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Possible Failing Ignition Lock

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bill lumberg
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Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by bill lumberg »

I’ve always kept my locks lightly lubed. Never an issue. Then, after a long day in the mountains, zero issues, the next morning, the bike is almost impossible to start.

The electricals and engine are fine. The lock is the problem. Regardless of the key, it takes some serious fiddling to get the key to turn. Normally, any stickiness disappears with a squirt of light silicon lube. No dice this time. I’m worried it’s going to lock up permanently and strand me. I have no idea what has gone wrong.

What is the process for replacing one of these? How hard is it?
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by FJRoss »

Is the cylinder stiff to turn overall or just difficult to get it started moving? You mentioned "regardless of key" so I suppose that it isn't due to a worn key although the "pins" might be worn. Might be worth talking to a locksmith. Perhaps the entire mechanism can be flushed and gunk cleared out. Perhaps it is something a 'smith can repair. At least on earlier Gen I & II, the ignition switch/lock isn't that difficult to remove. The security bolts need to be drilled out...

Good luck.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by bill lumberg »

Thanks. Keys aren’t the issue. It just won’t turn at all most of the time. If you can coax it to move at all, then it turns normally.

It’s been flushed. Other than compressed air to see if I can clear something, I don’t know what else to try short of replacement or a smith. It’s pretty sketchy.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by wheatonFJR »

Holy Crap!
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by mcatrophy »

From your description it sounds like either the key is worn sufficiently that it's not activating the lock's mechanism correctly, or there is something jamming it.

You say "keys", presumably both keys behave the same, in which case it's most likely jamming.

Are you sure it's fully inserted? I once had an occasion when I had something preventing full insertion of the key, it wouldn't go down the last fraction of a millimetre. Managed to clear it by a combination of a lot of WD-40, pushing the key in, wiggling it, turning when it would, withdrawing it etc.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by extrememarine »

I had to swap out the ignition on my 2009 this spring; the mechanism had gotten to the point where when it was stuck, I could not get the key to rotate to the on position or out of the lock position. I flushed it and it would free up temporary, but still had issues with both keys. Keys worked fine in gas tank, side bags and seat release. I was worried it would leave me stranded, so I swapped to a spare and have lived with having one key for the ignition and a different key for the gas tank, side bags, seat latch.

good luck...
bill lumberg wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:56 am Thanks. Keys aren’t the issue. It just won’t turn at all most of the time. If you can coax it to move at all, then it turns normally.

It’s been flushed. Other than compressed air to see if I can clear something, I don’t know what else to try short of replacement or a smith. It’s pretty sketchy.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by bill lumberg »

Exact same here.
extrememarine wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:21 pm I had to swap out the ignition on my 2009 this spring; the mechanism had gotten to the point where when it was stuck, I could not get the key to rotate to the on position or out of the lock position. I flushed it and it would free up temporary, but still had issues with both keys. Keys worked fine in gas tank, side bags and seat release. I was worried it would leave me stranded, so I swapped to a spare and have lived with having one key for the ignition and a different key for the gas tank, side bags, seat latch.

good luck...
bill lumberg wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:56 am Thanks. Keys aren’t the issue. It just won’t turn at all most of the time. If you can coax it to move at all, then it turns normally.

It’s been flushed. Other than compressed air to see if I can clear something, I don’t know what else to try short of replacement or a smith. It’s pretty sketchy.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by Cav47 »

bill lumberg wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:24 pm Exact same here.
extrememarine wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:21 pm I had to swap out the ignition on my 2009 this spring; the mechanism had gotten to the point where when it was stuck, I could not get the key to rotate to the on position or out of the lock position. I flushed it and it would free up temporary, but still had issues with both keys. Keys worked fine in gas tank, side bags and seat release. I was worried it would leave me stranded, so I swapped to a spare and have lived with having one key for the ignition and a different key for the gas tank, side bags, seat latch.

good luck...
bill lumberg wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:56 am Thanks. Keys aren’t the issue. It just won’t turn at all most of the time. If you can coax it to move at all, then it turns normally.

