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Killing Road Noise, Results

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Killing Road Noise, Results

Old 05-28-2014, 09:03 PM
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Default Killing Road Noise, Results

Previous thread on killing noise but not complete solution:


Here is a newer thread with the soft top instal:


It has taken a while, but I have pretty much completed what I set out to do with taming screaming Rebecca. It has been an interesting sojourn, I have learned a little more than I thought I knew about NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and had some fun in the process.

Just a little recap, I have a stock 2009 car but the noise was fatiguing with the top up on longer freeway drives especially with the significant other. I wanted the most bang for the buck, and of course, wanted to proceed keeping it simple, stupid. I read up on the latest stuff, read lots of reviews, and jumped in.

Two products were used. First I settled on B Quiet Ultimate. I ordered 50' for about $150 delivered. I used just over 10 pounds for the install. (about 2/3 of it) It was as good as Dynamat, has no smell, easy to apply, and much cheaper.

The second product was a mix of 3 (soon to be 4) 3M Thinsulate materials. I was sold on Thinsulate early on. It has a precise manufactured micro fiber length for sound control. It is hydrophobic so it cannot absorb water. No mold, no smell ever. It is compressible. Easy to cut and apply. Super, super light. Tons of choices. That is why Mercedes and Honda (Acura) use it in new cars. It drove me to pursue its acquisition.

1) TAI2099S (8mm thick) can be used in areas where there is not much
space; only 8mm thick: 30" x 5 yds

2) TC3403: Very good performer (41mm thick)-->excellent at filling
cavities and compressing easy: 30" x 12yds

3) AU6002-5: Double-black scrim-->44mm thick...one of our best
30" x 3yds

4) AU2002-5: Double black scrim, I think it is about 10mm. Scrim is reinforced for strength and abrasion.

I found a contact at 3M who handles the Honda account and he sent me generous samples in return for a nice writeup testimonial. I asked him if I could mention him as a contact from interest generated on these forums. His response:

"In general, 3M does not have Thinsulate (TM) inside of the AAD Division
(Automotive Aftermarket Division); consequently, I do this stuff on
occasion but cannot afford to do it always....if you needed a little more
Thinsulate, I could probably arrange another short-roll or two; however,
my recommendation would be to have local body shops inquire to 3M to see if they can make it available in AAD...the problem is, we don't want to
cannibalize what is specked in on new models, either...."
end quote.

In the first thread you can see how I did the trunk. Others have said the impact from trunk insulation was not that great. True but I really went for thermal insulation too. Many times after a drive with a cooler in the well, it has been downright hot. No more. As a matter of fact, the surrounding trim is now cold/cool from the cooler nearby! Big, big difference.

Since then, I attacked the cockpit. It was a full 2 day job. I removed the seats, trim, and rolled the carpet forward under the dash. I did not apply anything forward of the cross member in front of the seats. Why? It was a bit more difficult to do so, I wanted to keep it easy. Second, were reports the biggest gain was from the passenger seat, especially behind. Third, I wanted to preserve the engine sound in the event the insulation was too effective.

I used no chemical prep. All I did was vacuum and wipe off dust. I had but did not really use the roller. I did not use my heat gun. I actually preferred it slightly cooler (65 degrees for weather) as the B Quiet could be moved around without it sticking like crazy. It was much easier to position that way. Once you press it in with your fingers, its not going anywhere. There was virtually no insulation by Honda. A few little pieces on the transmission tunnel and under the carpet. I left it all in place.

As you can see I did cover most of the floor, tunnel, and seat back area with B Quiet. I then cut out varying thicknesses of Thinsulate to cover on top. It is easy to cut and very compressible. Loved the stuff. I put some under the tunnel trim and even around the shifter. I cut long pieces to stuff in voids and channels. I just threaded it in a hole and it "fished" its way the length of the space easily. I did not have to completely disassemble all the trim pieces on the back. Easy. I even shoved some down around the top motors and made sure there was no mechanical interference.

Doors were next. Trim popped right off and I peeled back the water proof membrane about 1/3 to expose the opening in the bottom aft part. I just taped the loose flap up to get it out of the way. I put 3 or 4 door lengths of B Quiet on the skin between the impact tubes. I then cut out a single piece of the thick black Thinsulate mat and with a shot of spray adhesive, quickly put it in place on the door. I did this in less than a minute before the adhesive sets and becomes tacky preventing repositioning. I practiced the movement before applying to get it right. I made sure the window operation did not touch the material.
For the door trim, I put on a few strips of B Quiet; you only need 30% coverage anyway. I used the very thin Thinsulate on the trim as it does not interfere with reinstallation.
The doors now have more of a thunk than a clank when closing.

I cut out a tray shaped piece of the black, thick Thinsulate and just placed it loose on the tray. It compresses and not keep the top from coming down completely. You cannot see it. It absorbs reflective sound well.


I wish I had a decibel meter ( I found out about the app for that too late) so I could give objective feedback. I found the trunk by itself was not as great a sound reducer than I thought it might be. Others have said the same thing. I did get great thermal insulation.

The real surprise was the cockpit. It is noticeably quieter. My wife was impressed. The sound of the tires and transmission is very distant. The whine of the diff only comes through at certain speeds. The drone of the exhaust is muted and now comes from outside the car instead of through the floor. The engine is distinctly a front of the car sound. With the engine rpm at a highway steady state, you hear the drone not as an irritating edgy harmonic, but a muted hum. When you step on it, you get the old sound, it just comes at you from a different direction. Top down, all the sound is from the open spaces, not from your derrière.
With the top up, my wife and I found, for the first time, we could talk to each other at a normal "in a room" conversational level without having to raise our voice at all. I could hear the radio well, at checked the volume for a comfortable level; it was 20. It was not till I got above 55 when I was inclined to raise it up.
I really noticed the absence of ambient highway noise coming through the doors. It was a quiet "hole" when trucks and cars passed.
That was the big one. I wanted top up highway driving to be comfortable and I got it. When I step on it, I can hear that baby go. Top down, its almost the same, just the noise is from a different angle. It is muted from the floor. It seems more luxurious and has a quality feel to it.


