IN A '53 FORD F-100    by John Niolon

All of us love our old trucks, but most of us are used to a little more 'luxury' in our modern day interiors... so... we put in nice seats and carpet and stereos and air conditioning.  But, without some other essentials, they still sound like an old truck... engine and road noise, tinny vibrations akin to holding a can up to your ear while driving.  Shouted conversations make the ride less enjoyable.  I want my truck to be comfortable so I've done (or are going to do) all of the above additions and probably some more that I haven't thought of yet.   How to make your driving experience more enjoyable for all ???  Deaden the sounds and insulate the cab.  There are lots of ways and lots of products that will make that happen.

I researched the topic... (ain't Google great ??)  and found thousands of answers.   I whittled down my search criteria and the list was much more manageable. The list included items from a plain felt mat to some multi layer systems that both deaden the sound and keep the cold and heat at bay. There are even some whiz-bang audio studio products that will make a 737 flying over sound like the balsa wood glider you used to toss in the back yard... Well, probably not, but high enf studio stuff comes with a very high dollar price.  Who remembers cabs where the floors were so hot you could feel it in your feet with shoes and socks on ??  


I knew I wanted more than the felt mats so I did a bit of studying on the web..  There are several companies that offer great products for both problems (heat/sound). You'll find names like Dynomat, Echo Absorber, Kill Mat, Hush Mat, x-Mat, Second Skin... and some spray on options are Lizard Skin or Boom Mat.  Heard lots of good comments on most of these... There are also some that use home insulation products from the box stores.... but what I've read some tend to hold moisture which will lead to corrosion and rust and I refuse to use "great stuff" on nearly anything.  You also need consider off gassing and drips and runs of asphalt based products in high heat..  some horror stories out there on that.  I'll let you do your research and determine your product/cost calculations based on your own budget. Some advise 100% coverage while others instruct you to apply material in spaced out strips to our truck panels.  That to me sounds like a half way fix.  If I'm gonna be paying for quiet I want my $$$ worth.


From search information and first hand user recommendations I chose a two layer system from Noico.  One layer of sound deadening material and a layer over that of insulation for heat/cold.  The deadening material is  Butly based with an aluminum sheet covering.  It is available in several thicknesses but I chose the 80 mil sheets for my truck.

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Follow their instructions carefully with regards to cleaning and prepping the truck surface... blow, vacuum and degrease all panels well before you start.  Instructions are available online if you want to peek first.

The sheets are self adhesive and   comes in 20" x 30" sheets and easily cut and installed with an utililty knife... scissors won't work... (Note: well considering all the compound curves and hidden places...relatively easily installed. ) There are a few places where a full sheet can be done... but most are done with cut to fit sheets.  You'll notice the 'waffle' appearance of the aluminum.  Watch your fit up as the adhesive is not very forgiving and removal will usually tear the back side off and ruin the sheet.  Once you press it in place, you're instructed to roll the sheets with a roller (available at add'lt charge) to flatten out the waffles.  This assures that all air pockets or bubbles are flattened out and the sheet is in contact with the surface 100%.. bubbles and pockets let noise thru and will probably hold moisture or condensation.  I'd advise buying a wall paper roller from a box store or paint store..., the ones offered by Noico are not heavy duty and you'll be pressing and rolling fairly hard.  I had great success using a 1.5" putty knife and sliding it across the surface, flattening the waffles.  It worked great in corners and curves and hidden areas that are impossible to roll.  It was really my go to tool for this job.  I am a little particular (or peculiar) and was careful to fill any gaps I left with cut to fit patch pieces... I found it nearly impossible to start off 'square' on a panel that had a compound curve and end up without a curve in the material at the end... so I had lots of little triangle and odd shaped fillers when I was finished... that also takes a little more time, but I wanted it 100 %


I covered the firewall up to the windshield wiper hardware area, both kickpanels, floor, back of cab and roof and inner door panels.   Noico's estimate of material is a little short if you do 100% coverage.  They say 50-60 sq.ft.   I actually used about 86 sq ft with about 2 sq.ft. left over...   You have to buy in their pre measured kits and it isn't available by the foot.  Here's a couple of pics of the work in progress

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finished product...

