Posted Thu Dec 6, 2012, 6:59pm Subject: Gaggia Classic modified with Rancilio wand (two methods)
As with many other Gaggia Classic owners I decided to mod my classic with the Rancilio wand.
While reading the forums I learned of an adapter available from espressoparts.com (part v-529) that would adapt the Rancilio wand directly to the body of the Classic destroying/modifying the original wand.
I was a bit leery of damaging my original wand by removing the nut to adapt the new Rancilio wand onto the machine so I purchased the adapter.
A few notes regarding this mod- It's a very simple mod to do but your original wand WILL meet its end when removing the retention nut (unless you have a tubing bender that can bend the tubing without damaging it). Also, when removing the wand from machine be VERY careful not to snap off the copper tubing inside the machine by torquing it from the outside. You can easily open the machine and reach inside with an open-end wrench to avoid damage.
I installed my new Rancilio wand using the adapter. What I noticed was that the adapter made the wand approximately 1/2" lower to the counter. Not a whole lot, but it did make getting a filled pitcher a bit tougher to get under the wand. The more annoying thing about the adapter seemed to be that the wand was now fixed into one position and could not be moved. If I loosened the nut to allow the wand to move, the connection would leak significantly. You may be able to find an o-ring that would solve this problem, but I didn't try.
In the mean time I ended up finding a killer deal on a used Gaggia Coffee. The Coffee has a nearly identical wand to the Classic and it just so happened that the wand on the Coffee was damaged.
I removed the wand from the Coffee and cut the tubing to salvage the nut. I then put the newly salvaged nut on the Rancilio wand and mounted it onto the Classic. I then mounted the now unused Classic wand onto the Coffee.
In practice the Rancilio wand does seem like a improvement over the original Gaggia Classic wand. I also got the Rancilio wand on sale through espressoparts so I couldn't really pass it up.
I'd recommend this mod to anyone looking to improve their milk frothing- it's very simple and relatively cheap. The only drawback is that the original wand will be damaged during the swap. I don't recommend using the adapter- it just didn't work nearly as well as I'd hoped.
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 5:02pm Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic modified with Rancilio wand (two methods)
Well there is no "ball joint" as there is with other machines....if you don't use the adapter it does allow the wand to rotate back and forth as the original gaggia wand did. If you use the adapter the wand becomes fixed in one place and doesn't move.
I do not want others to think that use of this wand is difficult. If you try to use the adapter, then the O ring is still up in the Gaggia and seals the adapter to Gaggia, but the adapter to wand will leak. If you tighten it, then it will not pivot. I have not tried the adapter, but that is my guess based on the parts, so I apologize if this is not correct. I have installed the wand shown and it is a 15 minute easy job if the male fitting slides off of the Gaggia wand.
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 7:20pm Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic modified with Rancilio wand (two methods)
I'm sure you area exactly right. The o-ring didn't fall out when I removed the gaggia wand so I didn't mess with it to put the adapter back in. I'm sure the lack of an o-ring is why the wand leaks when loose with the adapter. It didn't matter a whole lot to me because I didn't like how low that adapter made the wand to the counter- made it hard to get my pitcher out without spilling milk.
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