February 16th, 2005 : Quiet Truck Doors!
The doors on my truck still don't have any interior panels on them -- I won't be doing that until I install new seats and thereby determine the color pattern of my interior ... which makes matters worse in terms of noise, I suppose. But nonetheless, there's nine square feet of steel doorskin on each door that bellows as loud as a mallet on a 50-gallon steel drum whenever we slam these old truck doors.
Recently, thanks to good ol' HotRodders.com and a discussion about interior insulation, I discovered a great way to get the clang out of my doors when I shut them. One of the members there, who's "handle" is BigMac, told me about a product he put in the doors of his 1949 Chevy pickup truck that quieted them considerably.
He said he used something called roofing mastic that he purchased from Lowe's, but I went to Home Depot and wound up buying something very similar, if not the same, called Quick Roof:
If you don't see Quick Roof, there's another product called Peel & Seal -- it's the same stuff. Also, if you can't find this stuff in the Roofing Department, look in the Windows Department. It's got a layer of soft black rubber-type stuff, under a thin layer of aluminum. The black stuff is very sticky and, even though I didn't bother cleaning the inside of my doors, it held itself to my doorskins real well. I bought two rolls, each six inches wide and sixteen feet long; about $25 worth.
I cut strips that were approximately three feet long -- enough to go from the top of the door to the bottom. After I stuck just one piece in the door, I slammed it shut and couldn't believe the difference! Just one strip of this stuff was enough to stop the doorskin from reverberating. Pretty cool, huh?
After pressing one piece in place, I looked at my hands and it looked like I had colored my fingertips with a lead pencil. I guess the aluminum does that, but it seemed like a potentially toxic situation to me, so I washed it off and continued the installation with a pair of deerskin workgloves.
You can see in the pictures above, there aren't many openings that allow you to get inside these doors! There's a removable panel at the bottom of each door that allows for a four inch by twelve or thirteen inch opening, but that's it ... and the opening you see in the pictures (top-side of the door) are even smaller ... so this was no easy task. But as I mentioned above, just one length did quite a job! So even if you don't cover much of the door with this stuff, it's still gonna make a world of difference for you.
I wound up covering a good eighty-percent of each door's surface and it sure makes me grin whenever I close my doors now! Instead of hearing the twang of steel, I hear a good solid-sounding thump. And, by the way -- I even hear a big difference when I open my doors! Hallelujah!
Caution: If you do this, be extra sure all the outer edges -- the tops, bottoms and sides of the strips you apply -- are sealed firmly against the doorskin. That is to say, make sure you don't allow any air-pockets where water can get in, which would later create a rust spot in your door.
Running all the strips vertically, and starting the tops of your strips as high up under the window sill as possible, is a good idea -- any water that drips in from the window sill will travel vertically and be less likely to get under the product.
I've been told that this stuff becomes nice and pliable on a hot Summer day ... so once the warm weather hits, I'm gonna let the sun beat on my doors for a few hours and then get in there with my work gloves on and re-press everything securely one more time. That will probably seal everything up for sure.
P.S. -- News from the manufacturer: This stuff will hold permanently and will not "run" or slide from excessive heat ... unless it gets over 300 degrees farenheit.
They say, on hot days there will be some gasses emitting from this stuff ... perhaps not too healthy to be breathing ... but after a very hot Summer and me driving around with the windows closed and my AC on all the time, I never smelled anything at all.