Side Window Installation (Two Stage Method)

Hey, my name is Ralph. I'm a Flexfilm and today we're going to tint a side window on a Scion. We're going to use the two-stage method, which is my favorite technique. Okay. This is the two-stage method. This is the method that I prefer because I don't have to remove a door panel. And I think I can do it a little quicker than I could having to remove a door panel. But the first thing I always like to do is simply clean my work area. I want to use my spray bottle. This is a, what I've pre-mixed with a little bit of Johnson's Baby Shampoo, the way I like to mix it. And I just thoroughly code everything. Then I'm going to take my absorber. I like to keep these absorbers because they're not as expensive to buy. And then I keep reusing them and I always keep them around. I have to waste paper towels. I don't have to deal with lint, but I can kind of clean everything that I'm going to be working around.

The next thing I want to do is thinking about the film that I'm going to use. I keep my tape measure so that I can measure how I want to cut my film. In this case, I probably want to go about 37, 38 inches. That's give me a little more than I need. So, let me get the film. But before I do that, I want to spray my glass real quick with my mixture that I've just cleaned. Here's my film. I've determined that the release liner is the side facing me. That's always very important.

I'm not going to double cut on this video. I'm just going to show how I would do one pattern, but I want you to notice that I've pulled the film down further and I haven't tried to use a straight edge to line up the bottom. I've made sure I've got plenty overlapping at the top. My window film is dry. I like to use my smart cards to anchor my film. Quickstep, I'm putting a lot of pressure on here. I just want to make sure there is an anchor, because I don't want anything to move. But I'm going to show you a method that I lik and I've come up with over the years and involves a Sharpie. I generally don't like blue. I like the other color so that I can see them better, but the blue works fine. I'm going to trace this before I even think about cutting it.

I'm not really, I've shied away from cutting on cars. I actually like to mark my patterns and I like to cut them at another location. And I don't ever trust the factory straight edge. Listen folks, I don't even trust my own straight edge because if I depend on a machine to cut my straight edge and there's a problem, then I've got a problem. If I want to be responsible for my problems with bottom edge is failing, I'm going to be the guy responsible. So, this is why I bring the film down and I mark where I want my edge to be and that's what I'm doing here. I've calculated it only takes me literally seconds to cut my new, fresh edge with a sharp blade and that prevents all my problem that I could have trusting the factory edge. I'm also going to mark the sides. I don't want to force this film as it bunches up in the corner because that could actually bring on a crease. So, here's what I've done.

Instead of trying to use my knife and actually cutting on the car and trying to damage or risking damaging a seal on either side, I've actually marked my glass with a marker because see, that's exactly where I know I need to be and I can cut on this side of it on both sides so that I know exactly how much I need. Now, as I roll this window down, if there's a shifting window here that we've got to deal with, I know that I can mark my sides again. And if there are two sets of Sharpie lines, then I can actually see the shift and make adjustments when I cut my final patterns on a shop glass on them, that's behind me here. Now, the next step I'm going to do is I'm going to roll my glass down.

I'm going to try to pull my film up a little bit so that I don't force my film to bunch up and cause a crease here as I'm trying to roll this down, lift it off the glass a little bit. Okay. Now I want to smooth my top edge out because I want a really good cut on this top edge. To cut this top edge out right, you can realign it and make it look like it was shaved. Just got to do it right or it won't turn out right. Okay, before I do that, I want to do something that I like to always check. I want to remark my sides just so see, I don't see any shift into this window. If there were shifts and I'd noticed two sets of Sharpie lines. This looks a little bunched up right here, but I'm actually not creasing it. It's coming close though, but I'm really being careful.

Then the next step I want to make is I want to cut this top edge, but there's a method to the madness here. I've pulled out my yellow. I choose yellow because it's different than my other one. And I put in one of these carbon blades. I keep them oiled. They're double honed. They really got a good, a sharp blade to them. I would never use this blade to cut on the car, but man, I can sure cut us a clean edge at the top of this. And I'm going to actually slightly punch it through even almost level with the top. It goes through like butter and then I'm going to cut this edge all the way across. Actually, yeah. I kind of slipped a little bit. It's okay, I'm going to cut it again.

