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I have done a lot of tint over the past ten years, below is what works best for me...

Patience and time is the key, don’t rush it.

1 – cut the exact size rectangle out of the film by placing it on a hardboard surface and using a steel rule and very sharp knife (new knife blade)
2 – tape the film to the window so the top, sides and bottom are in the right place
3 – hold the film down at the rounded corners and trim with the sharp blade (make sure none of the film will be lifted over the rubber seal)
4 – clean the window area with slightly soapy water and dry off with a lint free cloth (you don’t want the cloth to leave tiny bits on the glass to get stuck under the film)
5 – spray a soapy water mix onto the glass, make sure the whole area is wet
6 – remove the backing from the film (pick a corner and using tape on both sides, peel apart)
6a - spray the sticky side of the film as you peel the backing off, it helps prevent the film sticking together if it folds over
7 – make sure the film doesn’t bend over and stick to itself – if it does, bin it and start again(this happened to me alot in the start)
8 – place the film on the wet window
9 – spray soapy water onto the top of the film – this will aide the squeegee in the next step
10 – squeegee the film - start in the centre and hold in place with your hand next to where you start each stroke then squeegee away from your hand towards the edge of the window (I find a 3 to 4 inch squeegee is the right size)
11 – as you get the water out of the film, dry around the edges

For a window that winds down, cut the film an inch bigger in height. When you apply it to the window, have the window wound up and apply the bottom part first, sliding it under the rubber seal (make sure you have wetted under the seal before applying the film). Cut the edges at least an eighth of an inch away from the side seals so they don’t touch the film at all as the window goes up and down. Also make sure the top of the film doesn’t touch the top seal.

The only thing I find difficult is keeping the area clean and keeping dust out of the air. Any dust on the film will show as a speck/bubble. Don’t let the film sit around once the backing is removed, it will collect dust very quickly.

Hope that helps

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Just had the driver and passenger door done, also did a strip across the top of the windshield ($170). I wanted to do a limo tint on the rest of the windows but the shop dident want to do it, "too much work"!!?? Im pretty happy with the windshild strip it looks stock, and helps for that huge windshield.

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Tint grade varies by percentage of light allowed.  5% tint blocks out 95% of light.  That is what is known as "limo tint".  No matter which tint grade film they use, it's the same amount of labor.  Different shops may want to adjust their fees by tint shade.  Okay.  Perhaps there are different prices for the material.  

 

Now, as for pricing, it will vary from shop to shop, and by location.  If you're in East L.A., where everyone gets tinted windows, and window tint shops are everywhere, then you may find pricing to be more competitive.  A dealer will probably charge a lot more, because unless they have a tech who will tint windows at tech hourly rates + material, they will subcontract the work to a vendor and charge you a mark-up.  A quick search on amazon.com for window tint film, and you can buy everything you need for about $50.  Do it yourself - without any prior experience - and you could have the best or worst tint ever.  In my local market, commercial rent is sky high (think Honolulu, Manhattan, San Francisco), and we have the highest minimum wage in the country.  The cost of doing business is simply higher.  A $5 hamburger is $8 here.  I could save a few bucks by driving 30 minutes to a neighboring community.  Just don't compare apples to oranges because a tint guy is charging you more for your van, than your buddy paid for his Honda Civic.  

Here is what 5% limo tint looks like on a 2016 LWB Wagon.

KIMG0042.JPG

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On 10/16/2015 at 7:40 AM, emassa15 said:

Just had the driver and passenger door done, also did a strip across the top of the windshield ($170). I wanted to do a limo tint on the rest of the windows but the shop dident want to do it, "too much work"!!?? Im pretty happy with the windshild strip it looks stock, and helps for that huge windshield.

So you tinted your windshield, and tow doors in the front, but did not do anything to the glass behind the driver and passenger seats?

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https://www.chp.ca.gov/home/faq#33901110-6d6a-4ebc-83a8-9924f97d9166={"k"%3A"window"}#Default={"k"%3A""}

 

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Can I put after-market tinting on the windows of my vehicle?

The main requirements for legal window tinting in California are:

  1. The windshield and front driver's side and passenger's side windows cannot receive any aftermarket tinting.

  2. If the rear window of a vehicle is tinted, the vehicle must have outside rearview mirrors on both sides.

The law prohibits any person from driving any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied upon the windshield or side or rear windows, with certain limited exceptions. 

However, legislation signed into law effective January 1, 1999, exempts from the above prohibition specified clear, colorless, and transparent material that is installed, affixed, or applied to the front driver and passenger side windows for the specific purpose of reducing ultraviolet rays. If, as, or when this material becomes torn, bubbled or otherwise worn, it must be removed or replaced.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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Seems every state has thier rules. I can put film on side windows and rear in MN.  But the drivers and passenger windows are limited to amount of tint. I got stopped with my front windows that had a mirrored gradiant tint that allowed me great vision on the lower part and kept the sun out on the higher part. Soon as I get to south Texas one of my first things to get done will be to get everything thats legal to get covered.

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How far down can a strip across the top of the windshield be without getting hasseled about it?  Probably varies by state I suppose.  I would love an 8 inch tall strip of 50/50 tint across the top of the windshield

Don

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8" sounds reasonable.  Some autoglass is sold with tint, in which case, there's not much that the state trooper can do about it since the glass was manufactured that way.  If you get a "fix it" ticket, take it to the judge, and tell him that there is no way to "fix it" because it's not removable.  

