Olympia Cremina SL Group Maintenance

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redpig
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#1: Post by redpig »

Hi all,

I mentioned in a prior thread that I'd been avoiding properly serving my Cremina SL group by sneaking grease in without removal. Turns out, it wasn't so bad!

I removed the group by taking the M5s with an allen wrench (tedious!):


I then removed the fork. I should've done that first, but it didn't really matter.

I purchased a double headed C-clamp on Amazon ("Bessey DHCC-6 6-Inch Double Headed C-Clamp") aand it worked! I didn't try to remove the shower screen first either,



Once the clamp is tight enough, the acorn and lock nut come off easily.



Then I loosen the clamp to release spring tension. Some gunk came out:



Yum.

Finally got the spring fully relaxed:


And we're out!



My spring had some rust on it, which I lightly sanded off and then put some oil over:



I didn't replace any seals, but instead just cleaned and lubed everything:





Then I clamped it back (without the screen):



Compressing it was no problem:



Once level with the lip of the piston chamber, the top threads will be lined up and ready for the nuts:



And.... done!




I spent the most time on the m5s. I think if I was doing a seal change, it would probably have taken more effort. Obviously, I haven't checked to see if the normal cremina seals will fit, but they _look_ the same (but three of them mounted down, up, down).

Hope this is useful!
LMWDP #411

drH
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#2: Post by drH »

Thanks for sharing.
How often do you think you need to do this? I'm expecting that it will be less than the manual Cremina since there is no water above the seals.

roadman
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#3: Post by roadman »

redpig wrote:I removed the group by taking the M5s with an allen wrench (tedious!):
Tedious? Couldn't agree with you more!

Here's a solution that makes pulling the group screws quick and easy.

This tool has a precision ball point on the end of the driver. Lets you remove the screws from any angle without the group getting in the way. It's especially handy if the machine is still warm, as your hands don't come anywhere near the group or the steam wand.

There are several companies that have this type of driver. When you're ready to ditch the Allen wrench you'll find this particular PB Swiss driver at Tool Lady. Great place to get high quality Swiss made tools for your Swiss made machine. Nice people to work with and they ship from the US.

You can see the tool in action here at the 30 second mark: https://www.facebook.com/Olympia-Expres ... 669881753/


pcdawson

#4: Post by pcdawson »

Thanks so much for posting this! Servicing this group looks a lot less challenging than I thought it would be! I remember reading some where that you should get 18 to 24 months out of the seals before needing to replace them.

Unfortunately I will be sending my SL back to my vendor for a replacement group. The chrome on mine has started to flake off. According to Olympia they had a bad batch of groups where then chromE was too thick.

drH
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#5: Post by drH »

I was surprised to see the posts above with some rust on the spring. I know it's a minor issue, but is this common for spring levers? I've never seen postings with rust on a londinium or Pro800.

chaumein

#6: Post by chaumein »

How long did you wait to do the maintenance? Do springs always rust or if you did it sooner would it have prevented that?

LObin

#7: Post by LObin »

Rust on the spring is a sign that the top piston seal has failed. Either needs lubricant or needs to be changed.

Some groups like the Bosco/Londinium/Pro 800 have a hole up top that will let water through if that seal has failed.
LMWDP #592

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bcrdukes

#8: Post by bcrdukes »

@roadman - Thanks for the lead on the tool. Would you say that it's a "must" for passionate Cremina owners? Any other tools recommended from Tool Lady for routine maintenance on the Cremina?
LMWDP #685

redpig (original poster)
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#9: Post by redpig (original poster) »

LObin wrote:Rust on the spring is a sign that the top piston seal has failed. Either needs lubricant or needs to be changed.

Some groups like the Bosco/Londinium/Pro 800 have a hole up top that will let water through if that seal has failed.
I was lubricating the lower seals only which is exactly why this happened. I've had the machine in daily use on a morning timer (on a couple hours every day) since last March with only brief periods of downtime.

(I was waiting for spare time and parts for my manual Cremina group head so I could swap it in while I took a chance performing maintenance on this one!)
LMWDP #411

drH
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#10: Post by drH replying to redpig »

Ah, so if you have both you are in the perfect position to compare them. What do you think of the strengths/weaknesses of each? Any favorites?