Window Tint Installation — /DRIVE CLEAN

LARRY: Larry here from AmmoNYCcom

Now, we've all seen window tints, some good, and some bad What are the different types of tint, and how it is installed? What techniques make window tint look good versus bad? And of course, what's legal and what's not? All those questions are going to be answered today, coming up on this episode of "Drive Clean" This is my longtime friend Rob Citrone from Infinite Tint, who has personally installed all my tints and, more importantly, my customers' tints He's been doing it for 18 years And I consider him one of the best in the business

Today, we'll go over the assessment, the preparation for the installation, and the installation itself But before we go over the install, Rob, give me a quick history of window tint? ROB: Well, window tint started in the '50s It used to be a sprayed film It wasn't the best Visibility wasn't really that great through the window

LARRY: I can imagine ROB: Then the '60s came, and they came out with a film It was a two-ply part It was a dyed film, and then an adhesive side Then after that, they came out with a three-ply part, which was a scratch resistant, a dyed, and then the adhesive

LARRY: And that's what we're using today? ROB: And that's what we use today LARRY: Because I found this rolling around your shop here Now explain, what are the percentages? And what do they mean when getting a tint? ROB: All right, well, different states have different laws The legal limit in New York State is 70% So 70% of light– LARRY: So over here, like really, really light

ROB: Yeah Very light 70% of light has to be going through the window Here is a 5% That means 5% of light is going through the window

That's what they call limo tint LARRY: Now how do you know what's legal in your state? So in New York, apparently it's 70% And Connecticut, or Nebraska, how do I know what my state has? ROB: Well, you can go to IWFA, the International Window Film Association, and you can look up the law chart, and you find out what is your– LARRY: Your state regulation ROB: Different states, you know, Connecticut is a 35% You could do 35% of light going through the window

So LARRY: What's the first thing you do when a customer walks in? ROB: Well, the first thing I do is I go over the car and make sure there's no scratches, dings, dents, and make sure the interior is good, the windows are good, there's no scratches And I also take a look at the defrost lines Sometimes you'll see a little black mark on the defrost line If that's cut, then the whole line won't work

LARRY: Really ROB: You know? You go over, if there's any stickers on the car, you want to ask them if they want to save that sticker, or if they just want to throw it out LARRY: So what do you do for that? ROB: Well, what I do is, I heat the sticker up And I peel it off very slowly I want to try to save the adhesive on the sticker

So that's why you heat it It gets the adhesive soft I peel it off And then I do a laminate on it It's kind of like a clear film

And it sticks on the window by static cling LARRY: After we tint, we can put it back on? ROB: Yeah We can stick it right back on And it's got no adhesive on it, so it won't interfere Then we ask the customer, what are they doing a tint for

Are they doing it for privacy, looks, just protection of the interior? We prep the car LARRY: Now, when I first came to Rob, I wasn't exactly sure what tint level I wanted We'll talk more about that But he sort of pushed me in the right direction, and I'm really happy with what we chose So the first step he's doing here is just quickly wiping down the window

When I say quickly, again, he's going to go crazy on cleaning it Now here, he's putting baby powder And he lightly wipes it around the glass, just so there's a non-stick factor to it And I'm not sure if it's unique to him, but it's pretty neat because the film that he's about to put on here is not going to stick Now the next technique is to make an H

And he's doing this with a wet paper towel and some soap So what's going to happen is, as that plastic sheet lays on, meaning the film, lays on the glass, there's just going to be a little bit of sticky area just so it doesn't fall all over the place, or slide off the back of the car Well, here's with the GoPro And when I first went up there on the ladder to hook the GoPro up, it almost fell down on the car So I lost my mind, and I wrapped it about five times with duct tape

All right, now that he's actually placed a large sheet of film on the back of the glass, he's going to roughly cut out around the edges Now the reason he's doing this, as I learned, is the inside of the glass is going to mimic the outside of the glass And as most of you would imagine, that window tint and the film, when he's all done, is not going to go on the outside of the glass It's actually going to go, of course, on the inside to protect it from the weather and things of that nature But for him to physically get inside the car and cut it would just be too crazy

And it would start to come down on him, obviously, because it's on the inside So what window tinters do is they measure the outside of the glass to, again, mimic the inside Afterwards here, he very quickly sort of lays out the film Now it's not perfect in terms of he's flattening the whole thing out, but, if you think about it, what he's really doing, it's sort of like wrapping a piece of paper around a basketball And so the technique you see here, when he's using the heater, and he's got a glove on his left hand because it gets very hot, it's what they call dry shrinking

There's a few other different methods, but this is very common So he'll heat it up gently And what's kind of crazy about this is I actually took classes on window tinting And it's really technical, that if you burn through it, you've got to start all over again So at any point, you make a mistake, you've got start over

So it is definitely an art So what he's doing is shrinking it so that it actually can form to the piece of glass Now, the glass isn't exactly straight There's a little bit of curvature in it So any time there's a curve, like a basketball, and putting wrapping paper on it, you know how difficult that is

