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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I hear this is a pretty common issue. I hadn't rode my bike since November due to cold and of course battery needed replacing, etc. Did all that this weekend no problem. Even decided to add a charger since my bike is kept outdoors all year round (live in an apartment). So after getting my bike fired up and riding again, I decided to take it to fill her up. I had about 3/4 of a tank still in it. I noticed last november when I rode that the gas tank lock had a hard time opening and meant to oil it up and file down the rust but forgot. So now, the key won't even budge it. I initially tried some WD40 which I know if not the best kind to use since it becomes gummy after a while of sitting. But it is a penetrating oil and was all I could muster at the gas station I was at. It didn't seem to help. Of course I disassembled my tank and tried to access from underneath but nothing! Removing the bolts on the gas cap I still could not remove. So, today I called my dealer and they suggested I use the same oil and then hold a hair dryer to it for about 5 minutes. Is it really that simple? Has anyone tried this with success? He said for me to use the wd40 in the key hole itself and around all the cracks of the gas cap too. Anyone have input on this idea and has anyone had success? I do not want to drill it or do anything that would cause damage to the tank or gas cap if possible. Thanks
 

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It's difficult to know if you have other options since we don't know what model bike you're talking about. I'd look for a better penetrating oil than WD40. And I'd be a little uncomfortable about a flame or heated element around a gas tank. Be sure there are no obvious fumes before getting that near the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks. I have a 2005 636. I wouldn't suspect using a hairdryer on a closed fuel cap would pose any danger????
 

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Thanks. I have a 2005 636. I wouldn't suspect using a hairdryer on a closed fuel cap would pose any danger????
Closed cap doesn't mean the seal/gasket is good. Doesn't that whole cap assembly bolt in with 5 external bolts you could remove and pull the cap out?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, there are 5 bolts you can unscrew around the gas cap. But the gas cap doesn't come off just by unscrewing the bolts. When I think about it, if it were that easy, that would defeat the purpose of a lock on the tank. LOL. The lock was put on bikes to prevent people from stealing your gas. Anyhow, I tried removing the gas tank and getting it off from the otherside but that was too much work if it even could be done. Not the taking of the tank off but trying to figure out how to reach the inside from underneath the tank.

My dealer service department told me that is what they use to get the stuck gas tanks open. They use oil and then hold a heat gun at lowest setting or a hairdryer if you don't have one. They said it poses no danger. I will try that when I get home.

If anyone has a any idea how to get the gas cap off though let me know cause I would like to take it off and install a vortex instead.
 

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It's just a hair dryer spewing out warm air. If my hair dryer spitout sparks or flame I wouldn't use it to dry my hair.
 

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Yes, there are 5 bolts you can unscrew around the gas cap. But the gas cap doesn't come off just by unscrewing the bolts. When I think about it, if it were that easy, that would defeat the purpose of a lock on the tank. LOL.
It's definitely easier than you seem to think it is. Unless they've improved the cap lock in recent years, just using my pocket knife and the keys on my key ring that I carry every day, I can open the majority of bike gas caps out there. And what do you think is holding the gas cap on there besides the bolts? Locks won't keep a thief out, they keep an honest person honest.

It's just a hair dryer spewing out warm air. If my hair dryer spitout sparks or flame I wouldn't use it to dry my hair.
It doesn't have to spit sparks out. Your hair doesn't get sucked into the intake and flow over the heating element inside that dryer but gas fumes could. Modern hair dryers are capable of producing 2000 watts of heat. I'm not sure what the element temp is to accomplish that or what it is on low, but I'd rather err on the side of caution.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, sure I could get the gas cap off after unscrewing the bolts. But it's not as easy as just unscrewing them and lifting it off is what I meant. You'd have to cause some damage to teh cap/tank to get it off from the point of unscrewing the bolts.

As for the hairdryer, it worked like a charm. It's funny that everyone's reaction is it is dangerous yet my shop's mechanic is the one who recommended it to me. I think the heat would have to be sitting on the cap for quite a long time to penetrate far enough through to the gas to heat that enough to explode. We were talking about maybe 3-5 minutes tops of heating it. It worked very easily and no damage at all caused to my tank or cap. I was then able to file down the grit and lube the lock from the inside and it works great now. But in case anyone else encounters this problem (which I hear is very common on these lock caps) this is an easy solution without having to drill the lock or call a locksmith. I spent $5 for a can of
WD40.

