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.

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