I like this angle better. Anyway. I want to keep it the same all the way across holding the film down. Okay. Now that we've trimmed our top edge, we've marked our sides with a Sharpie marker and our bottom. Now it's time to take the tint to another glass and do our final trim. Okay. Now we're going to get ready to trim and do final cuts on our pattern. This step could actually make or break you. I like to use a ruler when available. I prefer one of these 24 inch little flimsy rulers I buy at the office Depot or other office supply stores. Even Walmart I think has them. But anyway, this helps me along the straight edges here to give really clean cuts. The reason this is optional is because I could actually take my blade and I could just eat, make cuts myself on either side and even at the bottom, which I do quite frequently, especially when I'm in a hurry.

But because I have the ruler today, I'm going to take advantage of it. I also want to note that I prefer to use a carbon blade. I don't have to. I use the stainless steel as well, but the carbon blades are really sharp and giving me really good cuts. And if they do semi scratch the glass, there's no big deal. We can always replace this if we need to. But I've been lucky in this, a ruler. This knife has not been scratching my glass. So, anyway, let's see what I can do on my first cut. I like to come about an eighth of an inch. I want to make sure there's no light gaps when I install this pattern. I don't want to install the pattern too large because then I'll have other problems with unnecessary fingers because this a film won't be able to lay down and flatten out.

I'm going to remove this and just let it fall to the side. I'm also going to do the same thing on this side here. I'm going to come out about an eighth a little bit longer than I need. Get a straight cut and here we go. I'm going to take my ruler and I'm going to straighten out my cuts. I'm going to be really careful because I want this one to look good. Make sure it follows the exact same. There we go. And then I'm not going to use the ruler for the bottom. I think I can freehand that a little better, but this is how I'm going to guarantee myself. I'm going to go ahead and break my blade. I'm going to guarantee myself a really good bottom edge cut, so they don't have any problems out of that.

Again, I like to come about a quarter to an eighth of an inch below and I can tuck this. Now, I like to round up my bottom corners and my top one on the left side here. Little maintenance here to keep the, just keep that from popping up. Same over here. And then at the top, I like to do the same thing. Now with this blade, I really can't get a good cut. So, that's what I like to make these corners look really natural. Okay. That's done. I'm very happy with that pattern. Now we're ready to put it back on the car. We're going to do a little heat molding or the double snap technique so that we can guarantee ourselves to prevent moisture fingers when we install this pattern.

Now we're going to make sure the window has been rolled up. We're going to wet the glass thoroughly. Now what we're going to do is place our pattern back on here so that we can begin to shrink it. So, we want to do that before we install it so we prevent any fingers that may or may not occur. Okay. Now I want to position the pattern on the glass.

What I want to do is I want to probably make sure that my bottom edge here is about an inch, half an inch above the seal. I don't have to put it right down there on the seal for a reason because I don't want to create a problem when I'm trying to shrink this film. I'm going to get all the water out of it real careful. Okay. Now back in the day, I would have not really given this any thought or concern because it looks relatively flat like it doesn't need any shrinking. But now that I know about the double snap and now that I'm doing a Tuesday's installation, what I'm about to do next is absolutely critical in installing the film by leaving the door panel on to prevent fingers.

You don't want to deal with fingers. You want to stop them. So, what we're going to do to prevent that is we're going to over shrink this window. And right now there's not much to shrink, but I'm going to make something to shrink. Watch this. I love my well-built heat gun, but I dropped it yesterday and it's making a funny sound, but I think we'll be all right. What I'm going to do, and again, there's several different ways to do this. I simply like to pick it up about six inches and drop it and just begin shrinking it and splices it lets me.

Just kind of forcing my way through a little bit on the side of the middle. Make sure I get it on the ends a little bit. I'm happy with that. I'm going to go ahead and break it down. Okay folks, that's an insurance policy right there, that I don't get any fingers at the bottom of this window when I install it. Next, I'm going to show you the prep. After the prep, then we're going to actually install the film. Okay. Now it's time for the prep. Very important stage. This will make you or break you also. I want to just point out before I get started, which tools I'm going to use for this step. And I might not use every single one, but these are the tools that I keep in my apron. This is the retractable scraper that I like and I have the stainless steel blade. These aren't really better than any other blades other than the stainless steel blade may last me maybe more than one window, maybe four windows. It depends on what kind of car it is and how I use it.

