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Old 04-16-2018, 10:13 PM   #29
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Forum prize goes to Wachuko today for this piece of insightfulness. In trying to make final arrangements to get this job done on our rig, a task whose angst factor is proving to be on par with pulling hen's teeth, one of the refrains I heard today was, "Lady, you are about to get shafted." The long and short of it is that almost nobody reputable will do this job around here, and those who won't are warning me about those who will.
Yes, excellent tip from WACHUKO, had I been able to find a reputable installer in my area that I felt good about too. I would've gladly paid the premium price to try it, considering the high praise. That's too bad Texas is really strict. We are lucky in Las Vegas or NV in general, that they allow it provided it is close to legal level on front side windows & legal level on windshield. Best of luck on the search.
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:14 PM   #30
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Im getting it installed May 5. Will go 90 on windshield, but have option 40 or 70 on windows. Can you see the side mirrors well enough with 40? I was thinking just go 70 on the windows but your AI which looks just like mine looks really good with the dark side windows. Just a thought since I may boondock at a truck stop while travelling, can you see out the dark tinted windows when its getting dark outside, like if someone is approaching.
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:16 PM   #31
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Also, might have missed it, what is "front clip" treatment?
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:59 PM   #32
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Im getting it installed May 5. Will go 90 on windshield, but have option 40 or 70 on windows. Can you see the side mirrors well enough with 40? I was thinking just go 70 on the windows but your AI which looks just like mine looks really good with the dark side windows. Just a thought since I may boondock at a truck stop while travelling, can you see out the dark tinted windows when its getting dark outside, like if someone is approaching.
You should be able to see out with the 40 about like your other dark tinted windows, but clearly seeing the image at night in the mirrors are another thing. I personally wouldn't want to go more that 70% on side windows. Todays premium tints do most of the work of solar control without having to darken much. I went only to 90 on side windows just to avoid giving up night vision with my 64 year old eyes.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:17 PM   #33
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Thanks a lot...thats what I was thinking, just wondered if others thought same!
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:00 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Mansderm161 View Post
Im getting it installed May 5. Will go 90 on windshield, but have option 40 or 70 on windows. Can you see the side mirrors well enough with 40? I was thinking just go 70 on the windows but your AI which looks just like mine looks really good with the dark side windows. Just a thought since I may boondock at a truck stop while travelling, can you see out the dark tinted windows when its getting dark outside, like if someone is approaching.
I have
LLUMAR AIR 80 ceramic on windshield - actual VLT 77%
LLUMAR CTX 05 ceramic on windshield visor strip - actual VLT 5%
LLUMAR CTX 15 ceramic on side rolldowns - actual VLT 20%
LLUMAR AIR 80 ceramic on side fixed triangular for night clarity of side mirrors

LLUMAR product numbers do not correspond to true VLT. So make sure you look at actual spec sheet whether LLUMAR or 3M.

Getting used to dark tint side windows is hard, at first, especially if you have never had it before. I have lived in Las Vegas for over 2 decades and have always driven cars in the 20-30% VLF. With the AI, it is exactly like driving a limo. But even with my years driving with dark tint, I wanted to take the opportunity to go 80% given AI has the separate fixed triangulars. I am glad I did coz I can see my mirrors clearly at night. Not gonna lie to you, it will be hard to see at night w/ the 20% rolldowns. You may want to stay around 30-40%. It is hard to see a person outside, unless it is lighted outside. But a car with lights on is easily seen. And with the cameras and sensors we have (assuming you have mastered their use & limitations at night), it does not affect my night driving. I wear glasses, low-rx distance & reading, no night restrictions, 20/20 but YMMV.

True "legal" here is 35% but most people not driving crazy or stupid will not get hassled by authorities with 20%. The plain reason for this is even the authorities realize the 1-level just below "legal" makes a huge difference in the desert where temps go to 110-115 during the summer months. And at 3,500 ft. altitude, the sun gets very intense.

But how the entire package looks is also important to me. I like how things turned out with my darker tint. And so I am willing to accomodate additional night driving techniques to safely use it. Besides, most of the time, the rig will hopefully be parked at some scenic spot before sunset 😆

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Also, might have missed it, what is "front clip" treatment?
Full Front Clip protection - consisting of Hood, Mirrors, Lights, Bumper, Fenders, and A-pillars (part next to windshield).
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Old 04-23-2018, 11:46 AM   #35
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Is it a clear coating? Who applies it (front clip)
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:11 PM   #36
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Is it a clear coating? Who applies it (front clip)
It is also commonly called as "Clear Bra" or "Clear paint protection" which means usually clear film, much more thicker than tint. If I had not told you my AI has it, you will not be able to tell. You would have to look very hard to find the edges. And a lot of the edges are wrapped around all the way to the inside edges, like the hoods edges, fender edges. But I have also seen wraps with different colors, designs (i.e. carbon fiber looking patterns, etc.) used as paint protection when done on the frontal areas. All tint manufacturers have their versions 3M, LLUMAR, XPEL, etc.). I personally think they are only worth it when applied to brand new vehicle due to the extremely high cost. Full front clip (full bumpers, air dams, headlights, foglights, fender flares, full fenders to door edge, full hood, side mirrors, A-pillars, frontal attic area where antenna is) for a vehicle like ours is usually $2,000-3,000 depending on region and manufacturer. I pay little less than that only because of my long-time relationship and number of vehicles I have had done over the years by my local shop. Each region has it's challenges due to extreme heat or extreme cold or even limited authorized dealers, hence the discrepancy in prices I've seen all over.

