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Hookless Zipper Hell

BloodEagle

A-List Customer
Messages
466
Location
UK
Hey all - So - a tale of woe, and a plea for any advice. I sold the Freewheelers Mulholland I had for sale today, and decided to get it ready for shipping - made sure the pockets were empty and clean, made sure the lining was lint free and looking nice, and gave it a final once over to ensure all was as described - fine, no problems.

I went to zip it up and fold it neatly to place in its cardboard box. The always fiddly and annoying hookless/vintage style zipper quite predictably didnt catch properly, and, horror of horrors, as I tried to pull it back down (not with a huge amount of force tbh) the bloody thing broke - as in actually broken in half. See pic for full details.

Besides the annoyance and embarrassment of having to say sorry and refund the guy who thinks he's got a cool jacket heading in his direction , I'm now also the proud owner of a quite expensive leather jacket with a profoundly broken zip runner.

Does anyone have anyclues as to how I go about getting this thing replaced? Is this something I could do myself, if not would anyone be able to recommend somewhere in the UK? God I'm pissed off. Any help really greatfully received.
PXL_20220331_184701203.jpg
PXL_20220331_190553179.jpg
 
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jeo

One Too Many
Messages
1,933
Location
Philadelphia
Sorry to hear about that. The zippers on these FWs and RMs suck big time. Had the same thing happen to multiple jackets of mine.

Not sure where you could get it fixed in the UK. Maybe Aero or another jacket maker in Europe? I'm sure Johnson Leathers, Dave Sheely and maybe even Dena at Great Leathers could do it but assuming shipping to the states would be cost prohibitive.

Edit - perhaps you can try and find just the zipper pull and do it your self. @Marc mndt posted a good thread on how you can replace a zipper pull with a pair of pliers.

 
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Spiney

One of the Regulars
Messages
223
Cromford’s in London will do it. God knows how much it would cost though.
 
Messages
17,291
Location
Chicago
If it's just the pull that broke and you can source another one, it shouldn't be too terribly diffiult. I've snapped quite a few cheesy repro Talons just like this. If you have a pair of needlenose pliers and the pull you can do it yourself. You need to pry off the stop at the top of the pull side and slide the new pull downward. Replace the top stop and you are done. Hardest paert might be finding the replacement puller. I'm not sure a generic #5 would work.
 

BloodEagle

A-List Customer
Messages
466
Location
UK
Yeah, its pretty unbelievable how crappy this zipper is - I can count on one hand the number of times I successfully zipped the darned thing up first time. Thanks for your help guys - my wife thinks Ive lost my mind over such a small thing, but then she has no idea how much I spent on the jacket haha.
 

Roy Hobbs

One of the Regulars
Messages
137
Location
Washington DC Metro
I feel your pain. I just sold my Mulholland a few weeks ago and hated the zipper from day one. I found myself more than once doing the worm to get out of the jacket. Hopefully the RMC I want won't be the same. Now I've got my doubts!
 

Guppy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,287
Location
Cleveland, OH
When it comes to reproduction zippers, sometimes there's a reason they don't "build em like they used to". Not everything about the past was better. But replacing the pull shouldn't be a difficult thing, and Freewheelers should overnight you a replacement for free.
 
Messages
17,291
Location
Chicago
Yeah, its pretty unbelievable how crappy this zipper is - I can count on one hand the number of times I successfully zipped the darned thing up first time. Thanks for your help guys - my wife thinks Ive lost my mind over such a small thing, but then she has no idea how much I spent on the jacket haha.
Get the pull and a good set of needle nose. It’s a sweaty process with the heart rate up the first time but I’ve done this so many times now with vintage and new I bet I could do it in under 30 seconds. Fortune favors the brave! Commit and you’ll be just fine…like it never happened.
 
Messages
17,291
Location
Chicago
When it comes to reproduction zippers, sometimes there's a reason they don't "build em like they used to". Not everything about the past was better. But replacing the pull shouldn't be a difficult thing, and Freewheelers should overnight you a replacement for free.
Funny thing about the hookless is that it should be the best zipper ever. Fail proof as there’s no male pin side tape to tear or decay. I’ve always liked these zippers but I know I am in the absolute minority.
 

DorKlonn

New in Town
Messages
46
Location
New York
Funny thing about the hookless is that it should be the best zipper ever. Fail proof as there’s no male pin side tape to tear or decay. I’ve always liked these zippers but I know I am in the absolute minority.
I'm actually a little surprised to hear about all these hookless horror stories; no doubt i can see how it could happen, but ive always found my sample on the caboose to be pretty robust, perhaps a little more finicky than normal modern zippers but far from the monstrosities people make them out to be.

I'll join you in saying that I've always quite liked these zippers as well... maybe I just got lucky with my sample.

Besides that comment, I know Kanemakijisai carries some replacement tape/zipper for not too much, would be worth fixing. Also they seem to have ball chains for the ball chain thread. https://kanemakijisai.com/repair-kit
 
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Messages
17,291
Location
Chicago
I'm actually a little surprised to hear about all these hookless horror story; no doubt i can see how it could happen; but ive always found my sample on the caboose to be pretty robust, perhaps a little more finicky than normal modern zippers but far from the monstrosities people make them out to be.

I'll join you in saying that I've always quite liked these zippers as well... maybe I just got lucky with my sample.

Besides that comment, I know Kanemakijisai carries some replacement tape/zipper for not too much, would be worth fixing. Also they seem to have ball chains for the ball chain thread. https://kanemakijisai.com/repair-kit
Always a little extra care in seating the pin. It’s not a speedy zipper but it is indestructible, so long as it doesn’t destruct. I could see it easily going off the rails too. I think a good deal depends how buried it is in the piping. Little breathing room around the piping and it’s rock steady. Also superb on wools.
 

DorKlonn

New in Town
Messages
46
Location
New York
Always a little extra care in seating the pin. It’s not a speedy zipper but it is indestructible, so long as it doesn’t destruct. I could see it easily going off the rails too. I think a good deal depends how buried it is in the piping. Little breathing room around the piping and it’s rock steady. Also superb on wools.

Yeah ive also learnt a method where i keep my left hand on the male side of the zipper pulling downwards after i seat the zipper which i guess helps with keeping it in place and not unseating when pulling up. It feels pretty robust, but as this case shows, as you said, indestructible until it destructs spectacularly
 
Messages
17,291
Location
Chicago
Yeah ive also learnt a method where i keep my left hand on the male side of the zipper pulling downwards after i seat the zipper which i guess helps with keeping it in place and not unseating when pulling up. It feels pretty robust, but as this case shows, as you said, indestructible until it destructs spectacularly
I’ve busted plenty o’ pulls like this. The repro zips seem to use pig iron for the puller. LOL. I usually see the hookless mangle the teeth going off the rails. This is honestly a best case self destruct scenario. Fixable!
 

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