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Thread: Opinion on window films

  1. #1
    Senior Member MacGyver's Avatar
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    Opinion on window films

    After researching the latest in automotive window film Tech. I see their are much more than the standard dyed from the past. From what I've been reading about it appears that the Carbon Ceramic may be the best option for vehicles in warm areas such as Florida. Has anyone had any experience with this type of film? I understand their is even a almost clear tint that can be used on windshields to block UV and IR.

    One: Is it worth the extra money?

    Two: has anyone used this stull on their windshield? It would be nice to preserve our dashboards without using one of those a fold up sunscreens

  2. #2
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    Its been a long time since I was involved in window tint. At one time in my younger days I worked for Orlando based company that was a distributor for Suntek window film. At the time it was a "High Performance" dyed film. We used to sell a lot of it. Now Suntek offers all sorts of variations of the film.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    After researching the latest in automotive window film Tech. I see their are much more than the standard dyed from the past. From what I've been reading about it appears that the Carbon Ceramic may be the best option for vehicles in warm areas such as Florida. Has anyone had any experience with this type of film? I understand their is even a almost clear tint that can be used on windshields to block UV and IR.

    One: Is it worth the extra money?

    Two: has anyone used this stull on their windshield? It would be nice to preserve our dashboards without using one of those a fold up sunscreens

  3. #3
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    I have used several versions of the films in recent years. My wife is susceptible to sun related problems and insists that our cars have UV protection.
    Having seen a lot of vehicles with splotchy jobs, I went to the guy with the best rep in town - and have never been sorry about that choice. There is a law here (CA) about too dark tints and he had many choices that didn't darken unnecessarily yet still give the protection, whether one is looking for UV or heat protection. Recently I put (myself!) some film on one of the house windows to protect some antiques in that room from fading. This film does not darken at all and is easy to apply (on flat windows and paying strict attention to the installation instructions.
    My take is that a car's windows are really hard to do unless you know what you are doing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MacGyver's Avatar
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    I have seen that dyed films are the most popular. Basically due to the low cost. Down here in Florida It's typical to have a basic car tinted with basic dyed film for around $100. Although it doesn't offer much protection except for UV. Being the kind of person that I am who likes to do everything himself. I was considering the newest line of film which is the carbon Ceramic. If I had a tinter guy put in on the whole car including the clear for the windshield. The price would be in the $250.00 range. For that amount of money I could purchase the tint and do all my cars. The new Carbon Ceramic films apparently block much of the IR as well. Maybe I'll take a chance and order a roll and put it to the test.

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    My experience, based on having tinted about ten cars and a couple of houses...

    Expect to make a mess of the first couple of car windows you do. Based on the quality of your builds, reflected in the pages of this forum, the first couple will not match the quality of the car.

    Basically, when I first start tinting again after not having done them in a long time, the tinted windows will look like crap... bubbles, pollen & dust, hair, fingerprints, etc. After I get mad and pull the film off and redo them a couple of times, then they start to look much better.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a garage at this point, so I have to time installation around warm weather. I also always end up with trash under the glass... dust and pollen mostly. Even when I get in the car and close the door while tinting, the doors have been open long enough to let dust and pollen settle on the door/glass while i'm getting in and out of the car, cutting film, etc.

    I did the Testarossa a few weeks ago, during a warm spell. I didn't do a pro job, but it's good enough for now. The dust is more noticeable from inside the car, than from outside. Once I get the headlights replaced and minor bodywork done, I plan to have the paint freshened up, then I'll have a professional tint job, or at least re-do the tint myself. I went with limo tint on the rear glass and on the factory "blue" strip at the top of the windshield, and Georgia-legal 35% on the doors. When I redo, I may try putting 20% on the doors.

    Since it is not a daily driver, I wasn't overly concerned about heat reduction. Primarily, I wanted privacy... before I purchased, I didn't think about how many people would be pointing, taking photos, and staring at the car. Frankly, I still find all the attention a little unnerving. At least now, with darkened glass, I feel I have a little more privacy.

    My suggestions...
    1 - watch a couple of YouTube DIY Tinting tutorials
    2 - take your time... Patience, Grasshopper!
    3 - park the car inside a clean garage, then close the door and wait for a while so dust in the air has time to settle, wet the garage floor slightly to trap settled dust, then clean the windows (inside & out), door cards, window framing, and weatherstripping around the windows
    4 - have the right tools... razor knife, squeegee, scraper, heat gun, steel ruler, water spray bottle, etc and quality film
    5 - follow the directions supplied with your film when cutting out and shaping the template... for curved glass, use thin strip film or heat gun to shrink the film, similar to shrinking vinyl wrap for curves
    6 - wet your fingertips to avoid leaving prints and crud in between the glass and film
    7 - pull the door card away from the door or even remove if possible... not having to fight the inner door wipe makes it easier to clean the glass down into the door, and to prevent trash getting inside the film
    8 - steel ruler is great with the razor knife for minor touch-up cuts
    9 - take your time
    10 - leave the window rolled up for a few days while the water between glass and film evaporates

    I hope the suggestions help. Based on the quality of your work, I have no doubt you will be able to do a great job on window tinting as well... after a few practice runs. lol

  6. #6
    Senior Member MacGyver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbdo View Post
    My experience, based on having tinted about ten cars and a couple of houses...

