///// How loud is your car ? / sound deadening /////

Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
Hi All,

When I swapped a few parts on my car for higher performance /stiffer pieces ( engine mounts , dog bone , strut mounts, I noticed my car got a fair bit louder .... While it was louder I guess I learned to live with it somewhat... Although it kind of pounded on my head when sitting at idle because of the stiffer mounts.

Later, I decided to take out the rear seats and some of the other items in the back to make more cargo space (I do delivery work so sometimes having extra space really helps especially in a car full of luggages or other large items.... The car seem to get louder again.

The last time I had my car in for a timing belt and some other changes (quicker ratio steering rack with aluminum hard mount, and solid bronze subframe bushings) the car got seemingly louder still even though I had the engine mount and dog bone return to stock density (returning to stock density helped reduce a lot of the noise while at idle).

Anyways while I like the firmer ride and the tighter feel to the vehicle I think it's just getting pretty loud ....

Matter of fact I took the time to download a decimal meter off of the Google Play store and I was surprised to see that when I was driving approximately 60 miles an hour my car is about 94 to 95 decibels...

If I drive closer to 70 it gets up to 97 decibels and touches 100 sometimes when I hit expansion joints Etc

Anyways driving like that for any long period of time is kind of hard so I've taken to loosely wearing earplugs while driving ....

I did buy some kill mat sound deadener and I'm looking to buy some of the clothes cell phone and possibly some Mass loaded vinyl to go on top of that

I think a lot of my noise is coming from the rear seats being taken out and all the plastic covering Etc from the spare tire being taken out because it's all basically just sheet metal back there with the exception of a little bit of carpet from where the rear seats were taken out and then I just put a tarp on top of the rest of it

My question is how do I take out the plastic wheel well covers and such around the rear wheels of the wagon ... I didn't want to go haphazardly prying and breaking things...

My plan is to take all the plastic trim out from behind the rear doors back to the hatch of the wagon and sound dead and that because I think that's where most of my noise is coming from

I am planning on taking out the front seats also and sound deadening under there as well all the way to the firewall at least as much as I can but I have to wait until my other seats get recovered before I do all that (I bought a set of GTI recaro bucket seats for the front but they have to go to the upholstery shop to get some stitches fixed).

Anyways does anybody have experience in taking apart the rear interior panels from a station wagon? If so how is that done?

I'm also thinking about taking off the plastic door panel on the hatch is there any significant amount of space that can be gained from doing that? From the look of it it looks like I might be able to gain at least two or three inches possibly because where the hand hold is seems to be a big dent going in to the plastic trim so if I can take that off I might gain a few inches ... Of course if I took that panel off I would cover it with killmat sound deadening

Lastly has anybody here downloaded a decibel meter onto their phone and got decibel readings on their stock vehicle? Just to see how much louder my vehicle is than stock .... My guess is it's probably a fair amount sadly and that's what I'm trying to at least get back to in terms of quietness stock or better.

Thanks
Andrew
 
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burpod

teh stallionz!!1
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
cape cod, ma
TDI
82 rabbit vnt ahu, 98 jetta vnt ahu, 05 parts car, 88 scirocco.. :/
FWIW you will get more pleasing results as far as sound levels with a more optimal tune. ;) the amount of difference between tunes will far surpass however many hours you put into tearing the car apart to put in sound deadening material....
 
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ZippyNH

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Location
Southern NH
TDI
2015 JETTA TDI SE
........



I think a lot of my noise is coming from the rear seats being taken out and all the plastic covering Etc from the spare tire being taken out because it's all basically just sheet metal back there with the exception of a little bit of carpet from where the rear seats were taken out and then I just put a tarp on top of the rest of it
If the noise is mostly from the rear... check the exhaust.... sounds like you have a drone...
A resonator will do more to help you than adding 50 pounds of sound absorbing/deadening.
Just my take...
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
After years of running a resonator, no cat, and a 2.5" straight pipe, I finally had enough of the noise and switched to a 2" downpipe, no CAT, and a stock exhaust from the mid-pipe back. Much, much better. I found the car got especially loud on long trips. I think when the engine got good and hot it didn't need any boost to maintain 75 MPH, and because the turbo is a great sound reducer, no boost made it really loud. I used to wear noise canceling ear buds.

burpod is right, the tune can make a big difference. My first RC6 ran a lot of boost at cruise, and the car was much quieter. When I went back to a stock turbo and got RC3+, it would run next to no boost on the highway, and was louder as a result.

At one point I had most of the interior out of my car (rear seats, mats, spare tire) to reduce weight for track days. I didn't notice a significant sound increase.

You want loud, drive a B4.
 

