Mot's 2005 "X" Rocky Mountain Edition OEM+ Build

OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
May 10, 2018
Installed the Body Armor TJ-4121 side guards
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NP1PPG/?tag=wranglerorg-20

Since I had removed the Quadratec nerf bars that came with my Jeep, I needed something to replace them...especially since I had lifted the Jeep. I didn't care for the tubular nerf bar look and how they hung down with the big gap. The nerf bars also have that plastic inlay for the steps that eventually dries out and cracks. So I wanted to get something 100% metal, a bit more solid, and it had to be flush. I also wanted something in black to match the wheels, top, bumpers, mirrors etc.

So, I found the Body Armor TJ-4121 Side Guards, and after consulting with some forum members such as @JeepZilla380 @glwood and @Chris, I decided these were the ones for me. Thanks again guys! Since my TJ is just a modest street Jeep that may see a few dirt roads from time to time (no rock crawling or hard core wheeling), these were a great choice for me. They use the 3 stock body to frame mounts and thus didn't require any drilling into the tub. They are flush from wheel well to wheel well, are very sturdy, and look great! I am very impressed by the build quality and textured powder coat finish. And, most importantly, folks are no longer complaining when getting in and out of the TJ!

I also threw on these entry guards\sill protectors to cover up some existing scratches and to add some protection there while I was at it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XJ3XX28/?tag=wranglerorg-20


Guards1.png


Guards2.png
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
35,362
Salem, Oregon
May 10, 2018
Installed the Body Armor TJ-4121 side guards
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NP1PPG/?tag=wranglerorg-20

Since I had removed the Quadratec nerf bars that came with my Jeep, I needed something to replace them...especially since I had lifted the Jeep. I didn't care for the tubular nerf bar look and how they hung down with the big gap. The nerf bars also have that plastic inlay for the steps that eventually dries out and cracks. So I wanted to get something 100% metal, a bit more solid, and it had to be flush. I also wanted something in black to match the wheels, top, bumpers, mirrors etc.

So, I found the Body Armor TJ-4121 Side Guards, and after consulting with some forum members such as @JeepZilla380 @glwood and @Chris, I decided these were the ones for me. Thanks again guys! Since my TJ is just a modest street Jeep that may see a few dirt roads from time to time (no rock crawling or hard core wheeling), these were a great choice for me. They use the 3 stock body to frame mounts and thus didn't require any drilling into the tub. They are flush from wheel well to wheel well, are very sturdy, and look great! I am very impressed by the build quality and textured powder coat finish. And, most importantly, folks are no longer complaining when getting in and out of the TJ!

I also threw on these entry guards\sill protectors to cover up some existing scratches and to add some protection there while I was at it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XJ3XX28/?tag=wranglerorg-20


View attachment 51864

View attachment 51865
Looks good. I'm really happy with those ideas guards. How much body lift are you running with them?

It looks like those Rugged Ridge door sill trim pieces fit nicely too. I have been meaning to pick up a set.
 

JeepZilla380

TJ Addict
Ride of the Month Winner
May 30, 2017
1,032
Atlanta, GA
May 10, 2018
Installed the Body Armor TJ-4121 side guards
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NP1PPG/?tag=wranglerorg-20

Since I had removed the Quadratec nerf bars that came with my Jeep, I needed something to replace them...especially since I had lifted the Jeep. I didn't care for the tubular nerf bar look and how they hung down with the big gap. The nerf bars also have that plastic inlay for the steps that eventually dries out and cracks. So I wanted to get something 100% metal, a bit more solid, and it had to be flush. I also wanted something in black to match the wheels, top, bumpers, mirrors etc.

So, I found the Body Armor TJ-4121 Side Guards, and after consulting with some forum members such as @JeepZilla380 @glwood and @Chris, I decided these were the ones for me. Thanks again guys! Since my TJ is just a modest street Jeep that may see a few dirt roads from time to time (no rock crawling or hard core wheeling), these were a great choice for me. They use the 3 stock body to frame mounts and thus didn't require any drilling into the tub. They are flush from wheel well to wheel well, are very sturdy, and look great! I am very impressed by the build quality and textured powder coat finish. And, most importantly, folks are no longer complaining when getting in and out of the TJ!

I also threw on these entry guards\sill protectors to cover up some existing scratches and to add some protection there while I was at it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XJ3XX28/?tag=wranglerorg-20


View attachment 51864

View attachment 51865
Mots those look great, much nicer finished look!
 
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Looks good. I'm really happy with those ideas guards. How much body lift are you running with them?

It looks like those Rugged Ridge door sill trim pieces fit nicely too. I have been meaning to pick up a set.
Thanks! No body lift, just tne 2" BDS lift. The sill guards are nice and of good quality. Only negative, the doors need a bit more force to close as they are snug, but not enough to really bug me.

