Another Linea A1 Story

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PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Mon May 10, 2010 2:07 am

Hello Everyone,
This is my Linea story. It's just beginning and I want to thank everyone here for all the informative posts. If it wasn't for those of you who have done a Linea refurb before, I would never have thought I could do it too.

After years of frequenting *$s and finally deciding there had to be something better, I started visiting the few coffee shops we have here in Salt Lake City that might possibly have something of higher quality and better taste. There are a few good shops downtown, but none of them are easy to get to on a regular basis if you don't live near them. I also was in grave need of a new hobby for the sake of my sanity.

So, I went to the internet to learn more and I happened upon this great website frequented by coffee lovers and filled with so much information I couldn't get enough. It felt like I finally found a home for my drive to find the best caffeine buzz. I devoured everything on this site until I was ravenous to sink my teeth into my own machine.

I started by reading everything I could about Silvia. I read that she was the first machine most people buy who are getting into making their own espresso. Then I read that she could be temperamental. And about PID and Silvia and how it was her own form of Prozac. But the more I read, the more I decided I wasn't the kind of person to temperature surf. So, I set my sights higher and sold off a bunch of stuff I wasn't using so I could skip ahead.

I saw so many beautiful machines. I think all the shiny chrome of the Alex Duetto is beautiful. I read the great review posted from the UK. I thought about the exposed group and all that shiny chrome and the ability to plumb or fill the tank manually. I thought about the Vivaldi, but there isn't much in terms of style. I know Vivaldi is a very popular machine and after watching Chris' video I learned what a solid performer it was. But I was most impressed by the two boiler machine. The more I read the more I decided I wanted two boilers.

But again, I wanted more. To experience life is to enjoy the adventure of reaching a destination. The vistas from the top are always inspiring, but the learning that takes place along the way is what often matters most. Besides, I wanted this to be an adventure.

I started reading about Paul P's, Paul G's and other Linea overhauls. Now that looked like fun. I've rebuilt cars and had other similar projects, this could be the new hobby I was looking for! The detailed rebuilds that have been posted in the past taught me about the quality that goes into a La Marzocco espresso machine. There may be more beautiful machines, and there may be more advanced machines but 100 pounds of stainless steel must have something going them. And our kitchen has a commercial Traulsen fridge in it already so the boxy steel lines of a Linea would fit in just fine. I learned that one group Lineas are hard to come by. But I figured, I would wait it out. Then, I saw a post for a machine on the website of one of our local newspapers. A one group Linea with EverPure filter system included. Recently refurbished, it said. I made some inquiries and found the machine was in Moab and came from a bike shop. I'm not a very good deal maker so when the owner offered to drive it from Moab to SLC, I was hooked.

I know my 1990 A.1 works but I could tell it needed a good cleaning. The group gasket was fused into a solid mass of rubber and the portafilters were black with old coffee. The kids and I set it up and played with the steam wand practicing our soapy water latte foam before I shut it down and we started taking the Linea apart. I've taken quite a few pictures of the teardown and will post them very soon--have to make the file size smaler. For now, here's two. I have a couple questions already and hope to learn more from everyone here. Thanks for reading and thanks for inspiring!

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Lurkerjohnny
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:55 pm
Real Name: Keith Marrero
Equipment: La Marzocco Linea 1 group, La Pavoni Professional Millenium, Mazzer SJ, Pharos grinders
Location: Oahu

Postby Lurkerjohnny » Mon May 10, 2010 3:58 am

Greetings PictureThyme! I am so excited for you! Just last week I finally finished my 1 group Linea rebuild project. I still need to update my thread with everything I learned, and boy have I learned a lot. I had to leave my machine in storage for a very long time and seeing other people's postings is what got me motivated to finish it up.

Post any questions you have, the guys here are VERY helpful in answering them quickly. One thing that I learned about the 1 Group Linea AV that we both have is that the flowmeter is BEFORE the brew boiler. This means that we do not lose any heat having an automatic/volumetric dosing machine. The 2, 3 and 4 group AV Lineas all have their flowmeters after the boiler, thus losing heat stability.

Let the pictures begin!!

master the craft like never before
User avatar
jammin
Posts: 432
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:46 am
Real Name: Jackson
Equipment: Quest
Location: Boise

Postby jammin » Mon May 10, 2010 10:58 pm

kind of ironic how wanting to find something better than *$ led you to a linea;) awsome find. i look forward to hearing more. not too many people start out with a 1gr linea!

PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Tue May 11, 2010 12:21 am

kind of ironic how wanting to find something better than *$ led you to a linea;) awsome find. i look forward to hearing more. not too many people start out with a 1gr linea!


Hi Jackson. I see you are in Boise. The machine was listed on the KSL want-ads website. For those of you not familiar that's the Mormon Church-owned local NBC affiliate station. Kind of a strange place to sell an espresso machine and probably why it was still sitting there almost a month after it was first posted. I know I was lucky to find it. Though, presently its a pile of steel and copper with a little brass mixed in.

