REAR WINDOW ZIPPER PULL REPAIR
by Mark "Gunga" Diels
My rear window zipper had been not sliding very easy lately. Then two weeks ago it stuck bad and I broke the zipper pull tab off. I hate it when that happens. I had to use a pliers to close the window, no more fast and easy top down days. So now what am I to do. Though about taking 94 Red "B" to top repair shop, but theres none within miles of where I live. Figured a new zipper would run about $75 with labor. Should I order a new window at the same time for about $175 + installation? After 4 years, my window is still in good condition.
Decided to check the news group for other options. Got into Deja News and into rec.autos.maker.mazda.miata newsgroup. Did scans for zipper. Found a posting from firstname.lastname@example.org about slider (real name for zipper pulls) repair. The poster, oden, indicated he contacted ZRK Enterprises, Inc.
Accessed ZRKs Web site. Mr. McCabe describes the "Zipper Rescue Kits" he sells, has order information, and names other locations where you can purchase them. The original posting indicated you just need to order one 7mm Double Coil Slider for $ .40 plus shipping & handling. Mr. McCabe is in business and trying to make a living, buy the kit, its worth it. He sells repair kits for different applications. You will need to purchase the Outdoor Rescue Kit, which includes two 7mm Coil Sliders and locking clips, other sized sliders, and best of all, instructions on how to repair zipper slides. By the way, the Miata window uses a 7mm Single Coil Slider, not a Double.
Ordered one Outdoor Rescue Kit by phone ( 1-800-735-4620 ) for $15.00 plus $3.50 shipping and handling. Received in three days. Reviewed the instructions, and did the job. " HEY, IT, WORKS! " . Thought I would share some insights and recommendations to other Miata owners who might have same problem.
SIDE NOTE: Ive seen many indications on the net and in the Miata magazine as to how to keep your window from being scratched. Solutions I have seen are using a towel, to purchasing a window saver, about $30. After owning three convertibles, I have found that the best solution is a piece of felt. Go to your local fabric store an purchase a 40" x 34" piece of heavy black felt (or brown of you have a brown top).
Fold this in half and stitch the corners. Lay this on top of the window after you open it. The felt does not fold over as easy a towel and is cheaper that a window saver. Ive never had any problems with the inside of the window being scratch, so you should not need something on this side. Make sure the piece of felt is large than the window.
The black slider in the kit that fits the Miata rear window is custom fitted for this particular slider. There is also an 8mm slider(three of them) that fit older model Miatas (before '90) but the newer models take this black one. The present kit (which is the Outdoor Rescue Kit with the specific slider and the slider for older models) has everything a Miata owner will need for a rear window repair.
I had the same problem Mark Diels describes in his zipper slider repair - checked out his sources and bought the recommended repair kit. The 7mm slider definitely did not work on my car ('90) even though I tried jimmying it with a screwdriver as he suggested (which in afterthought seems like a pretty good sign that the slider really isn't the right one!) Then I had the bright idea of calling the Mazda dealer - and, sure enough they carry the slider now - though I'm pretty sure they didn't a few years ago when I first had the problem. It fit on like a breeze - perfect fit, no problem. Looking at it closely, it's definitely different from the YKK 7mm from the repair kit - it is wider on the end the zipped zipper comes out of.
Editor's note: the Mazda slider part number is NA01-R1-250B - about $4.00.
Mr. McCabe has since gotten in touch with me to tell me that he has indeed located the slider and now stocks it himself. He was very responsive and helpful to me, and I would certainly recommend checking with him if you can't find the slider from Mazda. McCabe's repair kit is definitely worth a try.
I recently found myself with a balky zipper on my '94. I went to the Garage pages on the subject and found information on ZRK Enterprises Zipper Repair kits. To make a not too long story short, ZRK is still in business and the kit worked like a charm for me. Heartily recommended!
A couple of updates: The ZRK site is now www.zipperrescue.com. You can't order directly over the Internet, but my order, captured on voice mail, was filled promptly. Mr. McCabe even attached a handwritten tag to the zipper slider appropriate to the Miata. I'm all thumbs, but managed the repair and probably saved myself hundreds over inflated SF Bay Area zipper repair prices.
I just had to repair the zipper on my '93. I read the tips in the garage and despite being warned that the zipper provided by ZRK in their kit would be a bit small I went for it.
I'm pleased to say that ZRK has changed
the largest size sllider in their kit to 8mm which was a perfect match to the
slider I pulled off. No excessive prying required.
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11 November, 2004