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Question
My dad bought an old Victor Safe with a Yale lock and the safe is already open so he opened the back of lock to find the combination and saw that the pins are in the numbers 70,49,70. So from other answers on this site we both tried 4 turns right to 70, 3 turns left to 49, then 2 turns left to 70 and right turn but nothing happens. Is there something I am missing??

Answer
Hi Daniel,

There are ONLY three reasons that a safe lock will not work correctly, in order they are:

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

Two things that I never recommend are:
1.  Reading information on the internet (especially regarding old safes) and assuming that it applies to your safe, and
2.  Lock disassembly as a DIY project.

The problem with item 1 is that if the info does NOT apply to your lock, then you've simply wasted your time.   As Yale literally made dozens and dozens of different types of combination locks, many of which do not operate similarly, the chances that the info you located may not apply directly to your lock are significant.
Second, "IF" the info was correct, if you have interpreted the information incorrectly, then regardless of if you have the correct numbers it possibly won't dial correctly.   (operator errors).  And lastly, many times due to age, wear & tear, alignment issues, etc. etc. etc., the numbers indicated on the wheels may not be the actual combination for the lock.    It is NOT uncommon for safe techs to have to adjust the combination that is actually set on the lock, so that the numbers the customer requested will actually work when the lock is dialed correctly.

Also, the possibility that there may be an actual mechanical issue with the lock, which doesn't allow it to operate correctly when the combination is dialed, must also be taken into consideration.   In general, we recommend ANNUAL maintenance of safe locks, when used in commercial applications, and at least every 3-5 years when used in residential applications.    It isn't uncommon to see locks which probably haven't been serviced in decades if at all.    As Victor safes haven't been made since around 1955, the possibility that the lock hasn't been serviced in at least 60 or more years is very likely.

This is why I always recommend having the safe serviced, and checked for proper operation prior to use, when ever you obtain a new safe - regardless of age.    At a minimum it will ensure that there are no problems, and at worst can identify any possible lock problems which may need to be addressed.

At this point I would recommend that you have the bolt work and lock checked by a safe technician from a local safe company.    Check your local yellow pages under "safes & vaults" for a local company.   IF you don't have one, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I can see if I might know of and/or recommend someone in your area.

Sorry I can't be of more help at this point, but based on your description, even I would need to see the lock to find out what issues or problems exist that keep it from operating correctly.

Hope this helps,  

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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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