Sound Deadening Your Bus On An Extreme Budget

Discussion in 'Internal' started by BayWatcher, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. I've heard from a lot purists who think a bus should be loud and clangy. And I will admit, for better or worse, it can be part of the charm. But after a long road trip, when my throat feels like I've had gravel for lunch from having to yell just to converse with my copilot, a line has been crossed. Not to mention the $400 radio I can't hear at all once I get on the motorway. No, that wont do at all.
    This is what I learned on my adventure to remedy the situation. Hoping it helps and saves you time and money.

    First off, after loads of research, I found that Window Wrap (intended for waterproofing home windows) is the same product as several more expensive brands of "sound deadening wrap", like Dynamat. It is a gooey tar-like film with a foil backing. In windows, the gooey nature allows for form fitting and waterproofing. In audio applications, the tar-like goop absorbs and stops vibrations caused by sound waves.
    I also learned that you needn't cover the entire surface with it, as so many often do. It doesn't take a ton of goo to absorb the vibrations. After all, just a rubber band or two absorb enough vibration to fight tennis elbow. You don't need to cover the entire racket. Same concept.
    Still, Window Wrap is so cheap and a single roll is so big, I still used an awful lot anyway. ;)
    First I did my front doors. It only took an afternoon. Afterward, I was surprised to find that it really didn't buffer the road noise at all. Another surprise is what it did
    do. Not only do my doors now close with the soft heavy clunk of a modern car, the sound quality and volume of my stereo increased by at least a third. I had completely forgotten that this application was intended to improve your stereo as mush as it is to cover road noise. So doing the doors was still very much worth it to me.
    Then I did the sliding door, the rear hatch and the panel over the engine bay. Useless. Don't waste your time, it made absolutely no change at all.
    So I have gone through half a roll and my bus sounds the same, aside from a vastly improved radio.
    Thoroughly perplexed, I started asking around in bus forums. What those who have gone there before me said was, most of the noise is coming from the floor, especially between the seats and down the middle. One man said he had gone to a garden centre and picked up about 20 bags of soil. He was in his bus and he had spread the bags out on the floor. This, he said, made for such a quiet ride home he immediately pulled up the carpet and soundproofed the floor.
    So I pulled out the carpet between the front seats and wrapped it with two layers. That was all I did and it already made a noticeable difference.
    Unfortunately, that was when our insufferable heatwave began. Over 100* with high humidity for the better part of the past 2 months. I don't work outside in that mess. I can't tell you how much I miss playing with my bus. :-
    But as soon as it cools down I will be doing the entire floor.


    Skater 8 likes this.
  2. Moons

    Moons Guest

    I'm not an expert with this - but have built a couple of sound clash systems - and from my experience you need to put the matting onto any large surface area panels, as these are the ones that resonate most.

    So on cab doors - its the door skin, same for other doors - not sure it would work on the frame as shown in your pics.

    As a cheap alternative over in the UK - I use the tar back lead tape intended to seal roofs - put it on, then heat it (carefully) with a heat gun until the tar melts slightly. As it cools, it tensions the panel slightly, and adds weight and rigidity to stop the booming noise large panels make.
  4. Thanks for the post - its a bit annoying over there you have a lot of really good products are widly available but not in this country unless your a specialist company then you get charged a fortune!

    As stated we just use the lead replacement tar based plastic strip which I have used on mine and it does make a big difference. USe it on the floor, roof panels and door skin panels. I also use the foil backed reflective foam we use here to put behind radiators to help insulation and condensation control.
  5. What? You don't have Window Wrap either?! Doh! This is taking some of the fun out of my product reviews.
    Well those tar products should work fine. As long as it's gooey, it's shock absorbent. People use it here too, in the Northern states.
    If it makes you feel any better, the U.K. has a lot of good stuff we can't get. Many European Classic VW parts stores can't be bothered to ship to the U.S., and they have really hot stuff that we don't, like T2 Westy roof vents, white rubber nubbins to cover the bumper bolts, etc,... And we have only one company over here that makes VW side tents. They have cornered the market. "Coincidentally", the price of their tent happens to be the same as the price of a good Euro-tent + the cost of a remailing service to get it here. :mad:
  6. Moons

    Moons Guest


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