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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had 3 Transits, a 2015, 2017 and now a 2019 (all 3.7s, low roof cargo vans) and it has always bugged me that when the HVAC control is set to cool (with a/c off), I was still getting somewhat warm air through the vents.

This year I finally figured out why.

The outside air intake is on the hood (a dumb design) and it gets carried through the hood to the actual air intake above the engine, then from there to the a/c evaporator and cabin. The heat from the engine is heating up the bottom of the hood, thereby pre-heating whatever air goes through the hood. If I stop that pre-heating, I might get cooler air inside. Also, cooler incoming air means the a/c won't have to work as hard.

Earlier this year I thought of a fix: attach some radiant heat barrier to the bottom of the hood. Last week that was applied.

Since this is a company-owned van, permanently mounting it is not advised. You will likely not have that limitation.

I had a 4' wide roll of brown paper that served as my template. You'll need about 5 feet x 2 feet.

Use masking tape to temporarily hold the paper in place. Tape the rear (windshield) end, then holding the paper in place, cut two slits for the rubber drains. With the drains poking through, tape the rest up and make your marks where to trim. Tape over the slits so it won't tear when you remove it. Once removed, cut the holes for the drains.
Hood Motor vehicle Combat vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting
Remove the paper and cut it along the lines, then re-install it. Close the hood to see how much is sticking out near the wipers, trim accordingly. (Notice in this picture I forgot to cut out the oval for the air intake! :mad: I didn't realize that until I put the radiant barrier in.)
Car Motor vehicle Hood Vehicle Light
End result:
Automotive parking light Tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire
Because gluing was not an option (company-owned van), the thing was taped on with HVAC aluminum foil tape; regular tape can't handle the heat. I had to re-cut the back edge quite a bit; when the paper template was installed, I didn't think to close the hood and look at that back edge - it stuck out quite a bit.

Today I noticed the tape on the sides wasn't holding. Some more trimming and cutting a V in the sides to enable it to sit on the metal without bulging was needed.
Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Automotive design
There, that's better:
Automotive parking light Tire Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle
Closeup of the drain. A perfect circle isn't necessary.
Hood Bicycle tire Automotive tire Wood Automotive lighting

Does it work? It seems to.
 

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Now you need some for the top of the hood, The tropical sunshine where I am at heats things up fast not to mention the 110 degree ambient air temperatures.
 

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2019 250 148 mr
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I found the biggest difference in keeping the cab cooler was ceramic tint on the windshield. That piece of glass is huge and radiates a ton of heat.
 

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need to measure before and after temps under the same conditions
 

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On a related note: Just before we park for the night in the summer I set the fan to recirculate. This eliminates a blast of hot air from the vents after the engine is shut off. It makes a big difference.

Cheers.
 

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2019 250 148 mr
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Details please. We are considering this.
3m ceramic thermal tint

I had it professionally installed as I don't have the patience to get all the bubbles out of that giant greenhouse they call a windshield. It wasn't cheap at $500 for the windshield (basically no tint, but you feel significantly less heat when you're in the sun) and a slight tint on the side windows.

I used to have to run the a/c on full blast when it was 95+ degrees just to keep up. Now I can run it at fan speed 2 and get the same results. Also, when parked, I don't even bother with the sunshade anymore, there's very little heat coming through the windshield. Before, you could cook on top of the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd like to put clear tint on the windshield for this reason, but I wonder if it's legal. Also, I doubt the company would pay for it. I just looked at that 3M site and found there is now a 3M dealer here, so maybe I'll go over and ask anyhow. Two years ago the closest one was 100 miles away.
 

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In my state clear tint on the windshield is legal, although the clear 3m is very slightly tinted. I really don't think anyone would ever notice. And it doesn't affect visibility at all, no clouding, no reflections or refractions... nothing.

The only thing I've noticed is the tendency for dew to collect in times of high humidty. Not sure if it's because of the extra layer insulating the window or just the honking huge piece of glass. But it's all on the outside, so the wipers take care of it.
 

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2020 350 XLT AWD LR 148" 3.5L Eco
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Details please. We are considering this.
I live in Texas and adding 3M Ceramic Tint in all windows, including the front windshield, has made a huge difference -- especially considering that my dashboard temp readings still hit 109 this week. It is expensive, but I feel it is definitely worth the cost given how many hot days I get here. One downside is that I really worry about windshield chips and cracks a lot more. I already have two in my windshield that I picked up during my 4800 mile road trip this past summer.
 

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A front bulkhead pretty much eliminates the need for a windshield tint, It keeps all of the air conditioned air in the front of the cab. I live in Mississippi where it is in the 90s three or four months a year and I usually have the AC set on the lowest fan speed, I have 5 percent limo tint on all of the side and back windows.
 

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A front bulkhead pretty much eliminates the need for a windshield tint, It keeps all of the air conditioned air in the front of the cab. I live in Mississippi where it is in the 90s three or four months a year and I usually have the AC set on the lowest fan speed, I have 5 percent limo tint on all of the side and back windows.
Unfortunately, some of us carry other people in the second row. They tend to feel alienated with a bulkhead between the front and second row.

I have thought about a curtain. It would also be useful for stealth sleeping and cold weather camping.
 

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Unfortunately, some of us carry other people in the second row. They tend to feel alienated with a bulkhead between the front and second row.

I have thought about a curtain. It would also be useful for stealth sleeping and cold weather camping.
In my day my parents would have thought a bulkhead was an excellent idea, Long family trips where the only things to do were look out the window or read a book. I wore those comic books out and then picked a fight with my sister.
 

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I used to ride in the back of our station wagon. Made forts out of the luggage.
 

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Company cars, A new one every year. Either a 1960s Ford Galaxie 500 or a Chevy Impala. None had Ac.
 

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Got curious, did a bit of RTFMing. Apparently, there are chip guard films for windshields. As an example: Windshield Protection Film | ExoShield. I have no experience with them, but that does seem to be an option.

UV-reflective (but keeping the available light) - in addition to 3M, there is also SolarGard and HuperOptic. AFAIK, SolarGard is popular with Mercedes, but it is a metallic-style film, which plays havoc with things like radios and cell phones. HuperOptic is ceramic-based, so RF interference isn't an option. Alas, HuperOptic costs more.
 

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I found the biggest difference in keeping the cab cooler was ceramic tint on the windshield. That piece of glass is huge and radiates a ton of heat.
^This.

I had everything tinted as dark as legal with the best I could find (ceramic). Then I went back and had the windshield tinted (they call it "filmed" as it really is not dark like the other windows). Big diff. A little pricey but highly recommended. I felt like I was sitting in a greenhouse before that.
 
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