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General Interior Design

Sound Proofing – Better To Call It Sound Reduction

Sound Meter Measurement Before Soundproofing

How loud is it inside?

Start off by determining if you need to lower the sound inside your cab. Obviously, if you are driving and you hear a lot of engine noise, road noise, or wind noise, then you probably need some modifications to reduce the sound in the cab.

You can be more objective by using a sound meter. There are a lot of apps for your phone that will do this too.

I also measured my Honda Odyssey for comparison. The average decibels inside the cabin while driving on the highway was 67 dB. Decibels are scaled by logarithm, so the cab of my F-650 is 10 times louder than the cabin of my Odyssey.

Clearly something needs to be done about this!

Sound Proofing – You Can’t Really Do That!

It is a misnomer to call it sound proofing in a vehicle. There is going to be noise from the engine when it is running, especially if you have a big rig like an F-650 with a diesel engine. When driving the engine noise will increase, and you will have road noise (tires and bumps), and wind noise (mirrors, lights, cargo racks). Really what you want to do is to get more sound absorbing inside the cab. There are several ways to decrease the sound, and you can choose to do some or all of these methods

Sound Deadening

This involves adding material to the metal surfaces to decrease the vibrations. Large metal panels will vibrate, particularly during driving. Products, such as butyl rubber panels, are available to apply to these surfaces to minimize the vibrations.

Sound Absorbing

Materials are also available to absorb the sound. These materials are made out of rubber, foam, jute, and other thick materials. Carpet flooring will also absorb sound compared to a vinyl flooring.

Aerodynamics

Light bars, mirrors, cargo racks, and other exterior modifications can create wind noise. You will likely be removing the emergency lightbar, if your vehicle has one, but be aware that installing cargo racks and off-road loads will add wind noise.

Be Realistic

You are modifying a big vehicle. It is not a luxury sedan. While there are significant improvements you can make to the loudness inside the cab, you probably won’t be able to achieve the quietness of a luxury car.

Considerations

Several steps are necessary to reduce the sound inside your vehicle. You will need to determine where to add the material, what type you want to add, how much and what type of material to add.

  • Where to add sound proofing?
  • What type of sound proofing to install?
  • How much material do you need?
  • Install it yourself or hire someone?
  • What is your budget?
  • Can you modify any exterior components to reduce noise?

My Approach to These Issues

To be completed…

More to come.

Second Skin Audio Webpage

Second Skin Audio

After reviewing several companies that provide sound deadening and sound absorbing materials, I decided to choose Second Skin Audio. They have a variety of products available and describe how to choose and how much to use of each product. They have more expensive “pro” versions if you budget will allow. Having spoken with them by phone, they can also get you a custom quote based upon the particulars of your vehicle and how much sound reduction you want to achieve. They are definitely worth considering as an option if you plan to install the material yourself.

Cab View

My Plan

  • Measuring the area to be covered
    • Headliner: 30 square feet
    • Firewall, floor, doors and back wall: 101 square feet
  • Get the best products available
    • Damplifier Pro: sound deadener
    • Luxury Liner Pro: sound absorber
    • MaxZorb: light foam sound absorber for headliner and to place in doors for additional sound absorption
  • Second Skin Audio provided a custom quote for the amount of product needed for each area based upon my measurements
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