Hushmat Installation By Rick Webster
Project Buckshot, our 1975 Ford Bronco that is undergoing a
complete frame-off restoration / transformation, is coming along nicely. The
folks at Midlife Classics have completed the body work and applied paint to the
body. They also coated the interior, fender wells and underbelly with POR-15
(an incredibly tough, rust stopping paint material). With reassembly of the rig
right around the corner, we needed to make a tough decision for the interior
finish. Do we use spray-in bed liner, or go with carpet?
Buckshot will be a daily driver for the owner, seeing a lot of highway miles and traffic time on surface streets, in addition to time on the trail. Since the owner wants a relatively comfortable ride to be able to drive it across country to his favorite wheelin’ spots, we decided to up the comfort levels and go with carpet. Instead of installing carpet directly onto the painted metal body, we decided to install a heat / sound dampening mat first – this way the owner could hear Boy George and Backstreet Boys piped through the speakers more clearly. Project Buckshot will also have its original engine transplanted with a 400+ horsepower monster mill and an automatic transmission that will surely create more heat than the stock 302 that came out of it.
We needed material that would not only deaden sound, but also reduce heat in the interior too, since it will be wheeled in New Mexico, Arizona and other scorching climates. After looking at several manufacturers of sound deadening / heat reducing mat material, we landed on Hushmat for a variety of reasons. Hushmat outperforms other competitors in a few key areas such as; ease of installation, better heat reduction, no special surface prep needed, it passed the stringent approval process for several OEM manufacturers, and it’s made in the USA. Here are a few other key features of Hushmat:
Eliminates road noise and vibration.
Reduces heat up to 40%.
Automotive OEM specified and approved!
HushMat Ultra requires no pre-cleaning of the application surface.
No more acetone or alcohol surface preparation.
HushMat Ultra requires no heat guns or messy glue to apply.
One-Step application with HushMat Ultra—simply Peel and Stick!
Apply to door skin, door frame and door trim panel.
Apply to trunk floor and trunk lid.
Apply to floor from firewall to rear deck.
Apply to Inside of roof skin (yes, you can install it upside down and its guaranteed to stick).
Proven to perform from -30° F to 400° F.
Time to install: 5 hours
Tools Needed: Scissors and/or razor blade knife (a roller wheel is optional and nice to have, but not needed)
Difficulty: ½ wrench
We began our installation by wiping out the interior of the Bronco. A layer of dust had accumulated from the color sanding that was done. However, Hushmat states that no cleaning or preparation of the area is needed. In fact, it can be installed (and continue to stick to) metal that is covered in oil and grease. Nonetheless, we cleaned the interior with a bit of water and a rag then let dry.
Installation of Hushmat couldn’t be easier. Simply peel the non-stick paper off of the back and press into place. We started at the rear of the truck where things are relatively flat and square, and worked our way forward. We found it easiest to peel back just a portion of the non-stick paper and apply it like a sticker transfer sticker.
As we worked towards the cab of the Bronco, we installed the Hushmat by cutting pieces with a pair of regular scissors (it cuts very easily) to for the shapes of the transmission tunnel more easily. When we covered a bolt hole in the Bronco that needed to remain, we simply pushed a Phillips screwdriver through it, or cut it out with a razor blade knife.
We continued to cover the rest of the interior, including areas such as the fender well humps and the vertical portions of the fender too.
Obviously, Buckshot isn’t in a drivable condition yet, but we noticed an immediate difference after installation, just by knocking on the body of the truck. What used to be a resonating clang sound is now replaced with a soft, muffled, quiet thud sound.
Installation of Hushmat was incredibly easy – far easier than we anticipated it to be. It’s sticky enough to hold it firmly in place (even upside down on a headliner), but not so sticky that you can’t peel it off if you start to install it and decide to change position. It’s very flexible and will tuck nicely into corners and mold around curves just as easily too. It’s also very easy to cut even with cheap scissors or a razor blade knife and it will not leave a nasty residue on your tools or your vehicle.
We found that when pushing it into very tight corners, the aluminum-like skin would tear slightly. We would prefer a slightly thicker, more durable aluminum skin on Hushmat, but we know that it will not affect performance in any way.
Overall, the Hushmat sound deadening, heat reflection system seems to work incredibly well and installation was so easy a caveman could do it. It does a great job of deadening sound vibrations, and we will follow up on this article after Buckshot is on the road and we can report on how well it reduces road and engine noise.
15032 W. 117th Street
Olathe, Kansas 66062
Phone (913) 599-2600
Fax (913) 599-2607