Mots those look great, much nicer finished look!
Thank you sir!
 
Reactions: Chris
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
I grabbed a side-by-side screen capture of how my TJ looked when I bought it versus how it looks currently.

Before and after.png


P.S. I am very likely going to be selling the Ravine wheels (5) locally (Toledo area). They are in very good condition. I have them plasti-dipped in black so I could preserve them while I ran them for a month or two until I installed my new wheels.
 

tomtaylz

LJR Addict
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 18, 2018
1,781
San Francisco, CA, USA
I grabbed a side-by-side screen capture of how my TJ looked when I bought it versus how it looks currently.

View attachment 52903

P.S. I am very likely going to be selling the Ravine wheels (5) locally (Toledo area). They are in very good condition. I have them plasti-dipped in black so I could preserve them while I ran them for a month or two until I installed my new wheels.
Wow thats a dramatic difference, TJ/LJs just need that bit of a lift to look "correct" in my opinion.
 

JeepZilla380

TJ Addict
Ride of the Month Winner
May 30, 2017
1,032
Atlanta, GA
I grabbed a side-by-side screen capture of how my TJ looked when I bought it versus how it looks currently.

View attachment 52903

P.S. I am very likely going to be selling the Ravine wheels (5) locally (Toledo area). They are in very good condition. I have them plasti-dipped in black so I could preserve them while I ran them for a month or two until I installed my new wheels.
Love raised white letters out on BFG tires. Kinda sad that they won’t be offering the KM3 with raised white letters. Great changes Mots!
 
Reactions: mots
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Wow thats a dramatic difference, TJ/LJs just need that bit of a lift to look "correct" in my opinion.
Love raised white letters out on BFG tires. Kinda sad that they won’t be offering the KM3 with raised white letters. Great changes Mots!
Thanks guys! It really is amazing what a few, seemingly minor, changes will do. The TJ/LJ offers such a handsome slate to work with, probably the main reason I was so attracted to them.
 
Reactions: JeepZilla380
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
OPDA? Get out of my way!
I jumped in my TJ (that had been running great) to head to work a couple weeks ago. I started it, allowed it to warm briefly (not all the way up to operating temp) and started out down the residential road from my driveway. Tried to get cruising speed up to 25 MPH and limp mode kicked in (fuel cut or whatever). I tried to motor up to 25 MPH again, but I couldn't rev above ~2000 RPM or so without it shutting me down. Turned around, limped it home, parked it, took other car to work. Grrr...

I came home that night and used my generic handheld scanner to pull codes. There was only one code logged twice:
P0344 - Camshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit Intermittent

I cleared the code and the same code would come back just idling with the CEL, I believe as soon as the coolant was up close to operating temp. Intermittent, circuit...maybe just a bad connection due to corroded connector or perhaps a bad camshaft sensor. Some had also reported that the dipstick bracket had a sharp edge that cut into the engine harness wire bundle leading to the camshaft sensor. That didn't seem to apply to me and my connector was not corroded in the slightest.

But, with a TJ from 2005-2006, you can't help but come across all the OPDA threads and videos when researching code P0344. I had already did a good amount of research on OPDA issues on the 2005-2006 TJ's when I bought my '05 TJ, so I had already planned to replace my OPDA with the Crown Automotive unit with the "supposed" proper design to allow oil to feed up the shaft to the bearings properly. Since I had a 2005 and there could potentially be relationship with the OPDA here, this sounded like a great time to replace it with the Crown unit and see what was going on with my 2005 as far as OPDA gear/camshaft gear wear was concerned etc. This forum has a thread on OPDA here:
https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/what-is-the-opda-and-do-i-need-to-change-mine.80/

So, I ordered a new Crown OPDA unit directly from Crown and a new Mopar camshaft sensor directly from Mopar, just to be sure I got the right shit, LOL. There are many OPDA replacement articles and videos. Some are pretty damn good and have a lot of info, but I didn't find any of them to be 100% complete including all the info I needed for my particular situation and what I needed to do. However, after reading and watching pretty much ALL of them, I figured what I needed to do as I moved forward.

