1974 La Cimbali Eleva - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
User avatar
IamOiman (original poster)
Team HB

#11: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

Pressino wrote:I wonder if that gasket material in the nut in photo #4 was made with asbestos.
I don't know, but it is a different color compared to the ones I think are asbestos. I still removed it while it was wet and immediately tossed it just in case
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612

Pressino

#12: Post by Pressino »

It's so small I wouldn't worry about it, especially since you are replacing it with a modern gasket. I don't even know that asbestos was used in any tubing nut gaskets in these older machines, though it was certainly used as boiler insulation and at the base of some heating elements. I like your machine's simplicity and solid construction. Good job.

caeffe

#13: Post by caeffe »

IamOiman wrote:My pleasure. I make these posts to show others my findings but also helping me remember where things go during reassembly 8)

....
The lid came off with some poking with a pick, and the inside is surprisingly clean. Hardly any scale is present and really contradicts the plugged group inlet. The boiler can slip off through the front side once the lid is off.
[
That is odd, a plugged up inlet due to scale but the inside of the boiler is clean without scale. But... the clogged up inlet does mean that the previous user had issues filling the boiler up. Very contradictory indeed.

I like how very compact and light this unit appears to be, especially for a 58mm commercial grouphead unit. Seems to me it would lend itself quite well for home use. Would it be possible to use this without plumbing in? Maybe extend that fill line to be outside the case and install a cap with relief valve / vacuum valve?
LMWDP #162

User avatar
IamOiman (original poster)
Team HB

#14: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

The easiest method is to use an o-ring for the vacuum valve and place it on the top fitting of a cross or t-fitting. I do that for machines I use that are not on my main bench with the flojet, and with my silicone 10x2.5mm o ring I can just unscrew and rescrew hand tight just like smaller domestic machines. Here is my Marte cross fitting, and for the Eleva I intend to use the third joint that is blocked off in the pic for the pstat.
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612

User avatar
IamOiman (original poster)
Team HB

#15: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

I figured out the knobs. I was being a knob myself and did not realize that I could simply pull out the metal rod and screw assembly. I thought the latter was secured by a clip inside the knob that was covered by the silver metal cover. I popped one off with a magnet but that was when I realized the actual solution. These valves are very similar to the modern ones used on cimbali machines made today, the big difference I found was a 2nd o-ring added for better sealing on the brass bushing that threads into the rod and screw. I could actually buy the entire updated assembly with the extra o-ring if I wanted to





With the frame apart I am still debating what to do with it. It is in very decent shape with minimal rust present mostly on the edges. I think I will keep it original but I don't want to run into rust down the road. Perhaps a 2nd opinion would help on that decision.


The piston rod gave me an unexpected issue (or maybe it is not an issue). The rod will not thread into the piston all the way, but it's a far smaller gap than what I have seen others post when they switched the older style piston to the new one I have at 8mm. The machine has seen use in this configuration so it may actually be fine. At least fine enough that the piston did not appear to push against the shower screen. Seeing there was no indicating of leaks I will believe that I will be fine keeping it as is. But that will be 100% confirmed when I start testing.


The last interesting tidbit I found was a date on the manometer from January of 1977. Perhaps the 1 January 1974 on the group casting was when there was a set of groups made that day but the machine did not come together until later.
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612

User avatar
grog

#16: Post by grog »

I have a two group Eleva that's my daily driver. The only quirk I dislike about it is that the factory group seals have an unusually high failure rate - you will get a steam leak out of the top of the group seal after less than six months of daily use. I keep mine on 24/7 unless I'm out of town for a week or more. This steam leak leads to rusty springs and other issues. I ended up sourcing custom silicone seals for the top seal and those have been working fine for a couple of years now. Will be curious as to how yours behaves around this issue and if you find another solution.
LMWDP #514

User avatar
IamOiman (original poster)
Team HB

#17: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

Your pistons were actually missing (or at least never present in the pics you shared) a face plate that goes on the bottom of them that holds the second seal in that piston design. Here is a comparison with the M15 (mine) on top and the M20 (yours) on the bottom. It was secured by three screws if I recall. I saw your thread but did not speak up since a few years had passed since the last post by the time I realized this then forgot to DM you :? . Image was sourced from kaffee-netz


https://www.kaffee-netz.de/threads/rest ... ost-791814
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612

User avatar
grog

#18: Post by grog »

Correct, the pistons are slightly different. My M20 pistons do have the faceplate with 3 screws, but it's not the bottom seal that fails - it's the top one. Again, this failure is with factory seals and it can be mitigated with a slightly larger custom silicone seal.

Hopefully the M15 pistons just don't have this issue!
LMWDP #514

User avatar
IamOiman (original poster)
Team HB

#19: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

ahh the upper one was failing. I suppose we'll see what happens then. I sourced my seals from Nuova Ricambi, part 700635, which is the same as the M20 diagram!
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612