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I recently purchased a used '01 Insight and drove it up from Monterey, CA to Renton, WA. Two full days of freeway driving really shows how much this car needs some sound deadening. So I started looking into what others have done and posted about.

grebe and Mr. Salty have used Quietcoat's QuietCar liquid product and seem happy with the results. From Quietcoat advertising, the QuietCar seems very flexible in that it can be used as undercoating on the exterior or inside the car.

Rick (AZ) and BlueInsight1701 used .25" generic insulation mostly just laid out without glue except in the doors. This was fairly cheap and gave 4-5 dB noise reduction.

Rick Reece used Brown Bread, LComp, and foam with satisfying results. (I swear I read someone getting 8 dB reductions with this same type of install, maybe the yahoo forums)

After reading about all of this done last year, 2003, reading all of the propaganda from the marketing departments, and trying to get a sense of what is going to work well, I am leaning towards a combination of QuietCar to damp panel vibrations and generic .25" thick insulation material to absorb the sound that gets through.

Does anyone have updated information on their installs from last year? For the QuietCar installs, is the material still holding up? Has it flaked off or degraded in quality? Any regrets? Any odors resulting from installs that people are regretting now? Any changes to the insulation/damping materials installations since last year?

I plan to decide what path to take in April sometime and do the install in May along with my stereo system.

Kent
 

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Wow you've done your research, thankyou.

As far as the sound insulation in mine's been going so far so good. I have removed the piece under the rear carpet and the piece going up the wall behind the seats. They did almost nothing and I was scared that it might cause too much heat to the battery box durring the summer. I still have the piece in the rear well, and it's been staying put quite nicely. Again, I wanted it to be removable.

Clayton's (BlueInsigh1701) car has since departed, and he removed everything. In fact I still have 3 of the 4 under carpet pieces from his car in my garage. Whatever you end up doing, if you can please go to radio shack and buy a $30 sound level meter so we can get some before and after results. We were the only ones that did that to my knowledge.

I'm still convinced I have more sensative than average hearing, but quite honestly mine still leaves something to be desired, but really in comparison to normal cars it's on par with their road noise level. I know if a quieter tire was used it would make all the difference in the world, but it's a sacrafice I suppose.

Mine was done in a few steps, the two areas the made the largest difference were the doors and the rear well. As a general disclaimer here I will say again, any insulation you do can potentially cause things to get too hot and could result in warranty problems. This is why I really wanted removability on mine. Of course, I guess that might not be such an issue where you live. One other thing to consider, the material we used is pretty much what is used in every other car, but it seems if it gets wet that it won't easiliy dry so you might want to take this in to account. Phoenix doesn't see much rain.

Good luck, keep us posted.
 

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If you want a low tech solution:

http://fungiart.com/insight

It seems almost too simple to make a big difference, but it sure helped. I recommend something simple and cheap as a first pass, if you are lucky, that will satisfy you before you get lost in complexity.
 

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OT - Nice website Figgy. Fungiastic!

When I see pictures of red Insights, I sometimes wish I had a one rather than silver. They remind me of little red Ferrari's......
 

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I am happy with the brown bread. The doors sound very solid and I get little outside noise. (I took a fair number of pictures and plan to post someday when I set up my webspace). The drawback however is the tires. They are still the largest component of the noise. I imagine the vibrations are transmitted through the body. Too bad they dont use sound isolation mounts or something to decouple the noise. Have fun, Rick
 

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Figgy, that stuff is cotton I believe. If so, it is one of the best sound dampers you can get IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies Rick, figgy, and Rick Reece. I am going to go all out and try to only do this one time. Adding loose fill will be easy to add if I need more absorbing of sound. Hopefully I can damp most of it out though. Not afraid of warranty issues either, so it does not have to be removable.

Kent
 

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Nice summary of what people have done so far, kedge, thanks. My comments:

Futon mattresses are made from alternating layers of egg-crate shaped sheets of foam, cotton padding (I agree this is what it looks like Figgy used) and a polyester fiber such as Hollowfill from DuPont.

In mid-install of my ShoeBox subwoofer I drove the car across town to do some shopping, with all the rear carpet removed. The increase in noise was amazing, so I figured post-install it wouldn't hurt to add some sound insulation. I cut up old backpacking foam mattresses to fit under the rear carpet, in front and back of the cargo bin, and underneath the cargo bin atop the spare tire.

I also have wider (185/60R14) and quieter tires.

I suspect the cargo mat (shown here) would also help to damp sound from the rear of the car.

For those who have done door insulation, how much work is it? I am thinking of a dynamat-type solution on the inner surface of the exterior door panels, if possible. InsightCentral has excellent directions on removing the door panels but does not go beyond getting the interior panel removed. Judging from these pictures it looks like there is more work to get deeper into the doors (towards the exterior of the car from the inside). Also, that set of pictures shows that the moisture/water barrier on the door has been removed (a plastic sheet that is sealed along the still-visible white glue line in the top right picture). I have had problems with door modifications in the past (dealer repair to window regulator to fix auto-down issues on driver's side) that didn't reseal that barrier properly later leading to the infamous "wet seatbelt" issue, plus the eventual water damage of a speaker, and would rather not have it happen again.

Is there a way to do door sound insulation without removing that plastic? If so, how? What did you guys do? If not, what did you use to reseal it?
 

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One more question. If you stand at the rear of the car, facing forward, there is a large cavity to the right of the metal IMA box and forward of the install location of a shoebox subwoofer (which sits to the right of the cargo bin).

Anyone ever consider stuffing that area with sound insulation? Are there vents back there going into the IMA that would be blocked?
 

