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How To Be Cool and Quiet Too!

by Dave Hill
Custom Classic Trucks Magazine
August 2003

We’re not really going to tell you how to be cool -- only The Fonz could do that. However, we have the inside scoop on how to feel cool while cruising in your truck on a hot day, at the same time, make your truck sound better than it did 30 years ago. Better yet, we’ll show you how anyone can do it, even your little brother.

Our ’57 Chevy 1/2 ton, better known as Project Yard Truck, came to us as a sweet old original truck, has continually proven to be sweeter than we originally thought, and gets sweeter every time we pull it into the garage. Our latest project is a thorough interior makeover, including full sound and temperature insulation. The truck now drives cooler (or warmer depending on the season) and much quieter than when brand new. True, our plan for the Chevy is to keep it real close to original, primarily updating it in the safety department. Since it's now going further away from the yard with each modification, we felt a few comfort enhancements wouldn’t hurt -- especially since they're completely hidden.

Insulation technology has come a long way since 1957, when our truck was built with virtually none to speak of.
Now, Quiet Ride Solutions has simplified much of the work by researching the available materials, to find what's most effective, then locating a truck or carnew_images/pct_staff_Jackie_07.jpg like yours and experimenting to determine what areas respond best to the materials. Quiet Ride Solutions accurately measured the various materials to produce patterns and then  precision-cut them to fit perfectly. They're now packaged with complete detailed instructions and shipped right to your door. How simple is that? Follow along to see how easy it is. Then, check out Quiet Ride Solutions to be amazed at the hundreds of vehicles they make kits for, including almost every Ford, Chevy, and Dodge truck built between 1930 and 1986.

Project Yard Truck has been back together now for a couple of weeks, and the difference in the sound level still amazes us every time we drive it. If we had a radio, we could probably even hear it. The weather hasn't turned warm yet, but we expect to be plenty cool come summer.

01: Quiet Ride’s AcoustiSHIELD kits come with everything you’ll need, including sound damper pads, heat absorber/ barrier panels, special spray adhesive, and seam sealing tape. We opted for a new firewall insulating pad to complete the package.
02: The high tech absorber/ barrier material uses an extremely dense fabric composition bonded to a reinforced foil layer. We used pliers to pull it apart like this.
03: The first step is to remove the seat. Here you can see the low-tech shelf we built to keep our, well, stuff in, behind the seat.
04: We hung a 4-foot two-bulb florescent light fixture from the headliner welting, for perfect light source that stayed out of the way.
05: With the seat and rubber floor mat out, you can clearly see how nice the floor is. California weather and a cozy garage have been very good to the old truck.
06: We loosened the gas tank and moved it forward to access the cab’s rear wall. There was plenty of room to work around it.
07: When using any kind of adhesive, your worst enemy is a dirty surface. We used a popular household cleaner, then rinsed and dried all areas for a good bond.
08: The adhesive instructions called for 60 degrees or better, so we set up a couple of 500-watt halogen work lights and closed the doors until the thermometer hit 70.
09: The sound deadening pads are pre-cut to size and adhesive-backed. A clearly drawn placement guide makes peeling and sticking them on rather easy. These panels deaden vibration, like putting your hand on a drum head.
10: We used a wooden roller from the craft shop to ensure total adhesion.
11: After test-fitting the rear cab piece and bringing the spray can up to temperature, we sprayed an even coat over the back panel. Notice, we had removed the tank straps.
12: Then, we sprayed a coat on the reverse side of the acoustic panel and carefully slipped it into place. The adhesive allowed us some adjustment before holding tight.
13: The panels fit incredibly well and can easily be molded to fit the cab contours by hand. They are then rolled, as shown, for a permanent bond.
14: Next comes this strong but very thin aluminum tape that seals all edges and seams. It molds to shape perfectly.
15: Here's the finished rear-cab panel, ready to reinstall the fuel tank. Note the foil side goes outward to form a barrier, that prevents absorbed heat from entering the cab.
16: The floor sound deadening is a breeze. Just place the pre-cut and marked strips to match the diagram, then peel and stick them down. Don’t forget to roll them, too. There are also strips for the insides of the doors.
17: The toe board piece went in much easier than expected. We cut some slits to get around the pedals and taped over them for a seamless result.
18: The perfectly shaped and trimmed firewall insulator pad came next. We needed to cut a relief for our aftermarket Allstate heater on the passenger side.
19: At this point, the floor and toe boards were covered, and the firewall insulator installed. Luckily, it was both flexible and forgiving. The fit looked like a factory job.
20: We used a hole-saw to trim away floor material, so the floor mat could be pushed down and locked over the original retaining buttons.
21: Next, we cut out access holes for our master cylinder fill plug. Earlier, we installed a Brothers dual master cylinder, so we needed the two plugs.
22: This floor level view shows the actual installed thickness of the system. The heat pad is 3/8-inch thick. We added another 1/8-inch for the sound deadener strips, and had 1/2-inch more material between us and engine heat and road noise. 
23: We sealed all the edges and seams with aluminum tape, and the job was done.
 24: This bird’s eye view looks like something from the space shuttle. Our Yard Truck has taken a giant step away from ‘50’s technology.
25: The finished job looked so cool, we didn't want to reinstall the floor mat and seat.The difference was most definitely noticeable as we cruised in soothing silence to the truck show in Santa Maria. the whole time we asked ourselves, is this just a Yard Truck?

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