Project IS-F: We Evaluate 3M Performance films, KW Suspension, Volk Wheels and Nitto Tires
By Mike Kojima
When we last left off on Project IS-F, we had done some intake and exhaust work and gotten excellent results. Now it was time to work on the suspension, get some larger rubber under the car and add some tint and protective film by 3M.
Of course a good tint job requires good installation. An ultra high end film like the 3M Crystalline we chose is somewhat tricky to install and we wanted a really clean professional installation. Another thing is that 3M Crystalline is only available through authorized 3M installers. We had The Tint Factory in LA expertly install our Tint. We had often tinted our own cars in the past and were curious to see how real pros do it.
|To block heat and UV light from our car's interior, we hit up 3M for their high tech Crystalline heat rejecting window film. More than just another window tint, Crystalline is a high tech window film that rejects heat at an amazing rate while allowing visible light to pass through nearly uninhibited. We had excellent results with this film on our Project Tundra so we had to use this for Project IS-F as well. Once again we had the pros at The Tint Factory install our film. Here the film is shrunk to shape on the outside of the front window so it can be applied on the inside in one piece with no seams or wrinkles.|
|Crystalline uses 3M's proprietary multilayer technology. The working middle substrate of the film consists of over 200 individual layers that can block damaging UV and IR light while letting visible light pass through. How this exactly works is a closely guarded secret of 3M. The 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. Here the tint is cut to shape after shrinking.|
|Multilayer technology blocks 99.9% of UV light and 97% of Infrared, more than any other film on the market. This helps Crystalline earn a recommendation by The Skin Cancer Foundation with an SPF of over 1700! The film also rejects 38 to 50 percent of solar heat depending on the darkness selected. What is cool is this means that the relatively clear Crystalline performs as good as or better than old school ultra dark limo tints. Crystalline also has low interior reflectivity and low glare which helps image brightness, especially when driving at night. The clearness of Crystalline tints means less unwanted attention from law enforcement. Here the film is cut and shrunk for the rear window.|
|This heat blocking technology means that the car's AC system works much less, thereby saving fuel. A less taxed AC system puts less strain on the car’s cooling system. The tough polyester based film also improves safety as the glass if broken in an accident does not fly in many sharp fragments but stays in one softer piece that is less likely to cut or injure you. Crystalline’s exceptional heat and UV blocking ability means that your vehicle's interior will last much longer without fading or cracking. The side windows are shrunk and cut.|
|We decided to use the darkest 40 Crystalline film on the sunroof, side and rear windows and the light, nearly clear 70 on our front windshield. First, The Tint Factories Ace installer Frank Garrido, thoroughly cleaned the inside and outside of our windows and laid down the film on the outside of our windows using a large amount of soapy water. Then he trimmed them to exact fit using a razor knife. For the compound curved windshield, Frank used a heat gun to skillfully shrink the film to the shape of the windshield so that it could be done in one piece. This is pretty cool as we would always have to do curved windows in many pieces with seams. A torch is used here to shrink small areas to avoid wrinkling. Don't do this unless you know what you are doing!|