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Install Steps

Install Steps

Get all the tips and guides to ensure you install like a pro.

Install Steps

Get all the tips and guides to turn you into an installation pro.

Vibration dampers damp structural vibrations
Noise barriers block airborne noise
Insulation absorbs noise and stops heat

Sound Deadening

Killing structure-borne noise is the first key step to any automotive sound deadening project. Stop the vibrations, stop the noise.

View Damplifier Install Tips & Steps →
View Spectrum Install Tips & Steps →

Sound Blocking

Airborne sound waves need to be blocked or absorbed. An automotive noise barrier is the only way to end those stubborn engine, exhaust, and road noises left over after applying a sound deadener.

View Luxury Liner Pro Install Tips & Steps →

Sound Absorbing

Sometimes the sound waves are already inside the vehicle bouncing around. Sound absorbing materials stop these reverberations and quiet down the background noise.

Decouple

Two hard surfaces create noise whenever they hit each other. Decoupling techniques can stop the rattles and significantly improve car audio performance.

View OverKill Install Tips & Steps →
View Heat Wave Pro Install Tips & Steps →

Thermal Insulation

A vehicle is constantly bombarded by heat from the engine, exhaust, and sun. Proper insulation will keep you comfortable in all weather conditions.

Heat Shield

Sometimes you need targeted protection from intense heat. A heat shield will redirect radiant heat away and protect any surface you install it on.

View Mega Block Install Tips & Steps →
View Thermal Block Install Tips & Steps →

Damplifier Pro & Damplifier

  • Industry leading constraint-layer dampers (sound deadening mats)
  • Elastomeric butyl compound with an annealed foil constraint layer. Damplifier Pro is 2mm thick. Damplifier is 1mm.
  • Substantially reduce structural noise from vibrating and rattling metal

where to install

Automotive: Doors, floor, firewall, trunk, hood, roof

Home: Generator boxes, computer towers, screen doors, kitchen sinks, metal furniture, HVAC ducts, metal carts, any metal enclosure

Recommended Tools

  • Hand Roller: Used to firmly bond the sound deadening mat to the application surface. We prefer the smaller hand rollers, because it's easier to get inside the door cavities of a vehicle.
  • Utility Knife:  Used to cut the sound deadening mats. We use a utility knife instead of scissors, because it's easy to replace the blade and keep the knife sharp.

PRO TIPS

  • Coverage Needed: 25% minimum | 60% recommended | 100% maximum
  • Wear gloves! The foil edges are sharp and can cut you if you aren't careful.
  • Always remove air bubbles with your hand roller. Any air pockets will significantly reduce damping performance.
  • When working with a large piece of material, peel back a small portion of the backing and slowly work your way across the panel using your hands.
  • If the Damplifier sheets are too stiff, leave them out in the sun for a few minutes. A heat gun is not needed.

 

For Your Typical Vehicle with Road Noise
  • 60% coverage will get you 90%+ of Damplifier Pro's industry-leading acoustic loss factor.
  • If applying with 25-60% coverage, the best approach is to adhere the sheets in a "checkerboard pattern". For the best car sound deadening, spread out your vibration damping across the entire metal surface instead of focusing in one area.
  • If applying with 25-60% coverage, focus your application on the larger, flatter pieces of metal. Bent pieces of metal tend to be more structurally sound and vibrate less. More noise is coming from the flimsy, flat metal surfaces.
For Your Car Audio Build
  • We strongly recommend that you cover 100% of the metal around any energy sources (speakers, subwoofers). You must deaden the trunk, trunk lid, and doors. The car was not designed to support the sound energy you've added to the mix, and that additional energy needs to be countered to preserve music quality.
  • If you have a subwoofer, do not forget to sound deaden the roof. Roof flex is one of the largest interferers with music quality when the subs are going.
  • For SPL builds, you need 100% coverage EVERYWHERE. A common strategy of many SPL world champions is to install Damplifier Pro first before covering it with several layers of Spectrum Liquid Deadener.
For Your Restoration Build with Heat Issues
  • If you are restoring an old vehicle or have a kit car, you may have heat issues, especially in the footwells. 100% coverage with Damplifier Pro will add thermal protection in these areas. For best results, combine Damplifier with one of insulating noise barriers, foams, or jutes.

