25 May 2013

Tinting DeLorean Windows - Part II, Leave It To The Professionals

After attempting and failing to windows myself, I called the pros.  Apparently, most places like to complete the job within two hours.  Because of the complex doors and shape of windows, the first place I called declined based on the labour involved.  They had done work on some of my co-workers' cars.  So, I contacted Best Tinting as their site and Yelp shows that they have worked on exotic cars.  Surely if they can handle a Lamborghini, McLaren, or Ferrari, they can handle a DeLorean. The initial quoted price was $210, but after realizing it was a DeLorean, they came back with $455 due to the extra time and work involved.

I set up a GoPro camera and used a handheld to document the process.  The GoPro snapped a shot every 60 seconds.  Unfortunately, it shut off about half way through the process.  Maybe it has an auto shut off after two hours.  I am still experimenting with it, so must not have the settings right.

Driver's side window was done first
The appointment was set for 1PM, they got here a little after that and started examining the car.  They would start with the large door windows and work their way around.  I went with a light tint on the front.  My concerns are with UV and heat, and not with style.  I have enough style with the car itself.  Yeah, I said it.

Trimming the film
They make it look so easy.  All this time I thought the stuff on YouTube was CGI.  Watching the guy measure and cut the film to size was magical.

Squeegeeing out the bubbles
Pretty amazing to watch these guys work.  If Mr Rogers was alive today, you can bet there would be a video of this on Picture Picture.  At least a neighbourhood visit to local window tinting place.

Final touches on driver's side window
You can see from the pictures how little room there was for him to maneuver.  Does not help to have the circle turning thing in the way, at least the other side does not have one.

Laying out the film on passenger window
The first window took them about 40 minutes to install.  I can see how this job would not fit in to a two hour...wait for it...window.  This is going to take a while.

On to the passenger side.  This took a little less time.  Still, that odd shaped window is a lot to handle, even for a professional.

More squeegee
These guys are really meticulous, notice the tarp placed inside the cabin to keep the interior from getting too wet from over spray.

Using a heat gun to get the bubbles out

As the film curves with the glass, it forms little darts. To get rid of them, a heat gun is used to shrink the film and help form it to the compound curves of the glass.  I could be wrong, but I think heating the glass also helps the adhesive stick to the glass better.

Tarps in the interior
 While he was fine tuning the fit of the film, he would occasionally need to trim excess film.  He would not make more than 3-4 cuts before snapping off the blade to get a new edge.  At one point, he was making one cut and breaking off the blade. This is total opposite of me when I was in school, where I would use one X-Acto blade per semester.  I would use sandpaper to sharpen my blades.  Pro tip:  If you use 200 grit sandpaper long enough, it turns into 600 grit.  Hey, design school is expensive, you save where/when you can save.  I built the model for my Senior Thesis project entirely out of other people's scrap pieces.

Driver's side toll both window
Once the large door windows were done, they worked on the toll both windows.  Since they were already on the passenger side, they did that first.  Again, making it look easy.

Measuring and cutting tint film for the small window
One of the difficulties of the windows is, the toll booth window does not go straight up and down.  It goes a forward and down.  The front corner of the window is at a sharp angle.  This makes it hard to tuck in that last last part into the sill.  I encountered this problem three times before I gave up.  On most cars, the windows go up and down, and usually have a squared edge.  Oh, and they do not have gull wing doors.

Final touches on small window
At this point, my GoPro shut off.  Luckily, I have my Sony.  Speaking of failure...he had to do the driver's side toll booth window three times before he got it right.  This first time, he cut the film a little short and did not cover the front edge. Second time, there was a small piece of film trapped between.  The third time was perfect.  See, not that easy.  Now, I do not feel so bad.

Forming the film to the rear glass
I went with a darker tint in the rear, and this is purely for style.  This also seems to be the easier of the windows to work on for a DeLorean...except you have to reach over the rear fascia and around the C-pillar and louver struts to get into the corners.

Aligning the film to rear windows
They used a different technique to form the film to the glass.  First heating and using a squeegee with the film with backing on the outside, then again on the inside with the backing removed.  Both sides were done fairly quickly compared the the ones on the doors.  Again, a lot of care was taken as tarps were used on the engine cover to keep water out.

