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Locksmithing/can a mosler vault door be retro fit


QUESTION: I was thinking of buying a mosler safe door from a guy on craigs list.  Says it will fit in a 43" x 84" opening, has a single dial and single handle not a wheel to open.  Stainless just in a small area behind the dial and handle.  I would guess it would not be over 30-40 years old by the plain look of it.  I was wandering if the combo can easily be changed and also if it could be converted to an electronic lock? Door and frame only so easy access to the back of the door.

ANSWER: Hi Wayne,

Would you buy a 30 to 40 year old car based on a "photo" without FIRST having it checked out by a competent mechanic???    Similarly I wouldn't recommend your purchasing a door like this without having it examined by a competent safe technician.

The door appears to be a fire resistive door - my first concern would be that the insulation material is cracked and broken.    The insulation material is structurally part of the strength of the door.    

The opening that it would "fit into" has nothing to do with the fact that it may or may not be a good door - which SHOULD be the more important part.

As far as the lock that is installed, it may be either a key change or hand change.   In either case I would recommend that ALL combo changes be done by a trained, competent safe technician.
As for retrofitting it to a digital lock, while this would allow you to change your own combinations at will, as Mosler tended to use their own proprietary lock designs, chances are some minor modifications might be necessary to allow the use of a digital lock, regardless of brand.    This can be as simple as drilling and tapping new mounting holes to actually having a new mounting plate welded on to the door!

But BEFORE you put the cart in front of the horse, so to speak,  You need to find out IF the door is even worth buying!

Note:    Used doors like this can be had from most vault & safe companies for around $800-$1000 plus any taxes and installation or shipping costs.

Sorry but without having a chance to actually look at the door for you I can't advise you as to whether or not this would be a good buy.     This would definitely be a buyer beware type of deal.

Hopefully it is in really good safe and you are getting a really good deal on it.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Any suggestions on vault/safe companies preferabley in the Midwest. I am in Kansas City area.

Hi Wayne,

While you can check with some local safe companies in the Kansas City area, probably the nearest companies that I would recommend would be:

1.   Frank Zykan Safe and Vault
St. Charles, MO

2.  Hearn Safe & Vault
607 North Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

3.   St. Louis Safe & Vault Co.
P.O. Box 1472
Saint Louis, MO 63043

4.  Underwood Safe & Vault
RR 2 Box 16
Broken Bow, OK 74728

I would guess that all four of these companies are about the same distance from you, you can contact all four of them to see who might have a door that meets your needs and budget.    If you have a trailer to pick a used door up with, you could save any freight fees as well.

Hope this helps,  


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 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. 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 Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

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 Expert 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 and Western Nevada)

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