Install Steps

step 1 - clean surface

Step 1

Remove upholstery to expose the bare sheet metal. Ensure no debris, rust, or waxy oils. Clean surface with denatured alcohol.

step 2 - measure and cut

Step 2

Cut sound deadening mat to the desired size using a sharp utility knife. You can use a template or measure dimensions and cut to fit.

step 3 - roll on

Step 3

Peel off the paper liner and adhere to surface. Roll on with a hand roller to remove any air pockets and ensure a proper bond.


COMPLEMENTARY MATERIALS

Luxury Liner Pro

  • Recommended second layer for cabin side firewall, floor, and trunk/cargo
  • 100% coverage with an automotive noise barrier is the best way to stop those stubborn airborne sound waves from the engine, exhaust, or tires.
Mega Zorbe hydrophobic melamine foam

Mega Zorbe

  • Recommended second layer for doors and roof
  • Hydrophobic acoustic foam adds sound absorption to reduce echos and improve sound quality while also stopping thermal transfer

Spectrum

  • High-heat, water-based viscoelastic polymer that can be sprayed, brushed, or rolled on
  • Reduces structural noise due to vibrations and thermally insulates your vehicle
  • Spectrum is the consistency of chocolate syrup. Spectrum Sludge is the consistency of peanut butter.

where to install

Automotive: Doors, floor, firewall, trunk, hood, roof, undercarriage, wheel wells

Home: Generator boxes, screen doors, kitchen sinks, metal furniture, HVAC ducts, metal carts, subwoofer boxes

Recommended Tools

  • Spray Gun: Second Skin Spray Gun and bottle or an HVLP gun. The nozzle must be 2mm wide to spray sound deadening particles.
  • Compressor: Recommended specs are 5-6.5 cfm, 50-80 psi, and at least a 6 gallon tank.
  • Spectrum can also be applied using a paint brush or a roller.
  • If using the Sludge activator, the easiest application methods are with a gloved hand or a trowel. Stir the activator into Spectrum with a paddle mixer or by hand.

PRO TIPS

  • Coverage Needed: 100% coverage of 1mm layers to a total thickness of 2-3mm
  • 1mm is about as thick as a credit card. 2mm is a little bit thicker than a quarter.
  • Apply 1mm at a time until you reach the desired thickness. The maximum total effective thickness is 5mm.
  • Spectrum is designed to stick to metal but will adhere to most anything except glossy or high-wax surfaces. These surfaces will require scuffing and a primer (we recommend POR-15). Self-etching primer required for plastic and fiberglass.
  • A mask is not required for Spectrum sound deadening spray (water-based with minimal overspray), but it is recommended.
  • Hold the spray gun 4-8 inches from the surface and apply with a slow sweeping motion.
  • Spectrum's deadening performance will continue to improve over the course of the 7 day cure cycle. There's an especially big increase in the first 48 hours.

 

Advice on Spectrum's Dry Time and Application Strategies
  • Three factors impact how long it takes for Spectrum to dry: (1) temperature (2) humidity (3) thickness applied
  • The ambient temperature should be at least 50°F for the first 24 hours after application. The higher the temperature, the faster Spectrum will dry. Dry speed improves substantially as temperatures are above 70°F.
  • We do not recommend that you apply targeted heat to Spectrum. To help Spectrum dry faster, increase the overall temperature in your garage or roll the vehicle out into the sun.
  • A high humidity will increase the expected dry time. The worst combination is low temperature AND high humidity.
  • If worried about time-to-dry, apply in thinner layers - especially the first coat. Getting the base coat right is key for proper adhesion, as you can often be a bit more aggressive on subsequent coats. Spectrum adheres very well to itself.
  • As Spectrum dries, its color changes from dark blue to black. Once you can touch Spectrum with your finger without residue, you're in the clear for the next coat.
  • Wait 24-36 hours before installing another product or upholstery on top of Spectrum.
  • Spectrum can be painted, but you must wait for it to completely cure. Wait 7-10 days before painting or covering with a bed liner.
Advice on a Clean Install and Easy Cleanup
  • The Second Skin spray gun comes with two tubes that are screwed into the middle of the circular area where the bottle screws into the gun. The longer tube (7.25") is used if the spray gun will be held right-side up. The shorter tube (3.25") is for applications where the gun is held upside down.
  • Use a spray gun with a 2mm nozzle to spray Spectrum. The Second Skin spray gun or another undercoating gun with the same wide nozzle is needed to spray the dense polymers.
  • Always mask off any surfaces to protect them from any overspray using a product like the Second Skin PlastiWrap.
  • Use Wire Tape for a professional looking Spectrum install. The clean edges look fantastic after the wire cuts through.
  • Always clean up with water right away. Do not leave Spectrum in the gun, as it is nearly impossible to remove once it cures.
  • Do not get Spectrum on clothing or upholstery.
  • If you plan to save any of your Spectrum for later use, you must expose it to air as little as possible. Seal the bucket back up right away, and Spectrum can last a couple of months after being opened.

