How to Rekey Vario Panniers - A Pictorial

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Grape_Ape, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. Grape_Ape

    Grape_Ape It Feels Good

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    I just re-keyed my new to me Vario cases. The first one went so smooth I grabbed my camera and snapped some photos of the second re-keying.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    Here’s a little pictorial on changing the locks to match your key:<o:p></o:p>
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    Start by removing the three Phillips screws shown here:<o:p></o:p>
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    The latching assembly should then lift right out:
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    Remove the yellow part shown in the center of this photo:
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    Next, use a little screw driver to depress the tiny tab shown at the bottom of this photo. This spring loaded tab holds the cylinder in the barrel:
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
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    Insert your key and remove the cylinder from the barrel (the key will keep the tumblers in place until you are ready to start switching them around):
    [​IMG]
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    This photo shows the removed cylinder. Note how some of the tumblers protrude from the cylinder with the key inserted. Your goal is to rearrange the tumblers in such a manner that none protrude from the cylinder when the key is inserted:
    [​IMG]
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    With the key removed, the tumblers will slide right out as shown. You do not need to change any tumblers that weren’t sticking out. These are already in the right position. This part isn’t as bad as you might think. There are only three different tumblers. They are marked 1, 2, and 3. All you have to do is move them around until you find the right combination. I was lucky enough to have a re-keying kit (BMW part number 51 25 7 698 202). You can still re-key your lock even if you don’t have this kit. Just get as many tumblers as you can in their correct positions. Just leave out the ones that you can’t get right. Note that the tab sticking out at the end opposite the key is not a tumbler. It is the spring loaded tab that holds the cylinder in the barrel. Don’t mess with it. Also, the position just above this locking tab does not get a tumbler. Leave this position empty. The only other thing you need to be concerned about is the tiny spring that drops into each tumbler slot. If you’re careful this spring will stay in place as you move the tumblers around.
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    Here is a photo of the cylinder with all of the tumblers in the correct position. Note how none of the tumblers protrude from the cylinder. You are now ready to reassemble the components in reverse order.
    [​IMG]

    Reinsert the cylinder into the barrel. Turn it until it falls into place and locks:
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    Reinstall the yellow lockout piece:
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    Place the latching assembly back in its original position:
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    Reinstall the three Phillips screws:
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    All done!
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    Locked:
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    Unlocked:
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Thanks for the post and adding to the knowlege pool :thumb
    #2
  3. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Very nicely done!!:thumb

    Jim :brow
    #3
  4. Cyath

    Cyath Impetulant Ignoramus

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    Great job! I just did my cases a month and this is a better DIY than I found elsewhere.
    Hey Mods, this one goes in the GS: Look Here First!!!!! sticky.
    #4
  5. hipnotik

    hipnotik Been here awhile

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    Excellent!
    I have lost the right vario pannier the other day and searching for a used one as a replacement. This thread will be very helpful for me when I get to put the new bag on. :clap
    #5
  6. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv

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    :clap +1

    Don't need it now, but sure would be in the future.

    Thanks
    #6
  7. ajdemma

    ajdemma Been here awhile

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    I am going to do this this weekend. I have one question which is probably obvious, but I figured I'd ask before I have little pieces all over.

    If I want to key the bags to my ignition, in the step below, I pull the cores out with the current key (obviously) and then insert the ignition key? Then the goal is to make it not protrude with the ignition key, correct?

    And what does the re-keying kit provide? Just blanks to start from scratch, versus re-arranging from the old key?

    #7
  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    You are correct. Pull the tumbler out with the original key, then use your ignition key to find the right plates so as many as possible are not sticking out.

    Here are a few of my shots:

    [​IMG]
    Original key. the bottom plate holds it in the lock, and will always stick out.

    [​IMG]
    With ignition key. See how some plates are not flush?

    [​IMG]
    This is what some ignorant dealers do to make different key fit.

    The kit comes with a bunch of plates so you have enough to fill all the slots. Generally you are fine with 3-4 plates in there, even just 2 will work, but you can usually get many more.

