TROOP CARRIERS are commercial 4x4s, not luxo-barges, so it’s to be expected that they will lack some mod-cons, one of which is interior sound deadening.
Unfortunately, my Troopy suffered more than most. Having been an ambulance in a previous life, they seemingly drilled, cut and hacked more holes in it than you could poke a stick at. These floorpan holes allowed tyre, driveline and road noise into the cabin and eliminated the ability to talk to passengers or listen to the radio, no matter how high it was turned up. It was downright annoying.
My first step was to spend up on rubber grommets to fill as many regular round holes as possible, while a few conveyor-belt-type rubber patches with liquid nails were used to patch the larger misshapen hack-jobs. While that approach may seem a little antiquated, it was the most straightforward and effective first line of defence to prevent the ingress of noise.
Next up, I called Tru-Fit Carpets in Melbourne to discuss my options. On their advice, I went more high-tech, with the purchase of a couple of boxes of Resomat. Resomat is a premium heat reflector and sound deadener that incorporates a sticky back, a thin rubber layer, and a top silver heat-reflective surface layer, which should rid the heat sink problems from the exhaust system that is positioned close to the floor on the passenger side.
The Resomat helps to deaden noise, stop vibration and, as noted, reflect heat. This product is also used in door skins to help control panel vibration from stereo speakers, but I have no need for that.
Once positioned, the Resomat backing is peeled off to allow moulding to the floor panels – and while a small roller is advertised as being the best way to apply it, I simply pushed my thumbs and a rag over it to ensure good fit and adhesion (no heating is required).
Thankfully, the product is odourless from the get-go, so it doesn’t impact delicate nostrils.
After that, I opted for a secondary layer of Tru-Fit premium foam sound deadener, which was cut to size and laid into position. I then used a Tru-Fit moulded vinyl flooring in the rear section of the Troopy (including separate heat-moulded pieces over the wheelarches), yet maintained the factory carpet in the front – for now.
Having vinyl in the rear cargo section and where the kids sit will be a boon for cleaning dropped food and drinks, as well as everyday grit – not to mention the piles of sand and dirt we seem to attract every camping trip. Now it’s an easy sweep-out option, and it only required basic tools and careful measuring to fit.
In the driver and front passenger footwell I’ve also popped in a set of Tru-Fit heat-moulded floor mats, which feature a non-slip backing and finished edges. These mats cover the trim near the door openings to allow the easy removal of dirt.
All up, I’m happy with the results – other than the vinyl, which wasn’t the exact fit I expected. It required trimming (which was expected) and I’ve purchased lengths of touch tape to hold the edges down flat. My bucket seat set-up in the rear is custom and necessitated a few changes to the flooring, but the top layer is durable and should withstand the abuse my four kids will dish out.
I’ve taken a few decibel readings (before and after installation) from the driver’s seat at 100km/h. To keep things even I drove on the same road with the same gear and tyres. I put all windows up and maintained identical revs. All up, it showed a drop of a few decibels.
While that may not ‘sound’ like a lot, I can assure you it has made a huge difference to in-cabin noise and comfort. So much so I’ve taken up listening to the wireless again. The only problem is, I can hear the kids arguing in the back. Hmm, maybe a lead-lined screen surrounding the driver’s seat will help with that!
Available from: www.trufitcarpets.com.au
RRP: Price is vehicle- and amount-dependent.
We say: A great way to prevent sound and heat ingress.