Quiet Ride Solutions founder and owner, Timothy Cox, discovered he needed to replace the tarpaper firewall insulator in the 1931 Buick Convertible he had been restoring for the previous ten years. There were no such parts available on the market or as “new” old stock. Cox talked with boat builders and then experimented with fiberglass molding to produce the firewall insulator he needed for the Buick—the car he still owns. He made another firewall for a friend, and that began a chain of requests to make firewalls for other Buick cars.
Through word-of-mouth and minimal advertising, car enthusiasts from around the country began sending their deteriorated firewall pads for reproduction, and “Tim Cox Firewall Insulators” began making more and more firewall molds. Production took place in a double-car garage in the evenings and on weekends, and Cox met the needs of a small number of the hobbyists restoring antique and classic automobiles.
The company is the original creator of the firewall insulator panels, which covers the interior firewall bulkhead, and separates the engine compartment from the passenger cabin. The first firewall products were made with hand-laid fiberglass, through a very labor-intensive process. Initial products focused on cars and trucks built by General Motors and MOPAR.
Plastic vacuum-forming revolutionized the production process, transforming hours down to minutes. The thermal forming process was contracted-out, but Cox still had to cut, punch holes and sew the products by hand, by himself.
With growing pressure from Ford enthusiasts, Cox commissioned the development of a “calendar” roller that reproduced the famous “chicken track” texture used exclusively by Ford Motor Company. The new “Coxford” material allowed the company to produce every firewall insulator designed for Ford cars and trucks built between 1928 through 1948, as well as the associated interior upholstery panels, including truck headliners.
With growing interest in the street rod and custom car hobby, the company began to develop firewall insulators for this segment of car builders based on after-market steel replacement firewalls offered by Bitchin Products, Inc., Direct Sheetmetal, Inc., as well as others.
As the development of “new” fiberglass and steel body cars came on the scene, the company began producing products for these vehicles, as well.
Throughout the early years, the company offered several different types of automotive insulation products (rolled goods) in response to customer questions, in addition to the insulation needs for the rest of the vehicle. Selling these automotive insulation products was a good fit with the firewall insulators, but the “after sale” customer service follow up with installations became quite time consuming.
With the first major equipment purchase of a digitally controlled vacuum forming machine, and the hiring of three employees, the company set-up shop in a 2,500 square foot local industrial complex, bringing all production under one roof. New products were developed, including molded headliners for popular Ford, Chevy and Dodge trucks, as well as door panels, heater plenums and defroster ducts.
As the product lines were expanding, the company began the transition from a single product name to the QuietRIDE Solutions title in order to incorporate the new products that were in development and about to be released. Our core philosophy has always been Quality and Craftsmanship First and Always! and Universal Products do not fit anything well!
AcoustiSHIELD Thermal Acoustic Auto Insulation products were introduced as pre-cut and ready to install kits. Cox figured there might be a market for a few early Mustangs and Camaros, but only if the customer could buy a product that was made specifically for each vehicle. That would mean finding a select few vehicles, taking them apart and extensive measuring. Since the automotive aftermarket’s customers, dealers and other parts manufacturers are driven by the theme, “year, make and model,” the product was immediately successful.
AcoustiSHIELD gave car enthusiasts all the materials they needed to fully insulate the passenger cabin. Our two-stage strategy of combining sound dampening with insulation provides the necessary environment for “Roof to Road Solution to Control Automotive Noise, Vibration and Heat.” QuietRIDE offers an insulation solution for every interior panel of the vehicle, from the toe boards to the taillights, including the cowl, floor, roof, trunk, doors and body panels.
The demand for this product kept growing for other vehicles. The company has averaged 75 new vehicle patterns each year, equivalent to 1,500 man-hours a year, toward product development.
The company moved to its current 12,000 square foot location in 2004 and continued “hand production” with as many as 14 employees. The company continued to grow and was incorporated as a LLC. It also filed and received trademark applications for AcoustiSHIELD and the company name, QuietRIDE Solutions.
The Company recognized the need to become an integral part of Specialty Equipment Marketing Association’s (SEMA) annual exhibition in order to gain more company recognition. To do that, it would have to create an eye-catching exhibit that would stop traffic in the aisles. A 1953 GMC panel track sitting in a field about a mile from the shop caught the owner’s attention, and arrangements were made to “borrow” it for a couple of weeks to make a new set of patterns. The owner did not particularly want the vehicle, so the vehicle was purchased and an extensive “make-over” program was begun. Fourteen national and local businesses offered products and services in support of the project and in November 2005 the AcoustiTRUCK made is first debut at SEMA.
