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View Full Version : Silca rebuild advice


kgreene10
12-01-2007, 09:03 PM
Hi: I have a Silca floor pump circa 1985. I get pressure back in the pump from the tire and the valve head won't stay on. I have replaced the rubber valve head washer and had the main chamber repacked. I figured I would disassemble the chamber below the gauge. Unfortunately, I can't even find a diagram on-line to properly name the parts of the pump! In any case, the two bolts on the chamber below the gauge have crusty white great or silicone on the threads. Could this be the problem and when re-assembling can I use Phil Woods grease there? Thanks for your advice.

Tony Prioli
12-01-2007, 11:06 PM
Raggety new! Junk that pump and buy a modern one. I spent years of my life fixing those pumps out of some stupid respect or something. They are a lb a pump after 6psi. The new ones are awesome. I am never going to fix a pump again. Buy a new one. Junk it!!!

Tony Prioli
12-01-2007, 11:09 PM
Kris,

I got your call this week, and meant to call you back. I will call you tomorrow.

Tony

PacNW2Ford
12-01-2007, 11:40 PM
Just unscrew the bolt head underneath the gauge. If I remember right, a spring and a plunger will come out. Clean off the plunger and reassemble. I used a couple of drops of Boeshield for good measure.

Yes, there are more modern and better performing pumps out there, but there is something honorable about keeping the old Silcas out of the landfill.

Blue Jays
12-01-2007, 11:58 PM
I've got an old REG that is at least twenty-five years old and is painted the same color blue as the "Serotta Forum Home" logo on this page. It has served me well, so I've rebuilt it a few times and still keeps working pretty well.
Even the flimsy plastic handle was replaced with a section of barstock lucite that was threaded.

I also have a new Blackburn that pumps a greater volume of air and is handy as well.

steelrider
12-02-2007, 12:04 PM
Just unscrew the bolt head underneath the gauge. If I remember right, a spring and a plunger will come out. Clean off the plunger and reassemble. I used a couple of drops of Boeshield for good measure.

Yes, there are more modern and better performing pumps out there, but there is something honorable about keeping the old Silcas out of the landfill.


Spoken like one who cares. We will soon be living among our refuse if we do not learn to repair and reuse our goods.

Tony Prioli
12-02-2007, 12:08 PM
I am only saying that those pumps (best available at the time), were junk new, and will be junk fixed, and is currently in disrepair so call it by its real name. Junk!! I am a huge fan of italian products, but my experience with those pumps have forced me to be negative here. I have stocked replacent parts for years to fix those pump. When I quit selling those pumps, I never had to fix pumps again.

T

chrisroph
12-02-2007, 12:20 PM
every "new" plastic pumps i've acquired has fallen apart during normal use. i always go back to the old steel silcas. occasionally they need a part or two but they keep on pumping.

Tony Prioli
12-02-2007, 02:04 PM
But at least the newer pumps perform well when they work. The silca does not work well even when new. Thats all.

palincss
12-02-2007, 06:10 PM
But at least the newer pumps perform well when they work. The silca does not work well even when new. Thats all.

And in my experience, anyway (and I've been using them for around 30 years now) that's nonsense. "A pound a pump" as you claimed earlier is either pure hyperbole, or you are trying to pump up car tires with it.

I owned a Zefal Double Shot, claimed at the time to be The Best Bicycle Pump Ever once. It didn't work any better than the Silca, and it broke after 2 years.

11.4
12-02-2007, 07:09 PM
every "new" plastic pumps i've acquired has fallen apart during normal use. i always go back to the old steel silcas. occasionally they need a part or two but they keep on pumping.

The problem is that the Silcas are increasingly plastic and the assembly is really poor. The top plug for the pump cylinder is held in place with a tiny sheet metal screw and pulls loose and leaks over time. The shaft is lighter duty than on older pumps, the current gauge is plastic and replaceable for $3.58 from W. W. Grainger. It simply deserved better design and certainly better construction.

If you want to look at a really good contemporary pump, check the Specialized Air Tool Pro. It's cheaper than the Silca, pumps faster, has a longer hose, has the only head I've really found to work on every valve without a problem, and is built like a tank. I have one that's been to the track four times a week for two years, been kicked around in the back of the van in between, used by all kinds of people at the track, pumps every time up to 140-160 psi, and now looks all scarred and beaten up but has never glitched once. With Specialized's spare parts policy and lifetime warranty, I never expect to spend a dime on it. It's not the only great pump out there, but has been the one to work best for me. I had three Silcas and sold them all; now I own three Specializeds.

