Project GD STI- Keeping Cool and Protected with 3M Crystalline Tint and Protective Film

By Mike Kojima

Project GD STI is a daily driver that we put a lot of miles on, from driving to our daily appointments, to the office and to the track on the weekends. Just in case you didnt know this, Southern California is a hot area, desert really, with a lot of sun exposure and all tracks around here are in the pit of the earth, really in the desert!

Our car had a crappy tint job with cheap tint.  It was fading purple and peeling so it had to go.  The rear window tint has to be removed carefully as you don't want to damage the antenna and defroster grids.  The best way to remove tint completely without scraping is to first apply a piece of plastic to the tint using plenty of window cleaner or soapy water.  You apply the sheet of plastic just like it was tint but leave the liquid in place instead of squeegeeing it out.

Being in sandy rocky areas means that our tracks are like sandblasters to your car's finish and a dual purpose car's paint gets smoked in track use. We are constantly fighting heat, UV light, blowing sand, debris and other severe environmental conditions. Since we shopped long and hard for a used GD in great condition, we wanted to keep our car's paint and interior nice.

Park the car in the sun for about 15-20 minutes to soften up the adhesive.

To help keep Project STI's interior cooler, fade and dash crack free and to protect our paint, lights and trim from abrasion and pitting during road trips and track days, we called upon the folks at 3M for help with some of their advanced film technology.

After sitting in the sun for about 15-20 minutes, you peel off the plastic and the old tint comes off with it.  No adhesive residue and no risk to the rear defroster grid from scraping.

For window tint we selected Crystalline, Crystalline uses 3M's proprietary multi layer technology. The working middle substrate of the film consists of over 200 vacuum deposited nano particle individual layers that block damaging UV and heat inducing IR light while letting the visible light you need to see pass. The process used to create Crystalline was developed from 3M's aerospace division for IR sensors on satellites. How this technology works exactly is a closely guarded secret of 3M. 

The side windows were already peeling so we just got it started more with a razor blade.

The film's top layer is a special scratch resistant layer and the bottom layer is an adhesive layer.  The tint is non metallic which means that it won’t interfere with garage openers, cell phones, GPS, Satellite Radio, radar detectors and other telemetric devices like some tints can.  Non metallic means that the film will not internally oxidize or fade purple ensuring a longer life than lesser tints.

Then we peeled the tint off carefully in one piece.  A little adhesive residue remained so we scraped that off with a razor blade.  The old tint was gone in just a few minutes of work.


Page 1 of 6 Next Page
Bookmark and Share
Thursday, September 06, 2012 4:38 AM
What great timing. The wife got a new vehicle this weekend and we have been calling around trying to find a good tint shop. I was far more concerned about the rear windows blocking heat as our 4 month old gets very hot in his car seat next to an unprotected window.

I think I'll be getting a quote.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Thursday, September 06, 2012 5:15 AM
Hmmm. I've never had a car with any tint whatsoever... but stepping into my black WRX after it's been sitting in the sun has been... well, not as pleasant as it might be.

May have to add this to the to do list.
Thursday, September 06, 2012 7:25 AM
@kenku, it makes a huge difference. Having grown up in Florida and lived in Texas, the very first thing you do after getting a car is have the windows tinted.

After I moved to Cali and bought an Evo from a friend, it did not have tinted windows. I was cruising on I5 heading up to Buttonwillow, i.e. in the desert, and I was getting roasted. I was trying to hide my left arm down low in the shade of the door.

Buying my S2k in Texas and driving to CA through the AZ desert sucked as it did not have tint either. It felt like I was going to get sunburned on my arm.

I remember the government was looking to mandate low UV-passage glass on cars to reduce the A/C load and improve fuel economy. They were trying to spec out some fancy, expensive, glass that had some impregnated crystal stuff or something.

Regardless, I notice the tint the most while driving and having the sun beating on me. It does make a huge difference.
Thursday, September 06, 2012 7:28 AM
Oh, as the tint blocks UV and keeps the interior temp down, it should make your interior last longer. My old SE-R had tint from day one and the interior panels and everything still looked like new when I sold it 10 years later. Yes, I did take good care of it, but having the tint certainly helped. No dry/cracked panels in my car.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, September 06, 2012 7:34 AM
3M Crystalline tint works at least 2x better than any tint I have ever tried, including super expensive multi layer tints like Huber Optic. Like I said you have to try this stuff to believe it. It is worth every bit of the extra cost.

This is the same technology as the expensive heat blocking glass.

I have driven through the desert in 120 degree heat with my AC on the lowest setting and the inside of the car nice and cool with 3 people inside with this stuff.
Thursday, September 06, 2012 7:41 AM
I've seen you guys use this several times and you always have great things to say about it. Are you ever going to make it Certified Legit? I love that you guys use such great products and help steer enthusiasts toward quality products.
Thursday, September 06, 2012 9:48 AM
What does this stuff do to protect the inside of your car from prying eyes? Thats really the only reason I want/have tint on a car. Protecting my personal property and belongings.
Thursday, September 06, 2012 10:09 AM
@Tom, 3M has a whole line of different tint products:

Out here in Cali, we need the clear stuff on the front windows as dark tint is illegal. My guess is so that cops don't get shot through the glass.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, September 06, 2012 12:29 PM
3M makes a Crystalline film that is almost clear but still blocks almost all the UV and 70% of the heat the dark film does. It's eerie stuff. Had it on the wife's car before it got totaled.
Thursday, September 06, 2012 6:10 PM
I can't remember the standard 3M dark tint, but memory says it's 3M Color Stable. I see a Ceramic Series now which might be even higher-end.

The 3M Crystalline is awesome but holy crap it is not cheap, it was 3x as much or more than getting it done with 3M Color Stable at Tint Factory.
Post Comment Login or register to post a comment.

MotoIQ Proudly Presents Our Partners:

© 2018 MotoIQ.com