I pulled the machine farther apart.
Disconnected the pipes, pulled out the boiler.
Detached the heating coil from the boiler and decalcified everything.
Nothing like seeing a torch and a sledgehammer on the espresso machine work table. (torch for gently heating up the boiler and heating coil to separate them.)
A look into the boiler. That is the HX pipe in the center. Very low pressure tests have it holding water. No visible sign of damage. :
Upon putting it all back together with a new gasket between the heating coil and boiler, it warmed up and started hissing. Source of the hissing was a valve that Pasquini(Bezzera) calls the safety valve. Designed to release at 2,5 bar. I pulled it apart, cleaned it, adjusted it a little down, and no more hissing.
Got it all back together again and turned the pump on. Pump sound, no water. Decided to move back down the trail of water and checked the 3-way valve first. Wasn't letting water through. Removed, semi-dissasembled, cleaned and reinstalled.
Fired it up again, and voila!. Pump works, boiler pressure gauge works (1,2 bar), no leaks anywhere, no hissing, and hot water at the group head.
(Grinder is next on my list of items to search for a deal on craigslist. Although I have modded this one to give me an almost acceptable grind, it is seriously laboring to do so.)
Then to draw my first shot. Don't even have a tamper yet as it is on it's way from sweet maria's with some choice green beans for roasting. Searched around and find this, some steel rod stock that i have been dragging around with me for years. Not the full 58mm, but close enough.
After some fiddling with grind and tamp, I pulled a pretty decent little cup of espresso.
Ok, so if you are still with me, I have another question.
To ride the so called HX hump, I pull water through the portafilter to 'cool' it. About 4 oz will get me down to about 196 degrees or so. But in doing this I have discovered an odd behavior that concerns me. I will turn the pump on, water will start to flow for an ounce or two, then it will stop for a second or two, then start up again. The pump runs the whole time, no change in pump sound. Shots have been turning out quite nicely, so I can't figure out if this is normal behavior or not. Sure doesn't feel like it. I suspect that three way valve, but wanted to hear input from others if they have it.
PS. Lots and lots of parts for the Pasquini Livia 90 at 1st-Line, either listed under Pasquini, or also under Bezzera as the functional bits of the Pasquini ARE Bezzera. Along with a new HX for $60, one could even buy a new boiler for this machine! Although $200, it does provide piece of mind when opening it up and digging through a non-functioning machine.
Here is a link to PDF of a parts diagram for the Bezzera 99, although the exterior wrap is different, it is basically the same machine. http://bezzeracoffeemachine.com.au/imag...0rev01.pdf