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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-04-2015, 11:56 AM
Vinnie T Vinnie T is offline
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Location: Elk Grove, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2011 328i Coupe
Who's tinted rear glass of their 3 Series Coupe

Have a CPO 2011 328i coupe that I purchased recently that I'd like to tint the rear windows on. How did yours come out if you had it done?
The rear window looks like a bitch to tint with the dot matrix/antenna grid at the top, 3rd brake light cutout, steep angle, and depth of the window. I've had many cars done before but this might be the most challenging with the semi-limited access to the rear seating area. I'm sure the pros have dealt with it before, but was just concerned. BTW, can the rear headrests be removed? Haven't tried it yet, but that would sure create more access space to the window. thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2015, 02:30 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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People either vinyl or paint the dot matrix and tint the rest of the glass

Tint will not stick to the dot matrix. It will peel. Do not apply tint to the dot matrix or you will have to go back for a second install.
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2015, 03:51 PM
Vinnie T Vinnie T is offline
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Location: Elk Grove, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2011 328i Coupe
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
People either vinyl or paint the dot matrix and tint the rest of the glass

Tint will not stick to the dot matrix. It will peel. Do not apply tint to the dot matrix or you will have to go back for a second install.
Never have in the past. The place I go to generally uses what I'm guessing is a vinyl tape over the matrix area. Just haven't had an antenna grid in that matrix in any car in the past. Only use non-metallic tint also. I was more concerned about the installer having decent access to the window as it's very cramped in there. Just want a good outcome.
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2015, 04:59 PM
Porando Porando is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 335i, 2004 X5 4.4L
Not sure how much difference in dot matrix is between sedan and coupe but I have tinted rear window on 335i (sedan) no issues whatsoever except noticeable light reflections from widow heater "bumps" as tint (Llumar ceramic) is bit reflective
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2015, 08:30 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Mein Auto: '08 335i coupe 6MT sport
I'm also using a Lllumar ceramic, and I'm very happy with my tint job, and have been for years. It was this forum that had me convinced that perhaps I should ask for a vinyl job, but the patriarch of the family run shop talked me out of it. Twice. I came back long after for a different purpose, and mentioned it again, and he talked me out of it again. (This shop btw is the most famous in SoCal to my knowledge, as people drive triple digit miles from all directions to hire their services. I ran into such a family on one of my few visits in the lobby, that came from three counties away!) I like that I have a lifetime warranty on the job as long as I own the car, even if I have no fear at all that it will peel off.

However, if you're looking at a vinyl job, it will be less awkward the darker the tint is I believe. Mine is a very light tint, so the contrast would be much more peculiar with my car, I imagine.

Here is the most ugly shot I came up with, flash on, arms extended over my head, perpendicular shot (you'd have to be an NBA center for it to look this bad). The exact extent of how bad it will be is going to vary unit to unit. BMW is not the worst, but I can't remember which models and brands were the worst offenders as according to my shop.



This is a more relevant, eye level type of view.



After two separate detailing sessions (first one with carnauba, second with sealant). I never, ever think about the dot matrix until someone asks about it here.



Last edited by Ilovemycar; 03-04-2015 at 08:31 PM.
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  #6  
Old Yesterday, 08:18 AM
Scotty335i Scotty335i is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 BMW 335i XDrive
Also thinking about tinting my 335i coupe soon.. what is the dot matrix/antenna grid?
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  #7  
Old Yesterday, 08:42 AM
Vinnie T Vinnie T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty335i View Post
Also thinking about tinting my 335i coupe soon.. what is the dot matrix/antenna grid?
All of those black dots at the top of the window are what is considered the "matrix". I guess they provide some shading for rear passengers. You also can see a narrow band of them going around the outer edges of the glass in most cars. I haven't looked at these closely, but it past cars they were some kind of ceramic-like coating.
The 2 or 3 red lines at the very top of the window that look like they are part of the window heating grid are actually an antenna for the radio system as I understand it. I know they don't heat up when the defroster is on. Also a reason for not using a metallic tint on the window.
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  #8  
Old Yesterday, 08:53 AM
Vinnie T Vinnie T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
I'm also using a Lllumar ceramic, and I'm very happy with my tint job, and have been for years. It was this forum that had me convinced that perhaps I should ask for a vinyl job, but the patriarch of the family run shop talked me out of it. Twice. I came back long after for a different purpose, and mentioned it again, and he talked me out of it again. (This shop btw is the most famous in SoCal to my knowledge, as people drive triple digit miles from all directions to hire their services. I ran into such a family on one of my few visits in the lobby, that came from three counties away!) I like that I have a lifetime warranty on the job as long as I own the car, even if I have no fear at all that it will peel off.

However, if you're looking at a vinyl job, it will be less awkward the darker the tint is I believe. Mine is a very light tint, so the contrast would be much more peculiar with my car, I imagine.

Here is the most ugly shot I came up with, flash on, arms extended over my head, perpendicular shot (you'd have to be an NBA center for it to look this bad). The exact extent of how bad it will be is going to vary unit to unit. BMW is not the worst, but I can't remember which models and brands were the worst offenders as according to my shop.
Is this a newer type of film? It is almost clear? I haven't had a car done since 2008. Have more or less used the more common 3M smoke tint in varying shades for the last 20+ years on cars. My last car was a Corvette that had a huge (and majorly curved) rear window which they did in the 3M tint with vinyl tape at the top for the dot matrix area. Had it done in the 5% "limo" tint which was a little spooky backing out at night due to the darkness. I may go one step lighter in the 10-15% range this time. The 3M tint has always worked well in the past. I see there is a Llumar dealer not far from where I live. Will give them a call today and check it out. May still go with the 3M tint, but it's nice to have options. Like I said, I'm more concerned about how well the job can be done in the tight space vs. the type of tint at this point.

Last edited by Vinnie T; Yesterday at 08:25 PM.
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  #9  
Old Yesterday, 09:04 AM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Location: CA
 
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Mein Auto: '08 335i coupe 6MT sport
It is called Air-80, but really is 78%. According to their brochure, even with such high visible light transmission, the total solar rejection is on par with the 15% tint from their premium dyed line.

I didn't necessarily want it this light everywhere, but when I asked for candidate samples to be put up side by side, the installer and I were unanimous about which one flattered the car more.

3M makes an even lighter tint at 90% (but really 86%), under the Crystalline brand.
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  #10  
Old Yesterday, 08:27 PM
Vinnie T Vinnie T is offline
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Location: Elk Grove, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2011 328i Coupe
To answer my own question, the rear headrests do come out rather easily. Just have to release the seat backs to tilt forward enough so that the headrests clear the glass. There is a release button on one side at the base of the headrest that allows it to come fully out. Definitely helps get to the glass.
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