tonight and labeling for inspection.  If they don't look roasted, heads are coming off.  If things look good in the head, the next likely culprit is the oil pump eating itself.  

Considering i do not see any bad scoring, and i see only normal wear on cylinder liners, the skirts look good on the pistons, i am pretty optimistic that it's some premature wear.

On the other hand, I don't want to cheap out and throw it back together like it's a 70s small block chevy that'll run forever without addressing things because I do want it to last.  So we'll just have to see what I find.

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