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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Gas Cap Hard to Open

My gas cap is hard to open to the point that I've already twisted my two keys and it's not going to take to many more times before they are going to twist off. I've had the locking mechanism apart, cleaned it and polished it. It works fine after doing that until the next fillup. I've even put a lighter spring on the catch and thought that was going to take care of it but it just got harder to turn over the next couple of tanks. It doesn't do any good to grease it since the fuel washes it all out.

I was thinking that a water based grease might be the answer since the fuel wouldn't wash it out. The only water based grease I can think of is KY Jelly. I don't know how the grease would react with the fuel, am going to test it before actually using it. Has anyone else had this issue and how did you solve it?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 10:47 PM
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Are you pushing down on the cap with one hand while turning the key with the other? That takes a lot of the pressure off the locking lugs and makes mine easier to turn.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 11:44 PM
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Ditto to what flitecontrol said. Pushing down on the cap just before and while turning the key makes it SO much easier.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention that, yes I'm pushing down on the cap when opening it. It's still harder than it should be.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 09:08 AM
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It is not clear from your post if the problem is the lock mechanism itself or the gas cap.

If the lock mechanism itself is binding when the cap is in the open position, then I would inspect the lock for damage and clean it (you said you've already done that), then lubricated it with dry graphite lock lubricant (used by professionals). You can get it in most hardware stores or a locksmith. You only need a little, so buy the smallest tube available. The dry lubricant takes a bit of working in, so a few puffs in the key hole, then back and forth with the key. The fuel in the gas tank should not effect it (unless you overfill and submerse the lock mechanism).

However, if the lock operates freely when the cap is in the open position, then you have to look at the cap and locking tab for source of the problem. As the other posters indicate, you need to push down on the cap before turning the key to open it. If the cap or tank is bend, let say, or there is debris in along the seal, then it might prevent the cap from being depressed enough to prevent the binding.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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The lock mechanism seems to be fine. The problem appears to be the latch mechanism itself. Since I seemed to be the only one having the problem I tore it apart tonight and looked at it real close. I did use some KY Jelly to give it a little lubricant, it does not seem to be affected by the fuel at all. I did find that the angle of the key in the lock is the single largest factor on how hard it turns. If I push the key to the front slightly when turning it turns very well. With that clue I'll watch how I open it the next time I get gas and see if it more of an operator error issue. I may have been inadvertently leaning the key to the back which is where it seems to bind.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 09:31 PM
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That graphite stuff is amazing on sticky locks. Our front door deadbolt got real hard to turn a few months ago after our sprinkler was hitting the door a few days earlier. I nearly broke my key off trying to unlock it. Dug out my graphite and shot a few puffs in it and now it nearly turns its self when I stick the key in it. I'd at least shoot some in the top of the key hole and see if it helps.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 10:47 PM
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The KY Jelly and graphite may not be a good combination. Think you'll wind up with a sticky mess. If you decide to add the graphite, I'd wash the KY out first.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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I agree you don't want them both together, I want to see what happens after a few days when the KY evaporates off. I'll pick up some graphite tomorrow and that will probabaly be the final solution.
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