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Vanagon Soundproofing
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Have you had success soundproofing your van?
Yes, it's quiet enough now
28%
 28%  [ 16 ]
Some success but still loud
57%
 57%  [ 32 ]
No, still way too loud
14%
 14%  [ 8 ]
Now it's even worse
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 56

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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:13 am    Post subject: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

I've read a lot about soundproofing the Vanagon. There are products like Fatmat and B-Quiet extreme along with a 'sandwich' of closed-cell foam, MLV (mass loaded vinyl) and denim fibre. Even specialty panels are available with a pre-sandwiched construction and lead core.

I have basic sound deadening (adhesive panels inside doors, on floors, roof, etc), a sandwich layer of foam, MLV and underlay under all the carpeted areas, under the back seat and over the engine compartment. I measured sound levels before and after. The difference in noise volume is minimal. The sound level at 120 km/h (75 mph) is about 92-95 db (down from about 95-100 db). This is not only annoying but can damage hearing from prolonged exposure.

As I see it, the main obstacles to a quiet Westy are lack of aerodynamics, small spaces to apply soundproofing, the fibreglass pop-top roof, and the engine location.

I love my van but the noise at highway speed is almost a deal breaker.

Has anyone had success reducing highway noise with measurable results? I think it would be worthwhile coming up with a list of things that work and expected results. So far it seems like a lot of time a money wasted in my case.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

A lot of the noise comes from air through the door and window seals. Best bang for the buck is to replace all the front window rubber. It will really quiet things down.
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alijonny
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:39 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

I think a problem we could all be having with the campers is sound bouncing around the inside via panels with no sounds deadening. You sealed the outside of the body on the inside, but you didn't apply anything to the inside where the sounds can bounce around. I wonder if more attention can be paid to bare metal and wooden panels, maybe making covers for the openly paneled areas (sink stove). Think similar to a studio sound room, directed foam cell panels, etc.
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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
A lot of the noise comes from air through the door and window seals. Best bang for the buck is to replace all the front window rubber. It will really quiet things down.

Good to hear. I ordered new seals from GoWesty and the upper door lip seal kit that my year didn't have. I expect to get them this week. I'm not overly optimistic because I don't notice any air or whistling and my originals are in good shape. Fingers crossed.
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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:42 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

alijonny wrote:
I think a problem we could all be having with the campers is sound bouncing around the inside via panels with no sounds deadening. You sealed the outside of the body on the inside, but you didn't apply anything to the inside where the sounds can bounce around. I wonder if more attention can be paid to bare metal and wooden panels, maybe making covers for the openly paneled areas (sink stove). Think similar to a studio sound room, directed foam cell panels, etc.

Yes I think that could have an impact, I'd love to hear from someone who has had success doing it.
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metropoj
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:47 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

My issue: Loud as hell with Inline 4 and removing the external matting above the transmission.

I used 2 piece: Second Skin Damplifier pro and then Luxury Liner pro on top of that.

Covered from rear hatch to the floor behind the rear seat.

It was a huge difference in noise trapping. I plan to move forward now in the cabin to reduce more road noise, etc..

I stuck any over cut pieces into the front nose area and inside the body panels to reduce the resonance. Not a piece is wasted.

I was very leery that this stuff would help but I got no major complaints on our recent 3k mile trip from any of the family. It was worth the money to use the right stuff for your noise issue.
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newfisher
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

I used Linex spray in bedliner over the entire roof section then top coated with base/clear. Huge improvement.

Also have Fat mat everywhere. Under all carpet, behind all panels etc. Remeber to tilt any product that you stick to the inner panels so water and moisture drain away. Dont leave a ledge for rust to start forming.
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Yondermtn
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:02 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

I haven't even attempted any sound deadening with my Vanagon.
As mentioned, it seems that the wind noise is what creates the most problems. My '90 has good door seals and I'm not sure what could be improved there.
My first two cars were a '71 and '73 Bronco and each of those had much worse wind and road noise and many rattles. Then I moved onto a '00 Wrangler and that was a drastic improvement over the Broncos but still has some wind noise especially above 45mph.

The Vanagon is comparable to the Jeep. It would be nice to reduce the noise further but I think the shape of these things limits what can be done. I notice quite a big difference in overall noise depending on wind direction.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

Not sure if it's possible to really gather any meaningful data on the subject given the range of variables, but as a reference point, I did take some sound readings inside the van one day at freeway speeds: 78db seemed to be about the average sound level.

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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
Not sure if it's possible to really gather any meaningful data on the subject given the range of variables, but as a reference point, I did take some sound readings inside the van one day at freeway speeds: 78db seemed to be about the average sound level.

