2015 Dodge Viper GT: Insanity-Inducing Door Rattle Field Repair
August 18, 2015
What's going on here?
There had been a rattle in our Viper's driver side door since we took delivery of the car, or thereabouts. Sometimes the rattle was prominent, sometimes not so.
Carlos managed to zen himself into submission and lived with that ludicrously obnoxious noise all the way across the United States. I don't know how he did that without plumbing the depths of madness.
Me, I couldn't hang. A few hours into my coast-to-coast road trip in our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper, I snapped. The rattle occurred constantly. It wasn't like a little click or something when you drive over a pavement seam. It was a persistent rattle/jingle originating maybe a foot from the driver's left ear. Imagine three quarters in a dryer and you're on the right track.
After dinner at my friend's house in Knoxville, Tenn., we broke out the tools. Actually, first we broke out our monkeypower and just sorta guessed at how we thought the door card should be attached and tugged accordingly. When that didn't produce results, we turned to the internet and within seconds had an entire 2015 Viper service manual on the tiny, magical device clutched in our fingertips. Amazing.
Three fasteners and three strategic pulls later, the door card was free. The source of the noise instantly became apparent.
That little exposed stud is the offender. Without a nut anchoring it, the stud was loose and dancing around. When wiggled, it produced exactly the sanity-draining rattle with which I had become too familiar.
I assumed the original nut would plunk to the floor when the door card was liberated from its mooring, but no such luck. We rummaged around and found a right-sized nylock nut in the dusty corner behind the toolbox in the garage and cinched it down (note the little female hex feature in the end of the stud to hold it stationary while tightening the nut). Boom, no more rattle! Sanity restored.
Of course, there were a few casualties along the way. These plastic door trim clips exploded when the door card was gently lifted away from the door. I didn't feel the least bit bad about that. Judging by the clips that were missing before I started in on this field repair, I'm not the first person who's been mucking about with this door.
The next morning I found the nomadic original nut in the cupholder. Oh well. We'll have the dealer fix this rig for real now that the car's back in California.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor