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Rancilio MD50 project

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  • Rancilio MD50 project

    Hi guys/gals,

    so, mission impossible has been somewhatsuccessful in terms of finding a grinder in the 150 buck area. I got an old MD50 off gumtree today and have just got it home.

    i bought it sight unseen (saw one picture, she looked a bit rough but I thought that these things are pretty much bulletproof so if there's any issues then I can fix). Get the behemoth home and find she's a 50. Ok, so it's overkill for home but hey, the mrs constrained my budget and worked to that so here we are.

    so, overall condition is rough, dirty but works ok. Was given a grid demo and she's ok. When looking inside, as predicted it is nearly totally gummed up with old grind and oils.

    So, I want to embark on the mission to refurbish but for now I'll be happy to just clean up the burrs and get it working without contaminating my coffee with old stale crappy taste.


    1. What do you guys recommend using to clean the parts with? Soaking in backflush stuff or is there a dedicated cleaner for this?

    2. I see the manual in this section of the forums and that is great but is there a workshop manual with full breakdown schematics or is it a case of pull her apart and simply reverse the process?

    3. I saw a thread on here of a guy who did a full refurb and want to do the same, have many questions regarding cleaning, mods and painting. Anyone here know of some good info resources? Google pulls up some threads on similar forums however nothing really detailed.

    4. Any other tips, suggestions and help much appreciated.....

    pics ca to follow soon!


  • #2
    You can clean parts using black flush detergent but dry the burrs thoroughly as they will develop rust spots, I experienced this with cimbali flat burrs.



    • #3
      Thanks artman!


      • #4
        Re taking it apart, if you can't find any info just take it easy, be careful and take lots photos. They are generally fairly simple devices.

        Note that the nut/bolt securing the burr carrier to the motor shaft is generally a left hand thread.



        • #5
          Thanks Atman,
          Have pulled it apart due to the horrible amount of oil and grind. She's going straight for the full tart up.

          Have the burrs out, bottom off and am now working to get the top cover off so I can repaint the grey parts. The 10mm nuts recessed under the dose that hold the top cover on are proving to be a challenge. Saw the other thread on here and have been following it but these nuts, man what a shitty design. My spanner is too fat to get in there and no socket will get in either.

          For now the aim is solely cosmetic and will only be painting, polishing and installing new burrs. I habe no garage so it's all on the dining room table. The minus not long until the treasurer cracks it and puts the kybosch on the whole adventure!

          Pics to follow but yeah, I'm at the mercy of burrs to be delivered and these bloody 10mm nuts!


          • #6
            You could grind down a cheap spanner to make it thinner or use a bicycle cone wrench, but from memory they are 13mm or so.

            Good idea with pics and a write up, will be good to show off your works and no doubt be helpful to others that do a similar thing.



            • #7
              Another alternative with this sort of issue, is to either locate a suitably sized Tube Spanner, or make one yourself....
              Once you have it, it can become part of the grinder's tool-kit...



              • #8
                I have a lot of similarities with your project...

                Also bought it off Gumtree.
                Also discovered it was an md50
                Also very dirty, but working.

                Im also planning to take it apart for a full clean.

                Atm i took most of it apart.
                Im stuck at the removal of the doser as i don't have a socket set.

                Once that is done in pretty much got the whole thing dissembled.
                Im already dreading putting the whole lot back together...

                One of the reasons for the full dissemble is so i can repaint the black bits, the paint is flaking off.
                Im a spray painter by trade so that will be the easiest part.
                Last edited by Damhooligan; 1 June 2015, 11:22 PM.


                • #9
                  G'day Dam,

                  i didnt realise your your besst turned out to be a 50 too! Well there you go!

                  yes it seems nearly identical what's happened!

                  my burrs are arriving today according the Auspost tracking (got them from a place in Sydney, can send you the details if you want) and it's going to be hard to to just clean it up and reassemble it with out painting it! I will however resist and push forward.

                  being a painter, you would know how to do this properly! How would you go about it? I'm thinking of bead blasting the old paint off, cleaning up with acetone then I'm a bit stuck as to the paint to use and the prep. Will you be doing a primer and then colour and a clear? What kind of paint? I have no booth or even a workshop so it'll be off to a shop to get it blasted then painting in the backyard for me. I fear I'm at the mercy of cans. Any suggestions?

                  For the nuts I've borrowed a skinny 10mm socket and will be giving that s burl today, if no joy then I'll go with Mals suggestion of a tube spanner (thanks Mal).

                  Again, I have no workshop (all being done in the didn't get room table) so a bench grinder to polish the stainless steel silver bits may need to be done out of house......

                  also, anyone have ideas on the lube for the microswitches for the doses mechanism? Will a run of the mill grease be ok for this or a little thick?

                  good luck!,



                  • #10

                    The "Skinny" 10mm wasn't skinny enough.


                    • #11
                      Some pics

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                      Burrs bits. This is after a quick clean up with screwdriver just to get the caked on oil off. Was filthy.


                      • #12
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                        Bottom of the doser. The offending bastard nuts can be seen. So too can the doser mechanism. My previous question re lube for this and these microswitches releases to this mechanism.


                        • #13
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                          Just ts another pic of the internals. When trying to remove the top cover (on the bottom of the pic) I stupidly removed the 3 Allen head bolts that are surrounding the burr assembly (the ones recessed into the top cover) and as I did then heard a BANG. Al didn't realise these were the 3 bolts holding the mammoth motor in place. (Dummkopf)


                          • #14
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                            A little outside pic showing the condition of the whole thing. Hoping to polish this tinted plastic up. Hopper in is similar condition with mild hazing.


                            • #15
                              I have some pics of the top before I pulled the burr assembly out but it's on my phone and I'm not sure how to upload here (won't let me select a file from my pic gallery, sends me to documents) so maybe I'll email them to myself and upload later but they showed just how much crud was in this thing.