Sound Deadening the Doors, Floors and Rear Hatch on the 5th Gen 4Runner – Step by Step Install
Application of CLD (Constrained Layer Damper) is fairly simple once you get the hang of it.
Working with the material is easy as long as you have the patience to measure, mark, cut and apply where it’s needed.
There are a couple of ways you can approach your installation. You can apply the CLD material over every square inch or you can apply it over the large open spaces on your sheet metal only and leave uncovered gaps throughout.
With covering every square inch, you are ensuring that you are eliminating as much sound vibration as possible. And, although a minimal application might not stop every sound wave, it sure will help keep the noise levels down.
Regardless of which you choose (full or minimal application), the benefits of sound deadening the 4Runner will be very rewarding. In that article, we cover different types of materials including CLD, MLV, and Closed Cell Foam. We also covered what you can expect from deadening each area of the 4Runner.
Minimal or Full application:
For about 75 sq ft of CLD, you are looking at $100. For an entire 4Runner application, you need about 150sq ft of material. That would cover the doors, floors, pillars, hatch, and roof, so about $200. If you are looking to do just the doors, floors, and hatch (not the sides or roof) like I did, then you can get away with around 125 sq ft, so expect $150. I did not measure the exact amount of sheets used so don’t put a hard quote on me for this.
With that said, you can do the entire 4Runner with 75 sq ft, you will just have less coverage all the way around. We are talking small strips places strategically instead of large sheets covering every square inch. In this post, I applied as much surface area as I could, but you can apply as much or as little as you think is best for your situation.
50 mil vs 80 mil sound deadener?
What’s the difference? About 30 mil. In all seriousness, the thicker you can go is probably going to yield better results. It’s not that much more expensive for the 80 mil and although I have not applied the 50 mil, I would still buy the 80 mil again.
This is not a fast application by any means. If you are looking for something quick and dirty, you can cover the wide open sheet metal only. That would be much faster than cutting, marking, measuring and applying hundreds of little pieces throughout the 4Runner.
There are applications around the web that show CLD over the exposed wiring harness. I choose to apply the material underneath the harness, which did take much more time, energy and patience.
I am not saying my way is 100% perfect at all. Maybe I put too much sound deadening on, and possibly an expert audio guy can comment here to let me know how I did.
At the end of the day, I cut noise by 50% so I think I did pretty well. I would like to apply a minimal amount of CLD to our other 4Runner and see if there is a noticeable difference.
Tools & Time for Installation
You only need a few basic tools for the installation. Plastic pry tools, metric sockets, utility knife (razor blade), and a portable table with a cardboard base is about all you need. There are other tools that are recommended for the install but you don’t “need” everything. The staple gun will come in handy if your carpet stables get removed.
Material for install
- Dynamat (most expensive): Check Price
- MAT 66 80mil: Check Price
- Kilmat 80mil: Check Price
- Noico 80mil: Check Price
Update: Recently MAT 66 was out of stock, Kilmat is basically the same product.
Tools for install
- Plastic pry tools: Check Price
- Mini-pry tools
- Metric sockets
- Staple Gun: Check Price
- Utility knife (razor blade): Check Price
- Portable table
- Piece of cardboard for slicing on
- Hole punch/screwdriver
- Sound Deadening Tool: Check Price
Time for install:
- Doors: 1/hr per door
- Floors: 6/hr total
- Hatch: 1/hr total
This entire process from start to finish can be done in a weekend, or even a day if you are feeling up for it. I would dedicate two days for the deadening application, especially if you haven’t pulled out the seats or door panels off yet. It’s not that complex, it just helps if you’ve done it once or twice.
Sound Deadening Doors
Remove covers and screws holding door panel in place
There are three tabs covering screw locations. Remove these three-panel covers and you will see a Phillips head screw that needs to be removed. There is one plastic cover that is very small. You should use a mini flat head screwdriver or a mini plastic trim tool here. Using a larger trim tool can damage the cover.
Remove A-Pillar Cap
Pop the A-Pillar cap off of the door using your hands. It can be removed from the outside edge.