Check out my messy garage
You can see how dark the windows are using the white sheet as reference.  The last window to tackle is the back window.  This too, was tricky as is wraps around at the ends and has defrost lines.  While cleaning the window, he noticed that the defrost elements were beginning to chip.  Since the window is so close to the engine, the heat from the engine prevents the window from ever fogging up.  Very few DeLorean owners use their rear window defrost.

They even remove their shoes before entering the car
After four hours, they were done.  I have to say, these guys were very professional.  I would recommend them to anyone in the area in need of a tint job.  Not only do they do a great job, they immediately redo any window if there is a problem.  They clean up as they go, no scrap piece of film ever hit the floor and wipe everything down.  Bonus for DeLorean owners, they wipe body panels with the grain.  My windows have never been this clean...should have had them clean my windshield.  They even removed their shoes before entering the car. 

I also recommend having your windows tinted to protect your interior, especially if you do any outdoor driving during the day.  Take it from me, unless you really know what you are doing, have a professionals do it.

Update:  I made a GIF of the GoPro photos.


24 May 2013

Tinting DeLorean Windows - Part I, Fail

For a while now, I have wanted my windows tinted.  Exposure to UV has damaged a lot of car interiors.  I have seen to many outdoor/abandoned DeLorean interiors with sun damage.  My car is garaged, but when driving or parked outside, it is exposed to the sun.  Heck, I sometimes have a car cover on when parked in the garage.

While I do have a dash cover and custom windshield shade, my side windows offer virtually no protection from damaging rays.  In addition to the UV, I want to keep out the heat.  My other car has tinted windows and it is no where as hot as the DeLorean after a full day of sunbathing.

Laying out the shapes of the windows using paper templates
I attempted to do this myself, did some research and watched some videos.  Seems simple, but it is not...you can see where this is going.  As you know, the DeLorean has some goofy windows.  Measuring the windows is quite the task.  I tried doing it the traditional way using the tint film to measure and cut.  That did not work for me.  They make it look so easy on YouTube.  Instead of wasting more film, I measured with paper templates.

Cutting out tint film
Using the paper templates, I cut out each piece from the rolls of tint film I bought.  Half a roll was wasted in my first attempt to measure, so I got another roll.  Believe it or not, measuring and cutting was the easy part of the process.  I am very good with a blade and free hand cutting.  Some say I am a legend with an X-Acto blade...there are stories of young designer that would cut paper, card stock, and foam core so fast that the blade would be hot when he was done.

Ready for some more failure?  Applying the film to glass is not easy as I found out first hand.  Because of the gull winged doors, you pretty much have to work with the doors closed and sitting inside the cabin.  With a normal car, you can just swing the door open and work.  Working with the doors up is not ideal.  Although there is a reasonable amount of room inside a DeLorean, there really is not much room when you are trying to install tint film.  Like most cars, the interiors are designed for driving and passenging (is that a word?), and not working on windows.

I made several attempts at tinting the windows myself.  After the fourth time, I ran out of film and patience.  I just could not get the results I wanted, and I did not want to buy another roll of tint film just to see it go into the bin.  So, after some more research and getting into a hot car, I got a professional to do it.

Go to Part II to see how it is suppose to be done.

15 May 2013


So, the new technique is to call me about once a month.  The old strategy of racking up calls has been tossed.  While in theory, this may work on their end...you know, with their powerpoint presentations and charts.  "Oh, we should call from different numbers and not so often, catch them off guard...etc.", it does not work on my end.  Hey, I do not answer calls from unknown numbers.

16 May 2013
   281-381-5470   Houston, TX   I know two people in the Houston area...and this is not their number.  Also, no message was left.  So, to that I say, fuck you!  Oh, I also did a quick Google search to confirm that this is an unwanted call.  Here is the fun part.  You probably found this post via Google. Anyway, this number has been reported to the Do Not Call Registry...so absolutely nothing will be done about it.

Top search words in the past 24 hours for this blog

Update:  In the first 24 hours of posting, I had over 100 visits to this very post. Most where via Google and searching for the very number that called you and I.  I hope some of my entries have provided you with information on telemarketing numbers...at the very least, I hope you are somewhat entertained.  Thanks.

17 May 2013
  580-258-0750  Coalgate, OK   Here is another number that got you here via Google.  Welcome.  So, Coalgate...like the toothpaste, but not.  Funny how telemarketers are the plaque of the universe, causing tartar build up, bad breath, cavities, gum disease, etc.  As much as you try to get rid of plaque, it always comes back and haunts you.  Fuck you telemarketers, and fuck you plaque.  I am brushing my teeth, and not with Colgate. 

