Well... It has now been 2 months since I Lined the tub. Here is a breakdown of my thoughts after this time.
Over these past 2 months I have racked up about 2500 miles, about half with the carpet in, half with it out. I took all of the carpet out one day (I really can't remember why), and I just left it out for about 1 month. Over this time it got quite a bit of testing, and I think it has exceeded all expectations.
The Tub looks great whether there is carpet on it, or if it is just Monstaliner. The orange peel look of the liner dulls the shine of the liner a bit, and I think that is a good thing. It also provides sufficient grip for things in the Jeep (although my coffe can with tow chains slid, but it is a plastic can). There is nothing rough about it, so it is very smooth to the touch, and doesn't scratch your arms at the fender wells when grabbing something.
After allowing the stuff to cure, the abuse was on. I started by dropping a shackle as mentioned above. A little later the real abuse started to come. I "accidentally" threw my tow chain (it is a beastly chain since it bent the bucket of a teramite pulling a maple tree stump that was 6' x 3' plus roots out), and that just put little white marks that came off with a little bit of spit and rubbing. We had the seat out for a while too. When I put the carpet back in the second time, I kind of threw it in out of laziness. Same little white marks.
It is amazing how easy it is to actually repair this stuff. When I put the seat back in for the first time, I didn't give the bumper nearly enough time to cure. I dropped the corner of the seat on it, and it chipped through 1 coat of Monstaliner, 4 coats of properly cured Rustoleum Hammered Paint, and 2 Coats of self etching primer. It ended up being down to bare metal, and after a couple of weeks there was some rust. I hit it with a wire wheel on the drill (did nothing to the Monstaliner, just took the rust back to bare metal), and did something Very Amazing (to me at least).
We cracked open the used can of Monstaliner and poured a little bit of M.E.K. underneath the top skin of the leftovers. Since it was still rubbery, it thinned out nicely, and 1 month old liner was once again viable. I used to mixing stick to full in the hole, and a foam brush to add some texture (it is now more like Line-X, but you can only feel the difference, not see it). I applied that in horrible conditions. The bumper was about 35 degrees, and it was about 40 outside. It even rained the same night I put it on. After 1 month, that is still a great patch that is unnoticeable.
Since I have driven with and without the carpet for a reasonable amount of time, I can comment about both.
With the carpet in, it is easily understandable that the noise has gone down quite a bit. As mentioned earlier, 55mph is comfortable at about 13 or 14 on my radio (this is the volume on the stock 2005 RBK radio, and will be used for all volume quantification). I would run have it at about 23 for 55mph before the install. I also notice a big difference in how much of the engine that I can hear. I think the driveline noise is where most of the noise reduction comes from, but that is to be expected. Without the carpet is a little different. I had a fairly good preference of 17/18 at 55mph without the carpet, but that was only for about 1 week. As the weather started to get colder, the wind noise on the windshield has gotten louder, so it I am only taking the numbers from similar weather. This is still a great reduction in noise, and I am very glad about it.
As we approached colder weather, the insulating abilities of the liner start to show. It is hard to put a number to this like the noise, but the tub retains the heat much more with and without the carpet. I used to keep the heat all the way in the red after it got warm inside. Without the carpet I have been actually gotten hot trying to do that. I now have to turn the blower all the way down, and turn the knob to a little right of center to maintain the heat. With the carpet it is a whole different story. I was actually on my way home from class once, and it was 30 degrees out. I forgot about turning the heat on once the Jeep was warm, and it was just on lowest fan setting, all the way in the red. I got about 7-10 miles down the road, and I was starting to get hot. I turn the blower off completely, and the Jeep still held the heat so well that I had to turn the red knob down some as hot air was still being forced through the vents. I think that speaks a lot in terms of warmth.
A little off topic, but I do have an update for my recalls. After scheduling the first appointment, it took all of 2 seconds for the techs to realize that I would need the cam shaft positioning sensor too, so they were able to give me my Jeep back without even having to take it apart. I come back a few weeks later (it took them forever to find the needed part), and they took care of the issue in 2 days (drop off on Sunday, got it back Tuesday around noon). Just 2 days ago the CEL decided to come on, and after checking the code, I found out that the cam shaft positioning sensor was out of alignment. When I took it to the dealership they told me if it was from the recall work it would be free, but if it was for something else it would be $98 just for plugging it in to the computer even though I told them what it was. I got a call back about 10 min after leaving saying it was ready to be picked up. The sensor was off by about 12 degrees, just like I said
. So... anyone who gets the P0016 CEL, that should be the problem.
A different note. Remember when my dad screwed up my seatbelt? It really was toast, but thanks to a great forum member, I was on my way within a few days. Thanks Dendrophobe for helping me out there.
Well... I have another update:
With the outages these past few days, the Jeep has racked up about 600 miles since Tuesday. Yesterday my uncle got power back and offered us his son-in-laws generator. We took the rear seat and carpet out and grabbed it last night. We had the 5250 watt generator and a 4 gallon gas can in it. The generator has some spilled gas, and so did the can. No issues with the gas on the liner, and it was great. The generator weighs a TON.... we had 6.5 gallons of gas in the generator, and it weighs about 400lbs-500lbs wet. We slid it in place once we got it in, and not a single scratch. We made a couple of sharp turns and stops (95% of the people really don't belong on the road in a state of emergency), and it stayed planted.
We got it home, and I cleaned the back of the Jeep a little. I sprayed some simple green to wet the mud, and paper towels wiped it right up. The gas created no issues, and we had 0 problems. We even had to run it back and forth a couple of times today to get it running (turns out the gas was full of dirt, and there was no oil).