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yet another sound deadening thread
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vwlovr
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:48 pm    Post subject: yet another sound deadening thread Reply with quote

okay kids, so i've read all the good sound deadening threads that mightyart has posted in the stickies (thx btw). now i've decided to embark on my own project as i rebuild my syncro.

to add some value to the forums and satisfy my own curiosity i've decided to get a little more scientific with my project so i purchased a $50 SPL meter from radio smack. obviously a $50 digital meter from radio shack is not going to be a high precision device, but i think it's safe to say it will be consistent with itself. since i'm just looking to measure the difference i think it will be more than sufficient.

so, i have an 87, 7 passenger syncro with some balding street tires, and a newly installed inline 4 zetec motor. the interior is completely stripped with the exception of the driver's seat, the front cab padding and front cab carpet. it has the padding on the roof, but no headliner. all windows were up and no fan was running.

so this is what i'm starting with...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


in the last pic you'll notice the meter on the walk thru floor. the meter has a 20db range from any setting you chose. in my test for average sound levels i set this at 90db, so it would capture 80-100db, although i did notice that it was maxing out at 100db, so i did two more test with the meter set to 100db, measuring 90-110db.

the test -- i tested this on a nearby road, which is kinked, but mostly straight, with peak in the middle. so both directions had to climb a little, one a little more than the other, but not bad. the meter was set to find the average/max/min over a 55 sec period. after 55 sec i was running out of road, and by then i'd be in 4th for a while and it wasn't going to get any louder. i started the meter with the car stopped, but running and in 1st. my tach isn't connected right now, but i tried to keep my shift points pretty similar and i basically drag raced until about 75mph where i would then cruise about 70-75 until the time was up.

i did 5 runs, 3 with the meter set to read 80-100db, and 2 with the meter set to read 90-110db.

for a bare interior van w/ zetec motor i got...
AVG 96.5db -- AVG MAX 105.5db

obviously, not quiet.

for a comparison, i took the wife's ride on the same test, for 4 runs. this was with a 1994 subaru loyale, which is an older style suub (it's basically an 80's GL with a stupid name). it has an EA82 motor, intact exhaust and after a recent tune up it's running really smooth. it recorded...
AVG 91db -- AVG MAX 108db

i think the higher max on the suub had a lot to do with the meter being closer to the motor (it was placed between the front seats as well), and the fact that cold tires are easy to scratch.

if anyone is interested i could also do the same test in my lifted 7.5 gas 1992 f350. i find that cab of that truck to be pretty quiet under normal driving, but that motor does roar like a mofo if you stomp on it.

i am using the B-Quiet stuff mightyart used, and will apply it in sections and retest. doing just the engine area first, then retesting. i bought both their normal stuff and some of the "extreme" stuff. the extreme will go over the engine and other loud areas.

if anyone has any request for covering one section and testing, let me know. if anyone is in the mountains in the bay area and wants to test their wxb or suub powered rig for a comparison, let me know, it would be fun Smile
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campism
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for undertaking an instrumented test on this. Lots of us are interested in how much difference the B-Quiet stuff really ("officially") makes. One thing, though: I used the Extreme on my install and I'm pretty sure it is the thinner of the two main products the company sells and not the thicker one. If you haven't ordered yet you might want to check on this.
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vwlovr
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

campism wrote:
Thanks for undertaking an instrumented test on this. Lots of us are interested in how much difference the B-Quiet stuff really ("officially") makes. One thing, though: I used the Extreme on my install and I'm pretty sure it is the thinner of the two main products the company sells and not the thicker one. If you haven't ordered yet you might want to check on this.


oh yeah, good catch. i have two rolls of "extreme" and one roll of "ultimate", the ultimate is the thicker of the two, and that's what's going on the engine bay. for some reason my memory thought "extreme" was...well...the extreme!
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McVanagon
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwlovr wrote:
For some reason my memory thought "extreme" was...well...the extreme!


Yes, but the Ultimate stuff is the.... ULTIMATE!!!

What ever happened to good, better, best? How ever are we to keep it straight?

