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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm thinking about getting the windows tinted on my Z06 and have a concern/question regarding the rear window...
Has any of you had a problem with it getting bubbled up in the area where the black dotted textured (dot matrix) stuff on the top of rear window is?

Second question, I've been also thinking about getting a clear bra (like 3M or something) put on the Z06. The shop that will be doing the tinting also installs clear bras and they are very good at it. However, I wanted to get some opinions and input on it from all of you. Good or bad idea? ...also how do they install it around the emblem in the front for those who have the clear bras?

It would be awesome if you can post some pictures of the clear bra AND tinted windows on your Z06 since I haven't decided how dark I want them.

Thanks for all your input, fire away.......
 

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Some window tint installers paint the Matrix, some put on black vinyl and others seen to have the ability to cover it with window tint and no bubbles. Choose your installer carefully. :z:
 

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I went with 20% all around. Yes, it is not the legal limit but have never had any problems with it. At night it does require a little more investigation when looking out of it but is really not a problem or issue. My installer just went right over the dot matrix. There is a slight line at the top but it is dark and angled enough that only I notice it.

I had a friend with a C6 get a 3M clear bra from the same place that I got my tint. It was expensive but it was well worth it to him. I would have gotten it to if it were about $300 cheaper (roughly $700 total). If this is the same thing I highly recommend it. His went around the front, rear, and mirrors. It was perfect for stopping rock chips from the low ride of a modern vette. The bra is almost permanent and is like a hard shell that you barely notice is on, my friend had to tell me. His went around the emblem and was a very good match.
 

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I own a business that installs the clear bra product and there are a couple of things to watch out for.

First, how experienced the installer is. If the person does cars every day then he should be proficient with working with the material. Ask to see some of his work if avalible. I always have it on all my cars and am happy to show a customer who is hesitant about it. Also, I have seen alot of great window tinters claim the can install it and after I see the job on some of the cars they have done I wonder what they were thinking. Window film and paint protection are two different animals and require different techniques to install.

Second, the film that is used and they all have their issues. There are 5 major players in the paint film business.
The first and biggest is 3M. Their film, in my opinion and many other large installers is garbage. The film has a clear coating that is good for less care but it has a tendency to yellow over time. 3M has said that they have addressed this problem with their new film, which was released last year but tests have shown that it still does. In addition, any installer that is really picky about the install will tell you that the 3M film is to hard to work with and can show compression marks and and has no elastisity. This makes it harder to stretch and conform to curved surfaces.
Another film is Avery, this film has had its issues over time with some poor quality control from the factory. Generally the installer will notice this when installing the film and should replace it without a question. It hasnt happened all that often and when it does happen we replace it while we are doing the install. This issue has to do with what they call "modeling", this normally happens when they wind the roll and the films surface shine has been for lack of a better word buffed off and looks dull or glazed. Avery's standard film is not top-coated, in turn, it requires a little more care. Not a big deal but because it is an Open Pore product it can collect dirt within the films pores over time and become dull or brown. We tell customers to use a quick detail wax or Plexus, which is designed for open pored plastics about once a month after they wash the car. This takes a very little bit of time but keeps it looking good and helps the bugs and grime wash of easy. Avery's film because of this is easier to form and install and when finished is very good looking. Avery has just introduced their new top coated product and so far has been giving very good results. This product has shown good installation characteristics and looks very good after the install. They have been developing this product for over two years and so far it's very impressive.

The third is Venture Films. Venture is a much smaller company compaired to Avery and 3M but is slowy coming around. Venture's film is a non top coated product and has a very smooth finish, although they do have thier problems with quality control in production. Because of their smaller size they dont have the QC equipment that The Big Guys do so in turn some stuff can slip out the door and the installer has to be aware of this. Overall, its a clear film with very little orange peal but they do have some waving in the film. The biggest issue with their film is that it is VERY sensitive to installation. Most honest and picky installers will tell you that it will show markings under the film where it has to be touched or streched and it also leaves behind small blemishs underneath in some cases. These markings dont really show up outside but can be noticable under the right lighting conditions. Overall the care of thier product is probly a medium care and waxing once a month or so will keep it looking good and it has good resistance to dirt buildup.