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After all the sheets are in place, you go back and seal all the joints with their Aluminum tape..(1.5" x 33' x .002) 7 bucks. You can also use standard Aluminum duct tape from the box stores or hvac dealers... it's wider and gives better coverage and is cheaper.(2.5" x 90') 16 bucks


This is a fairly time consuming project as all the cutting and fitting of smaller sheets eats up the time... and then each piece has to be rolled or pressed... the only place you can really use full sheets is on the floor and ceiling and maybe a couple on the back wall... a 20x30 sheet of extremely sticky stuff is hard to handle overhead... everything else is cut to fit... partially because of the fitting and partially because once you peal the backing off it's difficult to handle large pieces that have to be smoothed into place...  you'll understand in about 5 minutes after you start.  I recommend placing a large trash can by the truck door... there is a backing sheet on each sheet and that accumulates quickly in the cab floor... and as you do the insulation the same thing is true... lots of trash.


When you complete the sound deadening sheets... do a clean up again... blow it out or vacuum it so the next layer will stick properly.  The insulation sheet is closed-cell polyethylene foam. The thickness 1/6" ( 157 mil ... Roll Size 19.7" by 275.6" and covers 36 sq. ft.)  This mat installs more easily as it doesn't have to be rolled after install... but you still have to work in smaller sections, especially in kickpanels and under dash.. in the curves behind the door and around windshield.  You don't need to tape these joints and overlapping them a little is okay, and almost unavoidable under the dash and other hidden areas.  I would again fill all the gaps and small areas with filler pieces... every place not covered is letting in heat or cold.. Here's a couple of pictures to show progress... I'm not completely finished.  I still have to do insulation with layers inside the door panels.

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As I mentioned before, I've ordered 86 sq. ft. of material and will have a little left over... the extra insulation I'll probably use as a second layer on the floor and the extra sound deadening mat might go into the doors...  So far the total cost is 300.00 and lunch money.   It's more expensive than some... i.e. felt mat and home depot choices but I believe it will perform better and make me happier in the long run.  Time will tell.  Caution If  you have bad knees, this is gonna be a challenge.  The 1/16" of foam and the deadening mat offer little cushion between that hard metal floor pan and your knee caps.
Boilerplate denial of liability statement…   i.e.  the fine print

This project is something I decided to do with  commercial products, since it's hard to fabricate closed cell foam and butyl stuff.  i I’m sure there are alternatives to this product, some even better/cheaper/easier, I just didn’t think of or like them or warrant them necessary... there are several similar ideas on the internet waiting behind Google for you to see/copy/install…(just like I did) This work was done by me and for me . This article is my intellectual property and I only ask that if you reproduce it give me credit for it and if you make money from it… give me my percentage.

Since I have no way of knowing your level of competence, welding or cutting skills, mechanical ability or estimated intelligence, there are no guaranties or warranties either verbal, written or implied with this article. Along with this article I am giving you absolutely free of charge…that’s right !  FREE !!...the liability, total and complete liability for the use or misuse of this idea  will be yours and yours alone.

It belongs to you with that in mind… I am in no way responsible for any damage, injury or embarrassment you may suffer from the use or misuse of this product or it's installation and use.  If it doesn’t look like something you’d be comfortable using… don’t use it.  If you’re not intelligent enough to make that decision about your comfort level… ask a family member or friend.. but here’s a hint… if you have to ask someone… don’t do it !

Pictures were made at different stages of construction and all work in pictures may not be complete in each shot. I.e.. a picture showing ‘some parts’ only means that it was not finished, but I’ve tried to make the idea complete to the best of my ability. If you have questions or see mistakes or problems, let me know by e-mail and I’ll make the corrections if possible..

Use these ideas at your own risk. Modify them at your discretion and to suit your purpose. Your mileage may vary, batteries not included, much assembly required... wait one hour after installation to enter the water, additional charges may apply. not all applicants will qualify for advertised A.P.R., for ages 10 to adult…side effects are comparable to placebos. Do not take drugs when building or operating machinery.  JUST SAY NO.

Copyright . 2018 John Niolon, All International Rights Reserved. This document may not be copied or published without prior written consent of the author-