Vehicle sound deadening/dampening how-to
The mystery of sound deadening/dampening
So you want to reduce road noise and get rid of rattles in your car. Your putting in an ear splitting sound system and want to make sure all the rattles are gone and it sounds great. Your restoring your old muscle car and want to insulate and replace the old material in it.
Many of the above send you on the journey of sound deadening/dampening products study on the web. The problem is there isn't hardly any information out there to help a person find correct information and proper installation on these products. As a car audio installer I have done many full sound dampening installs and now in a technical position I explain this almost every day to customers. I have many people wanting a write up on this so here it is. I use and promote Dynamat products as I have used them for years and they work as advertised. I will be using their products for my examples.
I did search and find the cheapest/best prices on Dynamat for you to simply click on. Check my page out for it by clicking here!
The basics to sound deadening/dampening
- Layer 1 - A mass adding product that adheres to the metal surface to control resonance. Traditionally called sound deadener.
- Layer 2 - A closed cell foam that adheres to the mass adding product. It absorb some very high frequency noise, stop panel rattles, and creates a more complex path for sound to travel through.
- Layer 3 - A mass loaded vinyl that adheres or simply sits on top the other two layers. This is the last layer of treatment . It is a sound blocker or best described as a blanket of sound catching.
Best place to purchase Dynamat is Amazon.com
How much do I need?!
Figuring out how much material you need can be very difficult for most people as a simple tape measure and simple square footage normally doesn't get you the correct amount needed. Vehicles have many curves and high/low spots that add square footage.
For the first layer (dynamat extreme) I like to use bulk packs. They come in 36 sq ft packs and are normally the best deal price wise. Below are examples of some installs and how much it takes. I prefer a 50% coverage of the surface area I am treating with the first layer. Your adding mass so in all out installs you can do 100% coverage but 50% will be just fine.
4 full size doors - full door coverage - 1 bulk pack
4 door vehicle - fire wall and floors - 1 bulk pack
Your second layer (dynamat dynaliner) comes in 3 sizes. 1/8", 1/4", and 1/2". All three sizes have adhesive backing.
I like to use 1/8" on most door panels and on tight door installs the door itself. The 1/4" I use on the roof and if I have room on the door itself (not the door panel).
The 1/2" I use on quarter panels and all around behind panel/trunk areas.
These come in much smaller sizes (12 sq ft per pack) and require full 100% coverage.
The third and final layer is the dynapad. First let me tell you most installs I have ever done I only use dynapad on the floor. There is no adhesive back to this as it is so heavy it simply lays on the floor/firewall.
Whats nice about the dynapad is that it has the dynaliner included with it so you need to only purchase your first layer for the floor and fire wall then simply order enough dynapad to cover that area. This is also a 100% coverage layer (remember blanket of sound deadner).
Vehicle Preparation and Install
Now that you have your Dynamat it's time to install. I like to have some things on hand for the install so here's that list below.
Spare Blades for Box Knife
All of the above you can get from a local hardware store except for the roller. I do not always use it but it's nice to have on hand.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for you damaging yourself, vehicle, or anything else for that matter. Always be safe and wear safety glasses. This guide is for information purposes only!
Take that car apart! If you doing the floor you have to strip the car down to the floor. Seats/consoles/carpet etc. it all comes out. Your taking it down to bare metal. Same thing for the doors/quarter panels/trunk/roof etc. You have to get it down to the bare metal surface to begin the install.
So now your down to the bare metal. Let's say your working on the floor. If it has old sound deadner on it I will use a grinder and grind it out, clean the floor and acetine it, and repair the floor with a rattle can of spray paint. Once the paint is dry you apply your first layer (dynamat extreme).
I like to get the full first layer done on the whole area before adding the second and third layers. Makes for a cleaner install and less wasted material. I prefer to do the floor first as I can put it back together and always take a door apart without taking the vehicle out of commission. Check out the photo gallery for my last project from start to finish.
Don't be sound dampened!! Let's hear your opinion
What's your thoughts on sound deadening/dampening?
As with any product I always recommend visiting the companies web site for further reading and education on their products. You can visit Dynamats official website by clicking here.
There is quite a bit of information out there on the web showing how to work with Dynamat. Unfortunately a lot of that information isn't quite correct. So what makes what I am writing good information? I want to share a bit of my background for you and let the reader judge!
I am a 2002 graduate of Mobile Dynamics phase 8 training program. This i back when Mobile Dynamics was a 2 month training course. They are an online course now and information can be found by clicking here. It was a great course that prepared me for my professional car audio career and my certifications.
What certifications do I speak of? The MECP certifications of course! When looking for a good car audio shop make sure the installers are MECP certified! These professionals have what it takes to get the job done right the first time. I myself held a valid Basic and First Class (now changed to Advanced) certificate. Visit MECP's web site by clicking here.
I have held many positions in the professional car audio world. I not only sold but installed and managed shops. I always made sure my customers were educated and happy with their purchases. The same goes for my readers.