• Hey guys, I had to upgrade the VLJ software because the old one is being phased out. Please let me know of any issues in the SITE UPDATE THREAD. Thanks!

Zip tooth replacement-is it possible????

a2 fng

New Member
Just got another(dont know why)M51 thats pretty original and not bad condition except that it has 1 tooth missing from its zip.

Cannot realy be arsed searching for and replacing the zip so was wondering(might be a dumb question)if its possible to somehow just replace the missing tooth if i could find a suitable damaged zip off something else?



New Member
Great question.......I would also like to know if this type repair is possible. Can anybody help out with this subject??



Active Member
If one tooth is missing and the zipper tape is undamaged I would guess it might be possible. I guess the thing to try is get a similar style "sacrifice" zipper and experiment. Sounds tricky but worth an experiment!



New Member
I haven't tried this, but I wouldn't attempt to fit another tooth. It might be easier to file down a small zipper stop, or a short piece of wire in an U shape, and just crimp it on ... just enough to keep the slider on track.

That would have more chance of staying put.


I have done this plenty of times,mainly with motorcycle jackets.I have had great success with all sizes of zipper.The zipper tape has to be in good condition.Get a doner zipper and a pair of long nosed pliers.Hold on to one of the teeth with the pliers and gently prise apart the back of the tooth with a blunt knife or small screwdriver.The new tooth can then be crimped in place with the pliers.

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
agree with joeson, just be sure that the replacement is the same size and configuration as the teeth on the zipper run. and agreed, the cloth must be undamaged or the new tooth will snag or just fall off.


Active Member
I’ve done it many times and saved money in the process first by not having to replace a zipper and second by buying a jacket cheaper as it needs the repair.
It’s a fiddly but fairly simple task as described above but it only works well with brass teeth. Some zips have aluminium teeth and they are brittle snapping when you prize their ‘legs’ apart. A couple of other points are - 1. make sure you don’t accidentally turn the tooth over before squeezing it onto the tape and 2. You need a pair of fine ‘snipe nosed’ pliers to hold and later squeeze the teeth on.
Another tip is that vintage pullers will often work on modern zipper tapes so you may get away with replacing only the male side of a vintage zip if you’re lucky leaving the vintage stopper box side in place to look ‘proper’. If the female side is damaged you can replace both sides of the tape but reverse the female side of a UK purchased YKK tape so the stopper box looks blank (the logo will be on the inside) and will zip up US fashion. Finally take off the YKK puller and replace with your vintage puller by carefully removing and replacing to top stopper. You can buy spare top stoppers from Mash Japan.
Last edited:


Active Member
Ps if it’s an unusual (brass) zipper like the M51 mentioned above and you can’t find a suitable donor zipper you may be able to transplant a tooth or two from the top of the zipper tapes and then bring the top stopper down. The top part of a zip often doesn’t get used much as few of us zip right up to the absolute top. Also on some cloth jackets the top of each tape is curved into the jacket at the top and stitched across the teeth rather than stoppered so there may be a few spare teeth lurking on the sewn in section of tape.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
has anyone had any luck transplanting chevron teeth from the first or second model Crown zipper tape?


Well-Known Member
IIRC the teeth on Crown chevron zips were cast in place on the zipper tape rather than crimped on, which would make them very difficult to replace.


Well-Known Member
I only one time transplanted Scovill's alluminum zipper's tooth on one of my M-65s. Took it from top and put it in place of losted, fixed it by one drop of cyanocrylate (gel).
Here is a repair of lightning cyanocrylate on M 65. Repair was done in 1999-2000. Photo of lightning at the moment and the glue that I used. With a tooth, we need to test it on unnecessary lightning.