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Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
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bmrowe
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Joined: 1 Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Location: ELM GROVE
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 7, 2012, 8:46pm
Subject: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

Hi all,

This has been a great forum for learning. After much reading, I decided to pick up a Rancilio Silvia off ebay. It is a V1 and has a video showing it running and a view inside here:
Click Here (www.youtube.com)

The seller completely refurbished the machine, replacing gaskets and descaling.


I received the video after making the purchase, so I am wondering if you guys see anything worrisome. I see the inside, and it seems to look fine, but I am not totally sure what to be looking for. One other thing I noticed is that the portafilter doesn't appear to be from rancilio, am I wrong? I would think that when you buy a complete Silvia, you would get the appropriate brand portafilter.

Any input would be great. Do you guys see any red flags?

Thanks!
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JGG
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JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 1,375
Location: Kentucky, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Hottop D w/HTC+TC4C
Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 5:13am
Subject: Re: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

I noticed that the wire connectors to the thermostats and heating element have been reworked, which is good.  It is common for the white plastic connector housings to eventually become brittle and fall apart at these locations.  But on your machine the white housings have been replaced by black heat-shrink.

This version of the Silvia does not have an adjustable OPV (at least not one that is easily adjustable).  I wouldn't stress over this, but as you fall further into the rabbit hole of espresso you may wish to get your hands on a PF pressure gauge and check the brew pressure.

You may also find that your shots run a little on the hot side.  Somewhere during the vintage of your machine there was a change made to the brew thermostat.  The older machines used a stat with a higher setpoint (110C vs 100C, maybe??).  CraigA will know the specifics and will probably chime in.

Jim
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,670
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 5:41am
Subject: Re: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

I don't see anything out of order with the machine.  

Like Jim said above, the insulators are easily broken due to age and hardening after several years and yours has had them replaced with shrink tubing.

The PF is hard to say but it makes no difference to the operation of the machine. It has a single spout on the PF which is, to me, easier to use than the double spout. After all, how many times are you going to split shots VS run them both into the same cup anyway?

The biggest improvement you can do that machine is to add a PID to it, that goes a LONG way toward taming the temp swings that all SBDU machines suffer from when equipped with click style thermostats.

Don't forget, you NEED a good espresso quality BURR grinder to use that machine... unless you use pods (then you will need the pod basket). You need to adjust the grind at the espresso machine, there is no way to do this at a store. Not to mention that the coffee goes stale in about 15 minutes after you grind it.

 
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,350
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 6:57am
Subject: Re: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

I would call it a "V.1b" because the true V.1 models had a bolt-in heating element that was separate from the boiler. They were prone to leaking. The model numbering in "versions" was a consumer tag-on and was never official from Rancilio as far as I know. Additionally, that is not an original portafilter handle for those early Rancilios.

 
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bmrowe
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Joined: 1 Jun 2012
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Location: ELM GROVE
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 7:04am
Subject: Re: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

Great input guys.

In terms of my next steps, I actually picked up an MD 50 grinder off craigslist for $150 locally. It was a little gunked up, but I took the burrs apart, cleaned them, and am pretty happy with how it grinds. Looking back, I do wish it was doserless as I will never really be making more than a few shots at a time.

I have been investigating PID options. Either from Jim or Auber. However, I was unsure the year the machine was made in (until I get the machine in my hands), and I think there are different kits for different years right? At least with Auber, they have one PID with a screw RTD sensor for Silvia's made between 2000 and 2006. Is this machine somewhere in that timeline?

Thanks again guys, this forum is great.
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PJK
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PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
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Location: Shingle Springs CA
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Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
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Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 1:10pm
Subject: Re: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

Hi Bryan,

Welcome to the forum.

I think you did pretty well with the grinder.  Like you, I'm no fan of dosers for home use but they do have one advantage over doserless chutes.  As the grinds lay on the floor of the doser chamber and get swept out the static is somewhat discharged.  From reading these forums I get the idea that those with doserless grinders are plagued more with clumping.  If you go to a bottomless porta-filter you will soon learn why you don't want clumping.  If the doser sweeps reasonably well and doesn't make a huge mess just think of it as a static discharger and leave it.  You can still measure you beans for the shot, grind, then sweep all the grounds into the filter basket. This is what I did with the Mazzer SJ at work.

If you still hate dosers you may be able to apply what I did to my Rocky to your MD 50:

"I civilized my Rocky"

Phil

bmrowe Said:

Great input guys.

In terms of my next steps, I actually picked up an MD 50 grinder off craigslist for $150 locally. It was a little gunked up, but I took the burrs apart, cleaned them, and am pretty happy with how it grinds. Looking back, I do wish it was doserless as I will never really be making more than a few shots at a time.

I have been investigating PID options. Either from Jim or Auber. However, I was unsure the year the machine was made in (until I get the machine in my hands), and I think there are different kits for different years right? At least with Auber, they have one PID with a screw RTD sensor for Silvia's made between 2000 and 2006. Is this machine somewhere in that timeline?

Thanks again guys, this forum is great.

Posted June 8, 2012 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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bmrowe
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Joined: 1 Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Location: ELM GROVE
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 6:16pm
Subject: Re: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

Alright, so the machine arrived and interestingly, the machine is not the same one as featured in the video.

Here are a few pictures I took:
Click Here (picasaweb.google.com)

If you compare those with:
Click Here (www.youtube.com)

There are a ton of differences: inside, less things are heat wrapped (which was pointed out as a good thing), the steam wand is different, the Silvia sticker/logo is missing, and the portafilter is different. None of those things are necessarily bad, but it makes me wonder if the machine I received was actually 'refurbished' as stated. On top of that, the machine was pretty dirty, like the shower screen, for instance. And when I first ran it, lots of brownish water came through. Another thing that makes me doubt it was actually refurbished.

Finally, there is also a problem with the machine. The boiler light never comes on. It gets hot, but the light never comes on. This is obviously an issue if I want to temperature surf -- and be aware of when the machine is warm enough to use. Is this a common issue?

How would you guys suggest I handle this with the ebay seller?
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,350
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 6:36pm
Subject: Re: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

Since I have not seen the advertisement/auction from where you bought it, about all I can say is, "Have you contacted the seller?"

 
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bmrowe
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Joined: 1 Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Location: ELM GROVE
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 6:39pm
Subject: Re: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

frcn Said:

Since I have not seen the advertisement/auction from where you bought it, about all I can say is, "Have you contacted the seller?"

Posted June 8, 2012 link

I am putting together an email now. Here is the auction

Click Here (www.ebay.com)
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JGG
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JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 1,375
Location: Kentucky, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Hottop D w/HTC+TC4C
Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Bought new Rancilio Silva from Ebay
 

The connector housings don't look too bad, though a little yellowed. Not sure I would worry too much about them unless they show some cracks or splits. I've never tried his, but someone who I considered to be reliable said that these housings could be restored to near new condition by soaking them in water. Remove first from wires :-)

The machine you received is a newer generation than that in the first video. It has a more recent style Rancilio badge and a newer no-burn steam wand. I'm guessing it also has an improved portafilter vs the original Silvia (can't quite tell from your photo).  That old PF was a real POS, so if you got a newer one be happy.

I, too, would be disappointed with the rust and dirtiness, but these are more irritation than fatal flaws.

The malfunctioning boiler light, OTOH, would be a deal breaker for me and I'd insist that it be repaired or replaced.  First, though I would make sure that there isn't a loose or disconnected wire.

Jim
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