Squeaky Van - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 10:48:AM Thread Starter
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Squeaky Van

Since adding wall panels and a cabinet (runs from floor to ceiling), my van has become a lot louder. It sounds like the frame of the van bends (mainly on bumpy roads), the wood inside rubs against the frame and other wood creating a squeaking noise. I added the wall panels a week before the cabinet, so I know that it isn't just the cabinet making the noise. Is this a common issue? Does anyone have suggestions on how to reduce the noise? One thought I had was to add curtains behind the front seats, which would help with sound dampening, improve insulation, and create privacy. Anyways, I just wanted to know if there was an alternative to adding sound dampening material.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 10:55:AM
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Beside applying acoustic insulation everywhere, anything I construct that is bolted such that it contacts the walls of the van I use 1/8" polyethylene closed cell foam between wood and metal.

Reading about your complaint reassures me it was worth the bother.

Unless you can undo and redo you might be up the proverbial creek.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 12:24:PM
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Originally Posted by sara44 View Post
Since adding wall panels and a cabinet (runs from floor to ceiling), my van has become a lot louder. It sounds like the frame of the van bends (mainly on bumpy roads), the wood inside rubs against the frame and other wood creating a squeaking noise. I added the wall panels a week before the cabinet, so I know that it isn't just the cabinet making the noise. Is this a common issue? Does anyone have suggestions on how to reduce the noise? One thought I had was to add curtains behind the front seats, which would help with sound dampening, improve insulation, and create privacy. Anyways, I just wanted to know if there was an alternative to adding sound dampening material.
Ahh, yes, and therein lies the beauty of using Reflectix. Many people say it has no benefit but my van does not squeak. I used it for it's quality as a moisture barrier and hoped it might add a slight radiant barrier. I found later that it also eliminated squeaks.

You are on the right track. Install then road test and repeat often.

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2016 T250, MR, LWB, 3.5L EB, 3.73 LS, Sync, Tow Package.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 12:51:PM
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Please consider Low-E SSR instead of Reflectix. Low-E is a closed cell foam (not bubbles) and passes FMVSS-302 flammability requirements. Much more resilient than Reflectix. 3M VHB or a thin layer of minicell or EVA will also eliminate squeaks and rattles. For noise absorption, use Thinsulate(TM).
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 01:32:PM
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I put 1/8" closed cell foam between the plywood wall covers and the van steel.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:39:PM
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Airliners are famous for "squeaks". They "torque" like crazy. Harmonic vibrations, etc.. We used rubber isolaters and/or "faucet washers" between cabin parts. The secret was heavy-duty Mylar tape on parts. Never a squeak. This tape is the smart-guy "duct tape". Privacy curtains are great, especially if "multi-purpose" usable. Sound barrier. Smaller area to heat/cool. Have pockets in the curtain that can hold two removable sleeping mats. Curtain can be use for windshield protection during those pesky hail storms. I consider vans to be a "utility vehicle". I love utility.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 08:20:AM
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I put 1/8" closed cell foam between the plywood wall covers and the van steel.


Where does one buy such thin foam?

2016 350 HD SRW Transit HR Van 148″, 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 Engine, 3.31 Limited Slip Axle, QuadVan 4×4, SYNC 3, Pewter power 10 way seats, Reverse, parking alert, Lane keeping alert, Dual batteries, Trailer tow package, PATS, Anti-Theft, Upfitter switches, Running Board, Privacy Glass

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 08:20:AM
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Originally Posted by BabyBuffy View Post
Beside applying acoustic insulation everywhere, anything I construct that is bolted such that it contacts the walls of the van I use 1/8" polyethylene closed cell foam between wood and metal.

Reading about your complaint reassures me it was worth the bother.

Unless you can undo and redo you might be up the proverbial creek.


Where does one buy 1/8" foam?

2016 350 HD SRW Transit HR Van 148″, 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 Engine, 3.31 Limited Slip Axle, QuadVan 4×4, SYNC 3, Pewter power 10 way seats, Reverse, parking alert, Lane keeping alert, Dual batteries, Trailer tow package, PATS, Anti-Theft, Upfitter switches, Running Board, Privacy Glass

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 08:42:AM
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For my build the issue with squeaks was typically between the cabinets, etc. and the wood wall panels. With cabinets glue everything you can. This is a similar issue to why old floors squeak, back in the day the sub-floor was just nailed down not glued and the wood moved against itself. If you are completely built out and the issue is between the wood panel and the frame of the van you may be out of luck. If you can locate the problem spots between the cabinets and paneling you can add a little "insulator." We used the weird "sticky" tool box liner for our cabinet shelves to keep dishes, etc. from clanging around. Used some little pieces of that and put it between the cabinets and wall panels in problem spots.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 08:52:AM
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I bought 1/8" at the local foam/futon store.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
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