29 May 2013
   321-937-8947  FL, USA  Did a quick search and nothing came up, quite possible that this is a legit number.  Or, I could be the first one they called...I could be patient victim zero.  No message was left, so I am going to classify this one as a telemarketer call.


With the NSA spying on the citizens of this country, the government should use this technology to hunt down these terrorists, and shut them down for good.  The NSA claims that they are using only number, no names or address, to track down phone calls.  First off, you can look up a name and address from a number using Google.

Anyway, the 'plan' is to use these numbers to track suspicious calls, like ones from terrorists groups.  I have been saying all along, telemarketers are terrorists.  Hey government, combine your resources, combine the useless Do Not Call Registry with the National Security Agency and hunt these fuckers down. 

04 May 2013

Nike Air MAG vs Knockoff

By now, you should have heard something about the Nike Air MAG's that were released in 2011.  They were available by auction only through eBay and ten select Nike stores around the world.  A total of 1510 (1500 through eBay) were sold.  Proceeds from the auction benefited the Micheal J. Fox Foundation.

I should mention that was I crazy enough to buy a pair.  Hey, it was for a good cause.  I made some smart calculations and wild guesses and bought the shoes for a good price.  In the end, only 18 people paid less than me as I purchased it at one of the lower prices, over 30% less than the average selling price.

There have been some knockoffs from China (where else?) that have been popping up that last 12 months or so.  These go for about $200-250.  Well....again, I was crazy enough to buy a pair a few months ago...just to compare the two.  Now, I do want to say that these are knockoffs or bootlegs, so you will be buying an illegal product.  I also want to inform those out there of the differences between the real deal and the fake.  Without something to compare it to, it is difficult to spot the fake.

The $250 price tag is direct from China.  Prices will vary from vendor to vendor, and there is a limited amount as they cannot keep up with demands.  There are people selling these knockoffs second hand on auction sites and forums and charging a lot more, at least 2-3 times the price.  So, be careful as some China vendors and auctions are known to be scams.  Forums are a lot safer as members are known to the community.  Best to do research before you pull the trigger on your purchase.

It has been over 18 months since I got my Nike Air MAG's, also made in China, and I have yet to review these shoes.  So, this will be a brief review of both.  I got the same size of both, so it will be very easy to see the differences.  Note that in all photos, the real Nike is on the left, while the knockoff is on the right.


Nike Air MAG boxes
Nike:  The first thing you will notice is the size and construction of the box.  The Nike box is well constructed with thick cardboard.  I should note that when I received the shoes, it came in a box within a box, within a box...and really well protected. The box is also in one piece, meaning the lid is attached to the box.  It also has a magnetic flap on the box.

Knockoff:  This is a flimsy box and will be damaged during shipping.  Box is in two pieces, like most traditional shoe boxes.  It is also smaller than the Nike one, but one would not know that just from looking at pictures without comparison.  You can see in the image above the noticeable size difference.  Note, these are the same size shoes.  They matched the yellow colour almost perfectly.

Other differences:  The logo on the box is slightly different. There is a small red number, which I assume is the size of the shoe, on the bottom of the MAG logo.  Obviously, on the Nike box, the number matches my shoe size.  On the knockoff, it is marked at a size 10.  There is a label on the front of the knockoff box, that is similar to current Nike shoes, that indicates the shoe size as well as other relevant information.  Of course, I could be wrong on this number thing.  Also, note the orientation of the box in relation to the graphics.  The knockoff is in a 'portrait' orientation, taller than it is wide.  The Nike is in landscape and closer to a square, like a thick pizza box.

Nike Air CPK MAGherita - logo and box
I cannot  help to think that the logo and the box looks a lot like it was made by California Pizza Kitchen.  Wait a second, Back to the Future released in 1985...California Pizza Kitchen founded in 1985.  Although, Pizza Hut was the 'offical' pizza of the movie. 

Nike Air MAG pack out
Nike:  The shoes are packed out in semi-dense foam.  It holds its shape and sort of 'locks' the shoes in the box.  The shoe sits snugly into the cut out as the foam is deep, about half way up the shoe.  It is a three layer layout, with the bottom layer uncut (no shoe silhouette cut out).  This gives the structure rigidity. The charger is packed in its own box (upper left).