Here was my situation and what I have learned as I have moved through the situation (corrections welcome).
  1. My 2005 was built AFTER the recall date range for TJ's and LJ's. Many like me with late '05's and '06's would like to think our rigs are immune to this problem, but it does seem many folks have had issues outside the recall dates...enough so, that it would be silly for me not to spend the $100 to throw in a new Crown unit. Especially since I popped the P0344 code for the first time since owning the Jeep after about 3500 miles.
    • Opinion: I honestly think the recall was more about the OPDA gear alloy composition. It is supposed to be softer than the camshaft , so it takes the wear instead of the camshaft gear. They likely fixed the gear composition so it wouldn't destroy the camshaft if/when the OPDA failed (due to oil starvation and seizure, shaft play, etc.) AND more importantly because the "hard" OPDA gears actually were failing in a spectacular way causing the oil pump to no longer be driven. When this happens, and the motor is starved of oil, the motor is likely to be destroyed in short order if not immediately shut down. However, it is pretty obvious that the recall did not fix the OPDA "shaft bearing oiling problem" that the Crown unit addresses (and the many creative DIY setups I have seen). In that, due to it's importance in driving the oil pump and it's gear-on-gear relationship with the camshaft, all 05-06 TJ's should consider this a general maintenance item and something to check and potentially swap out periodically. As long as your camshaft doesn't show wear and replacing the OPDA and/or OEM camshaft sensor eliminates the codes for good, then all should be fine.
  2. I was not experiencing the "laughing barrel of monkeys" or any other known noises coming from the OPDA area. I have some good past maintenance records for my TJ, so I looked them over. I didn't find there was ever anything OPDA or camshaft sensor related done, at least on record.
  3. The OPDA unit on my TJ looked original to me, but did not have the LDI, Inc. sticker on it. So, I am not 100% sure if it had been replaced before or not. I guess the sticker could have fallen off, or perhaps someone did do a swap at some point. The OPDA I pulled looks like the stock unit, but so does the Dorman I suppose. Need to do a bit more research on this. My new Crown looks different as shown in the pics, especially the inside indexing wheel that spins with the shaft. It is a darker alloy color as shown in the pics.
  4. Don't forget to use a new OPDA gasket when reinstalling onto the block, or you might get oil leaks. Some OPDA articles don't mention replacing it or making sure you check to be sure the old one didn't leave a rough mating surface behind. My old gasket came off on the OPDA unit and was unusable. The new Crown unit came with a new gasket.
  5. You should never use crank position sensors that come with aftermarket units, even the Crown unit, because these aftermarket sensors are widely reported and known to throw the P0344 codes shortly after installing them.
    • I thought this could be my problem all-together at first, but I didn't find an aftermarket camshaft sensor installed on my TJ.
  6. When replacing with a new OPDA unit, only use the method where the engine is brought to TDC (Top Dead Center) and the OPDA units have "pins" to keep the index wheel from spinning during the installation.
    • Important: before loosening and removing the old ODPA, take a pic and note how the OPDA housing is oriented. Look at the position of the camshaft sensor and where it points, the location of the indexing pin and where it is located, the top-down angle of the two T-25 Torx screws as they are accessed and their orientation with the valve cover.
    • When removing the OPDA use 1/2" wrench (not a 13mm) for the retainer plate bolt (plate that holds OPDA to the block). Many find this bolt hard but I had an easy time with this bolt with a regular 1/2 wrench of about 5-6" long after removing the air intake box and rotating the intake tube a bit. You can also loosen a loop connector on the alternator and rotate the wire down so it gives more clearance.
    • It was easy to use a foot long 3/4" closed wrench to turn the crank laying under the Jeep. I didn't even remove the spark plugs and the foot long wrench gave me enough torque to turn the motor rather easily. Position the radiator fan blades and be careful to keep the wrench steady so you don't slip and slice your hands up. Luckily I didn't do so, but can see how it would be very easy to do.
    • With the vehicle in neutral, only turn the motor clockwise and have a friend help to watch the holes align in the OPDA index wheel and OPDA housing as the camshaft turns. I had my son use a long thin allen wrench and stick it into the hole as he instructed me to slow down with my turning of the motor as the holes aligned.
    • When replacing the OPDA, don't forget the gasket between the OPDA and the engine block. There, I said it again! That thing is small and the new one can fall off the new OPDA easily and get lost. I made sure it wasn't me with an oil leak!
    • When re-installing the OPDA, be sure to slide and rotate the OPDA in just like it came out. Once it is flush mounted with the port in the block, consult your pre-installation pic for orientation and make sue it is very close to where the housing was before at TDC.
    • If the orientation of the OPDA housing is not right at TDC, within a 6 degrees window from what I have read, then you will get the P0016 code "Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1 Sensor A)". This means that the crank sensor and camshaft position sensors are not in agreement with the position of the engine.
    • If the P0016 code only raises it's head about AFTER a new OPDA install, then it likely just means that the OPDA housing needs to be rotated a bit to be back in the proper orientation. When I first started mine up, the P0016 came right away after the engine reached operating temp while idling in garage in neutral. I had to loosen he retainer clip a bit so I could spin the OPDA housing. I spun the OPDA about 5 degrees or so until it was as close to the original orientation that I could recall. I locked down the retainer bolt again to secure the new orientation. After testing this next time, the P0016 code went away and I could drive my TJ for several miles without any codes.
    • From what I understand, and what some have reported, if you have the official Jeep/Chrysler scan tool there is a way to either recalibrate for the newly installed OPDA orientation (since the engine is no doubt at TDC) and/or a way to read the current position of the housing and allow the tech to adjust to 0 degrees.
OPDA New Crown Automotive unit vs. Old - the old one definitely had a tiny bit more up and down shaft play (about 3-4 times the amount, enough to be noticeable). This would allow the OPDA gear to potentially move back and forth (in and out) on the camshaft gear more than it should. If out of spec, this could explain the slight wear we see on the OPDA gear, but this is just my speculation.
Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 11.32.33 AM.png

