Bruni Brunella seals and disassembly

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mainlyespresso

#1: Post by mainlyespresso »

Hi,
I have recently taken ownership of an old, mostly complete, first version (no light or thermostat) Bruni Brunella Lever machine.
The main parts missing/damaged are a double basket (only has single), the Bakelite handle (damaged) and the seals (leaking).
It seems Orphanespresso and Francesco no longer have the group and piston seals listed on their websites.

1) does anyone know where seals can be purchased for this system?
2) can anyone confirm if the PV baskets do fit?
3) although I have seen exploded diagrams and disassembled systems I haven't found any instructions to do so. Before I go at it bull-at-a-gate, and do irreparable damage, does anyone have any tips for disassembly?

Any advice much appreciated.
Thanks

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drgary
Team HB

#2: Post by drgary »

For disassembly, try not to force anything and take detailed photos. It would be great if you post your journey here. Where parts are very stuck, you may need to get more assertive by applying heat or water or holding workpieces securely while wrenching or tapping, which you probably already know. Photos and well focused questions will help us help you.

As far as what parts you can substitute, you might write directly to Francesco. Also, some of our members who have restored machines like yours may not see your thread, so you might want to reach out by direct message.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

mainlyespresso (original poster)

#3: Post by mainlyespresso (original poster) »

Hi Gary,
Thank you for your reply. I have contacted Francesco and it seems seals might be still available. When I have a chance I will take some photos and post here. It will be a very leisurely project - due to my time constraints, nothing is happening quickly.
Thanks again.
Taan

pnasium

#4: Post by pnasium »

hi Taan,

I got my Brunella at mid October... a cream version 3 with a double basket and only missing a grill for the tray. Got a amuminium part and made one with my hand jeweler's saw and a rotary tool for the holes...
Got the piston, piston rod, shower screen etc out, cleaned & lubed them. You can unscrew the piston or push it upwards with a tool to get the pins out and release the lever.
At first I thought I get it all apart and change colour, but as I opened the bottom to get to the wiring to change the power cord I saw it's stamped date. 9/75. I was born in 8/75. This Brunella is an instant favourite and we will get along both woth our marks...
It's seals are stiff but work, the shower acreen one is in worse shape than the piston ones, but still does it's job. I have new seals from Francesco (I assume he has more left) to use when in need.
The Brunella is very good at temperature stability. The element in mine cuts off at 94°C and re-starts at 91°C.
The first old lever I bought is my '98 Europiccola back in 2015. At some point I also had an Arrarex Caravel, a 3rd version Faemina and a Faema baby. For various reasons I kept the Europiccola. After about 4years going solo with it the itch for another one became too apparent. The Brunella was among the ones I had in mind.
It's result is 18-22 ml , with quite less crema than the Europiccola but those two sips are very aromatic, gentle and the temperature is great for my taste. The Europiccola gives a more raw result.
I want to make a bottomless portafilter for it. I have read Pontevecchio changed theirs at some point and the ones in the market may not fit. An Italian site has one for 60€ + shipping but it states it's dimmensions and are different by some mm from the one on my Brunella. I assume things changed when they changed their baskets to round ones. Searched for a second double also to have just in case. Read La Peppina used the same, found one for sale and received it today. It is the same and fits fine. Hope you get yours working soon and have a good time with it.

Nasos

mainlyespresso (original poster)

#5: Post by mainlyespresso (original poster) »

Hi Nasos,
Thanks for the reply.
Mine is red and a bit older than yours. It doesn't have a light or thermostat. I'm curious how stable the temperature will be. I imagine having to flush before pulling a shot. I'm in two minds on whether to keep it as original or add a thermostat. It does still have the grill which I'm quite happy about.
Francesco suggests the old basket for a Riviera Zacconi may fit. Good to know the La Peppina basket fits as well.
Will post photos of it in original state soon.
Taan

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drgary
Team HB

#6: Post by drgary »

Taan,

Machines that don't have a pressurestat typically vent steam to create a stable boiler pressure/temperature. With an old La Pavoni, for instance, you attach a pressure gauge to the steam wand using a thick rubber hose and adjust the pressure relief valve until it's cruising at a desired pressure, like maybe 0.8 - 0.9 bar. Does it vent steam from the hole in the back?
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

mainlyespresso (original poster)

#7: Post by mainlyespresso (original poster) »

Hi Gary,
I think this type of machine is classified as an Open Boiler. There is no relief valve. I've only run it long enough to determine the heating element works. It certainly boiled and created steam.
Taan

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drgary
Team HB

#8: Post by drgary »

Thanks for updating me on that. I've never seen one.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

pnasium

#9: Post by pnasium »

Taan,

mine takes about 10' to reach 94C and shut the element off, a bit more or a bit less according to the room temperature... I then pull the lever down and let water run to the cup to warm it... I then empty the grinded coffee for the OE Lido E to the basket and tamp... I am in no hurry, it might do 1-3 re-starts on the element before I empty the water from the cup and lock the portafilter after wiping the water from it... then I lower the lever, wait a bit, release (holding it) up to a point and wait a bit more, I might do it one more time and wait for a few drops of flow, then go back down and after 2-3'' I let it go... I usually get a ristretto. I don't do a second up and down to get more, I believe it will ruin it. The hand made white bronze tag is my only custom add on replacing the pretty wrecked original name sticker...

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grog

#10: Post by grog »

Is indeed an open boiler machine and they can make excellent espresso. I highly recommend unscrewing the piston off of the rod from underneath rather than attempting to compress the spring and removing from above. It's very easy to replace the seals if you unscrew the piston as then you can just leave the lever and spring assembly in situ. You can still lube the interior of the piston bore too.
LMWDP #514