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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After useing my dianese saftey jacket for the last 3 years, now want to take the spine plate off for more AM riding but the 2 zippers are totaly seized. I have always hand washed it with the spine protecter on. I tried WD 40 and there not budging. I'm even using plyers. Afraid of ripping the stiching though. The part of the zipper that moves is a little coroded looking, probably from sweat. The zipper itself is black and looks good. Is there anything I can soak the zippers in to help free them up.
 

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plastic or metal? What is seized, the slider? This is something I know something about. I am trying to picture this and the plastic teeth on the zipper don't get seized but the slider does.

If your slider won't budge, it's most likely smashed or bent. Corrosion is a possibility. You will just have to work it gently with a pair of pliers being care not to bend it all. If you can get it free, get a new slider put on or the zipper replaced once you get it apart.Or, break the slider off and then get a new slider installed. Don't' bust or pull off the teeth, because then you WILL have to get a whole new zip put on. Better to rip a little stiching out than trash the whole zipper btw; your local shoe repair can always re stitch it.

If it's a metal zipper, try some of that stuff that dissolves rust. ( YMMV)

Specialty Outdoors Gear Repair
 

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Same problem...

Hi, have the same problem on my Dianese jacket, I think mine is from sweat, I get green corrosion builing up. Like the other guy said, I try to put tri-flow on there and CAREFULLY open it with pliers, brute strength will help alot of things in DH but not this!!! Pull straight back holding the end of the zipper, wait a few minutes and try again, good luck.
 

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It sounds like you guys need to wash your stuff a lot more often that you do!!! For future reference, you can put it inside a zippered pillow case, run it through the washer with laundry soap, and line dry.
 

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burke ryder said:
Thanks for the help. I think if I keep it lubed and keep working it, it should come.:p Might take a couple days though. Note: keep your zippers lubed if your going to be sweating on them.
Cleaning your gear regularly will be better than lubing the zippers. If you must lube, a dry lube like a silicon spray is good, or something called "zip lube" that is made by McNett and is used for different kinds of drysuits and similar gear.

Formica
 

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Oh boy! I recently had to go through this with a vest. The metal itself corrodes because of the salt. Rust dissolver won't work. Often times the slider itself is eaten away at spots and loses the "ability" to ummm...zip... Anyway, I had to physically pry the old sliders off. It's not that hard and you can use a small screwdriver to do it. I was then able to get replacement zippers. The big ones, typically going down the middle are 5 mm and the little ones, side pockets and such, are 3mm. You will have a very hard time finding anyone who stocks a plain old 3mm slide by itself although the 5 mm can usually be found. I ended up having a nice clerk at a fabrics store take off some slides on a bulk zipper reel. I had to shop about six places though before I found a shop that had zippers in bulk, in that size (although I didn't know this was what I was looking for and the clerk suggested this over the phone to me. I called some of the previous places I had went to to see if they had them but they didn't). None of the "chain" places had anything but a kit that was almost $12. This is an assortment kit and didn't have enough of the size I needed (I ended up replacing 4 slides on my vest).
Now there is a trick to getting the slides on if you go this route. First be careful not to damage any teeth if you can. Second, once you have the slide off, scrape off the corrosion on the teeth if there is any. Scrape as thoroughly as you can. After this wash the item. A lot of athletic apparel have zippers that are "closed" meaning there's no way to get the zipper back on. But there is a way around this. It involves purposefully damaging some teeth near the top of the zipper (top being where the slide ends up if the zipper where closed). Essentially you cut off the teeth from the top and then slide the zipper over both halves of the zipper, basically putting the slide back on. How far to nibble teeth off? This is trial and error. Start with a few, then a few more, and so on until you can actually get the slide on both sides of the teeth tracks. This took some needle nose pliers in one hand and patience in the other until I get them back on. Little buggers can be tricky! Once you finally get the slide back on track, take some thread and tie the damaged areas together. This essentially creates a new stop for the zipper, which is why you should do one or two teeth at a time.

Can I tell I spent a lot of effort getting this to work!!!!
 

