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Getting gas cap open

  1. #1
    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Getting gas cap open


    Ive got a bike im getting running thats been sitting for about a decade. I cant get the gas cap open though. Its your standard sportbike style gas cap. I can get the key in and turn it to about the point where the key would be mechanically moving the latch, but then it stops.
    Ive put about as much pressure as i dare put on the key for fear of snapping it off in the lock. I sprayed some wd40 in the key slot but no luck.
    Any suggestions on how i might be able to get this open?

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    You’ve pushed down on the cap, to alleviate pressure on the latch?
    Aside from more penetrant, that’s all I got, aside from the usual “get a couple of guys and lift it up”.

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    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Yeah, i should point out that theres probably half a tank of equally old gas in there so the varnish level is probably 11. Im guessing its all gummed up in the latch.
    Im thinking of pulling the petcock, draining, and getting some sort of solvent in there through the petcock hole and let it soak upside down.

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  4. #4
    Old and Slow Sheppo's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Quote Originally Posted by SVRACER01 View Post
    Yeah, i should point out that theres probably half a tank of equally old gas in there so the varnish level is probably 11. Im guessing its all gummed up in the latch.
    Im thinking of pulling the petcock, draining, and getting some sort of solvent in there through the petcock hole and let it soak upside down.
    Aside from more applications of WD40 or another penetrating solvent I don't think there is muck you can do. How long have you been applying WD40? have you tried PB Blaster or any others? You can't ruin the fuel in the tank so load that key slot up... multiple times and then tap it slowely while trying to turn the key. That's all I got.

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    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    kroil penetrating oil or 50/50 mix of acetone and ATF let st for a couple days...

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    hmmmm......

  6. #6
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Yeah I wouldn't expect wd to do much. I'd try pb blaster and maybe some Marvel's mystery oil from the top and let it sit.

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  7. #7
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    All good recommendations above.

    The other thing that I might add to the equation would be a tension wrench, so that perhaps you could get more torque on the lockset without breaking the key off in the lock.

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    YouTube never ceases to amaze me with these kind of problems. Lo and behold.



    A less elegant approach was to whack the key lightly with a rubber hammer.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    ^ BRILLIANT.

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    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Use a dremel to cut a slot in the gas cap, so you use a flathead screwdriver instead of the key.

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    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Lol. I was trying to think of a way to attach a "personal massager" to the key. Sander makes sense.

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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    OUTSIDE drain gas and maybe rinse with water a couple of times first

    WArm area with hair dryer for few minutes may soften what ever gunk is sticking, it will take a while as sticky gunk is deep under the cap

    Still may explode/ fire so be careful

    Also usually a thing to warm old bikes before you try to move the crank

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Explosion would probably work.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasnmar View Post
    Lol. I was trying to think of a way to attach a "personal massager" to the key.
    That video would go viral....

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    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    SUCCESS! a little WD40 and a orbital sander and a pair of pliers i popped it open.
    inside is gross and appears that someone lined it with Kreme as its starting to peel.
    not sure i can remove it or at least all of it. any suggestions?
    i know theres some stuff i can pour in there to eat any rust, i just gotta find the name.

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    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Por 15 is a common rust remover / treater.
    Other popular choices:
    Evaporust
    Rust Dissolve
    Metal Rescue


    I'd probably start with something like lacquer thinner to remove the dried / varnished fuel first.

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    Last edited by jasnmar; 02-24-18 at 02:24 PM.

  16. #16
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Some products are rust converters, not removers, not sure what is best for this application.

    Acids convert rust to Iron Phosphate. Rust removers seem to be primarily Phosphoric acid solutions.

    Have a replacement tank with some rust dots inside, wondering what if anything to do about them.

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    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    exo-sonic cleaner, cool idea.

    as for removing rust, get some muriatic acid and fill the tank partially, keep sloshing and rotating the tank for a while. It will clean it up.

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  18. #18
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    From another forum.

    Farm stores sell milkstone remover which is phosphoric acid used to clean calcium deposits from milking equipment. The concentration is sufficient to make a good rust remover; I've used it lots with reasonable success. TSC Farm Stores list a product called 'Sterosol Milkstone Remover' for $8/gallon. This is made by Stearns Packaging Corporation. Their MSDS on the product shows the phosphoric acid concentration to be 42.25%.

    - hardware stores often sell something called OSPHO. 75% concentration of phosphoric acid. I found it at my local True Value hardware store - I forget what I paid, but you can find it online for about $17/gallon or in quarts for about half that. The company sells direct at Ospho Rust Treatment - Since 1947 , but only in 4 gallon cases for $100.

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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    I like evaporust, eats the rust, leaves the metal/paint/etc. Dilute it 3 to 1 or 4 to 1, submerge the tank in the stuff, and just let it work. Rotate the tank occasionally to avoid air pockets protecting rust patches.

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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    There are three ways to chemically remove rust:

    • Mild acids (Ospho, Must for Rust)
    • Electrolysis (see this example, tons of stuff on the web on this, specifically for motorcycle tanks)
    • Chelating agents (Molasses, Evapo-rust)


    The nice thing about electrolysis or chelation is that you can leave it going forever and it will only remove "bad" metal. Also easier to dispose of molasses than it is acid. Metal tends to be very reactive when you're done, it will flash rust. Heat has a big effect on chelation, doesn't really work in the cold.

    What lots of folks do is use electrolysis/chelation to get the big stuff off then use a mild acid to deal with the inevitable flash rusting afterward.

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  21. #21
    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Quote Originally Posted by SVRACER01 View Post
    SUCCESS! a little WD40 and a orbital sander and a pair of pliers i popped it open.
    inside is gross and appears that someone lined it with Kreme as its starting to peel.
    not sure i can remove it or at least all of it. any suggestions?
    i know theres some stuff i can pour in there to eat any rust, i just gotta find the name.
    Do you think a pile of 1/4" ball bearings and some shaking might be enough to break off the coating?

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  22. #22
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    PLaina cids muriatic (HCl) or phosphoric will happily EAT THE METAL TOO

    There are acidic salts and some organic acids (Oxalic) that just eat red rust NOT the metal

    Assuming you have the large hole for a pump I have successfully used sharp rocks
    to agitate and scrape shaken inside, some difficulty getting them all out

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    Last edited by Stromper; 02-26-18 at 04:05 PM.
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  23. #23
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Methyl ethyl ketone should get rid of the old liner remains if it was Kreem.

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  24. #24
    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    Do you think a pile of 1/4" ball bearings and some shaking might be enough to break off the coating?
    I dont think so. Its thick like peeling off acrylic paint.
    Ill probably try the lacquer thinner first since i have that in the house and see whats left behind.

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    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Getting gas cap open

    where is the disclosure for those that have to repaint the tank and gas cap.....

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