Cannot open gas door on 1988 XJ6

I am working on a friend’s 1988 XJ40 after a multi-year outdoor storage (6 - 8 years of sitting idle outside) and I am unable to get the fuel filler door to open. I tried pushing or pulling the small white lever inside the trunk that is under the filler door solenoid assembly but this does not accomplish anything. I replaced the fuse that is near the underside of the filler door and I have looked at the power on the various pins in the gas door relay socket. Today I tried spraying a lot of penetrating oil under various parts of the fuel filler door edge. I do have power on one leg of the fuse socket when I remove the fuse and check with a VOM.

BTW, I was told that the fuel door is supposed to release if you push down on it for two seconds. When I tried this the fuel door does not move when depressed. I.E. When I push down on the fuel door, there is no downwards movement at all.

Any other suggestions would be most welcome.

Sounds like aot of corrosion has locked the release. Can you get some pb blaster to run down the locking pin?

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I sprayed it all down yesterday with penetrating oil so I will see if that has had any positive effect when I go back over to my shop today.

I dont know if these help bit if you zoom in on one you can see the tiny pin, whis has some rust on it. Didn’t look to hard but I can’t see anyway to free the pin from down below,without smashing the assembly where the whote release is.89 xj40

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Way different system to the 94!
Looking at that, maybe with enough penetrating oil down that hole a repeated “push down” will eventually free it up?

Thanks for the detailed photos David. That helps a lot to be able to see what I am dealing with.


I have heard that some people get rid of it and glue a magnet to keep it closed

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