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sources for outdoors zippers and parts here:
http://www.specialtyoutdoors.com/tips/sources.asp

directions for how to replace sliders
http://www.specialtyoutdoors.com/tips/zippers.asp (see "replace jacket zipper slider")

You guys are really doing this stuff the hard way. If you need to remove a slider, you shouldn't have to bust any teeth off, just take off the top stop on the same side as the zipper slider. You might need to get creative with a needle and thread to create a new one after you put the slider on. Also, note the code on your zipper slider. If it's a 5V for example, only a 5V will work, and not a 5VS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good info. I've been spraying wd40 on them every couple of hours in the last day. Maybe get out the plyers in the next day or so and give them a final try. Already broke off both slider pulls. Keyrings work well as a substute. If it's no go then i'll have to remove the sliders as sugested.
 

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formica said:
sources for outdoors zippers and parts here:
http://www.specialtyoutdoors.com/tips/sources.asp

directions for how to replace sliders
http://www.specialtyoutdoors.com/tips/zippers.asp (see "replace jacket zipper slider")

You guys are really doing this stuff the hard way. If you need to remove a slider, you shouldn't have to bust any teeth off, just take off the top stop on the same side as the zipper slider. You might need to get creative with a needle and thread to create a new one after you put the slider on. Also, note the code on your zipper slider. If it's a 5V for example, only a 5V will work, and not a 5VS.
Unfortunately, a lot of plastic coil zippers (that come on A LOT of athletic apparel) do not have removable stoppers at the top. Hence the need for breaking away some teeth.
 

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jabpn said:
Unfortunately, a lot of plastic coil zippers (that come on A LOT of athletic apparel) do not have removable stoppers at the top. Hence the need for breaking away some teeth.
Many times there is a metal topstop that sometimes can be salvaged, but yet, most top stops are not reusable.That's why I said to use a needle and thread to create a new one. There always is some sort of stop - whether it's metal, or the size of two teeth bonded together, there has to be one, or the slider would just slide right off the top of the zip. I repair outdoors type zippers professionally, have for 10+ years, and trust me, you shouldn't have to break off the actual teeth unless the slider is jammed on there. You might have to break off the top stop, but not the teeth. And yes, I am being picky about terminology, that's why I'm a pro. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So last night I decided to remove the sliders. They would not budge (to coroded). 1 slider fell apart as I tried to slide it :thumbsup: So I tried to break the other slider ( metal # 5 ) I guess it wasent as far gone as the other one. I did manage to break it to remove it. Now with the part of the zipper ( about 8 mm long) that first slides into slider when you zip up has almost dissapered from corosion. Other than that the ( metal) zippers are coated in black and in good shape. I dont see how the end can come off to accept another slider but I'll take another look at it. It looks all to be one piece, and non removable. So now, do I replace the slider as you suggested or find two more zippers ( about 8" long) and have them sewn on which looks like it might be a challange, but that's the opinion of a woodworker. Now if Formica was working in the Vancouver area, Na, that would be to easy.
 

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formica said:
Many times there is a metal topstop that sometimes can be salvaged, but yet, most top stops are not reusable.That's why I said to use a needle and thread to create a new one. There always is some sort of stop - whether it's metal, or the size of two teeth bonded together, there has to be one, or the slider would just slide right off the top of the zip. I repair outdoors type zippers professionally, have for 10+ years, and trust me, you shouldn't have to break off the actual teeth unless the slider is jammed on there. You might have to break off the top stop, but not the teeth. And yes, I am being picky about terminology, that's why I'm a pro. :)
Sorry, I'm wasn't trying to say that there are no stoppers, only that the can be stoppers EXTREMELY hard if not impossible to get off. Before trying to find the slides on my own I was turned down by three people who claimed that my particular type of zipper would be almost impossible to fix without some damage to the zipper. They refused based on their own experiences and dealing with customers. Not only is the stop difficult to get off but they said that due to the very small space in which to get the slider back on they would almost inevitably have to break away teeth anyway, stop being the problem or not. They mentioned that this is almost strictly relegated to the plastic coil type of zippers and usually corresponds with clothing. They recommended just replacing the entire zipper. Not very economical considering my vest is only a Nashbar Crossroads vest. All I can say is that my experiences backed up what they were telling me to a T. I couldn't get that stop off with small needle nose pliers, jewelers screwdrivers, or even a small sewing needle. And getting the sliders back on, oooooohhhh boy was that fun. In the end I lost about an inch of the zipper but the pockets are still plenty usable. Overall cost was around $5 so for me it was more than worth the hassle I had to endure to get things working.
 
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