Silencing the VIN Plate / Defroster Panel rattle
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This is a discussion on Silencing the VIN Plate / Defroster Panel rattle within the Maintenance, service, and repair forums, part of the Tutorials & DIY category; keywords: Silencing dash defroster trim panel VIN plate rattle clock airbag windshield noise OK guys and gals, time to finally ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Dick Nogs's Avatar
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    Silencing the VIN Plate / Defroster Panel rattle

    keywords:
    Silencing dash defroster trim panel VIN plate rattle clock airbag windshield noise

    OK guys and gals, time to finally make that damn noise in the front of your dash be quiet. I developed this rattle from the area just below the windshield where all those trim pieces come together. Many have thought it was their VIN plate rattling, but it is actually the plastic clips that are rattling. Here is how to remove and silence that rattle.

    First, we're talking about this piece right here:
    [IMG]http://wrx.****nogs.com/procedures/defroster_panel.gif[/IMG]
    Last edited by Dick Nogs; 03-05-2004 at 03:34 PM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Dick Nogs's Avatar
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    On the defroster trim panel, passenger side, right in front of the airbag, look for the first defrsoter slit in the panel and press on it next to the windshield. You will see the corner of the panel stick up a little bit. You can then stick a screwdriver under it and start to pry it up:
    [IMG]http://wrx.****nogs.com/procedures/defroster_panel_1.jpg[/IMG]


    Once you pry the end up, slip a finger under it and lift it up. The first clip will release. Then just basically slide your hand to the left to continue releasing each of the (6) clips holding it on. The last clip on the driver's side will tend to bind, but just go ahead and pull it up as straight as you can and it will release:
    [IMG]http://wrx.****nogs.com/procedures/defroster_panel_2.jpg[/IMG]
    Last edited by Dick Nogs; 03-05-2004 at 03:34 PM.

  4. #3
    Registered User Dick Nogs's Avatar
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    now that the entire defroster trim panel is off, you can see what was making all that noise in there! G'head, shake it like a turkey neck. clackaclackarattleclacka! Just remember, shake it more than three times and you're playing with it:
    [IMG]http://wrx.****nogs.com/procedures/defroster_panel_3.jpg[/IMG]


    A closer look at the white clips reveal that they do a good job of holding the thing in place, but are horribly loose and bound to rattle:
    [IMG]http://wrx.****nogs.com/procedures/defroster_panel_4.jpg[/IMG]
    Last edited by Dick Nogs; 03-05-2004 at 03:35 PM.

  5. #4
    Registered User Dick Nogs's Avatar
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    you need to carefully remove each white plastic clip. A tiny screwdriver might help you pry them off. They are fairly robust but do be careful:
    [IMG]http://wrx.****nogs.com/procedures/defroster_panel_5.jpg[/IMG]

    To actually silence them, you need to apply something that will keep them from moving and clacking. You could use some heavy grease, a big fat booger, or preferably some silicone sealant. The stuff i used is cheap and sets up soft and gooey so it won't prevent future removal. just glop a little dab on each tab. About a "drop" worth. Smear it a little bit to make sure it's on there good:
    [IMG]http://wrx.****nogs.com/procedures/defroster_panel_6.jpg[/IMG]
    Last edited by Dick Nogs; 03-05-2004 at 03:36 PM.

  6. #5
    Registered User Dick Nogs's Avatar
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    Reinstall each plastic clip over the goo that you used. Once it's on, you'll see that the clip makes good contact with the goop and if you shake it, it won't rattle, not even if you beg it to:
    [IMG]http://wrx.****nogs.com/procedures/defroster_panel_7.jpg[/IMG]

    Reinstall the trim panel on the dash. Be very careful not to get your goop on the exterior of the trim pieces, since it will be messy and potentially difficult to clean up. You might also consider putting a small thin block of foam at each end of the panel. I even went so far as to run a thin bead of silicone along the rearward edge where the trim panel will meet the rest of the dash:
    [IMG]http://wrx.****nogs.com/procedures/defroster_panel_8.jpg[/IMG]
    Last edited by Dick Nogs; 03-05-2004 at 03:36 PM.

  7. #6
    Registered User Dick Nogs's Avatar
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    Just push all the clips firmly back into place, put away your tools, wash your hands, and go for a drive. You should now hear no more rattle coming from that spot but it will probably make you acutely aware of another rattle somewhere. <sigh>

    Hope somebody finds this helpful!

    -Nick

  8. #7
    Registered User ***biGRed***'s Avatar
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    now that's a detailed how-to.
    i like the pictures and text instructions.
    haven't run into this problem but will save this just in case.
    know how to install a HKS BOV with similar detailed instructions?