Remove Door Cover & Courtesy Light Clip
Grab the bottom corner of the door panel and pull straight out. You will hear a few pops from the tabs being released. Proceed to unclip the courtesy light from the door panel.
Tape Door and Create a Guide for Applying the CLD
It’s a good idea to tape the border of the door all the way around. This will prevent you from over-applying an excess of CLD material.
Remove Door Cover, Disconnect Cables & Pull off Plastic Cover
Remove the door cover and carefully disconnect the cables attached to the door. The cables do come off easily, they just pop right out of their socket. You can also remove and discard the factory sound deadening plastic cover.
Remember to reattach the push tabs stuck to the door back onto the door panel.
Measure, Mark and Cut the CLD
Hold up material to the door. Measure, mark and cut pieces according to where you plan on placing the sheets. For the wiring harnesses, I made a cut along the wires line and then folded the CLD around and under the wire harness. For clips, screw holes and other holes, I just marked a hole and then made a cut for that hole.
Place Sound Deadening on Sheet Metal
Next, peel back the CLD backing and apply the material. Using a plastic pry tool or a preferred sound deadening roller, flatten the material on the sheet metal. Looking back, I should have purchased the roller. Using the trim tools to flatten the material was not the best tool for the job. But it did work if you have nothing else.
Remove Styrofoam Sound Deadener
In order to lay down CLD on the inside of the door, it will help if this styrofoam block is out.
Sound Deaden Inside of Doors
How to Apply Sound Deadening Inside Doors
To get the CLD on the inside of the doors, it helped to slightly peel the backing first. Once you have a few inches of the sticky side exposed, place it as far inside the door as possible. After a small portion of the sticky side has been applied (holding position), peel back the remaining portion of backing and apply the remaining CLD.
Reinstall the Factory Sound Deadening Block
After the inside of the door has been covered, you can reinstall the factory sound deadener.
Be aware of Bolt Holes and Tab Holes
Be cautious about every hole in the door. You can always go back and cut holes into the CLD once it’s applied but you risk leaving marks in the sheet metal. And, it’s just easier to plan for it the first time.
Cut Out Speaker Area & Apply the Dead
I found that instead of placing small pieces of CLD around the speaker area, covering it with one whole sheet and then cutting out a hole was a lot easier.
Apply CLD Sheets over Large Open Area
After most of the door has been covered, you can place larger sheets of CLD over the large exposed opening.
Cut Hole in CLD Sheet for Door Cables
The last sheet you need to apply will fit the door cables. I cut a large opening and then left a layer of backing on the opposite side so the cables wouldn’t “stick” to the backside.
Remove Tape and Attach Door Panel over Door
Remove the guide tape and then reinstall your door cover.
Re-Installation of 4Runner Door Covers
Reinstalling the doors is much easier if you follow this tip.
Once you have the door cover removed from the door, remove the door covers window seal strip. This unclips from door cover. Place it on top of the door in between the sheet metal and the glass. Once you are ready to put the door cover back on to the door, press the door cover straight onto the door. Piece of cake.
Sound Deadening Floors
Remove Cargo Tray Cover
Using a plastic trim tool, pop the rear cargo tray cover. Then disassemble the rear cargo tray slide bracket.
Remove Cargo Compartment Tray Brackets
The cargo tray compartment is held in place by these two bolts and then two more underneath along the sheet metal.
Remove Cargo Compartment Tray
Once the top and bottom bolts are removed, you can remove the compartment.
Remove Slide Rails and Carpet
After the cargo slide tray bracket is out, you can remove the carpet and then access to the bottom floor sheet metal.
Remove Rear Seats
The rear seats are held in place by a collection of bolts from the underside and the backside. The backside bolts are easy to access with a small ratchet. The front bolts are best accessed with an extension.
Rear Seats – Rear Cover
In order to actually remove the seats, you need to access the bolts holding the seats on their bracket. This bracket allows the seat to rotate back and forth. These bolts are accessed by lifting the rear seat cover. Lift this cover (held in place by push clip) up and you will access the bolt attached to the bracket.
After you remove the rear back seats, you can remove the lower bench seats as well. The bench seats are easy, just uncover the bolt caps and remove the seats.
