Locksmithing/safe lock


QUESTION: I have an old safe with a Yale 3 wheel combination lock calledvanguard VS-200.  This safe was in the house we recently purchased, left by the previous owner. It was open. i already open the safe from inside to look inside the lock. The problem i can't know the combination numbers . should i buy new wheels and replace it ?

ANSWER: Hello Ali,

The "Vanguard" series of safes were specifically made for Sears.  They haven't been available in probably 30 years now.

Also Yale has not made safe locks for at least the same period of time, so buying "new" wheels is simply not an available option.

While a new lock can be installed on your safe, I doubt that it needs it.

My recommendation is for you to take the container - or the door, if it will lift off of its hinges - to a local safe company to have the combination either recovered or reset.  This is a fairly simple task for a trained safe technician, and the cost will be significantly less than buying a new lock.

Check your yellow pages under "safes & vaults" for companies in your area.    If you don' have any, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know and/or recommend in your area.

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

QUESTION: Please let me know what store is near to my place...My adress is dearborn michigan .48128.
Any idea how much it costs?

Hi Ali,

possibly the nearest company that I personally know and would recommend are:

Metro / Anchor Lock & Safe
586-755-3570         Orest Kalba
2627 E. 8 Mile Rd
Warren, MI  48091

Cost would vary from shop to shop, so you will have to discuss any pricing with Orest.

ASSUMING that the lock doesn't have to be replaced, the cost should be between $25-$50.

You can call him up to discuss the project with him, though as long as the safe door is open, it should be a fairly easy job for him to accomplish.    If the safe is locked up, with an unknown combination - that is an entirely different matter!

Hope this helps,


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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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