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    Registered User NJwrbT-WRX's Avatar
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    This started about a week ago for me, and in addition to the sealbelt making noise, I am about to kill someone. Thanks so much, I am printing it now and will be fixing that ba$tard this weekend.

    -joe
    '02 WRB Sedan

    Removed silencer w/ Akimoto Velocity Stack, Blitz Dual TT, Autospeed Prototype Up-pipe w/ Flex-joint, Autospeed Crank Pulley, Autospeed OEM Dead Pedal, Samco IC Hoses, Axxis Pads, Goodridge Lines, Neo Synth Brake Fluid, Speedbleeders, Eibach Pro-Kit, Perrin Endlinks and Rear Sway, 17" Sub Zeros w/ 225/45 ES100s, Crucial Racing Thermostat and 1.4bar Radiator Cap, Autometer Sport-Comp Oil Pressure, EGT, and Voltmeter on the A-Pillar, STI Hoodscoop.

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    Registered User Dick Nogs's Avatar
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    note: i have since unearthed countless other rattles, mostly from the door panels, passenger ABS assembly, rear deck, and B-pillars (seatbelts). I think the best thing is to fix them one at a time.

    With a stiffer-than-stock suspension and a little bit of woofer in the trunk, things rattle.

  11. #10
    Moderator WilliamG's Avatar
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    I have this bloody problem and it drives me mad. I will be fixing this ASAP. Phew! That seatbelt pillar noise is driving me bananas too. Wish someone could tell me how to get behind the pillar and fix THAT!

    Thanks for the pictures!! MOST HELPFUL! I'll be fixing this as soon as I get the lubey stuff!

    Thanks again!
    2010 SSM STI

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    Banned dark_rex's Avatar
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    Originally posted by **** Nogs
    note: i have since unearthed countless other rattles, mostly from the door panels, passenger ABS assembly, rear deck, and B-pillars (seatbelts). I think the best thing is to fix them one at a time.

    With a stiffer-than-stock suspension and a little bit of woofer in the trunk, things rattle.
    i had this problem. i ended up just cutting vacuum line into very short (maybe .5cm) and jamming them in there. it's worked great so far on the front piece and the rear deck.

    still stumped on the seatbelt things though.

    dR

  13. #12
    Registered User NJwrbT-WRX's Avatar
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    The seatbelt noise, if it is the same as mine, is easy to fix. Mine is like a creaking noise, I can hear everytime I take a breath. To fix it, I just did this yesterday and it worked. You have to tighten the bolt that holds the seatbelt female connection to the seat rail. Just look dow there, you will see it. Give that sucker a half crank and you will have no more noise!!!! IF you need a pic I will see if I can get one this weekend.

    -joe
    '02 WRB Sedan

    Removed silencer w/ Akimoto Velocity Stack, Blitz Dual TT, Autospeed Prototype Up-pipe w/ Flex-joint, Autospeed Crank Pulley, Autospeed OEM Dead Pedal, Samco IC Hoses, Axxis Pads, Goodridge Lines, Neo Synth Brake Fluid, Speedbleeders, Eibach Pro-Kit, Perrin Endlinks and Rear Sway, 17" Sub Zeros w/ 225/45 ES100s, Crucial Racing Thermostat and 1.4bar Radiator Cap, Autometer Sport-Comp Oil Pressure, EGT, and Voltmeter on the A-Pillar, STI Hoodscoop.

  14. #13
    Moderator WilliamG's Avatar
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    Please picture! Pretty please!

    Thanks!
    2010 SSM STI

  15. #14
    Moderator WilliamG's Avatar
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    Although...mine is like a really fast 'rattling' in the seat-belt column, and it always seems to happen at fast speeds.
    2010 SSM STI

  16. #15
    Registered User NJwrbT-WRX's Avatar
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    Hey, I am sorry I did not have a chance to get a picture. I will post it as soon as I do. Other another note, I did the silicon trick on the defroster panel and it worked like a charm, now onto other rattles!

    -joe
    '02 WRB Sedan

    Removed silencer w/ Akimoto Velocity Stack, Blitz Dual TT, Autospeed Prototype Up-pipe w/ Flex-joint, Autospeed Crank Pulley, Autospeed OEM Dead Pedal, Samco IC Hoses, Axxis Pads, Goodridge Lines, Neo Synth Brake Fluid, Speedbleeders, Eibach Pro-Kit, Perrin Endlinks and Rear Sway, 17" Sub Zeros w/ 225/45 ES100s, Crucial Racing Thermostat and 1.4bar Radiator Cap, Autometer Sport-Comp Oil Pressure, EGT, and Voltmeter on the A-Pillar, STI Hoodscoop.

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