Locksmithing/mosler home safe

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Question
QUESTION: HI,TERRY ANDEASEN.
THANK YOU FOR ANY AND ALL HELP YOU CAN GIVE MR.
I HAVE A MOSLER HOME SAFE SER# 19863-7 DON'T SEE A MODEL NUMBER
ON THE TAGE OUT SIDE THE SAFE FRONT DOOR.
BUT INDIDE 302-402 GROUP2  520262 PLANT 1  965053  REC Y5611   BP-280.
WHEN YOU TURN THE DIAL IT DOESN'T ALWAY OPEN THE DOOR.
THIS IS A 3 WHEEL DIAL.YOU HAVE TO DIAL 3,4,5,TIMES TO OPEN THE SAFE.
DOES ANY OF THE NUMBER MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU TO TELL ME WHATS WRONG AND WHAT PARTS I MIGHT NEED TO BUY.
         THANK YOU
         JULIE YABO

ANSWER: Hi Julie,

Your safe was made during the late 1960's (1965-1969), the tag indicating the 302-402 is concerning the actual lock.   If you have a three wheel lock, it would be a model 302.

There are ONLY three reasons that a safe lock won't unlock, in order, they are:

1.  Incorrect dialing sequence, operator errors
2.  Incorrect combination, wrong numbers
3.  Mechanical problems.

As you ARE able to occasionally open the safe, I would assume that the combination numbers that you have are correct - or at least reasonably close to correct.

This would indicate that you are either making a  dialing error or the lock has some mechanical issues.

The dialing sequence for this lock is as follows:
4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right slowly, until the dial stops (should be around 80).

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the INDIVIDUAL number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.    For instance if your first number is 50, you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number 50 arrives at the index mark.

As your safe is between 40 to 50 years old, chances are it hasn't been serviced in quite a while.   Safe locks require regular maintenance to operate correctly.    If you are dialing it correctly and it still gives you problems, then it is time to have it cleaned, serviced and the combination reset accurately.

Chances are you don't need to buy any replacement parts, however without inspecting the lock to find out what your problem actually is, I can't discount this possibility.

Check your yellow pages out for a local safe company (NOT a locksmith company) to have their trained safe technician inspect and service the lock on your safe.    If you can't find a local company, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I might know in your area.





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

QUESTION: I HAVE THIS SAFE MANY YEARS AND HAVE OPENED AND CLOSED IT MANY TIMES.
IT ALWAYS WORKED. I'M A RETIRED ALARM AND LOCK INSTALLER.
IF THE THREE WHELL SYSTEM IS DEFECTIVE I COULD CHANGE IT.
NUMBER IS  302-402   SER# 19863-7 MOSLER.
IF YOU COULD TELL ME WHERE TO BY THE PARTS AND THE PARTS NUMBER.
I CAN CHANGE THE PARTS
THIS SAFE HAS THREE WHEELS AND THE BOLT TO CLOSE DOOR IS ROUND.
I FOUND A 302-302 ON THE INTERNET BUT THE BOLT TO CLOSE IT IS FLAT.
IF YOU COULD DIRECT ME IN ANY DIRECTION TO GET PARTS FOR THIS UNIT.
302-402 THE PART NUMBER.
THANK YOU
         JULIE YABO

Answer
Hi Julie,

As Mosler has been out of business for almost 15 years, new parts are NOT readily available.   You would have to simply luck out to find someone with a brand new lock sitting on their shelf.   Which means that any parts available are going to be used locks.    

I have used locks in stock that I could sell you, however, my original answer still stands.   Chances are you don't need a different lock, your lock needs to be serviced AND more importantly - INSPECTED - for any problem areas.

The lock bolt on ALL Mosler 302-402 locks is a rectangle block (possibly flat - per your description).    If the locking bolt extension OFF OF THE LOCK is round, it is an addition and NOT part of the lock.

While I understand that you are a retired lock and alarm installer, this does not mean that you have any training on safe locks and/or their operation, which is why I recommended you contact a local safe company (NOT a locksmith company) to have them inspect and/or service your lock.    I also understand that you probably want to save money by doing it yourself, however (based on your comments), its obvious that you don't understand the basic lock operation.
Please understand that I'm not being disrespectful here, I'm simply stating a fact.    It doesn't matter or not whether I'm one of the best safe technicians in the world or not - I am not an alarm installer, which means if I had a problem I would contact you and/or you would recommend that I contact a local professional alarm company for me to contact to solve my problem.

What was it Clint Eastwood said in Dirty Harry - "A man's GOT to know his limitations".

Without having any knowledge "IF and/or WHAT" the problem is with your lock, you are assuming that by simply changing the lock out, it will solve the problem.    I'm trying to help AND save you money, by not wasting it on a lock that you possibly don't need.

Again, chances are your lock ONLY needs service.   Having it inspected and serviced is going to cost you LESS than the cost of a replacement lock.

If you decide that you want to change the lock out, I would be happy to sell you a lock, however, as they are used locks there is no warranty, and no return policy.    I will endeavor to ensure that you get a good quality lock, cleaned, serviced and tested, but once it leaves my shop it's up to you to ensure proper installation and operation.

Let me know what you would like to do.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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".

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

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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