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If you make up cloth bags, similar to pillow cases and fill them with acoustic material, they will have enough rigidity to be shoved into areas that would otherwise be difficult to reach using loose fill. They can also be easily removed if servicing is needed. Seams can be made using contact cement if you don't want to mess with a sewing machine. :wink:
 
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Hi All:

___I more then likely will not be adding sound insulation to my own Insight anytime soon but for all the trouble some have gone through to quiet their Insight’s down, what do the automobile manufacturers use? The Corolla and even the MDX with its all-season yet off-road capable Michelin X-Terrains is much quieter then the Insight and I don’t think they are using the materials many have used in this thread? Is there a foam based solution that the OEM auto manufacturers use instead? There has to be something to isolate noise and it isn’t the thickness of a panel or structure. Rubber mounted insulators in the suspension and ICE are more then likely one of the savings but even wind noise in the Insight can be heard when plowing into a 15 mph or so headwind at just 50 - 55 mph. Does the thickness of the windscreen and other windows help isolate the driver and passenger from road noise as well? Opening up the inside rear fascia of the MDX to install a Sub last year didn’t reveal any foam or other such material so what is it that is causing the Insight to have a higher dB output at highway speeds then most other automobiles?

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:44gtvrps][email protected][/email:44gtvrps]
 

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One thing I think I should mention, particularly reguarding the loose stuffing. On the bottom of the IMA box the alluminum has holes in it to aid in venting. The air is forced in through the vent behind the passenger seat, throught the box then out the bottom and back of the box. This is something you don't want to interupt. The carpet pad I used covers the floor all around it, but still lets air freely flow through this space. I have also lined my dead navi brain space as well.

As far as xcel's questions, have you looked underneath the carpet in your MDX? Every other vehicle I've seen partially torn apart has the same carpet pad type material underneath the carpet and sometimes attached to the back of panels. The only remnance of any insulation I've found in the Insight was under the rear carpet, and it is only a few small thin pieces of it. We did a little research before our insulation project and quiet cars had the carpet pad that was about a half inch thick.

As far as the doors, easy. Remove the door panels and apply the sound deadening material to the back of the plastic door panels. This way you never touch the plastic sheeting in the doors and it had good results for me. Actually, the doors probably were only second in improvment to the rear well. Quite honestly the floors had only a marginal effect, but I'm keeping the pad there.
 
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Hi Rick:

___Thanks for the info. I haven’t pulled up the carpet but only worked inside the interior’s rear quarter panel and again in the headliner and behind the A-Pillar fascia on the passenger side.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:539c3g1y][email protected][/email:539c3g1y]
 

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Yeah that sounds normal. Most of the insulation is down near the floor in the vehicles. You should be able to feel the insulation below the carpets. They will be cushy, not hard. I can't comment specifically for other Honda's/Acura's, but my moms Yukon has the plastic pieces that cover the rear wheel wells insulated on the back side with a similar carpet pad material. Anything further up than that would probably not make much if any difference.

This thread's got me starting to think some. I might go back and put a thicker pad (which I have a small roll of sitting in my garage) in the back well in the car and see what difference it makes.
 
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Hi Rick:

___If this is just for the rear cargo area, wouldn’t the Insight Cargo Mat accessory do just as nice a job then? $65.00 w/ free shipping sounds like a pretty good deal to me if it helps quiet down the Insight somewhat? Let me know how the padding works as I might just order that Cargo Mat instead …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:dl3gjzbe][email protected][/email:dl3gjzbe]
 

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Maybe I should do this as well in my CRX for the time being, the noise from the cat-back exhaust gets annoying sometimes. lol
 

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xcel said:
wouldn’t the Insight Cargo Mat accessory do just as nice a job then?
I speculated as much on the first page of postings here.

If you pull up the rear carpet and the cargo bin the next thing you will see there is the bare metal underbelly of the Insight. I think that is why adding any kind of insulation to the back area makes such a big difference. The 1/2" foam material I used is qualitatively similar to the "DynaLiner" product.

Similarly if you remove some of the sheet metal panels behind the passenger seat and to the rear of the car, you will see bare metal. Rick, I wonder if that is the area you referred to as the "dead navi brain" space, which I asked about earlier?
 

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Yes the cargo mat helps. I still need to get one one day. But it's still too noisy. You need something up against the outer panels to absorb the noise.

The dead navi brain space is where a shoe box sub woofer would go. In Japan you get a navigational system on the Insight, the computer for it goes in that dead space.

As far as behind the seat, I had a piece of insulation there for a little while underneath the carpet. I took it out back when I was having what I though was IMA problems of some sort (no brake lights, no brake signal turned out to be the problem), and it really made no difference so I left it out.

I think you'd be amazed how much of a difference just putting some sort of insulation in the rear well, under the carpet on the floor and in the door panels, which is all I have. Also, I guess I'll mention that new tires will also make all the difference in the world. If yours are getting old and weather cracked and near the tread wear indicators consider new ones. I wish I had taken before and after readings recently when mine were replaced. It sounds like a normal car inside again.
 

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Rick said:
You need something up against the outer panels to absorb the noise.
Good point. This is also what I was hoping to do with the doors, but it looks like quite a bit of trouble. Perhaps when I find the time I will instead go after the floors, since I need to do some audio cable management anyway.

Since I have a shoebox sub, I obviously don't want to fill that space, but I am still curious about the space forward of the shoebox between the IMA and the right side of the car as another candidate for acoustic insulation.
 

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Tim,
The directions for removing the door panel work perfect. I put the headliner material on the inside of the panel and the brown bread on the interior side of the exterior door sheeting. I just pulled the plastic and drapped it through the open window while working. There are two I-Beams in the door as I recall. I just covered the beams. You can reach behind the aluminum sheeting on the interior side. Just make sure you don't cover the drain holes at the bottom of the door. Have fun, Rick
 
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