So what he's doing now is adding a little bit more lubrication because, before, there was powder underneath there because he wanted it to slide around and move He didn't want it to stick So now, what he's doing is actually stretching everything out after he used the heat gun So he wants to make sure that the sides are going to be perfect along the edges So he's straightening it out

And as you straighten out and flaten it out, it's actually going to lengthen a bit So we'll have to cut that around Now, this last little part here, in terms of measuring, if you will, is he's using his razor blade to cut around my break light Now when we got inside– that's actually me inside the car holding the light– we tried to get inside because I wanted to pull the light down And I wanted the tint to go flush

I didn't like the idea of cutting it out But as we tried to pull it down, part of the light fixture around the edge there, to the right of the red actual light, was stuck to the glass So we had to cut around it Now, going back to the last part, what he's doing here is as he stretched it out, you could imagine that the tint actually got a little bit longer, meaning there wasn't any air pockets, and that sort of thing So it got closer to the edges

So he's using his razor blade right along the edge to cut around Now, the interesting part is that if he miscuts just a little bit, light is going to pass through And he'd have to start all over again Now, this board is also very common in– and he has a portable one on the left hand side there And what he does is he kind of picks out anything, any little dust or lint, or what have you, puts it on this board, so he can see

And then he's going to trim the edges because when it was on the glass, you have black glass You have black trim looking into black carpet So it's very hard to for the eye to catch it So when he puts it against this wood board, you can see the little pieces that he's actually shaving off to have it perfectly fit into the glass Which is interesting because, like I said, if he just makes one little wrong cut there, light is going to pass through it, and it's going to be very obvious that there was a mistake made

So that's why he's being very deliberate about it So here begins the process of cleaning And I mentioned before, he just cleaned a little bit of the glass– you're going to see– this guy would put me out of business in terms of cleaning glass Now, as a detailer, we all know, that we don't like doing glass It's such a paint in the butt

There's plasticizers that come out, especially on the windshield But nobody ever thinks about the rear window Now, this window, at this time, I had just gotten the car So I hadn't really gone in and cleaned it in this sort of fashion But what he's using is very pliable– it bends pretty easily, and there's a scrub pad on it, but not hard enough where you'd mess up those lines, or you'd break the lines that he alluded to before

So you can see, he's scrubbing pretty good And the big difference with tint is if there's any little imperfection, the tint is going to emphasize it Meaning if you cut it wrong, the light's going to go through it, you're going to see it, and think it's a bad job With those lines, if there's any dirt that's on the north side or the south side of that line, at the top and the bottom, it's not going to allow the tint to completely lay flat Likewise, right now he's cleaning the edges around the seals

So if the tint goes down in there, and catches those seals, and they are dirty, look how much dirt is on this from the towel I mean, it's really gross If the tint catches that, what's going to happen is it's not going to allow it to perfectly stick to the back of the window And you'll have a little fiber, sort of like a clear bra If there's junk or anything in a clear bra, and you lay the clear bra down, you're going to see it through the clear bra against the paint

And it's not going to be a great job So he's militant about cleaning I've never seen anybody clean it so many times And he continues here with different brushes and squeegees Now as he's cleaning this, I can't help myself as I walk over, and I point to the car, and tell him there's a little spot right there

My OCD kicked in And I think he gave me such a dirty look through the– when he's in the back of the car, going like dude, I know where it is Stop looking at it By this time, he's sitting in the back of the car He's pouring sweat

I'm feeling really bad because the angle– the back windows are always notoriously hard But because this is an older car, the seals were sort of an issue because they hadn't been cleaned in years So what he had to do is actually use compressed air, which is a new trick I had never seen anybody do So he'll blow from one end and put the towel on the other And all the contaminants will get stuck in the towel as he's blowing it out

So it's 100% clean And, normally, he'll go back and just clean up the little lines, which he told me are kind of the real difficult part, where you just leave one little line where the film can't lay completely flat, and you've basically ruined your entire tint, and you've got to start all over with that process, which is a nightmare So once he finds something that's a little off, he scrubs it down again and then goes through the whole process So this is where it gets pretty interesting So the film is on that wooden board back there

But there's a piece of glass on top of it, so it's nice and slick So what he's doing, see that film that he's pulled up? That's the protective coating So right now, what he's done is he put lubrication, or water and soap, in between those two layers Now the physical layer that's closest to the wood, that's the one that's going to go on– see, he's putting more lubrication, that's the part that's going to go on the backside of the glass But the difficult part is he's got to get it inside the car without getting any residue on the sticky part So as you can see, he's rolling it very, very thin so that he can transport it inside the car without, let's say, touching one of the seats, or something like that, where just the tiniest little fiber, or the tiniest little bit of wind will get on there, and then it'll show through just like a clear bra

