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Issues with the rancilio md50
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dataoscar
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dataoscar
Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 3
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 2, 2013, 8:41pm
Subject: Issues with the rancilio md50
 

Hello, been a long time lurker of the site and forums.

I own an older(10+ years) MD-50 that until this weekend had been working perfectly. I was getting some inconsistent grinds and wanted to look at the burrs and also do a cleaning.

Disassembled the machine and everything clean, and as I am screwing in the upper burr older I hit a snag and it wont go any further. It seems that maybe the thread has crossed?

I have tried the following:

  • Cleaned the threads with a brush
  • Added a little bit of oil
  • Tried over and over turning counter clockwise until I hear the "click", then retrying, and nothing.

The question is, did I truly cross thread? Anything else I may be able to try.

I am thinking of just grabbing a Mazzer SJ, a new one seems to be cheaper nowadays ($600ish) and used ones come around often in the $300 - $400 range here in Seattle.
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Angman
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Angman
Joined: 7 Apr 2012
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Location: Vancouver BC
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Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 11:53am
Subject: Re: Issues with the rancilio md50
 

I don't know what the issue is but i'd try tp pick up a new (old) mazzer anyway. I also see lots priced reasonably well in the Seattle area.  Just make sure you get a good working one with hopefully new OEM burrs. A lot of the used ones have been used and very abused.
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
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Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 12:24pm
Subject: Re: Issues with the rancilio md50
 

Hi Oscar,

I'd try chasing out the upper burr carriers female threads with a small sewing needle. That would/should dig out any old crud that may possibly be in there.
If you have a small led flashight to illuminate the internal female threads that would be great.

If that doesn't work, you could chase out the threads with the proper sized bottoming tap. There are three types of taps; taper, plug, & bottoming.

Sorry, I don't know the size of the screws., but Google searching I should come up with it.

 
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: Issues with the rancilio md50
 

I have not worked on that grinder but can you get to the "other" side of the thread? Does the hole go all the way through and you can see both sides of the screw hole? If you can, take a good screw and screw it in from the other side of the hole, this will reform the threads to be in line with the good ones that would normally be at the "bottom" of the hole.

If you did cross thread them and you can not access the back side of the hole, you are in a tight spot. It will be hard to get the tap to start straight in the hole again, it will want to follow the now, deformed threads. A tapping jig or a drill press would help a lot. If you don't have a tapping jig, (most people dont" then you can put the tap in the chuck of a drill press and put your burr carrier square to the chuck on the table, this will keep the tap square to the carrier. Depending on how much of the threads are messed up, you may or may not need a bottoming tap, sometimes if it is only the start of the hole a starting tap will work better.

If this all has you scratching your head and wondering just what the heck I am talking about. Get out your yellow pages and find a machine shop or a tapping shop and have them fix it for you for a few bucks. They have the tools and the know how to do the job correctly. At the worst, they will need to drill out the hole and install an insert.

EDIT:
If you do use the drill press, DO NOT TURN IT ON! ONLY turn the chuck by hand, WHEW, that was close!

 
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greglepore
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Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 1:37pm
Subject: Re: Issues with the rancilio md50
 

If you're talking about the carrier itself, I doubt its crossed, you'd almost have to try to crossthread a burr carrier - now a burr screw, that's different :)

Examine carefully-something must be interfering with it-did you remove the burr? If so, is it reinstalled flush? Are you sure something didn't fall into the machine (ie a nut or a screw or something that's causing the burrs to interfere?
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dataoscar
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dataoscar
Joined: 23 Nov 2004
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Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:47am
Subject: Re: Issues with the rancilio md50
 

Thanks for all the replies guys. I researched on using a bottom tap, but I think I did a poor job explaining what is going on with the grinder.

Warning: High resolution/bandwidth images.

So the grinder has the bottom part that holds the bottom burr carrier:

Botton Carrier

I then take the top burr carrier ( also threaded ) :

Top Burr Carrier

And try to screw it on, but it only turns 180 degrees:

No Go :(

I am going to try and run a needle through it to ensure its not crud or something not letting it pass. I contacted a local espresso repair shop, but they mentioned that typically when something gets cross threaded, its expensive to replace the part, and that they would most likely have to order directly from Rancilio.
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greglepore
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Joined: 15 Aug 2004
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Location: se pa usa
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Posted Sat Sep 7, 2013, 5:08am
Subject: Re: Issues with the rancilio md50
 

Brass on brass, yeah, I guess you could cross thread that. I'd try a good machine shop to chase the threads if they're in fact crossed, but it's likely a large size metric thread and may present an issue. Its a shame to toss the grinder for that though. Gotta be fixable, question is, as you've already raised, at what cost? Gotta be cheaper than a SJ, even a cheaper used one, unless you really want an SJ and this is an excuse...
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dataoscar
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dataoscar
Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 3
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Sep 7, 2013, 9:53am
Subject: Re: Issues with the rancilio md50
 

I want my cake and to eat it to =). I need a backup grinder that I can use to make other non-espresso drinks, but for that a smaller grinder would do. The SJ's are nice, and I have been eyeing one for a while.
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,264
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Sun Sep 8, 2013, 7:13am
Subject: Re: Issues with the rancilio md50
 

dataoscar Said:

I am going to try and run a needle through it to ensure its not crud or something not letting it pass.

Posted September 7, 2013 link

Hi Oscar,

It looks to me that I can still see some coffee residue impacted in a couple of spots, & that can be enough to stop the upper burr carrier from screwing down all the way.

After you run a needle around to chase out the threads, you should then use an old toothbrush or similar to brush out the threads spotless.

 
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