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Thread: Sound deadening on a budget

  1. #1
    forged motors FTW! ZexGX's Avatar
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    Sound/heat deadening on a budget

    THIS POST IS A WIP!
    Feel free to post comments/questions/ideas.

    Why?
    A couple months ago I started my quest to find a cheaply acquired insulation product for use in my F-body. Naturally, I started by looking in Lowes ().
    It needed to be lightweight (cause these NA Series II V6's don't have enough power as it is) and cheap (sound deadening comes secondary to performance, for me). I have no plans of installing a highly expensive sound system in my car. If I ever do so, I would like to have the option of easily removing the deadening material if it needs to be replaced with one of a higher quality.

    Two things I saw in Lowes that I made note of:
    • Reflectix
    Found in Insulation
    • Frost King
    Found in Plumbing

    Reflectix:
    Reflectix can be described as an aluminum bubble wrap. It also seems to be the same material used in many automotive sun shades. After a little research, I found that this material was ideally suited for heat reduction inside the cabin, but did not cut down on sound too much. Many Corvette owners choose to install this material in their cars, classic and new alike. Reflectix is non-adhesive, so you will have to purchase some 3M-90 spray adhesive as well. Some people have luck just laying the material down underneath the carpeting with NO adhesive. If that's what you want to try, then just ignore the application steps regarding adhesive and overlapping. I have not installed any Reflectix in my car yet, so if you have, let us know if you have any tips...

    Application goes as follows:
    1. Remove interior (duh), unclip/move aside wires as necessary (you'll want these above the Reflectix).
    2. Plan out where you are going to apply the material.
    3. Clean vehicle surface with cleaning agent such as 409/Windex, dry well.
    4. Unroll Reflectix over area, make markings with a Sharpie so you know where to cut.
    5. Cut Reflectix as previously marked.
    6. Use 3M-90 spray adhesive on cut piece.
    7. Line everything up and make sure no wires/cables/tubes are in the way, apply material like a sticker; start on one side, smoothing it out as necessary.
    8. For material on bordering edges, you'll want an overlap of about 1"
    9. Use aluminum (or duct?) tape to cover the exposed adjoining edges and smooth it out.
    Here's a pic of what you would be looking for (it will be in Lowes with the fiberglass house insulation).

    Complete application in a 'Vette.


    My current plans for Reflectix are to only cover the transmission tunnel, the firewall, and possibly the floorpan above the exhaust system (assuming there will be clearance for Frost King on top of it). Everything else will get the Frost King treatment.

    Frost King:
    During my research of Reflectix, I discovered a product called Frost King, also found at Lowes. It comes in small 15(?) sq. ft. rolls at about $1 per square foot (5 times cheaper than the most popular deadener product). This product is like Dynamat in that it reduces road noise, but is not a mass-based sound absorber. That is - it works great for reducing road noise and rattles, but it is not as good at removing vibrations from say a 2,000 watt sound system as Dynamat would be. Being that I don't want to put a 2,000 watt sound system in my car (970 strategically-used watts @ home is enough for me), I decided to use this material in my car. Dynamat or similar products were too expensive for me to justify the cost without having a good sound system and extra horsepower to match.

    Frost King is a wrapping material intended for insulating HVAC ducting (can also use this on our car HVAC ducting!) but it has an adhesive on one side, like Dynamat. It can be described as 1/8" thick adhesive-backed low-density foam (this is the side that is applied to the vehicle surface), with an aluminum foil backing. It works as a thermal insulator as well as a noise insulator.

    Mike did a lot of the initial research into using it in a car (after finding out it was FAA approved for planes!) Here is a link to his site: http://mikemercury.home.att.net/sound.htm

    I purchased 5 rolls and applied them to the doors of my car, making sure to pay extra attention to the areas around the door handle and locking mechanisms (sources of rattles). In the end, I had a roll and a half left over, with the second door looking twice as good as the first (first-time doing this). I used far less material on the second door than on the first, probably because I knew what to expect and how to make the best use of the material. I lined the inside of the front, the rear, the inside of the outer skin, and the face that the plastic door panel attaches to (but not the side where the regulator and motor attach to the door). I had to make stress-relief cuts for any bends the aluminum had to make so that it would adhere properly. I will have to purchase more rolls to finish off the car.

    Update 3-22-09:
    More rolls purchased, working on the rest of the car now. I used the roll of Reflectix for something else (). Interior has been gutted, the remaining sheet metal needed a vacuum, and I am about $5 richer thanks to previous owners losing coins. Had to spray 409/Windex and use a shitload of paper towels to remove all the dirt/dust wherever the Frost King was to be applied (pretty much everywhere). Of note is the excessive heat in the "hump" area and everything above the exhaust piping. I plan on putting an extra layer of Frost King and then a layer of Reflectix (just resting loosely between the Reflectix and carpeting) over these areas. Will post pics here tomorrow.

