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46  Main Forum / General Discussion / Doghouse insulation project (summary) on: December 24, 2013, 07:23:21 pm
Until I had the doghouse out of the vehicle, I didn't realize just how close we sit to a V10 engine that spins at 2600 rpms at 64 mph!  It's right there by our knees!

I now have 27 sq ft of Deamplier material on the floor from the firewall to the back of the chairs, in the passenger door and all in the doghouse.  It is time for a test drive.  I got on the interstate where there is smooth asphalt and got to cruising speed of 62 mph.  There is a noticeable difference in engine noise.  I didn't have a passenger so I couldn't test if conversing was improved.  However, my dB meter is now averaging 54.5 dB, an improvement of about 3 dB.  But what does that mean?  Well, if you remember, a 10 dB difference is perceived as a doubling of the heard noise, so in very layman's terms, the noise has been reduced by about 1/3 if my calculations and understanding of noise is correct.  I called darling wife on my cell phone at 65 mph and I was able to carry on a conversation with her without straining my hearing.  I couldn't do that before. 

Noise from the doghouse is greatly reduced.  However, I still hear a lot of engine noise and it sounds like it mostly coming through the dashboard, dash area, and hood.  I also hear a lot of wind noise around the driver's mirror.  I think I will order the JC Whitney hood insulation kit (Hushmat) and add material to the driver's door.  I also might try to find a mat I can lay on the dash.  I've seen some custom mats for the dash that are made to protect the dash from sun damage.  Maybe something like this could help.

All in all, I'm very happy with the improvement in noise abatement, but I'd like to knock another 2 or 3 dB off and make the PC as quiet as my truck.  To date, I have about $170 invested and 8 hours of time.  I could have saved $12 by not buying the adhesive I didn't need (I thought I would need it to glue the existing doghouse insulation back in).  I'll be glad to answer any questions.  Mark
47  Main Forum / General Discussion / Doghouse insulation project (post 2) on: December 24, 2013, 06:54:51 pm
I pulled the doghouse out of the PC and placed it on the work table.  There is a hard insulating pad of fiberglass and foil that is friction fitted to the back of the doghouse.   It comes out by gently pulling and working it around the rubber gasket.  Here is the doghouse with the insulation pad removed:


Here is the insulation pad:


Be careful removing the doghouse because I broke the carbon fiber looking plastic piece that has the cup holders in it.  It apparently drops in with retaining tabs and is then glued down.  The glue didn't hold and I broke the tabs off.  There is also a another plastic piece that attaches to the doghouse that is held on by a clip at the base.

I cut the Damplifer material into strips with a razor knife and pressed it to the inside of the doghouse and used the roller to get good contact.  I doubt this material will ever fall off by itself.  The sticky side is really sticky.  I also put some material on the other side of the doghouse where it would be covered by the vertical piece that holds my sunglasses and tissues.  I thought about putting 2 layers on the inside, but decided I'd have enough material to do the cab floor if I just put on one layer.  Here is what it looks like:


The doghouse is nothing but curves so it took a while to cut strips to fit but I finally got 100% of the doghouse interior covered.

Next I removed the passenger chair and pulled away the vinyl flooring.  It has a jute like material under it that is about 1/2" thick.  It was wet under the passenger side.  Hmmm.  Under the vinyl flooring was the metal floor.  I covered about 90% of this area with Deamplifer from the firewall to the carpet behind the chairs.




I had some material left over so I decided to tackle the passenger door.  There are 3 screws that hold the door on and once removed, the panel simply lifts up.  I tried to cover 25% of the exterior skin but it's hard to reach due to poor access.  I also put some rectangular pieces on the interior skin as it sounded very 'tinny' when tapped.  At this point, I was running low on material and I put the door back together.  I had heard that applying material to the door will make it clunk when closed instead of clanking.  Maybe I didn't use enough.  My door still clanked.  Oh well.  I didn't have enough materials for the driver's door.  I may tackle it later.


I wanted something to act as a sound barrier so I went to HD and Lowes and looked around for some underlayment sound dampener.  All I found was some 1/8" underlayment for wood flooring.  100 sq ft was $65.  Too pricey and too thin.  I looked around some more and found some closed cell pads for cushioning your feet that snap together.  These were 10mm thick and about $20.  I went with this and put it on top of the Deamplier and then laid the vinyl flooring on top.  10mm is pretty thick and it caused some issues getting a nice fit under the vinyl and getting the bolts back in that hold the seats down.  Once I had everything covered back up, I put the insulation pad back in the doghouse and put the doghouse back in place.  Remember I said 10mm is pretty thick?  The floor was now 10mm higher and I had to fit the doghouse back in pushing with my feet.  It is now a very, very tight fit.

