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Eastman A2 Zipper SNAFU. Now What Do I Do?

scotrace

Head Bartender
Staff member
Messages
14,346
Location
Small Town Ohio, USA
Won't zip up, won't unzip. It seems to have missed the zipper box.



Zip_Problem2.jpg
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,648
Location
London
I was once trapped in a jacket with the zipper stuck like that just under my neck.
The maker just told me to pull on both sides in opposit direction, as if you were trying to slide two magnets apart. ie one side of the jacket up, the other side down
At some poin tthe teeth will get back together, or you will just manage to pull it appart.
Don't go full mental or you might rip teeth off.
 

seres

A-List Customer
Messages
459
Location
Alaska
You state that it will not zip up, but I think if you wiggle the two sides carefully, pulling in opposite directions, you can zip it up. But be very careful not to damage the teeth.

Then if the distance and number of teeth from the box to the zipped section is exactly equal on both sides, you could manually mesh the teeth. But by looking at the picture, the lengths are different (longer on the pin side).

So if the distances ARE different, you could zip up to the top stops, remove the stops and then remove the slider. Then carefully manually open or separate the zipper completely. Re-install the slider and the stops, and start over.
 

Stand By

One Too Many
Messages
1,740
Location
Canada
It happens occasionally to me with my NOS Talon on my ELC RW B-3 (made back in the 2005 when they came that way!).
When it happens to me, I put the jacket on and hold that zip puller firmly and draw the zipper down through the teeth until it reaches the bottom. Yes, be firm! Draw that sucker down and feed those teeth through. Of course, the teeth won't be perfectly lined up at the bottom and the length on either side be a perfect match equally but get it real close - then feed the longer piece at the bottom and engage it into the box and force that thing through. Push! It works every time.
I wish that I could recommend something more delicate or sophisticated, but I can't. My method works for me. And the zip will perform again like nothing happened at all!
Good luck! But know that all is not lost and this can be saved without sending the jacket to ELC, so relax. You'll do it.
 
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Peacoat

Bartender
Bartender
Messages
5,734
Location
South of Nashville
That frequently happens to my Thunderbay, but never goes that far up. I just force the zipper down until it clears. Takes quite a bit of effort to get it down.

Next time make sure it is fully seated so it doesn't happen again. Of course I have given myself the same advice about twice a month during cold weather.
 

Big J

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,966
Location
Japan
Yes, a little firmness and rub a little graphite from a pencil on the teeth first to lubricate them (wipe it off after).
 

bentusian

One of the Regulars
Messages
257
Location
NYC
Same thing(s) happened to my Toy's McCoy A-2, Buzz Rickson Deck Zip jacket, and an original 50's G-1 jacket - zipper rails getting separated after the slider. When it first occurred to my Toys A-2, the retailer explained to me it happens when opening of the slider becomes slightly wider and fails to grip the rails in place, and sent me a new/better slider for a replacement. It worked well and since then I have been replacing malfunctioning sliders with some of the vintage originals that I managed to come by.
 

HPA Rep

Vendor
Messages
856
Location
New Jersey
Definitely a case of the slider gap becoming too narrow or too wide (wider is the most common). I've posted on this before at length, covering the fix. Because when we zip up or down there is also pressure on the slider outward, this eventually can widen the gap between slider halves. Leaning against something can narrow the gap and cause the same issue, but it's less common. Here's what to do:

You need to wiggle the slider down for the easiest means at fixing, then assume the gap is too wide and gently squeeze both halves together with common pliers, likely 1mm or even less. You could squeeze the slider as is, but you may also still have a tough time getting it to mesh until it's down and unzipped.

Once you get it unzipped and you squeeze the slider, it may not work, which means it may need a little more pressure, or you have squeezed too much, or it just won't cooperate. If you have squeezed too much, opening the gap can be fixed by gently inserting a flathead screwdriver and prying open the gap by 1mm or less. If several rounds of both methods fail, a new slider is likely needed. If you need a new slider, please contact me and I'll see what can be done. Please note that I'll be working in Hollywood next week, so please contact me the following week. Thank you.
 
