Easiest way to reinsert E61 cam into group after lube?

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#1: Post by mycatsnameisbernie »

My Quick Mill QM67's E61 lever action was getting a bit stiff and squeaky after 1 year of use, so I decided to lubricate its cam. With the exception of the shower screen, I've never disassembled any part of an E61 group before. Both of my machines have E61 flow control devices, but they were installed by the machines' vendors. My regular maintenance on the machine consists of a water-only backflush after each day's use, and a Cafiza backflush every 100 shots or so.

After removing the shroud over the cam's shaft with the cam in the middle position, a lot of force was required to pull out the cam from between the valve pins. After applying Dow 111 to the cam, valve pins, and shaft, I tried to reinsert the cam back into the group. I've seen lots of videos where people do some judicious jiggling of the cam's shaft, and it pops right back into place. That never happened for me. Could the stiffer lower spring supplied with the flow control device be contributing to my difficulty?

I eventually followed Clive Coffee's instructions and removed the lower exhaust port which solved the problem. My lever is now smooth as silk. I was pleased to find only minimal coffee residue and no scale inside the group.

The next time I have to do this, does anyone know the magic that allows reinserting the cam without removing the lower port? Or do real men (and women) totally dismantle their E61 groups for annual maintenance?

Thanks for the help!


#2: Post by Eiern »

With the soft preinfusion springs of my ECM machines I could wiggle it in there in the «middle» position without further disassembly.

With Bianca with the stiff spring bypassing the flow chamber for flow control I usually loosened the lower exhaust pipe but didn't take it completely off.
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#3: Post by chipman »

mycatsnameisbernie (original poster)

#4: Post by mycatsnameisbernie (original poster) replying to chipman »

That reference advises Gently wiggle it a bit and it will go in once the cam is in the correct position. That's the part I am having difficulty with.

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#5: Post by romlee »

I find it easier to reinstall if I orient the cam so that the smaller lobe is presented towards the ends of the valves while I wiggle it into place. The large lobe gets hung up on the valve ends.

Our Puristika has the weak spring.
“Be curious, not judgemental.” T. Lasso

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#6: Post by cafeIKE »

mycatsnameisbernie wrote: Or do real men (and women) totally dismantle their E61 groups for annual maintenance?
Group needs a rebuild about every 5 years with 4ish shots per day over 12 hours 7 days a week. Use OEM parts as generics may not fit.

Normally with the lever up in the mid position, the cam can be wiggled in. Never tried on anything with FC.

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#7: Post by slybarman »

it's never easy but i eventually manage to gorillla it back in on my Bianca without disassembling the lower group. i can't say how exactly, just a lot of wiggling jiggling and cursing. mounting the brew lever on the arm with the cam on the other end helps give a bit more leverage.


#8: Post by Amberale »

It's just easier to remove the bottom section.
One extra thing to unscrew and then inspect the cam follower.
It's an extra 2 minutes once you have done it.
Actually I do the top as well, replace the o-rings on the FCD, lube and put it back together.

mycatsnameisbernie (original poster)

#9: Post by mycatsnameisbernie (original poster) »

slybarman wrote:just a lot of wiggling jiggling and cursing
I must have been using the wrong 4-letter words. I'll try different ones the next time :D

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#10: Post by slybarman replying to mycatsnameisbernie »

let me know if you run out of ones to try. i have a shamefully impressive library of them.