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vwlovr
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay, so stage 1 is done, here's what i did...
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this is all with the B-Quiet Ultimate product. i covered everything with one layer.

to my ear, it seemed quieter during idle and low rpm cruising. not like amazingly so, but it seemed to take the edge off.

the test however, didn't show much change.

i did 4 runs, two with the meter set to 90db, 2 with the meter set to 100db. the results were...

AVG 96db --MAX n/a (meter on 90db maxed out @ 100db)
AVG 96db --MAX n/a
AVG 96db --MAX 104
AVG 96db --MAX 106

so total was...
AVG 96db --MAX AVG 105

there was a change, but 1/2 a db, wasn't much. still it's encouraging. i have maybe 1/3 of the ultimate roll left and 2 rolls of extreme to go.

so i was thinking, should i also do an idle test? to see what the numbers are at idle? too late for the "before" numbers, but might be useful for future comparisons. thoughts?

also, i'm going to do a second coat on the engine area. should i do the whole second coat with the thinner extreme since i don't have enough to do the whole thing in ultimate? or i'm thinking i probably have enough to do the top of the engine bay in the ultimate, then i could retest to see how much diff you can get out of one roll of ultimate. i think that might be best since i want the most damping in the engine bay.
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82WestyMan
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a though...
Instead of the Dynamat product (which I didn't like when I did the research and learned about its petrolum base...) I used "Second Skin" which offers a 2-part system (one a sprayable/brushable mastic, the other a butyl rubber mat)
http://www.secondskinaudio.com/store.php?category=70
I doubt anything will ever really make a Vanagon quiet but the best you can hope for is to take the 'tinny-ness' out of the body panels... I know it helped on mine
http://82westy.com/pic_pages/15_SoundDeaden.htm
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vwlovr
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

82WestyMan wrote:
Just a though...
Instead of the Dynamat product (which I didn't like when I did the research and learned about its petrolum base...) I used "Second Skin" which offers a 2-part system (one a sprayable/brushable mastic, the other a butyl rubber mat)
http://www.secondskinaudio.com/store.php?category=70
I doubt anything will ever really make a Vanagon quiet but the best you can hope for is to take the 'tinny-ness' out of the body panels... I know it helped on mine
http://82westy.com/pic_pages/15_SoundDeaden.htm


yeah, i agree, it's not going to make it quiet, at the end of the day you're still pushing a big ole' brick along at 70mph. i just thought it would be fun to test out the effectiveness of this product. i looked at the brush on stuff, but i dunno, i'm scared enough at the prospect of someday removing the mats!

thanks for the links, your van looks great. did you even cover the engine bay?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Until you're finished with the soundproofing and install seats and the rear mattress you'll measure a LOT of sound due to the echo chamber that your van currently is. With the rear folding bench seat installed and the mattress behind it you'll really start to absorb a good deal of decibels. A carpeted or rubber floor in the center will further add to that. Of course, with the carpet reinstalled in the front that'll be about as good as it gets. I've heard of people putting a little extra effort in the ceiling directly above the driver/front passenger.

The moral is that it's not enough to simply have a barrier to the sound; a lot of sound WILL pass through into the cabin and ABSORBING that remaining energy with appropriate materials is the final task. It'll help a lot if you can manage to coat the underbody in a spray-on bedliner to kill road noise. Most new cars and trucks now receive attention to the undercarriage as the initial sound barrier. Spare no expense since a single path that's left unattended will allow too much sound to enter and negate a lot of your efforts.

Good luck with it....
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow nice job!

Took a heap of LOVE to do that!

Cheers!

Tech side:

Used Spectrum Spray and Spectrum Sludge. Paintable to get into the corners.

From your Db tests, I gather you like a good quiet ride. I applaud your work.

To make a Vanagon a "sound-space", placement of speakers and how to dampen to make it so is a challenge. I don't think the VW engineers where thinking of that, more of a safety issue they had in mind.

