We discuss creature comforts quite a bit in this here magazine, so much so that I have to admit we may come off as prima donnas. But there’s good reason for that, and simply put, it’s because the more comfortable our trucks are, the more likely we are to use ’em. If I can hop in my ’68, crank the A/C and stereo, and blast down the highway to run an errand, the wife’s car is staying in the driveway! That’s how I like it and I’m pretty sure the majority of you feel the same. It’s just too darn fun to drive an old truck, and frankly, I want to do it as often as possible.
But while having air conditioning in your truck sure makes it nice, what’s the point if all that cold air is escaping through the floor, roof, or firewall due to poor insulation. So you gotta make sure the cab’s sealed up nice and tight to keep the cool air in and the hot air and road noise out. A nicely insulated cab and a good A/C system go hand in hand, but one of the most overlooked modifications when it comes to cab comfort is tinted glass.
I’ve been toying with the idea of tinting the glass on the ’68 ever since I started driving it regularly. I’ll tell you, heading east in the afternoon with the sun blazing through that big back window behind you can really heat things up fast, regardless of the A/C’s power. The only thing stopping me was the fact that I figured you had to go dark with the tint to get any kind of heat and UV protection. Well, as is the case 99 percent of the time, I was wrong and 3M had just the product to solve my redneck problem.
The newest tint, or “automotive window film” as it’s known in the industry, that is truly groundbreaking for those of us who don’t want that über-dark limo tint, but would love to have some heat and UV protection inside the cab of our truck is 3M’s Crystalline Automotive Window film. Featuring a proprietary, multilayer optical film technology that combines over 200 layers in a film thinner than a Post-it note, this unique technology enables it to repel more heat than darker films.
An X-Acto knife is then used to trim the film to shape.
Available as transparent as 70-percent VLT (69 percent of visible light transmitted through the glass) it blocks 99.9 percent UV rays, provides 50 percent solar heat reduction, and 97 percent infrared rejection. Simply put, the end result is a slightly smoked or gray glass surface and an incredibly cooler cab interior. Not to mention the glare reduction and protection it provides that expensive upholstery from the harsh sun provided by the UV rejection. Ever jumped in a truck in the middle of summer and burned the back or your legs on a scalding vinyl seat? This will keep that seat and the steering wheel at a tolerable temperature all summer long. But if a little color is more your speed, 3M does offer their Crystalline tint in three darker shades, with 40-percent VLT being the darkest.
The trimmed film is then removed and ready to be applied permanently.
The inside of the glass must be perfectly clean and free of any debris before the film is
Once the surface is nice and clean, the film can be peeled from the backing and applied to
And the result is a perfectly clear window that will block 99.9 percent UV light, transmit
Though most vintage trucks don’t have much in the way of compound glass behind the A-pilla
The 3M logo screened onto the Crystalline film ensures that the real deal has been used.