How to open a Stern Spike2 pinball machine

In my Pinball 101 pages I describe in a few in a few places how you can open (the backbox) of a pinball machine.
When Stern changed in 2016 their backbox design because they switched from dot matrix displays to screens, they also changed the place of the backbox lock and how it opens.

This page describes how to open the backbox on a newer style of Stern pinball game.

coin door key
First you need the key for the backbox. It should hang on a little hook at the inside of the coindoor.

Stern Iron Maiden backbox lock
One small thing that changed is that the lock isn't positioned at the very top of the backglass, but moved down into the speaker panel.
Place that key in the lock in the center of the speaker panel, above the screen.

Stern Spike2 speaker panel open
Here you see what else changed compared to games in the past. In the past you would first lift the backglass out of the game (using the plastic trim at the bottom). Once the backglass was removed, you could remove the speaker panel.
On the new Stern games the procedure is reversed. The backglass rests on a metal frame and you have to open the speaker panel first, and only then the backglass is unlocked and can be removed.
Do this with two hands. With one hand you hold the backglass in place. Be sure that it won't slide towards the front.
With your other hand, turn the key a quarter and open the speaker panel. It can fold fully flat.
Once the panel is open, you can remove the backglass. Use the plastic trim at the bottom and support it with your other hand.

Stern pinball open backbox
Backglass removed from the game. Now you see well the metal frame where it rests on.

Removing the lockdown bar on a Stern Spike game

Another change in opening a Stern game compared to other manufacturers (Bally Williams / Spooky / JJP) is the lockdown bar locking mechanism.
Traditionally when you open the coindoor, there's a metal latch at the center top that you need to slide to the side.

open doorOn WPC games you slide the yellow handle to the left to unlock the lockdown bar.

Stern changed the lockdown bar design (around 2010 ?) to a less complex design.
The lockdown bar has 2 tabs with a hole. They go to each side of the coindoor.
On each side of the coindoor there's a metal hook. Just clip it loose and the lockdown bar is unlocked.
Removing the bar itself is traditionally then just lifting it horizontally.
The first times you have to get used to it, as you can't see what you're doing. You have to feel with your hands where the metal hooks are. Once you know how it looks like and have released and locked it a few times, it's easy to use.

Stern pinball lockdown bar
The new Stern lockdown bar.

Stern lockdown bar latched Stern lockdown bar unlocked
At the inside of the coindoor, on each side there's a metal locking mechanism. It can be seen in the center of the picture in both locked and unlocked state.