Piston Slap: A new Frontier for stereo installations?
I have a 2010 Nissan Frontier with a factory CD player, but it had no AUX input or Bluetooth connection to play music from my phone. After about two years of dealing with one of those sketchy Bluetooth adapters that plugs into the 12v outlet on the dash, I finally caved and ordered a stereo receiver and all the necessary accessories from Crutchfield.
The receiver works well, and even made my factory speakers sound a bit better, but despite getting all the replacement trim pieces and installing it all correctly, the dash now makes chittering noises anytime I drive over a bump in the road, and sometimes just when the truck is idling. If I press hard on the tray above the stereo, I can minimize some of the noise, but the new stereo support brackets and the little tray underneath the receiver are just not as robust as the original equipment.
Should I pull it all apart and start adding foam adhesive wherever I can? Thanks for your help!
I have experienced similar issues when upgrading radios on Fords from the last 40 years, so I know you are on the right track with the comment about foam insulation. Sometimes you don’t need foam, because the factory radio has a rear support bracket. While many stereos from the Rad era have a rear bracket, I suspect those days are far behind us. So let’s take a look at the installation kit that came with your purchase:
That’s a lotta plastic! The problem is, these kits don’t necessarily replicate every bit the factory uses to firmly install a stereo. And the factory mounts are usually better quality, often made of metal instead of plastic. But this general information isn’t wholly relevant to the Nissan Frontier in question, so have a look at what Danny pulled out of his truck:
There is no provision for a rear support bracket (a centrally-located threaded hole, or a bolt to attach said bracket), but look at those beefy metal brackets on both sides! Odds are these can’t be reused on the aftermarket radio installation kit, so you do indeed need to use something to stop the vibration. I recommend the same structural packaging foam I mentioned for Project Valentino, but don’t go crazy with it; find the one spot that causes the vibration and add a wedge of foam there. Just a little wedge, not a strip, pad, or anything bigger.
Air circulation/heat management is generally paramount when it comes to aftermarket audio systems, especially if you are running the internal amplifier to power your speakers. Blocking the holes in its chassis could prematurely kill your new stereo, so get some double-sided tape or glue and affix the wedge of foam in a minimalist fashion.
Conservative use of foam insulation and glue is paramount here, as a little bit goes a long way. Hope this solves your problem!
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