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Thread: Rancilio MD50 project

  1. #1
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    Rancilio MD50 project

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    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.

    questions!

    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!

    Al.

  2. #2
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    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.

    Cheers
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  3. #3
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    Thanks artman!

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    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.

    Cheers
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    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. #6
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    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.

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    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...

    Mal.

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    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; 1st June 2015 at 10:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    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!,

    Al.
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    Update:

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

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    Some pics

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

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    image.jpg
    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.

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    image.jpg

    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)

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    image.jpg
    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.

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    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.

  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Regarding a suitable grease mate, head off to Supercheap Autos or similar and grab a small tube of Lithium Grease. Use very sparingly on the wearing surfaces after which it will last a very long time...

    Mal.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alsd View Post
    image.jpg
    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.
    Yep , I'm struggling with them as well..
    Last edited by Damhooligan; 2nd June 2015 at 05:32 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by alsd View Post

    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?

    I would suggest to save your money and don't bother blasting it.
    If mine was as good as yours, I would just give it a rub with a fine grid sanding paper and recoat it with paint.
    The original paint is still good, no need to remove it with blasting, all you need to do is create scratches so the new paint will stick.
    There also wont be a need for primer, as the old paint will take over that function.
    Then just buy a spraycan of you color choice, and have fun

    If you want a glossy finish, or if you feel you want to paint 2k paint. (paint with hardener)
    Go to your local autobarn or supercheapautos and they can help you.
    It is possible to get 2k paint from a spraycan.

    I may be a painter, but am currently without workshop.
    So I am just going to use cans.
    Which is perfectly fine for the job.

    In my case , the paint is severely chipped and peeling off. (I'm trying to upload a picture)
    I need the level out those paint edges for it to become smooth again, so I might need a coarser grid sanding paper.
    Then I will apply some primer to see it it is all leveled out , and to fill the scratches created by the coarser sanding paper.
    Then I wil sand it again with a finer grid , ready to be coated.
    I am just planning of getting matt black , as that's the original color.


    20150602_181728_zpswgosar0p.jpg

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    Righto,

    All done as of this afternoon HOWEVER, I stopped at just cleaning it up, new burrs and a thorough reassembly (only one washer left over at the end, feeling quite proud of that)

    Toom your advice Dam and didn't blast, hell I didn't even paint it. Didn't polish the plastic etc. I kinda like the rough and ugly nature of it now

    After assembly this arvo I've only had time to zero the grind and then try a few test grinds. I'll be going for the right grind in the morning with brekky.

    The only real trouble i had was:

    1. Those bloody 10mm nuts on the bottom of the doser. Ended up taking Mals advice and heading to bunnings and getting a set of tube spinners that I'll probably never use again but it got the job done. It was still tight even using these so yeah, enjoy.

    2. The wiring. When I unplugged the relay block, I labelled that wiring in a way that I thought would be good for reassembling in the correct connections. I used a black texter to label the wires and their connectors, I didn't realise that my texter rubbed off very easily (I thought it was a permanent one. It wasn't). Took a bit of guess work, looking at wiring diagrams and trial and error but I think I have it right now. It works anyway.....

    3. When reassembling, I accidentally had a wire between the stainless body and the base plate, this ended up in shorting out the unit after I screwed the body together and then the wire shorted on the stainless.... Be careful of wires getting stuck!

    apart from that it was pretty easy although I did chicken out and not really desconnect the wiring and fully remove the motor etc. I was able to clean it up well and I'm happy with where it's at. More importantly, the internals and all bits that touch coffee or store coffee were fully cleaned and restored to as new condition so there should be no stale coffee ruining my fresh cups in the morning!

    anyone needs some help I'd be happy to provide any advice from my experience.

    Al.

  20. #20
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    Day one of use report for those that are interested.

    good machine, naturally, no problems with power, no bean is any kind of match for this bohemoth, grinding away with ease.

    after reassembling I've heard a scraping sound when the burr assembly rotates. I've narrowed it down to the burr assembly touching the base of the grind chamber when it rotates. There was a wear mark in the chamber but I'm not too concerned, in fact I reckon it'll be good as it'll provide a place for the ground stuff to be swept up and sent away.

    getting the grind right will take a kilo or two I think. Trial and error, to be expected with any newbie starting to grind their own I expect.

    Regarding the auto function, not really too fussed with it. I just switch on, chuck some beans in the hopper, click the start switch and grind away till empty, then switch off. No big deal.

    Biggest irrit is the fact that so much coffee stays in the chute before the doser meaning that I'll need to get a "device" of some description (fancy description for a bent coat hanger) and scrape out the chute to avoid stale coffee staying in the chute and then ruining my first shot of the day.

    once the coffee makes it out of the chute into the doser, it seems easy enough to empty to doser and get into the portafilter however there is a fair bit left over in the doser and it feels like a lot of wasteage.

    So, all in all, for absolute overkill for a house machine that makes about 4-6 coffees a day, I'm pretty happy. Considering my constrained budget and he fact that all up I think I'm in it for about 180, I have a grinder that's going to last as long as I am alive I think and it can handle anything I throw at it.

    id be happy to hear any stories that make this a bit more efficient to use from other MD40/50/80 users.

    The mrs hates it as she's not to pretty but I love it. It's like having a race car to get the milk from the shops
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  21. #21
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    And when I say "she's not too pretty", clearly I meant the grinder, NOT the mrs..... Should she ever read this I had a laugh



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