 

For more on the differences between Damplifier and Spectrum, check out our sound deadening spray vs mat article in The Owner's Manual.


Install Steps

step 1: clean surface

Step 1

Remove upholstery to expose the bare sheet metal. Ensure no debris, rust, or waxy oils. Clean surface with denatured alcohol. For plastic or high wax surfaces, also apply a primer.

step 2 - mask off

Step 2

Mask off areas you don't want to cover. We recommend the Second Skin spray gun and an air compressor with 50-80 psi, 5-6.5 cfm and a 6 gallon tank. You can also brush or roll on Spectrum.

step 3 - wait to dry

Step 3

Apply in 1mm layers. Wait 30-60 minutes between coats. Spectrum will change color from blue to black when it dries. If you can touch Spectrum with your finger without residue, you can add the next coat.


COMPLEMENTARY MATERIALS

Luxury Liner Pro

  • Recommended second layer for cabin side firewall, floor, and trunk/cargo
  • 100% coverage with sound barrier insulation is the best way to stop those stubborn airborne sound waves from the engine, exhaust, or tires.
Mega Zorbe hydrophobic melamine foam

Mega Zorbe

  • Recommended second layer for doors and roof
  • Hydrophobic acoustic foam adds sound absorption to reduce echos and improve sound quality while also stopping thermal transfer

Luxury Liner Pro & Luxury Liner

  • Mass loaded vinyl is the only way to block out stubborn airborne sound waves
  • Luxury Liner Pro is fused to a closed cell foam decoupling layer to create an unmatched automotive noise barrier
  • Luxury Liner is just the MLV and is more commonly used for home and commercial applications

where to install

Automotive: Floor, cabin-side firewall, trunk/cargo, on top of wheel wells, doors, back wall

Home: Generator boxes, soundproof box, soundproof fence, walls, floor, ceilings, home theaters, recording studios, music rooms

Recommended Tools

  • Utility Knife: Vinyl cuts easiest with a sharp utility knife. For straight cuts, use a T-square. A good pair of upholstery scissors will work as well.
  • Adhesives (automotive):  Luxury Liner Pro should always be adhered foam side down. Use Contact Spray Adhesive, Super Strong Double Sided Tape, or Dual Lock Reclosable Fasteners.
  • Adhesives (MLV): Vinyl requires specific adhesives. Use our HH-66 Vinyl Contact Cement or DAP (from. the hardware store).
  • In home application methods, use staples, screws, nails, or hang MLV with reinforced grommets. Use large washers to prevent MLV from tearing.
  • We use foil tape to seal seams in automotive applications. In residential construction, use acoustic caulk.

PRO TIPS

  • Coverage Needed: as close to 100% as possible
  • REMEMBER: the keys to an effective noise barrier are density and limpness of material + 100% coverage. You can buy the densest MLV on the market, but if you have huge gaps in coverage, your sound barrier will not be effective. This is especially true in residential applications where ensuring the wall or box is airtight  is such a key factor.
  • Never use MLV under the hood or directly next to a heat source. It can't take the heat and will melt without proper protection.
  • ALWAYS use a decoupling layer for vehicle based applications. Without the soft foam or jute decoupler, the MLV will resonate off the hard metal surface and perform worse as a noise barrier. Luxury Liner Pro greatly simplifies your install by fusing the closed cell foam to the MLV.
  • Only use adhesives designed for vinyl with Luxury Liner MLV (no closed cell foam). Vinyl contact cement is the preferred choice, but Dual Lock reclosable fasteners and our Super Strong Double Sided Tape will also work.