Increased demand for a more efficient method of production on a larger and faster scale became necessary, and the company invested in an Autometrix Digital Cutting Table and “digital” scanning technology in order to convert its automotive insulation patterns to data files. The quality of AcoustiSHIELD Thermal Acoustic Insulation Kits increased four-fold and orders could be shipped in days instead of weeks. Production of the firewall insulators continued by hand, and demand was on the increase. It was evident that the company must take advantage of the new digital technology for their ABS plastic-based products.
With a review of the manufacturing options available in the thermal plastics industry, QuietRIDE made the decision to purchase a Flow Mach 2 Water Jet Cutting System. The water jet machine arrived in early 2010 and was operational by mid-year.
While our current staff was able to run the equipment, CAD staff would be required to rapidly program over 600 firewall insulator patterns into 3D digital CAD files. These files would allow the water jet operator to duplicate the pattern of the firewall accurately. The machine can then cut the raw materials into the needed parts with a 60,000 PSI stream of water with the precision of a human hair. This move has allowed firewall production to increase ten fold.
Four engineering students from the local college were hired as part-time workers to scan, recalibrate and digitize the firewall patterns into usable water jet files. While this process is ongoing, it is expected that 98 percent of the firewalls and all of our associated flat patterns such as cowl panels, seat dividers, package trays and some headliner patterns will be completed and entered into in the QRS Digital Library by the end of 2013.
There will always be a very small number of products that just don’t lend themselves to digital technology and will remain unique to the hand-cutting process, such as the large molded headliners for early Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge trucks.
The company introduced its third new product line--AcoustiHood, a solution for insulating and covering the under side of the hood on cars and trucks. New product application proposals were presented for licensing to Ford, General Motors and MOPAR to use company brand names and logos on the products. Work on the project began in late 2012 and products were available in mid-2013.
Cox explains that the development of the AcoustiHood Under Hood Cover is an extension of the company’s ongoing product development program to control automotive noise, vibration and heat. Under Hood Covers add a finished look to the hood with the name and logo of the vehicle 3-D molded into the surface of the cover.
Ford, General Motors and Chrysler trademarked vehicle names and logos are used under license to QuietRIDE Solutions, LLC.
The company staff saw the opportunity to bring the AcoustiHood product to market after attending countless car shows, staring at great looking cars with “nondescript” hoods hovering in the air over beautifully built engines and meticulously maintained engine bays.
QuietRIDE Solutions announced another new product—AcoustiTrunk Floor Mat Covers and Insulation Kits for Ford, General Motors, MOPAR and British Motor Heritage cars 1928 through 2014. AcoustiTrunk Floor Mat Covers, in combination with the AcoustiShield Trunk Floor insulation kits, stop the noise generated by the differential, rear wheel wells and trunk floor panels from entering the passenger cabin. Most cars have little or no insulation in the rear trunk area of the vehicle. Now you can stop the transfer of NVH and dress up the trunk area with QuietRide’s new AcoustiTrunk Floor Mat Cover and Insulation Kits. AcoustiTrunk products are potentially a new “canvas” for the creative imagination of the restorer, restomoder or custom car builder. Smooth trunk covers are for restorers who want an original “stock” look. 3-D images of a vehicle’s name or logo can be molded into the Ultra High Definition rubber floor mat material for a custom look. All kits are year-make-model specific—pre-cut and ready to install.
Classic Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and Willys/Jeep trucks were the focus of the company’s product research and development program with the resulting introduction of the ShowBedder product line. ShowBedder Truck Bed Floor Covers for Classic Trucks offers a solution to truck owners of 1928 through 1996 vehicles to protect and/or cover the truck bed floor. The ShowBedder product is an extension of the company’s AcoustiHood and AcoustiTruck product lines. Bed covers are available smooth or with the vehicle brand name or logo 3-D molded into the Ultra High Definition rubber floor mat material for a custom look. All kits are year-make-model specific—pre-cut and ready to install. Since truck bed covers are quite large, the company took delivery of a larger vacuum forming machine for this product line and to augment the manufacturing process of its firewall insulator, hood and trunk products.