 

Typically, if your upper windshield is tinted down to, or above, the sun visor line of your car, you should fine.  However, these Transit Connects have huge visors.  The best bet is to check with your local Highway Patrol, Department of Public Safety, or State Police office.  Call them.  Better yet, walk in.  Explain to the officer that you're not trying to be a smart-ass, but just trying to comply in the interest of everybody's safety.  

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I recently had the front windows tinted at a shop. I researched window tint materials and not all products are equal.  The cheaper products will turn blue-ish over time. The more expensive (by 3M and others) ones will not. I chose the most expensive tint, 3M Crystalline series:

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1161043O/3m-automotive-window-film-crystalline-series-brochure.pdf

This tint is designed to reduce the IR radiation (heat) without having to be dark. The front windows have CR70 and are barely darker than stock, but the tint supposedly reduces the total solar energy by 50%. The tint is expensive...around $100+(not including labor) just for the front windows. Hopefully this keeps the CHP off my back.

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Some high-end tints use Carbon Fiber, which can block RF signals. If you stream music over your phone you might want to re-think.

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Don  -  Thanks for the heads up on the 3M Crystalline tint  -  I learned a lot.  I think I would be happy with their 90% clear tint as it blocks almost all IR and UV radiation which keeps the car cooler and that's what I'm after.  I really don't care for dark tint anyway.  As clear as that tint looks, I'm pretty sure nobody would hassle me about it even if I had it a bit farther down the windshield than is really legal.  It doesn't block radio signals either, which is important because I  have a GPS antenna under that little hood over the back-up screen

Don

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If it is clear tint, why not simply tint the entire windshield?

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It's 90% clear, which means it blocks 10% of the light coming through.  At night, I wouldn't care to be missing that 10%.  I have a pretty bad case of glaucoma and even wearing sunglasses in the daytime is uncomfortable for me  -  It's a bit claustrophobic.  Our last car had tinted windows when we bought it and I had to get the tint removed before I really felt comfortable driving it

Don

 

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I have my windshield and windows ceramic tinted on my 2016 xlt lwb....  The front windsheild is 50%...  Legally it's supposed to be 70%...  The thing about the TC's is the windshield is big and allows more light to come in...  I have factory privacy glass with 20% over it...  The rear looks good, doesn't seem to be darker than 5%...  The front doors looks lighter because the privacy glass isn't as dark...  Our tint tickets here are $287 per window if you get caught...

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I bought a 30" piece of the 3M Crystalline 70% and had a 10" strip of it installed on the TC and our 2 electric  cars.  It's very easy to see through and hardly noticeable at all from outside the vehicle  -  I seriously doubt I'll ever have a problem with the legal eagles busting me for having tint which comes down too far

As for how to install it  -  I had a professional do it and he first cleaned the windshield inside and out.  He wet the outside upper portion of the windshield and placed the strip of tint on the wet glass with the protective film facing upward.  He smoothed the tint to fit the glass using a squeegee and a heat gun until it lay flat on the glass with all the water squeegeed out from under it and then he cut it to size using the edges of the windshield as a pattern  -  Both sides and across the top.  Then he wet the inside with soapy water, peeled off the clear protective layer and installed it on the inside.  Again, with a squeegee and a heat gun he flattened the tint to the contour of the windshield

A helpful hint for anyone wanting to do this  -  The TC's rear view mirror cannot be removed and replaced.  He very carefully cut a teardrop shaped hole in the tint while it was on the outside of the glass so when he installed it on the inside it could be slipped up behind the plastic molding surrounding the mirror base.  It's invisible when done.  He did remove the mirror to do the job on our EV's, but he's learned from experience not to even try to remove the mirror from the TC

Our local tint shop charged me $15 for the install.  I guarantee you I could not have done this half as well by myself.  It took him less than 20 minutes and it's a perfect job  -  No streaks, no bubbles, no marks of any kind and it fits perfectly.  Best $15 I've spent in a long time

Don

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I know just enough about window tint, after having watched the pros do it, to know that I would mess it up myself.  They make it look easy.  Ever eat in a place with an exhibition kitchen?  I like to sit right at the counter, talk to the cooks, and get to know them.  They make those gourmet meals look easy.  Then I try to do it, and mess it up.  

 

Some things I would tackle without hesitation.  But it's always the little projects that turn out to be the hardest.  Plumbing, electrical, carpentry, roofing; not a problem......but a simple paint job or gardening project could leave you with a messed up yard & paint all over your carpets.  

 

Cold air intake, bolt on exhaust, j-mod on the transmission, lift kits.....piece of cake.  Tear out the OEM fan & install electric fans.  No problem.  Change underdrive pulley on the engine.  No problem.  Upgrade the cooling system.  You bet.  Install off-road lights.  No problem.  Wire in emergency flashers.  No problem.  Install communications via Motorola base unit.  No problem.  Install a battery isolator, run a line to the trunk, mount a second battery, then hook up an air compressor and portable welder.  Sure, piece of cake.  Fabricate a bench seating system to carry 9 people in the back of a pickup truck.  Yeah.  

 

But I'm not tinting windows.  That , is where I draw the line.

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We had one of the EV's out today.  Parked it at Lowes for about an hour in bright noon time sun.  Came out and got in the car and you could see a faint line across the dark gray dashboard  -  It's a slightly different color where it's 'shaded' by the tint . . . . not a great deal of difference, you have to look for it.  Anyway, we put a hand on the shaded part and it was warm, but put your hand on the unshaded part and it's HOT!!  Easily a temperature difference of 25 or 30 degrees

This 3M Crystalline tint really does what they say it does  -  Expensive when compared to the price of ordinary tint, but really worth it IMO

Don

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