It’s been flushed. Other than compressed air to see if I can clear something, I don’t know what else to try short of replacement or a smith. It’s pretty sketchy.

Sounds like someone is just pouring on the reasons to get a new bike. I support this mission.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by bill lumberg »

Shit. The part alone is $150, and the bike is under warranty. I may be making a trip to the dealer (where a shiny 2021 still resides), one way or the other. :)

Almost being stranded makes me wonder if this can be brute forced with a screwdriver, or whether that would even help. Thinking of worst case scenario.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by Hppants »

Try some graphite key lubricant. Put some lube on the key and work it in and out. I've had better luck with sticky locks with that stuff than silicone spray.

Also, confirming that more than one key, inserted either way, is yielding the same results?
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by danh600 »

I have good luck with this stuff on sticky pad locks. So far my FJR is working fine. Maybe cause I spray some of this from time to time.

https://www.3inone.com/products/lock-dry-lube/

Every once in awhile I hit every lock I own with this stuff.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by extrememarine »

Interesting, my spare ignition only cost me a fractured tibia and tow truck...

The Gen 2's had an ignition recall, and there was a bush fix that was basically the equivelent to hot-wiring the bike to bypass the malfunctioning ignition switch - ask Jwilly about doing that to a bike at EOM in Cumberland Falls that actually only had a loose battery cable...
bill lumberg wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:03 pm Shit. The part alone is $150, and the bike is under warranty. I may be making a trip to the dealer (where a shiny 2021 still resides), one way or the other. :)

Almost being stranded makes me wonder if this can be brute forced with a screwdriver, or whether that would even help. Thinking of worst case scenario.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by wheatonFJR »

:D :D :D
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by griff »

Timely post Bill. My ignition switch has given me the same fits for about a year. Since I have a lot more miles than you, I better get down to Hotlanta and snatch that 21. 8-)
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by raYzerman »

When you put the key in, the tumblers push out or in to become flush with the outer barrel. When flush, it will turn, if one tumbler is still sticking up a bit (worn key or worn tumbler), it won't let the barrel turn. You can see this on any simple lock........
If you have the ignition switch out and can disassemble the barrel, insert key and then you can file down any tumbler sticking out... or a locksmith can either get you a new key or replace a worn tumbler.......

To get the ignition switch off, you need to remove the upper triple tree, then there are two security bolts holding it on. The heads break off at installation... so, 1/8" drill a pilot hole, then a 3/8" drill to essentially drill down until the "heads" are gone. Remove switch, then can unscrew the remaining parts of the two bolts. New bolts can be standard 8mm metric.......
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by FastPappy »

My recent trip to the dealer revealed that the ignition switch recall was never done so they did it while the other work was being done. Having a separate key for the ignition now is a bit of a PITA but it's good having the piece of mind that it was done. ;)
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by wheatonFJR »

griff wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:25 pm Timely post Bill. My ignition switch has given me the same fits for about a year. Since I have a lot more miles than you, I better get down to Hotlanta and snatch that 21. 8-)
I wouldn't worry about that griff. I'm guessing that Lumberg is in the mood for fahrvergnugen auf dem BMW S1000RR.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by Festus »

I'd try dry graphite in it, not anything liquid. Most liquid things are very bad for locks. You can get a tube of graphite in the key cutting areas of any big box store. I'd try that before anything else. Most everything else will attract dirt and make it stick.
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by raYzerman »

I'll disagree with graphite, it can gum up the works after while.... I'd flush it a coupla more times. Might even be a bit of build-up at the tip preventing the key from going in that last 1/2mm..... if that don't work..... we'll talk later.

Back in the say, I knew a few that bought new cars every year, some of them said because the ashtray was full.... you can find almost any reason to get a new bike, want a list?
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Re: Possible Failing Ignition Lock

Post by Auburn »

PM sent, I have a new one that I got just before the recall on Gen II and never had to install. Always carried it for a spare even though I out the Brodie harness on mine.
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