08-17 Dispatch/expert noise reduction

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08-17 Dispatch/expert noise reduction

Post by mmwain »

I recently brought an 08 Dispatch and it was incredibly noisy. Now it sounds almost like a new one. Here's what I did, all really easy and virtually free.
1. 15 mins with a cordless drill and a pack of zip ties underneath to stop loose bits of black plastic trim flapping around - only drill where it can't be seen and trim the ends of the ties off so it's all neat.
2. Pop down to the carpet shop and they'll be more than happy to let you get some out of their skip out the back if you tell them it's for lining your van - saves them recycling costs. There is usually plenty of new offcuts in there that are too small for them to sell but still big enough for your van. Get one or two nice quality hessian backed stiff bits for the cab and load space floors. In the cab you can cut to fit and fix down with some of the push fastners that hold the loadspace trim in, carpet tacks into the ply floor in the back. Get some cheap plastic material backed flexible stuff or underlay and cut panels out to match the bits of panel in the back where the outer skin is visible, also do the back of the bulkhead. Stick them in with dobs of the cheapest silicone you can get.
3. Remove all the door trims. The doors are all made by bonding the outer skin to a frame rail across the middle and on old vans this bonding will have failed - it had on every single one of mine. The door doesn't fail as it's welded all round the outside, but it does allow the skin to vibrate and rattle a lot at speed and when the doors are shut. Squirt big dobs of silicone into the gaps between the rail and skin. Stick some of the underlay onto the inside of the outer panels where you can see it. While the trims are off check the speaker cones are not broken and replace from a scrappie if they are. There's no point being able to hear the radio at lower volume if it still sounds crap!
4. Check in the engine bay for loose bits left by previous workers and fix them down. There are also a few bits that will be loose just because the makers don't fix them in very securely. I needed 1 bolt and assorted zip ties.
5. Check for other loose fittings and kit in the cab and either restore the fixings or bodge with silicone. The overhead tray in mine was very loose and noisy, mostly fixed by squirting clear silicone into the push fittings.
6. If you have a metal bulkhead make sure all the fixings are tight and check it doesn't creak and click when driving, especially corners. I ended up drilling mine and adding quite a few big pop rivets.
7. Tip from a previous van - if you don't have a bulkhead then you can make one from carpet pop-rivetted into place with penny washers. The difference in noise levels at speed with this is MASSIVE! Or get a bulkhead from a scrappie - but still stick the underlay to the back of it - or carpet to the front before you fit it.

This is about a day's work all in, but the van is transformed from sounding like it was on it's last legs to being a pleasure to drive.