    Frost King install tips:
    • Use the largest sheet area possible, with the least amount of material waste.
    • Keep in mind that this material doesn't like curves or multiple angles without relief cuts and gaps being created. It takes some creativity to get full coverage due to this.
    • Don't worry if there are small extra scrap pieces from areas you had to cut out, because you can find places to apply those as well.
    • Have an old cardboard box handy so you can cut the Frost King on it without ruining the razor blade
    • Have extra razor blades/box cutters ready so when the blade gets dull (you're cutting metal with metal, it will get dull) you won't have to slow down.
    <show pics of second door, because first door looks terrible with lots of material wasted on overlapping edges>

    It made a noticable difference, with the door feeling and sounding much more solid when it closed. In addition, the reduction in road noise was quite noticable. I am glad that I did the doors...

    Next up: the rest of the car!
    I gutted the car and man, was it loud! Following other's advice, I started applying Frost King on the gas tank area and the t-top storage area and worked my way forward. With just a couple rolls of Frost King it is pretty much like I have carpeting again, but without the excessive weight.
    <show pictures of the rest of the car as it stands now - will take pics tomorrow>
    Last edited by ZexGX; 03-22-2009 at 10:49 PM.

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  3. #2
    randy marsh!!! arcticbird45's Avatar
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    good project, im looking into installing some sort of material to quite the cabin. i might try this frost king stuff!

    THANKS

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    Resident Cripple

  4. #3
    Half Throttle Shad0wguy RS's Avatar
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    I may have to try this. Deaden some of the noise my new exhaust makes inside the car.
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    Cretaceous and aggravated lo_jack's Avatar
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    Great information. Thanks for putting this up.
    Please keep us updated on your progress.
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  6. #5
    Iraq Lobster! cody6766's Avatar
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    If you want a mass loader you should check with construction supply or roof supply for Peel and Seal. It's like Dynamat but is about half as thick. It will add mass to critical, flat panels and reduce vibrations, but not add a whole lot of weight. I think I paid about $30 for a roll big enough to do 3+ layers on a pair of doors and still have some left over.
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    Iraq Lobster! cody6766's Avatar
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    also, if you want a noise deadener, look for sheets of closed cell foam. You can lay 1/4" sheets on the floors, under the carpet, and it will kill a lot of road noise. You can also stuff polyfill (pillow stuffing) into the water-tight compartments of your car to kill road noise. I stuffed the rear panels of a 94 Cougar I used to own and it made a big difference
    Garage Pet :: '02 SOM WS-6 T/A: intake, Hooker headers, 3.5" cat-back with dual cutouts, skip shift elem. 345 rwhp, <40K miles
    My Daily :: '11 F-150 FX4 SCREW in Sterling Grey: Ecoboost, 20" FX4 rims, N-Fab Step bars, stock Nav and Sync, all of the other stock goodies

    Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet, one cannot give that which has not been created...The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary.

  8. #7
    forged motors FTW! ZexGX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cody6766 View Post
    If you want a mass loader you should check with construction supply or roof supply for Peel and Seal. It's like Dynamat but is about half as thick. It will add mass to critical, flat panels and reduce vibrations, but not add a whole lot of weight. I think I paid about $30 for a roll big enough to do 3+ layers on a pair of doors and still have some left over.
    That's tar based though, right??

    Quote Originally Posted by cody6766 View Post
    also, if you want a noise deadener, look for sheets of closed cell foam. You can lay 1/4" sheets on the floors, under the carpet, and it will kill a lot of road noise.
    Like the thin sheets of white foam that you can insert into a garage door? Do we have enough clearance for that in F-bodies?? I have a ton of that stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by cody6766 View Post
    You can also stuff polyfill (pillow stuffing) into the water-tight compartments of your car to kill road noise. I stuffed the rear panels of a 94 Cougar I used to own and it made a big difference
    I think I'll be putting some in the quarter panels in front of the seat belt retainers... Where do you get it?
    Last edited by ZexGX; 12-17-2008 at 12:51 PM.

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  9. #8
    Iraq Lobster! cody6766's Avatar
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    Peel and Seal is asphalt based, but it doesn't smell like tar.

