Project Mark II: That annoying rattle

Don’t you hate rattling noises in the car? Well, I do, and ever since collecting the Mark II, there’s been this rather annoying rattle coming from the back of the cabin that has just gotten ever so slightly louder with each passing day. So, as one should do, some investigations were done with plenty of frustrating times spent alone in the carpark to pinpoint the source of said annoyance.

Turns out, the culprit was the rear parcel shelf, producing a very off-putting rattle noise as it vibrated across uneven roads. Having had no luck fixing it from the outside, it was time to take the rear seats out for further prodding. Turns out the parcel shelf was slightly loose and just needed something to wedge itself tighter against the rear glass. With the magic of online shopping, a rubber strip was procured and I figured since I had the rear seats out, I might as well add some foam insulation to reduce interior noise.

While the results weren’t pretty nor particularly of much noticeable effect, I pondered that since I have learned to take apart the rear seats, could I do the same to the doors? So, again, with some clicking on my mobile phone, additional supplies were ordered and once they arrived, I began taking more things apart. Starting with the front doors, which while initially daunting, was surprisingly quite easy with the right tools.

After doing the front doors, and again, noticed only a very slight difference in insulation. I again pondered if a different soundproofing material might do better, so I stopped with the front doors and headed back for additional online shopping.

With my new soundproofing material in hand, it was time to embark on my most ambitious bit of DIY. Removing the floor carpets!

Since I was working with new material, I figured I could get some practice in by working underneath the bonnet. This one required quite a bit more patience and effort to apply than the foam (and weighs quite a bit more too), do forgive the rather amateurish work as it was my first time! It’s not pretty but once I reattached the fabric insulation cover, it was all but hidden. It did seem less “tin”-like when I rapped my knuckles on the exterior panel.

With the bonnet done, it was time to start taking apart the interior once again, since my mission was to spend more time working on the floor, I opted to keep the seatbacks in place since the rear panel is currently covered with the initial foam insulation.

With the rear cushion off, the next to go was the front seats, unfortunately, the front driver seat’s bolts were pretty seized so I decided to leave them for another day and continued work along the passenger side of the car. It was way more involving than I initially imagined, requiring not just the seats but also the door side steps, belts, and interior side panels to be removed before I could even peel back an inch of carpeting.

With neither the knowledge, know-how, nor tools to remove the central tunnel, I kept that in place as well.

Here’s where things started to go wrong as I had sadly, underestimated the required amount of soundproofing required and ran out shortly after working on the rear floor section of the car. That said, I think I did pretty good.

The sun was also about to set soon and as the car park was getting increasingly darker, it was time to put everything back together in its place and head for dinner.

The results with this new material though were much better than what I got with the earlier foam. It’s not in any way significant though, perhaps because I did not manage to cover the entire floor with soundproofing, but for what I managed to do, it did seem to have reduced road/tire noise by a slight margin. Nowhere near enough to create a cocoon of silence inside of course, but still a difference nonetheless.

In hindsight, I should have gone straight to the heavier tackier soundproofing material from the very beginning because now, I will need to replace the insulation on the doors and behind the rear seatbacks should I wish to enjoy less “noise”. Still, it was a very good learning experience and I think I’m only getting started!

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