I'm Stranded with a Jammed Ignition - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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I'm Stranded with a Jammed Ignition

Hi,

I never had ignition problems until today. It is 19 degrees out right now with a windchill of 3.

Started my 2006 in the garage this morning and everything went fine.

When I arrived at my destination I could not get the key out. It just would not go. I would have just driven home, but I had already locked my helmet on the helmet locker. It is impossible to drive when it is that cold with no helmet on. Eventually I got the key out with a really strong tug.

Now my key goes in, but will not turn. I even bent the outside of my key a little bit trying to get the key to turn. No dice. I feel fairly confident, that given the location of the bend, it will not affect operation.



So here is my situation: Windchill of 3 degrees right now. I am at work, 10 minute walk from my bike (one direction). 40 minute walk to auto parts store/Lowes (one way). Hour and 10 minute walk from home (one way). Also left my dog inside today because it is friggin freezing. I would like to minimize walking.

Worth noting: I have graphite powder lubricant. I will try that, however given how cold it is, I would like a backup plan.

Any ideas on alternates? How hard is hotwiring? I have almost no tools with me.

Beyond that my last ditch is to walk home and beg people to trailer me. Not sure I know anyone nearby with a trailer at the moment. Would like to avoid this if at all possible.

-Stefan

2006 Red KLR 650

Modifications:
1)Doohickey Planned and purchased 2)Aftermarket Grips 3)Grip Heaters 4)Happy Trails Hard Luggage Rack 5)20 mm ammo cases planned soon 6)Aftermarket Exhaust 7)Thermobob 8)Happy Trails Fork Brace 9)Stainless Steel Oil Filter 10)Magnetic Drain Plug

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post #2 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 02:04 PM
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Is it possible that the ignition is frozen?? Have you got some lock de-icer or methyl hydrate?

I applaud you for riding in those tremperatures but maybe it's time to get a car LOL.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #3 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
Is it possible that the ignition is frozen?? Have you got some lock de-icer or methyl hydrate?
Yes it is possible. However the bike sat in my garage ~50 degrees F overnight and starting having issues after about a 10 minute ride. Seems very fast for freezing.

Though it is worth a try. I take it that lock de-icer or methyl hydrate can be found at an auto parts store?


Quote:
I applaud you for riding in those tremperatures but maybe it's time to get a car LOL.
It really isn't that bad. I stay in town, wear the right gear, and ride year round. One day it is 40, the next it is 38, then 34...ect. I ease my way into it. But yeah. A car is on the to buy list.



Since my original post I walked over and tried the graphite powder. Now the key slides in and out silky smooth but will still not turn.

2006 Red KLR 650

Modifications:
1)Doohickey Planned and purchased 2)Aftermarket Grips 3)Grip Heaters 4)Happy Trails Hard Luggage Rack 5)20 mm ammo cases planned soon 6)Aftermarket Exhaust 7)Thermobob 8)Happy Trails Fork Brace 9)Stainless Steel Oil Filter 10)Magnetic Drain Plug

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post #4 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 06:37 PM
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The graphite powder will lubricate but not unthaw if in fact it is frozen. i should have thought of it earlier but one trick I've used with frozen door locks in the past is to heat the key with a lighter. Just don't stick it back into your pants pocket to quick.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #5 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
The graphite powder will lubricate but not unthaw if in fact it is frozen. i should have thought of it earlier but one trick I've used with frozen door locks in the past is to heat the key with a lighter. Just don't stick it back into your pants pocket to quick.
oooh. Clever. Not sure I had a lighter, but I will keep that one in the back of my mind for the future.

I did not expect the graphite to work, but wanted to try anyways because I had some at work and it was only a 10 minute walk. It was the best I could come up with given the fact that I really did not have anything to work with.

I'm having it trailer-ed home. I'll let it thaw in the garage and go from there.




Does any one have recommendations of how to dry out humidity from the ignition (if that is in fact the culprit)?

2006 Red KLR 650

Modifications:
1)Doohickey Planned and purchased 2)Aftermarket Grips 3)Grip Heaters 4)Happy Trails Hard Luggage Rack 5)20 mm ammo cases planned soon 6)Aftermarket Exhaust 7)Thermobob 8)Happy Trails Fork Brace 9)Stainless Steel Oil Filter 10)Magnetic Drain Plug

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post #6 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 07:37 PM
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If it unthaws just give it a shot of WD-40.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #7 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Using a lighter on the key worked. Hot knife through butter type of thing. Interestingly enough the de-icer did not work.

I shall carry a lighter with me where I go.

I have heard mixed reviews of WD-40 into ignitions. What purpose will that serve? Will that clear out any humidity?

2006 Red KLR 650

Modifications:
1)Doohickey Planned and purchased 2)Aftermarket Grips 3)Grip Heaters 4)Happy Trails Hard Luggage Rack 5)20 mm ammo cases planned soon 6)Aftermarket Exhaust 7)Thermobob 8)Happy Trails Fork Brace 9)Stainless Steel Oil Filter 10)Magnetic Drain Plug

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post #8 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 08:02 PM
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WD stands for water displacing. It is designed to do this job. Liberal flush with WD40 then a dose of graphite should cure your problem for a long while. Lock deicer usually works but often needs to soak in for 10 minutes before it thaws the pins. It wont work if it is gummed up with oil that has gotten cold causing the pins to be sticky in their holes.
Regards....justjeff

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Last edited by justjeff; 01-04-2015 at 08:05 PM.
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justjeff View Post
WD stands for water displacing. It is designed to do this job. Liberal flush with WD40 then a dose of graphite should cure your problem for a long while.
Regards....justjeff
Makes sense. I will give that a whirl.

2006 Red KLR 650

Modifications:
1)Doohickey Planned and purchased 2)Aftermarket Grips 3)Grip Heaters 4)Happy Trails Hard Luggage Rack 5)20 mm ammo cases planned soon 6)Aftermarket Exhaust 7)Thermobob 8)Happy Trails Fork Brace 9)Stainless Steel Oil Filter 10)Magnetic Drain Plug

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post #10 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 08:30 PM
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You can also buy a gizmo that holds a couple of double A batteries and has a heating element that slides in and out of the plastic body. It's small enough to fit into a key hole and the element heats the lock. I used to have one on my key chain

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