Lesson 1. Sound deadening the outer shell of the doors.
For this install, I’ll be doing this properly from the start. It’s always harder to go back and try to fix things later but sometimes it’s necessary because you’re keen to get the stereo in and to be listening to it.
So, the first thing (after the planning) is to put the sound deadening in the doors. There is a very good reason for this. Since the door is metal and fairly thin, the sound waves bounce around and can cancel out some frequencies. It also means that the sound will be a bit hollow. With the sound deadening, it absorbs the extra sound and makes the door itself almost like a subwoofer enclosure. This means that the bass and mid-range will be more punchy and responsive and the overall sound will be better. Even with the crappy stock speakers, this will make it sound a bit better, but with new speakers – awesome.
Anyway, there are 5 surfaces to a door. Working from the outside of the car in, the first surface it the exterior of the door. This is the shiny bit that the world sees. Since we don’t want to stick stuff on the outside of the car, I won’t be talking about this part of the door during this tutorial.
The next surface is the outer shell it’s the other side of the above surface that the world never sees. So, if we need to stick something, here’s the place to do it. This surface is essentially a large thin plate of metal that is really good at letting most sound through and reflecting some sound back where we don’t want it. It’s also the surface I’ll be covering in this tutorial (no pun intended).
The next surface in the inner shell which is the next metal surface and the metal part closest to the car. The space inbetween the inner and outer shell is usually filled with a window, wiring, metal rods (for opening and locking the door), dirt and the coil side of the speaker. This surface has huge gaps (called service holes) that we will cover in a future tutorial.
Next comes the door trim. The door trim is the plastic piece that sits on the car interior side of the door. It has a few jobs like hiding the bare metal doors, protecting the wiring in the door and providing a place to put things like handles, speaker grills, window controls, etc. The door side of the trim are the outer trim and inner trim. The inner trim is the one that you see, the outer trim presses against the inner shell of the door. I’ll be using the above terms throughout this tutorial, so I wanted to make sure it’s clear which parts I’m talking about.
So, the first part of doing this is preparation. Obviously, it’s best to do this under cover, a garage is good, and make sure you have plenty of light and room. You’ll need to be able to have the door fully open. Also, you will need a bunch of tools. Here is a list of some of the tools you’ll need.
– Phillips Head Screwdriver
– Stanley Knife
– Sharpie (permanent marker)
– Slotted Screwdriver
– Some old towels are handy to have
– Tar and Grease Remover (I used De-solve it for the first time and seemed to work well)
– A few rags
– Crappy Old Clothes to wear
Alright, now I’m doing this to a fairly new car that belongs to a friend of mine, so I want it to look either the same as it was when I got it, or better. You don’t want to have wires and gaff tape everywhere – go to Strathfield Car Radio if you want that It’s a good idea to have a camera handy because it helps to know how everything should look once you’ve put it back together.
Having said that, here’s a picture of what I started with and how it should look at the end.
The next thing you want is the fruit of your research – ie Battle Plans. Now that you’ve got all the instructions on how to remove the door trim, make sure they’re handy so you can refer to them.
Next, because I want to protect my knees and the car interior, I’ve grabbed a couple of towels. I’ve put one on the seat so it doesn’t get dirty, another which I can fold up and kneel on and a third to have in case (the third will come in handy a little later on). Also, I have put the immediate tools I’ll need on the drivers side floor so I can just grab them. Unless you have a small child handy to use as a gopher, it’s easiest to have them within reach.
Okay, so now I’m ready to actually start doing things. Since I’ve rambled on a lot already, I’ll start a new post to get down to business.