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Old 03-27-2018, 08:02 PM   #1
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Front clip protection & Window tint

I saw an old thread from June 2017. But I have been in other forus where resurrecting old threads is considered bad form. Hence, posting a new thread.

I have decided to do the Full Front Clip protection - consisting of Hood, Mirrors, Lights, Bumper, Fenders, and A-pillars (part next to windshield).

I will also tint driver's & passenger door roll up windows in darkest legal ceramic tint. Opting for clear film on the triangular fixed glass because I feel like I need it for viewing side mirrors at night. I'm old school and still find myself still needing to use mirrors along w/ the cameras & sensors. I am just not very comfortable without that last glance via mirrors.

Then there is the clear windshield film to reduce heat & uv. With the heated windshields in the later models, is this a problem?

As far as brands go, 3M or Expel or Llumar ? There doesn't really seems to be 1 on top of the heap, so just flipping a coin on brands? I have to double check, but I believe my local shop can do either. Seems like that's the top 3 I have heard predominantly used.

The bills just keep rackin' up
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Old 03-27-2018, 09:40 PM   #2
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3M Crystalline- nothing better currently on the market for heat rejection.
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Old 03-27-2018, 11:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wachuko View Post
3M Crystalline- nothing better currently on the market for heat rejection.
Thanks. That was what TAYARATRAVEL used (old thread from May 2017). I have no experience with the different brands, as I just used to drop off the cars and go with the shop recommendations. Just lately that I been reading info on them.
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex AVI View Post
I saw an old thread from June 2017. But I have been in other [forums] where resurrecting old threads is considered bad form. Hence, posting a new thread.
...
As true as it may be, this is an unfortunate perception, and it underpins some of the searchability issues. Forums were designed for chat, not for organized and methodical knowledge accumulation over time. Every time someone hatches a new thread, the entire database becomes that much harder to search, particularly in a forum like this one which arguably ought to stand on its own but which is really a child forum in a much larger framework. Sprinter and B Van now has 2,436 threads; when I joined, I believe it had just over 1,000. It has grown to the point where some keywords are not possible to search at all due to its size. That issue will continue to get worse.

FWIW, I consider thread resurrection to be good form, for that reason. I do it all the time.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Alex AVI View Post
Thanks. That was what TAYARATRAVEL used (old thread from May 2017). I have no experience with the different brands, as I just used to drop off the cars and go with the shop recommendations. Just lately that I been reading info on them.
I have had several brands installed in my cars through the years (I have a Llumar installer just 5 minutes from my house)... that was until I came across the 3M Crystalline...

We had a FIAT 500 Abarth with all options... one of those options was a sunroof that had a very thin and perforated inside sliding cover... Cover did nothing to control the heat that came from the car being out in the sun. While doing research on what was new in the market I came across the 3M Crystalline... it was significantly more expensive than the competition but I figured that I would give it a try. Had it installed on the sunroof, and in every window, including the windshield (their clear option). The difference on the heat coming from the sunroof was unreal... same with the before and after with the windshield. I was sold after that.

Depending on the car, because of cost, we would sometimes do only windshield with clear (CR90) 3M Crystalline and sides with Llumar. Our BMW X5 is an example of where we did that...

For the AI, it was a no-brainer... during the first trip we quickly realized that we were getting it for all windows (CR40) and windshield (CR90)... it is the best mod that I have done to our AI. No issues with heat, no need to use sunglasses, and seldom do I even need to use the sun visors...

If you do decide to go with 3M, be sure to have them leave some of the watermarks in place before you pay... just to make sure that they indeed used 3M Crystalline and not something else. I had a shop replace the film on my windshield (in the X5) when I did not noticed the difference after the film was installed... sure enough, the tech that did the install used a different brand. These watermarks are cleaned/removed after installed...placed in there by 3M to ensure you get what you pay for...

A few photos... you can see the strip on the top of the windshield as well... the windshield is so tall that they had to install that strip since the roll the had was not wide enough. Turned out great. That strip is what now allow us to seldom need to lower the visors...
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
...FWIW, I consider thread resurrection to be good form, for that reason. I do it all the time.
I agree as well. If it is an extension of the topic, why not? Much easier to find and a lot more value from the information shared. Like yours on Declaring war on Interstate summer heat gain

Some of the solar threads fall into this. I have those bookmark (subscribed)...

And the one on Small Space Living
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:50 AM   #7
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Alex AVI - I installed both products (Front Clip and 3M Nano) immediately after purchasing my 2018 AI GT and have been extremely pleased with the results.

The Front Clip treatment is installed across the entire front end (from the air dam up to the FM antennae above the windshield to include the lights . The film has worked as advertised against minimizing paint/glass damage from road debris and insects strikes to my Mercedes Black finish/lights.

The 3M windshield tint is not readily noticeable at quick glance but the thermal rejection properties of the film on the windshield/side windows is absolutely astounding when driving into the sun (plus I can easily read my video screens now since I no longer need to wear my polarized sunglasses!). The AI heated windshield option functions as needed with no issues.
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:38 PM   #8
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WOW! Super recommendations. Thanks all. Special call-out to WACHUKO for the extra editorial & comparisons. Really, really appreciate knowing that there are major differences even within the big brands. When I worked for Hewlett-Packard, 3M was one of my major accounts. Great to know that my 35yr professional relationship with them now extends to a personal one.