A fourth film is Llumar. Llumar is very big in the tint industry and made it's paint protection film debut at SEMA 2003. Their film is by far the clearest and smoothest out there. It is also a NON top-coated film so extra care is required. The clearness of th film is great but it is very hard to work with becuase of this. This will show signs of the installation in areas where the film again had to be streched or compressed. It also has had a problem with blemishes under the film after installation, again these are only visible under the right lighting conditions and are not noticiable in daylight. The biggest problem with this film is it is not very resistant to any staining from bugs and bird droppings and we have found that it collects dirt very quickly. Their trying but have to clear these issues to become a player in this business.

The last is Bekaert, they are a German company I believe and I have only used their product once. Overall it installed very nicely. It is also a top coated product and looks good after install but also lacks elastisity like the 3M although it is better. I didnt continue to use their product because of a cracking issue that I have heard of after a couple of years on the car. Please be aware I have no proof of that these were just things I have heard through the grapevine.

I know there are other products out there that I have not covered but these are the most reconized in the business that I know of and that I have used myself.

Oh, and one last thing, dont ever go buy pictures that somebody posts or shows you of a car. They could be the worst installer and from 4 feet and through a camera lense you cant get a clue about the actual quality of install. If you arnt sure ask to see a finished car and get references.

Hope this helps and doesnt confuse you more, LOL.

Bruce
 

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Good Review Bruce! :)

I tried the 3M years ago. It yellowed. Allowed nicks that let in moisture causing the paint to bubble/peal and adhere to the plastic when removed. Had to paint it. :mad:
 

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Your right, installers that have been in the business for 4 or 5 years and used 3M have said the same thing. The stuff will crack and it is almost impossible when that happens to remove it without a trip to the paint booth.

Also,3M has been tested and has one of the lowest resistance levels to penitration of objects.
 

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Agreed. Nice review, Bruce.

So with all the pros and cons, it sounds like you would recommend the Llumar film if you had to choose one, though it requires extra care for installation and regular cleans because of its porosity?

I'm in the market for either a bra or a clear coat of some kind. I'm still trying to make up my mind.

Steve
 

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Very informative :z:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is very informative! Thanks for sharing this information with us. Seems like the more I hear about it, the more I just want to deal with the rock chips... Seems like you may end up with more problems then you started with... :-?

Although I would like to get the windows tinted. I've seen some of the particular shop's installs in person and it looks great HOWEVER, none that had to do with the dot matrix stuff... They also told me that if I don't think it looks good enough for me, I will have to pay all over again to get it redone. To me, that is not good enough. This is coming from the shop that has been recommanded to me by many people (suppose to be one of the best in the area)... hummm what to do, what to do????
 

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Zmydust said:
That is very informative! Thanks for sharing this information with us. Seems like the more I hear about it, the more I just want to deal with the rock chips... Seems like you may end up with more problems then you started with... :-?

Although I would like to get the windows tinted. I've seen some of the particular shop's installs in person and it looks great HOWEVER, none that had to do with the dot matrix stuff... They also told me that if I don't think it looks good enough for me, I will have to pay all over again to get it redone. To me, that is not good enough. This is coming from the shop that has been recommanded to me by many people (suppose to be one of the best in the area)... hummm what to do, what to do????
I would tell them to put it in writing! :yeadog:

And that your the judge and the re-work will commence immediately -- not bring it in later, like 3 weeks at midnite. :bmad:

Plus, I would lay down plastic so that they don't drip water/soap all over your carpet and interior. :D
 

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clear film from a DIYer

I did the 3M stuff myself, after having it applied on an earlier car for 700. I got a wild hair to try it. Front looks fine, some amateur mistakes(my first and only time I actually tried to put a bra on!) but clear, shiny, no wrinkles or blems. Cutout made for the flags. Rear wheel arch areas yellowed, they were my practice spots, and I didn't fully flush out the soap solution.
If I had it to do over, I'd a had a shop do it, but if you are really thickheaded, you can do it yourlself and save enough for track brakes! Plus, the company gives you a video(AFTER I had installed mine! DOH!) Makes the hard parts much easier to understand. I am happy with the 3M product.
 
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