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.



Martini said...

Wow, big job!
I had to use my window defogger on the way home from the Swingles. It was snowing!

mtom said...

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