FREE-FLOWING EXHAUSTS AND SOLID ENGINE MOUNTS IMPROVE PREFORMANCE, BUT CAN CAUSE A LOT OF UNWANTED NOISE AND VIBRATION. STEP FORWARD DYNAMAT – THE MOST EFFICIENT NOISE KILLER ON THE MARKET
Project Type R gets a new undercoat of Dynamat Xtreme to kill unwanted noise, Project Z gets some sexy new rolling stock and Project 5 gets its loom on and a spot of flocking, but there’s trouble brewing ahead!
Regular readers of this magazine will be well aware of the performance benefits of a wide range of tuning parts, however, like most things in life, there are always compromises to be made. What gives with one hand often takes away with the other. We found this out first hand with Project Type R. In our quest for increased performance we have more than doubled the stock power output of the K20 engine and uprated the suspension with polyurethane bushes and stiffer coilover suspension. And while this has made the car much faster and more fun to drive, it has come at a cost: noise.
With 400bhp screaming through the exhaust and the uprated engine mounts trying to contain the raging motor under the bonnet, it’s no surprise that the EP3’S innards can become borderline deafening when the pedal hits the metal. And for some, this is a fair trade-off. For example, anyone building a pure racecar is more than likely to sacrifice pretty much all creature comforts in the pursuit of pure speed, even going to the extreme of removing all extraneous weight such as carpets, sound deadening, dashes and door cards. But then there are the others who, like us, want it all. They want a stupidly fast car that handles like a gokart, yet they also want to be able to listen to their tunes and hold a conversation with their passengers without the aid of a Rally-spec intercom.
So what can you do if you’ve inadvertantly pumped up the volume on your ride and want to
lower the tone a touch? Well, reducing performance is not an option, no matter what the resulting ear-bashing, so there must be another way. Enter Dynamat Xtreme.
Some of you out there may have heard of Dynamat before, as it has been around, mainly in high-end car audio circles, for over 20-years. Used most commonly as a way for audio installers to stop car panels from rattling and providing a solid, resonance free surface for mounting high quality speakers and subwoofers, it is a seriously effective solution. Not only do the treated panels lose their tinny, rattly quality, but the speakers themselves are free from distortion-causing resonances meaning more precise and controlled output and weightier bass. But in-car audio isn’t the only reason you may want to fit the self adhesive aluminium-backed sheets to your car, as they also do an excellent job of reducing the associated noise and vibrations that often accompany performance tuning.
We got two packs of Dynamat Xtreme, which is the thickest and most effective option, as we wanted to maximise the effectiveness and reduce the exhaust drone as much as possible. A lightweight
option called Dynamat Superlite is also available for those conscious of adding too much extra weight. Two packs equate to 72sq ft of coverage and was enough to cover the Civic from the front footwells all the way back to the boot, with both inner and outer skins of the doors and rear quarters covered, too.
To help us gut the Civic and install the Dynamat, we roped in the skills of experienced Honda tuner, Phil Crafford from Dream Automotive.
The process begins after you have stripped the interior by cleaning, vacuuming and degreasing the panels where you want to apply the matting. You should also remove any OEM sound-deadening first, but luckily the EP3 only features a small square under eachfront seat, so the reat was plain sailing. We used brake cleaner to ensure the surface was clean and would make sure the matting stayed stuck.
We started on the front doors, as they are closest to your ears and also benefit from a more solid sound when opening and closing the doors, as well as offering the perfect base for your car’s main audio speakers. In fact, it was amazing just how much better the puny OEM speakers sounded after installation, we can’t wait to try some upgraded ones in there in the future!
After the doors we moved onto the boot area and worked our way forwards. The boot and rear wheel arches are particular areas where sound transfers into the cabin so are areas of maximum benefit to be covered with Dynamat.
We completed the whole process, including refitting all the interior, in just one day and the result is definitely worth the effort. Not only does the Civic sound quieter, making long journeys and listening to audio more pleasant, but it has also reduced vibrations from the uprated mounts and dampened the sound of imperfections in the road, meaning the car feels more solid all round.
The weirdest thing is, even though we have technically added a few extra kilos in weight, the fact that the exhaust and engine now sound quieter means the car actually feels faster, as you are going the same speed but withless noise, so it feels like the car isn’t working as hard to produce the speed. We know that’s simply a placebo effect, but it’s a bonus, nonetheless –
DYNAMAT SHEETS CAN BE EASILY CUT TO SHAPE WITH A BLADE OR SCISSORS
AFTER CLEANING AND DEGREASING THE DOORS INSIDE AND OUT THE DYNAMAT WAS APPLIED WITH A RUBBER ROLLER ENSURING MAXIMUM ADHESION
THE CIVIC’S BOOT IS A BIG CULPRIT FOR TRANSMITTING EXHAUST DRONE INTO THE CAR. AFTER PREPPING THE SURFACE WE COVER THE WHOLE AREA IN DYNAMAT
WE CARRIED THE PROCESS ON TO THE WHEEL ARCHES, QUARTER PANELS, SEAT AREAS AND FOOTWELLS. THE ONLY OEM DEADENING IS UNDER THE FRONT SEATS