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Fixed sticky lock but lost spring

Ok OK I know how stupid of me.

If followed the posts about removing the Ign. Lock/Switch from the bike, removed the Lock Cylinder and filed the lock Cylinder has described in the post. During that process I had removed and replaced the Cylinder in the lock housing several times until it all worked perfect.

However during that time the lock housing fell down between the forks and the fairing a number of times. I didn't notice until I put the Cylinder in for the last time that the spring at the bottom of the lock housing had fallen out and is nowwhere to be found.

Without the spring the lock can be made to work, but it's not the way it should be and may cause another failure in the future. I feel sure that spring will not be available from Suzuki as I am pretty sure they sell the whole lock/switch as an assembly.

So I don't suppose anyone would have a Gen 1 ign. lock/switch laying around that they would be willing to remove the spring from and send it to me. Short of that happening any idea where I could buy a small spring 7mm diameter and approx. 14 -15 mm high. It has to be strong enough to hold the tumbler up at the top of it's placement but not so strong as to keep me from pressing down to activate the fork lock or parking position of the switch.


3,020 Posts
Here are the lost images of post # 1:

sticky ignition lock fix (w/ pics)

So, after flooding the lock on my new-to-me 82k mile '04 Wee with various slippery liquids and still having to jiggle the key to go anywhere, I decided that it was time to dismantle the lock and figure out why it's sticky turning on and nearly impossible to engage the column lock. The key works fine in the fuel cap and seat lock, however.

The "correct" way to fix this would be to replace the ignition lock or the wafers, but this method is free.

Tools: one "security" Torx T-40 bit. I got mine as part of a set for $9 at Harbor Freight. You'll also need a #2 Phillips screwdriver and something that can remove brass (sandpaper, file, Dremel, etc)

Parts: none

Time: 30 min, give or take.

First, you need to get the ignition lock off the upper triple clamp. The service manual says to remove the fuel tank first so you can get at the plug on the wiring harness. We're not replacing the switch, so we'll just take it off and work on it in place. Unscrew the two T-40 security screws from the bottom (they've got threadlocker, you'll need a ratchet) and the switch can be brought up and around:

Now, take out those two phillips screws holding the lock together. Take off the top, watch the shutter piece fall out, then lift out the lock cylinder. Here we go:

Hey, look. Brass wafers and a steel key. Small wonder these locks have a habit of being sticky when they get old. A wafer lock with the correct key in it should be a nice smooth cylinder. For some reason they went to the effort and expense to use an eight-pin lock, but they couldn't use steel wafers? (BMW bikes have a six-pin lock with steel guts and the one on my '98 works like new, as does my '98 KLR where they used brass keys) Here's what mine looked like:

Epic fail. I'm surprised I could even get the bike to turn on. Here's what it looks like in pieces:

Here's where you can check for random debris that might be causing your lock not to work right. Mine had none.

Note how each wafer has the hole in a slightly different place to fit the corresponding spot on the key. In theory we should replace these because they're worn and then the lock would work fine. Unfortunately, they're not numbered or marked in any way, so that's easier said than done. We'll mod them instead.

Put the wafers back in the cylinder. They do need to go in the right place, so I hope you kept them in order

What you want to do now is file those protruding wafer tops down so the cylinder is smooth with the key inserted. Making sure the key is fully inserted for the whole process, sand, file or grind the wafers down so the whole assembly is nearly cylindrical. I used a sandpaper cylinder on a Dremel-type tool. It'll look like this when done:

Worth noting is that if you only have one or two wafers that are causing the lock not to work, you could remove the offending wafer and its spring instead.

Without the key, it looks like this now:

Note how these aren't sticking up quite as far as before, but there's still plenty of metal keeping the lock from turning without the key.

Put the cylinder in the lock and play with it to make sure it turns freely. If it doesn't, find where a wafer's still sticking up and fix it.

Put it all back together and enjoy not jiggling your ignition key when it's time to go to work. My column lock works now, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see that Suzuki made it difficult to turn past LOCK to P by mistake. Ask me about push-starting my old KZ750 after leaving the switch in P







292 Posts
Sorry for not posting my fix for the lost spring. After measuring the depth of the hole the spring goes into on the bottom of the tumbler assembly and the ID of the the same hole, I then inserted the tumbler back into the lock housing, inserted the key and measured the amount of movement up and down to help gauge the length the spring needed to be.

Armed with those numbers I was able to find a spring of the approximate strength and diameter but a little longer than needed at my local ACE Hardware. I cut the spring to the length I felt needed and it worked just fine.
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