I forgot to mention the improvement in the stock sound system. I did get better sound all the way around; was able to pick up instruments and sounds I could not before. I can listen at much lower levels of volume. I will probably get a new HU for streaming but I find myself without any sound 90% of the time. I like to listen to the car.

I am happy with the result. I added 10-15 lbs of weight-about 2 gallons of gas and I got much better quietness for cruising the highway. Much less stressful over time and better for conversation with the female sitting next to me. (Still a good thing for me!) I did not loose the sound of the exhaust or engine when I go for, its just where the sound comes from has changed. Of course most of the time I am top down.

But wait, there is more. I was intrigued with the Thinsulate, especially the really thin stuff. I played with some of it and found if I put some along the inside of the top behind the glass, it would fold right up and not interfere in any way. It settled the same, could put the top cover on the same. It DID make the top much more of a sound barrier. It also is a barrier between the top and the tube mechanism which should reduce the chances of having abrasion points and developing tears and holes in the top. With the tray piece in place, it was becoming more like a hard top. A thin piece in the overhead rectangle. Boom. I asked for and received anther sample of Thinsulate that was the thin stuff but had an abrasion resistant double black scrim to match the interior. It is practically invisible. That is the next and I suppose, final page. I am going to fit Thinsulate to the folding frame on the sides back to the rear window. It takes the edge off that semi in the lane next to you.

Here is the BQuiet and box it came it along with the installation supervisor:

Here are the Thinsulate products used: (all are here including the 2 thin one for the top-on the top here)

This is the stuff I am using on the top. You can see how fluffy it can be but compresses well.

More of the thin top stuff. This is similar to the thin white Thinsulate I used under trim panels

This is the new thin black scrim to be used insulating the top. You can see how well it compresses.

Before anything. You can see Honda applied materiel on the trainy tunnel.

Here is the covering of B Quiet. You really only need 35% coverage but I went for it.

This is the thick white Thinsulate covering the B Quiet

More of the thick white. Right before reinstall

Driver seat area

Using other Thinsulate filling voids and cavities.

Door before

Door trim panel before

Door before anything

Door with heavy Thinsulate mat installed.

BQuiet on trim panel for door

Thin stuff on door trim panel

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Old 05-29-2014, 04:08 AM
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Thanks for posting this.

What sort of result do you think a person can achieve by using only the B Quiet product? Is it worthwhile if that is the only product used?

I am asking from the perspective that the 3M materials may not be easily acquired by most people.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:07 AM
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Pics of the top insulation, please?
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:36 AM
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not my cup of tea but great stuff!
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Syn View Post
Thanks for posting this.

What sort of result do you think a person can achieve by using only the B Quiet product? Is it worthwhile if that is the only product used?

I am asking from the perspective that the 3M materials may not be easily acquired by most people.
BQuiet (Ultimate) is very good as a resonant damper. Works well across the temp range we drive in. It does not kill all frequencies well it is best on deadening lower frequencies. However it does add weight. For real sound reduction, several layers would need to be applied. That is why BQ recommends additional sound tiles or insulation for effectiveness.
I did a pretty good coverage of BQ under the seats but really, you do not need as much. You do not have to cover every square inch; you do get tempted. I only wanted to add no more than 10-15 pounds of weight (2 gallons of gas) for the insulation.
I have seen Thinsulate on eBay, but a large roll. Maybe someone could do a group buy to share it.

Originally Posted by dwb993 View Post
Pics of the top insulation, please?
I added more captions. It is the AU2002-5, you can see the attached tag. The white stuff I played with to see if it would work is on the top with the four.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:28 AM
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Nice writeup

I had really good results using Quietcar (paint-on stuff) in my LS swapped FD. I did 3 coats in the hatch area and it significantly reduced noise coming from the back. Best part is you're not adding a ton of weight to the car like you do with matting

When I get to installing a rollbar in my S2K (hopefully this winter) I'll def be going that route again.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:43 PM
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Very thorough and well documented post. Thanks for sharing. While not the same, you could take a sound level reading (an app would do for an estimate) from a model identical to yours as a "before" test and then compare it to your current ride. It might give a bit of a comparison. Frankly, I enjoy the road noise and have done everything I can to strip the insulation, etc. down to bare metal. I wasn't interested in loudness or increased resonances - just reducing weight any where I could. All together, I removed 123 lbs of "dead weight" including removal of the convertible top, motors, etc.
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:14 AM
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Great write up.
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:09 AM
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Thanks. One other thing I have dones since then is add a piece of thinsulate to the back plastic tray. This is a piece of black insulation (so you can't see it and does not reflect on the glass) that is just loose on the tray. The top comes down and compresses it without a problem so I forget that it is even there. It catches a lot of abient sound.

The other are two smaller pieces that are about 10" square that are placed between the top and the bars just behind the side windows. They do a good job at taking the harshness of semi trailer and other loud vehicles on the freeway. Easy to install and remove in a minute or two.
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:19 PM
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how are you controlling the moisture that will accumulate in some of the areas that you have filled with insulation? i.e. the drains in the bottom of the door?
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