Old vs New Crown Automotive OPDA
Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 12.05.25 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 12.05.11 PM.png

Old OPDA Gear - some wear, but not horrible. I didn't get a good pic of the camshaft, but it looked OK to me from what I could see. The shaft spins just fine, same as the new unit.
Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 11.44.12 AM.png

New Crown Automotive OPDA Gear
Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 12.56.16 PM.png
 
Last edited:

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
35,362
Salem, Oregon
Wow, that's a thorough write-up / observation of the OPDA. You should post that info in the OPDA thread as well, as I'll bet this would be helpful to others.

I agree with everything you said though, particularly this part:

"I honestly think the recall was more about the OPDA gear alloy composition. It is supposed to be softer than the camshaft , so it takes the wear instead of the camshaft gear. They likely fixed the gear composition so it wouldn't destroy the camshaft if/when the OPDA failed (due to OPDA shaft play, seizure etc.) AND more importantly because the "hard" OPDA gears actually were failing in a spectacular way causing the oil pump not to be driven by the camshaft. When this happens, and the oil is starved of oil, the motor is likely to be destroyed. However, it is pretty obvious that the recall did not fix the OPDA "shaft bearing oiling problem" that the Crown unit addresses (and the many creative DIY setups I have seen). In that, due to it's importance in driving the oil pump and gear-on-gear relationship with the camshaft, all 05-06 TJ's should consider this a general maintenance item and something to check and potentially swap out periodically. As long as your camshaft doesn't show wear"
 
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Wow, that's a thorough write-up / observation of the OPDA. You should post that info in the OPDA thread as well, as I'll bet this would be helpful to others.

I agree with everything you said though, particularly this part:

"I honestly think the recall was more about the OPDA gear alloy composition. It is supposed to be softer than the camshaft , so it takes the wear instead of the camshaft gear. They likely fixed the gear composition so it wouldn't destroy the camshaft if/when the OPDA failed (due to OPDA shaft play, seizure etc.) AND more importantly because the "hard" OPDA gears actually were failing in a spectacular way causing the oil pump not to be driven by the camshaft. When this happens, and the oil is starved of oil, the motor is likely to be destroyed. However, it is pretty obvious that the recall did not fix the OPDA "shaft bearing oiling problem" that the Crown unit addresses (and the many creative DIY setups I have seen). In that, due to it's importance in driving the oil pump and gear-on-gear relationship with the camshaft, all 05-06 TJ's should consider this a general maintenance item and something to check and potentially swap out periodically. As long as your camshaft doesn't show wear"
Thank you sir! I just added a couple more pics and fixed some text. Hope the info will be useful for others.
 
Reactions: KCsTJ

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
35,362
Salem, Oregon
Thank you sir! I just added a couple more pics and fixed some text. Hope the info will be useful for others.
Thanks! I think that should be helpful for the others. It's a pretty easy job if you take your time and do it carefully. I think it's one of those issues that's overhyped to begin with, but it's always good to be proactive about maintenance anyways!
 
Reactions: mots
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Time to start documenting some recent mods before I forget. Coming up...

Black headlight bezels (done)
LED interior lights - dome and footwells (done)
Sound Deadening project (done)
Shift boot (outer) leather replacement (done)
---
Iggee Seat covers (S. Leather/black) and Dorman seat heaters (on order)

We had a little detour getting to the above, but the TJ is running great since the OPDA and camshaft sensor swap. It feels a bit smoother and it is good to be CEL-free again!
 
