Killing the Road Noise - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Killing the Road Noise

Ok guys, I recently applied second skin damplifier to my doors, firewall and floors. I had limited success. The product works, but the noise just comes in all throughout the car. The exhaust drone is a whole other battle since I have a Stage 2 muffler... But the road noise. Has anyone tried hitting the front wheel wells with something to help quiet it down a bit? I know when I drive through a puddle, it sounds like someone is dripping water directly on my head, likewise the sound of sand is as if someone is throwing it directly at you... My assumption is because there is no front firewall, that noise passes directly through to the passenger compartment. Whereas in a traditional front-engine car, there is a firewall, usually insulated to some degree, that blocks much of the road noise of the tires on the road surface, puddles, sand, etc...

What are your thoughts here? The wind and tire noise is ridiculous. Has anyone tried hitting the hard top with some dynamat type product? I need a new headliner so my hardtop is currently prepped for new fabric (adhesive free, bare paint), it wouldn't cost anything to use my extra sheets of second skin on the hardtop, then adding the fabric over the top of it.

Comments appreciated. Thank you!
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 09:33 AM
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The hardtop is quite a bit quieter than the soft top as is.

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 10:06 AM
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Ear plugs, they help.

No, but seriously. Ear plugs.

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Oh I have ear plugs in my scuttle beam. 2 pairs, one for me and a fresh pair for my passenger if they want. However, I am trying to move away from this practice...
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 10:13 AM
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Have you put a couple strips on your undertray yet? I found that helped a ton. Also I found that putting Ensolite from RAAMaudio to dampen the high frequency sounds made a huge difference. My Elise, even with the soft top on, was much quieter than the STI I used to have.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 10:16 AM
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I recently did Montreal - Boston (and back) in my Elise.
No Stage 2 here, but a Larini, which probably doesn't drone as much but is still loud as f**k.

I ended-up using my Bose noise cancelling headset. It was perfect
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05 Elise Freak View Post
....What are your thoughts here?....
Er, don't drive an Elise? I absolutely love mine to bits....
Don't find the noise a problem... Sports exhaust & all.
Forgot to add, just done 1,000 miles in one week. Only just had the car (my first sports car) and
was pleasantly surprised to find how comfortable it is. At least, it doesn't give me a backache like both my Rover & Honda do.
Great in crosswinds & low on driver fatigue.

Last edited by macey; 09-25-2014 at 11:24 AM.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 10:44 AM
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Hard top.

Different car.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surferpkt View Post
The hardtop is quite a bit quieter than the soft top as is.
Until you hit bumps and it squeaks. I find that pretty-annoying, and silicone grease on the weatherstripping didn't seem to help.

No matter. I find the Elise not so loud generally.

The wind noise on the Stag is way more, top up or down. The Bell stainless exhaust does lovely things for the V8, so who cares?

I never use the Blaupunkt stereo in either British car.

If all I want is quiet, the Legacy GT Limited supplies that (now that the howling rear wheel bearings have been replaced!). I have a stainless exhaust system here in my office that might change that a bit.

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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chouch View Post
I recently did Montreal - Boston (and back) in my Elise.
No Stage 2 here, but a Larini, which probably doesn't drone as much but is still loud as f**k.

I ended-up using my Bose noise cancelling headset. It was perfect
Illegal in Minnesota. You can cover one ear, not both.

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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philethier View Post
Illegal in Minnesota. You can cover one ear, not both.
This. Recent trip from VA to NC had me wondering what the rules are in different jurisdictions. I too love to drive with the Bose NC headset, but I know it's not legal in many places. Which is stupid, because I'm able to hear "exceptional" noises more easily with them on -it's just the road/wind/engine noise that gets cancelled.

Here is a resource showing the legality of headsets by state.

-Chris
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 11:24 AM
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Forgot to add, just done 1,000 miles in one week. Only just had the car (my first sports car) and was pleasantly surprised to find how comfortable it is. At least, it doesn't give me a backache like both my Rover & Honda do.
Great in crosswinds & low on driver fatigue. (Has the touring pack, don't know if that's a factor or not).
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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It must just be my muffler then... Because my car is so loud. 100dB with the windows up and hard top on. I don't know if it was always this bad but my hearing is getting worse (it shouldn't I'm not even 30!) or if my muffler really got blown out at the track days...

I use my ear buds regularly now. They really help. Otherwise I love spending time in my car, no fatigue other than the noise. I need to do NY to Maine and back this weekend and I'm contemplating taking my old Saab just for the sake of my ears.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 12:42 PM
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I really believe the vast majority of the noise comes into the cabin from the engine bay, this includes exhaust noise unless you are going supersonic speeds. For practical purposes, the muffler and exhaust outlet are in your engine bay since there is almost no sound break between them and the firewall.

I did not realize until recently just how flimsy the firewall is. Seriously, think of it more like a speaker cone with a little felt padding on it (maybe even just close to it). A large portion of the engine and exhaust noise is transmitted right into the cabin through it.

This is why I plan to do Darksol's firewall insulation mod next time I feel like taking off the clam, airbox and supercharger.... maybe this winter. I already have the stuff.

Read about it here: https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f92/...g-bling-88410/

Note Turbophil's comment in the thread. He has been inside a few Eliges.

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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 01:13 PM
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I put a piece of dynamat on the floorpan under each seat. It didn't add much weight. Maybe 2 lbs. each piece is about 1 foot square. No need to cover the entire floor. The small squares of dynamat keep the floorpan from acting like a drum. Before adding this i could not listen to my stereo, or talk on my phone using a headset above 40 mph. Now it is not a problem. I'm switching tires soon from a048's to high performance all season. I suspect that quite a bit of road noise is from the tires.

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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJ60 View Post
I'm switching tires soon from a048's to high performance all season. I suspect that quite a bit of road noise is from the tires.
Indeed. A048's with less than 500 miles on them are not too noisy but as they get older and have less tread OMG they are loud!

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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 01:43 PM
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Road noise? That's called driving. Windows down with R888's and I've never had a complaint. Maybe I'm just weird.

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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 02:10 PM
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Sound Reduction

Just to echo what others have said (no pun intended), the floor pan and the firewall are the places that will probably benefit the most from sound deadening materials.

My 2011 Elise has a relatively small rectangle of Dynamat-like material under both seats, about the same size as the seat base. The interior of the firewall is covered in the same sound deadening material and then there is a molded piece of black foam rubber that fills the space between the firewall and the molded plastic tray/firewall cover behind the seats. The foam rubber pokes all the way into the side panels just behind the exterior door handle - makes sense since that area would otherwise be a great resonator and conduit for engine bay noise. I think the key here is that it is dense foam rubber, not the lightweight, low density yellow polyurethane foam such as is commonly used to stuff furniture. These items are all factory installed.

I often drive the Elise seven or eight hours at a time, and while the car is a little noisier than some others, I've never noticed any noise fatigue except with the (soft or hard) roof off.

Glen

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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 02:38 PM
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I recently did a big stereo upgrade to my 09 Elise. While I had the seats out and the back panel off, I put in Dynamat Superlite along the firewall and floor. It has made a pretty big difference for listening to the stereo, talking on the phone, noise fatigue, etc. here are some pics of the install, not hard to do when the seats were out.


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BTW, the Dynamat Superlite is slightly thinner and lighter weight than the original. With the amount in this install, it adds less than 5 pounds.


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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 03:26 PM
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What am I seeing in middle photo?

Thx

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