MISGM - thanks for front clip info. I needed this to justify the cost. I guess when we spend the kind of money we all do on the AI, we are already past justifying anythig, just a matter of want/need. So I know I want this done and you guys have convinced me I NEED it. Just to reiterate in am in Las Vegas. Not as humid as FL, but our summers last 6mos w/ +100 degrees for months

INTERBLOG - happy to know I will not be frowned upon if resurrecting an old thread. I of course only do so if relating to original post. I actually never understood why some forums frown on it, if the resurrection is completely on-topic & still relevant to current users. Luckily, I am not a big user of such forums. But the Air Forums wil be a big part of my rv life. So I need to make sure I am in good graces of the AI gods

BTW, WACHUKO your pics pull lots of weight for me coz I have silver exterior too, so I can see how it looks on mine.
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:16 PM   #9
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I have not done the full Xpel (or similar product) protection on the front like MISGM did... still on my pending items list...

With everything I initially did, I just could not stretch the budget to also add that (that one is a big ticket $ item). Wife simply put her foot down and told me "no more!"

For now, I just added the XPEL protection to the headlights. So if I see a stone chip after a trip, I am just going to have to suck it up and live with it...
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:59 PM   #10
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We did a roadtrip to AZ last week so in preparation I wanted to get side windows tinted. We have limited options locally but there was a car dealership that just opened a window tinting service and advertised 3M Crystalline. I had researched that product and liked what I saw and made arrangements to bring the bus in. The tech called a day later and said "Sorry, my boss won't let me install on a Sprinter because it's too expensive if I screw it up". That was a strange comment from someone who is advertising the 3M brand prominently on their building! Anyway, I found another local shop that could install 30% Llumar CTX which is their top of the line heat blocking film. It was still very expensive at $240 but I got the triangle windows done too. Although it wasn't July, we did have one sunny day in the high 80s and we were happy we did it. I'm sure the 3M crystalline is excellent too. If you go on the window tinting forums you will find they argue 3M and Llumar like Ford, Dodge, and Chevy!
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:48 PM   #11
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I'm sure the 3M crystalline is excellent too. If you go on the window tinting forums you will find they argue 3M and Llumar like Ford, Dodge, and Chevy!
Yes, I agree. Though 3M Crystalline is getting great user reviews, there still isn't a hands down winner. Anyways, just got back from my local shop. I did not know this, but my other cars had Llumar all these years. I was just too uncaring about the brand name before. I thought tint was tint. Then he told me they do not do 3M products. I don't know why & he doesn't want to say either. Understandable, I respect him for that. Never a problem, was excellent in sometimes 2 months of continuous +100 degree weather. So, I may stick w/ what I know has been working for me. So, where the rubber meets the road (or plastic meets the glass) is this - I am a multi-repeat customer, his business has been here forever, and everything I get done w/ Llumar will have lifetime warranty. The Xpel Full Front Clip warranty (which they also install if I insist) is 10yrs. I have no idea if I would still care about the front end after 10yrs but I at least MAY still have a Llumar warranty after that. So, the warranty issue is not really a deal-breaker.

So my list is - Full Front Clip (bumpers, chin dam, headlights, fogs, full hood, full front fenders, full A-pillars (no side mirrors & chrome grill parts coz they said too many problems doing plastic & chrome), AirShield 80% on windshield w/ dark sun visor across the top, CTX15% on roll up windows driver/pasenger, AirShield 80% on triangular fixed quarter windows so I can see the mirrors better at night. Legal in Las Vegas is 30% (actually 28% but every local knows they won't get bothered with 15% as long as you don't get stopped for something really, really bad or cop is just having a bad day. My other cars have15% & no problems w/ cops w/careful driving All out incl. tax is well under $2k. I am aware pricing structures are very regional, but for Las Vegas, that's a pretty good deal regardless of branding (name brands only). Gets worse as summer creeps in.

Oh, forgot CBond NanoShield on front windshield included. Did not want to jump into BRAY RaceSkin 2 layer for the simple reason that it requires much more care (i.e. accidentally hitting wipers on dry or dirty windshield could potentially harm the film). Even my dealer, who WILL gladly install it, warned against it because of the extra care needed & high price point. Will take me 4yrs worth of CBOND applications to equal 2 layer BRAY.

Not yet decided - so need to check for 3M dealer in town. Have to give that a chance due to many positive user reviews. But all in all, I think sticking with the prevailing top 2 or 3 name brands usually fairs well for my choices. I obviously would not know that without this forums help. So, as many times as I get the chance, many thanks AGAIN!
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:36 PM   #12
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I have LLumar tint film on my side cab windows. Makes a great difference.

From my research the 3M Crystalline is a great product but difficult to install, which explains why some shops wont install it.
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:16 AM   #13
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Side window tinting

We did as mentioned above put 3M on our cab windows and have been happy with the results.

We are currently putting film on all the side and back windows. We are having it done jointly by a window treatment firm and our RV shop (who removes the window valances). They are putting SolarGard, Ultra Performance Plus, 80% on the windows. Total job is running atourn $1300.
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Old 04-04-2018, 01:18 PM   #14
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We are currently putting film on all the side and back windows.
Curious about tinting the side & back windows. I think your unit and mine have identical windows and their factory tint level. Did you find the factory levels inadequate and needed more protection afforded by the 3M tint or was it for aesthetics or combination of those 2 ? Looking from inside-out of my unit, seems dark enough & if combined with the day shades even darker. But of course, I do not know the thermal properties of the factory tint + shades as compared with the 3M and/or SolarGard. I am worried about doing the side & back windows as it seems necessary to have the valances removed just to tint (as your post confirms).

I have only had mine over a month & have not gone through summer yet, so the next 6 months will tell, when I go through 115 degree desert heat
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