Good work!
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vwlovr
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChesterKV wrote:
Good luck with it....


thanks, yeah for sure, the interior kit itself will make a huge difference. right now it's a big rolling tin can. i just wanted to measure each change as i added each material. i will keep testing until the interior is fully installed.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with ChesterKV. It's the interior that will make a big difference. I also found I got the most bang for my buck by putting the deadener on the front door panels and around the floor panels underneath the carpet. While you have everything out, make certain you place that stuff everywhere you can possibly reach as this will minimize the tinniness. I applaud the scientific analysis and look forward to the finished results.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwlovr wrote:
82WestyMan wrote:
Just a though...
Instead of the Dynamat product (which I didn't like when I did the research and learned about its petrolum base...) I used "Second Skin" which offers a 2-part system (one a sprayable/brushable mastic, the other a butyl rubber mat)
http://www.secondskinaudio.com/store.php?category=70
I doubt anything will ever really make a Vanagon quiet but the best you can hope for is to take the 'tinny-ness' out of the body panels... I know it helped on mine
http://82westy.com/pic_pages/15_SoundDeaden.htm


yeah, i agree, it's not going to make it quiet, at the end of the day you're still pushing a big ole' brick along at 70mph. i just thought it would be fun to test out the effectiveness of this product. i looked at the brush on stuff, but i dunno, i'm scared enough at the prospect of someday removing the mats!

thanks for the links, your van looks great. did you even cover the engine bay?


No. I figured with the normal sound deadening underneath, the cabinets in place, the back seat in front and the bed pad over the top, it wasn't really necessary, plus that would be exposed and i wanted all the sound deadening hidden.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! I might have to pick up one of those meters. Would be fun at parties I guess. Have you considered walking around the van to see if certain areas are particularly noisy? Engine noise versus road noise versus vent wind noise etc.

One other idea is to stick some of that foam rubber acousticy stuff into the voids under the seats, forward of the battery compartments.

Our Passat has removable formed foam panels on the undercarriage... A little ingenuity might get something similar put together for our vans.
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vwlovr
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tsombrero1 wrote:
Cool! I might have to pick up one of those meters. Would be fun at parties I guess. Have you considered walking around the van to see if certain areas are particularly noisy? Engine noise versus road noise versus vent wind noise etc.

One other idea is to stick some of that foam rubber acousticy stuff into the voids under the seats, forward of the battery compartments.

Our Passat has removable formed foam panels on the undercarriage... A little ingenuity might get something similar put together for our vans.


at idle the meter was pretty consistent around the van. i might move it around more when i'm near the end, trying to isolate problem areas. for now, i'm just trying to measure the net affect from the drivers area.

so today i added some more material....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


i added the rest of the "ultimate" as a second layer on top of the engine bay, however there was not enough of it left to do the slanted front of the engine bay. after just adding the material to the top i retested without really any measurable change, i did 4 runs all with the meter at 100db...

AVG 96db --MAX 105
AVG 96db --MAX 106
AVG 96db --MAX 108
AVG 96db --MAX 109

so total was...
AVG 96db -- MAX AVG 107

so there was no change in the measurement, and the avg max was higher. it was colder today and seemed windier, but who knows. i'm starting to think my biggest problem is wind noise from the front doors, i think some new seals will need to be tested in the future as well.

i forget to do an idle test before the second coating of "ultimate", but after that i did one. idling at like 900rpm i tested for 30 secs with the meter set to 90db. the results were...

AVG 85db -- MIN 81 -- MAX 88

so after using up all the "ultimate" i used some "extreme" to cover the main cargo area floor along with a second coat on the slanted engine bulkhead. then tested that. i thought for sure that would show some results, but still nada, the results were...

AVG 96db --MAX 104
AVG 96db --MAX 108
AVG 96db --MAX 106
AVG 96db --MAX 107

so total was...
AVG 96db -- MAX AVG 106.25

the max avg was lower...but...i'm no math nerd and even i know that data set isn't enough to really prove much. still, it's promising. i also did another 30 second idle test which yielded...