 

Installing Luxury Liner Pro in a Vehicle
  • The goal is to create as close to 100% coverage as possible between you and the noise source. You are building a wall, and that wall needs to have as few gaps in as possible.
  • Luxury Liner Pro should always be installed with the foam side facing down towards the application surface.
  • An adhesive is not required for a horizontal surface (although it's recommended). For a vertical surface, you must use a strong adhesive. We recommend high-tack spray adhesive, super strong double sided acrylic tape, or Dual Lock reclosable fasteners.
    • Spray Adhesive: Use ours or at least 3M 90. Spray on the foam and the application surface. Wait 60 seconds to tack up and then firmly press and hold.
    • Super Strong Tape: Tape around the edges on the foam side. Then make a big X in the middle. Firmly press to application surface.
    • Dual Lock: Use the strongest version (400/250 stem). Allow the adhesive to firmly bond to both the foam and the application surface. Otherwise, the "velcro" part will stay stuck but the adhesive backing could fail.
  • If you have limited clearance to reinstall upholstery, trim the foam side of Luxury Liner Pro to thin the decoupling layer at the re-attach point.
  • Tape the seams with foil tape. Sealing the seams will improve the integrity of your noise barrier.
Achieving Targeted Results with Luxury Liner Pro
  • For engine noise, get as high up on the cabin side of the firewall as you can. You do not need to remove the dash, but if it's out already - you might as well extend your noise barrier all the way up.
  • For road noise,  cover the entire floor, including over the top of the wheel wells. Cut as few gaps in your noise barrier as possible, but you will need to do this in some places (like to re-attach the seats).
  • For exhaust noise, cover the entire floor of the trunk. The next priority after the trunk floor is the back wall behind and the rear seat and then to continue your coverage up the entire floor.
  • For better mid-bass, install Luxury Liner Pro between the inner door skin and the door panel, sealing any holes in the door. The goal is to turn your door cavity into a subwoofer box. Use Dual Lock reclosable fasteners so you can access inside the door cavity later if ne

Install Steps

step 1: measure & cut

Step 1

Luxury Liner Pro should be installed on top of a constraint-layer damper, such as Damplifier Pro. Remove upholstery to expose the bare sheet metal or sound deadening. Cut the sheets to desired size using a sharp utility knife.

step 2: apply adhesive

Step 2

If using an adhesive, clean metal with denatured alcohol and ensure no debris, rust, or waxy oils. Apply adhesive of choice and follow directions to ensure a proper bond.

step 3: bond to surface

Step 3

Do not cover wires, drain holes, or mechanical devices. The goal is to have as few gaps as possible in your noise barrier without interfering with the other parts of the car. Apply foam side down and tape the edges with foil tape to ensure barrier integrity.


Mega Zorbe

  • Mega Zorbe is an aerospace grade, hydrophobic melamine foam
  • Lightweight, open cell structure absorbs a high percentage of mid-to-high frequency noises
  • Excellent heat insulation properties

where to install

Automotive: Doors, roof, trunk lid

Home: Soundproof box

Recommended Tools

  • Utility Knife: A sharp utility knife easily cuts sheets without pulling. Use a T-square for straight cuts. Scissors will work too.
  • For Mega Zorbe without the adhesive backing, any Second Skin adhesive will be strong enough to hold it in place.

PRO TIPS

  • Coverage Needed: 100%
  • The blade must be sharp! A dull blade can damage or rip the melamine foam sheets.
  • Use caution when removing the paper backing of the peel and stick version of Mega Zorbe. It is EXTREMELY sticky, and will stick to your hand if you aren't careful.
  • Always install with at least 1/2" of clearance. Mega Zorbe must be fluffed out to do its job.
  • By stacking sheets of Mega Zorbe on top each other, Mega Zorbe's acoustic and thermal properties will continue to improve, especially at absorbing lower frequency sound waves.
    • For SOUND: Diminishing returns kick in at low frequencies around 2" of total thickness. At high frequencies, you're capped out on sound absorption at 1" of total thickness.
    • For HEAT: Resistance to heat transfer will continue to increase linearly as you add thickness.
  • Covering hard surfaces with open cell foam will reduce echos in an enclosed space. Foam will not block sound, but reducing reverberations will improve sound quality and reduce the overall noise level in a space. The impact will be especially noticeable in an enclosed space with minimal sound absorption, like the cargo area of a Sprinter van.