    I don't know if the foam you're talking about is the same, but probably close enough. You want closed cell so it doesn't retain water. The stuff I've seen used is gray and thin, but you can fit just about anything so long as it's flexible and thin.

    you can get the pillow stuffing at Wal-mart in the textile section. it comes in bags and is relatively inexpensive. just be sure you're putting it in a place that won't get wet. Think of stuffing a wet pillow in your fender...bad news.
    Garage Pet :: '02 SOM WS-6 T/A: intake, Hooker headers, 3.5" cat-back with dual cutouts, skip shift elem. 345 rwhp, <40K miles
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    Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet, one cannot give that which has not been created...The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary.

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    Squirt Director Seppo's Avatar
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    Is there ever going to be an update? The last few times I have been to home depot I have tried finding the frost king. I found it yesterday, it was acutally in the windows/doors ailes. They only had 3-5 rolls on the shelf, and it was ~19 a roll.

    Some of the eDead is technically cheaper, but you have to order it.
    Keith
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  11. #10
    forged motors FTW! ZexGX's Avatar
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    Few updates here and there in original post.
    Still $15 (pre-tax) a roll where I live.
    That closed-cell foam idea looks like a good idea too, since GM uses that near the firewall foot guard.
    Can't stuff polyfill or fiberglass (I have a lot of extra fiberglass) into the passenger fenderwell because it looks like it has factory holes in it going to the outside, so I would have to seal those up first before packing it with material.
    I got some leftover scraps of OEM sound deadener from my uncle's 69 Nova. Not bad stuff. I laid it over the cat-hump and on the trans-tunnel between the shifter and the firewall.
    Last edited by ZexGX; 03-22-2009 at 11:27 PM.

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  12. #11
    canuck lubsvitek's Avatar
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    E Dead mat all the way

    Like Seppo says it can be had for cheaper than $1 per square foot and its not asphalt based so it doesn't smell bad in warm conditions. I spent like 40 bucks to do over my whole back seat-back including trunk, some places 2 layers, and it made a big difference in being able to love with a loud exhaust. Definitely recommended, and at the price they offer it makes more sense to me than experimenting, although you guys did mention some good points nevertheless (like the polyfill, great stuff for tight places). Good luck!

  13. #12
    forged motors FTW! ZexGX's Avatar
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    Link/details/pics/results for eDead? The topic of this thread is sound deadening on a budget.

    Remember that in thickness, Frost King is a different, lighter material, but more than double the thickness of eDead 45 (which is the one that is close to the price of Frost King):
    0.125 = Frost King
    0.045 = eDead 45

    You may be suprised at the results in person. I'm not really experimenting since many C5 Corvette guys have been using Frost King and Reflectix to solve issues for years. Frost King is favored by C5 owners, and Reflectix is favored as a heat insulator since Corvettes (especially older ones) have more of a cabin heat problem than F-bodies. Reflectix really doesn't dampen sound at all. People use Frost King in conjunction with mass-based deadeners - like Dynamat, because the mass-based ones like Dynamat are more targeted at the vibrations/frequencies involved with sound systems, then with the added frequency range cancellation of Frost King you have a very good combination. Some good reading: http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c5-g...-question.html

    I just don't want to weigh my car down with 150 lbs of sound deadener. At most it should be 25 lbs worth of Frost King in my car.

    Ensolite is nice, but is non-adhesive and requires glue. eDead v4 which is like Ensolite but self-adhesive, costs about 2.00 per square foot.

    There are some new spray-on products that are coming out which look pretty promising... Weight and price unknown. Also once you do spray on or use glue, there is no going back (easily).
    Last edited by ZexGX; 03-23-2009 at 02:15 AM.

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    emertxE elttorhT lluF
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    I'm prolly going to do most of the interior before I get dual exhaust, I'll try to get pictures and video driving, before and after. I've got it on both doors so far. Already quieter. I only wish I could get the bird as quiet as the bimmer used to be
    Last edited by fbodytech; 03-23-2009 at 09:16 AM.
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    Squirt Director Seppo's Avatar
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    Zex - How many rolls of frost king did you use for the backseat hump, and trunk well?
    Keith
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  16. #15
    forged motors FTW! ZexGX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seppo View Post
    Zex - How many rolls of frost king did you use for the backseat hump, and trunk well?
    Probably about 3-4 if you include the quarterpanels in that area. I am still working on it. I have less than one roll left and a lot more car surface area to cover. lol. eDead may be a good choice too since the idea, performance, and price is the same. I have no qualms about putting even 20 rolls of this stuff in my car if it helps the sound. I don't competitively race my car very often so the extra weight of a typical school backpack (or two), or a passenger seat, doesn't bug me too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teufel Hunden View Post
    Dude, if you could make money sitting on the internet with your dick in your hand, this board would be populated by millionaires.

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