sound deadening – noise reduction on a VW split screen roof

Tin drum noise reduction

Spurred on and encouraged by the results of the sound damping over the engine bay and sides/doors of the bus, next stop the roof! Without doubt, the metal roof of a vintage VW tin top bus is the largest expanse of un-supported metal sheet. As such, it makes an excellent tin drum when it rains! Then there is the general vibration, engine and road noise that gets amplified through it as well! All in all, it makes a great noise distributor, so it’s number one priority to add some much-needed sound deadening to as well!

Sound and clean

Fortunately, like the original side panels of the bus, the roof was also in a pretty clean condition. Although there were some small areas of adhesive (?) that needed scrapping off first before giving the whole area a good wipe down and clean with some panel wipe…

prepping the roof, scrapping off any old adhesive before cleaning with panel wipe
prepping the roof, scrapping off any old adhesive before cleaning with panel wipe

Some how I was lucky enough to have persuaded my wonderful wife Lorna to give me a hand with fitting the sound damping which was a massive help! 🙂 Working one section at a time, we managed to get the sound deadening panels glued in place over the underside of the roof – arm aching stuff!

Sound coverage

Once the underside of the metal roof area had been cleaned and wiped over with panel wipe, it was time to get busy cutting and fixing the sound deadening sheets to the roof. I was again aiming for a very approximate 50% area coverage! Well, when I say 50%, me being me I suspect it might end up being quite a generous 50%+ 😉

lining the metal roof with sound deadening panels

lining the metal roof with sound deadening panelsReally impressed with the adhesion of the sheets, these things really do stick! Again, the top tip is to lay the sheets out in the sun for a bit before using them. Doing the work on a hot sunny day is ideal. The sun heats the metal roof up nicely and helps make the sound deadening sheets more flexible, supple and easier to work with and cut. Once the sheets are positioned, make sure to work them over with a hardwood seam roller to ensure they are firmly in place and any air pockets are squeezed out as much as possible!

Hear the difference

So after all the hard work on the sound damping of the roof, does it really make a difference to the tin can sound? Well, you can be the judge of that…

We were really pleased with the result, and as if on queue, it just so happened that it started to rain when we were halfway through fitting the sound deadening sheets. Even at this incomplete stage, you could notice the difference, no more audible pitter patter of the rain hitting the roof! Lorna was impressed, I was happy! 🙂

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