Throughout this tutorial, we remind you to be careful to leave enough room to re-install trim pieces, seats and anything else you remove from your car. It isn’t the end of the world if you make a mistake - just cut the mat with a utility or X-ACTO knife and peel off the bit that covers the mounting point.
Coverage: PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW CAREFULLY as this guide was written from my 32 DIY years and 12+ years full time specializing in sound deadening vehicles and higher end car audio and performance. With the added iput from some of the top all time installers and DIY feedback from thousands of my fellow enthusiasts I know how to help you attain your goals and I truely do care about your acheiving them for the lowest cost using premium grade real sound deadening products.
BXT II RAAMmat
For the average install, best results for your time and cost, you will want to aim for 50-60% coverage focused behind speakers, middle of larger surfaces like the outer door skins, flexible thus resonate prone parts of the rear sides or back wall and sealing up access holes to block the noise from getting into the car.
The methods for an audio upgrade or just to reduce road noise are nearly identical. For those wanting to go all out, installing a competition level audio system with lots of power, etc....then more coverage and some doubling up will be be needed.
Peal and Stick, far easier to use than the glue on version, no fumes, no masking things off, this is the one you want to use. 100% coverage on all you can access as this works in higher frequencies to reduce reflections by breaking up, diffusing the energy, decouples vibrations, and is a superb thermal barrier.The only place to limit the use is behind speakers, just use a patch 8x8" or so to break up the back wave, it is so effective more will just kill off the midbass response which is not what we want to acheive.
By using both products you will have far greater results than just using a mat product alone, save weight, cost, better results if you follow this guide.
What to order:
Best bang for the buck results in the typical install for most vehicles is doing the doors, rear sides, hatch door, rear wall, under rear deck, kick panels, lining under the dash with Ensolite, etc depending on vehicle type.
1 pack BXT II RAAMmat
3 yards PS Ensolite
Large vehicles, higher end audio installs, loud exhaust, tires, monster bass systems......
These require more materials, please email me your exact info and I will help put the right package together for your to meet your needs and the lowest cost possible. Some just go ahead and order this package and go from there, it has proven to be adequate for the job many thousands of times.
2 packs BXT II, 6 yards PS Ensolite.
NOTE: Many older cars have a great deal of not well supported sheet metal on the floor and elsewhere, I recommend at least 75% coverage there with the BXT II and PS Ensolite. If you are building a pro street, pro tour, restomod, stock classic car, most all need much more deadening that modern cars.
RAAMmat sticks to just about any surface, but you really want it to be clean and free of grease and oil. Vacuum any debris. Most surfaces can just be wiped down with a moist cloth to pick up any dust, or use some denatured alcohol to be sure that nothing is left behind.
Utility knife - used to cut and trim the RAAMmat. Use the butt end to press it down into corners. Some people prefer heavy shears for cutting.
Heat gun - Unlike old school asphalt mats, RAAMmat doesn’t need to be heated to stick. If it is really cold out, you might want to warm the metal, mat or both, but this will not be needed for most installs.
Roller - normally not needed with RAAMmat. We have never sold them or given cheap ones away as sales gimmicks ;) Of course you can pick one up at your local hardware store if you want to use it if really cold when installing this can be helpful.
Many people first hear about sound deadening while trying to figure out how to stop rattles caused by their sound systems. So will sound deadening stop rattles?
Rattles are the result of two hard objects contacting each other - usually in response to vibrations. Sound deadening reduces or eliminates many of the vibrations that can lead to rattles. It may not eliminate them all. Try and identify the source of your rattles, either before or during the installation process. Make sure all parts are tightened down. Attach Ensolite to the back of trim panels to cushion the points where they touch the vehicle. Sometimes a little piece of Ensolite or some silicone adhesive is all that is needed between parts. Put a piece of RAAMmat and some Ensolite on the back of your license plate. Affix and isolate loose wiring with Silicone, tie wraps or some PS Ensolite.
While sound deadening alone may not solve all of your rattle problems, when combined with the systematic analysis and treatment of the sources, you can eliminate all of them.
