Sound deadening material

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I planned on adding structural damping material under my interior body panels after having removed them to access the upper shock mount bolts and promised to post back with the results.

I did the job this past weekend, after healing from the flu followed by a back problem. I used “second skin”, which is the same material as Dynamat but about 60% cheaper. I laid industrial type carpating over it to reduce acoustical bounceback.

The results were great. Road noise dropped dramatically. I’d do it again.

Maybe I’ll try this on my 06 Escape hybrid. It has a good degree of road noise and my Dad in the back seat had trouble just conversing with us in the front. But the 08 Expedition is so quiet it’s hard to hear the engine rpms.

It might help the Escape. When I pulled the panels on my Scion tC I discovered that the formed panels coated in some material to simulate a carpet was almost all the sound insulation it had. I suspect most “affordable” vehicles are comparable.

Is “Second Skin” the brand name? I’ve used Dynamat on some old cars in the past, and it works well, but it is very expensive. I’d be very much interested in a cheaper alternative.

It’s the brand name. It’s the same material, just a different manufacturer and a lot more affordable.

I noticed last night and this morning that I’m no longer turning my radio up on the highway. The project really did make a big difference. Pulling interior panels does take a certain level of confidence in one’s abilities, however, and without good exploded-view drawings and/or lots of experience it could be risky.

I’ve been wanting to put something like this in my Ranger, though if it works too well it might be difficult to drive. The truck is a manual and there’s no tachometer, so I rely on engine noise to tell when to shift. Does it work so well that it’s hard to hear the engine when you’re at low speeds?

No. It didn’t turn it into a Bentley (unfortunately), but it really did reduce the road noise considerably.

Vibration also travels through the enhaust mounts, the engine mounts, shock mounts, and other sources for noise to move through. It doesn’t eliminat those. What is does is dampen vibrations traveling through the sheetmetal. According to the data I was able to research it converts the energy into heat energy and dissipates it. The energy level of these waves is very low, so it isn’t an issue as far as adding heat to the cabin. The carpet I laid over it (from WalMart) eliminates acoustical reflections.

Cars like Bentleys also use high-tech methods to isolate vibrations from the shocks, engine, etc. that regular cars don’t have.