Tony Prioli
12-02-2007, 09:03 PM
And in my experience, anyway (and I've been using them for around 30 years now) that's nonsense. "A pound a pump" as you claimed earlier is either pure hyperbole, or you are trying to pump up car tires with it.

I owned a Zefal Double Shot, claimed at the time to be The Best Bicycle Pump Ever once. It didn't work any better than the Silca, and it broke after 2 years.


LB a pump is surely just an expression yes, but over about 90 it takes way more strokes than a modern pump. I was a Support Tech at the IronMan 70.3 World Championships a few weeks ago in Clearwater, and I had to pump so many tires to 170 for the tri crowd that I would have headed to a local bridge to commit suicide if I only had a silca.

Ali G skit about Rambow Jeremy, comes to mind, "him reject eveything to do with TechMology". Why not use the latest pumps that are more anatomic and ergonomic along the lines of a sweet custom fitting Serotta! I would expect the retro grouch section on www.campyonly.com or some Fan club of Sheldon Brown to use Silca, but not the HSG owners, or the Ottrott owners, etc. Hell my new Blackberry 8800 can pump better than that silca

PacNW2Ford
12-02-2007, 10:20 PM
The OP asked for advice on how to fix it. You said "Throw it away", yes that works. I tried to provide the requested information. Now we're into some kind of name calling thing, because you are apparently offended that some people find an old pump adequate for their non-professional, non-Ironman usage. You win.

Blue Jays
12-03-2007, 12:13 AM
I also changed the hose clamps on my ancient REG floorpump and that seemed to help. New gaskets in the brass head also gave it more grip on the valve.

vaxn8r
12-03-2007, 12:47 AM
The problem is that the Silcas are increasingly plastic and the assembly is really poor. The top plug for the pump cylinder is held in place with a tiny sheet metal screw and pulls loose and leaks over time. The shaft is lighter duty than on older pumps, the current gauge is plastic and replaceable for $3.58 from W. W. Grainger. It simply deserved better design and certainly better construction.
+1

If you want to look at a really good contemporary pump, check the Specialized Air Tool Pro. It's cheaper than the Silca, pumps faster, has a longer hose, has the only head I've really found to work on every valve without a problem, and is built like a tank. I have one that's been to the track four times a week for two years, been kicked around in the back of the van in between, used by all kinds of people at the track, pumps every time up to 140-160 psi, and now looks all scarred and beaten up but has never glitched once. With Specialized's spare parts policy and lifetime warranty, I never expect to spend a dime on it. It's not the only great pump out there, but has been the one to work best for me. I had three Silcas and sold them all; now I own three Specializeds.
+1

sspielman
12-03-2007, 07:21 AM
The new Silca pumps may indeed be cheesy, but I doubt that I will ever find out. That is because my OLD Silca pump is 30 years old and will not quit. Judging from the number of people who borrow it at races and raides (because their "modern" pumps won't work)...it must work pretty well. in fact, there are times that I am led to believe that it is the only functioning pump east of the Misssissippi.

sspielman
12-03-2007, 07:40 AM
Hi: I have a Silca floor pump circa 1985. I get pressure back in the pump from the tire and the valve head won't stay on. I have replaced the rubber valve head washer and had the main chamber repacked. I figured I would disassemble the chamber below the gauge. Unfortunately, I can't even find a diagram on-line to properly name the parts of the pump! In any case, the two bolts on the chamber below the gauge have crusty white great or silicone on the threads. Could this be the problem and when re-assembling can I use Phil Woods grease there? Thanks for your advice.

First, when pressure from the tire comes back into the pump, the problem is with the TIRE VALVE and not the pump. Free up the presta valve well and try pumping again. If the valve won't free, try a drop or two of WD40 in the mechanism. Second, if the pump head won't stay on the valve, the rubber gasket inside the head needs to be replaced...should be less than $2 at any good bike shop (I know they are rare).....