Knockoff:  The shoes do come individually bagged, whereas the Nike ones are just placed in the foam.  The foam in the knockoff box is a lot softer, it does not keep its shape.  It is also about half the thickness of Nike, with one layer of foam and no bottom layer.  Shoe is touching the bottom of the box.  Might be the reason why they come bagged.  While there is a cut out for the charger to fit, it just flops around in there.  There is no mini box for the charger.

Other Differences:  The charger for the Nike is wall plug in only, and uses a mini jack to plug into shoe.  The knockoff charger has a USB option and plugs into shoe via a data cable. I guess you could charge it through  a computer.  Neither charger is anything special, meaning they were not 'custom designed' for the shoes.  Note how the boots are placed, Nike is placed horizontally, while the knockoff is vertical.


Nike Air MAG - outside
Nike:  The real deal has tighter construction. It has a taller and stiffer collar.  The LED's on the heel have a coloured lens, so you can see the lights even when not turned on

Knockoff:  Construction is a bit flimsy, but acceptable.  The shoes almost look broken in.  An easy tell for the fake is the non-coloured LED's in the heel.  They light up correctly, but the window looks empty when not lit.  If you look closely, you can see the naked LED bulbs and some of the printed circuit board they are mounted to.

Other Differences:  The Swoosh is slightly larger on the knockoff.  Again, you would not know that without the Nike to compare to.

Nike Air MAG - inside
Nike:  Notice the light aqua colour in the heel cup and midsole.  Shape of mid-sole is more swoopy and lower profile.

Knockoff:  The splatter on on the heel cup and midsole matches the Nike really well.  Although some areas can use a little more splatter.  The colour is a bit off, more of a darker shade of of the main colour than the light aqua of the Nike.

Nike Air MAG - collar
Here is were you really start to see the differences, even without knowing what the real ones look like.

Nike:  The logo on the ankle strap lights up using a electroluminescent panel.  The collar is a more streamlined design and stays upright.  The white edge of the collar is about the same thickness as the main grey part of the collar.  Notice the cut out is crisp, clean, and follows the same shape as the rest of the collar.  The Nike ankle strap floats on the the boot, while the Achilles pad is secured (glued) to the boot. 

Knockoff:  Hard to tell from photos, but the ankle strap is fixed to the boot with hooks and loops, while the Achilles pad floats.  Strap logo does not light up, it is painted to give a glowing illusion.  One telltale sign is the way the collar flops.  Also note that the white edge is puffier than the gray part of the collar.  The cut out is poorly finished.  Nike has the hidden (or tucked in) the stitches that are around the perimeter of the hole.  You can clearly see the stitches on the knockoff.

Fun Fact:  There are many that have purchased the knockoffs and made modifications to it.  One modification is making the strap logo light up.  Some are selling the shoes with these on auction sites and forums.  Take note of the other differences that I have (and will) point out so you know what you are getting.

Nike Air MAG - quarters
Nike:  Clear (light grey tint) outer sole with EL panel for lighting.  Also, you can see that the heel cup on the Nike is shorter.  Nike has a more subtle rib structure along the side of the shoe.  This is where the laces would go into the base of the shoe.  Note that neither of these shoes have the auto-lace feature.  Get over it!

Knockoff:  Longer heel cup, resulting in a smaller gap where the heel cup and the midsole meet.  A major tell in is the ribs on the knockoff.  These are very noticeable, even in poor lighting.  The ribs are so pronounced, there is a need for a notched recess for the hook part of the swoosh to sit in.  The light up sole is done with two LED's, instead of EL panel.  You can really see the difference once lit.  Also, the outer sole is a semi-transparent rubber, almost yellowing from over UV exposure.  Notice that you cannot see the lighting element (in this case LED) through the side.  Whereas, you can 'clearly' see the EL panels on the Nike.

Nike Air MAG - rear
Nike:  You can get a better look of the rigidity of the boot from this angle.

Knockoff:  Achilles pad is very close to the real deal, just slightly larger.  Since the pad is floating, it makes the boot look more flimsy than it is.  Other than that, the view from the back is almost identical. 

Nike Air MAG - top
Nike:  Here you can see the Nike has a narrower toe box.  Notice how the collar and sides of the boot look stiffer and have a cleaner form.  The way it is constructed, the laces look like they go into the sides of the shoe.  Laces are a little thicker but narrower. 

