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Antique Safes/diebold 180-55


I was lucky enought to get a FREE Diebold cash safe for the price of moving it.  It was only $150 dollars and should be perfect for storage of high dollar pistols of mine and my customers.  There are two smaller locking compartments inside one was combo other was like safe deposit box with 2 keys, both were locked open and I was able to figure out the combo on one and will mess with the keyed one lated.

My problem is the three bolts do not seem to go outward and the dial mechanism has a lot of play in it because it is used to operate the big brass ring that move the operating bolts.  I have the combination I was told but I cannot get the bolts to lock and want to remove the dial and make a new bearing or bushing for it.

I do not want to ruin anything so was wondering how to remove the dial and get to the bearing or bushing
And replace it so hopefully removing the play will help with the operation of the bolts.

Andy what are your thoughts sir?  I have photos etx.


Hi Richard,

I'm not sure I would use the term "LUCKY" with regards for the safe or spending the $150 for several reasons.    While it may SEEM like a good buy, there are several reasons that the seller probably came out ahead on this one.

The Diebold 180-55 was known as the "Diabolical Diebold".    This is NOT a lock that I would recommend your having worked on by ANY locksmith and even most safe technicians, so I'm surely NOT going to recommend your working on it as a DIY project.
My three service technicians were working on one of these doors today partially for training - I was around the corner laughing my ass off (sorry about the euphemism) while they tried to figure out the operation of the lock.

As far as offering advice or training for this lock - sorry but there simply isn't enough time or space in this site.   A basic safe servicing class takes about 1 week, WITH the pre-requisite that you have already had at least basic locksmith training.    Working on this lock would be considered an advanced class.

Second item - this is a discontinued lock - new parts haven't been available from Diebold for somewhere between 5-10 years now.   The only parts available are salvaged used parts.   Even used parts for this lock are going to be VERY expensive.   A used lock can go for around $500 with the dial & dial ring around $150 or so.

Removing the dial is relatively easy, if you have the lock back plate removed.   The dial screws into the drive wheel, and is held in place by means of a spline key.   Pull the spline key out and unscrew the dial from the drive wheel.

If the spline key is broken or you are not able to pull it, then you will need the services of a TRAINED, professional safe technician to service this safe.    Even if you disassemble the lock, I still DO NOT recommend your attempting to service this lock.

As I indicated earlier, this is NOT a lock that I would recommend a DIY project, or by a locksmith or by the majority of safe technicians.    You want someone who is VERY familiar with this lock.   Service & labor charges could easily be in the $350 to $500 range to get it operational.

I always hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is one of those cases where I wish you had run this one buy me first before buying it.

Good luck with your new project.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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