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Model X 2019 Raven Sound Deadening Doors Project

Discussion in 'Model X' started by ultraviolet75, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    Disclaimer:
    I am not responsible for any issues that may occur if you try to do this yourself. This is only to show what I was able to do and how I did it.

    We have had our 2019 MXLR for about 10 months now, and I have been obsessed with trying to cut down wind and road noise ever since we bought it.
    I will say that our X seemed to be way more quiet than some of the awful sounding vehicles that I read about on so many Tesla forums.

    ***Gripes***
    We had a 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature before we bought our Tesla. The CX-9 spoiled me in that the ride comfort, cabin silence, and the manufacturing build quality were about as good as it gets. Don't get me wrong. We love our Tesla. It just baffles me that they were so far ahead of everyone in the technology that is in their vehicles and their forward thinking, but even after years of manufacturing - Tesla is still grossly behind most if not all other car makers in their manufacturing quality. They made a car that can drive itself, but they can't make all of the pieces of the car align with even gaps/spacing? I know there are bigger issues in the world, but a car as expensive as this should at least be put together correctly.
    ***End of Rant***

    I will separate my door panel sound deadening project into a few posts, because I have a bunch of pictures from each step.
    I'll also include my 1 big goof up, so you all can have a good laugh at my expense and not make the same mistake if you try this project on your own car.

    Before I get started, I am going to disappoint many of you. I did not take any noise/decibel readings before, during, or after this project. The reason is that I did not want to see a difference on paper and have that difference skew what my big dumb brain was processing to give me some kind of placebo effect. I wanted to feel, hear, and experience a real world difference without tricking myself into thinking there is a change.

    ***SPOILER ALERT***
    For those of you who like to skip to the end of the book first, you probably want to know up front if this project worked.
    YES. This did work for my vehicle. This is the most change for the better than anything else I have tried, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It isn't silent in the cabin, but there is a very noticeable real world difference. The road noise more dull or muted than before. A surprising side effect is that the car audio sounds better too. It sounded really good before, so I wasn't even thinking about how this would change the quality of how my music sounded.
     
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  2. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    #2 ultraviolet75, Aug 11, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2020
    Here are the things that I have tried in the past before we get started on this project:

    1) I filled the 'A Pillars' and front wheel wells with Instapak foam filling. This did make a difference in noise in the upper front door frame, but I didn't hear a change in road noise from the front wheel wells.
    * A Pillar - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BU5VXVS
    * Wheel Well - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BU5W3YE

    2) I added rubber seals around all of the doors, the frunk, the lift gate, and I added one around the rubber seal at the top of the front doors where the windows roll up into. This didn't help with noise much, but it does keep dirt/dust/mud from building up around the bottom of the door seals and around the side areas of the frunk and makes a tighter seal for the top of the front door windows. Everything stays very clean now.
    * Something like this - Robot Check

    3) I tried to add a flat rubber seals along the side gaps of the windshield. No amount of 3M tape would hold these down. They would begin flapping up in the air badly at both the bottom and top of the windshield even though the bottom was well under the hood. The 3M tape was strong, and the area was cleaned thoroughly. This was a failure, but it also shows that there is a very strong wind stream along the left and right sides of the windshield. I think this may be contributing to wind noise at this point, but I don't know how to fill the gaps.
    * Here is what I used - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RNNZWZP

    4) I've tried adding Sugru to fill in some gaps, but it ended up being more of a mess than a fix. This may be just my fault, but it was a fail for me and was removed.


    Here is the extra seal I added to the top of the front door frames. I flipped around a small portion in the middle where you see the red 3M backing in order to show what part was the one I placed in there.
    IMG_2685.JPEG
    This is a picture of the door seals I added a while back. I've had to go back and fix some of the edges since this was taken.
    IMG_2686.JPEG

    This is an older picture of the area where I installed the Instapaks just for reference.
    IMG_2687.JPEG
     
  3. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    #3 ultraviolet75, Aug 11, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2020
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  4. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    OK. Let's get to work!
    Time to get that door panel off.

