Gaggia Spring Lever project - Page 3

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
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drgary
Team HB

#21: Post by drgary » Dec 01, 2019, 12:08 am

EthanL wrote:Thanks Gary, that picture is actually Ryan's Tell(before restoration), mine is in the posting before that, slightly better, but definitely needs a full tear down. I guess I got what I paid for, the seller may have charged way more if this is a real refurbished Gaggia leva machine, he only listed it as used, but claimed it has been restored during communication. The real condition of the machine is acceptable, the restoration seems within my capability and accessibility, I'm excited to try the espresso from a commercial spring lever :D
Ethan,

You'll really enjoy a commercial spring lever, and Gaggia groups are excellent. Yours is a very attractive machine. I look forward to watching your restoration.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

EthanL

#22: Post by EthanL » Dec 01, 2019, 12:28 am

Penetrating oil worked, the hex bolt was still tight as heck, but managed to take it off with some scratches left behind. The boiler tag is a beauty, but can't tell me anything before I dive into the Gaggia product coding.
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EthanL

#23: Post by EthanL » Dec 01, 2019, 12:38 am

drgary wrote:Ethan,

You'll really enjoy a commercial spring lever, and Gaggia groups are excellent. Yours is a very attractive machine. I look forward to watching your restoration.
Thanks Gary! :D I was telling myself this will be the machine I want to have in my living room all the time, if what people are saying is true, that new technologies is just to replicate what levers have done.

EthanL

#24: Post by EthanL » Dec 02, 2019, 12:56 pm

Question, when disassembling the group head, I will loose up the front screw (marked No.1), and then unscrew the big hex No.2 to take out the piston. There, I will be able to access and replace all the group head gaskets, correct me here if I'm wrong.

And, do I need to open up the spring and rack mechanism as part of the restoration? I guess that's where I need a spring compressor, I saw people take out the spring and rack, and clean thoroughly in their restoration then reassemble. But also people warn not to take it apart, so how do I determine whether or not I should do it? Thanks!
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IamOiman

#25: Post by IamOiman » Dec 02, 2019, 2:58 pm

The first thing you want to do is loosen the grub nut (1) on the front of the bottom part of the group and see if you can unscrew the 80mm hex nut by hand. Try adding heat if it does not budge at first but I was able to do it without any tools for both of my groups. You can cock the lever and use it as leverage as well if needed. This is to see what the gasket stack is like and allows you to inspect the spring itself. You can skip this part directly if you simply want to decompress the spring with 100% certainty.

(2) is when you want to separate the hex nut with the top part of the group, but first you must take off the lever and preinfusion mechanism. There are two grub nuts on that hex. Start by loosening the nut on the right side (next to the light, takes a 20mm wrench I believe). You will then pull off the lever from the cam. You may need some leverage with a flat head between the group and the lever with some protection (leather, rubber, etc). Heat also helps out. If you do not have a tool like I made you will need to make a spring compression tool with wood and threaded bolts. It is much easier with the mentioned tool if you do manage to find someone with a lathe. I used an M18 x 100mm grade 5 bolt as my starting point. I am not sure what your top thread is for the rack but mine was M12 x 1.5 pitch (some may be 1.75 pitch). With this tool I can decompress or compress the spring in minutes using two wrenches.
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You could see my groups needed work pretty badly. If it looks like this then you will definitely need to service it thoroughly. If you believe the spring is fine you just keep the top part of the group out and replace the gasket stack. I still recommend servicing it completely since it may be painful to do it again in the future and you already took out the top group section.
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-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

EthanL

#26: Post by EthanL » Dec 02, 2019, 9:45 pm

Thanks Ryan! I also went through your gaggia lever group disassembly chapter carefully again, great help. Surprisingly, I took out the piston with bare hands, didn't even have the chance to use the pipe wrench I just bought, not sure if it's a good thing or not.

And here comes something new to me, the piston has the metal sleeve with it, does it seem to miss any gasket?
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EthanL

#27: Post by EthanL » Dec 02, 2019, 9:47 pm

The group to boiler connection is quite tight, might be melted old gasket, any suggestion?
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IamOiman

#28: Post by IamOiman » Dec 02, 2019, 9:53 pm

It is not surprising you could unscrew it by hand. You should be concerned if it did not come out like that. You have a simpler version of the gasket stack, which is probably easier to service and cleanup. There is another user in this forum going by LeverFever that worked on a machine with the same group stack. Gaggia Orione grouphead internals - confused...
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You have a brass v-ring on the bottom that can be taken out with some manuevering.

For the group gasket keep the nuts loose and with the lever cock a few times to see if you can leverage it off. I inadvertently did that with my groups while playing around with it back in May. Otherwise more forceful action may be needed.
-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

EthanL

#29: Post by EthanL » Dec 02, 2019, 11:02 pm

IamOiman wrote:It is not surprising you could unscrew it by hand. You should be concerned if it did not come out like that. You have a simpler version of the gasket stack, which is probably easier to service and cleanup. There is another user in this forum going by LeverFever that worked on a machine with the same group stack.

For the group gasket keep the nuts loose and with the lever cock a few times to see if you can leverage it off. I inadvertently did that with my groups while playing around with it back in May. Otherwise more forceful action may be needed.
Many thanks Ryan! Maybe heating could make it a bit easier? Really tight feeling, I guess the weight of the group itself also makes it feel that way.

The PStat turned out to be a normal mechanical one, not fancy mercury switch, so will replace it with a Sirai. And it also turned out the seller did some kind of restoration, according to the element, but definitely not a good one... still lots of work to do.
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EthanL

#30: Post by EthanL » Dec 02, 2019, 11:11 pm

IamOiman wrote:
You have a brass v-ring on the bottom that can be taken out with some manuevering.
Part A is loosely hanging there, but Part B is not moving, is Part A the V ring or I can somehow slide Part B off down from the bottom?
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