How to Install Window Tint

INSTALLING WINDOW TINT
Please read completely and thoroughly before beginning installation of your precut film.

Before you begin, you may not know......

1. Never Install on front windsheild. With the exception of visor strips, it is illegal to tint your front windsheild. To View the tinting laws in your area please Click Here.

2. There is a clear liner attached to the film to protect the adhesive. To discover which side is the liner side, use to small pieces of transparent tape to pull a corner of the film apart. You will find 2 layers, the clear layer is the protective layer.

3. It is best to install the film with the vehicle in a shaded, well lighted, wind and duct free inclosure between 40 and 90 degreed F; where the weather will not freeze for atleast 3 days.

4. It is best to clean the vehicle inside and out before installing the film to minimize contamination.

5. Read ALL of the intructions before beginning.

6. Apply the film on the inside of the windows only, never on the outside.

7. You can never use too much application fluid!

8. Creases cannot be removed. Handle film carefully and do not crease it.

9. It is best not to apply tint film, or let it dry, in direct sunlight.

10. Always use a sharp razor, never scissors, to cut or trim film.

11. Tint can be installed on factory defroster lines, but cannot be used on plexiglass, plastic or vinyl.

12. Window film actually makes rear defrosters work better, but do not scrape defroster lines with the razor when cleaning or preparing. Just squeegee carefully.

13. Do not use on thermal or double paned windows.


FIRST THE BASICS

STEP #1
Start with a clean car and a relatively dust and wind free work environment. The Tint is applied on the inside of the windows. You may work the film (heat shrink) on the outside (Fig. 1), but the film is finally installed on the inside of the windows with soapy water. You may need to remove the 3rd brake light and/or the rear deck if they are against the clear part of the glass. In most cases this is not necessary with precut film, but may need to be done with your application.

PREPARATION

First, get the right tools for the job;
A heat gun (Fig. 2), film squeegee (Fig. 3), a spray bottle, hard cards (Fig. 4), Little chizer (Fig. 5), Conquerer (Fig. 6), razor blades, and some hand tools such as sockets, flathead screwdriver, and a phillips screwdriver which may need to be used to remove the decklid and 3rd brake light if needed.

You'll want to clear anything that will get in the way or that is against the glass where the tint film needs to be, like the inner flaps (Fig. 7) on the door panel where the film needs to be tucked behind. For most applications the film can simply be slid behind these flaps with no extra work needed, but in some cases you may need to tape the flaps out with masking tape. If that doesn't work you may need to remove the inner door panel. You could also just line up the bottom of the film with the strip, install it, and then trim off the excess from the top of the window.

Remove the rear deck and the 3rd brake light if needed. You will appreciate it when you're in there trying to lay a long piece of film without touching anything but the clean glass. It's not that easy and if the felt from the rear deck is against the glass the film will be more difficult to reach and squeegee completely and also increases the risk of contamination.










INSTALLING SIDE WINDOWS

Step 1. Spray the outside and inside of the driver and passenger glass with glass cleaner and wipe clean.

Step 2. Spray the tint solution on the outside of the glass.

Step 3. Carefull remove the precut tint from the shipping carton.

Step 4. Place the corrosponding precut film piece on the outside of the window.

Step 5. Spray the inside of the window with tint application fluid.

Step 6. Gently scrub with lint free toweling or a scrub pad.

Step 7. Squeegee the window with overlapping strokes and re-spray with solution.

Step 8. Carefully peel off liner from film, making sure the film stays on the glass.

Step 9. Slowly peel back, spray the film with solution while peeling.

Step 10. Pull the liner down evenly until you are 2" from the bottom edge.

Step 11. Make sure your hands and fingers are clean before touching the film.

Step 12. Remove film and liner from outside of glass, be careful not to let the liner come off the film the rest of the way.

Step 13. Place the tint on the glass 1/16" down from the top edge of the glass.

Step 14. Spray solution on tint and squeegee water from tint starting at the top and working toward the edge. Work halfway down, wrap paper towel around squeegee and squeegee top edge pushing upward to absorb water (as shown in step 22).

Step 15. Roll window all the way up.

Step 16. Wet tint and flip up liner as shown.

Step 17. Spray bottom edge of glass thoroughly.

Step 18. Place gasket tool (Bluefoot) between rubber and glass.

Step 19. Remove the rest of the liner.

Step 20. Squeege water toward the bottom pulling back on the gasket as you go.

Step 21. Spray the window again and squeegee the entire window again, starting at the top and working down and towards the sides. Do not roll the window down, just start as high on the glass as you can.

Step 22. Wrap paper towel are the squeegee, push down toward the bottom to soak up solution being pushed out from under the film.
Repeat steps 1-22 for each side window. .



REAR WINDOWS - One Piece Installtion

- Warning -

Never use a heat gun on laminated glass such as windshields and certain Mercedes Back glass.

