Glorious Viper GTS

Viper GTS Project Car

Project Viper GTS - Part 9 - Bob's Air Oil Separator

Project VIPER GTS: Part 8 – Bob’s Air-Oil Separator

by Billy Johnson

All cars create blow-by and positive crank case pressure which pumps oil and vapors into the engine’s intake to be burned off for emissions.  This problem is worse on forced induction cars and performance cars driven at the track.  Not only does this oil gunk up the intake tract and valves, it reduces the octane of your fuel which robs power and causes detonation.  We installed a Bob’s Air-Oil Separator to the PCV valve and a catch can for the valve cover vent to see how much oil our Viper’s engine was pumping into the intake after some street and track use.


 

Project Viper Part 7 Heatshield Products Cover

Project VIPER GTS: Part 7 – HeatShield Products

by Billy Johnson

From coolant to cabin temperatures, Vipers are notoriously hot due to having one of the largest engines ever stuffed inside a sportscar.  To combat this problem we turn to the thermal insulation experts at HeatShield Products to keep the heat in the exhaust system to lower the temperature inside the cabin and side sills.  Hopefully we will prevent our side sills from discoloring and burning our legs when getting in and out of the car without proper clothing and ingress/egress technique.


 

Project Viper GTS: Part 6 - Corsa Exhaust and Kooks HFC

Project VIPER GTS: Part 6 - Corsa Performance Exhaust and Kooks Green Cats

by Billy Johnson

After some impressive gains from intake work in Part 4, we now turn our attention to the opposite side of the engine to improve the evacuation of exhaust gasses as well as reduce the cabin temperature of our notoriously hot viper.  For as outlandish and attention grabbing the Viper’s style was, the exhaust note did not have the same head-turning appeal.  To remedy this we reached out to our friends at Corsa Performance for their 3” cat-back exhaust to give our viper a more sporty and refined tone.  To further boost the volume and greatly knock down the calf-burning side sill heat, we installed a pair of compact Kooks Green Cats which are both environmentally and power friendly. 


 

Project Viper Part 5 Rad Fan Cover

Project Viper GTS: Part 5 – Radiator Fan & Wiring Upgrade

by Billy Johnson

The Viper is a “racecar for the street” in more ways than one; and like a racecar, it does not like to sit in stop and go traffic and can run hot and overheat without proper airflow on a hot summer day. To combat this we upgraded the radiator fan on our 1997 Viper GTS with the higher flowing, larger fan from the 1998-2002 cars. In addition, we safeguarded the potentially flawed wiring and relay box by running standalone relays with dedicated power and ground wires.  To further extend the life of the relays we used a trick pair of “NOsparc®” spark suppressors in the harness.


 

Project Viper GTS Part 4 Intro

Project Viper GTS: Part 4 – Baseline Dyno and K&N Intake Test

by Billy Johnson

The Viper is truly a car built around its engine.  In Part 4, we take Project Viper GTS to the dyno for a baseline power audit and see if our mighty 8.0L V10 is cranking out the factory claimed 450hp and 490lb-ft of torque.  From there we add K&N replacement air filters and change out the disruptive corrugated plastic intake tubing for a set of ROE Racing polished aluminum smooth intake tubes to see if we can squeeze out a few more ponies.


 

Project Viper Part 3 Cover

Project Viper GTS: Part 3 – Baseline Track Testing (Data & Video)

by Billy Johnson

The Viper has a reputation for being difficult to drive and even (incorrectly) known as a bad handling car.  Since the 2nd Generation Viper has not been reviewed by a magazine in close to 15 years, we took Project Viper to the track to dispel some myths and assess the car’s balance and handling ability.


 

Project Viper Pt 2 Cover

Project Viper GTS: Part 2 – General Maintenance

by Billy Johnson

Before thoroughly enjoying the purchase of a used performance car, it’s important for the enthusiast to go through some routine maintenance items.  We prepare our 1997 Viper to be driven by changing the oil, coolant, spark plugs, wires, and go through a few miscellaneous items.  We then install an aftermarket temperature gauge to monitor how hot the V10 operates and to test the accuracy of the factory gauge.


 

Project Viper Cover

Project Viper GTS: Part 1 – Intro and History

by Billy Johnson

The Dodge Viper has been competitive on the world stage by doing it the American way: with big wheels, big brakes, big tires, a big engine, and not a lot of refinement.  While it has always been a highly capable car on the track, used car prices have finally dropped to the point of being affordable by the masses and it has become a realistic option as a track day car.  With this project we hope to clarify some of the stereotypes that surround the Viper and bring the truth to light on a very cool platform.


 

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