Fastest Street Cars Boom Mat Install
Written by Aaron Hahn for Fastest Street Cars Magazine
Although it’s been a few issues since we’ve published an update on our project Venum, we’ve been making progress, but still have some work ahead of us. As most project cars go, sometimes they just don’t. Between races/events, family obligations, to the current meltdown of the global economy, when you have the time you don’t have the money, and vice-versa, at least that’s what it feels like to us sometimes. The largest hang up for this project has been the paint and body, and it’s 100-percent our fault as we’re determined to do this (at least at the time of writing this) on our own, without the help of a professional body shop. Hopefully soon you’ll be reading an upcoming article on this project which will include a complete DIY paint article brought to you by Summit Racing and our blood, sweat and tears.
With the engine recently completed and the body not quite ready for paint, we turned our attention to what we could accomplish in order to make this project more street friendly once it’s completed. When building a heads-up class car, many racers may find it necessary to remove every unnecessary item, and modify those needed, in order to get their cars as light as possible, however those of us with weight restricted heads-up, index, and street cars can afford to be a bit more comfortable in our rides. Also, because we’ve been able to remove at least 200 lbs. from the front end, we figured some creature comforts could be in order for this beast of a street car. Since these comforts will include a full interior we dug a bit deeper and looked into what we could do to really make this car more comfortable cruising the streets, without sacrificing a bunch of ET on the days and nights we do decide to tear up the local tracks.
With over 550 horsepower, no air conditioning, and long tube headers, we knew heat and noise could make for a toasty time driving the streets of sunny California. After doing a bit of research we called up our friends at Design Engineering Inc. in order to try out their new line of insulation/sound deadener and ultra light carpet padding, named Boom Mat. The line of insulation and sound deadening materials include a mat that you “roll”, or press, on all your sheet metal panels, a spray on formula for the hard to reach areas and lightweight carpet padding. Boom Mat is specifically designed for automotive use and it serves two functions, to keep engine heat out and to reduce noise vibrations. While we don’t want our muscle cars to sound like a Prius humming down the road, we also don’t want to feel like the car is about to shake itself to pieces while sweating from every pore in our body. Even though some of us may scoff at adding weight to their car, each panel only weighs one pound. With our entire floorpan, doors and roof needing 28 pieces the end result was only a 28 lb. increase in overall weight. Since we’ve eliminated the iron heads, replaced the intake and water pump with aluminum units from Edelbrock, replaced the radiator with a lightweight aluminum radiator from Flex-a- Lite, replaced the 80 lb. steel hood with a fiberglass one from Crites, as well as getting rid of all the heater and A/C components, we felt completely justified as we’re still well into a net weight loss on this ride. In addition, to offset the weight gain we ordered DEI’s Under Carpet Lite padding for under carpet insulation. This padding is very lightweight but has plenty of cushioning, giving the look and feel of traditional padding once installed under the carpet.
Since we had repaired some rusted out floor pans recently we also took the time to paint the floor pan with a sealer, giving us an ideal, clean, surface for the Boom Mat to stick to. We started by laying out the pieces to get an idea of what how many we would need. After getting a good idea of what we would end up using, we vacuumed and wiped down the floor once more and simply started sticking the mats into place. You can use a small rolling installation tool that looks like a miniature rolling pin, or be like us and use your hands and some good old fashioned elbow grease and any small roller type of tool that’s laying around the garage. Note: in retrospect we suggest purchasing the tool.
For hard-to-reach areas, such as the inside of our C pillars, Boom Mat has a spray coating that also reduces temps and vibrations. Similar to a spray paint, the spray version of Boom Mat is easily applied, can be used on the interior or exterior of your car, and can even be painted over if you’re spraying something that will be visible.
With the mat installed on the firewall, floorpan, doors and roof, as well as the spray installed in the hard to reach areas, we’re ready for our interior once the paint and body work is completed. Just working in and out of the car outside, the temperature differences coming off the body panels was immediately noticeable. As soon as this project is painted it’s headed to Artistic Threads Upholstery in Wildomar, CA for a complete interior redo where will also install the Boom Mat UC Lite under our new red carpet.