By now, I was over this project.  All the above took about 8 hrs to complete.  The next post summaries the results of my labor.

48  Main Forum / General Discussion / Doghouse insulation project (background post 1) on: December 24, 2013, 05:22:18 pm
I have significant high frequency hearing loss on my left side and some on my right side.  I can hear just fine in my office but in a noisy restaurant I miss a lot of conversation.  I can hear noise, I just can't distinguish sound.  Understanding women in a noisy environment is really tough.  I can use my cell phone just fine with my right ear in my office and in my F150.  However, I was having difficulty using my cell phone in my 2552 while cruising down the road at 60 to 65 mph. 

I bought an app for my iPhone that uses the microphone as a sound measuring device and did some comparative measuring.  It shows my office as having a noise level of 47-48 dB which is the sound of my computer fan and some very light traffic outside.  My F150 at 70 mph has a sound level of 53-54 dB.  I can use my cell phone or hands free and/or carry on a conversion with a passenger with no difficulty.  In the 2552, I have to raise my voice slightly and my wife has to raise her voice slightly to carry on a conversation.    The meter reads 57-58 dB and peaks at about 60 dB.  Perceived noise is doubled every 10 dB.  So very relatively speaking, my RV is about twice as noisy as my office. and 57-58 dB is about where I have to strain to hear and I must talk a little louder than is comfortable.

With these readings as reference points, I decided to insulate the doghouse.  My goal is to quiet the PC to a level where I can converse in a normal tone and use my cell phone.  I searched online for products and spent a good deal of time reading car audio forums.  It seems everybody has a favorite product but no one has any concrete data as to who has the best product.  I did learn that there are 2 avenues of attack:  Vibration and noise.  Audiophiles prefer to tackle vibration first and noise second.  Vibration is handled by dampening the vibration to a level below our hearing threshold and is accomplish by sticking a dampener to the metal/fiberglass/plastic skin of the vehicle.  The coating needs to cover a min 25% of the surface area to be most effective and more is better.  Think about a percussionist's symbol.  If you strike the symbol it vibrates and makes a lot of noise, but if you put a wet sponge on it that only covers 1/10 of the surface area and strike it again, there is hardly any noise.  That is how the vibration dampeners work. 

Noise is handled by using a barrier between the noise and you.  Lead seems to be the best product, but it is heavy, toxic, and somewhat difficult to work with.  Sound recording studios use foam boards and you can find many closed cell foam materials to put over the vibration dampener.  The issues in a vehicle are getting it to stick to walls and ceilings, the thickness causing fitting issues and compression making it thinner.  The barrier simply prevents noise from penetrating.  That is how sound deadeners work.

I flipped a coin and went with a product called Second Skin Damplifer Pro.  It's a constraint level vibration dampener (CLD).  It's a butyl material with a sticky side and an AL foil side.  The sticky allows you to stick it where it won't fall off, the butyl layer stops vibration and the foil acts as a sound barrier.  At least that is my understanding to very complex subject.  I bought 26 sq ft of the product, a roller to press it down and a can of spay adhesive for about $150 delivered.  It was 40% off on black Friday.  I didn't use the adhesive and could have saved about $12.  The roller was about $12 too.

Next I'll go into some detail of applying the product and the results.

49  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Fired up the furnace for the first time on: December 24, 2013, 04:32:11 pm
OK, I found the answer a few posts below.
50  Main Forum / General Discussion / Fired up the furnace for the first time on: December 24, 2013, 04:28:16 pm
and the a/c fan runs on high continuously.  I have the standard dometric 13.5 unit.  The furnace will cycle on and off but the a/c unit fan just keeps blowing air.  Is this the way it is supposed to be?  Also, I don't have the heat strip but when I cycle the thermostat to heat strip I get some warm air out of the a/c unit.  Is this normal?  Thanks, Mark
51  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: SCAN GAUGE II Mounting in your RV on: December 22, 2013, 08:07:50 pm
I have an older SGII and I'm not sure if it is programmed the same way as the new ones.  Anyway, I left my SG plugged in and didn't run my PC for a month.  When I tried to start it up, the battery was stone cold dead.  I blame it on the SG as that is the only accessory I had plugged in.  I had this happen on my truck when the SG was plugged into to it and I didn't run it for a couple of weeks.  I recommend you unplug it when you won't be using your PC for a while.  Mark
52  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Removing door panels on: December 22, 2013, 04:34:55 pm
Tom, thanks for the help.  There are 3 screws that hold the door panel on and once I found the third screw (just above the door handle), the door panel lifts off easily.  It doesn't 'snap' into place, it just hangs from the door and rests on the clips. I did lose the metal clip on plastic piece that covers what used to be the vent window in days of yore and I to improvise when replacing it.  It's always something .  Mark
53  Main Forum / General Discussion / Removing door panels on: December 21, 2013, 09:33:48 am
Does anyone know how to remove the door panels?  I've started my sound deadening project and need to get to the inside.
54  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Aime's Matchmaking Service on: December 18, 2013, 02:13:08 pm
You can put us on the list:  skipperbrown, pensacola fl, 2013 2552
55  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: MICHELIN TIRE RECALL on: December 18, 2013, 02:11:21 pm
Our 2013 also has OO9X all around.
56  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Time for a new computer but what? on: November 18, 2013, 08:28:55 am
For travel, you will need a laptop computer.  For serious photography, you will need to get a top of the line computer.

