Faema Faemina Restoration

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Brent1975

#1: Post by Brent1975 »

Hello,

I have been toying with the idea of a vintage coffee machine for some time and finally bit the bullet last weekend with a 3rd generation Faema Feamina off eBay; thankfully the box that arrived this morning from Italy wasn't just 11kg's of used car parts. I have been reading quite a lot of the old forum posts here and elsewhere about restoring Faemina's and machines in general, but wanted to check a few things with this group before I get started.

The ball bearing and spring in the valve assembly that regulates the pressure are missing, does anyone know the size of ball and spring needed?

The eBay seller said that he had tested both heating elements last week and confirmed that they were working, but he also said that occasionally the machine electrically shorts. Looking at the underside of the machine, the penetrations for the heating elements appear to be leaking; I am hoping that this is the only reason the machine is shorting. To replace the gaskets is it just a case of removing the brass ring nuts from the underside of the boiler and pushing the heating elements up into the boiler. On my list of things to buy though is a multimeter!

The sight glass bezel unscrews by hand, the glass however doesn't seem so easy to remove, any tips for removing the glass? I was thinking a small suction cap.

Before it had arrived this morning, I had assumed I would need to rewire it and have been searching previous posts and Google for a suitable replacement cable. Unless I have been searching with the wrong terms, I am surprised by the lack of guidance. Can anyone provide the cable spec. of cables they have use to rewire espresso machines in Europe.

Finally, on the underside of the bottom of the boiler Unit there is a round black plastic knob which doesn't seem to serve any purpose, does anyone know what this is for?

I have attached some photos :D

Thank you for your time any advice you can provide me as I get started.

Brent1975

#2: Post by Brent1975 »

And with photos!

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redbone

#3: Post by redbone »

Here are two links that should aide in your restoration project.

Faema Faemina Risurrezione!

Repairing old Faema Faemina

Great machine once dialed in.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

Marcelnl
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by Marcelnl »

indeed, a great machine! Don't forget to check the information on Francesco Ceccarelli's website!
LMWDP #483

EthanL

#5: Post by EthanL »

Hi Brent, nice machine! I have the exact same model and I'm in the process of replacing the gaskets on it. I haven't touched the safety valve yet, but if you can't find any reference online, I can check mine, there are two of those on this machine if I remember correctly. You will need at least a special tool, a sleeve remover, if you are going to take apart the group.

The black outstanding thing below the boiler is a built-in tamper.

As others have mentioned, Francesco in Italy is a great person to turn to if you need spare parts. Restoration guidance can be found on his website and also that of Orphan Espresso.

Brent1975

#6: Post by Brent1975 »

Thanks guys for the replies. I checked again for the spring and ball bearing and thankfully found them, they were slightly lodged and just needed digging out with a toothpick. I have just sent an email to Francesco; it looks like most of my seals and gaskets will need replacing, so a full kit plus the tool. Has anyone needed penetrating oil to remove the boiler elements?

Marcelnl
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by Marcelnl »

the boiler elements should come out easily, they are pulled flat on a green paper gasket by the nut outside which is big enough to gove you enough leverage unless there is severe corrosion. Pictures of the situation may be good to add here. Edit, already showing, those elements should come out real easy!
LMWDP #483

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grog

#8: Post by grog »

I would advise against using penetrating oil anywhere on the machine. It can be very difficult to get cleaned out once it's in there. The main challenge with the elements is usually digging out the old seals, which are on the inside of the boiler. Usually they are baked in there really well, and it's essential that you get those surfaces completely cleaned out in order to ensure the new gaskets seat well. Otherwise you may still have a leak and hence a short. Also it's highly likely the original element gaskets contain asbestos so take precautions when you get to the point of scraping out the last bits, which can generate lots of dust. Don't be paranoid but so exercise safety.

The sight glass is very often fused to the gasket. I don't know if a suction cup will pull it off, but a thin utility blade (X-acto knife or similar) works to get it free. Be sure to have a towel or rags directly under your work area in case the glass pops free unexpectedly. Cafelat used to have spares but not sure if that's still the case.

Francesco's website has a wiring diagram as do some of the resto threads you will find here on HB.

Have fun with the rebuild - Faeminas make great espresso!
LMWDP #514

Brent1975

#9: Post by Brent1975 »

I managed to descale the boiler and elements today and and then remove the heating elements. Scrapped the old gasket material off the heating elements whilst partially submerged; not entirely sure how I'm going to get the gaskets that are still stuck to the inside of the boiler off safely (assuming there's a risk that they contain asbestos).

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redbone

#10: Post by redbone » replying to Brent1975 »

Here's a tip on removing and polishing where the element seats and in group. What espresso machine are you currently restoring..
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549