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Old 05-04-2006, 10:30 PM   #1
 
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help...key won't open gas tank

Just pulled the bike out of the shed from the winter and my key won't open up the gas tank. I've tried all three of my keys as well as lubricants. I've tried pushing the cap down and jiggling in every which way. What should I do?
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:38 PM   #2
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

I would let the lubricant set in for a day or so before bringing it to the locksmith. However this might change with more detail on how they do not work (I assume the key won't turn) Also remember penetrating oil generally evaporates with time so use a couple of applications over time and if it work use something like graphite lube on it after you get it open (to avoid rusting or seizing
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:39 PM   #3
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Sure it your bike Have you tried unbolting it? Sounds like some of the tumblers are sticking...try filling it with a penetrating oil and let it sit a while. Then push the key in and out a few dozen times to loosen things up.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:39 PM   #4
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

That has happpened to me on the road, riding on fumes. My only option was to take the dipstick (VFR) and get some hot motor oil on the key.. worked the tumblers gently for a few minutes. Result!
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Old 05-05-2006, 1:34 AM   #5
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Originally Posted by G-Force Junkie
Sounds like some of the tumblers are sticking...try filling it with a penetrating oil and let it sit a while. Then push the key in and out a few dozen times to loosen things up.


Without a doubt the tumblers are sticking. Over time the brass corrodes and mends itself to the aluminum to some degree. Spray liberally with WD-40 and slide the key in and out of the keyhole. If that alone does not work gently tap on the top of the key with something like the end of a screwdriver. This will likely knock the stubborn tumblers loose.

If all else fails a locksmith will drill it out.
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Old 05-05-2006, 10:10 AM   #6
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Another option to consider, though it may not apply to your bike:

I had an F4i key fail to open the tank lock when the bike was new. (The very first time I took it to get gas!) In this case, the key would turn, but it seemed not to turn quite all the way. I unbolted the cap and discovered that the lock bolt on one side didn't retract far enough to clear the lip to allow the lid to open. I ended up filing the tip of the bolt to shorten it (just a tiny, tiny bit). I lightly filed it, put it back on the bike, if it didn't work, I filed it again... until it finally worked. I never had any problems after that.

It's not likely that your bike has the same problem, but no matter what the problem is, it will be easier for you to figure it out if you unbolt the lock and cap from the bike so you can see what happens when you turn the key.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:09 AM   #7
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Even if he unbolts the cap if the cap is still locked he will not be able to get the cap assembly off the bike.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:58 AM   #8
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Originally Posted by Custom900
Even if he unbolts the cap if the cap is still locked he will not be able to get the cap assembly off the bike.
I had to wiggle the key for about 1/2 hour before I finally got it open. Then I took it off see what was causing the problem. I just wanted to point out that, even if you get the lock open by lubing it, it's a good idea to look at the lock mechanism before deciding that it is OK. Otherwise, it could just happen again.

Last edited by rb1; 05-08-2006 at 5:55 PM.
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Old 05-06-2006, 12:04 AM   #9
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Glad to hear that you got everything up and going again. Now the next time you put the bike into storage you will put a little oil in the lock as well.
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Old 05-06-2006, 12:27 AM   #10
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Originally Posted by Custom900
Glad to hear that you got everything up and going again. Now the next time you put the bike into storage you will put a little oil in the lock as well.
Are you confusing me with ric641? I don't see anything from ric641 saying he got it fixed yet. (and I didn't have my bike in storage)

I hope you're right, and ric641 did get it fixed.
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Old 05-06-2006, 8:15 AM   #11
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

That happened to mine, too, a few years ago. I did manage to get the cap open (after bending one key), but I then had to unbolt it and fiddle with the alignment. The key worked, but the lock wasn't retracting enough due to poor alignment. It's been fine since I did that.
So, yeah, loosening it up and jiggling it around a bit might help.
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Old 05-06-2006, 10:51 AM   #12
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Originally Posted by rb1
Are you confusing me with ric641? I don't see anything from ric641 saying he got it fixed yet. (and I didn't have my bike in storage)

I hope you're right, and ric641 did get it fixed.
You're right. I did get the two of you confused.
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Old 05-08-2006, 1:35 PM   #13
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Originally Posted by G-Force Junkie
try filling it with a penetrating oil and let it sit a while. Then push the key in and out a few dozen times to loosen things up.
I have heard of this technique used in other practices as well
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Old 05-08-2006, 3:53 PM   #14
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

Originally Posted by Purpdust
I have heard of this technique used in other practices as well
I really don't want to hear about your practices with Phobe.
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Old 05-08-2006, 4:05 PM   #15
 
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Re: help...key won't open gas tank

OMG, as soon as I saw this threads title I remembered being stranded at the gas station so many times on my F4i desparately trying to get the cap open, since the Honda dealership wouldnt replace it


Anyways those sure were spine chilling moments when the fuel light came on
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