Why do rear window zippers rip out? - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2006, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Why do rear window zippers rip out?

On a soft top, why do rear window zippers tend to rip out eventually (in my experience)? Is it because the thread dry rotted from UV exposure, or is it because the top shrunk and put a lot of stress on the zipper? Initially I thought it might be caused by sun exposure, but now I am not so sure.

By the way, if it's caused by the top shrinking then sewing the zipper back where it was may not be such a good idea. It seems to me that a better idea would be to sew the zipper onto a canvas strip, maybe 1.5 to 2 inches (4 to 5 cm) wide and then sew the canvas strip onto the top. That way, there will be a bit less tension on the zipper when the window is zipped closed.

Phil
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-19-2006, 07:02 PM
 
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Re: Why do rear window zippers rip out?

You have the answer right on both accounts. The top shrinks and the thread rots. The canvas idea is good, but I wold use seatbelt webbing. It sews great and will last a hundred times longer than canvas. Bear in mind, the cold has a lot to do with the whole problem. Also, vinyl protectant will help some.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-19-2006, 07:03 PM
 
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Re: Why do rear window zippers rip out?

Also, when you sew it, use good uhpolstery thread. Another option is to go to a boat cover shop and see if they have any Kevlar thread.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 02:01 PM
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Re: Why do rear window zippers rip out?

He He - you mean like Armorall?

Did you know a few years ago the Vice President of the company was fired because he told the truth? He mentioned at a press conference that the stuff actually removes the natural oils in vinyl and rubber and replaces it with theirs? He said once you start using it, you have to continue using it forever, as the new replacement oils evaporate. Stop using it, cracks and splits develop.
He wasn't intending to criticize his company, he was trying to explain how users get "hooked" on it and have to keep buying it - a plus for sales. Obviously he told too much!

I'll never use it.

Look at all the vinyl tops that had it put on - instant death!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2007, 05:30 PM
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Re: Why do rear window zippers rip out?

So do you use something other than Armorall, or nothing at all?

Bill
post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-15-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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Re: Why do rear window zippers rip out?

The Best vinyl protectant to use is Maguiaer's gold class Vinyl Protectant. The gold class doesn't use isopropyl alcohol as a drying agent like Armour-all does. This opinion has been reaffirmed by a gentleman that makes and fixes marine and auto vinyl and canvas tops.

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