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Worf

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,997
Location
Troy, New York, USA
That frequently happens to my Thunderbay, but never goes that far up. I just force the zipper down until it clears. Takes quite a bit of effort to get it down.

Next time make sure it is fully seated so it doesn't happen again. Of course I have given myself the same advice about twice a month during cold weather.

Never happens on my Thunder Bay but my Canada Goose "Citadel" has that problem more often than a parka that expensive should. Annoying as hell.

Worf
 

HPA Rep

Vendor
Messages
856
Location
New Jersey
Welcome to LA, Charles!
Thank you, HM! I was looking forward to sunny skies and temps. in the 70's, but upon checking moments ago, it appears what looked great earlier this week has gone belly up. :-(

If I had less of a busy schedule, I'd have invited you and other TFL members to meet up, but everything I do on this trip is mapped out with urgency toward looming filming dates. And so it goes ...
 

Peacoat

Bartender
Bartender
Messages
5,734
Location
South of Nashville
Good deal. As high up as that slider was, I was afraid you would have trouble with it. Next time make sure the pin is fully seated in the box. This is advice I need to heed on each cold day I wear the Thunderbay.
 

HPA Rep

Vendor
Messages
856
Location
New Jersey
Never happens on my Thunder Bay but my Canada Goose "Citadel" has that problem more often than a parka that expensive should. Annoying as hell.

Worf

While this can happen to vintage zippers, Worf, it's more common in zippers made in the last 25 or years or so because these zips are made from softer metals than from those in the good old days; softer metals make the zips more prone to open up or close from normal use.

Specific to the repro zips, the cost to make these using harder metals in the old "coining" process would be so preclusive as to render their manufacturer dead by even the likes of Buzz Rickson's and Real McCoys. YKK and the like would have to jackup prices or their consumer-grade zips, making the zippers the typical consumer takes for granted as being cheap to being relatively costly.

Some of the finest zips made today are RiRi from Switzerland and these aren't stupidly costly but they aren't YKK cheap. ELC uses RiRi-made zips on their Luftwaffe and RAF jacket styles and I really can't ever recall having repair any of these zips in the 29 years of selling them.

There isn't a whole lot middle ground, you see. Even when buying jackets that are costly, the zippers available aren't of a relative cost and quality commensurate to the jacket price if you want the vintage authenticity, and if you can forgo the 100% authenticity, using RiRi-quality is still cost preclusive for Canada Goose and others who need significant profit margins.
 

Stand By

One Too Many
Messages
1,740
Location
Canada
I'm very glad to hear that the zip relented to your command, Scotrace! It is nerve-wracking. Of course it is. I mean, it's like summoning the courage to commit an act of wanton vandalism on your investment if it goes wrong! But it doesn't. This must have happened back in the war on the bases with the flyers and crews, and I asked myself what they would have done - not having the luxury of an ELC or Aero or whoever to send the jacket to and not having a spare jacket, so a remedy had to be found! And I'm sure, like me, the zip will behave itself like nothing untoward had ever happened ...
But I always say that these unfortunate moments serve as timely reminders to engage these zips in a present state of mind - not on "auto-pilot" and not paying attention to how they're engaged. And like a fine, vintage watch that one can enjoy carefully winding, these things should have care in their use too ... I've learnt that.

And as for the RiRi zips, Charles, FYI, mine failed on me with my Luftwaffe some years ago. I put the jacket on one day, went to zip it up and looked down to do it - and the thing just came apart in my fingers just like that. It happened so fast, I couldn't tell how it happened! So I sent the jacket to Gary at ELC and it was fixed for free and he took it to RAF Duxford where I collected it personally from him as I was on a trip home to the UK. An absolutely perfect replacement and nary a single sign that it had been repaired. I did post it at the time with photos and my thanks ...
And the new RiRi zip just runs and runs ....
I'm glad all's well that ends well, bar keep.
 
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