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Rear Defroster Tint Removal and Repair

2646 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  50ClubCoupe
So I decided to tackle the job of getting the tint off my rear window so I can have it re-done with new/fresh material... The purple that my tint has bleached to was really not doing it for me. If you go to a tint shop they want more than $60.00 to remove the old tint and they won't even guarantee that they won't ruin the defroster lines.... As always if someone is going to screw something up on my truck it's going to be me and not someone I pay....

A warning. Ammonium Hydroxide (known to most as ammonia) is gnarly...Very noxious fumes. It's the same stuff they use in smelling salts. Work in a very WELL ventilate area, use gloves and eye protection. Bag the waste so that someone doesn't accidentally touch it, it will burn more sensitive skin. Having a ventillator/respirator would be a bonus.

So check this out.... To get tint off a rear window this is what I did.... I actually took the whole window out first cause I am going to get it re-tinted and in hindsight this also makes things easier. Use concentrated Ammonium Hydroxide (common household ammonia) and spray this all over the tint side of the window. Cover this with plastic so that the ammonia doesn't evaporate and let it sit for an hour or so in a warm place, sunlight is good just make sure the tint stays wet with ammonia, if it dries the glue will re-harden. The goal is to allow the ammonia to penetrate and soften the glue so you can peel the whole thing up.

The tint has two layers. If the layers separate it's a pain in the ass. I found that peeling the tint in sections is the best way... Trying to get all of it up at once is a little over ambitious and exposes too much of the tint to the air and by the time you get to the far end it will have dried and hardened again. So what I did/learned is start at one end; At the top is good because there is a large open section that doesn't have any defroster lines to mess up. Pull back just enough of the plastic to expose what you will peel. Slide a razor blade under the film and peel a 1.5-2.5 in strip. Peel down slowly until you get to the first defroster line and then gently wiggle the tint off the defroster line and then continue though the next section and to the next line all the way to the bottom. You'll get a feel for it and it'll work better as you go. Remember to only peel the plastic back to expose the section of tint you are about to work with so that you keep the rest wet until you are ready to remove it. If things dry out wet it down with more ammonia and give it a second to absorb. I also had a razor blade in hand to coax any of the film that separated and clean up the stuff I missed. You can get it to peel together again by using the blade to make the separated piece of film "catch up" to the film in your hand. Be careful not to cut the defroster lines.

If you happen to cut/nick/destroy a defroster line it's not the end of the world. Permatex (and I am sure others) makes a rear defroster repair kit that comes with a conductive paint that will restore the lines. (also comes with adhesive for tabs that have come loose too)... How good the lines look is up to your ability to tape and paint carefully.... It comes with a stensil but use scoch tape, it'll look better and you can control the width of the lines better.

I have heard people complain that it looks like crap is bulgy etc but I just finished and although the color is a little different (will never notice it under the tint), it looks great. I can see how taking some time to tape up properly and lay down thin even coats can make a HUGE difference. I also went and checked for conductivity with an Ohm meter and all systems were go so the paint works.

that's all... Thought some of you might want to know.
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pretty good stuff. this would be good in the Tech forum
Should I move it? or re-post?
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