So he hops inside the car, rewets the window down, and then, while he's putting it in, watch, he pulls the protective coating off at the same exact time So it's a little bit of a balancing act here And he doesn't want anything to get behind the film right before it sticks on to the window So right now he's got to get it up there without touching the roof, or anything that's not perfectly clean glass Otherwise, instantly, it's going to look as if there's something caught behind it

And you've got to start all over again That's the part that I appreciated the most about this art, is, the tiniest little mistake is going to be visible because you're working with glass, which I find pretty interesting Now he told me off camera that it was pretty common to have the corners have some issues So you can see, he's gently pushing the water and the soap out And then he'll slide the air pocket out

But he was saying, if I push too hard right now, if I push too hard, I could actually put a little crimp in the film here and have to start all over again So this process, by the way, probably took two or three hours And he wasn't doing anything special because we were there That was just the process So now that it's sort of up there, but not really on the glass perfectly, he goes up to another squeegee

And the squeegee was like a medium So the first one was pretty soft This one was a little bit harder, but a medium And he's just squeezing out the water, but still being gentle And towards the end of the job, he says, this is a hard card

And it's sort of like a credit card, a little bit bigger, a little bit sturdier And he'll actually get all the air out that way and then cleans it up with a little bit of water that's squirts out on the side with a clean paper towel Now that the back window is done, we need to do the side windows And if you see, on the Porsche, there's a back side window, there's the normal window, and then the little window in front So there's really three separate windows, which is more work for him, of course

But he started off with the actual passenger side Now the trick to save himself some more time is, you notice, he's putting a second film on top of it And much like we did on the outside of the rear glass, so that he can mimic the inside of the rear glass, he's going to use the passenger side main window And he's going to cut out two pieces at once and then just reverse them for the other side So that saves him time

I mean, all this work, and he's been doing this so long that he can figure out a way to minimize his time so that he can do multiple cars and, of course, generate more revenue, which is just very, very smart So he's cutting out the sides And he'll pull off the part that's not necessary I notice he keeps using lots and lots of water to make sure that he can slide it around the glass But if you notice, the window is actually down at this point

And so that's the technique You put the window down first And years ago, the big kind of annoyance, I remember, when I first got my windows tinted x amount of years ago, was you couldn't get the film all the way to the top You had to leave a little space because when you went up into the window sill, it would pull the film down as you went in there So they actually left a little space

So when you rolled your window down, there was a gap of light, which is kind of annoying Now and this particular film is Suntech They make this three part film that's much stronger So what he's going to do is put it up to the very, very top of the glass, and he's going to take a razor blade and razor blade that top area so that there's no gap, no space, or no light coming through So he'll run his finger all the way across the glass

Now you have a perfect fit The next thing you've got to think about is, hey, how do I move that glass down without causing any issues in terms of crimpling it, and sort of ruining it, if you will So he nicely puts the window up I know we were talking about that, like, hey, how do you do that without causing any issues? And then he'll put these tiny little cut marks, these little creases in, and then take it over to the big board and straight razor blade it so that he now has two perfectly cut out windows And he'll just reverse them for each side, which I thought was pretty cool

Before you can work on the doors, he actually has to have a bit of a mechanic background as well, where he has to take every door panel apart And again, years ago, tints wouldn't go all the way to the top But it wouldn't also go all the way down either And it would cause issues when you would roll your window up and roll your window down It would actually peel off

It just wasn't good So what he's sort of perfected, and what he's done for me over the years when I owned my detail shop, is he'd have to take off those panels so that the tint would go in smoothly and not have any fibers or anything in there stuck behind it And of course, you're going to have to reclean the glass to the nth degree And if you remember, right now he's using a razor blade And we talked about that in our window cleaning

So he certainly has given me some wonderful advice over the years as to how to clean glass because he's the ultimate glass cleaner because his business is based on whether the film, and the things that he does to it, is clean And if it's not, the first thing people do when they look at window tint, is they go right up to the tint, and they look through the glass And if there's something there, they're going to have issues, and for him to go back and do it again So he'll gingerly take it off And you'll see, quickly, he'll go over to the glass to get it on there

You don't want any wind, you don't want anything rolling around in the shop to get on the sticky side And he'll push it up to the very, very top of the glass And now, with the door exposed, he won't have to jam, or bend, the film to go into the glass guard, which is where your glass goes down and has that little fibers that clean the glass off as it goes up and down So now, he doesn't have to worry about those little fibers going in because he took the door off Rob here at Infinite tint has been amazing

And I'm loving the new tint on the 964 It totally completes the look of the car For a PDF of things you should know before tinting your windows, and to check out our gallery of window tint inspiration, visit AmmoNYCcom Well, that's it for me guys

Thanks again for watching another episode of "Drive Clean," right here on the Drive network After watching this video multiple times and editing it, I realized I forgot to say what tint I put on the car So my question to you is, what do you think I put on the car, based on the video, and seeing him pick up the tint, and seeing light go through it, what's your guess Leave a comment below I'd be very, very grateful

And as always, thanks so much for watching, guys, and supporting the Drive channel