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Jeep Wrangler - Restoration & Custom Outfitting
All photos, diagrams, and text on this page Copyright 2013 - David Todeschini - all rights reserved - see Copyright Terms

 

Sound Deadening

 

Road noise on any Jeep (or any car, for that matter) can be a nuisance at highway speeds. What I am going to show you in the following photos won't turn your Jeep into a Lexus sedan (why would you want one?), but it will noticeably reduce road noise emanating from the steel floorboard. Done properly, it will also keep your floorboard from rusting from beneath, by filling the void between the floorboard and the lower tub. Another page on this Web site shows you how to build a Turn Signal Beeper so that you can hear if you left your turn signals on in noisy traffic.

Rhino Lining and then Replacing the factory carpet with a thick, rubber-backed carpet after  is a good way to reduce road noise and prevent floorboards from rusting, but BEFORE you install the carpeting, there is one more very inexpensive thing you can do to reduce rusting and deadening road noise.

Jeep Wranglers have a unique floorboard design; if you remove the drain plugs under the carpet, you will see that there is a lower floorboard, about 1 inch below the one in the passenger compartment. The problem with this design is that road salts and moisture can enter between the floorboards and corrode  both the top and bottom of the "tub".

To prevent rust in this area, simply remove the lower drain plug on each side (if there is one) and flush between the floorboards (from the bottom of the Jeep) with a garden hose. Allow the space to dry by driving around a few days, and parking the Jeep on a hill facing down one day, and facing up the next day. Then use a nozzle extension to spray Rust-Oleum Rust Inhibitor into the space as far as you can reach inside, and allow the paint to dry for 48 hours.

Use "Great Stuff - Gap Filler Foam" to completely fill the space between the floorboards, and tape the drain holes shut with Gorilla Tape until the foam expands and cures. There is also a hollow space on the floorboard where the front seats bolt down. Lift the carpet and use a flashlight to find them. Use a nozzle extension (or make one from a long plastic straw), and spray the foam as deep into these spaces as possible. After you inject the foam, immediately cover the hole with Gorilla Tape to keep the foam from oozing out. Inject foam into every hole you can find that goes into the "between spaces" on the floorboard, and tape the holes shut.

Two cans is more than enough to do the job. Allow the stuff to expand for 24 hours (it will ooze out in some places; DO NOT attempt to wipe it up as it oozes out; it is WICKED STICKY, like the cocooning goo the monsters used in the movie "Aliens" but it is easy to remove once it is cured).

After the stuff has cured, pull off (or cut, scrape off) all the foam that has oozed out of the weld gaps and other places. Use a sharp, narrow razor to cut the drain holes open again, and replace the plugs. The road noise (floorboard vibrations) will be drastically reduced, and a water path into the Jeep will be blocked (in case you are crossing deep puddles). The treatment can also be applied to all the other hollow spaces such as the frame members, mainly for rust abatement, but if every hollow space on the underside of the vehicle is plugged, you could add a Snorkel Kit to convert your Jeep to an amphibious vehicle ☺ (only kidding!).

Above, left: Pushing nozzle into the space between the upper floorboard an the bottom of the "tub". Spray in all directions to ensure a complete "fill".

 

Above, right: The foam will expand and ooze out of all the weld gaps in the frame. This photo shows foam oozing out of the seat riser (the raised part of the floorboard where the front seats are bolted) where it is welded to the "hump".

 

Left: Foam expands and will fill the drain holes. After injecting the foam, tape both top and bottom drain holes shut with Gorilla Tape until the foam cures (allow at least 12 hours).

 

After the stuff has expanded and cured (give it 12 hours or so), removing it from where it has oozed out of gaps will be easy. If you try to "catch it" as it oozes out, you will make a terrible mess. WAIT until it is completely cured and it will be like trimming styrofoam.

   
   

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