The other less expensive blades, they'll usually last me, maybe just one window then I got to replace them. So, do the math and decide which ones you want. Stainless steel blades are a little more expensive, but they last longer. The other blades are less expensive and they don't last as long. It depends on your style and what your preferences are. But anyway, I've got my yellow turbo squeegee, which I cut with an angle and I've got some hard cards. I've got a couple of Tri-Edges, the yellow and the blue. The blues is the softest. The yellow is harder. There's an orange Tri-Edge that I don't prefer, but it's also available and a lot of people enjoy using it. And we also have the Platinum EZ Reach, which I certainly would recommend anybody having this tool. I use it for a lot of things, but I'll never touch the tint with it in a way where we'll scratch because these do scratch very easy.

But anyway, I'm going to begin my prepping. So, the first thing I want to do is just to just do a visual here on the glass because I want to make sure these edges are clean. The bottom is clean and the top edge especially. But one of the first things I'm going to do is I want to roll down the window and I want to begin to just wet the glass with my slip solution. I'm just going to feel for any hardened stickers or anything, which I don't feel now. And I'm going to begin to initially scrape the glass with my new blade. Oh, I didn't mention this, but I've also got a microfiber. I keep washing them. I try to, I've been using these recently for about a year, I guess, where they work out better for me and they work better than paper towels.

Anyway, I'm going to begin my scraping process. I use a scrape across the top thoroughly, and then I'll work my way down. I'm also listing. Sometimes I can hear you if the blade hits anything as a scratch or a little piece of sticker, you never know the hardened particle. I'll pay special attention to it to make sure we get rid of it. Also kind of go into the cracks here a little deeper than I normally would just to make sure I get everything. And now at this point, I want to wipe off this top edge thoroughly. I'm even going to go to the other side here and then I'm actually going to wipe the outside just because I know there's dirt that accumulates at the top that will find its way back into your installation if you're not careful. Then I'm just going to wipe everything down so I can get a really good visual.

I'm still seeing some trash up here. I got it. Now I'm going to take one of my hard cards. Sometimes I use my Platinum, sometimes I use this when it just depends on the window and I'm going to put it in my cloth and I'm going to actually use it to wipe down the insides of these cracks. You'd be surprised at what you can get some of the darkest places in the car. Just look at that, all that black. So, right now I'm happy with that. For now I'm going to scrape the bottom little part that just came up, inspect it, not getting in a big hurry. I'm going to take this and do the same step on the bottom of these cracks.

And then I'm going to dry the rest of it off. Okay, I'm happy with that. Now I'm going to do a final prep for the installation of the window film. I'm going to rewet the window. Just notice, I don't use a lot of water, okay. Sometimes people feel like they've got to drown their window with water. I've never had luck with that. The more water I've used, the more problems I've run into, especially with electronics and just making a mess. But I'm going to wipe my squeegee blade clean and I'm going to start with strokes from one side to the other. I'm not going to just break it up. I'm just going to try to do continuous strokes.

It's getting time for me to change out the squeegee. It's not making the best cleanest pass. It's leaving a little bit of residue behind, a little water residue, but that's not really going to cause me that many problems for this, but just got to do it again just to make sure I get all the water. And then I'll put my point down in these cracks and squeegee downward. I want to do the same for the other side.

Now I'm going to take my microfiber. I'm just going to do one stroke downward to get the outside. And we want to cross the bottom, you'd be surprised at all the cleaning you do, how it makes an impact on the final installation. Then I'll take my finger and I'm going to go really good at the top, make sure this top edge is dry. And then I'm going to, for insurance, I'm going to take one more quick pass down the edge, just to clear anything that could cause any contaminants. I'm happy with that. Now I'm going to mist the glass. I'm going to go to my glass over here to the side. I'm going to spray the film as I pull the release liner down and spray the film and get ready for installation. Okay, I don't want you to overlook this part. This is very important. I want you to see how much water I put on this glass before I install this window film.