    1) Begin prying on the edge of the long skinny trim piece shown below. You will feel and hear the clips releasing.
    *** DO NOT pull this all of the way off just yet. Just get it started. You will see why. ***
    IMG_2688.JPEG

    2) See the big silver metal clip in the middle of the trim below? Use your pry tool or anything that works for you to press down as far as it can go in order to release this clip. Pull slightly on the trim while you push down on the clip, and it will pop off easily. This clip can bend or break off if you skip this step. After this large clip releases, the whole trim piece will slide right off. Take note of the other end of the trim that goes in behind the door handle. There is a piece that is like a hook that goes into the door panel. That is where you will start to put this trim back on once you are reinstalling everything.
    IMG_2689.JPEG
    IMG_2690.JPEG
     
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  5. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    Next up, I will be removing 4 10mm screws from the door panel. 2 of these are located in plain view where the trim piece was just removed. 1 is under a small removable rubber piece inside the door handle cubby area that you can get to by prying the rubber piece out. The last one is behind the door release handle.
    IMG_2692.JPEG
    IMG_2691.JPEG IMG_2693.JPEG IMG_2694.JPEG
     
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  6. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    Now for the part that will make you cringe if you haven't done this before.
    I suggest placing a box or something below the door that the panel can rest on since there will be cables still connected when we start to remove this. I used the yellow top tote in my pictures, and it helped a whole lot.
    I start at the top back edge as shown. Some people start at the bottom. Anyway, you want to get a good grip and start pulling.
    The loud popping of clips will sound like you are destroying your door. I watched a service tech do this, and he said this is normal and the only way to get it removed. Once the clips have all popped, slightly lift the panel up and away from the door. It hooks over the top of the rubber seal at the bottom of the window.
    It is possible that you may break a plastic clip or 2 here. You can find these online for very cheap or at automotive shops I'm sure. I broke one, but the door sealed perfectly with the remaining clips.
    While pulling the panel off, be careful for the 2 attached cables. They are strong cables, but you don't want to pull too hard that you break those in the process.
    The panel should rest fine on the box under it while we disconnect the cables in the next post.
    IMG_2695.JPEG
    IMG_2696.JPEG
     
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  7. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    Disconnect the 2 cables holding the door panel on.

    1) Pressing in on the small tab, disconnect the wide plastic connector from the control box (I know, I'm using complex terminology here. Just go with it).

    IMG_2697.JPEG
    IMG_2698.JPEG

    2) Now on the inside of the plastic door panel, find where the 2nd cable attaches to the door release handle.
    Pull the away from the panel where it is held in place. It will pop out with a slight bit of force. Once it comes out, this will release the tension so that the green peg piece slides out of the door release handle. Just take a mental note of how the peg is in the handle for when you put this back together. It isn't difficult at all, but you may come back later to this like me and think 'How do these puzzle pieces go into each other again???'. Putting it back on, you slide the green peg into the opening of the metal handle (it only goes in one way), and then you pull the tension back enough to snap the cable back into its clip. This takes some pressure to get it snapped all of the way back in.
    IMG_2699.JPEG
    IMG_2702.JPEG
     
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  8. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    Now that the door panel is off and moved out of the way, let's start removing things to give us access to the inside of the door frame and where we can cut the hell out of our fingers and arms!
    First up is the speaker.

    1) Disconnect the cable at the top of the speaker. You have to pry the left and right edges of the connector away from the clip to release it from the speaker.
    2) I used my screwdriver to take out the hex screws. If you have one like I have pictured, just use it without a bit in it and it is the perfect fit for the speaker screws.
    3) Using a T-20 Torx bit, I also removed the speaker housing. This is up to you if you want to do this, but it is not necessary.

    IMG_2703.JPEG
    IMG_2707.JPEG
    IMG_2704.JPEG
    IMG_2705.JPEG
    IMG_2709.JPEG
     
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  9. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    I didn't remove the large plastic piece in the center of the door completely, because that looked to be too much of a hassle.
    After taking all of the T-20 Torx screws out, I just disconnected the following cables to give me enough slack and room to get in behind it.
    1st cable - release the lock on the cable by sliding the small grey clip down and the cable will come out easily.
    IMG_2710.JPEG

    As you can see, there isn't a lot of slack here. Unless you have pasta noodle arms, we need to disconnect more cables.
    IMG_2711.JPEG

    Disconnect this little blue ended cable by slightly pushing the release clip in.
    IMG_2715.JPEG

    This module just slides out sideways. It fits between the 2 small track pieces that I am pointing at below. It doesn't really lock in or anything. It just slides in and out easily.
    IMG_2716.JPEG

    Disconnect this tension cable just like we did on the one connected to the door release handle.
    IMG_2717.JPEG

    Here is the mess we are left with. At this point, you may start hearing the voice in your head saying things like "WHAT THE HELL DID WE GET OURSELVES INTO?!?!?" Ignore the voices. They're drunk. We have business to take care of here.
    IMG_2718.JPEG

