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Window Tint Installation

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From: jeberhard@edgenet.net (jeberhard)
Subject: RAM Window Tinting

The following is a basic how to window tint followed by a short list of tips and tricks.

Myself and Scott Pedrotti put this list together. (Scott fill in anything I might have missed.)

First of all you must have patience and you will screw up.  It takes practice like anything else.  Window tint to day is much easier to use than 5 years ago but it still takes some time to get it right.  Allow yourself a day to experiment and don't expect perfection the first time.  I can't stress this enough.  Even the pros (and I am by no means a pro) screw up. Ever go to one of their shops and see all the used film in the trash.

My recommendation to a first timer is to get a roll of the "static cling" tint. 20" x 8' is enough to do a rear window.  You may laugh but you face the same problems with the static stuff as you do with the permanent stuff except you can peel it off and try again.  The static stuff will stick with out a liquid but you will never get a bubble free finish.  Follow the same directions for the permanent stuff and you will do fine.  One thing to note is the static is a little thicker than reg tint and has a stretchy quality to it.  Be careful cutting it.  If you stretch it an warp it will never sit smooth on the window.  Also don't try this stuff on a roll down window cuz it wont work - no explanation necessary.  

Here are the basics to window tinting:
1. Get a plan of action.  Don't just start cutting and spraying with out coming up with a system.

2. Create a template of the area you are going to tint. Usually about 1/4" greater than the actual area.

3. Cut the tint to the template.  If your window has a straight edge use the edge of the tint for this.  You will never cut a straighter edge than this.

4. Clean window well.  Use an alcohol based cleaner or straight alcohol. Also use a lint free cloth.  I use "Shop Towels"

5. Scrape window with razor blade to get off any "gunk" that may be there. Please don't cut your self.

6. Peel backing off of tint (static stuff does not have this).  Careful not to let the sticky side of the tint touch it self.  Handle tint gently so not to wrinkle or crease it.

7. Spray tint with solution.  Let set for a few minutes.  Respray and then spray window.

8. Apply tint to window. Put in position and spray the exposed side. This is to help scratching from next step.

9. Squeegee from center out until all bubbles are gone.  Once you get it right stop and go on to the next window.  Don't try an wipe off any remaining water you may move the tint.  Trim of any excess now  If you did template correctly shouldn't be much

10.  Let tint sit for a few days before cleaning.  more for colder climate lees for warmer.  5 to 7 is usually pretty good.  If you are doing roll downs don't use them for that amount of time.

Well that's it for the basics now for the secrets.

-spray tint with solution while peeling off the backing.  helps it from stick to it self

-use 2 pieces of scotch tape to peel the backing off.  Apply one piece to each side (tint and backing) and pull apart

-solution to use is a little soapy water or what I use is a special solution called "Right-On".  You may also use a window cleaner but they tend to dry too fast.

-use paper or thin cardboard for template

-use a sharp razor blade to trim and cut tint.

-do in moderate climate.  too cold and tint is brittle, too hot and solution dries too fast.

-buy more tint than you need.  you don't want to be driving around with 3 of 4 windows tinted cuz you goofed up on one and need more to finish it.

-on roll down windows, take off the door panel.  this way you can get below the molding to prevent peeling.  don't put door panel on for a couple of days to make sure you don't mess up a perfect job.  also pull power window fuse or window crank until 5 to 7 days have passed.

-also trimming around the edge of a roll down window about a 1/8 of an inch will prevent peeling.  an alternative is to use a thin layer of clear nail polish over the edge or for real protection do them both (cut and polish)

-when squeeging a good spray can help prevent scratching.  Also try wrapping the squeegee in a shop cloth and wet that. this helps even more.

Well I think that covers everything.  Have fun and take your time.  Good results can be achieved with a little patience.

Jay Eberhard (jeberhard@edgenet.net) & Scott Pedrotti (sap2@cec.wustl.edu)
 
 


Subject:       Re: window tinting
From:          "Brand, Bob" <b_brand@emulex.com>

For all practical purposes, light can be broken down into three types of  wavelengths - visible, UV (UltraViolet) and IR (InfraRed).  The UV light is the type that damages carpet, upholstery, rubber, paint, skin, etc.  IR light is the type that generates heat.

Most all of the window films will block nearly 100% of the UV, and depending on the film technology and shade, up to about 66% of the IR.

The UV gets absorbed mostly by the "glue" that bonds the film to the glass.  That's why the film looks so good after many years when applied on the inside, but will deteriorate quickly if applied to the outside.  The "glue" protects the film.

The IR gets reflected by the tiny metal particles suspended in the film.  If  you touch the exterior glass on a sunny day, you'll feel that effect.

> From what I've been told, auto glass offers some UV and IR protection.  Most
> of the auto "solar" glass is geared towards IR (heat) protection, but little
> if any UV protection.

I've been trying to find some document from Chrysler that defines the amount of UV and IR that their glass conducts/blocks.  Haven't found it yet, but if  others have it and can post it (in layman's terms) that would be educational.

Short version - when getting the rear window tinted, you might want to consider getting the small rear side windows tinted to get the more complete UV protection offered by the film.

 - - - - -
Bob Brand


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Last Update March 1, 1998