- Post is under moderationPAUL’S #BMW-E36 / #BMW-328i / #BMW-328i-E36 / #BMW-328i-Coupe / #BMW-328i-Coupe-E36 / #BMW-328Ci / #BMW-328Ci-E36 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E36 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E36 / #BMW
Let’s get something out there before we start – when it comes to modding cars, there are certain modifications that I pretty much apply to everything I own – even if it’s just a daily driver! Everything gets a slam of some sort, wheels and tyres always get swapped, factory exhausts are a no-no, and everything gets tinted! Why? Well, put simply, if done tastefully, in my humble opinion it really improves the lines of the car, adding an extra degree of definition and contrast between the bodywork and glass, as well as keeping the cabin a little cooler and adding a little extra security for ICE and valuables. On a silver or light-coloured car like the E36, I also think that it visually elongates the glasshouse, making the car seem longer and much sleeker in the process.
Window tints are one of those true hit or miss-type mods. Done badly, as so many are, with bubbles and imperfections, poorly cut and peeling edges, or even that horrendous ‘blue’ shade reminiscent of ’70s limos, then it can look worse than having no tint at all. Done to factory perfection, however, they can be a really cost effective mod, and one that will dramatically change the appearance of the car for a couple of hundred quid.
Having been down this road many times before, I wisely decided to call upon the services of my old partners-in-crime and similarly grizzled veterans, Executive Tints in Burton upon Trent. Simon and Eric have been applying films of various kinds to all manner of vehicles, buildings and specialist applications for over two decades now, meaning that they have been there and done that in tinting terms.
As well as looking after a great many of the Midlands’ top-end dealerships, the company’s client book reads a lot like an automotive industry ‘who’s who’ with Lexus UK, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin regularly calling upon this affable outfit for special projects and motorshow work. A few years ago, this dynamic duo were responsible for tinting many of the cars for the James Bond Skyfall movie, so if their talents are good enough for Hollywood, my thinking was they’d be alright on my old tub!
With Eric enjoying a well-earned morning off, it was down to Simon to work his usual magic on the old Three. Even though we’ve known each other a long time, Simon always relishes talking me through each tint spec, what is and isn’t legal – and the advantages of each type of film. Executive Tints use only ‘Technical Films’ for its work, as opposed to the more common ‘metallic’ or ‘dyed’ alternatives. They may be the most expensive of all three types, but Technical Films has a huge advantage over the others. It holds its colour permanently, unlike dyed films, which will often go blue or purple after a while, and better still, unlike metallic films, Technical Films won’t interfere with the signal requirements of aerial elements in heated rear windows, or GPS antennae for sat nav systems. If you’ve had tints fitted recently and have these problems now you know why! Cheap film!
The Executive Tint way is always to stress that a customer should keep a lighter, legal tint on the sides and darken the rear window. This would avoid any potential brushes with the law, while allowing a marked contrast with the Autoglym-prepped paintwork. Simon would also be fitting ‘one-way’ films, which allows almost all of the exterior light to pass into the vehicle, stopping the age-old problem of gloomy interiors and poor visibility after dusk.
For cars that they often work on, the lads have a pre-cut template to work from to save a little bit of time. With the E36 being a bit of an old stager though, this pattern has long since fallen out of the ‘greatest hits’ pile, meaning that Simon would need to start afresh, measuring and cutting rough blanks, before finely trimming them on the outside of each pane before he began. The curved rear window was first carefully shrunk into the correct profile with a heat gun, before Simon went around each edge, cutting a perfect line that just overlapped the factory black with a steadiness of hand that most surgeons would aspire to. Then, after yet more cleaning and scrubbing, the adhesive backing was peeled off and each piece of tint was carefully slid into place on a bed of water and soap.
The rear pop-outs needed very special attention, with the threaded plugs that hold each bracket needing to be carefully undone to allow the trim to sit underneath it. Anything that can be removed always is, to make sure that the tint sits properly even where you can’t see. This avoids problems later down the line. After this Simon spent a great deal of time with more heat and an intriguing variety of squeegees in order to remove every little crease and bubble. This was definitely the part of the task where most care was taken, with every little imperfection being chased to the edge of the glass before it disappeared for good.
In the case of the front drop-glasses, Simon fastidiously removed all trim panels to allow him to sit the tint as low as possible on the pane, to avoid the possibility of even the smallest gap at the bottom. Similar care was taken around the interior mirror scraper rubber, too. As usual, it was a masterclass in perfection, with the tint being ‘edged’ into the outer reaches of the drop glasses to ensure a totally OEM-like finish.
After thoroughly cleaning the glass again, and removing the sheets that he had conscientiously placed around the car to avoid marking the trim (always much appreciated) the door panels were properly refitted and the car moved outside for shots. Usually, tinted windows can’t be touched for 48 hours to allow the adhesive to ‘go off’, but such is the quality of the films used by Executive Tints, and the quality of the way they fit them, Simon reckoned that they would be safe to use later that day. Now that’s confidence! At around £220 for the whole job, it didn’t exactly break the bank either, bearing in mind the graft and talent that sat behind it all.
What I’ve got now is a cleaner, smarter looking car that appears to have neater and simpler lines to set off those classic body creases. The E36 is a great looking car anyway, but with a few tasteful mods, they can look stunning. I had better get the staggered 17s back on now then! If you’re in the market for a set of tasteful tints, make sure you head over to Burton and see these guys!
CONTACT Executive Tints / www.executivetints.co.uk / 01283 566981Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationLORENZO GALEA #BMW-328i-Sport / #BMW-328i-Sport-E36 / #BMW-328i-E36 / #BMW-328i-Coupe-E36 / #BMW-328i-Coupe / #BMW / #BMW-E36
Lorenzo hails from Preston, as you’d expect from a man named Lorenzo, and he purchased this E36, affectionately known as Ella, from a friend in 2013, who’d already lowered the car on coilovers, fitted some Alpina reps and carried out some OEM+ mods. All good until the head gasket blew last year and one of liners cracked. However this inspired Lorenzo to build himself a better engine in the shape of an #M50B30 stroker using an #M50 block (which he painted blue), a reconditioned and skimmed #M52 head and #M54B30 internals, plus an #S50 sump. Lorenzo says that while the fuel economy is now awful, the power delivery and sound make it all worthwhile. Plus there’s the satisfaction of enjoying an engine he built himself. The car also features carbon badges, rolled and pulled arches, a Scorpion exhaust, polybushes, M3 front brakes and LSD, coilovers and staggered 18” Dare wheels. On the inside you’ll find black Vaders, a black carpet and dashboard, plus a 12” sub. Hats off, Lorenzo, that’s a mighty fine build, good work!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.