That 1st rock chip on a brand new vehicle hurts, so if your AI already got it's 1st rock chip, I won't bother with it. One of my best friends owns a body shop and is an expert custom auto painter. I asked him long ago if it was worth paying to get any new car with "Clear bra". My rationale was maybe I can save the money and just have him paint my front end every few years, since he can literally do it for materials and couple of dinners. He said anything to prevent repainting is absolutely worth it when done new. Or maybe he is just tired of doing me favors and not get paid
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Old 04-24-2018, 02:54 AM   #37
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Thanks for explaining.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:17 AM   #38
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I just dropped my Avenue Suite (Chevy chassis) at my local tint shop for 3M Crystalline 90% install on both front cab windows. ....
Sir, how did your job turn out? Are you happy? Did you confirm that your operator installed the actual product? (See Wachuko's previous advisory).

I don't believe this, but I might have to go to Corpus to get this if that installer is a good one.

I had a guy lined up here in greater Houston, the ONLY one who would agree to do it, but then he was reported "out sick" so we could not schedule.

I said, "OK, I'll call you back next week."

Called back next week (i.e., now) only to be told that the guy suddenly moved to Chicago because 3M needed him to transfer there, like, yesterday.

HUH?! Supposedly 3M will re-assign someone to the Houston market, all 6.5 million potential customers in this market, but right now, there's reportedly no one.

That was my last lead on a local guy, so I'm looking for other options. Please PM me the Corpus info if you're not comfortable putting it on this thread. Thanks. And jeez, what a hassle. I'm looking for a window tint, not a tourist flight into lower earth orbit.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:00 PM   #39
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And jeez, what a hassle. I'm looking for a window tint, not a tourist flight into lower earth orbit.
INTERBLOG - my exact sentiments, which is why I gave up locally. Hoping you still get hooked up with reputable installer given the extra travel to get done.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:14 PM   #40
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Sir, how did your job turn out? Are you happy? Did you confirm that your operator installed the actual product?

Unfortunately no. I did not verify they installed 3M Crystalline.

(See Wachuko's previous advisory).

I remember reading his post and going "uh oh". I there were no remaining watermarks, but I didn't ask them to leave any. If they routinely did leave it, they'd probably get complaints. Still, I wish I could tell.

I don't believe this, but I might have to go to Corpus to get this if that installer is a good one.

I guess I trusted them, but it never hurts to verify. I have used Far Beyond Tint before for stereo work as far back as the '90's, and they installed my house window security tint about 4 yrs. ago. Since I was present, I know they installed the requested 3M S600.

I had a guy lined up here in greater Houston, the ONLY one who would agree to do it, but then he was reported "out sick" so we could not schedule.

I wouldn't expect Far Beyond to agree to install something (like 3M crystalline) if they didn't have a qualified person to do it. They got me in the next day and out in a couple of hours. I left it and picked it up later (didn't sit in their lobby to wait). They seemed to do a good job. No temporary bubbles of any kind.


I said, "OK, I'll call you back next week."

Called back next week (i.e., now) only to be told that the guy suddenly moved to Chicago because 3M needed him to transfer there, like, yesterday.

Back in their early days, the boss or installers manned the counter, which was great talk to a knowledgeable person. Now, I guess they've grown too big and, while helpful, the young counter person who waited on me just takes your order and schedules the work.

HUH?! Supposedly 3M will re-assign someone to the Houston market, all 6.5 million potential customers in this market, but right now, there's reportedly no one.

Makes me nervous to hear stories about difficulty finding qualified installers. It may be a new technology, but it's still window tint, isn't it? Far Beyond had no qualms about installing whatever you selected from their lobby display (which included 3M crystalline).

That was my last lead on a local guy, so I'm looking for other options. Please PM me the Corpus info if you're not comfortable putting it on this thread. Thanks. And jeez, what a hassle. I'm looking for a window tint, not a tourist flight into lower earth orbit.

No problem answering you questions here. If I can offer a small payback of all the forum information I've learned, I'm glad to do it.

Far Beyond is not cheap, however. For my Chevy cab, they wanted $300 to do both cab windows (single glass, as opposed to split in the Sprinters) and $500 for the windshield (which I declined due to risk of windshield replacement and losing my tint investment).
My main concern is, when we took our first trip with the 90% on both side windows and hit a very sunny (but early April) day, I felt considerable heat on my dark jeans. Not real 3M crystalline? Should have gotten the 70%? Just surprised me since I didn't really feel anything on my bare arms.
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Old 04-27-2018, 09:29 PM   #41
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Front clip protection & Window tint

If it is 3M film, the installer should be leaving the 3M logos on the film to prove it. He should have told you to clean the logo off with alcohol swabs. If not, Id be very suspicious.

Our local installer does exactly as I described...
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Old 04-28-2018, 06:20 AM   #42
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My husband recently paid to have an 80% tint put on his daily driver. It was not 3M crystalline - it was what was available at the time and place he used.

I can already tell that it is no better than nothing whatsoever. It's only April, temps around 80, and I cannot comfortably place my hand on the inside surface of his windshield. Perhaps there is a visible light modulation that could be described as microscopically pleasing, but there is absolutely no heat reduction that I can discern inside the vehicle.

I don't know what 3M is doing, or intending to do, with this marketing strategy. If their product does work, why aren't they ramping up? Instead they are throttling its distribution. The installers I spoke with told me that their licensing agreement is just too onerous for them to bother with it. That plus the higher price severely restricts the pool of buyers.

Why invest what had to have been considerable R&D to build a better mousetrap, and then encumber it severely? I don't get it.
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