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Discussion Starter #1
The title is how my wife was telling friends hubby bought a car. As I'm not a luxury car type, she enjoyed their reaction at the initial description and the shared laughter after clarifying it being a cargo van.
A running joke between DW and I was when when looking at all manner of vehicles at car shows, I would ask if it could hold a 4x8 sheet of construction material. My Saab 9-3 did an admirable job with construction materials over the years but it’s 15 years old and it was time for a vehicle with a fresh drive train.
I had more or less decided on a Transit and had looked around for a 1-2 year old model. The local dealers only had new ones in stock and were not much on price adjusting which led to looking at Metrises. I found one with 12K miles on the odometer and at a price less than a new Transit Connect/NV200/Promaster.
I’m very happy about the construction quality, cargo capacity, acceleration and maneuverability. Not so happy about the blind spots and interior noise, but those are endemic to the vehicle class. The dealer covered 2/3’s of the cost of rear windows which helped but did not completely solve the blind spot issues.
The first consideration for addressing the interior noise was to order the interior panels and parts from MB. Ordering the right parts was not DIY friendly and the dealers were not interested in doing that work. I was referred to an aftermarket van conversion shop. Their estimate was more than what I was willing to pay.
Next was looking at aftermarket panels which would cost $1800 and serve for cover and insulation. Aside from expense, I didn’t like that the panels would cover the threaded holes for attaching shelving/cabinets to the sidewalls.
That turned it into a woodworking project. It was fun in a challenging and time consuming way, but not expensive. $350 for plywood, Thinsulate SM600L and panel mounting hardware and tools.
The interior noise improved and putting Noico sound deadening matting on the floor and the wheelwells, then making covers for the wheel wells brought the sound level to an acceptable level.
I have photos of the project and will post to this thread once I have photo privileges.
Other upgrades were rear and side view cameras to address (but as it turns out still not completely eliminate) the blinds spots and a DIY center console.
 

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Boy, I'm in the same mid-life sitch I guess, had to have MY SUV, and after 13 great Eurovan years, along comes the Metris at just a few bucks more than I paid VW in 1999! The chassis doesn't seem as bang-it-up durable (although I ovalized the rear shock mount holes on the VW bouncing around above Aspen with 4 kids, 4 bikes and a raft), but I like the small turbo (VW 2.8 VR6 was the bomb!!) approach and high interior cubes.


Question -- I am curious how much Noico you applied. The Metris comes standard with noise deadening patches on the rear side panels. I've been told that there is such a thing as too much Noico -- I mean the stuff is meant to be applied in patches to deaden harmonics, and if it is applied uniformly it won't work as well. (Calling all engineers -- truth or fiction?)

How did you do it and what were your noise results?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
@focus805- I covered as much of the floor with the Noico as I could with the amount purchased. I was thinking that if solutions like the AutoMat floors covered the whole area, then the same should be done with other materials on the floor. For the side panels and ceiling, I used Thinsulate Acoustic insulation as I did not want an adhesive solution that might risk panel warping. Noise level went from 70-80 Db to less than 60Db.
 

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I wanted the Cargo van but it was way too noisy. Sadly, the compromise was that the passenger trim in the rear narrows the space between the wheels to 47". I negotiated with the dealer for two airline tickets having value of $1500 and took the passenger van. All I have to do to overcome the problem is to load in a couple of 2x4's first since the width increases a little off the floor.
 

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@focus805- I covered as much of the floor with the Noico as I could with the amount purchased. I was thinking that if solutions like the AutoMat floors covered the whole area, then the same should be done with other materials on the floor. For the side panels and ceiling, I used Thinsulate Acoustic insulation as I did not want an adhesive solution that might risk panel warping. Noise level went from 70-80 Db to less than 60Db.
Yes, I decided on thinsulate too after comparing many sidewall materials. I hadn't thought about an adhesive causing warping. With the "styrofoam" I would use, I can't imagine what would warp, and certainly I've seen no warping in my son's E250.

You did great work on the panels. I tried to order the VA3 Full Height Plastic Paneling so I'd have those pieces as templates for panels, but thye dropped that code from the DOG at least for the 135 WB model.

Thanks!
 

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You did great work on the panels. I tried to order the VA3 Full Height Plastic Paneling so I'd have those pieces as templates for panels, but thye dropped that code from the DOG at least for the 135 WB model.
!
I also ordered the full height paneling on my 135”WB yet had the same result as Focus, only the lower half was supplied.
To make the upper panels, I’ve ordered the 126” WB model panel upper to use as a pattern to create my own.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Had to think about it for awhile before reaching this solution of making templates using cheap mounting matboard for exterior dimensions and hole placements for each of the panel. Once that was done the rest was strait forward. Here are some photos. Time allowing I'll elaborate on the build either on my blog or the Garage section of this forum.
 

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Ha, I've been saying for the last few years that my "mid-life crisis" is to become a responsible adult with a steady income, the van is the latest part of that "crisis."

I spent my first 20 years of adulthood trying to be a professional musician, in the process I became a really solid sound engineer and that's what my small business is built on (and what I got the Metris cargo van for). Now I have a steady tech-support day-job, the sound-company is my retirement-plan with a slow & steady growth pattern for the last four years (built on my past and current reputation, zero marketing other than a Facebook page) - hopefully that continues for the next 15 years or so & I can manage a team when I'm done with the tech support work.
 

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I just bought a Metris 135" with the panel option. I'll soon replace the panels with full fabric/carpet walls, since its a camper. So, if anyone is interested, I'll have a full panel kit available, in new condition. It's easy to remove the panels with proper trim tools, and the fasteners will be in new condition as well. The panels are very easy to install (no tools required) and, if you want a quieter cargo van, put Thinsulate behind the paneling and you're good to go. Do not use fibreglass insulation in a van. It absorbs moisture and causes issues. The Thinsulate is designed for auto insulation, both sound and heat, and worked beautifully in my Promaster City van, along with blown-in Styrofoam beads for the inaccessible places. They, too, do not absorb water. It drains through them and out the drains at the wall bottoms. But don't tell anyone. Its my secret for hard to insulate columns and channels and its really works great.
 

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YGM
 
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