The first thing I noticed after purchasing the truck was the noise level. It was loud, but not over bearing. After pulling up the original rubber mat (shredded in pieces), I noticed a lot of surface rust on certain areas of the cab floor. So I had to address the surface rust first.
After a bit of research and help from the H.A.M.B forums, I was introduced to a product called POR-15. Por-15 is a rust encapsulation paint. The idea is the paint is non-penetratable and seals the rust so no oxygen can get to it to cause further oxidation. There are all kinds of warnings about wearing gloves since it is permanent and never painting straight from the can to protect from contaminating it, best yet, don’t sweat into the can it will ruin it. The surface must be completely dry and grease free for best results.
So I started by removing the heavy rust with a wire wheel. It didn’t do a lot except create a bunch of dust. After a thorough cleaning and overnight drying I was ready to paint on the POR-15. Wearing gloves and poring the paint into a separate can in small doses, and using a cheap brush, I started in. Like their product material reads, “a little goes a long way”. I did two full coat with less than a 1/4 of a quart (the quart cost me $28). You can see in the picture the extremely hard finish it left. IT WORKED GREAT. The bad news is…don’t get it on you and always wear gloves. It two weeks for it to come off my skin where I accidentally painted myself.
Now that the surface rust is taken care of, it’s time to tackle the noise level. First, I had to replace the muffle and exhaust pipe. The muffler looked original and the pipe ended at the end of the muffle mid-way under the truck bed. The guys at A-1 Muffler in Santa Ana, CA did a great job and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. They replace the entire system from the exhaust manifold, to the exhaust pipe extending beyond the rear tire. They convinced me to stay stock and not get fancy with glasspacks or turbo muffler. I’m glad I listened to them. This helped reduce the noise quite a bit.
Now on to some real sound proofing. I decided to sound proof the floor og the cab. I went to the Truck Shop in Orange and purchased the double-sided sound dreading material (double-sided foil in picture about $25). I cut it to the right size and just laid it down. No adhesives. Next I needed some type of floor covering since the rubber mat was gone. A carpet kit was expensive and more money than I wanted to spend. While walking through Home Depot, I came across an area rug/carpet 8X5 (cab floor is just under 5 feet across) for only $15. It had a tight loop and was black. Before is put the carpet in, I gave the lower interior a flat black rattle can once over including the interior firewall. Again, using the shredded rubber mat as a template, I cut the carpet and just laid it in. Did some adjustments and it fit perfect.
Now of the real test drive…amazingly quiet. For less than $75, I took care of the rust, sound proofed the cab, and put in a custom carpet kit. Does it look perfect? No, does it look good? Yes, but only I will know the imperfections. If it was perfect, the truck would have no character.