Replace zipper pull on closed ends hip belt zipper

10:42 p.m. on April 4, 2017 (EDT)
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I have a North Face hiking pack that the YKK zipper slider fell off somewhere.  I can get another slider, but can a guy DIY install the slider when both ends are sewn?  No gear   repair shops around here and guess I could go to an alterations place but thats quite the hassle and wait.  Wondering if possible to replace your own.  Zipper is in fine shape, just the slider came off.  Thanks for any help. 

6:37 a.m. on April 5, 2017 (EDT)
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Slide a paper clip into the hole where the slider grip came off, wrap with a piece of duct tape to make gripping easier. Saw this once on a YouTube video!

1:29 p.m. on April 5, 2017 (EDT)
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Be sure to fully thread the entire loops of the paper clip through the hole of the zipper pull, then you won't have to bend it to stay on. 

Here are other ways to do what you asked 

2:41 p.m. on April 6, 2017 (EDT)
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196 forum posts

I think you are saying the whole slider is gone, not just the pull? A couple things that can be done are:

Replacement sliders are made for this purpose that clamp on.  

Since the ends are sewn in, you could cut the ends of the zipper, put the new slider on, and then sew across the cut ends, making a new end to the zipper, so the slider can't get to the cut ends to come off.  You only lose a small amount of travel for the zipper.

Zipper sliders are relatively soft metal.  If you are really good, you can pry the slider apart on one side to get it over the teeth, then squeeze it back together with needle nose pliers and do the other side.  The problem is that the metal cracks and breaks relatively easily.  

I think a repair shop probably isn't going to replace the slider, but instead sew in a new zipper, which isn't really that hard.

1:01 a.m. on April 7, 2017 (EDT)
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Thank you both for the info.  Yes the entire zipper mechanism and pull fell off.  Guess I'll be trying my luck at sewing.  Cant bring myself to part with this pack!

4:48 a.m. on April 7, 2017 (EDT)
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A luggage/shoe repair shop will perform this repair.  Normally they just replace the slider as this is quicker than removal/replacement of a zipper.  But if you want to DYI you can buy a zipper and use its slider; some stores also sell the sliders separately.

If you go the DYI route, make sure to get the right size!  The repair requires you open the jaws on the slider, then insert each side of the zipper into the slider raceways and re-crimp.  The zipper teeth near the discharge end of the slider (and the zipper teeth after the slider need to be interlaced.  That is often the most difficult part of this repair. 

If your zipper is missing teeth, they also sell replacement teeth.  These are crimped onto the zipper cloth.  If the cloth is damaged this repair may not last long.


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