    Jim :brow
    #8
  9. ajdemma

    ajdemma Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info.
    #9
  10. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

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    Nice work Grape_Ape :thumb
    #10
  11. ajdemma

    ajdemma Been here awhile

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    About 10 minutes of work. I ended up just pulling 2 plates that stuck out with the ignition key. Swapping around anything else didn't work.

    Interestingly, with those two plates removed, the old key and the ignition key both work. I can't decide if this is useful (having a spare :thumb) or a problem (potentially many keys now open the locks :(:).

    Anyone have some extra 1's or 3's? I have four 2's I don't need.

    Andy
    #11
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    With thousands of combinations, it is unlikely that will be an issue.

    Hell, my jesse bags are opened with keys that only have 3-4 different versions. I opened 4 friend's bags at the last MOA for fun. I am not worried about motorcyclists, the vast majority are honest.

    Jim :brow
    #12
    Knee Dragger likes this.
  13. ajdemma

    ajdemma Been here awhile

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    Now that I think about it, there are not that many keys. With six plates, there are 3^6 or 729 different keys. Removing two plates leaves four, so there are 3^4 or 81 different key combinations. So basically it's nine times more likely a random key will work now, but still only a 1 in 81 chance.

    Or my math is screwy.

    But bottom line I agree on the honesty issue and am not worried.

    #13
  14. Jlsa

    Jlsa Been here awhile

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    I just wanted to say thanks to "Grape Ape" for the great pictorial post. I just re-keyed my new (to me) top case and it went very well following your pictures. Having never done this before it took me 20 minutes but that's including cleaning and lubing the lock too. It'll be nice having all three cases using the ignition key.

    Good job! :thumb

    Jlsa.
    #14
  15. demomanmc

    demomanmc n00b

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    Thanks for the great info. You saved me $50 which the local dealer was going to charge me to do this. I have an extra 1 and 2 tumbler plate, does anybody have a couple of 3s??
    #15
  16. billyt53

    billyt53 Phast Phossil

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    I just rekeyed my panniers to my ignition key and in the process managed to loose one of the tiny springs under one of the plates. Didn't realise this untill after I reinserted the cylinder into the pannier.:eek1:eek1 I couldn't reopen the pannier as one of the plates wasn't returning when I pulled the key out. Had a frustrating time banging the pannier untill it would open. I looked around to try and find the spring, even tried scouring the floor with a strong magnet to no avail. In the end I just left that one plate out. Still works well though. :D

    Just take it easy when pulling the plates out or you'll loose the springs!!!!

    Thanks for sharing this tip.
    #16
  17. GSer

    GSer n00b

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    With your help I rekeyed my top case to match the ignition. Thank YOU!

    That got me thinking. I have one key for my ignition (and one plastic key). And two keys came with my top case. Do you know if you can re-key the ignition to match the keys that came with the top case?

    -Rene:beer
    #17
  18. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    What bike?

    Jim :brow
    #18
  19. pavement pounder

    pavement pounder The road to Paradise is "UN-Paved"

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    The dealer tried to scare me into getting them to setting combo for my varios key kit. they said it was very difficult and tricky and frustrating and, and...

    and I said ok then, i'll try it myself then. It's probably as trick as changing oil or inflating tires. Those are hard things to do so if you dont wash your own bike, or fill it with gas by yourself, then dont try to rekey. I you can do those things, then go ahead. Of course, if you shake a lot, then it might be hard to handle the micro sized springs but then a child can do that part with adult supervision. (no kiding!)

    The only frustrating part was that i didnt read the instructions properly and put all 8 tumblers in. Found out that the key wont come out. Fargggg!!!

    Ok take out 3 screws, get a small screwdriver,push the last fake tumbler a bit and presto. Be "un-stupid" and put it back like the instructions say and save yourself some buck$.

    CB.
    #19
  20. flyinon2

    flyinon2 Bikes, Blues ...

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    Great photos and instructions! I just bought a set of used vario bags and just re-keyed the locks to my key using the instructions in this thread!

    Thanks!
    #20