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jared_j
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jared_j
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PostTue Aug 18, 2015 12:14 pm 
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The zipper box and pin broke off on my OR Helium jacket.  The tag has an "X" and as such is not covered by the OR warranty (otherwise, I'd go that route).  Rainy Pass says repair there will require a full replacement of the zipper, which makes sense based on what it looks like to me.  Such a repair isn't really cost-effective in my judgment relative to the replacement cost of the garment.

Are there DIY fixes that the tinkerers on this site have done to make a zipper functional following such damage?  I see a variety of kits available for sale online, but seems like most are targeting repairing just the zipper pull.  I feel like I could waste a lot of time / energy / $$ trying these out on my own and am hoping for some advice about whether there is a more budget (if imperfect) fix or if full zipper replacement is only realistic option.

Alternately I'd be wiling to compensate a Seattle-area DIYer that could do something to make it workable, even if it is unsightly / imperfect.
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Ski
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PostTue Aug 18, 2015 12:22 pm 
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Karen
Ardesson's Shoe Repair
Gravelly Lake Drive SW, Lakewood, Wa.
253 588 8949

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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DIYSteve
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PostTue Aug 18, 2015 2:24 pm 
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jared_j wrote:
Are there DIY fixes that the tinkerers on this site have done.  .  .  .

Yes. I've sewn in new zippers into numerous garments and done plenty o' zipper fixes short of sewing in a new zipper. If it's a separating zipper and the box and pin are shot, then you likely need a new zipper unless you want to convert the jacket into a rather ugly 1/2 zip pullover, or sew on buttons and loops, etc.
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Navy salad
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PostTue Aug 18, 2015 3:37 pm 
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On at least one occasion, my zipper stopped working well due to the front & back halves of the zipper slide moving apart. I used a pair of needle nose pliers and squeezed the zipper halves (i.e., the squeezed the front and back halves) enough to get it to work again.

I expect replacing the zipper would be the best long term solution (unless you don't think the jacket will last that much longer anyway).
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Ski
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PostTue Aug 18, 2015 3:57 pm 
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jared wrote:
Such a repair isn't really cost-effective in my judgment relative to the replacement cost of the garment.

I don't think I'm understanding exactly what the problem is.
If it's the zipper toggle or the gizmo that slides up and down, Karen (at Ardesson's) is a whiz at fixing those - she's done a mess of them for me on jackets and my pack.
If it involves opening up a bunch of seams to replace the entire zipper, you want to find a good seamstress who can do it. Might check a dry-cleaner.
Last one I had done was on a big puffy parka and the lady charged me $30, so well worth it to save an otherwise perfectly good parka.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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jared_j
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PostTue Aug 18, 2015 4:18 pm 
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Rainy Pass quoted me $80-100 for full zipper replacement (which they considered mandatory to fix the issue, as did BigSteve above) on the garment (parts + labor).   I was hoping to find some sort of repair that is lower cost, even if somewhat imperfect.
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Ski
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PostTue Aug 18, 2015 4:26 pm 
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too much.
find a seamstress - excellent one at Regents Blvd & Alameda in Fircrest, but that's probably a bit out of your way.
she's the one who re-worked my Fjallraven pants and put the zipper into the down parka. $25 on the pants, $30 on the zipper job. easy.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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DIYSteve
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PostTue Aug 18, 2015 5:33 pm 
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Ski wrote:
I don't think I'm understanding exactly what the problem is.
If it's the zipper toggle or the gizmo that slides up and down.  .  .  .

It's not that. OP said that the pin and box aka insertion pin and retainer box, are shot. IME, that requires sewing in a new zipper.


jared_j wrote:
Rainy Pass quoted me $80-100 for full zipper replacement

Yikes, that sounds steep. I think the OR Helium has a waterproof zippers, which are a bit expensive (and seem to be more prone to failure too), maybe $10-$15 from Seattle Fabrics.

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ajax34
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PostTue Apr 25, 2017 7:46 pm 
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I'm stricken by the same problem -- missing insertion pin and retainer box on a rainfly and sleeping bag.

It seems to me there should just be a way to crimp both of these on with pliers.


Do they not sell hollowed out insertion pins or retainer boxes? I feel like crimping plus maybe a little super glue would be a MUCH easier fix than taking out the zipper all together.