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Nov 20 - Installed Rugged Ridge Black Headlight Bezels

At first, I was thinking of Plastidip for my stock chrome bezels, but I had some Amazon rewards cash to use and decided to grab these Rugged Ridge black bezels. The are plastic like the stockers, as to be expected. I like the new look much better, subtle but more fitting with the more aggressive looking LED’s and my Silver\Black theme.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FQ7NV8/?tag=wranglerorg-20

The chrome headlight bezels on the stock TJ wer something I have never liked. I didn’t necessarily hate the look, but why were these plastic chrome bezels the only chrome on the Jeep? Unless they wanted some headlight beam amplification or smoothing (reflection or damping from the bezels), it didn’t make sense to me. The beam scatter from the chrome was something I noticed when I installed my LED headlights and I am hoping these black bezels stop the extra reflection. I noticed one day that my LED beams had some reflection that scattered a slice of light straight up onto the ceiling (directly above the headlight) as I entered the parking garage. I’ll need to test this again, but I think it might have been the shiny chrome bezels contributing to this phenomenon. The halogen lights may not have done it in the same intensity or pattern, so I may not have noticed before the LED's. I’l have to report back on what I find.

I'll need to dab a bit of black paint on the bottom screw on each side since they didn't send any proper black replacements.

After:
headlight bezels 4 - after.png

headlight bezels 5.png

headlight bezels 1 - black.png

Before (stock):
headlight bezels 3 - stock.png

headlight bezels 2 - stock.png

Halfway done:
headlight bezels 6 - half done.png
 
Last edited:
Reactions: derekmac
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
November 20-22

Operation Quiet - Collusion with the Russians (and Chinese) on Sound Deadening

When it comes to the subject of Sound Deadening, it is not something most Wrangler owners care about. “A Jeep is supposed to be noisy” or “Why bother, a Wrangler is like a brick driving down the road”, many will say. And I understand, many folks bought their TJ to drive off-road as it’s primary duty. If you like to wash out your tub with a garden hose, then this modification is not for you.

For me, I fall into another camp, and this is why Operation Quiet was launched. Keeping with the OEM+\Restomod build theme, my 2005 TJ is a 99% streeted vehicle with casual off-roading duty. My goals are preservation, reliability, and adding touches of modern convenience. One issue with using a TJ as a daily driver, as Jeepers warned, these SOB’s are noisy by nature. When I commute in the TJ, it is usually 60-70 minutes, but it can be more if I drive somewhere for lunch or run an errand after work. 95% of the time, I am either listening to music or podcasts, having a conversation with a person, or taking a hands free call. It was definitely worth some time for me to investigate how much I could improve on the noise problem. Fortunately, since Jeep did nothing at the factory to keep the TJ cabin quiet, it wasn’t hard to make improvements.

Just to note...My TJ has the factory installed hardtop and full doors. More importantly, they are in great shape and seal perfectly. I don’t have any known leaks that can be heard inside the cabin. For tires, I have newer A/T BFG KO2’s with about 1,500 miles. They are relatively quiet as compared to other tires in this class. So, at least I had these things going for me. Otherwise, fixing leaks and getting a top installed that was better for noise would have needed to be the first order of business.

Sound deadening, sound damping, sound absorbing, sound proofing, vibration absorbing, echos, resonance frequencies…I was far from an expert coming into this project. Many think sound deadening in autos is only for audiophiles, but it is also for those who want less road and engine noise. While it can be a complex subject if you really want to get into the details, the good news is there are easy solutions and some great affordable products available (especially in 2018).

First, a little background and some technical info. Let’s start with some applicable vocabulary:

Sound :
  • vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person's or animal's ear.
  • a compression wave created by a vibrating object (also know as Longitudinal waves).
Sound wave :
  • A sound wave is the pattern of disturbance caused by the movement of energy traveling through a medium as it propagates away from the source of the sound. The source is some object that causes a vibration.
Resonance :
  • In physics, resonance is a phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at specific frequencies. Frequencies at which the response amplitude is a relative maximum are known as the system's resonant frequencies or resonance frequencies.
Echo :
  • a reflection of sound that arrives at the listener with a delay after the direct sound.
Sound Damping :
  • dissipates vibrational energy before it can build up and radiate as sound.
Sound Deadening :
  • a process or material that reduces the resonance or volume of sound modifier.
  • reducing the resonance or volume of sound, sound deadening insulation/material/pads.
The problem: we have a bunch of vibrations assaulting our TJ. These are classified into two basic categories:
  1. Outside the cabin - vibrations from under the Jeep (suspension, road noise, driveline etc.) and from the engine bay (engine and fan) are the top two culprits. These vibrations are able to get through to the tub bare metal (medium) and into the cabin as sound you can hear and other vibrations you can feel. Vibrations propagate through the tub into other mediums attached to the tub, causing them also to vibrate and potentially rattle (center console, dash, hardtop etc.).
  2. Inside the cabin - on the flip side, when you play music, use your fan/heat/AC, have conversation, kids playing games (or all 4 at the same time!), these sound waves originating inside the cabin cause secondary cascading vibrations and echos.
The confluence of vibrations from outside and inside the tub cause an orchestra of unwanted sound (i.e noise) in the cabin. This is where sound deadening material comes in. It has the ability to dampen parts of the orchestra before it has a chance to get started.