Thanks for everyone who replied to help!
 

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I think the heat would have to be sitting on the cap for quite a long time to penetrate far enough through to the gas to heat that enough to explode. We were talking about maybe 3-5 minutes tops of heating it.
Oh, I agree with that. In fact I think you could heat it from now till hell freezes over and it wouldn't explode from that type and amount of heat. What I was talking about was if there were gas fumes in and around the tank, the fumes could be ignited by passing over the heat element inside the hair dryer. I use to use an old hair dryer in my woodworking shop to speed up the drying of water based glues. On a couple of occasions with the dryer on high, some fine sawdust got sucked into the intake end of the dryer and the sawdust came out the other end as glowing sparks.

Glad to hear you got it fixed though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh, I agree with that. In fact I think you could heat it from now till hell freezes over and it wouldn't explode from that type and amount of heat. What I was talking about was if there were gas fumes in and around the tank, the fumes could be ignited by passing over the heat element inside the hair dryer. I use to use an old hair dryer in my woodworking shop to speed up the drying of water based glues. On a couple of occasions with the dryer on high, some fine sawdust got sucked into the intake end of the dryer and the sawdust came out the other end as glowing sparks.

Glad to hear you got it fixed though.
yeah, I woudl definitely not try that with any lingering fumes around the tank. But seeing how it hasn't been ridin in about 3 months and I had recently washed the bike completely, I was confident that no fumes would come in contact with the heat. This was a good way though to get it open and the service technician at the bike shop saved me a ton of money. Had I brought it in for them to fix, this is exactly what they would have done to open it and charged me an arm and a leg too! LOL. Thanks again bro!
 

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I was browsing the Web looking for help with a stuck fuel tank cap on my ZXR750 and found this Post. To be frank I didn't think it would work and was extremely hesitant to try blowing very hot air on the cap, but I was desperate and gave it a go. I'm totally chuffed because it works and want to thank everyone who posted and supported the solution.:smile: :smile: :smile:
 

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Happy we could help, It's kind of amazing what knowledge we collectively have to offer to another motorcycle rider.
 

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StarGate, I hear ya.... Not sure if this is true, but the story goes a woman sucked wasps out of a nest with a vacuum cleaner. The next problem she had was how to kill the wasps inside the vacuum cleaner. She got the brainy udea to gas them, so she turned on the oven with no flame, and vaced up what ever gas type the oven had, untill the whole mess went BOOM. :D
 

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When turning the key, press down on the gas cap. That is the only way one of mine will open. NEVER use WD40. It is a water displacement fluid, not a penetrating oil or lube oil. Sure, it smells good but is almost worthless in most application....chris3
 

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Hi all, I am new to the forum (joined right after reading this thread). I was having the same problem getting the gas cap on my EX250 to unlock. I tried a paper clip / paper match stick, brake cleaner, and a vacuum cleaner all to get what looked like sludge out. Re-lubed the lock, applied the prerequisite wiggling, but still could not get the key to turn.

Several other sites had posts that involved removing the hex screws/bolts and then locating the hidden lock screws and either unscrewing or if that failed drill them out. Some even advised taking a hammer and driving screwdriver into the lock to assist in forcing the lock to turn.

I was a little hesitant in trying such destructive actions just to get a lock open, I have seen frozen locks opened without destroying them, so I knew there had to be a better solution to the problem.

I must admit I was also a little skeptical about blowing hot air into a tank with gas in it, but I assumed like all gas tanks the bikes tank must also be vented to prevent fumes from building up. So I tried this solution; started using the drier on the lock, 2 minutes in I tried to turn the key and it moved a half turn, I removed the key and re-applied the hot air for approx. 1 and a half minutes more, a little wiggling; the key turned fully and the lock opened.

I would never have imagined this would work, but it took less time, with absolutely no hazardous or destructive side-effects, than anything I have found suggested elsewhere.

Thank you, to whomever came up with this solution; and even more, thanks for sharing it.

E
 

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WooHoo! Another success story. Life is good!
 
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