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KoolMat Insulation Install
KoolMat Insulation Helps Keep a C5's InteriorCool and Quiet
Rob Wallace III
Apr 4, 2005
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KoolMat Insulation Install
9-piece front insulation kit, PN 612-619
13-piece rear insulation kit, PN 612-618
To install the 13-piece rear kit, the first thing we did was gut all thecarpeting and plastic side moldings up to the bulkheads of the hardtop.
For the cleanest fit possible, Mike Meyers reaches in through thelicense-plate opening to unbolt the trunk lid latch. This way, we willnot have to cut around it.
Once the rear interior is empty and clean, Mike test-fits the pieces ofKoolMat in the specified pattern. The precut kit pieces are close, butnot an exact fit in our FRC, so custom trimming is required.
With the rear interior empty again and protected against overspray, Mikeliberally sprays general-purpose contact adhesive on both the interiorpanels and the fiberglass-side of the KoolMat. He then waits a fewminutes for each section to become tacky.
As Mike adheres the driver-side rear floor section into place, he workshis way across one piece at a time while trimming as necessary to fitthem smoothly together. The KoolMat floor pieces are not precut to fitthe rear compartments, so for now Mike leaves the rear portions looseand will cut them to fit later.
Once the floor sections are laid down, Mike trims and glues thewheelwell panels into place.
The biggest difference between the kit, designed for a C5 coupe, and ourhardtop (or a convertible) is the addition of trunk hinge supports.
Thebottom of the hardtop's roofline makes it awkward, but Mike reaches upand cuts the wheelwell top sections to fit perfectly around the trunksupports.
Each piece is trimmed a bit at a time until it fits snugly.
Mike carves and forms pieces of KoolMat to fit into the side cargocompartments. The kit includes plenty of material to work with.
After locating and marking bolt locations on the rear wall panel, Mikeuses a punch to cut out precise holes to fit.
The back wall panel comes as a single piece, but at least in the case ofa hardtop, there were enough complicated curves and obstacles that Mikechose to cut it into five sections for the best overall fit possible.Here he adheres the center of it.
Mike trims the piece for the passenger side of the rear bulkhead to fitcleanly around the electric antenna wiring harness (from a C5convertible) and underneath the decklid.
On the driver side, Mike cuts a hole for the body pressure relief valve.If this were accidentally sealed, it would become extremely difficult toclose the doors.
Finally, Mike attacks the center floor storage area. It is a nightmareof complex angles, but he carefully slices the panel to fit around thegeneral curves. He then fills in the smaller areas with properly trimmedscraps of material.
The rear compartment is now finished and all the seams are sealed.
Once the seam sealer is fully cured, we reinstalled the carpeting,including the factory carpet pad. The carpet fits as good--if notbetter--with the KoolMat underneath as it did before.
Mike removes both front seats, the kick panels, and the lower seatbeltbrackets. He then pulls out the carpet.
The two-piece console is removed next.
With the console out, Mike removes the carpeting that covers the sidesof the torque tube tunnel.
Once the front compartment is empty, Mike lays the floorboard insulationin place, marks the locations of the seat bolts on the KoolMat panels,and punches out the necessary holes at his workbench.
Mike cuts slits in the KoolMat along the rocker panel for the wiringharness clamps to slip through.
Next, Mike slits the Tunnel Shifter piece, as marked, so that it canslip over the shift knob. It took slightly more effort, but we managedto do all this without removing the shift boot.
Mike now begins gluing panels in place. He fits the proper piece overthe small hump on the base of the tunnel. He then attaches the largetunnel side piece. Finally, he lays the front floor permanently inplace.
Mike trims the excess insulation at the front of the passenger-sidefloor panel (the "toeboard") so that it doesn't overlap the body/chassiscomputer and fuse panel.
For the cleanest installation possible, Mike unbolts the emergency-brakelever from the tunnel. He removes only the three bolts that secure it,leaving the cable intact so we don't have to readjust the brake cablelater.
With help to hold the passenger-side tunnel cover in place, Mike marksthe locations of the bolts for the parking-brake-handle attachinghardware. He then plans out the slot necessary to fit the tunnel sideinsulation around the brake cable.
With having to cut only three bolt holes and a small incision, thetunnel side piece of KoolMat fits cleanly and snugly around theparking-brake assembly.
Next, Mike pays the same attention to detail regarding the shifter. Wedon't want to lose future access to the shifter, so he unbolts theshifter cover plate and cuts the KoolMat so it fits right up to theflange on the tunnel underneath it.
This way, the insulation truly becomes another layer of the floor. Mikebolts the shifter cover plate back down, now on top of the insulation.
The complicated parts are done now. Mike lays the center top tunnelsection in place, punching the appropriate holes in it for the consolebolts.
He then applies the rear top tunnel section, which is cut as arectangle, and adds a couple pieces of scrap material to the sides sothat the whole rounded tunnel shape is covered.
When the forward insulation installation is complete, Mike reinstallsthe front carpet, the console, and the seats, and reassembles theinterior so the C5 is driveable once again.
After driving the hardtop around for another round of sound-levelevaluations, we pull it back in the shop to install the two-piecebulkhead kit. All we had to do was slide the seats forward and flip upthe foam-backed carpet that drapes down over the bulkhead.
All it took was 15 minutes to glue the bulkhead insulation into place,fitting one panel to the space behind each seatback, then tucking thecarpet back over. But this step made all the difference when it came tosealing out excess road and exhaust noise.
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