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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #1  
Old 15 Aug 2012
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Repairing Zips

I seem to have made the 3 most used zips on my old Vango tent work reasonably well using silicon grease. I also squeazed up the clasps a little bit with a pair of pliers but I'm not sure if this is a good idea as it's easy to make them too tight. The tent has had a lot of use at times but only comes out a couple of times a year now so I'm hoping the grease will do the trick even if it has to be repeated each time.

Anyone got any good advice on repairing zips.
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Old 15 Aug 2012
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Describing how to repair zippers in words is difficult. Thankfully we have Youtube videos:

How To Repair A Broken Zipper - YouTube

I always check Youtube first whether it's how to replace the heater core in my truck or adust shim under bucket valves in the Super Sherpa. It is amazing how helpful videos can be with a quick search.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 15 Aug 2012
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Good old You Tube - I didn't think of looking in there.

I'm very much into repairing things at the moment as opposed to replacing them, sometimes it can be very frustrating trying to track down parts so I was impressed when I found that you can buy replacement YKK zip sliders on Ebay.
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Old 15 Aug 2012
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Yes, or you can just go to a sewing shop and buy a YKK short zipper and use the pull and stops off it and save the shipping costs. YKK pulls come in various sizes. #5 and #7 in black are the most commonly used toothed zippers for backpacking gear. The number is stamped on the back of the pull in a circle above the YKK logo. Tents also use coil zippers as opposed to toothed zippers. Google will tell you the difference.

When I got back from Asia last time I did all my sister's shipping in her mail order outer wear sewing business for a time and became quite familiar with YKK zipper parts.

Zipper repair and sewing are useful skills for any traveler who rides the roads less traveled.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 16 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
I seem to have made the 3 most used zips on my old Vango tent work reasonably well using silicon grease..
Just sharing a pierce of a conversation I had with Hilleberg the tent makers.
They said NEVER put anything on zips as this is the No1 cause of premature failure.
Any lube of any kind attracts dirt particles which wear down the zips in time.
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Old 16 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
They said NEVER put anything on zips as this is the No1 cause of premature failure.
Any lube of any kind attracts dirt particles which wear down the zips in time.

Yes, I've been told this as well.
Zips on tents and sleeping bags are susceptible to collecting dirt in dusty and sandy places. I've learnt that the advice to keep zips clean by using water, a brush and maybe a bit of detergent seems to work.
If a zip stops working try washing it first. It's worked for me.
Years ago they used to say that candle wax or pencil graphite was an ok lubricant for zips. Don't know about that, but pencil lead sounds a possibility. Maybe I'll try it sometime.
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Old 21 Aug 2012
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My Mum taught me the pencil 'lead' trick 50 years ago! The graphite is an excellent lubricant, and it only takes a couple of strokes the length of the zip to get it working well again. I'd second the idea about cleaning it first, as well.

On bike boots with zips, I have had good results from using silicon spray. It's wet when it goes on but dries quickly and is super-slippery. Needs renewing every couple of months with heavy use.
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Old 14 Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
Just sharing a pierce of a conversation I had with Hilleberg the tent makers.
They said NEVER put anything on zips as this is the No1 cause of premature failure.
Any lube of any kind attracts dirt particles which wear down the zips in time.
Common sense I suppose.

My silicon grease is holding up at the moment but I think I'll give the pencil lead a go (if I can find a pencil with a graphite lead in it)

The other product that I use a lot on tools and machinery is PTFE spray which dries in a few seconds leaving a coating of PTFE. The trouble is that being a spray it tends to go everywhere.
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Old 14 Sep 2012
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I'd think if you are at home and want to use the item for quite some time into the future it would be best to REPLACE the zip! That way you have a new zip that should be reliable and you won't have to fuss with it while you are away.
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