For a while I have been contemplating the perceived noise level in the van. It seems loud, but how loud, really? I found an App on the Play store called Sound Meter and put it on my phone. First, a baseline needed to be determined.
Here's a link to a chart of common db noise levels
My Forester was what I was driving that day, so, I took a measurement in it traveling on the highway I take daily to/from work. With the cruise set at 80 on a posted 75 highway the Sound Meter read between 58 and 62 db. Averaging around 60-61 db.
This morning I take the van to work and repeat the experiment. In both cases I held the phone in my right hand, at a height about shoulder level and centered between the front seats and facing to the rear of the vehicle. Surprisingly, the Transit read almost exactly the same. Regardless of the accuracy of the Sound Meter the fact that the noise level measured identically on the same stretch of road wasn't what I was expecting.
For comparison, I'm seeing about 20 db ("leaves rustling" on the chart) sitting in my office at work, which seems to be on par based upon the chart. The 60 db reading in the vehicles is the level of conversational speech or the AC compressor running beside a house (from what distance the chart wasn't specific).
To me, it seems louder in the van, perhaps due to the cavernous aspect of the sound, but by the meter I'd say this is actually a fairly low reading. It was surprising how it was the same in both vehicles considering the Subaru has carpet, panels, and some sound deadening installed and the van is bare metal wall and ceiling in the cargo area with OEM floor and wheel covering.
Can it be made better? I think so, and will be working toward that end result as I begin my build by designing floor, walls and ceiling with this in mind.
Another thing done to the van is installation of a Masione Android 2DIN HU with the Metra Dask Kit. This is a Chinese HU running the Joying version of the Android OS. I've installed apps from the Google Play Store for Navigation, OBD2 monitoring, and will be evaluating these apps and others as I go. It is only playing in the front door speakers at this time, so the sound could be better and this is no fault of the unit, but of the OEM speakers and their placement.
Lastly, I've just installed a set of Cooper HT3 Discoverer tires in the OEM size. I like them and believe they are as quiet or quieter than the tires that were removed. They look better, to me, and have a blockier tread pattern that ought to serve traction well off pavement. As the van is unloaded I've set the front and rear tire pressure to the recommended pressure for the fronts.
Okay, that's it for now. More to come.