    As you can see, Tesla started adding a couple of small square patches in the door skin to improve cabin noise.
    I'll pause here for laughter.
    IMG_2714.JPEG
     
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  10. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    It's now time to start slapping on that sound proofing/barrier/deadening material!
    I went with Kilmat. I am not endorsed or anything. I read a few reviews of different materials, and I went with this because it was very well rated, had a great price, had adhesive already applied to it, and did not have any fumes smell like some others are reported to have.
    You're going to find 2 reinforcement metal beams (the wavy sheets of metal) down low and up high.
    They are good for safety, but you will hate them for this project. HATE THEM!
    There isn't enough of a gap between them and the outer door skin to fill in the entire area behind these 2 beams.
    I went in as far as I could, and then I put an extra layer of Kilmat over the beams.
    Get comfortable, because we are about to get intimate with this car. You'll be elbow deep in both openings. Giggity...

    I got the 1st sheet placed in the upper corner of the door skin. Once you get the 1st one in, you will start to feel way more comfortable. It will go quicker if you can use as many of these in large pieces without cutting them up, but take your time. Cut these with a box cutter to cut as many pieces in whatever size works for you (do not use scissors - they will get gooey rubber all over them).
    IMG_2723.JPEG

    1st row complete. You may end up with a couple of wrinkles in areas that are hard to get to like you see on the sheet below on the right side. I just went back over it afterwards with a roller, and it is just fine. Some areas are too small for the rollers, so just get in there the best you can and press it on as firm as possible. The adhesive is VERY strong. It is also forgiving at first. You can peel it off and reposition. After it has sealed for a while, it can get messy trying to peel it off. You'll see later...
    IMG_2724.JPEG

    And here is the outer door skin completed after I covered the beams.
    IMG_2725.JPEG

    Here is a view from the speaker hole.
    IMG_2726.JPEG
     
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  11. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    #11 ultraviolet75, Aug 11, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
    Next up, I covered the inner door shell (again with the technical terms).
    I was on a roll after finally finishing up the outer skin, so this next part was nothing. I just started throwing it on feeling good about my work as you can see in the 1st pic below. I covered the speaker hole while giving it some slack in the middle to give the magnet of the speaker room to press in there. I did not cover the giant opening in the middle of the door. I only covered it up to the edges of the metal opening, so that the big plastic covering will have kilmat behind the edges of it between the plastic and the metal of the door where it screws into.
    IMG_2727.JPEG

    I'm sure many of the more educated people here already see how I screwed this up.
    The next picture will show it more clearly.
    I placed the door panel on the door frame to find the locations of the holes for the panel clips and screws to attach the door panel back on.
    That's when I noticed something very ... very wrong.
    IMG_2728.JPEG

    What the @#$%!!!! I don't have any explanation to why I didn't think about outlining the area of the door panel before I initially removed it to know where I should have stopped covering the door. If I would've gone with the material that is made with a black backing instead of foil, I'm sure I could have lived with that. I went from feeling like a hero to an idiot.

    After taking a break for a while to let my failure sink in, I went back to it.
    I carefully cut a line around the edge of where I should have stopped and then peeled off the excess material.
    You can see the gooey rubber left behind.
    I knew I had some Goo-Gone that would take it right off. I see it all of the time when I don't need it.
    Ohh noooo. I need it now. That means it is hidden and can not be found until I don't need it again....
    So I have to go to option #2. I used WD-40 on a rag with some good ole scrubbing to clean it all up.
    IMG_2730.JPEG

    Here is the completed covering after I cleaned up my mess.
    IMG_2732.JPEG

    And here is me learning from my mistake *BEFORE* I started working on the passenger door.
    IMG_2733.JPEG
     
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  12. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    The door panel is a bit harder to get back on and needed some heavy hip bumping to get some clips to snap in due to the extra material between the panel and the door frame.
    I had a little bit of material left over, so I placed it the the crevice of the front edges of each area between the doors and wheel well area.
    If you open the door completely and put your hand in the gaps between the metal you can actually feel the thin carpet covering that surrounds the tires in the wheel well. There is hardly anything at all blocking tire/road noise coming through this area.
    It's hard to tell in this picture.
    Just open your door all of the way and look here to see what I am describing. I always used one hand to hold the door open while I put my fingers into this area. Something made me a little uneasy thinking that the door would time out and force close snapping off my precious digits and keeping me from being able to type up this project here.

    In the end, I am very happy with the results.
    I may order another pack and do the falcon doors at some point, but I am going to just enjoy the car for a while before thinking of another project to do to it.