The end result of a sound deadening job cannot be fully measured and demonstrated by a simple decibel meter. At first, I was planning to diligently measure the before and after results. After playing around with sound measuring apps on my Pixel XL (1st gen), I wanted to know how to best conduct the measurements and if they could be compared to other vehicles, even if just TJ’s. After some research, I decided not to waste my time on trying to take measurements. While you can demonstrate a decibel level reduction by measuring with these apps in different spots in your cabin, there are several caveats:
  • Some phones and apps can be reliable for general types of sound measurement (occupational hazards etc.), but this depends on the phone brand, model, OS, and app used. iPhones are generally better for this because the app developer is always targeting the same hardware as the end-users. For Android, it is more of a crap shoot since the hardware and software is so varied between devices (consult the developer for recommendations).
  • The placement of the phone’s microphone, it’s quality, and differences in the ambient environment can vary between tests. This makes comparing your own results tricky and comparing your results with others almost impossible without some sort of standardized protocol and environment.
  • The sound meter apps are measuring all frequencies at once (“pink noise”) and most of the time we don’t know how the raw input is filtered or weighted by the software before it shows the output (see the app developer documentation for any provided details). Most apps use SPL per the article from Cirrus Research below.
SPL - a ratio of the absolute, Sound Pressure and a reference level (usually the Threshold of Hearing, or the lowest intensity sound that can be heard by most people). SPL is measured in decibels (dB), because of the incredibly broad range of intensities we can hear.

More on the subject of mobile phone app sound meters and sound filters:

https://www.cirrusresearch.co.uk/blog/2017/09/sound-level-meter-apps-accuracy/
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/decibel-d_59.html


To really be able to fully measure the results of a sound deadening project, I believe you would need a standardized test with more sophisticated metering devices and software, likely using a microphone array and vibration meters to measure input throughout different locations in the vehicle under different conditions (idle, acceleration from a stop, cruising at 40 MPH, highway 70 MPH, gravel road, heavy traffic etc.). The results would also need to be able to be broken down into 16 or so different human detectable frequencies and lower level vibrations to demonstrate which parts of the spectrum had been reduced or eliminated.

That all said, the best way to understand the difference is to experience it! Fortunately, when done properly with quality materials, the end results typically go far beyond the placebo effect.

Stage 1 - Tub sound deadening

I decided on a highly rated product from the Russian Federation and a company called Noico (https://noico.info). Hopefully US government officials won’t be coming to my door asking questions about why this fine Russian product was shipped to my door! I just want my TJ to be quiet, I will tell them!

The specific product I used is called “Noico 80 mil Sound deadening mat” and you can buy it on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00URUIKAK/?tag=wranglerorg-20

sound dead 1 - Noico.png
I am very impressed with Noico 80, it’s adhesive quality, and ability to be molded, rolled etc. It has an indicator (3D diamonds) that are flattened when it is rolled down properly. It is very easy to work with. I would advise to wear gloves and take caution when cutting and working with it. The metal top layer is sharp and can cut you up. I didn’t notice any rubber smell that I can detect in the cabin after the job was complete. There was only a slight rubber odor during the install, but I haven’t smelled it since.

Some reviews and links I found useful:
Stage 1 Cost: $96.98
Noico 80 mil:
  • $63.99 for 36 sq ft - coverage: inside firewall as far up as I could possibly go, front foot wells, center tunnel, under seats, lower tub sides (but not full doors), rear foot wells, and just barely over the hump into the cargo area.
  • $32.99 for 18 sq ft - coverage: cargo area floor, rear wheel wheels and rear sides (but not rear gate).
Stage 1 Notes:
  • I won’t go into detail since there is volumes of info on this subject. Make sure you follow the instructions provided (clean the tub bare metal very well, be savvy about measuring and cutting, roll out material to install properly, follow the installation temp suggestions etc.).
  • Watch the video on the Noico website. There are also many Dynamat and Noico reviews and videos around the Internet that will apply in general here.
  • Tools: kitchen shears, utility knife, exacto knife, whatever works for you. Just wear gloves as I mentioned since it can be sharp!
  • Don’t skimp and use cheaper unproven materials if you want the best results. There is also a Noico 50 that is a little cheaper, but again I say don’t skimp. The 80 mil (80 thousandths of an inch thickness) doesn’t cost much more than the 50 mil. It is the 80 mil product that is highly touted.
I didn't take many pics of the in-progress, but I did take a couple.
Clean the tub.png

sound dead 4 - Noico front.png

sound dead 5 - Noice back.png

All done!
sound dead 7 - done.png


Stage 2 - Hoodliner
Since the factory didn’t install a hoodliner on most TJ’s (and the Mopar part is expense and hard to find), I wanted to install something to cut down on engine and fan noise that was bouncing around the engine bay and getting into the cabin. I found this step to be more effective (synergistic) after stage 1 was completed, thus I call it stage 2. Regardless of what some say, the Noico 80 product used in Stage 1 isn’t rated for under hood temps per the manufacturer. It is rated nicely for inside the tub with a temperature range of -49F to +212F.

