Lever groups and their compatibility - Conti vs Victoria Arduino Athena

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
sprint jinx

#1: Post by sprint jinx »

Greetings -
As I continue to tinker on my self fabricated machine, which is based upon a 2 group conti PMS Evolution, or Monaco, I came across a chance to buy a lever group head that belonged to a Victoria Arduino Athena Classic Leva. I have only one group hooked up to the conti.
I enquired as to the hole pattern measurement and they were a very close match, so I took the leap of faith and bought it. It does not fit, but its only off by about 1mm in the vertical dimension of the stud hole pattern.
I am at the cross roads of reselling it, or, making it fit with drilling, welding, or both. The stud holes are normally very close to the perimeter of these groups, I don't wish to turn them into slots by drilling them out a smidge. advice?

Other interesting points to note are:
the handle threads are not swap-friendly, they also seem to be about a mm different from each other
the conti is a dipper, the athena is a HX fed, and the threaded hole on the flange is again different, by about 1mm

Other than the 1mm differences, they appear to be very close in design and heft- brothers from different mothers, perhaps. I have disassembled the Athena, it needs seals, but everything there seems fine, just used.

I am searching for images or videos that can show me how the group flange hole attaches to the HX outlet. It would seem to me that the HX fitting would have to be flexible in order for it to be screwed into the hole on the group flange?

It will be interesting to see how one group differs from another, off of the same boiler temp/pressure, if I ever get them both mounted side by side.
Part of me wants to take this opportunity to refurbish my frame, which flexes during use. The mechanical leverage is hell on a box structure, and my setup, although hefty, needs reinforcement in order to be rigid to the forces at play.

More on this to come, its a work in progress. I feel like I am navigating in the weirder areas of parts mashups.

baldheadracing
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#2: Post by baldheadracing »

While the Athena is an HX, it uses a dipper group (one inlet), not an HX group (inlet and outlet). A CMA dipper tube will thread onto the back of the Athena group, e.g., this is the one I have for my Athena group (the newer modern lever group). Unfortunately this particular part is discontinued, but the listing gives cross-references: https://www.cafeparts.com/Injector-Tube/Product/13959

AFAIK, the Athena doesn't actually have a tube attached to that inlet; I believe that the HX (big) tube runs all the way up to the group: https://www.cafeparts.com/Espresso-Mach ... ena-Boiler

(I don't have an Athena; just the group for my much-delayed machine project :oops:)
- My espresso: Swirled, not stirred. My pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

sprint jinx (original poster)

#3: Post by sprint jinx (original poster) »

I was eyeing that same inlet pipe on cafeparts. Funny that you have to 'self bend' it. I have done this in the past, carefully, with and without sand in the pipe to prevent kinking. Thanks for confirming that it fits, I was about to resort to the hardware store fittings to verify the thread sizing.

Are you saying that there is no attachment to the threaded hole in the flange - on the Athena? Then, where is the water coming from, and how is it getting into the group? Im perhaps confused.

When I saw the group for sale online, it appeared to be identical, especially at the flange. Its just odd that the threads aren't all the same, for all groups. I imagined that there are probably just a few casting molds for these things nowadays.

baldheadracing
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#4: Post by baldheadracing »

Just want to confirm yours looks like this:


There's a cutaway drawing of the Athena showing the HX and group somewhere ... I'll see if I can find it.
- My espresso: Swirled, not stirred. My pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

sprint jinx (original poster)

#5: Post by sprint jinx (original poster) »

Yes, that's it, only I am missing the pipe fitting up to it.
There's only one hole into this thing, dead center on the flange.

pizzaman383
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#6: Post by pizzaman383 »

You could enlarge or slot the holes without effecting the strength or the gasket seal, I bet.
Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

baldheadracing
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#7: Post by baldheadracing »



I believe that the light blue shows the HX's; dark blue shows the area that the HX's water would be in contact with the back of the group (so no tube screws into the threaded hole at the back of the group):
- My espresso: Swirled, not stirred. My pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

sprint jinx (original poster)

#8: Post by sprint jinx (original poster) »

I might be stupid, but where can I purchase the pipe that I could bend myself - it should thread into the port on the flange. CafeParts says that they are no longer available. How would I go about cross referencing this?

thanks

baldheadracing
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#9: Post by baldheadracing »

Sorry, I forgot to mention that the mounted length (not including threads) is 270mm. So first you should check if the pipe is long enough to be used as a dipper tube with your setup. If it isn't, then I'd suspect that it is probably easier to make your own.

For the pipe, I was referring to using the three cross-references at the bottom of the page for part numbers for searching:

In addition, the SKU is an LF parts number. The first reference is for a Brasilia (espresso machine manufacturer) part number. LF and the other two cross-references are for wholesale espresso parts companies - they don't sell direct to consumers.

Note that some of the results from Googling have shorter pipe lengths, e.g., 145mm and 160mm, and a lot of parts websites are passive - you can't click to order from them. You have to send an email and they'll get back to you. Most of those sites deal with espresso machine repair shops, not consumers wanting one item.

Finally, another approach is that the same "modern lever group" is used in current production dipper machines, e.g., Profitec Pro 800. A Profitec distributor might be able to order the Pro800 part for you (sometimes machine manufacturers don't want their spare parts being used in other machines). USA distributors are Clive and WholeLatteLove, and according to https://wiki.wholelattelove.com/images/ ... iagram.pdf the part number is P2526

However, past a certain point I know I would get frustrated and would just make the part.

Good luck!
- My espresso: Swirled, not stirred. My pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

pizzaman383
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#10: Post by pizzaman383 »

You can also buy a BSP fitting and build up a dipper tube in whatever shape or using components you need.
Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”