Installing Sound Deadener Material
This tutorial will go over the basics of installation of Sound Deadener materials. We we go over the basics behind install, what locations are best, and why you need sound deadening material. For all our tutorial we will be using "Peel and Seal" material. It is a roofing material very similar to Dynamat, but at a fraction of the cost. It is available at some Home Improvement stores locally and is a great deal cheaper than most commonly found deadening materials. For mine, I ordered it from McMaster-Carr (Part #9640T2).
-Peel and Seal
-Xacto Knife/Razor Blade/Scissors
Why Use Sound Deadener?
Thousands of people install subs and speakers purchased at places like Best Buy and Circuit City, but they don't usually take the time to add sound deadener. If you have ever listened to a system installed into a trunk using a prefabbed Bandpass box, and using no deadener you will know that it doesn't sound as good as it could. Without deadener, the trunk, license plate, doors, dash and everything that's loose will rattle. With Peel and Seal deadener, the rattling is greatly reduced if not eliminated completely. Not only will it stop vibration, it will stop the pure SPL from leaving your car making your system louder from the inside, and quieter from the outside. It is great even if you don't have a good sound system in your car, because you can also eliminate highway noise, and engine noise inside your cabin. All the pros use sound deadener, so you should use it too, but at a fraction of the price with "Peel and Seal".
You may be asking yourself where the best place to put the sound deadener would be. The most common places for vibration are the door panels, and the trunk lid. I'd say those are the most valuable places to put the sound deadener, but if you have enough I would add it to all of your car, under the carpet in the trunk and in the passenger cabin, plus the side walls are two other great places.
1. Clean Area
Before you being laying down the sound deadener, you are going to want to clean the area of everything that is there. You will want to remove the carpet, or panels that will get in the way until you are down to metal or plastic. Make sure the surface is clean from dirt and sticky goop. You should probably use a good cleaner such as Isopropyl Alcohol, to clear the area of residue. Also be aware of moving parts that may be inhibited from placing the deadener (such as moving windows).
2. Cut to Size
When cutting the deadener, use a scissors, or a utility knife and cut to a workable length, 12" or 24" long pieces would be good to start out with. You don't want to work with more than you can handle, as this stuff can be tricky to position correctly. It would be perfectly all right to use smaller pieces in hard to get areas.
3. Applying the Mat
You will now want to remove part of the protective paper that is on the sticky side of the material, don't take off to much or it way stick somewhere you don't want it to. Align the mat up with where you want it to go, and start pressing it down. Start at the center of the Mat, and work your way out, while still working your way down the roll. Stretch the material as much as you can, but not so much that you cause it to come undone from your surface. Only remove about 6" of the paper covering at a time, you don't want to have to start over! Be sure to press the mat in all the nooks that you may encounter.
Use of a dowel or other cylindrical object it recommended to press the mat into little crevices, and valleys. Be sure to mark any areas that need to stick through the deadener, such as screw heads and bolt, those can be cut out after it has been applied.
Handy Tip: Use a heat gun to heat the material before and as you stick it to the surface. The heat will make the glue soften up, but once it cools down it will be even stronger on the surface you are sticking it to. Also, it may be good to let the deadener sit in the hot sun for a little while to warm it up. (THE HEAT GUN IS A MUST IF THE TEMPERATURE IS UNDER 60 - 70 degrees outside, and you don't let it goo up!)
4. Cover the Area
The deadener comes in 6"-12" (even 36") wide pieces, so you will need to stack the material up in rows to cover a large area, such as a trunk. Be sure to overlap the pieces by about 1/2" to ensure that it is sound tight. Overlap any seams where you may ave two pieces joining together in this fashion.
5. Roll it Out
Using a wallpaper roller, or a similar roller, go over the whole surface trying to get it as flat as possible. You don't want the material uneven and sticking out, it should be flat and adhered to the surface.
6. Add a Second Layer
Even though the deadener is extremely sound proof, it is still extremely recommended that you place a second layer over the first you did. When you do this layer, you will want to place the mat at a 45 or 90 degree angle to the ones you laid down previously. So if you went left to right on your 1st layer, go front to back on this one. Use the rolling pin again to make sure it is flat and stuck in place.
7. Checking for Resonance
Using a rubber mallet, or other soft hammer, gently hit the area being deadened and check for vibration and noise. You should have a very sound resistant surface, that should almost totally eliminate unwanted noise and sounds. Some places may require a 3rd or 4th layer of mat just around the area that is prone to noise. Apply it just as you had the other layers.
You should now have a very quiet ride from outside noise and vibrations from the speakers and the engine. It is all ready for you to throw in your subs and speakers, and turn up the volume without having to worry about vibration and outside noise.