Installation Time: Full Day
August 29, 2013
Looks fantastic! Be prepared for a very arduous install, or have a glass shop do it.
I couldn't be happier with the appearance of these louvers in my 2014 Mustang GT. They look like they're a factory part of the car, not something that was stuck on.
I'm far from being a mechanic, but I do consider myself pretty handy, and these louvers are a major pain to install for a first-timer. So make sure you read all of the instructions before starting, and if you're not comfortable with any of the steps, you might consider having a glass shop do the work. Or to save some labor cost, do the interior prep work first (removing all the plastic panels), and then just have a glass shop cut out the factory glass and adhere the louvers. If you do the latter, be sure to tell them to use a tall enough adhesive bead so that the louvers fit flush against the outside body of the car, unless you prefer a slightly recessed look (it's personal preference). The bead height is critical to a good install.
The instructions provided were very good, and there's also a good YouTube video detailing the installation. Neither instructions prepared me though for how difficult it would be to get a good seal installing the louvers, using auto glass adhesive. Part of the problem is that the automotive urethane glass adhesive that I used (the same stuff that SHR apparently uses for their installs) is so viscous that it took all of my strength with two hands in a standard caulk gun to get the stuff to come out of the tube. This made it virtually impossible to get the correct shape and height of bead to make a good seal with the louvers. When I was done with the job and had allowed enough time for the adhesive to cure, I taped a large piece of tissue paper (like used for wrapping fragile items in gift stores) loosely over the outside of the each louver, and then sprayed air all around the seal from the inside of the car, using a can of compressed air. Seeing that the paper fluttered in response told me that I had at least 2 spots on each louver where I had leaks. I then tried to push the louvers out so that I could redo the adhesive, but that adhesive holds so tightly (when used with the recommended adhesive promoter on the louvers) that I knew I'd never get them out without damaging the louvers. Pushing with all my strength (at least as much as I was comfortable trying, without risking cracking the louvers), they wouldn't budge. These louvers definitely aren't ever going to fall out on their own, if you use this stuff! So I just sealed the leaky spots from the inside of the car using silicone.
The instructions also don't really describe in enough detail how to properly cut the tip of the caulk gun tube to get the V-shaped bead needed. They do instruct to make a V-shaped cut, but don't say how deep the cut needs to be or how exactly to cut it. The proper cut makes all the difference.
The moral of that story is, unless you're using an adhesive that is less viscous (and perhaps even then), an electric or battery-powered caulk gun will allow you to get a much better and more uniform bead. Either that, or have a glass shop do the seal.
Having to trim the interior panels inside the car to properly fit around the louvers is a pain too (I only removed a star from my Fit rating because of that--the fit on the outside of the car is perfect), but not overly difficult if you use the right tools. I used a Dremel with a cutting wheel (several cutting wheels, actually, as I kept breaking them), but a jigsaw with a fine-cutting blade on it would probably work as well, if not better. I tried using a hacksaw too, as the instructions suggest, but it was just too awkward to get the right angles.
Including the time needed to fix the leaks, I'd estimate that the installation took me about 11 hours, so it's definitely an all-day project. If you're good with auto glass installation, it will take you much less time.
The visibility through the louvers from the front seats is fantastic--far better than the available Ford factory-option louvers (which are next to useless for visibility), or other louvers of similar slit size. Because you're replacing your window glass with transparent plastic though, the view through the windows will be distorted--but will be more than sufficient for looking for obstacles through your blind spots.
Overall, I highly recommend the product!