Remove Kick Panels and Plastic Seat Caps
Using pry tools, you can lift the plastic kick panels and the seat plastics.
Remove B-Pillar Seatbelt & Lower Plastics
Remove the seat belt bolt cover and bolt. Then process to remove the lower B-Pillar plastics.
Remove front Plastics
The front door trim plastics are held in place by one female threaded hole & a metal clip attached to the weather stripping. Pictured above is the circular dial just to the left of the footrest.
This was the last of the interior plastics that I removed. You can go another step and remove the entire center console but I didn’t think that was needed for my goals.
Sound Deadening the Front Seats
This was plenty of access for me to deaden the floors. You can take it another step and remove the center console but this was enough room for me to access what I wanted to deaden. I was able to reach up along the outside of the center console and apply multiple layers here. You can’t see it but I was also able to lay CLD directly underneath the gas pedal. I did lay CLD underneath the wiring along the edge of the door. This is not the finished product. I laid the material on thick here. Everywhere I saw exposed sheet metal, I covered it with CLD.
Holding Up Carpet with Zip Tie
To hold the carpet up, I zip-tied a portion of the base carpet to the center console. This gave me plenty of flexibility to lay CLD without having to support the carpet while applying the material.
Main Floor & Rear Floor
The floor is one of the easiest areas to apply CLD because it’s mostly just big sheets. Just remember to be cautious about covering bolt holes in the floor for the seats and other trim pieces.
Continue on with covering the entire floor which includes under the front seats, rear seats and entire cargo area. The more sheet metal you cover, the better. However, even if you only cover portions of the sheet metal, because you don’t have enough material, it will still make an improvement in sound quality.
Sound Deadening Center Floor
You may need someone to help with lifting the carpet in the center to apply a layer of CLD. Directly behind the center console was interesting to access because of the carpet.
You are pretty much finished up at this point. Just reinstall all the interior elements.
Reinstall Rear Seats
I started by reinstalling the large seat first. This was the biggest pain to get out of the 4Runner so I figured it could go in first. There is an L guide along with a bolt that locks into the bracket. Once you get these lined up, secure the bolt into the bracket and then proceed with screwing down the bottom bolt. Repeat this process with the smaller rear seat.
Reinstall Cargo Storage Tray
Proceed to reinstall the rear cargo compartment.
Reinstall Slide Tray
Reinstall the rear cargo tray. Just remember to install the parts in order. It’s easy to miss some of the parts when your garage is filled with every interior 4Runner part. Try to organize all your parts the way they came out so the reinstall goes smooth.
Sound Deadening Hatch
Remove Rear Hatch Cover
First, remove the 10mm bolt near the hatch pull strap. Then using your pry tools pop the rear hatch cover off. Pull down on the hatch cover once you have one push tab unclipped and all clips should pop off. Remember to remove any clips from the hatch and reconnect them to the hatch cover for reinstall.
Remove Speakers and Electrical Bracket
Remove the speakers, and disconnect the electrical harness connected to the support bracket. Once you have disconnected the harness, proceed to remove the support bracket and plastic cover. Discard plastic cover.
Clean inside of the rear hatch
The inside of the rear hatch is covered with grease. Cleaning this with rubbing alcohol or distilled water will make it easier for the CLD to be applied.
Placing Large Pieces of CLD on inside of Hatch
Reaching inside the rear hatch, apply large pieces of CLD from the top corners to the center covering as much surface area as possible.
Layers of CLD on inside of Hatch
Make sure you cut holes in the CLD for bolts that you may need to reach later. Removing the rear hatch cover is not uncommon if you work on your 4Runner often. I tried to leave all the bolts exposed in case I need to access them in the future.
Layers of CLD on inside of Hatch
Place a large sheet over the speakers and then make a cut accordingly using a sharp razor blade (utility) knife. This should leave you with a perfect open circle covering the speaker.
Final Layers of CLD on Hatch
Reinstall the speakers and support bracket. I left a large portion of the bracket area open in case I need to access the rear hatch again in the future. After the electrical is connected and the speakers are back in place, you can reattach the hatch door cover.