    Expect to make a mess of the first couple of car windows you do. Based on the quality of your builds, reflected in the pages of this forum, the first couple will not match the quality of the car.

    Basically, when I first start tinting again after not having done them in a long time, the tinted windows will look like crap... bubbles, pollen & dust, hair, fingerprints, etc. After I get mad and pull the film off and redo them a couple of times, then they start to look much better.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a garage at this point, so I have to time installation around warm weather. I also always end up with trash under the glass... dust and pollen mostly. Even when I get in the car and close the door while tinting, the doors have been open long enough to let dust and pollen settle on the door/glass while i'm getting in and out of the car, cutting film, etc.

    I did the Testarossa a few weeks ago, during a warm spell. I didn't do a pro job, but it's good enough for now. The dust is more noticeable from inside the car, than from outside. Once I get the headlights replaced and minor bodywork done, I plan to have the paint freshened up, then I'll have a professional tint job, or at least re-do the tint myself. I went with limo tint on the rear glass and on the factory "blue" strip at the top of the windshield, and Georgia-legal 35% on the doors. When I redo, I may try putting 20% on the doors.

    Since it is not a daily driver, I wasn't overly concerned about heat reduction. Primarily, I wanted privacy... before I purchased, I didn't think about how many people would be pointing, taking photos, and staring at the car. Frankly, I still find all the attention a little unnerving. At least now, with darkened glass, I feel I have a little more privacy.

    My suggestions...
    1 - watch a couple of YouTube DIY Tinting tutorials
    2 - take your time... Patience, Grasshopper!
    3 - park the car inside a clean garage, then close the door and wait for a while so dust in the air has time to settle, wet the garage floor slightly to trap settled dust, then clean the windows (inside & out), door cards, window framing, and weatherstripping around the windows
    4 - have the right tools... razor knife, squeegee, scraper, heat gun, steel ruler, water spray bottle, etc and quality film
    5 - follow the directions supplied with your film when cutting out and shaping the template... for curved glass, use thin strip film or heat gun to shrink the film, similar to shrinking vinyl wrap for curves
    6 - wet your fingertips to avoid leaving prints and crud in between the glass and film
    7 - pull the door card away from the door or even remove if possible... not having to fight the inner door wipe makes it easier to clean the glass down into the door, and to prevent trash getting inside the film
    8 - steel ruler is great with the razor knife for minor touch-up cuts
    9 - take your time
    10 - leave the window rolled up for a few days while the water between glass and film evaporates

    I hope the suggestions help. Based on the quality of your work, I have no doubt you will be able to do a great job on window tinting as well... after a few practice runs. lol
    Thank you for all the info.

    I actually tinted a bunch of cars in the past using cheep film. My old 85 Vette still has the same tint on it from back in the 90s and still doesn't look all that bad. Not a single bubble. it is starting to lift up near the edges though. I would think that if I could do a decent job with cheep film the quality film will come out even better. I guess I'll order a roll of the good stuff and have a go of it. Even pick up a new squeegee and a new hard card. My old squeegee has become so stiff it would probably scratch the tint.

  7. #7
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    One interesting thing I saw the technician do on my wife's car recently. He first put the film on the OUTSIDE of the windshield (with water but without removing the backing), trimmed the edges and around the mirror post. This got him the trim shape which would have been very tough to do on the inside (Mini-Cooper has a lot of curvature on the windshield).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aflo View Post
    One interesting thing I saw the technician do on my wife's car recently. He first put the film on the OUTSIDE of the windshield (with water but without removing the backing), trimmed the edges and around the mirror post. This got him the trim shape which would have been very tough to do on the inside (Mini-Cooper has a lot of curvature on the windshield).
    Yep, that's the way to do it. I do the same thing.

    You just have to remember to put the film-side of the tint against the outside of the glass when you are cutting the template. That way, when you peel off the liner, the sticky side of the film will be the same shape as the inside of your glass.

    Anyway, usually, the roll of the film when fresh from the box is curved the same direction as the curved outside glass.

    Sounds more complicated than it is. lol

    If you accidentally put the liner-side of the tint on the outside of the glass, when you peel the liner off your template, it will be a mirror opposite... not a big deal if you're doing a door and can put it on the other door... but a waste if the other door is already tinted. I had to buy another roll once because I had just enough left on the roll to finish ... but got my sides reversed when cutting the template.

    Remember I said, "take your time"?! Well, I didn't. lol I was trying to rush and finish before dark, since I don't have a garage.

    Also, as mentioned, use the 6" wide strip tint for windows (like the windshield/rear), which usually has complex curves (curved along the vertical and horizontal axis). The narrow strips follow the complex curvatures much more easily.

  9. #9
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    nano carbon ceramic.... find a Rayno dealer. The heat and UV reduction is worth it much less the better clairity of the film..
    Last edited by Jbrown; 03-06-2017 at 12:26 AM.

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