How to muffle small engine noise

Written by joshua smyth
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How to muffle small engine noise
Take steps to quiet your muffler. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Small engines are found in many applications, from yard tools such as chainsaws and trimmers, right up to those powering dirt bikes and snowmobiles. Many of these engines are two-stroke varieties known for producing a lot of noise. Aside from possible hearing damage, there may be legal restrictions on small engine decibel levels in your state. Depending on the type of small engine involved, there are a number of different aftermarket options that can muffle its noise.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Muffler kit
  • Wood
  • Cloth

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  1. 1

    Surround the engine in deadening material. Wood, thick cloth or plastic all absorb sound quite effectively. Surrounding the engine with these materials will create a barrier that greatly reduces noise. This is most practical for stationary small engines such as those attached to generators or pumps, as building a box around a tool's engine is quite unwieldy. Be sure to leave openings in the box to allow the air necessary for the engine to function.

  2. 2

    Buy an aftermarket muffler and install it on the exhaust pipe of your small engine. Most engine noise echoes out the engine's exhaust pipe, just as with a car. A muffler deadens the sound before releasing the exhaust. It is possible to buy universal mufflers that attach to most small engines. These can be purchased at larger hardware stores or from suppliers of small-engined equipment.

  3. 3

    Tighten any nuts, bolts, screws or connections in the engine. Vibration will work these loose over time, and many small engines end up with a ringing noise produced by all the parts rattling against one another. Tightening them back down will quiet the engine and reduce the risk of a component unexpectedly flying loose.

  4. 4

    Buy a bonnet liner. If your small engine is mounted on a lawn tractor or snowmobile, it will be surrounded by a metal or composite bonnet. The sound-deadening properties of the bonnet can be increased by adding a soundproof bonnet liner. These are available as aftermarket options for cars, but difficult to find in sizes specifically designed for smaller engines. Inquire with your equipment's manufacturer, or buy a bonnet liner designed for a car and cut it down to size.

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