Knockoff:  Not only are these laces a bit wider and thinner than the Nike's, they are also less tight, meaning the elastic is not as strong.  From this angle, you can see the ribs on the side are much more pronounced than the Nike.  Keep this in mind when comparing the ribs, think panty lines on a chick's butt.  The Nike is like a hot chick wearing form fitting jeans, and you can just barley see the faint panty line of her boy cut shorts.  While the knockoff is more of a fuller sized gal wearing classic briefs with yoga pants that are at least a size too small. The floppiness of the collar can also be seen here.

Nike Air MAG - soles
Nike:  The soles of these shoes flare out, creating a wider...wait for it...footprint.  The flaring is on the clear outer sole, and almost looks like a flat tire.  The tread pattern is little pyramids, like the ones in Cairo, but much smaller. 

Knockoff:  The tread pattern is recessed squares, or raised grid pattern, like a waffle.  The footprint is more of a traditional shape, without any flare.  Also, you can really see the difference between the clear grey tint of the Nike and the yellow-ish clear of the knockoff.  There are minor shape differences in the part out, but nothing drastic.

Nike Air MAG - light up
Nike:  Oh yeah, these shoes light up, just like the ones in the movie.  Note how the EL panel in combination with the clear sole, results in a crisp edge and bright light.  The crisp shape is achieved by having the EL panel cut in the D-shape that you see lit up.  The Nike logo on the ankle strap is just as bright in the aqua EL panel.  The heel is lit by three rows of LED's in green, yellow, and red.

Knockoff:  When turned on, the heel lights are almost identical.  The lights on the sole differ since they used LED's instead of EL panels.  Also, the glow is a little muted.  This is partly due to the rubber defusing the light. The shape of the light is achieved by a defusing lens behind the outer sole.  Instead of the aqua glow, these have a more blue-ish glow.  The ankle strap does not light up, but the paint colour of the Nike logo matches the blue of the sole lights.

Other Differences:  I mentioned that the chargers are different.  The location of the charging port also differs.  On the Nike, the charge port is well hidden on the bottom of the Achilles pad.  The knockoff has the female end of the data port loosely dangling from wires behind the Achilles pad.  This is also where the power button is hidden.  And by hidden, I mean also dangling from wires behind the Achilles pad.  On the Nike, the button is hidden in the outside collar, at the tip, totally concealed and clean.


The Nike version is great.  It is made by Nike.  So what, if it does not auto lace?  Seriously, get over it.  The positives of the Nike Air MAG far out weigh the one negative of no auto lace.  Of course, you get what you pay for.  The lowest price these went for was $2300.  The fact that these were a limited run helps the quality of the product.  Nike went all out on this one.  I would think that if these were mass produced, it would easily be in the $300-400 range.

The knockoffs are surprisingly well made.  I have to say that since these are knockoffs, it is stealing from Nike and Universal.  You are also encouraging the business of bootlegging.  Yes, I know I bought a pair, too.  But it was for research...and I donated a good chunk of my paycheck to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.  I know that is still not a good excuse.

Anyway, you get what you pay for and at about $250, you get something really well made.  Sure, it is not dead nuts on, but really, without the Nike to compare to, it is difficult to tell.  Even comparing screenshots from the movie, the knockoffs look really close.  Heck even the Nike's, when comparing to actual screen used shoes, vary a little.  Only a handful of people can really tell the difference...well, one more now that you have read this.

Worried that your strap does not light up?  No worries, there are people selling modify ones.  Keep in mind the differences if you decided to purchase these.  There are forums that even show you how it is done if you decided you want to tackle that yourself.  In the end, if you always wanted a pair and did not get a chance or have the budget to bid on the authentic ones in 2011, the knockoffs are a great alternative for about $250.


I have had a few people inquiring about where I purchased the knockoff Air MAG's.  I got mine from AliExpress.  It will give you a few choices from various vendors where you can order. Looks like they are still around the $250 price.

Also, if you are looking for a cheaper pair, there are officially licensed (from Universal Studios) versions available from Halloween Costumes, for only $100.  These are not as 'screen accurate' as the knockoffs, but for only $100, they look pretty good.  I ordered a pair and when they come in, I will do a full review and comparison between the three versions.  You can read about that by clicking HERE.

A new version, known as 'V3' is out.  My review/comparison here.