Took 3 1/2 years, but I saved one

Discussion in 'Viper Truck Builds - Project Logs/Recent Mods' started by Spraypaint, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Spraypaint

    Spraypaint Full Access Member

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    Hello to all,
    I wasn't sure where to post this. I didn't want to post in this build thread considering my truck is now done. Not to mention the builds in here are far more elaborate then mine. Although it does say "Truck builds" so here goes....
    My goal: Restoration (not exactly to stock specs) of a 2006 Inferno red SRT 10 R/C.

    I picked up my girl back in 2015. It looked pretty good and seemed to run good. (Dispite this, I was to find out later she was a spent force) The title was clean, only had 42000 miles, it ran, plus the price was right.(15k)
    Needless to say, considering the nice appearance, low mileage, and the price, I was a bit suspicious. I said "Screw it!" and pulled the trigger. A wise man would have had a mechanic look at it first.....but I'll get to that later.
    I drove her for about a year and put about 10,000 miles on it. She ran relatively strong, although I suspected there was a serious exhaust leak somewhere.(was a cracked head)
    The transmission was just fine.......just as long as you never use reverse. If you were lucky enough to grind your way into reverse, it would "pop" outta gear the second you let the clutch out. Looking for a driving challenge? Try driving around all day without using reverse.
    In October of 2016 as I slowed down for a traffic light. Terrible "Clunking" sounds began and then the engine died. It started up again, however the "Clunking" sound remained.
    Turns out I broke a spring, dropped pieces of valve seat into the motor & bent a pushrod or two. Something metal had passed through one of the cylinders. The mechanic was amazed the valve didn't drop as well.
    At this point I could do one of two things.
    1- A wise man would turn this over to his insurance company and be done with it.(most likely ending the trucks life)
    2- I could spend twice what I paid for it to get it back to a truly solid truck again.
    Luckily I'm not a wise man and I chose the latter.
    It has taken 30k & 3 1/2 years, but she is finally done. I'll be picking her up within a week. I'll try to post some pics after I get her back. I had trouble posting pics on here before.
    I realize 3 1/2 years & 30k may seem to be an excessive amount of time and money for this project.
    The length of time was due to multiple failing slave cylinders & power steering issues. (Good luck finding a fan module or a slave cylinder that doesn't fail or leak like crazy) Some parts are really getting hard to find. Not to mention I'm no millionaire. I'm just a simple pool guy. I worked my butt off (especially the last 3 years) to ensure my obsession/hobby doesn't get the best of me. I didn't want my build to have a negative effect on my financial situation or with the wife.
    A lot of the expenses were labor and shipping costs. If I were a mechanic I could have done this much cheaper and much faster. Reality being, I'm no mechanic and I don't pretend to be one either. I rely on professionals instead.
    I've learned that attempting to do something you know very little about, always ends in disaster.
    Towards the end there was a point where I gave up on the whole thing due to finances. I had it up for sale for several months. Luckily it didn't sell and I was suddenly blessed! Just when all hope seemed lost, I received a very unexpected windfall of money. Such is life I guess.
    Now with everything done with the truck I am so grateful & proud to have achieved my goal. She's not perfect, there is still small things that can be done. She's pretty darn close though.
    In the end, I spent as much as they cost when new. This means almost nothing to me. I didn't do it to make money, I did it for the love of it. As it should be.
    I didn't build it with high HP in mind. I wanted a rock solid engine and transmission. I did my best to address all well known weaknesses in the drivetrain. Such as plastic shifting forks......really? Plastic??? All forks replaced with brass forks,1-6 & Reverse.
    I would love to pick up 50 horses with a full exhaust and CAI. Sadly I live in modern California. I don't want the nature nazis (DMV) mad at me.
    I have lived in California my whole life & I love California. Unfortunately a lot of the laws here (and people) are absolutely ridiculous. Even though I have a forged engine with a mild cam, I still pass their smog test.
    Here is a list of what was done & thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Blueprinted engine build by Kevin Singleton at Exotic Engine Development EED

    Truck assembled by Dan at Specialty Performance Team SPT

    Engine:
    Oil feed modification
    K1 rods
    ARP 2000 rod bolts
    JE pistons
    Pro ring set
    Clevite coated main bearings
    Clevite coated rod bearings
    EED Spec roller camshaft
    Slow bleed lifters
    Mopar lifter guides
    Mopar timing set
    Stage 1 porting
    Larger intake valves (Comp)
    Viton valve seals
    Manley Beehive springs
    Manley valve retainers
    Serdi 5 angle valve job
    4130 bead locks
    170° T-stat
    1 piece alloy pushrods