Instead, I sourced the following 394 mil Car Auto Firewall Heat Sound Deadener Insulation Mat from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072WKT78M/?tag=wranglerorg-20

The seller on Amazon is uxcell and the product also is listed as uxcell. But, when it arrives, the product is actually labeled as XCELL (shown on a glossy paper including instructions). The product is made in China. The quality was decent and it was easy to work with. We’ll see how it holds up over time. They don’t provide temperature ratings, but the outer cloth material is made of fiberglass. This, and the fact that others were using it for this purpose, made me feel more comfortable giving it a try.

Stage 2 Cost: $48.99 (I still have quite a bit of the 21.5 sq ft left over)

Stage 2 Notes:
  • Cut out two 28” x 28” inch pieces from the large sheet.
  • Clean the inside of the hood metal very well. I used rubbing alcohol as the last step since it evaporates quickly and does a good job lifting oily residue.
  • Don’t install over the channel/holes in the center seam of the hood. This channel appears to carry heated air to the window solvent sprayer to keep it thawed out, and may have other purposes.
  • Carefully position and trim. Tuck all ends into the edges of the hood around the perimeter. You’ll see what I mean once you see the pics and look at your hood. It takes time, but wedge it under the metal edge for a clean look.
  • Spread and roll the material flat over the contours of the hood so you don’t leave any air gaps. This will make sure the product works as well as it can and ensures that the adhesive is set as best as is possible.
  • Consider using metal clips in addition to the adhesive. I’m currently investigating clips for the long haul as I keep an eye on the adhesive over time.
sound dead 2 - hoodliner.png

Conclusion
The results have exceeded my expectations. It is truly an amazing transformation to how much more comfortable the cabin is. You not only hear the difference, you can also “feel” the difference. For a total of $145.97, I consider it money well spent for this project. It was an easy project that was just a little time consuming.

The biggest test was my wife. She has a hearing condition in one ear and excessive noise can be tiring for her. She has complained about the noise in the TJ since I bought it in the Spring. She thinks it rides great, but the noise is the main thing about the TJ she doesn’t like (unless we purposely have the top off). Most of the time, when I modify cars, she either can’t tell the difference or doesn’t care, or both! For this test, we took a long drive across town on varied roads. She could tell the difference in the driveway when she climbed in just sitting at idle with the radio on…we hadn’t even moved yet! During and after the drive, she couldn’t stop raving about how big of an improvement it was. Needless to say, I was pretty psyched up about it.

Pros:
  • Less road noise, engine noise, and mechanical fan noise (make sure you do the inside firewall well and as high as you can go!)
  • Less exhaust noise (I have the Banks Monster exhaust that is only slightly louder than stock on a TJ with the 3 cats. It is now even quieter as heard from the cabin).
  • Less vibration and odd noises throughout the entire vehicle in general.
  • Better sounding audio - I don’t have to turn up the volume nearly as high to hear the stereo clearly (level 10-12 now vs. level 18-20 before).
  • More tolerable on longer drives and human conversation.
Cons:
  • Added 40 lbs of weight.
  • Takes a few hours to install.
  • Can’t hose out the tub (drain plugs are still free and operational. I cleaned and treated the plug holes with Fluid Film).
  • Cost? It isn’t really expensive to do yourself, but it would be more costly if installed by a professional.
  • Hoodliner causes TJ to overheat or causes too much heat in the engine bay? I doubt it since there was a factory hoodliner on some TJ’s. The coolant thermostat may kick in more often if there is more heat to handle, but the engine bay is far from sealed. So far, I haven’t noticed any issues. The lining is cool enough to touch when opening the hood at operating temperature.
Next Steps?
I am not sure if I want or need to go further. However, if there is a stage 3 and beyond, here is what I think they would be. Please let me know if anyone has experience or suggestions on this topic.

Stage 3 - TBD - Sound deadening inside the full doors and rear gate

I have some XCELL left I could use for the doors, but Noico would be better. For the rear gate I would want a better looking acoustic panel of some sort.

