Noise dampening...significant effort, modest results.. - Club Crosstrek | Subaru XV Crosstrek Forums
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Old 03-30-2017, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default Noise dampening...significant effort, modest results..

So, I've owned my Crosstrek for a little over 9 months now and I have enjoyed the ride quite a bit. I regularly drive between Seattle and Yakima, a trip that takes you through some hairy conditions in the winter which this car has always tackled like a champ. There have only been two issues I've found with it that I wish could have been addressed in the design, 1) it's susceptibility to crosswinds and 2) general road noise. I can't really do anything about the crosswinds issue but a little research revealed the many products out their for making one's ride quieter.

Being a bit of a stickler I got an app for my phone that measures and records noise levels in my car.

Riding on the stock all-season tires I recorded the following baseline noise data on a rough patch of I-90.

10dbbaseline.PNG

This seemed pretty loud and after many hours on the road, can be pretty wearing. OSHA certainly wouldn't recommend it.

osa noise.PNG

So, I opted for Noico 80 mil noise dampening material purchased off of Amazon and made in Russia!

YouTube offers many guides for installing this material and theoretically it was pretty straight forward. Just remove the panels and roll on the material... fool that I am, ate it up!

I ended up having to do this project in two phases because I initially ran out material.

Phase 1: Doors and reach hatch
Phase 2: Rear wheel wells and area under spare tire.

Phase 1: Unexpectedly Easy, Unexpectedly Laborious
Phase 1 involved removing the door panels which proved very, very easy. Two screws, some gentle prying later, boom, prepping done. (I've removed doors from other vehicles and it has required tracking many screw types, fragile binding clips, etc.)

The hard part came in sizing and applying the material. If you haven't worked with this material you'll quickly find that it behaves in unexpected ways. For example, when you remove the adhesive backing, the material goes limp and proceeds to stick to everything. Or, when you cut the pieces to shape, the edges of the nice aluminum backing become razors that leave your hands lightly bleed...everywhere. Okay, so you put gloves on but then the material sticks to the gloves and the gloves stick to the inside of the door cavity.

Damned if I do, damned if I don't I opted for a slow death of a thousand cuts and hand dexterity. Six hours and a few thousand cuts later I completed phase 1.

My test ride following showed only modest improvement!!!

Average noise at 85 dB...

Much cussing and a lot of frustration later I proceeded to phase 2 hoping that maybe the trunk area is the REAL source of noise in the cabin. This phase was much quicker(no cavities to reach into ), maybe an hour and I am encouraged by a discernible reduction in noise! I'll be driving to Yakima this weekend and will collect some post-installation data along the same stretch for some finalish results.

Anybody else had an experience like this?

Any recommendations for further measures to take that don't involve removing the seats or headliner?
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:01 PM   #2
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I think you would find a lot of improvement putting some of the stuff under the carpet and on the firewall.

Also, with that type of product, you kinda "get what you pay for". Where dynamat is kinda the "standard" but is pricey.
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:45 PM   #3
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Yeah, I was wondering if that was the case.

The Noico product actually came more highly recommended than Roadkill or Dynamat and its made from the same stuff so I'm not sure that is the issue.
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:03 PM   #4
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One thing will improve both road noise and crosswinds. New tires I went to stock size Continental (True Contact) tires and both crosswind and road noise were noticeably reduced. Start there.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:54 AM   #5
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I also used the 80 mil stuff in the spare tire well and rear hatch. I used 3M rubberized undercoat on the outside floorboards and under the plastic floorboard panels. This did a real good job in masking some of the vibration and road noise. Gave the car a more solid feel. If you use the 3M undercoating be careful not to spray over the existing factory gray undercoating that is very sparingly used in some spots. I will take weeks for the over spray to dry. The best noise dampening was the tire replacement as I posted above. Beside being quiet, the Conti sidewalls also flex less so you lose a lot of that body shake in crosswind. The OEM Geolanders are the worse tires. Grab your Crosstrek by the roof rack and shake it while watching the Geolanders flex in the sidewalls, thats the source of the crosswind problem. Good Luck.
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:25 PM   #6
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I have been wondering about getting an undercoat done. I've read that if not done right it can void the rust warranty but I bet it goes a long way to reducing road noise and just generally protecting your car.
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:43 AM   #7
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In soviet Russia sound deadens you!
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KhakiShorts View Post
I have been wondering about getting an undercoat done. I've read that if not done right it can void the rust warranty but I bet it goes a long way to reducing road noise and just generally protecting your car.
I thought the same thing, but I would rather drive a quiet car for the first 5 years, besides you have to prove rust was caused by a defect. If your car starts to rust it's toast. How is Subaru gonna fix it, rust is rust, the fix would only be cosmetic and temporary.
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:59 AM   #9
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Rust Perforation Limited Warranty

RUST PERFORATION COVERAGE for all models is 5 years, regardless of mileage. Subject to the exclusions listed in this warranty, defective original body sheet metal panels that are rusted completely through from the inside out (perforated by corrosion) will be repaired or, at the option of SOA or your Authorized SUBARU Dealer, replaced without charge to you for labor and materials. The following items are not covered: (1) rusting of the outside of the underbody (floor pan) or any other part of the vehicle except body panels; (2) rust resulting from alteration of any body panels; (3) rust as a result of damage to paint caused by normal road hazards such as stones or other debris; (4) body panel rust caused by abuse, lack of maintenance, or damage to the vehicle; (5) rust caused by sand, mud, salt, submergence of a body panel in water, exposure to industrial fallout, chemical fallout, tree sap, hail, or other causes beyond the control of SOA; (6) replacement body sheet metal panels and (7) other items listed under "What is Not Covered" (later in this section).

Rust Perforation Coverage applies to perforation due to corrosion only. Perforation is a rust-through condition, such as an actual hole in a sheet metal panel. Cosmetic or surface corrosion, such as that caused by stone chips or scratches in the paint, is not covered under this warranty. In addition, SOA or your Authorized SUBARU Dealer reserves the right to decide whether painting the repaired or replaced panel to match the original finish is feasible. SOA will not, under any circumstances, pay for painting the entire vehicle solely to match paint color.

Since your vehicle was designed and built to resist corrosion, use of additional rust-inhibiting materials is not necessary and not a requirement for coverage under this warranty. Whether to obtain such additional protection is your decision.
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