J_dude

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Location
SK Canada
TDI
2003 1.9l “Jedi”
For removal of interior panels you could try searching youtube, the car audio channels often have videos on how to take that stuff apart for sound deadening. I know I've seen a video for the Jetta sedan, should be some out there for the wagon as well.

burpod is right, the tune can make a big difference. My first RC6 ran a lot of boost at cruise, and the car was much quieter. When I went back to a stock turbo and got RC3+, it would run next to no boost on the highway, and was louder as a result.
If this is correct, would not the quieter tune also be the less fuel efficient one? Because making boost while cruising kills FE.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
For removal of interior panels you could try searching youtube, the car audio channels often have videos on how to take that stuff apart for sound deadening. I know I've seen a video for the Jetta sedan, should be some out there for the wagon as well.


If this is correct, would not the quieter tune also be the less fuel efficient one? Because making boost while cruising kills FE.
Probably. I did get lower FE with the tune that had high boost at cruise. But it was also set up for the car to make about 185 WHP, so I wasn't surprised by that.
 

T1MMBOJONES

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Location
Milwaukee
TDI
03 ALH 01M wagon
Put the rear seats back in without the headrests.
yeah i would never expect anyone to sit in the back of a jetta so first "mod" on both wagens was ditching headrests for ease of seat folding. removing just the base frees up some cargo space as well. not sure how suspension and bushing mods made the car "louder" maybe it creaks more but nothing the op mentioned should make an actual audiblle difference. however as one that also owns a diesel cargo van i do know the car will seem louder inside if he continues to gut it....i turn down the volume in my van constantly ,even though the stereo isnt even on, thinking it will get quieter....
 
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burpod

teh stallionz!!1
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
cape cod, ma
TDI
82 rabbit vnt ahu, 98 jetta vnt ahu, 05 parts car, 88 scirocco.. :/
For removal of interior panels you could try searching youtube, the car audio channels often have videos on how to take that stuff apart for sound deadening. I know I've seen a video for the Jetta sedan, should be some out there for the wagon as well.


If this is correct, would not the quieter tune also be the less fuel efficient one? Because making boost while cruising kills FE.
i think this would heavily depend on how much boost, but also the pump/nozzles + "choice" of timing, and what turbo :) it's not only just the boost. timing is key.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
My Wagon with the PD150 snorkel, airbox, and air intake pipe has significantly more intake noise than my Golf.
 
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CanadianALH

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Aug 21, 2023
Location
Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta 5spd 2006 Jetta DSG (wifes)
Just to toss in my 2c. My cat is gutted and I no longer have a muffler and I seriously cannot tell a difference as far as noise goes. I do have a burpod tune so timing and boost are as they should be when I’m cruising. I forget most days I have a muffler delete.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
"as they should be" is in interesting statement. I've had tunes that run 2 PSI at 75 MPH, and others that run 10 PSI. Both were working properly.
 

burpod

teh stallionz!!1
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
cape cod, ma
TDI
82 rabbit vnt ahu, 98 jetta vnt ahu, 05 parts car, 88 scirocco.. :/
Just to toss in my 2c. My cat is gutted and I no longer have a muffler and I seriously cannot tell a difference as far as noise goes. I do have a burpod tune so timing and boost are as they should be when I’m cruising. I forget most days I have a muffler delete.
you've probably told me, but i'm curious how the sound is now cruising, say @ 75-80mph with straight pipe vs your "old" tune at those speeds when you had the cat/muffler?
 
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CanadianALH

Veteran Member
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Aug 21, 2023
Location
Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta 5spd 2006 Jetta DSG (wifes)
you've probably told me, but i'm curious how the sound is now cruising, say @ 75-80mph with straight pipe vs your "old" tune at those speeds when you had the cat/muffler?
It’s honestly the same. Maybe a touch louder with the delete but the other day my dad got in the car and we were driving and he was like “right this things straight piped I forgot”. He was blown away with how quiet it was. My wife and I can have a conversation on the highway at 75 no problem.
 

CanadianALH

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2023
Location
Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta 5spd 2006 Jetta DSG (wifes)
"as they should be" is in interesting statement. I've had tunes that run 2 PSI at 75 MPH, and others that run 10 PSI. Both were working properly.
The car just works. It maintained all its factory feel as far as NVH but with the power it should have from the factory. The power is liner and never falls off. I say as it should be because with the old tune in 4th and 5th over 2500ish the car wouldn’t pull the same as it would in lower gears.
 
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T1MMBOJONES

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Location
Milwaukee
TDI
03 ALH 01M wagon
Stiffer mounts and bushings will transmit more road noise through to the body.
when i hear "louder" to me that implies exhaust and actual audible sound. the car didnt actually "get louder" he just feels and hears the road more. when my car is cold my suspension and everything is more creaky and squeaky yea but the car isnt "louder".... if someone brought in a car and they said it was "louder" i suspect the average mechanic would check the exhaust first or ask them to ellaborate a bit more....
 

Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
FWIW you will get more pleasing results as far as sound levels with a more optimal tune. ;) the amount of difference between tunes will far surpass however many hours you put into tearing the car apart to put in sound deadening material....
Hi

That's interesting but I wonder how does a tune necessarily make a car quieter?

The engine feels pretty smooth it's not shaking around unnecessarily Etc

I do hear a fair amount of Turbo whistle but I hear that's normal on a VNT 15 that's basically straight piped

I have heard on the mechanical diesels when you I think Advance the timing it makes it louder and sound more like a diesel or old school diesel I know a lot of newer ones are quieter because they have pilot injections and other tricks to make it sound very undiesel like is that kind of what you're talking about? At idle mind definitely sounds like a diesel maybe even potentially louder than it was before hard to say though it's been a while since I've had a baseline to deal with or compare to ...
Thanks
 
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Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
If the noise is mostly from the rear... check the exhaust.... sounds like you have a drone...
A resonator will do more to help you than adding 50 pounds of sound absorbing/deadening.
Just my take...
Hi

I'll have to double check on the drone aspect ... I do have a lot of Turbo whistle coming through so I know it's basically unrestricted but I guess that's possible that it might be causing the drone also ... One thing I have read but have not tried it yet is extending the exit of the exhaust pipe until it passes the rear bumper so sound waves are not trapped underneath the car? I'm guessing that theory might seemingly work better if my tailpipe didn't aim towards the ground but rather straight backwards .... Has anybody extended their exhaust pipe past the body work and experienced a reduction or elimination of drone?
 
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Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
After years of running a resonator, no cat, and a 2.5" straight pipe, I finally had enough of the noise and switched to a 2" downpipe, no CAT, and a stock exhaust from the mid-pipe back. Much, much better. I found the car got especially loud on long trips. I think when the engine got good and hot it didn't need any boost to maintain 75 MPH, and because the turbo is a great sound reducer, no boost made it really loud. I used to wear noise canceling ear buds.

burpod is right, the tune can make a big difference. My first RC6 ran a lot of boost at cruise, and the car was much quieter. When I went back to a stock turbo and got RC3+, it would run next to no boost on the highway, and was louder as a result.

At one point I had most of the interior out of my car (rear seats, mats, spare tire) to reduce weight for track days. I didn't notice a significant sound increase.

You want loud, drive a B4.
Interesting about turbo boost versus sound .... While I haven't done it yet, are you saying if I accelerate slightly at highway speeds to develop boost the car would get quieter?

I'm thinking that a majority of the noise that I'm getting is tire noise because I basically have sheet metal in the back except for a tarp covering the sheet metal and a little bit of factory carpeting that was where the rear seats were

I mainly took out all the rear to make a little bit more room for hauling things but truthfully the car feels a whole lot better with it losing all that weight at some point I measured all the things that I took out and it was fairly significant as far as weight I don't have the numbers in front of me but it was a pretty good amount.

I almost hate to think about putting all the kill mat stuff in because that stuff is pretty heavy but the noise is driving me crazy on the longer drives... I've actually taken to putting earplugs in loosely... I say loosely because I want to cut down the sound without making it too quiet in case there's funny noises happening I want to be able to hear it but the ear plugs do help a lot and it even had me wondering if I should go through with putting the kill mat sound deadner in .... I saw YouTube channel where somebody put the sound in her on the wheel well liners and supposedly that helped a fair amount I can't remember how many decibels but in their video it was quite a bit of a difference I might try that when the weather warms up a little bit basically pulling the liners out and putting some of that kill mat on there....
 

Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
yeah i would never expect anyone to sit in the back of a jetta so first "mod" on both wagens was ditching headrests for ease of seat folding. removing just the base frees up some cargo space as well. not sure how suspension and bushing mods made the car "louder" maybe it creaks more but nothing the op mentioned should make an actual audiblle difference. however as one that also owns a diesel cargo van i do know the car will seem louder inside if he continues to gut it....i turn down the volume in my van constantly ,even though the stereo isnt even on, thinking it will get quieter....
Hi

As far as the suspension work I did on the car I'm thinking some of the harshness and noise comes from the stiffer strut mounts I had put on...

When I had the guru change my timing belt a couple thousand miles ago I had him replace the 034 higher density engine mount and dog bone and that did help reduce vibrations and noise at idle however I think when I had him also install the solid subframe bushings and steering rack bushing I think those probably introduced a lot more noise into the car that wasn't present there before

I love the feel of the car it feels much more stiffer and responsive but I think the noise level went up probably somewhat significantly I'm guessing

One thing I didn't think about doing and hindsight is 20/20 was installing the sound meter app on my phone before adding the solid subframe bushings and steering rack clamp .