The only way to avoid using strips on a compound curve window is to use the heat shrinking method. It involves using a heat gun to shrink the excess film along the grain (toward the factory edge) and smoothing it out with a rolled up paper towel, hard card wrapped in paper towel, or a wool gloved hand. Keep in mind that the film will only shrink properly toward the factory edge, with precut tint the factory edge for rear windows is on the top and bottom. We'll go over 3 different heat shrinking methods here; Wet Shrinking, Powder Shrinking, and shrinking with dryer sheets. All three methods require the use of a heat gun. A hair drier will not work as it does not get hot enough.

WET SHRINKING:

On an oversized piece of tint laying on soapy water on the outside of the back window with the liner still in place facing up, squeegee a horizontal achor onto the film to bring all the excess film into 'finger' shapes on the top and bottom of the window.

Pass the heat gun over a finger quickly, just until you see the film react, smooth that area flat with a rolled up paper towel, hard card wrapped in paper towel, or a hand that is wearing a wool glove, then do the same thing with the fingers that pop up on either side of the one you just smoothed flat, and so on. After the film is all flat repeat the procedure with a hard card instead of a gloved hand or paper towel. Peel the liner off, spray heavily with solution and install on a prepared rear window.


Unheated Finger on Left, heated finger ready to smooth on right.


Squeegee a horizontal achor to bring the excess film to the top and bottom

A hair dryer will not get hot enough, you must use a heat gun on high setting! You are only shrinking the finger itself, just pass the heat gun over the finger quickly until you see it distort slightly, then smooth it out. If you spend just a moment too long over the finger it will burn or shrink unevenly. The trick is not to crease the film when you smooth it, so the first time use a rolled up paper towel or a hand wearing a wool glove to smooth the finger down and to keep the wet film against the glass, otherwise larger fingers will bind and crease if you use the hard card first.

VERY IMPORTANT! The film will only shrink properly if the fingers are aligned with the grain of the film. As you unroll the film from side to side the proper grain direction is up and down. The fingers will need to face up and down along the top and bottom of the precut tint. Fingers always need to be moved to the factory edge. Squeegee a horizontal anchor onto the glass to anchor the middle and sides, moving all the excess film to vertical fingers.

DRY SHRINKING - BABY POWDER METHOD

Using baby powder wiped onto the glass instead of water will allow you to heat shrink large areas instead of fingers one at a time. This is known as Dry Shrinking and is very difficult to master, but will allow you to do most windows in one piece much faster than the wet shrinking method. The following series of pictures shows a tinter doing a dry shrink on a Toyota Camry rear window.


When Anchoring the film just let it go where it wants, just make sure all the horizontal fingers are moved to the vertical. Usually most the excess will be towards the sides.


This is the pattern of heating that I use. It allows for more even shrinking rather than trying to tackle one finger at a time. I heat a circled area, then smooth with my hand wearing a wool glove. The circled areas are about 3 inches square.

DRY SHRINKING - DRYER SHEETS AND FABRIC SIZER TECHNIQUE

A dryer sheet heat shrink is a lot like a baby powder shrink, but instead of using baby powder, spray some water on the outside of the window and wipe a dryer sheet all around so that it deposits the fabric softner onto the window. Let it dry and it will leave a residue. If you are using fabric sizer, spray it on, wipe it around and let it dry. Now lay the precut tint over with the liner facing up and anchor horizontally as if you were doing a normal dry shrink, but DO NOT use water under the anchor... you won't need it. The film will now stick to the glass when smoothed as if it were wet, but the fingers don't stick as if there was dry powder underneath. Shrink it similar to a baby powder shrink, but only smooth areas down that are shrunk. The beauty of this method is accuracy in distribution of shrink, no need for follow up wet shrink and no mess from baby powder. It takes some practice though and is about as difficult to learn as dry shrinking was from wet.


A couple of fabric softner dryer sheets soaking wet with a paper towel behind them to keep the goo off your hands.

Wipre the wet dryer sheets all over the clean glass until a film of foamy white paste covers the window.

Allow the dryer sheet residue to dry.

Lay film onto outside of glass, position it and anchor horizontally in the middle.

Begin heat shrinking on the sides working towards the center.

Try not to heat too large of an area all at once, it's best to heat just the point of a finger. This will prevent over shrinking.



Follow up by forcing a few fingers up and shrinking them to ensure no fingering during installation.

After the film has been shrunk, lay it on a flat clean surface with the liner side up.

Slowly peel the liner back and spray solution onto the adhesive film. Do half of the film, then lay the liner back over the tint. Repeat with the other half.

Fold the tint so it is easy to carry, but DO NOT crease it. Move it into the back of the vehicle and lay it out on the window a little bit at a time, removing the liner as you go while spraying solution on the glass. Once it's all in place squeegee the water out.



Thats about it. Remember to take your time and have patience. Although the concept of window tinting is pretty straight forward, in practice it is a learned skill and an art. There are things in all trades that can only be learned by doing.

There is a lot of different methods of performing these techniques and every tint installation is unique to the person who installed it. One of the best resources I have found for information on tinting, including tricks and tips, can be found online at www.tintdude.com. There you can find information regarding vehicle specific installations, advanced heat shrinking and transport techniques such as reverse rolling. There's also a message board so you can interact with other tinters. I highly recommend that if you have access to the internet to check out the website to better educate yourself on the practices and techniques of tinting. The more you know and understand about this art, the better your results will be.