Corroded kite zipper replacement

19 posts in this topic

Over the years I have purchased some PL kites only to find the owners haven't rinsed them in fresh water after use and the zipper mechanism has completely corroded. I'm wondering if anyone has replaced a zipper on an ARC style kite and what they used (plus challenges they encountered)?  

I'm assuming I'll need a plastic zipper to minimise corrosion, and if replacing the whole unit was considering painting the material section with silicone to minimise porosity.

Alternately, I wonder if it is possible to only replace the pull tab?

Anyone have experience with this?

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Is the zipper broken or just seized up.

A few drops of vinegar on the carriage over a few days usually sorts them out. Then rinse well, dry it out and silicon oil works a treat.

Don't pull on the carriage tab to free it up, grab it's body gently with a pair of vice grip pliers to wriggle it gently and ease the vinegar into it over time. 

I haven't had a zipped that's not freed up with patients. I've taken some time (many days) on some old windsurfer sail camber zips and sail bags that haven't been used for a very long time though.

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Thanks Chook - good advice for seized zippers - but I'm talking more fully corroded like the pic attached.

zipper corrosion.JPG

Chook likes this

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I haven't replaced one (yet) but I imagine it would be pretty simple. Just unpick the old zip and sew the new one in.

the hard part may be finding a suitable zip. From memory though, they are a very small tooth zip with some kind of plastic coating to minimise air loss

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On 14/05/2017 at 10:05 AM, Chook said:

I haven't had a zipped that's not freed up with patients.

Yeah those damn patients get you every time, don't they? ;)

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On 5/14/2017 at 10:05 AM, Chook said:

A few drops of vinegar on the carriage

My 10m ziptip isn't as bad as yours @DrWind so I'll try the viegar, let you know how it goes.

On 5/14/2017 at 10:57 AM, DrWind said:

fully corroded

If you fined the the correct size of zipper you can replace it by removing the stapull at the fixed end of the zip (make a note of the positions of the ends before removal) carefully insert the new zipper and sew up the end. I've done this on clothes but not on a kite.

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8 hours ago, the_hatman OBE said:

If you fined the the correct size of zipper you can replace it by removing the stapull at the fixed end of the zip (make a note of the positions of the ends before removal) carefully insert the new zipper and sew up the end. I've done this on clothes but not on a kite.

Yeh I've done this by ratting the zipper carriage off a "Red Dot striped  bag" to repair a zip in my rollup kite bag, when the staple on the end of the zip went missing in action.

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Well it's 26 hrs since I started to use the vinegar, for some reason I now have a constant craving for fish & chips, but no sign of success. As the zips is pretty delicate I've only been manipulating it by hand, if there is no improvement by tomorrow I will intensify the manipulation.

On 5/14/2017 at 10:05 AM, Chook said:

a pair of vice grip pliers

seems a bit extreme for this tiny zip.

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Boiling hot water has worked for me, as has the likes of WD-40 and degreasers, but I wasn't fussed about the material . . .

To replace it, couldn't you just unpick the end of the zipper seam and slide on a new slider....?

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Well it's well over 48 hrs now and after several applications of vinegar, the mechanical abuses of needle nosed pliers. Tomorrow it's the feeler gages!

I may have to purchase a tiny vibrator to brake up the aluminium oxide and put the pleasures back into flying.

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2 hours ago, the_hatman OBE said:

I may have to purchase a tiny vibrator

yes, but what about the zipper ??

 

;)

 

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Give it time if it's that corroded up.............took years to get to the oxide stage so don't expect a reversal in just 2 days.

I was too impatient and tried battery terminal cleaner on a gear bag zipper and that dissolved the problem completely over the next couple of hours.

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So switched to soaking with lime juice and one of the zips is now free

6 minutes ago, Chook said:

Give it time if it's that corroded up.

No external signs of corrosion and on the one that just freed up no sign of build up on the teeth of the zip, but the room smells better with the lime juice

Edited by the_hatman OBE
bloody english

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26 minutes ago, the_hatman OBE said:

So switched to soaking with lime juice and one of the zips is now free

No external signs of corrosion and on the one that just freed up no sign of build up on the teeth of the zip, but the room smells better with the lime juice

Love it!!!!!     My Dad restores a lot of old machinery. There isn't much that cant be saved by placing it in a bag of diesel in the freezer for a month or so. Double bagged to keep Mother happy. The contraction of the components and the penetration of the diesel they all disassemble with patients. There has only been an old shearing handpiece that had been laying under a shearing shed for who knows how long that we had to get the hot air gun onto to help remove the cutter tension nut after this treatment. 

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18 minutes ago, Chook said:

placing it in a bag of diesel in the freezer

Had no freezer (or fridge) when I was a kid but a bucket of paraffin did the trick (at the time paraffin was less than 1/2 the price of petrol).

But back to the issue IT IS DONE!! both zips on my ziptip peel are now free but stiff

:danceparty:

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Nice work, now hit it regularly with a few drops of silicon oil to preserve it and keep it sliding smoothly.

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