I wanted a project and as it seems everyone who jumps into this kind of a refurbish job says; I know I got more than I bargained for--for better and for worse.

Ok some more images:
The fossilized group gasket.
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This is an image from the advertisement. It may be difficult to see but the pressure gauge needles are in the wrong place. I have a feeling at some point my little 95 lb. machine was dropped.
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So, the first thing I did before shutting down and tear apart was to take apart the gauge and put the needles back on where they belong.
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While the kids and I were playing with the machine I noticed an interesting and troubling issue with the touchpad. The single small shot button on the left and the double small shot button both produce a preinfusion pump. The two right buttons do not preinfuse before they start the shot. Also, the button to the far right does not start a continuous flow of water through the group. It will only stop a shot that was started with any of the other buttons. Is it true that this button should also allow programming of the timing of shots? if so, that didn't seem to work either. The computer box says Giemme and ABS Cycolac. The circuit board says Giemme DOSN4. The CPU says DCM090695. This is a 1990 machine with a replacement control box, I believe. I noticed tonight in this picture that there is a nick in the wiring for the control panel. In the low-res image it's difficult to see. I will look to see if the wire is broken through. As part of this project I would like to replace the old wiring with silicone wiring I've seen others use. is it readily available?
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A shoddy job sealing up the computer box.
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And this was when I decided no matter how clean my Linea looked on the outside, albeit banged up, it was not very clean on the inside. This is the steam wand tip taken off and full of crud.
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Lurkerjohnny
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:55 pm
Real Name: Keith Marrero
Equipment: La Marzocco Linea 1 group, La Pavoni Professional Millenium, Mazzer SJ, Pharos grinders
Location: Oahu

Postby Lurkerjohnny » Tue May 11, 2010 3:27 am

I ordered my wiring from here: http://www.wiringproducts.com/contents/en-us/d102.html
I got the SXL wiring. I couldn't find the hi temp silicone wiring. This one is rated higher than the average AWG wiring, but not near as good as silicone.

You may want to ditch the European style terminal plug and get the US style. It's easier to find spade connectors. I see that you have the original style brew boiler. According to Paul Pratt, this style is more reliable than the next version which is the welded on studs. Just putting the group back to the boiler is a little tricky.

For your control panel buttons, the left button is supposed to be used to turn off/on the preinfusion setting and the right-most button is used for programming each button. Does your machine have a toggle switch to control the programming feature? For my machine, while in program mode, by hitting the right-most button, all my buttons light up. I can then hit any button to begin volumetric programming.

NickA
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:02 am
Real Name: Nick
Equipment: La Marzocco Lineastein 1EE, Mazzer Major
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Postby NickA » Tue May 11, 2010 3:58 am

I think you may find this version of the control box doesn't support preinfusion. You can still get a preinfusion effect by adding a 'gigler infusion jet' as La Marzocco call it in the water path where it exits the 3 way solenoid. The earlier Lineas didn't seem to have this and I see it is listed as an AV option in the manual. My first 2AV didn't have one and it made a huge difference once it was fitted.

PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Tue May 11, 2010 9:27 am

I think you may find this version of the control box doesn't support preinfusion.


Possible, but the left two buttons preinfuse, and the right two do not. Could it have been programmed this way?

ira
Posts: 461
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:03 pm
Real Name: ira
Equipment: Brewtus II, Behmor, Macap M4D, Rocky doserless, Aeropress, Bunn G2
Location: los angeles

Postby ira » Tue May 11, 2010 3:18 pm

I have some black and white 14ga 150C rated silicon insulated wire I can sell if anyone needs some.

Ira
I wrote RoasterThing
http://www.roasterthing.com

PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Wed May 12, 2010 12:00 am

I know everyone has seen at least a hundred tear down pictures prior to mine. So, I figured I would spice this up a little and take a moment to ponder a thought. What if the Bambi brothers had different neighbors? What if the guys that came up with this...
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...had been neighbors with the guy who came up with these...
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Here's an interesting fact: at Ferrari, one man is assigned an engine to build from the block up.

Taking the group head off the boiler was relatively easy. Scraping off the old gasket and glue will take some work. I can't wait to try to put it all back together! If I hurry my son's hand will still fit through the heating element hole! :)

PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Wed May 12, 2010 12:29 am

Lurkerjohnny wrote: For your control panel buttons, the left button is supposed to be used to turn off/on the preinfusion setting and the right-most button is used for programming each button. Does your machine have a toggle switch to control the programming feature? For my machine, while in program mode, by hitting the right-most button, all my buttons light up. I can then hit any button to begin volumetric programming.


Keith,
No toggle switch. The schematic on the cover of the cpu says "key" but there was nothing connected to the jumper. I am also wondering when I get it all back together if I should try connecting the control panel to another of the group connectors. I won't be able to do this for a while. Have to buy replacement gaskets and such.
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