 

For Vehicle Insulation
  • The top priority is to cover the roof above the headliner. Additional insulation will help keep the vehicle cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  • The second priority is the door panels. Always cover 100% of any surface where you want to reduce heat transfer.
For Your Car Audio Build
  • Mega Zorbe is the best sound absorption option for improving acoustics inside the door panel. Install it on the outer door skin to absorb unwanted noises reverberating inside the door cavity. Reduced echos means less background noise and less interference with speaker sound quality.
  • Mega Zorbe combines really well with OverKill or OverKill Pro in sound quality builds. Mega Zorbe absorbs unwanted noise when installed on the outer door skin. OverKill decouples rattling plastic panels when installed between the inner door skin and the plastic door panel.

Install Steps

step 1: clean

Step 1

Remove door panel or headliner to expose the bare sheet metal (or install on top of sound deadener). Ensure no debris, rust, or waxy oils. Clean surface with denatured alcohol.

step 2: measure and cut

Step 2

Cut hydrophobic melamine foam to desired size using a sharp utility blade or scissors.

step 3: apply to surface

Step 3

Peel off the paper liner or add adhesive (if none included) to adhere to surface. Press firmly hold until until material is bonded to application surface.


OverKill Pro and OverKill

  • Rubber-infused closed cell foam is lightweight, flexible, durable, and water resistant
  • Closed cell foam will not absorb much noise, but it's excellent for decoupling two hard surfaces (like rattling plastic panels)
  • Very good heat insulation properties

where to install

Automotive: Doors, floor, cabin side firewall, trunk, roof, A/B/C pillars

Home: Box/container/case liner, floor mat
 
boat icon
Marine: Liner for hull or cabin
 

Recommended Tools

  • Utility Knife: A sharp utility knife easily cuts sheets without pulling. Use a T-square for straight cuts. Scissors or an electric cutting knife will also work.
  • For OverKill or OverKill Pro without the adhesive backing, any Second Skin adhesive will be strong enough to hold it in place.
  • If adhering to MLV, use a vinyl adhesive like HH-66 Vinyl Contact Cement.

PRO TIPS

  • Coverage Needed: Thermal (100%) | Sound (Varies)
  • Install behind rattling plastic panels, license plates, rear-view mirrors, or any other two hard surfaces that are creating noise. OverKill is durable enough to take a beating and last a long time, but soft enough to kill the rattle noise.
  • Either OverKill Pro or OverKill will act as an excellent decoupling layer with Luxury Liner MLV. Adhere to mass loaded vinyl with HH-66 Vinyl Contact Cement.
  • For thermal insulation, you should only use the thicker OverKill Pro (3/8"). OverKill (1/8") is not thick enough to apply adequate thermal insulation on its own. Thermal insulation properties will continue to increase linearly as you stack sheets on top of each other.
  • Closed cell foam is not a good material for absorbing noise. If you'd like to read more about the difference between open and closed cell foam, check out The Owner's Manual for an article.

 

For Your Car Audio Build
  • Always check for clearance behind plastic paneling to determine if OverKill or OverKill Pro will be the best option.
  • OverKill (or butyl sealant tape) are the best solutions for license plate rattle.
  • Installing OverKill Pro underneath your cupholders is an easy way to cut a couple unwanted dBs.
  • OverKill or OverKill Pro combine well with Mega Zorbe in sound quality builds. Mega Zorbe absorbs unwanted noise when installed on the outer door skin. OverKill decouples rattling plastic panels when installed between the inner door skin and the plastic door panel.

Install Steps

step 1: clean

Step 1

Remove rattling plastic panels, license plate, or headliner. Ensure no debris, rust, or waxy oils will intefere with the adhesive. Clean the surface with denatured alcohl.

step 2: measure and cut

Step 2

Cut closed cell foam sheets to desired size using a sharp utility blade or scissors.

step 3: apply to surface

Step 3

Insert closed cell foam between rattling plastic panels to decouple the hard surfaces. Apply an adhesive (if not included) or peel paper backing as needed. Press firmly and hold to ensure material bonds to application surface.


