java230
java230 UltraDork
8/22/19 1:44 p.m.

I swear there was a thread on this not long ago, but I cant find it now.... Learn me DIY window tints! 

I cant seem to find anywhere to buy the "good" films, I was look at 3M Crystalline (which I see on ebay and is likely fake?), Formula 1 And Huper Optik, but those are pro only it seems. Any of the available brands  (lots of random ones on Amazon) that are any good? Looking in the 35-40% range, probably ceramic and prefer max heat rejection.

 

As to the install, I think I can handle this car, its all flat glass! And they are all pulled at the moment, should be easy to slap tint on before reinstall.

MINIzguy
MINIzguy HalfDork
8/22/19 2:59 p.m.

I bought Mkbrother 50% tint off Amazon to learn how to tint with. I knowingly purchased cheap stuff so I wouldn't mess up more expensive stuff as I screwed up. Picked up a tinting toolkit (knife,blades, many squeegees) off eBay. I watched a lot of tinting videos from the channel "TintStuff" and it helped me a lot. I did the side windows of my 128i fairly painlessly.

Expressfilms was what I found as a recommended DIY film brand. They do sell in bulk though, so not very effective for a single car. A lot of people said there is no way to know if the eBay/Amazon 3M films are legit or not. Besides buying a pre-cut kit, eBay/Amazon would be the easy way to buy film, sacrificing the name brand/quality aspect of it. Also check here if there are recommended sellers for small quantities: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Tinternet/recommendations/

Stampie
Stampie PowerDork
8/22/19 3:01 p.m.

Oh and teach us about tinting lexan in case that makes a difference. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/22/19 3:02 p.m.

I have done it.  Posted a semi guide in one of the mazda5 threads.

Short answer is that, using the cheap stuff and doing it yourself only saves about 50 bucks at the end of the job. 

Dont. This is one of the few times i will EVER reccomend paying the man.

java230
java230 UltraDork
8/22/19 3:15 p.m.

In reply to MINIzguy :

Thanks, Ill check him out!

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Normally I would pay the couple hundred to get someone else to do it (and still might) but they are literally all flat windows and removed already.

 

MINIzguy
MINIzguy HalfDork
8/22/19 3:29 p.m.

I found it was $300+ for name brand (Llumar stuff), half that for off-brand ($150 for my car, Corona window tint brand), and then DIY off brand for MUCH less. I spent $30 to tint my side windows, and found it quite soothing shrinking the tint to form to the window. I did a window a day, didn't stress over anything, and threw plenty tint away.

I could spend about $200 for a 24" x 100' roll and have enough to do a lifetime of cars. I think it's worth it.

Dead_Sled
Dead_Sled HalfDork
8/22/19 3:39 p.m.
java230 said:

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Normally I would pay the couple hundred to get someone else to do it (and still might) but they are literally all flat windows and removed already.

 

I'd call around and get a couple quotes if it'll be that easy.  They might not charge much labor for flat glass not in a car, and you'd get the good tint then.

java230
java230 UltraDork
8/22/19 3:41 p.m.

In reply to Dead_Sled :

I didn't even think of that LOL I will!! 

 

Lexen seems to be the best "off brand" buuuut, if you want the ceramic, its $175 for a roll since they dont sell small rolls of it. Thats almost installed price.

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UberDork
8/22/19 3:59 p.m.

I did a couple of cars in high school with whatever tint was available at Pep Boys, and it sucked even with flat glass out of the car.

Many years later I bought a roll of Llumar and did a couple more cars and it was significantly easier and better.  The quality tint was worth every penny. 

That all said, window tint is one of those jobs I would farm out every time now. The few shekels difference in cost diy vs paying the man is nothing to avoid the time spent doing it. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/22/19 4:03 p.m.

With flat glass: if it glues in, you have to leave untinted glass for the bond. Or it WILL leak. Ask me how i know.....

Id still pay the man. The aggrevation, time, and talent required to do even the flat glass in my el Camino was not worth it. Even on the bench. Curved was even more of a fight. Guy here does the whole thing, windshield and all for 275 out the door.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
8/22/19 4:05 p.m.