Most car doors are VERY transparent to noise, there just isn’t much there to stop it. If you have speakers mounted in your doors then you will also want to make the doors into better enclosures to boost mid-bass response. Finally, the back wave from door mounted speakers pounds on the outer door skin, playing havoc with sound quality.
Remove the inside door trim panel. Most vehicles have a thin plastic sheet that serves as a moisture barrier.
Remove the moisture barrier. If you are going to seal your door with RAAMmat - which we always recommend - you can toss the barrier in the trash.
Working through the door’s access holes, place a layer of mat on outer door skin behind the speakers, approx 12x12" of whatever fits. Then add a second layer over the first, approx 8x8". You will have to cut the RAAMmat into small enough pieces to fit through the holes.
Next cover approx 50% of the rest of the outer door skin, larger more flexible areas, with the BXT II.
Add one layer of PS Ensolite over the mat, again 8x8" to break up the sound wave off the back of the speaker and help decouple the energy from the door.
NOTE: DO NOT use more than this, if you add to much it will cause a great reduction in the midbass response and just not sound all that great. We only want to break up the back wave off the speaker and this works just as well as those expensive pads sold for this purpose;)
Our next step will be to seal the interior facing surface of the door. Regaining access to the door’s interior components will be more difficult than it was before but this step is critially important and overlooked by most professional installers. If access is ever needed it is less difficult than it may seem, just cut through the mat and foam around the sheet metal covers used to seal up the access holes.
This is the time to be sure there are no loose parts or wires that can move around and rattle inside the door. NOW is the time to check for these and secure them with foam tape, tie wraps, etc.
BXT II will seal the holes up really well by itself but if you wish to take the time to add a layer of sheet metal your results will be even better though this is an optional step, I personally always do this.I consider it a must do step for higher end audio installs as it helps stiffen the doors more for improved midbass response.
Most any sheet metal that is flexible enough to bend and cut to shape and will not rust will work. Galvanized tin, anodized aluminum, perforated aluminum or even the aluminum roof flashing sold by the roll at home improvement centers will work. I prefer aluminum screen door repair panels from your local hardware store as very thin but stiff due to the dimples it has and it is corrosion resistant coated. We use self tapping sheet metal screws to secure it. If you don’t want to drill holes, you can hold it in place with just the BXT II mat.
It is almost impossible to completely seal vehicle doors. Most have wires and lock rods that run from the inside to the outside surface. Slip some wire loom or plastic tubing over the lock rods to be sure they will still move freely. TEST everything before you lay RAAMmat over the surface. Cover the access holes or covers you made etxtending onto the door metal surface to seal them up. Add more mat around the speaker openings to make them more solid, less resonate prone and if a competition level install, just cover everthing you can and then use the rap test to see if some areas need additional layers. Full coverage shown.
Remember to leave an inch from the edge of the door panel untreated to allow for proper fitment. Leave another inch around the panel clip mounting points.
Line all you can reach under the dash with PS Ensolite, it will do more than it may seem to reduce ambient noise and break up audio signals so they do not bouce back out distorted.
If you want to go all out then loosely stuff Ensolite or better yet, acoustical foam sections inside the dash(this is more of an audiophile level step but great for Diesel trucks!)
DASHMAT, though not particularly attractive in some vehicles, great in others, it will signifcanly reduce reflected ambient noise and audio signals. Listen to a welll known quality recording of your favorite music, stop, lay out some towels nicely on the dash, play it again, take off the towels, if your ears are at all in tune with how to listen to music you will want a DASHMAT. I do not sell them, this is just my personal experience, I always use them.
Add a layer of Ensolite on top of the mat.
Tap on the door trim panel and apply RAAMmat to the back side of any resonating areas. Usually, about 1/4 to 1/3 of the surface is enough focuse more in the speaker grill area. You can also apply a layer over those areas. Re-install the trim panel and test the door; slam it a few times and listen for rattles, etc. What used to sound like tin will now give you a satisfying thud.
Skip to the access hole covering above with the mat and foam and some on the back of the door panel, install and test, done:) If you want that really nice thud when shuttin the doors you will have to add mat to the outer skin, 40-50% coverage usually is enough, since you sealed out the road noise already this just makes the doors shut more solid sounding.
