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Discussion Starter #1
I have been having issues with the fuel cap over the past 6 months. The key would go all the way in the locker but it would not turn all the way to open the fuel cap. The temporary solution was to spray some silicone lubricant and after 5-10 minutes it would eventually turn and open the cap. Today I decided to take apart the mechanism and clean it thoroughly. To remove the fuel cap you only have to unscrew the two bolts at the bottom and one at the top. The other two are for aesthetic purposes.

Here is how the mechanism looked like





All the parts were covered in white stuff. The locking mechanism consists of two tabs that slide in and out inside a rail and a spring to pushes them apart. I cleaned off the corrosion using some fine sandpaper and steel wool, sprayed them with silicone and put everything back together. Overall the lock now turns a lot smoother than before. No more worrying about breaking the aluminum key. However the key does not turn back when you open the fuel cap, I am suspecting that the key cylinder has some corrosion as well and I would need to remove it and clean it too.

The job took about 30 minutes and is an easy thing to do.
 

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That's the most corrosion I've seen for a fuel cap!
Was it unused for 5 years or what?

Normally, my only maintenance there is to put graphite in the keyhole and that's about it.
I fuel up high enough that this mechanism is soaking in fuel. Never had any corrosion since.

Any water in the gas is at the bottom, but if the tank is not full, you have water in the air. Any cooling below dew point will make condensation and cause this crap on long term. That would be winter storage. That's why winterization begins fueling up to max. Just don't fill up too high if your bike will be indoor; you probably get fuel in cold days and if it warm up indoor, it will expand and overflow and stink up your garage. Now, how do I know that... :)

Tip: fill your last 2 tanks with non ethanol (often super 91) to avoid ethanol in system. Stabilizer is not mandatory for only 3-4 months of non-ethanol but won't hurt. Stabilizer may make things worse with ethanol fuel. See projectfarm's clip:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I live in the NorthEast and I ride all year around. The bike is parked outside and exposed to rain, snow and extreme cold at some point during the winter. I am not sure how to avoid corrosion on aluminum parts in these situations.

If you only add graphite lubricant to the lock it maintains the lock but it doesn't take care of the locking mechanism. Many people on this forum were complaining that although the key goes in and can partially turn, the fuel cap does not open. Remember to check and clean the locking mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I tried to take lock cylinder off to clean it but I am having trouble removing the lock cylinder from the housing. I can see what I think is the brass retaining clip but I can not push it back in. I used a tiny flat screwdriver or a small thin scissors but no luck.



Any suggestions? Is there another way?
 

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With a slightly curved small screwdriver behind the brass clip, push it down (as seen on photo) towards center of fuel cap, while pushing lock cylinder out... A little shot of WD-40 might help.
 

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Finally got mine off today after months of struggling with it. I tried WD40 and graphite but it wasn't the key that was stuck, it was the corrosion on the locking wings not budging. Hit it with a rag wrapped hammer a few times and used a sacrificial key and it finally opened up. Before I start sanding is there anything I can soak it in overnight to help clean off some of it? Just a cup of clean gas maybe?


 

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Finally got mine off today after months of struggling with it. I tried WD40 and graphite but it wasn't the key that was stuck, it was the corrosion on the locking wings not budging. Hit it with a rag wrapped hammer a few times and used a sacrificial key and it finally opened up. Before I start sanding is there anything I can soak it in overnight to help clean off some of it? Just a cup of clean gas maybe?


That is corrosion from water, anything you use will attack the aluminum. My suggestion is to use a red scotch brite pad and clean the oxide off, what happens is similar to rust, the oxide has reduced clearance , the only way is to get rid of that oxide. Using sand cloth or other methods you take a risk of adding the component in say emery cloth into the aluminum. You could also use a emery board / nail file, for finger nails also. My preference is red scotch brite , I used this link https://www.amazon.com/s?k=red+scotch+brite+pad&crid=27EX4G7R06AVR&sprefix=red+scotch+brite,aps,163&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_16
As to lubrication, follow previous recommendations.

I did a quick search , ammonia apparently works, ammonia to me in any concentration is deadly to me. I am not a fan of dump it into this, it will work kind of approach. What is more important, you need to use fuel stabilizer and according to a very good video, even stabilizer has very little good effect when using a high percentage ethanol based fuel.

https://www.brillo.com/cleaning-products/ammonia-cleaner
 

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Wow, this bike certainly has seen his share of hi and low temps...

Fine sanding of all sides of moving parts to restore the smooth surface. Do not sand so much that it would change clearances.

I found some teflon lube. Rather tacky. I though of chain lube too. But at the same time I was worried that fuel would just wash it away anyway, an only interfere with fuel filter or worse, injectors. So if it isn't designed/documented to lube the gas cap, that's because it doesn't need it.
At most, wd40 can burn so that's the most I would use.

The cap does need fuel and splashing of it, to move water away.
I fill up about 1/2 inch above the bottom of the hole, all the time, so the cap soaks in fuel a little while.
But that is not for leaving in the sun or over winter indoor. Fuel would expand and spill. Only do that when you know you'll ride another 5-10.

Of course, inspect at every fuel up for deterioration.

Oh, and be sure to leave that tiny pinhole clear after your cleaning.
 

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kopr kote

I took it all apart, soaked it all in vinegar for a few hours, then spent another few hours scrubbing it with red scotch brite to get the big stuff off then some 600 grit sandpaper.

I have mentioned this before, various brands but I have used this extensively, yes gasoline will dissolve this, the point is, it is almost impossible to have gasoline in the upper most inner parts. The stuff I used had various ingredients, graphite and copper were the main ones, the T&B version was $40 Canadian for a small can. I would use a small amount on all moving surfaces on the inner parts, I would also coat the threads of the screws, be aware less torque will be needed . Several brands of this, loctite makes one as do a few others Permatex https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/permatex-copper-anti-seize-226-g-0383776p.html?rrec=true#spc

https://www.grainger.ca/en/product/ANTI-SEIZE-KOPR-KOTE-227ML/p/JTL10202
 
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