Just pay the man.  Don't care what car.  Not worth the DIY ever.  This coming from a guy who dismounts his own tires with a floor jack and a 2x4 to change a TPMS instead of paying the man.  

java230
java230 UltraDork
8/22/19 5:00 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

The fronts are roll-ups, the back ones are gasketed. I'm a glue the back ones however, as I'm guessing the gaskets are no longer available.

 

I'm surprised by the amount of votes for just pay up!

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/22/19 5:29 p.m.

Buy a roll of cheap tint at the parts store and try one. Make the decision for yourself.  I tinted 4 of my own. NEVER again. Ever. 

MINIzguy
MINIzguy HalfDork
8/22/19 6:04 p.m.

I'm surprised by the hesitation to DIY tint too. Tinter's done have an ASE certification or go through hours of training. And it doesn't take hours of work, a few minutes a window if you're that good.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
8/22/19 6:54 p.m.

I've done a bit of tinting, on my Sequioa, which has flat-ish glass. Even on "easy" stuff it's easy to mess it up, and I have pretty good attention to detail for most things.

Unless it's just a racecar or something where you don't care, just pay someone to do it. It's not all that expensive really, unless you go to someplace fancy. The time spent and frustration are well worth it - and I'm a total DIY person with ANY other car work.

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
8/22/19 8:16 p.m.
MINIzguy said:

I'm surprised by the hesitation to DIY tint too. Tinter's done have an ASE certification or go through hours of training. And it doesn't take hours of work, a few minutes a window if you're that good.

Probably not ASE trained, but i bet they spend several days training by screwing up the first few jobs. 

I tinted my dad’s Accord 20 years ago and it was way more difficult than the guy that fixed my screw up made it look. 

I been paying ever since. 

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
8/22/19 9:20 p.m.

I usually do not like tint on cars and trucks as it makes it too hard to see thru them when trying to see what traffic is doing up ahead, but I think I am going to have the "alpine" windows in my Disco done.

jrh2009
jrh2009 New Reader
8/24/19 9:05 p.m.

As a wrap and vinyl guy, who has taken a job as a window tint apprentice since May:

Its complicated. Waaaayyyy to much to explain in a single post. And believe it or not, tinting loose glass is often more difficult than installed glass.

 

Some brief tips I can offer:

A cost efficient and good quality film is Global. You can order it for a decent price at www.metrorestyling.com. Don't bother with any film cheaper than that.

Shrink the bottom six inches of film. 

Don't forget to trim the corners. 

Most places that are chopping up rolls of film and selling 25 or 50 feet aren't selling ceramic. You likely will have to buy a whole roll to get ceramic. (AFAIK.)

Be sure to note where your window sweep is when installed and cut the film so it begins underneath it, or it will fail.

Use stainless steel Olfa blades. NEVER CARBON STEEL.

Make a jig, and tint the loose glass mounted vertical. DO NOT even bother trying to tint a glass lying flat on the table. You'll never get it clean. Dust settles down.

Prepare to get frustrated and waste film. Unless you don't care about absolute perfection, or you're the 1% of humanity that is freakishly natural at it, the process will suck.

I'm a vinyl wrap guy with ten plus years of experience in vinyl, and I'm getting my butt kicked. Been doing it everyday since May, and I'm probably at 60-65 percent of being a quality tinter.

Good luck man.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG UltraDork
8/24/19 10:44 p.m.

I've tinted a couple of my cars.  NEVER again.  Add me to the "pay the man" scenario.

Also, I did Limo tint, and I guess it screamed "there's something in here worth stealing" and after having my cars  broken into again and again, I pulled the tint off.  Never had them broken into again after that.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
8/25/19 7:41 a.m.
MINIzguy said:

I'm surprised by the hesitation to DIY tint too. Tinter's done have an ASE certification or go through hours of training. And it doesn't take hours of work, a few minutes a window if you're that good.

Tinting is 90% art, 10% training.  Either you can do it or you can't.  

Curtis
Curtis UltimaDork
8/25/19 7:54 a.m.
java230 said:

In reply to MINIzguy :

Thanks, Ill check him out!

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Normally I would pay the couple hundred to get someone else to do it (and still might) but they are literally all flat windows and removed already.

 

Yeah, go for it.  I can't recommend brands, but filming windows is so much easier than you think.  I used to think it was some dark art until I did it.

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