Heat Wave Pro

  • Lightweight, OEM jute insulation sandwiched between two sheets of reinforced foil
  • Heat Wave Pro is made from durable natural fibers (no fiberglass) and treated for mold, mildew, pest, and fire resistance
  • Flexible thermal insulation material that absorbs mid-to-high frequency sound, reflects radiant heat, and resists heat transfer

where to install

Automotive: Floor, roof, firewall, trunk/cargo, doors, hood

Home: HVAC ductwork
 
boat icon
Marine/RV Doghouse: engine compartment insulation

Recommended Tools

  • Upholstery Scissors: Cuts best with a sharp pair of scissors
  • Adhesive: Any Second Skin adhesive will be strong enough to permanently hold Heat Wave Pro.

PRO TIPS

  • Coverage Needed: as close to 100% as possible
  • Heat Wave Pro is an extremely cost-effective way to add insulation in the vehicle's cabin. Install on either side of the firewall to stop "hot foot" in the footwells.
  • Heat Wave Pro is the best decoupling layer option to combine with Luxury Liner MLV. Adhere to mass loaded vinyl with HH-66 Vinyl Contact Cement.
  • For high-heat applications (such as to replace a hood liner), always tape the edges with foil tape to protect the jute insulation and extend the material's useful life.
  • By adding multiple layers of Heat Wave Pro, you will improve sound absorption and heat insulation properties. Thermal insulation will increase linearly, and sound absorption will see the largest gains in the lower sound frequency bands.
 

Install Steps

step 1: clean

Step 1

Remove upholstery to expose the bare sheet metal or sound deadening. Clean metal with denatured alcohol and ensure no debris, rust, or waxy oils.

step 2: apply adhesive

Step 2

Cut the jute insulation sheets to desired size using a sharp pair of upholstery scissors or utility knife. Apply chosen adhesive to both the surface and the reinforced foil covering.

step 3: apply to surface

Step 3

Press firmly and hold until material is bonded to application surface. Seal exposed edges and seams with foil tape.


Heat Shields: Mega Block and Thermal Block

  • A heat shield for every situation. 98% reflective foil with a thickness of insulation to meet your needs
  • Aerospace grade hydrophobic melamine foam is lightweight, absorbs mid-to-high frequency noise, and adds insulation
  • Mega Block is 1/2" thick with extra insulation. Thermal Block is 1/8" thick for tighter installs.

where to install

Automotive: Hood, firewall, air intake box, spot heat treatments under the vehicle

Home: Generator boxes
Marine: Engine compartment insulation

Recommended Tools

  • Utility Knife: A sharp utility knife easily cuts sheets without pulling. Use a T-square for straight cuts. Foil quickly dulls a sharp blade, so have extra blades on hand if making lots of cuts.

PRO TIPS

  • Coverage Needed: 100%
  • Always face the reflective foil barrier towards the heat source. The foil blocks radiant heat and the hydrophobic melamine foam stops other types of heat transfer (convection/conduction).
  • Leave at least 2" of airspace to allow for adequate airflow.
  • Tape edges of with foil tape to help preserve the useful life of the foam backing.
  • The adhesive used on Mega Block and Thermal Block is very sticky. Be careful when removing the paper backing.
 
For Boat Engine Compartment Insulation
  • A base layer of Damplifier Pro is helpful to reduce structural noise passing through the walls of the engine compartment.
  • Mega Block is the best insulation and sound absorption option for engine compartments with flat surfaces. If your compartment has curved or rounded surfaces, look at Heat Wave Pro.

Install Steps

step 1: clean

Step 1

Remove existing insulation to expose the bare sheet metal. Ensure no debris, rust, or waxy oils. Clean surface with denatured alcohol.

step 2: measure and cut

Step 2

Cut heat shield to desired size using a sharp utility blade or scissors.

step 3: apply to surface

Step 3

Peel off the paper liner and adhere to surface.Press firmly until material is bonded to application surface. Seal exposed edges and seams with foil tape.


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