    After completing this, i did the following.
    1) I went around to knock on the outside of the doors (after I completed the first door) to hear the difference. It sounds completely different. The door that I finished sounded solid and had a very dull muffled thud. The other door had a loud hollow chamber sound when I knocked on it.
    2) I tested the auto driver side door opening that happens when you walk up to the car with your keys to make sure the sensor worked.
    It worked as it always did. The door barely opened while I approached the car, and it finished opening after it sensed that I had walked past it and cleared the way for it to open.
    3) I drove close enough to objects to make sure the sensors picked them up on my screen, and they all worked fine.

    Please give any good/bad feedback about this project.
    I'd love to know I helped people out with this, and I'd also like to know where I went wrong or could have done better.

    Thanks!

    IMG_2731.JPEG
     
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  13. FatherTo1

    FatherTo1 Member

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    When is the build date for your 2019 X LR? My understanding is the Raven X (05/2019 and later) is significantly quieter than pre-Raven. I certainly noticed the quieter cabin whe I testdrove a 2020 X last week compared to a 2017 X.
     
  14. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure This All Out

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    Great write-up and thanks for doing this for the team.

    Couple of questions/observations:
    • Do you really think you needed both pads? I probably would have just done the outer door and not gone to all the trouble and possible issues with clips etc doing the inner one
    • I am thinking you should have cut out the speaker area. Speakers generally use the volume they are enclosed in to act as air chambers. You have removed that by covering over the hole.
     
  15. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    Hi,
    The build date on this one is 07/19.
    This is the only Tesla I have ever driven, so I unfortunately don't have anything to compare it to outside of my previous ICE vehicles.
    Well, I take that back. I test drove an X before buying this one, but it was a Raven as well.
    The noise levels were certainly not what I would consider bad, and it is nowhere near what I have heard described on forums.
    Its just one of those things that I can't understand why Tesla hasn't done a better job of addressing.
    It does sound like they are improving, but noise is something that many manufacturers have figured out long ago.
    Doing this for me has a lot to do with my obsession to improve things I own.
    Sometimes it backfires on me, but it doesn't stop me. hahah
     
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  16. ultraviolet75

    ultraviolet75 Member

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    You are probably correct on both points.
    I read up a bit on how people soundproofed their cars (all makes and models - not just Teslas).
    There were some who just covered the outer skin of the doors, some who only did the inside shell of the door without removing all of the extras, and then some who did both.
    I just wanted to cover all of my bases without going back and wondering if it would be better to have done both when I had the chance.
    It was a kind of 'go big or go home' mentality, as dumb as that may be.
    I didn't think about the door as an air chamber to the speaker. I was thinking that sound that went back through the speaker opening would bounce around between the 2 walls of material I placed and might end up sounding muffled.
    It wasn't even something that I planned ahead of time to do. I was placing the material on the door, and just thought - yeah that would probably sound better if I blocked the sound from going back through the door.
    You got me thinking that I may go back and cut the hole out, since it would be an easy fix.
    I'll need to give it some time. My wife isn't exactly thrilled with me taking apart our car all of the time. :)

    Thanks for the insight!!!
     
  17. 07e92

    07e92 Member

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    You are not alone, came from a Mercedes GL550, and yes, X is so much noisier and the ride is much harsher. (reason that I still keep the MB).

    I somehow think other than battery and mechanical improvements, there are sacrifices for simplicity of exterior/interior (i.e. less buttons, less plastic parts, less sound deadening, thinner glasses, etc. for weight reduction) in exchanging for more range.
     
  18. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure This All Out

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    Been there, done that. ;)

    IMG_3722.JPG
     
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  19. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    I have 9/19 Build LR X Raven. I found a problem with the top rubber seal (near top of door panel) not sealing against the glass when window was up and the door closed. I had to remove the door panel and adjust the glass rails. Glass was tilted to far in at the top forcing glass away from the seal when the door shut. After that adjustment I was pretty happy with it. It was like have the Window open with that leak.

    Not the quietest car I’ve had but pretty good now. I got rid of a Model 3 for horrible road noise. I had a 2017 Jeep Summit with acoustic glass all around and active noise cancelation that was super quiet and was my reference. X is 85% as good now.

    Hands Free Noise cancelation on phone calls sucks though.
     
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  20. Kentucky3

    Kentucky3 Member

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    Amazing post. Thanks for the detailed explanation. I, too, was a bit disappointed in the cabin noise of this vehicle. In fact, many people who rode in my 3 or ride in my X for the first time (first time in a Tesla) comment about how they thought it was going to be quieter. Thanks to you, this will be my next big project.
     
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