Stage 4 - TBD - Hardtop Headliner

Looking for some cheaper options for some acoustic panels. Might build my own kit, something like the following if possible. But, I want it to look good and I will need it not to drop on my head!

https://www.extremeterrain.com/boommat-blk-headliner-tj-50143.html

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008SAX5LA/?tag=wranglerorg-20

Stage 4 + TBD - Other ideas?
  • Engine bay/outside firewall (material at strategic spots to stop vibrations)
  • Muffler/exhaust shield on bottom of tub in select locations?
  • Hood wind/bug deflector (I won’t be doing this since I don’t care for the look on any car)
  • Remove crappy T-Case linkage and replace with Savvy cable if yours is making noise (mine is fine for now after I fixed and lubed it up).
 
Last edited:
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Nov 23 - Dec 2
After sound deadening the tub with Noico, I had some additional interior improvements planned.


Poly-fil
One minor detail I wanted to follow up on was also related to sound. The aftermarket stereo was sounding so much clearer and concise after the Noico, but as a finishing touch I went back through and placed a light bedding of Poly-fil around/behind all speakers. For the rear soundbar pods, I placed it inside. For the fronts, I placed it around the small plastic pod. It's pretty amazing how good this stuff works to improve overall sound quality and crispness if you aren’t using good speaker enclosures to start with. The stock ones are not. One issue I had was that the soundbar pods can cause the dome light to resonate and buzz at certain lower frequencies. The Poly-fil fixed that right up and a whole lot more.

New shift boot and Knob
Another thing I noticed when doing the sound deadening. The stock boot was thin, had some small holes, and some sort of greenish stain. I found one on eBay made of real leather. It fits perfectly and baffles more sound from below:
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5337789113&icep_item=253521776395

For the knob, I wanted to try something new, but couldn’t decide what to go with. Giving this one a try from Drake Off Road. It’s a nice stylish piece and seems to be well made. It could get pretty hot or cold since it is metal, so we’ll see how that goes. So far, it feels good and I like the tire tread design.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00563C76G/?tag=wranglerorg-20

Boots.png

Drake 1.png


IGEE Seat Covers - synthetic leather (black)
with Dorman Seat Heaters (x2) for the front seats


One of my favorite upgrades thus far. Who doesn’t want heated seats for Winter and for a tired stiff back?!! These things are working great so far and the wife will now also be happy to ride in the TJ when it is cold :cool:.

Install notes:
  • I installed the seat heaters on top of the stock seat covers, and then installed the new IGGEE seat covers over top.
  • I used some extra cloth tape around the perimeter of the heating pads to secure them, in addition to the adhesive that came with them. The adhesive was just OK, I didn't want them moving at all after the install.
  • I routed the cables from the heating pads to the rear of each seat (middle hinge). I then connected the pad wire to the main harness wire and routed the main harness wire under the center console towards the front of the cabin (out of sight except when the seat is lifted, and then you can see it routed underneath).
  • In the center console front section (underneath the cup holders, I joined the wire harnesses from both seats and routed them together under the console to the front of the Jeep (under/through the manual shifter box for me).
  • I was then able to route them up into the dash to the right of the trunk (passenger side) and store the bundled up excess length of wire in the rear bottom of the glove box area.
  • I drilled two 20mm holes in the front of the shifter box and mounted the switches. The switch wires then routed to the front and up into the dash connecting with the main harness about half way up.
  • I grounded both harness ground loops together on the bolt used to secure the metal post\mount for the door tether.
  • I connected both power wires together and tapped into the fuse box behind the glove box. I using the 20 amp fuse socket for the cigarette lighter. It called for each seat heater to be tapped into a 10 amp socket, but I opted for this method instead after hearing about success from others.
Dorman heaters.png

Seat covers.png Rear seat.png Cabin shot.png Cabin shot 2.png Rear seat 2.png
 
Last edited:

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
35,362
Salem, Oregon
Wow! Those last two posts are genuinely worthy of their own “how-to”, especially with as much as you elaborated on it.

This is exactly what I was planning with mine, and now that you documented it so well (including all the links to what you used), I’m going to follow your plan to the T.

I think everyone should see this, and I’m thinking not everyone will, as it might get barried in your build thread.

Mind if I copy these posts into the how to section as well?

@psrivats, @Starrs, and @tomtaylz may like this as well!
 
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Wow! Those last two posts are genuinely worthy of their own “how-to”, especially with as much as you elaborated on it.

This is exactly what I was planning with mine, and now that you documented it so well (including all the links to what you used), I’m going to follow your plan to the T.

I think everyone should see this, and I’m thinking not everyone will, as it might get barried in your build thread.

Mind if I copy these posts into the how to section as well?

@psrivats, @Starrs, and @tomtaylz may like this as well!
No problem Chris, do with the info as you wish! I may make a couple more edits after I proof read, LOL.
 
Reactions: Chris