Hint for easy E61 gasket/shower screen installation

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gmclean13

Postby gmclean13 » Dec 01, 2007, 11:42 pm

My first time putting in a shower screen and gasket in a E61 machine wasn't too much fun. Following the information from this site, it seemed straight forward. All I got from it was frustrated and a neck ache working this thing over !

Talking to some of the engineers I work with at the plant, they gave me a suggestion, freezer. The suggestion was to put the screen and gasket together and place in the freezer overnight. I guess it is the simple idea of cold contracting material. Sounded like a good idea and it was time for me to change it any way.

Following the basic principals of placing the screen and gasket on top of the portafilter, I went ahead and lifted and put in place. I can't say that it just magically went into place like clockwork, but almost. All I had to do was use the end of the handle from the plastic group head brush and push up the one side that wasn't all the way in. I put the portafilter back in and easily turned it to the 6:00 position. I was out and in inside of 5 minutes. A little bit of work versus a bunch of time and a few unsavory words! Over all, I thought it was a good suggestion and worth trying!

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HB
Admin

Postby HB » Dec 02, 2007, 12:26 am

Thanks for the idea, it may come in handy.

To elaborate on the point for those following along, the E61 dispersion screen is held in place by the gasket. The gasket snugly fits in the groove of the brewhead; the thread How to remove the dispersion screen and gasket of an E61? covers it in more detail. Some have suggested using brew pressure to force the gasket out (i.e., snug the portafilter slightly, pressurize the group to force water behind the gasket, loosen the portafilter slightly; repeat until the gasket pops out).

There's lots of threads about removing the gasket, but I think this is the first about putting it back. It also helps if you use the portafilter without the basket to initially seat the gasket. That is, put the dispersion screen and gasket in the basket-less portafilter, slot them into the grouphead, and then pull up until the gasket is deep enough in the slot to engage the portafilter ears in the grouphead channel. Once the ears engage, snug the gasket in a bit, then remove the portafilter and drop in a basket. The gasket should be down far enough in its groove to seat it the rest of the way using the tightening of the portafilter.

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Dan Kehn

gio

Postby gio » Dec 26, 2010, 11:32 am

Has anyone encountered a gasket that just wouldn't install? I tried the freezing trick but to no avail. I can get about 75% of it into the channel by using the rounded portion of a box wrench to apply as much force as possible.

I ordered the 8.5 mm e61 gasket for my Bricoletta and I'm wondering if I got a bad one or if I need to try another installation technique. Any ideas?

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HB
Admin

Postby HB » Dec 26, 2010, 11:51 am

The steps in my prior post don't work?

HB wrote:...put the dispersion screen and gasket in the basket-less portafilter, slot them into the grouphead, and then pull up until the gasket is deep enough in the slot to engage the portafilter ears in the grouphead channel. Once the ears engage, snug the gasket in a bit, then remove the portafilter and drop in a basket. The gasket should be down far enough in its groove to seat it the rest of the way using the tightening of the portafilter.
Dan Kehn

gio

Postby gio » Dec 26, 2010, 1:00 pm

No, the prior steps did not work. After wrestling with it a good bit, I can just barely engage the ears of the portafilter. I hoped that turning the portafilter would seat the gasket the rest of the way, but it just wouldn't go in. I'm afraid that if I apply more force I'm going to break something. So I figured I'd check in here before applying more force or using other measures.

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HB
Admin

Postby HB » Dec 26, 2010, 1:32 pm

Assuming you bought the correct replacement gasket, then a little lubrication with food safe grease and persuasion should do it. Even if the old gasket was 8mm instead of 8.5mm, I would expect the portafilter to readily engage without the basket (however, the lock-in point would be off, probably around 8 o'clock instead of 6 o'clock).
Dan Kehn

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Randy G.

Postby Randy G. » Dec 26, 2010, 1:43 pm

This is all odd... I would have to think that the bore in the group is not clean or it is a bad or wrong gasket or a bad screen. I can reinsert the screen and gasket as an assembly by hand using a basket and drive it most of the way home. Locking the PF in place once or twice finishes the job. This is with a new or an old gasket. The dimensional thickness of the gasket should not be a factor.
Espresso! My Espresso!
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com

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cafeIKE

Postby cafeIKE » Dec 26, 2010, 2:56 pm

+1

Does the new gasket have the same markings as the OEM just removed?
Gaskets and, to a lesser extent, groups vary enough that some Monte Carlo combination will fail

gio

Postby gio » Dec 26, 2010, 4:24 pm

The new gasket does not have the same markings as the previous one. A visual inspection reveals that the new one has a slightly larger diameter. Both appear to be 8.5 mm thick.

Your comment on the Monte Carlo combinations was exactly what I was thinking. But before I read that, the previous two replies encouraged me to try one more time. I froze the gasket and dispersion screen and then applied a liberal amount of lube. As before, I could only get it about 75% the way in with what I considered a reasonable amount of effort. Then I simply applied more force. The whole frame of the machine was twisting and I was waiting for something to break. But eventually it went in.

I'm not sure it was the right thing to do, but I forced it in. I can't imagine it will be any easier to get it in the next time I decide to remove it for cleaning.

Thanks for the help guys.

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cannonfodder
Team HB

Postby cannonfodder » Dec 26, 2010, 11:16 pm

Did you put it in the proper direction? there is a top and a bottom to the gasket. There is a slight taper to the gasket. The narrow side goes up.
Dave Stephens