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Unread 03-30-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
GoldenP51
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
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Quiet Carpeted Hard Top

So this might seem like a very unJeep thing to do, but I needed my hard top to be quieter than it was. It was already better than the soft top, but I still had problems hearing phone calls and getting loud echos and seeing as as I already have damaged hearing from too many loud concerts (wear ear plugs!) I thought I'd give it a shot.

This mod turned out a lot better than I thought it would and has been on for about a year now and was well worth it, every passenger I have had in my Jeep since then has said it is quieter now than when it was just the standard Hard Top.


Materials Needed:

1 Gallon Second Skin Spectrum Acoustic Sound Deadening (This is a liquid, you could potentially use another brand or not use liquid at all and instead use the dampener pads but I wanted to do liquid...plus I really like Second Skin as a company, great product and service so that is my plug for them, you will also have some left over so you can do more coats than I did or do your door panels or something else)

Spectrum Link

2 Cans Self Etching Primer (you can get it at NAPA or Sherwin Williams...this stuff was hard for me to find locally, I eventually did get it at NAPA)

To sum up supplies needed.

Supplies I had to buy:
Second Skin Spectrum (1) Gallon- $54.98
Self etching primer (2) cans- $24
3M Hi-Strength Spray Adhesive 90 (1) 24 oz Can- $20
Outdoor Carpet (Home Depot) I got about 6 feet cut- $15
Total= about $120

Supplies I had laying around (you can calculate cost):
Lots of old newspaper
Blue Painter's Tape
Paint Roller and Pan
Utility Knife and Razor Blades
Blanket
Duct Tape
Xylene

Total Time to do Install: about 7-8 hours with lots of waiting between.

Instructions:

Get a friend or 2 to help you take off the top and flip it over. The way I did it is have a friend on one side, me on another and then another friend on the end/underneath. We took the top off, slowly and carefully turned it over while the third man made sure we didn't drop it. Make sure to put some Duct Tape across the rear opening window because when you flip the top the window will open. We used the duct tape to hold it in place, you will also need the duct tape to stay there when the top is laying down or the window will stay open.

Next, tape everything off that you don't want to get Spectrum on. I decided to just do the main rectangular area of the top along the ridges as this was easiest. If you look at your top there are ridges that outline a nice rectangle on the top, this will provide a very nice guide for cutting the excess carpet once that is installed.


After everything is taped, clean the surface with some Xylene make sure you are well ventilated, this stuff is potent and can be dangerous if not properly ventilated and is highly flammable. You can also use another cleaner, but just make sure you get all the grease and stains off the top.

Once done cleaning the top, now you can spray your self-etching primer on. I did a couple of coats until the bottles were completely used up, just follow the directions on the spray can of how long to wait between coats for drying.

Now you get to put the Spectrum on. Your goal is to get 1-3mm thickness of Spectrum on your top after several coats. For this part make sure you mix the spectrum up really well, there are directions on it, and all you basically need to do is follow them. I poured some of the spectrum into a paint roller pan and then rolled it on (much easier than painting it on with a brush). Let your first coat dry, I waited an hour between coats to make sure it was fully dry, Spectrum instructions say it takes a half hour but I found under my conditions it took about an hour. Do about 5 coats of Spectrum and you should be golden.

Once your last coat of Spectrum is dry and you like the results you can go ahead and remove all your newspaper and painters tape. Now is time to install the carpeting. For this I just cut two pieces out of my one large piece. I cut them to overfit the areas that I was carpeting.


Use your can of 3M high strength adhesive and spray about 1/4th of one of the ends of your carpeting and your hardtop and start placing it onto the hard top. It is easier not to spray the entire hard top and entire area of carpet and instead you should spray smaller areas and work your way forward as you lay the carpeting down.

Once your carpet is on all you need to do is trim the excess. Grab your utility knife and run it along the ridges of your hard top and you will get a nice clean install of the carpet/headliner.

Grab your buddies again, put your hard top on and you are ready to roll!

Finished pictures...first one is blurry was having trouble with camera.




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Unread 04-09-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
C2U5H
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So did everything work for 'ya? I really like Second Skin as well ... they represent all the good qualities I like in a company.

I'm going to do the whole interior, and undercoating as well with the Spectrum ... how'd just the top work out for 'ya? Did it make a dramatic difference? When I do mine over the summer I'll be doing the whole inside of the top with a spray gun so hopefully you saw good results with just the main section like you did.
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Unread 04-27-2009, 01:44 AM   #3
Famous337
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ive been wanting to do this for years!! nice work!
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Unread 08-18-2009, 04:41 PM   #4
EasyT
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I just did this over the weekend. It seemed to go great, but as the weather heated up to the 100 deg range over the last two days, it seems that the 3m glue softened and the carpet drooped (just a little) in places. Anyone have a similar experience? It was 3M 77, if that makes a difference.
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Unread 08-18-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
Bethlehem
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I'm surprised this thread hasn't had more responses. I'd love to try this. Sadly though, I've heard that Spectrum is going out of business. I make forklift propane deliveries to the their factory/warehouse on a daily basis, and they told me they will be closing their doors for good.
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Unread 08-20-2009, 12:57 PM   #6
thegrizz51
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A guy I work with used to do upholstery work and is helping me to build a headliner. I have had the materials for a few months now to put in an actual custom-made headliner. Basically, you can buy fabric with the foam on the back of it to cover the hard top's area for about $40. Mount that stuff to a piece of cardboard, then either adhesive it to the top, or use velcro so it can be removable. The key seems to be to use the strongest 3M spray adhesive they make (98?)...77 probably won't cut it in the heat.

