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HOWTO: Re-key 1200GS Vario cases. Part 1.


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A while ago I bought a used set of Vario cases for my 1200GS, the boxes did not come with a key... There are few nice writeups in the Interwebs on how to rekey older R1150 cases or the 1200RT cases but I didn't find anything for the GS cases.


Well, today I just decided to see how the locks might come apart and what would it take to rekey them to my ignition key.


It was as easy at pie. Here's a short howto for anyone who might need to do the same same job.


You open up the case and open these 3 screws to pull the lock assembly from the frame of the case:




Then you can turn around the the assy to see the bottom of the lock cylinder. Remove the yellow plastic tab by wiggling it out.

Here you see the spring loaded metal tab at the end of the lock cylinder, you need to press it into the cylinder to pull the lock out.




I used a small screwdriver to push in that tab... real easy, no sweat at all.




This is how the lock cylinder looks like with no key in. All the tumblers are extended out and are held in place only by the grease, don't lose them.




And this is how mine looked with my incorrect key in the lock.

Three of the tumblers are correct and are flush with cylinder (green) but other three are "wrong" so they stick out (red).

The seventh slot was empty with no tumbler in it (pink).

The retaining tab at the end is marked with blue arrow, it's different from the tumblers, leave that alone.



The easiest way to "rekey" would be just to pull out all the tumblers that are wrong. The less tumblers in the lock the more "generic" the lock becomes and more and more keys will work in it.


The tumblers can be simply pushed out from the lock.




With each tumbler there is a small spring. Don't lose any of these.




Part 2 to follow.




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Part 2 is actually going to be really short, the rekeying is almost done by now.


The easies way to "rekey" would be just to pull out all the tumblers that don't agree with your key. This is what I've done here




You can buy a kit of tumblers from the BMW dealer to key the lock for pretty much any key, I suppose. But I just took the three tumblers I had pulled out and started to try them at different slots to see if I can make some of them work for my key in a new location.

Low and behold, it turned out I could re-arrange all six original tumblers to rekey the lock perfectly for my existing key!



Notice how all six tumblers are perfectly flush with the lock cylinder.


Only thing left to do is apply some new water proof grease on the lock cylinder and push it back into the plastic lock frame. Again you need to push in that retainer tab to make the cylinder slide into its frame.


End result, a lock that's now perfectly keyed to my old ignition key.








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