Blue Jays
12-03-2007, 07:55 AM
"...First, when pressure from the tire comes back into the pump, the problem is with the TIRE VALVE and not the pump. Free up the presta valve well and try pumping again. If the valve won't free, try a drop or two of WD40 in the mechanism. Second, if the pump head won't stay on the valve, the rubber gasket inside the head needs to be replaced...should be less than $2 at any good bike shop...""I also changed the hose clamps on my ancient REG floorpump and that seemed to help. New gaskets in the brass head also gave it more grip on the valve."I'm with you on that one. My newer Blackburn pump is nice, I just don't think it will have the quarter-century durability and longevity of my REG model.

stevep
12-03-2007, 07:59 AM
The new Silca pumps may indeed be cheesy, but I doubt that I will ever find out. That is because my OLD Silca pump is 30 years old and will not quit. Judging from the number of people who borrow it at races and raides (because their "modern" pumps won't work)...it must work pretty well. in fact, there are times that I am led to believe that it is the only functioning pump east of the Misssissippi.

steve,
i need to borrow the pump for the weekend.
i have a flat tire and
the guy in tucson needs his.
and the guy in toronto is waiting for a new guage for his.
s

sspielman
12-03-2007, 08:17 AM
steve,
i need to borrow the pump for the weekend.
i have a flat tire and
the guy in tucson needs his.
and the guy in toronto is waiting for a new guage for his.
s

..it's on its way....speak nicely to it in Italian...you know how those histrionic latin types are

stevep
12-03-2007, 08:30 AM
..it's on its way....speak nicely to it in Italian...you know how those histrionic latin types are

believe me...last time i said hola by mistake and i couldnt get 35psi out of her.

pedalcr8z
12-03-2007, 08:51 AM
First, when pressure from the tire comes back into the pump, the problem is with the TIRE VALVE and not the pump. Free up the presta valve well and try pumping again. If the valve won't free, try a drop or two of WD40 in the mechanism. Second, if the pump head won't stay on the valve, the rubber gasket inside the head needs to be replaced...should be less than $2 at any good bike shop (I know they are rare).....


Bingo, I'm with you.........mine is 20+ years old and only replaced rubber gasket in head ONCE!

chrisroph
12-03-2007, 10:23 AM
By 1985, the quality was going down but it sould still be a heavy gauge steeltube but perhaps not stamped columbus (not that thi smatters for a pump). You need a new washer of splurge and get a wholenew brass head. it'll be shinier that your old one.

i bet the plastic joe blows and such won't last 22 years.

Ken Robb
12-03-2007, 11:07 AM
Never owned a Silca but I bought a new Wrench Force that seems to a copy. It does take a few more strokes that my Joe Blow but as the pressure increases it is easier to pump than the newer high volume stylemwhich makes sense. Smaller people could find this important. It has a lovely quick-release brass head and a tapered (anatomic?) handle. I like them both but I know in a rumble which one will be a better club. :banana:

palincss
12-03-2007, 11:11 AM
Why not use the latest pumps that are more anatomic and ergonomic along the lines of a sweet custom fitting Serotta! I would expect the retro grouch section on www.campyonly.com or some Fan club of Sheldon Brown to use Silca, but not the HSG owners, or the Ottrott owners, etc. Hell my new Blackberry 8800 can pump better than that silca


Why buy a new pump when I have one that is perfectly satisfactory and has been so for years?

Pete Serotta
12-03-2007, 11:54 AM
Please send to Raleigh.......I will take the old one and you can buy a new one.....It will be old like me BUT hopefully function better. :beer:


Why buy a new pump when I have one that is perfectly satisfactory and has been so for years?

vaxn8r
12-03-2007, 12:48 PM
The new Silca pumps may indeed be cheesy, but I doubt that I will ever find out. That is because my OLD Silca pump is 30 years old and will not quit. Judging from the number of people who borrow it at races and raides (because their "modern" pumps won't work)...it must work pretty well. in fact, there are times that I am led to believe that it is the only functioning pump east of the Misssissippi.
I had one from 1983. Columbus sticker and all. Way cool. I went through rubber gaskets two or three times a year, two metal heads, greasing the gasket several times when it would no longer pump. Man, I've had girlfriends who were less maintenance. We parted ways finally and thankfully I never looked back.

sspielman
12-03-2007, 12:53 PM
I had one from 1983. Columbus sticker and all. Way cool. I went through rubber gaskets two or three times a year, two metal heads, greasing the gasket several times when it would no longer pump. Man, I've had girlfriends who were less maintenance. We parted ways finally and thankfully I never looked back.

