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armolanusa.com

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TintDude

My buddy's tint removal experience

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I got an email from a friend I haven't talked to in a while. He's helping a friend with tint removal and needed some advice etc. Sounds like he had quite the time, I'd have paid to watch. :lol Anyway, he tells a good tale...

 

Quote

Hi, Ric –

 

Just wanted to let ya know that thanks to your info (both from the site and from just having watched you work for so long), I think I’d call the removal of his rear window tint a raving success. I’m waiting to hear from him about his defroster lines, once he gets a chance to use them. One thing about the lines on this car (2002 Lincoln LS or 2002 Lincoln Mk LS, I forget the specific nomenclature) – his defroster lines were not just the old school horizontal lines, but rather that layout with vertical lines from top to bottom, splitting the window that way into 3 or 4 sections, and, essentially making his overall defroster line pattern much like a bunch of connected rectangles.

 

Fuck, lemme just grab a picture or get artistic a moment….

 

Seriously? Couldn’t instantly find an example of his window on Google Image search? Okay, we’ll go 50-50, some rear window defroster line images COMBINED with my artistic-fu:

 

unnamed.png

 

Okay, so, like a grid of wide, short rectangles. 😊 Anyways, my gut tells me that perhaps this design is some sort of fault-tolerance for the defroster. If I remember correctly, breaking a line on the older, horizontal-only style lines would cause either the entire defroster grid to stop working, or maybe it was just from the break forward. In other words a break toward the top of the window might render everything below it not working, while a break toward the bottom might allow everything from the top down to the break to work, but nothing below. Or vice versa. The first thought (everything fails) is probably correct. So, with these new-fangled vertical lines added to the grid, perhaps a break isolates a smaller section of failure? Like just one rectangular box? Dunno. Don’t care. Well, I don’t think I do, because I don’t think I damaged a line whatsoever I was so careful and things went so well. I know that those lines are damn delicate, though, and I’d feel bad (a little, because he pretty much forced me to do this work anyways, LOL) if his defroster capabilities are reduced in any way.

 

Bottom line? Fucking whatever Windex shit he used (he made sure it had potent ammonia in it), well, it was clearly the key to this project not being a nightmare from hell. We had already done all the passenger/driver side windows – in a rush, in the dark, with an wimpy blowdryer. We generally thought that had worked decently, and that he would just use a little elbow grease, cleaner, etc. to remove what was left over (we assumed that stuff must have been some of the adhesive – it appeared in spots, with some wavy patterns just like how the fucked up tint looked when it was still on). For the amount of time and effort spent on the sides, some residue work afterwards seemed reasonable.

 

Now, however, having done a rear window, with defroster wires, I have been enlightened. I now can discern where the tint has separated into two layers. I also want to make love to ammonia. The difference in methods became obvious very quickly, and so much more pronounced as I progressed down the rear window. The vertical lines were slightly inconvenient: First, they’re just more places I’m scared to touch/scrape/pull from. Secondly, they were definitely noticeable points where I came to expect the breakdown of adhesive to be less successful, where the tint would want to separate into two layers and/or tear in multiply inconvenient ways. It didn’t take long for me to discover that you can never have too much ammonia around when you do this job. Have him spray it constantly, while I’m teasing down a single giant piece perfectly clean. When you get cocky, cause some separation or a tear, back off immediately and deal with it – don’t try to just continue down from the tear on one side, then the other. Much better to eliminate the torn area and get yourself back to one big pull-seam all the way across, so that your buddy can fill that seam up with ammonia as you go. Spray lots of it. Make sure he gets it in your eyes, too. Especially when you’ve parked the car with the rear window facing bright sunlight to keep it warm.

 

I even used a plastic butter knife as a sort of spudger to remove the tint where the third brake light was, encased in a little box that we couldn’t take the time to figure out how to remove. Simple. Just throw a bucket of ammonia on the box, making sure to pull back the little rattle/weather-seal around it so Miss Ammonia can work her magic. Then just slide your butter knife in and wiggle a lot. Yes, you’ll have to pause once or twice as you work the tint loose from there, since magic ammonia couldn’t work it’s way down all the way from top to bottom on just the first bucket. We hit it twice more, ourselves, then that pesky tint slid right out!

 

At this point, we were both quite happy that the tint was off, and to be honest, there would be almost no residue or anything left to clean. I’ve had dirtier windows on my own car. Which brings us back to the side windows. He still didn’t quite understand, but I did. That’s not residue left on those windows – that’s a single layer of tint, and sure, maybe some residue spots. Just because you can’t easily feel an edge of tint around those zones doesn’t mean that there’s no tint there. We filled up our water truck that we got, but we filled it with ammonia. Hooked up the hose and he turned his weapon at a window, hitting it with probably 300 gallons a minute of ammonia. I enhanced his attack with a wickedly new razor blade, deftly sliding it with imperceptible pressure back and forth and all around that window. All remaining tint and residue on that window surrendered in minutes, if that. Only three more side windows to go. I suggested we call in a helicopter or tanker plane like they use for fighting fires – except ours would be filled with … you guessed it – ammonia! He agreed that would probably help us finish faster than any other way, but because we’d probably lose time while trying to find a plane, a pilot, someone willing to fill said plane with ammonia, have them travel to us, etc., well, that would probably take longer and cost a bit more than us just repeating our clean-up mission from the first side window on the other three. Although we were slightly dejected because we weren’t gonna unleash our own unholy war of ammonia on those windows, we buckled down and finished those 3 windows, each time just as quickly and authoritatively as we had the first.

 

I’m thinking about going into the tint removal business. Got big plans. My shop will have a drive-in/drive-out pool, deep enough so that when the pool is filled with ammonia, even a Cadillac Escalade will be submerged completely. Big-rig truckers are gonna have to wait a bit, but once I’ve done enough removals, I think we’ll be able to afford a second, larger facility that should be able to handle them. Who knows, maybe a third facility could be built, even bigger – like big enough to do train cars. After that, our fourth shop we’d build for airliners and small spacecraft.

 

Anyways, LOL, hope you enjoyed this tale. And, no, I seriously do not want to get into the window tint removal business. Anyone else ever tries to talk me into doing their removal for them, well, let’s just say they better be an incredible chef – better than this guy even, and he’s one of my favorite cooks around, who I was lucky enough to have as a housemate for several years and who cooked and fed me hundreds of great meals, almost all at no cost. LOL…

 

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