Please advise smile.gif
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DIYSteve
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PostWed Apr 26, 2017 11:09 am 
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Brass insertion pins and retainer boxes can be installed on a brass zipper with a special tool. But AFAIK those are not compatible with nylon zippers.
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Windstorm
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PostWed Apr 26, 2017 12:24 pm 
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ajax34 wrote:
I'm stricken by the same problem -- missing insertion pin and retainer box on a rainfly and sleeping bag.

If you can get the zipper zipped up, you could sew the bottom part together, eliminating the need for the insertion pin and retainer box. It seems like that would fix the sleeping bag because the zipper probably doesn't need to come apart completely. I don't know about the rain fly, but it might work.

I did this with a jacket once. The zipper is permanently connected at the waist, so I have to slip it over my head to get it on, but other than that it's a perfectly functional jacket. The sewing part was easy. A couple of stitches by hand was all it took.
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DIYSteve
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PostWed Apr 26, 2017 12:43 pm 
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Wait, now that I think about it: A tent rainfly with a separating zipper? I don't recall ever seeing that.
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ajax34
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PostWed Apr 26, 2017 7:17 pm 
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Windstorm wrote:
If you can get the zipper zipped up, you could sew the bottom part together, eliminating the need for the insertion pin and retainer box.


That's a great idea. I've essentially already done that with binder clips for a (very) temporary fix. The tent is a Marmot Catalyst 2P in case you're wondering -- I'm pretty sure it separates.

Before I resort to sewing anything: are you aware of where to get brass pins/boxes? The zippers are both nylon, but I don't see why it wouldn't work so long as they're the correct size for the zipper pull.

Thank you guys for answering -- pretty great feedback so far
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DIYSteve
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PostThu Apr 27, 2017 7:45 am 
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ajax34 wrote:
The tent is a Marmot Catalyst 2P in case you're wondering -- I'm pretty sure it separates.

I've never seen that tent but I just looked at a pic. Fly zipper looks simple, anchored up top, closes by zipping down. Makes no sense to use a separating zipper for that. And, again, I've never seen a separating zipper on a tent fly. I'm not saying they don't exist, but why?

ajax34 wrote:
Before I resort to sewing anything: are you aware of where to get brass pins/boxes? The zippers are both nylon, but I don't see why it wouldn't work so long as they're the correct size for the zipper pull.

Brass zippers are different dimension, different tooth design, different tooth pitch, different slider. Dunno if you could make it work, but even if you could it takes a special tool to install.
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pseudonym
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PostSun Oct 29, 2017 1:05 pm 
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I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to share my makeshift repair in case it helps someone else.

I found this thread in my search for ways I might salvage a long coat outer zipper.  The bottom retainer box with pin had been ripped away from the coat.

This zipper is a nylon coil one.

I found instructions to create or re-attach a new stop for the damaged side.  It isn't the prettiest of repairs but it worked.  It isn't usually visible due to the coat flap, so I'm OK with it.

Because of the length of the coat, I converted the zipper to a double-slide zipper.  I bought a pair of matching sliders and threaded these on before adding the makeshift stop.  Doing this lets me have the bottom open a inch or two to relieve any pressure on the the makeshift stop.  The stop is used only to help get the zipper apart or back together (and not lose the sliders!) but does not hold the zipper closed.

First  I melted the ripped area of the bottom tape edge with a lighter flame so I could thread the sliders on.  Then I melted enough nylon coil just above that area to create a new 'pin area' for the double sliders.  I melted the nylon coil above the pin on the opposite side to match.

After threading on the double sliders, I put the makeshift stop in at the bottom of the melted coil portion on the damaged side.  This does leave the 'tail' of the zipper below on both sides but I'm OK with this. 

Here's the instructions I found for creating/repairing the bottom stop.

from post #8 in boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=16799801 by StJoan:

If you can yet slide the cloth tape part of the zipper stop in to its metal cover, then try gluing it in using fabric glue. Don't use super glue as it tends to cause the fabric to stiffen and crumble up eventually. If the metal cover is no longer useable, or if you have lost it, fusing a scrap of plastic to the cloth tape (where the cover originally was) with a warm iron, will work as well. Otherwise, overcast sew the scrap of plastic or metal cover (or a bit of wire snipped off from a paper clip and doubled over) to the cloth tape. The last option requires some sewing skills but the result will last much longer. If you file a few notches in the edge of the plastic/metal cover before sewing it up it will stay in place quite nicely even with poor sewing skills.

I'm quite happy with this. It saved my coat and didn't cost me anything except two new zipper sliders and a little time.

I hope this helps someone else who is willing to live with a makeshift repair and save some $$.

Kind regards.
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