If you use more than that, I think you're going to get yourself in some trouble and you've created way too much problems for trash to come into this installation if you use a lot more water than that. Just my friendly tip there. Okay, this is the step where we peel our liner. And the first thing I want to do is I actually want to mist the film to actually cut down on any dust, static electricity, anything that might actually lead to contaminants in my film. The next step I want to do is I want to grab this corner carefully and I want to begin to peel the liner and I like to use my teeth.

Now, I'm going to, without touching the film, I'm going to carefully pull it down. This is the twostage method. So, we only have to pull the film down so there's about three to four inches at the bottom. And then thoroughly mist the film. Doesn't require that much water. This is my Johnson's Baby Shampoo mix. Now this doesn't look professional to some people, but I like to grab it on the edges where you can't see it. I've licked my fingers, so I don't leave a fingerprint or anything else. And then I ease the film off and then I easily pinch it there and then I walk over to my installation. Without getting in a hurry. I'm just going to ease the film on you. You don't have to take my word for this, but where I touch this film, I'm not going to leave any trash.

I've been doing this for a long time and don't know why my method works. But as long as it doesn't leave trash, I'm going to keep doing it because I like to control my film. Now I can put a gap in this window that looks like I shaved it. I don't know if you can get a, you see this, but you can see how I can control my gap. Right now, I've got it as clean and as close as I need it to be and it is money right now. And I know it's going to slightly move until I get a final squeegee here, but I don't care. As long as I see that it is matching up and I don't have any problems, I'm okay. Now that I got the film on, I guess I want to give it just a little bit of extra slip.

I want to take my yellow turbo squeegee. I'm no longer in any kind of hurry. And I just want to go from one side to the other, just really easy. Not aggressive, not yet and get squeegee down. This is a preliminary squeegee. This is not a final pass. I'm just starting to shape up the film so that I can work with it and get it positioned exactly where I want it.

Now, this is the secret here. If you want to make an edge look like it's been shaved without shaving it, this is where you can make it happen. I can't wait to show you. Got it where I want it. I'm happy with that. It's got the shave look without the shave. This is my current favorite hard tool. The go doctor with the yellow turbo squeegee. I like these because they can easily be replaced. Handles are always good. And then you put them in here. You can try the red one, the blue and different hardnesses. Anyway, now that we've got the film positioned, I'm not going to go full force here. I'm going to begin my hard tooling process along the top edge. Now I'm putting some muscle behind it. Not a lot. Just maybe making it very, very firm.

Then I'm going to go down a little bit further down, putting some muscle in it, working it slow. Very important step. Let me show you what just happened. This is the pressure sensitive adhesive, which literally means that when you put pressure on it, it begins to do what it's supposed to do, stick. And when you can get this stuff to stick, now you're in control. We can roll this up and we don't have to worry about any sliding if we do this step correctly. But we still have a few more steps left. The next thing I want to do is first, I want to dry this top edge. There can be a lot of trash, a lot of confusion here with this top edge if you don't get this water off. This is a secret to making this edge really clean. The next thing I want to do is I want to, and I don't have any particular reason, I picked this card was the first one I grabbed. I can do this with anything I've got in my apron, but I don't want to squeegee edges.

Now, we have two trouble spots on a lot of cars. I've got more going on on this corner and less going on in this corner. One thing I want to do is I want to slightly lift the film and I want to sort of pull the corners in like this. That way, I don't have to deal with so many creases as I'm rolling it up, moving it around, but here I'm going to roll it up slowly. Okay. And then another potential problem is when you pull this up, if you pull it too fast or too hard and you don't look, you could get creases here in the middle with funny little places like this on the edges. But what I'm going to do is I'm going to be real easy with this step and maybe just kind of push the tip of that in there so I don't have to contend with it.

I don't want make sure that there's no tension that's going to cause me unnecessary creases. Okay. Now we're at the second stage of our two-stage installation. We have a secure at the top. Now we're going to take this yellow turbo and we're going to do another squeegee because we don't know what's come up from the door. We don't trust it. So, we're going to squeegee this carefully, but we're not going to take our top edge and accidentally bump the film. There's a possibility we could get some little contaminants in our installation if we do that. So, we're going to carefully just work our squeegee and we're going to bring it all the way across the bottom. I'm going to stick the tip in there. I'm going to go this way with it. No reason to get in a hurry. Just making sure I don't miss anything.