I do a lot of photography, shoot in raw and edit in aperture and/or lightroom.  I use photoshop rarely.  I have a 2010 macbook pro w/ 8 gigs ram and it got so slow I had to find another option.  I upgraded to a SSD and it's like having a new computer.  If you are going to be editing large photos, you are going to at least need a MBP w/ 8 gigs and a fast HD or its windows equivalent.  Apple is very proud of their products and the price tags reflect the pride.  The downside to using a laptop for photography is calibrating the screen.  If you tilt it a 1/4" everything changes.  My thoughts anyway . Mark
57  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Drive line vibration diagnosis on: November 15, 2013, 02:25:06 pm
Holly & John, Panhandle Driveline owned/operated by William.  He answers the phone unless he's working on a job.   His shop is fairly new and I don't think he is very busy right now.  Since you are coming from out of town, you should talk to him for scheduling to get in and out asap. The shop located in Milton, FL about 3 miles north of I10 inside a mini storage unit.  He is set up for cars/pickups and doesn't have a way to lift RV's so he will either have to work under your PC or send it 'up the road' to an automotive shop to have the driveline dropped.  He chose to crawl under mine and do it himself.   I would guess that he will want to tweak the angles so he will likely want to remove/install the driveline himself.

There is not much going on in Milton, but if you are here, you should consider a day or two at either Ft. Pickens national seashore campground or further east towards Grayton Beach in Santa Rosa.  I have never stayed at either so I can't comment on the campgrounds themselves, but we used to boat to Ft. Pickens frequently.  Pickens has been a fort since colonial times up through WWII as well as a federal prison (housed Geronimo for a time).  The Santa Rosa area includes Seaside where the Truman Show was filmed.  Both have beautiful beaches, but the beautiful (and more wealthy) people spend their time on the Santa Rosa beaches.  Seaside is a quaint little town that has a Mayberry feel where everything is perfect (hence where the Truman Show was filmed), but it comes with a hefty price tag.  Maybe you should visit both.

Ron, thanks for the 'like'.  I can't begin to tell you how much I have benefited from your tips, suggestions, and you sharing information.  I'm happy to make a small contribution.  My next project is sound dampening. Mark
58  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Drive line vibration diagnosis on: November 15, 2013, 08:56:49 am
Captain's Log, Stardate 11/15.  I took the PC back to the driveline shop Monday after the owner bought some new parts to extend his balancing analyzer so it would hold the entire driveline.  He called me yesterday and said it was much improved, come and get it.  I did.  The damage was about $225.  On the way home, I drove it from speeds of 1 mph to 72 mph and all the vibration and noise is gone.  "Much improved" was an understatement.  It's fixed.  Hurray.  It took 7 trips to various shops, but it's now fixed and I can find something else to complain about!  For those on Facebook, do a search for Panhandle Driveline and you can see a video of the PC shaft on his machine spinning quite fast.  Oh, the fix was a rebalance job after the first rebalance job (and after Ford's original balance job).  He found a high spot at the second joint he couldn't see by balancing 2 shafts at a time.  He had to put all three on the machine.  Then he tweaked the angles by putting 2, 1 degree shims after the transmission and 3 shims before the axle.  I'm pleased and think for all the time the mechanic spent on it, I got out with good work a very fair price.  Mark
59  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Noisy converter? on: November 06, 2013, 10:11:38 am
I thought mine cycled on a lot and the manufacturer's info said it was so quiet I would probably not hear it. 

One man's quiet is another man's 1st row rock concert seat.  I find the converter fan is a restless beast cycling at what I would think should be low peak current draw times.  We try to ignore it. 
60  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: How i do Ham Radio with the 2350 on: November 02, 2013, 10:29:49 pm
What kind of screwdriver are you using and how did you ground it?  Where did you run the coax w/o drilling holes?  Is that a tuner under the radio or the control for the screwdriver?  Is that a ft100d?  I don't do much ham radio anymore since the advent of reliable cell communications, but would like to put a HF unit in my PC in the event we have an emergency that takes down cell service.  Looking for mounting points, all I find is a lot of fiberglass!  Mark
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