Rear deck on sedans
Seal up most all the holes in the metal, leave one but not close to the vent openings in the trim panel, with the mat. Cover it all with Ensolite and the back side of the trim panel near the opening you left in the metal below. This is to allow proper air flow for the ventilation system to work but any noise from the trunk has to pass over the Ensolite to reduce the level of it.
Rear seat sides on 2 door cars
All are open all the way over the wheel wells and into the trunk, big noise problem area. Seal up the hole behind the trim panel with metal, mat and foam if possible. If not go further back in the cavity and do it there if you can. If not the add a bit of mat to the outer skin and line all you can there with Ensolite as mentioned on hatches, wagons, etc below.
Rear seat sides are A VERY IMPORTANT AREA!
Remove the kick panel trim and look for hole under the pad there, usually opens up to the lower A pillars. This is a great place for road noise to enter the vehicle. Seal them up with some mat and a layer of foam, you can even add more foam to the back of the trim panel if you wish.
Rear Side Panels/Outer Metal Skin, Wagons, hatches, etc.
One layer of mat over the middle of the outer skin, 50% coverage, full coverage on the wheel wells. Then cover every sq inch you can get to with the PS Ensolite, the more in this area the better to absorb the high ambient noise from the cabin vents.
Same as rear door without speakers.
Rear wall on trucks, the noisest area in a truck
60-80% coverage with the BXT II focused in the middle, flexibible areas, some are stiffer than others, add enough to make is have a nice solid thud when you give it a good thump with your fist or a rubber mallet, etc.....if still resonate, add 25% more mat, second layer, right in the middle, across the area. Then cover every sq inch with Ensolite.
Make sure to cover every sq inch of all sheet metal and trim panels near the cabin vents with Ensolite.
Most modern cars and trucks can skip the floor unless you have the above situation or just want to go for it and know you have done your best.
It isn’t as difficult as it seems - it just takes time and care. To expose the sheet metal, you will need to remove seats, floor mounted consoles, trim and carpeting. We actually enjoy doing this and like we said, the end result is well worth the effort, but just be aware that while you can do a door or a trunk in a few hours or less, doing the floor can take a bit longer so plan accordingly. Some vehicles lend themselves to doing the floor in stages - front one day, back the next. Just give it some thought. A shop manual and a digital camera to record where parts came from can be your best friends.
A few things to consider first. Some parts of your vehicle’s floor are pretty well braced and rigid. Fortunately, these rigid sections are often along the edges and where seats and other parts are mounted and you can skip adding the mat to them as it does little good. .
Start with a single layer of BXTII being extra careful to press it into the various bends and crevices that are plentiful on the floor. The rap test will really help. The area to cover can range from 60-80% depending on the vehicle. Once covered add a full layer of Ensolite on the and up the firewall. To find any areas that still resonate do the rap test, rubber mallete, your fist, etc, give them a good thump, if you can feel it flex or is sounds like a drum, add one more layer of each product just in those areas, it is exceptionally effective when doing so.
Remember that when you are testing for resonance, if you are kneeling on the panel you are testing, your body weight is damping the panel - so don’t do that.
If you have a known hot spot, use the added layers as above, mat/foam/mat/foam just where needed, results will be a great reduction in heat in the cabin.
The benefit of working on the roof is extremely vehicle specific. It can be anything from a large, flexible, un-insulated expanse of noise prone sheet metal or a well braced system that doesn’t cause much trouble at all.
If you have already decided to go all out, definitely do the roof. If you haven’t decided, wait until the rest of the vehicle is done, take it for a drive, listen to your system, and decide if you want the improvement. Some vehicles are particularly susceptible to rain and wind noise from the roof, you will have to decide.
One layer of BXT II covering 30-50% is normally sufficient but if you have a huge bass system inside the cabin, you might need full coverage or close to it and a second layer nearer the subs. Then full coverage of Ensolite as well, no mater how much mat is used.
Note: dual duty street/track cars, I will just use the Ensolite alone so less weight is added up high, not as effective but it does help.
Before re-installing the seats, trim, carpet, etc, make sure that all wiring is in place. Tape it to the foam if you’re not sure. Enjoy your new quiet and more comfortable ride:)