I'm happy with that. I'm going to clean my work area up a little bit. Okay. Now, I feel good about that and I'm going to re-wet this. Again, I'm not going to drown it with water. Just enough to do what I needed to do. I'm going to ease this out. Kind of wet my fingers here a little bit incase I have to touch anything, but I don't. I'm just going to carefully pull this out and place this to the side. Now, what I'm going to do is look through my Platinum EZ Reach. That is my favorite tool for this step.

And I'm going to try to figure out how to work this film and all the cracks and under the seal. And one of the things I like to do is I like to come to the middle here. Just kind of pick up on it a little bit and bring it over so that can kind of work on the sides. And then I want to create the space I need right here, which I'm doing. And I'm going to just kind of work it over to the other side. Now, I've already cut this film so that it's maybe about an eighth of an inch below the seal. I'll say, I'll pull that corner over and then let it drop.

Let it drop. Now, I've overheated this. So, I know I've ensured that I don't have any moisture to cause me any fingers I'm going to carefully just re-wet this second slide. I'm going to squeegee a little bit better. I'm not going to hard to it in this step. So, you see the double snap has created that tension. You see that thing, I'm literally going to pull this finger this way. Watch what happens on the other side. There is a small one there. There's just a little tension here at the bottom that's going to work in my favor and I'm going to say, I'm starting from the middle here and I'm just going to kind of pull everything over. That's one of the tricks to this technique. This is work everything to these corners. Okay. And then I'll do the same thing on the other side. Now, quickly we'll take my Platinum EZ Reach and I will begin to smooth out the bottoms. I'm not touching this card anywhere where a scratch can be seen.

Moisture is my enemy right now on the sides and the bottom. The double snap helps. It's always not perfect, but I'm going to try to get a little bit of moisture out with the sides, not going to get too detailed here because I still want to weight it one more time. And I want to hard to the bottom half. Already hard to the top half. That makes a huge difference in the look. You get all the fingers bubbles out, the little water pockets. Again, I want to go around and push this water on down. Sometimes I can even work a towel down here to get this extra moisture out.

Actually for this video, I've probably gone a little bit slower, taking a few more steps because I want you to see things clear. I could eliminate some of these steps. If I was doing this faster, I wouldn't have to do this so many times. I just want to make sure everybody sees what I'm doing. Dry everything off, tops, sides, door panels. And that's the finished product. However, I always want to check the sides. I always want to look at the bottoms. I always want to check where these little creases may be. Just want to pay attention to the top edges. See, I can roll this window up and down all I want if I wanted to. I may do that in a second to check at the top edge out. Then I want to go to the outside and inspect it thoroughly and deal with any little, anything that I want to deal with and probably pull out a heat gun or additional hard tooling or anything I need to make this a smoother.

Now we've made it to the final inspection. I always like to take my window cleaner. Sometimes I don't even do this, but for the camera, I think it looks good. I like to thoroughly clean the outside just because I want to make sure if there's anything that needs to be dealt with that I can see it.

That dimension, you got to make the car look good for the customer. I might even go on the inside here, do a quick wipe down with a window cleaner, which I've already done and probably doesn't need to be done, but just for the fun of it. And according to my inspection, I have gotten lucky and I did not have to do any additional work on the sides where there can typically be creases with the two-stage method. I don't see any creases over here either. I've just got to have a good installation without any trash. And I also want to roll the window down for you and show you what the top edge looks like and show you that you don't always have to shave or a falling edge to make an age look nice. Okay. Just for our last inspection, let's look at our top edge.

Again, I did not use any sort of shaving technique or filing technique. I just paid attention on how I cut my edge and I was able to take a little time and line it up appropriately. And a lot of people find this as acceptable. There actually is a gap there. The film's laying down appropriately, flat expansion gaps are everything's there like it's supposed to be. And most people find this acceptable. Anyway, I wanted you to get a close up of the gap and how it looks and the fact that we've dried it up. We can now roll the windows up and down with this method. We don't have to wait three days or three hours or whatever. It's ready right now and this window was just tinted out about a minute ago. So, thank you very much. And I hope these tips have helped you with your two-stage technique.