We are also going to make little inserts for the vertical part of the hard top that goes up by the roll bar, directly behind the doors.

As far as Spectrum goes, I have never used their products but from the discussion here, I wish that I had. I know Duplicolor makes a spray on coating that is designed for wheel well sound dampening. It may not be as good, but it might make a reasonable substitute. I know Summit carries it.

So, Golden, what's the verdict? Is it a lot quieter? I would love it if my Jeep could be as quiet as most "modern" vehicles. It's the one thing that keeps me from wanting to drive it all the time. Well, that and the gas mileage!
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Unread 08-21-2009, 01:49 AM   #7
incredibull
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I definitely would like to know how much weight this added to the top overall. I would think that it would be a bit noticeable.
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Unread 08-21-2009, 10:12 PM   #8
Bethlehem
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For those of you who want sound dampening without spending a lot, here's a solution that I used when I was into big stereos...

Instead of buying expensive sound dampening material or fancy sprays, just buy some Liquid Nails at the hardware store instead. Get the kind that comes in a bucket and spread it all over the rattling area with a puddy knife or a piece of cardboard. Make it fairly smooth so you can lay carpet or vinyl over it. The affected area will never rattle again and you're only out about $10.00. When it dries it really stiffens.

I used to enter stereo competitions and used this method on an old '67 Impala. Nobody was the wiser but I did get some comments on the lack of rattle noise from guys with much newer cars.
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Unread 08-24-2009, 11:01 PM   #9
EasyT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by incredibull View Post
I definitely would like to know how much weight this added to the top overall. I would think that it would be a bit noticeable.
I didn't find that it added too much. My wife and I could still put the top on and off without much problem. You figure a gallon of Second Skin is in the 8 pound range. The carpet is cheap exterior stuff, maybe 2 pounds. My rough estimate is 10 pounds or less total.

This mod helped with the noise, but I still want it quieter. I just ordered some eDead 45. We'll see if that helps.
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Unread 08-26-2009, 07:13 AM   #10
samger2
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I did this mod in a similar fashion on my TJ...I didn't use the liquid skin stuff though I used some foil backed sound deadener, spray adhesive and carpet. It worked great for about 2 or 3 years...but this past year it came "un-glued" and started drooping from the celeing I assume from all the temperature changes over the years. So I'm hoping to come up with a better, more permanent way of bonding the deadener to the top.
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Unread 08-27-2009, 04:49 PM   #11
j.e.e.p.
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Installing carpet(hardtop)

I've been wanting to do this to my hardtop. But I recently noticed that on the inside of the top, there is a lip running parallel to the rear window kind of in the middle of the top, you can see this in the pictures posted. My question is... did you just glue the carpet right over that or did you do two sections, one piece of carpet on each side of the little ridge. Hope this makes sense. Help!
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Unread 08-28-2009, 11:36 PM   #12
EasyT
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I've heard of it being done both ways. I did one piece, which seemed to be fine. Just use the high strength 3m spray.
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Unread 09-10-2009, 11:41 PM   #13
111markambrose
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Another option

I'm amazed at how good some of the hardtop projects look. I'm Mark, a vendor on this forum, and I have another option for those who aren't as handy. It's my HotHead Headliners Kits. They are panels that fit perfectly in to the recessed areas of your hardtop. I originally made them to cut the radiant heat that comes down from hardtops, but I've been told by several customers that they cut outside noise by about 50%. I realize my headliners cost more that the do-it-yourself option, but I just wanted to throw it out there for anyone interested. You can see them at: hotheadheadliners.com or just go the vendors tab and click the HotHead Headliners banner.
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Unread 09-11-2009, 03:33 PM   #14
JIMBOX
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Welcome to a local insulation vendor



Quote:
Originally Posted by 111markambrose View Post
I'm amazed at how good some of the hardtop projects look. I'm Mark, a vendor on this forum, and I have another option for those who aren't as handy. It's my HotHead Headliners Kits. They are panels that fit perfectly in to the recessed areas of your hardtop. I originally made them to cut the radiant heat that comes down from hardtops, but I've been told by several customers that they cut outside noise by about 50%. I realize my headliners cost more that the do-it-yourself option, but I just wanted to throw it out there for anyone interested. You can see them at: hotheadheadliners.com or just go the vendors tab and click the HotHead Headliners banner.

I've already done mine with OffRoadHeroes kit and Thermo-acustic insulation and it has a world of difference, but if I'd known about you guys 7 months ago, I'd probably bought yours !!

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Unread 11-25-2009, 09:03 PM   #15
CB3
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2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
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I want to do a variation of this for sound insulation, and to insulate for heat retention to keep inside cab warmer in winter and to prevent top from sweating when I turn on my heat on a cold winter day. I also want it to be mold resistant.

So no carpet because that can mold. I had though of buying some thin pink or white closed cell styrofoam 1/2" to 3/4" thick from Home Depot. Like the stuff they glue to the outside of concrete foundations and concrete buildings to insulate it, but I'd want to use thinner sheets. Then glue it to the underside of the hardtop. Carpet could be put over that, but I don't want carpet.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Is there better stuff than closed cell styrofoam for what I want to do?
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