...must be how you pumped 'em......

kgreene10
12-03-2007, 01:33 PM
This is fun, but any more advice out there? I have replaced the rubber gasket in the pump head, I have tried it on numerous tire valves (all of which open fine), the main shaft has been repacked, and I removed the bolts and cleaned the chamber below the pressure gauge. I still get sporadic back pressure from the tire and intermittent gauge functioning.

I'm committed to this pump. I got the new bike and let the old one fallow, I bought the flat screen HDTV and dumped the CRT, I got an ipod and trashed my Walkman, I went cellular after years of futile resistance, and I'm even catching up on text messaging, but I really want to keep my pump!

Pete Serotta
12-03-2007, 03:17 PM
I am far from mechanical but it sounds like the tube (screw valve on the tube is sticking or is bent a little. Does it do it on front and back tubes?

lastly try your pump on another bike, this another tube set to see if same probem

WHat I have to do sometimes is tap the top of the valve on tube and then put the chuck on.....

Good luck PETE


This is fun, but any more advice out there? I have replaced the rubber gasket in the pump head, I have tried it on numerous tire valves (all of which open fine), the main shaft has been repacked, and I removed the bolts and cleaned the chamber below the pressure gauge. I still get sporadic back pressure from the tire and intermittent gauge functioning.

I'm committed to this pump. I got the new bike and let the old one fallow, I bought the flat screen HDTV and dumped the CRT, I got an ipod and trashed my Walkman, I went cellular after years of futile resistance, and I'm even catching up on text messaging, but I really want to keep my pump!

chrisroph
12-03-2007, 03:23 PM
there is this wierd plastic thing that bolts to the bottom of the shaft. they crack sometimes if people slam the handle all the way down. If it cracks, the pump will not hold pressure. Many shops don't know about this piece. others do and might stock them. unscrew the metal screw, extract the shaft and see if the part has a crack. if so, replace it and you should be good for another 22 years.

Louis
12-03-2007, 03:27 PM
The Silca chuck wins my vote for "worst design ever." (Except for that Control Tech seatpost I had on my MTB.)

The gasket in the chuck has to be "tight enough to stay on while pumping up the tire, but loose enough to come off without ripping the valve body off the tire" and getting it right is a real PITA. My Silca pump sits down in the basement workshop and is used when I'm messing with tires down there.

My everyday pump is a cheapo Joe Blow that's lasted for about 6 or 7 years. Works great.

Louis

Tony Prioli
12-03-2007, 07:30 PM
there is this wierd plastic thing that bolts to the bottom of the shaft. they crack sometimes if people slam the handle all the way down. If it cracks, the pump will not hold pressure. Many shops don't know about this piece. others do and might stock them. unscrew the metal screw, extract the shaft and see if the part has a crack. if so, replace it and you should be good for another 22 years.

How do the knuckles feel when you pull the pump handle out, and the spring shoots the plastic top cap perfectly to your knuckles. That is of course when the little screw is missing from all the guys borrowing the pump over the last 22 years. Let me guess, it has a Columbus sticker on it still? Or has that been worn off from the repair stand like all 1980's model road bikes! Ouch!

chrisroph
12-03-2007, 08:08 PM
How do the knuckles feel when you pull the pump handle out, and the spring shoots the plastic top cap perfectly to your knuckles. That is of course when the little screw is missing from all the guys borrowing the pump over the last 22 years. Let me guess, it has a Columbus sticker on it still? Or has that been worn off from the repair stand like all 1980's model road bikes! Ouch!

YAWN!!


Man, we are bored to be arguing over pumps.

Louis
12-03-2007, 08:12 PM
YAWN!!


Man, we are bored to be arguing over pumps.

And discussing LA's latest conquest is what, exactly?

chrisroph
12-03-2007, 08:41 PM
And discussing LA's latest conquest is what, exactly?


I'm not going there.

sspielman
12-04-2007, 07:16 AM
And discussing LA's latest conquest is what, exactly?


I heard that Forum Administration was thinking about combining the threads....but thought better about having a thread about who Lance was pumping.....

Fixed
12-05-2007, 10:23 AM
bro pumps ain't that much i have two in bike money pumps are a buy
i have a silca and a joe blow the only problem i had with it (silca ) is when I loaned it to a cat and he took it apart cos he didn't know how to use it.. I told him the directions were it 's like when you and your wife get together bro imho
cheers