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

Nice, 78 dB would be a dream! I used a dB meter app on my I-phone so it probably wasn't as good as your reading .
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SteveMc
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

I have recorded similar dB readings at highway speeds as BlueNorthWesty; 90 to 95. But here's the thing, I drive a single cab. So no pop top and no cavern to bounce sound around. I think you are on the right track with door seals. And Idaho Doug mentioned he noticed improvement when he replaced the foam seals on the heater box.
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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

After I renewed my window seals and installed reflectix for the tunnel heat abatement, my Van is noticeably quieter, but this is coming from a guy who was 4f'd during the Vietnam war for hearing loss!

Dave
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TheArmand
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:50 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

I think if you're going through the effort of laying these various sound deadening materials, it's an absolute must to also use Vanistans fresh air recirc kit (http://vanistan.com/Vanistan/other_accessories.html). Completely blocking out the air rushing into the heater box directly underneath the dash made quite a discernible difference. I haven't measured db's, but if all your soundproofing efforts made a 3db difference, I'd imagine this Vanistan kit to give you another 2-3db reduction easily. Plus, no more air flying through your vents without your control!
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
Not sure if it's possible to really gather any meaningful data on the subject given the range of variables, but as a reference point, I did take some sound readings inside the van one day at freeway speeds: 78db seemed to be about the average sound level.


Interior noise is the one thing remaining thing that could push me into a Sprinter but not quite yet. My '90 has a good bit of sound deadening mats in the doors and on the floor. It also has recent window seals. The difference in noise between it and my bone-stock '85 is significant. I've also blocked the fresh-air vent with some good results. The hole at the bottom of the a-pillar (outside, beneath the front door) is reported to add a lot of noise. Check-it to ensure your van has the foam blocks installed.

The Skypaw Decibel 10th app on my iphone reports 80 - 85 db on a reasonably smooth hwy. With the a/c on I can have a comfortable conversation with my travel partner which was not feasible in the '85.

The shape of the van has disadvantages but it can be made to be comfortable.
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sandcough
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

Where can we get those foam blocks? Also trying to find a source for the strips that are screwed into the front edge of the front doors in later models.
I have my engine noise mostly under control with Second Skin products but road and wind noise while better are still an issue. I can converse with someone in the passenger seat no problem but talking to some one in the rear while on the highway takes effort.
Things I eventually want to do:
Put some soundproofing fabric on the underside of the pop top.
Block the fresh air vent
Install something in the luggage rack to reduce turbulence
Install RMW drawers under the front seats and cram a bunch of soundproofing in there whole doing it.
Wheel liners with some sound proofing installed on them
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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

sandcough wrote:
Also trying to find a source for the strips that are screwed into the front edge of the front doors in later models.


I just ordered a pair of the upper door lip seals from GoWesty:

http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=23590
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

Wow some great ideas in here I've never heard of before!
I second the "new seals" bit. I changed out a decrepit passenger window seal and it had as much or more of an effect than all my other soundproofing combined.
Also, I'd add that when I had my transmission out for syncro fuel tank service I found I had some rust to address up in there. After treating that (another topic) and priming I added rubberized undercoating to the whole area. Surprisingly it reduced my engine noise a bit!
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

BlueNorthWesty wrote:
sandcough wrote:
Also trying to find a source for the strips that are screwed into the front edge of the front doors in later models.


I just ordered a pair of the upper door lip seals from GoWesty:

http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=23590


Its not those. Its a rigid strip that screws into the body and fills the gap between the body and the lower front of the door. Its probably possible to just adhere some weather stripping in that space and get the same effect.
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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

sandcough wrote:
Its not those. Its a rigid strip that screws into the body and fills the gap between the body and the lower front of the door. Its probably possible to just adhere some weather stripping in that space and get the same effect.

I think I know what you mean. Don't you have to remove the doors to install that? I'd like to know if it makes a difference since removing the doors looks like a chore.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Soundproofing Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
A lot of the noise comes from air through the door and window seals. Best bang for the buck is to replace all the front window rubber. It will really quiet things down.


and use quiet tires

The motor & trans is in the back so that attenuates those noises quite a bit.

Nonetheless, you can certainly do treatments of the doors and midline panels (behind stove) - that will quiet resonances from them.

You can put a bag in the top luggage carrier filled with pool noodles, etc. - keep the wind from sucking down into that recess.

or go wild and tape off the drip rails

be sure to remove those humongous ext. mirrors you stuck on there too - they can be very noisy.
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