I had read over on vortex that people like the feel of the solid bushings and they claimed that there was no more real noise transmitted because cars years ago were basically solid frames and at the time I thought that was a reasonable idea however in looking back I'm thinking that one thing they didn't take into consideration was the old body on frame cars are all solid frame but they still had bushings isolating the actual passenger compartment whereas now with the Jetta bolting the subframe directly to the cabin there's no real degree of isolation from road noise I'm guessing that sounds somewhat reasonable and probably is the case ....

I mainly took out my interior to get more space for hauling luggages and other packages
And one thing I did like was how the car felt when it was lighter because of that ..... I almost hate to do it but I think when the weather warms up a little more I'm going to put in some of that kill mat and hope for a noise reduction .... Of course before I do any of that I'm going to do more scientific testing in the form of finding a stretch of road on the highway that I can drive beforehand at a known speed with my sound meter on recording the information and then doing the exact same test after adding some sound deadening ...

From what I've read I don't think I have to go 100% coverage on the sound deadener just enough to keep the vibrations from transmitting noise then you go over that with closed cell foam and then you go over that with mass loaded vinyl or maybe just the carpeting on top of that I'll have to see what I think about that as far as weight Wise versus sound wise
 

T1MMBOJONES

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Location
Milwaukee
TDI
03 ALH 01M wagon
Hi

As far as the suspension work I did on the car I'm thinking some of the harshness and noise comes from the stiffer strut mounts I had put on...

When I had the guru change my timing belt a couple thousand miles ago I had him replace the 034 higher density engine mount and dog bone and that did help reduce vibrations and noise at idle however I think when I had him also install the solid subframe bushings and steering rack bushing I think those probably introduced a lot more noise into the car that wasn't present there before

I love the feel of the car it feels much more stiffer and responsive but I think the noise level went up probably somewhat significantly I'm guessing

One thing I didn't think about doing and hindsight is 20/20 was installing the sound meter app on my phone before adding the solid subframe bushings and steering rack clamp .

I had read over on vortex that people like the feel of the solid bushings and they claimed that there was no more real noise transmitted because cars years ago were basically solid frames and at the time I thought that was a reasonable idea however in looking back I'm thinking that one thing they didn't take into consideration was the old body on frame cars are all solid frame but they still had bushings isolating the actual passenger compartment whereas now with the Jetta bolting the subframe directly to the cabin there's no real degree of isolation from road noise I'm guessing that sounds somewhat reasonable and probably is the case ....

I mainly took out my interior to get more space for hauling luggages and other packages
And one thing I did like was how the car felt when it was lighter because of that ..... I almost hate to do it but I think when the weather warms up a little more I'm going to put in some of that kill mat and hope for a noise reduction .... Of course before I do any of that I'm going to do more scientific testing in the form of finding a stretch of road on the highway that I can drive beforehand at a known speed with my sound meter on recording the information and then doing the exact same test after adding some sound deadening ...

From what I've read I don't think I have to go 100% coverage on the sound deadener just enough to keep the vibrations from transmitting noise then you go over that with closed cell foam and then you go over that with mass loaded vinyl or maybe just the carpeting on top of that I'll have to see what I think about that as far as weight Wise versus sound wise
ive built out a few vans for people. its amazing what a difference adding even one small piece of deadener immediately does especially in a widowless van cause its just a huge tin can....
 

Metal Man

Vendor
Joined
Sep 29, 2001
Location
Sunbury,PA 17801
TDI
1998 NB TDI, 2006 Jetta TDI, 2014 Tiguan gas, , 2019 E Golf X2
This story reminds me of a friends Rabbit from back in the day. He changed everything to polyurethane and then complained about the noise and harshness. He then changed it back to stock piece by piece in an almost never-ending search of why it was so harsh. Everything is a tradeoff.
It was an awesome car that made it to VW Trends magazine.
 
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GlowBugTDI

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Jul 20, 2018
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Cambridge, MN
TDI
2001 Beetle GLS TDI (BIODSL). 01 original Glow Bug TDI (sold)
My car is pretty loud going down the hwy. It's definitely louder then stock, and makes my stock gas cars sound like a feather dropping. I'll look around in the spring to see if I have a leak, but when I was under it a couple months ago I didn't see anything. My flexpipe mount is broken off though. I hadn't realized how loud it was for a TDI Until I rode in a stock one a few weeks back and realized how quiet it was. Even my engine knocks louder then that golf did, my engine is just louder in general. His had more of that old sewing machine noise.
 
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