    Results: 661 BHP 649 torque
    WHP= Unknown

    Transmission:
    Clutch- Exide Performance -Street-
    Light weight flywheel
    Viper car hydraulic clutch conversion to ram srt 10
    German bearings
    Brass shifting forks throughout 1-6 & Reverse
    Heat treated gears
    JTSVP power steering lines
    JTSVP oil cooler lines
    Best of all, a slave cylinder that doesn't fail or leak.

    Replaced or fixed items:
    Headlights
    Brakes
    All shocks
    Wheel bearing - Passengers side
    Sun visors
    Delicate plastic tab for the emergency brake

    Replaced power steering system. Pump, fan module, reservoir, basically if it was part of the power steering......it got replaced.

    Both bumpers removed & repainted
    Damage to rear bumper fixed

    Nitto 420's
    Tinted side windows

    Professionally detailed: engine bay, interior, polished, Ceramic Coating

    Big thanks to Dan over at SPT. I would have never been able to do it without him.
    And thanks to VTCOA fir suggesting I talk to Dan about getting this done right.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  2. AMS3

    AMS3 Active Member

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    Nice to see you're back on the road. I feel your pain about the truck. Though mine is not as horrific of a story as yours, I've had to replace ALL of the suspension, front to rear, front wheel bearings, upper and lower control arms, tie rod ends, sway bar end links, u joints, shocks, and mine only has 75K miles. I bought it last May, but should have shopped around for a better truck. Oh well, it is what it is. I've added a few goodies, lowering kit and traction bars. Ordered a BBK TB last weekend, catch can, and new evap canister. I grew up in Cali, then went in the Navy, where I was stationed in Jacksonville Fl. Been on East coast ever since, and don't have to worry about DMV inspections. Getting ready to pull the trigger on Billy Boat long tube headers, straight pipes with with electric cutouts, no Cats, and Wicked Flow Kamikaze mufflers. Added slotted and billeted rotors and ceramic pads. Next will be a Detroit True Track rear chunk, and then a new paint job.
     
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  3. Spraypaint

    Spraypaint Full Access Member

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    Thanks, I'll be on the road soon.

    What'd the previous owner do? Maybe a little Rally racing from the sound of it.
    I got lucky, my suspension was pretty much perfect. Added shocks & that was it.
     
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  4. AMS3

    AMS3 Active Member

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    It wasn't the previous owner, it was one before him. Whoever it was, they took a few leafs out of the rear, and I would bottom out on the highway or in town roads just hitting a bump. The front coils had been heated with a torch to weaken them and let the front down. I was pretty aghast of the shade tree mechanic set up. Luckily my engine is sound and strong, but I need to have the tranny adjusted, it shifts back and fourth from first to second at low speeds. I guess this is what happens when we buy a hot rod from someone else.
     
  5. rottenronnie

    rottenronnie Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    As far as the shifting back and forth goes, some advice:
    • Watch you kickdown cable (engine off) it should move at the same time your throttle is moved off of the idle (closed) position. If it doesn't, adjust it so it does. Try it a few times and watch for movement closely.
    • Make sure the kickdown cable isn't already under tension with the throttle in the closed position as that will delay shifting.
    If you need to make an adjustment, look for a white plastic clip near your throttle body bracket. Slide it back with a screwdriver, grab the outside of the kickdown cable and slide it back and forth until the proper adjustment is achieved. I'm talking VERY small adjustments here.

    These transmissions can sometimes do a little dance between 1st and 2nd gear at part throttle but if it's frequent or "prominent", try the adjustment first.

    If that doesn't help or eliminate the issue, internal transmission work is required.
     
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  6. AMS3

    AMS3 Active Member

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    You always have great info, Ronnie. One question, which one is the kickdown cable? Can you post a parts breakdown, or a photo? Oh, and it's at part throttle like you said.
     
  7. rottenronnie

    rottenronnie Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks.
    When you aren't in business, you don't have to taint the information with B.S. or 1/2 truths!

    Anyway, of the (3) cables, it is the one closest to the engine with the black plastic tube and the white clip I was referring to.
     
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  8. AMS3

    AMS3 Active Member

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    Excellent, thank you, sir!!!