The Bad Luck Continues: A Rock Cracked My Viper’s Windshield

First a cone, now a rock. My Viper can’t catch a break.

Driving home from a business trip in Vancouver, Canada, a semi-truck threw a rock and it hit the bottom of my windshield, below the windshield wiper blade. Not a big deal but unfortunately it turned into a crack before I even got home. :(

Viper Windshield Crack

I’ve put in a claim with my insurance company and hopefully they can either fix it or replace it. If it can be fixed rather than replaced, supposedly they’ll do it for free with no insurance impact. Fingers crossed.

UPDATE: They had to replace the windshield. My non-collision deductible was $500 (oops) and the new windshield cost $550 so it was all out of pocket. Ow. Super clear now though!

Attack Of The Cones: The Story Of How I Broke My Viper

On July 19th, I took my Viper for a HPDE track event at The Ridge race track hosted by Hooked on Driving.

For the first four sessions of the day, an instructor rode along with me while providing input on how to do a better job driving around the track. By the end of the day they were confident enough in my quick progress that they signed off for me to solo drive.

The fifth session of the day was a mixed session with both group A (beginners like me) and group B (people who had a few events under their belt, I would have been B at the next event). I considered skipping it as it was the end of the long day, but decided not to since I wanted to make sure to get the most out of all of the money that I had spent in order to be there. This turned out to be my first mistake.

The second mistake was going out solo instead of continuing to have an instructor ride along with me. I was overconfident in my skills when clearly I was still a major novice who was just making good progress.

The third mistake was lifting off of the gas in the middle of a small corner in order to begin getting ready to start braking for an upcoming sharp corner. This turned out to be the critical mistake and I paid for it.

I was recording the day with two GoPro video cameras and caught the mistake from two angles:

One of those three cones I hit jammed up under my bumper, breaking it and pushing up far enough to actually bend my air conditioning condenser and break my power steering cooler, spraying power steering fluid all over the front of my car. While it could have been worse (I was headed for that barrier before I caught the slide), it still majorly sucks.

Even worse is that while I bought insurance for the day ($300! ouch), I found out today that the deductible is 15% of the total insured value which is in this case $7500. That means that the insurance won’t cover this $3000-4000 worth of damage. Ouch.

So while I had a ton of fun at the track before the accident, this turned out to be a really shitty two weeks. :(

I’m done taking this car to the track as I just love it too much to risk further, and expensive, damage to it. I’d rather just have a bit less fun with it on the street instead. If I do get the track bug again, then I’ll look into buying a cheap track car and drive that instead.

20,000 Miles

I just passed 20,000 miles on the Viper’s odometer today when I went out for lunch:

20,000 Miles

When I bought the car in March 2012, it only had 9299 miles on it. Here’s a graph of the number of miles I’ve put on the car so far:

The plateau is from storing it over the winter when it wasn’t exactly Viper driving weather.

Here’s to the next 20,000!

Black Viper Wheels

Earlier today I mounted my wheels back onto my Viper. As mentioned earlier, I had taken them off to paint them using some temporary paint to see if I liked the look or not.

Now that they are back on the car, I can without a doubt say that I do! I am so going to get them permanently powder coated.

Here’s the left side (left them polished, image mirrored) vs. the right side of my car (black). I only painted one side so I could get a better comparison. The final look will have the center caps polished instead of black (I forgot to mask them off) and it will be gloss black instead of the current matte look. This should result in a slightly brighter look. I might even add a body colored pinstripe around the outside of the wheel.



Viper Wheel Removal

Viper Wheel Removed

I took both right wheels off my car today. It was a lot harder than it sounds due to the super low clearance of the car — only about 5 inches between the ground and the frame! After a lot of work, it’s now sitting on wood blocks.

Tomorrow I’ll be using Plasti Dip temporary spray paint to paint the wheels as a mockup to see if I like the blacked out wheel look. I’m strongly considering getting them all powder coated black and this is a good way to see if I like it. Plati Dip is a rubber-like paint that peels off if I want it to. While meant for things like tools, it has a huge following in the automotive world, especially for things like wheels.

For scale, that piece of wood is 6 inches wide (it’s a 4×6″). Yes, it’s a massive tire!

In The Shop

The passenger side window regulator started failing on me and needed to be replaced. Apparently it’s a pretty common problem in Vipers due to the design of the mechanism. Thankfully it’s covered by the extended factory warranty that came with the car so it’s only a $100 deductible, otherwise it’d be over $1200. Ouch.