Katana of the Month - February 2008 – Dane-Kat

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Old 07-23-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
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Default How to disassemble/re-assemble the gas cap

First of all, if this is the wrong spot, feel free to move it. Also, all of the images are clickable for higher res versions.

So my bike has been sitting in the weather for quite some time (probably since I bought it in 2007 with occasional garage and covered sittings) and it seems to be wreaking havoc on all the turny bits. I got the bug up my a$$ today to lube all the moving parts on the bike since I noticed the ignition wouldn’t let me put it in lock and was sticky turning to on and the gas cap was a b*tch to open at the pump. Also, the petcock was a bear to turn while sitting on the bike.

I sprayed some lube on the key and inserted it in the ignition. After a few turns between on and off, I worked it to where I could turn it to lock. Problem 1 solved. Moved to the petcock and sprayed some lube behind the knob on the stem that turns. Turned the knob a few times and it became noticeably easier after a few turns. Problem 2 solved. Then I moved to the gas cap. No matter what I could not get it to turn past 2 o’clock. I tried everything, even some things you shouldn’t (a pair of pliers pinching the key as close to the lock cylinder as possible and turning. The key is pretty soft metal, so….not a good idea). I decided to remove the cap from the bike and have a look inside.

First off, the tools required.

Your bike key
A phillips screw driver
A 4mm Allen key
Optional (if you want to put the tiny @#$%^&* spring and ball back in the hard way [I did]) some small flat head screw drivers (eye glass repair kit) and a dental pick

Now to the removal.

There are 7 allen screws in the rim around the cap. Only 4 of them hold it to the gas can. The 4 with arrows are the ones. Remove them and set them aside. Insert your key and turn it to open the cap. This will allow the whole assembly to come off. Plug the hole and find a nice clean space to work.

Now on our clean surface, turn it over. Remove the two screws next to the yellow arrows.

You will get these 3 pieces (2 metal pieces and a spring) to come off. Clean them up and lube the sh*t out of them. Honestly, this is probably as far as you need to go. Once this is clean and lubed, put the whole thing back together, spray some lube on your key and run it through the tumbler a few times, make sure to turn it.

If you need to go further (I probably didn't, but I was interested), then continue reading.

Sorry I don't have a better picture of these two pieces, but they are next. They are both metal and underneath the last pieces you pulled off. First comes the metal ring on the bottom (in the picture), then the metal ring/gasket combo on top.

The metal ring/gasket combo in place.

It should look something like this. Be careful of the ball bearing in there and the four springs (two of them shown better below). Also, the ring around the tumbler fell out for me, but may not for you.

Two of the springs mentioned above.

The ring around the tumbler comes next.

Followed by the O-ring. This took some persuasion. The eye glass screw drivers are what I used. I suppose a dental pick would work better.

Some more gentle persuasion for the last ring. I turned the whole thing upside down and tapped it on the table. It fell right out.

Next is the lock cylinder. There is a large tumbler (yellow arrow in the picture below) that needs to be depressed in order for this to come out (thanks to KR for pointing this out to me). I used a thick sewing needle.

The lock cylinder removed and the yellow arrow pointing to the large tumbler.

Next you can remove the housing for the lock cylinder. ONLY REMOVE THE SCREWS WITH YELLOW ARROWS. I cannot stress this enough. Removing the screw with the red arrow will only lead to headaches (pictured below).

This is what the screw with the red arrow holds.

Another picture with the bracket removed. The arrow points to a tiny (scale picture to follow) spring and ball bearing. These make the flap stay locked up or down.

A picture for scale. The head of the key next to the spring, ball bearing and another tiny piece from the cap under the gasket (pictured below in place).

This picture shows all three tiny pieces in place.

Here are all of the parts layed out on a paper towel.

And here are all the metal parts soaking in a cleaner.

After cleaning, reassembly, with copious amounts of lube, is the reverse of disassembly.

If you removed the screw holding the bracket that keeps the tiny spring and ball bearing in place, there is an easy way to get it to seat properly. Place the parts in there respective locations (the ball in the groove, spring next to the ball, and the bracket should rest on the post it mounts to, no screw yet). Reassemble the cap to at least the point where you have the below step.

Having this plate in place and held with screws will keep the tiny spring from popping out and flying across the room. Slide the bracket over and insert the screw into the post, tighten. Check the flap for correct movement. Be careful because the ball might not have seated properly.

Hopefully this helps someone. I couldn't find anything on this with the search function. Thanks for reading.

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

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Old 07-23-2012, 08:49 PM   #2
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One of the best post I have read on here. Great job!
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly!
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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I spent the better part of 3 hours fussing with the tiny spring and ball bearing and figured other people might not want to do that.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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Great write up! This is a perfect example of what a "how-to" should look like! Thank you for the information and sharing!!
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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well done, moved to How-To section

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Old 07-24-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
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Thanks teddy. I knew it belonged there, but couldn't create it there.
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