AVG 85db -- MIN 83 -- MAX 87

to my ear, normal driving sounds quieter for sure. i think i'm beginning to question my drag race test. i think wind noise is by far the biggest issue, but i will continue to do them, and i think the idle test might provide some useful data as well.

thanks for all the suggestions, keep them coming. i was going to insulate the van with the silver bubble wrap stuff. i'm moving somewhere very humid and i do not want mold collectors like fiberglass insulation, but i definitely want to do something. i'm open to any other materials, i was browsing the 1" foam boards at home creapo yesterday, not sure how useful it would be for sound. i just don't want something that will breed mold.
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Bern
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the floor is one thing, but you REALLY need to focus on your side panels too... and every little nook and cranny...

I've done "sound deadening" on a multitude of cars, and really, unless you do the WHOLE thing, its hard to justify all that effort for the "minor" improvement.... as somebody mentioned above, you really need to do all the different spots, because if you leave one place unattended it'll bring enough noise in to ruin all the work you've put in so far...

I don't know what you had planned for the front, but I would definately consider doing your front wheel well arches, and do them well. Same goes with the rear wheel area, the more stuff you can get covering those areas, the better. Also, the front doors, do them as well and replace your vapor barrier.

Another suggestion on product would be an insulation type stuff made by "frost king" its a roughly 3/8" thick dense rubber foam with a foil on one side and adhesive on the other. A very good sound barrier indeed and pretty cheap. Albeit its been awhile since I've looked for it, but usually it can be found in your local hardware store.

Good luck, and keep up the good work.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bern wrote:
the floor is one thing, but you REALLY need to focus on your side panels


Ditto

The doors in these vans are like friggin drums. I've been down this road and I saw the biggest difference when I did the inside of the door skins. Also the nose panel. You'll have to drop the dash to get to that though.

Nose before

Link


Nose after

Link

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

right, thx. not sure i want to drop the dash, but i may. no better time than the present.

obviously i will do every panel i can reach. the point is just to measure as i go along. i was hoping to find some results to maybe help those that don't want to do a full strip of their van, or don't want to spend the money on 3+ rolls of material. for my project all panels will get covered. i have about a roll and a third left of the b-quiet extreme. i may end up getting another roll.

i'm not sure what i'm going to do on the roof. the OEM insulation is nasty and i'm not looking forward to scraping that off. on the flip side though, i'm installing a sunroof so i'll be scraping some of it off anyway. it would be nice in the rain as well.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwlovr wrote:
right, thx. not sure i want to drop the dash, but i may. no better time than the present.

obviously i will do every panel i can reach. the point is just to measure as i go along. i was hoping to find some results to maybe help those that don't want to do a full strip of their van, or don't want to spend the money on 3+ rolls of material. for my project all panels will get covered. i have about a roll and a third left of the b-quiet extreme. i may end up getting another roll.

i'm not sure what i'm going to do on the roof. the OEM insulation is nasty and i'm not looking forward to scraping that off. on the flip side though, i'm installing a sunroof so i'll be scraping some of it off anyway. it would be nice in the rain as well.


Ever sleep in a Westy in a hard rain? JESUS CHRIST Shocked Rolling Eyes Its enough to wake the dead. Wish I had the option to do the top.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:31 pm    Post subject: great job Reply with quote

awesome idea !
I am also considering putting in some sound adsorbing material for those rough highways. I'm taking things in stride right now with trying to reduce all the interior noise coming from the behind the sink, inside fridge and various material clanking in drawers.
If you going to perform a idle test, run it at multiple rpms, say 1000, 1500, 2500, 3500 and take note of the readings from your meter and graph it.
place the meter in different areas of the van to see differences. would be interesting if there is a relationship to specific locations (front seat, middle or rear seat, above engine, near kitchen area). Might be able to optimize the the thickness in particularly loud areas.
Ramon
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yo vwlovr,

thanks for taking the time to post your experiement. I going to go the B-Quiet route myself. Initially I'm going to do the front under the carpet and the middle floor area. Knowing what you know now, would you use "Extreme" or "Ultimate" or a combination of each?
cheers,
john
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