Olympia Cremina SL Lever Mechanism "Catching" - Page 2

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pizzaman383
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#11: Post by pizzaman383 »

Would it be possible to take off the drip tray, position the cremina so the drip tray frame protrudes, then use the two-footed C clamp to compress the spring without removing the group head from the machine?
Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

pcdawson
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#12: Post by pcdawson »

Hypothetically yes, but removing the group is a simple process and makes everything else a lot easier. Doug from OE even recommends removing the group for changing group head gaskets.

My feeling is that Olympia considers this machine essentially maintenance free....... This may explain the design of the group to a certain extent.

pizzaman383
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#13: Post by pizzaman383 »

I think Olympia was shortsighted. They took an existing (old) group head design but didn't make significant updates. This results in a machine that is substantially harder to maintain than the Cremina with a manual group. I don't think it is a surprise that family spring lever machines fell out of favor and I don't think the Cremina SL will have a substantial market presence.
Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

mcontraveos (original poster)

#14: Post by mcontraveos (original poster) »

pcdawson wrote:Can you share a video illustrating the problem?
Again, I'm not certain that this is actually a problem, but there are two things I note:
1. on the downstrokes, I reach what feels like a detent at 0:05 and 0:09. When the group came back from Cerini, there was none of that at all, and the motion was absolutely fluid
2. the overall level of noise in the group action. I would have expected just about silence, but it does sound like there's some sort of slight friction or scraping going on. I can't verify because I haven't looked inside the group.

Thanks everyone.

ilVecchio
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#15: Post by ilVecchio »

I own both the Cremina SL and a Micro Casa a leva. The problems you mention occur with both groups. Of course, it's easy to remove the Elektra group for cleaning and adding grease.

Dealing with Johnnie Cerini is a pleasure. He has even called spontaneously just to see how things are going.

Joel

mcontraveos (original poster)

#16: Post by mcontraveos (original poster) »

Ok -- that's good to know; do you know what is actually going on in the group? It doesn't sound like it's anything out of spec, perhaps it's just part of the deal.

Any idea how this materially affects the brewing process and coffee itself?

ilVecchio
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#17: Post by ilVecchio »

Just use your tastebuds. Are you enjoying your coffee?

pcdawson
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#18: Post by pcdawson »

I don't hear anything outside of the normal range. Mine makes that "ping ping peping" noise as the spring decompresses. Having owned an MCAL and Pro 800 I found that each machine had its own unique sound (calling card!?). I think you're good.

mcontraveos (original poster)

#19: Post by mcontraveos (original poster) »

ilVecchio wrote:Just use your tastebuds. Are you enjoying your coffee?
Well, not exactly; when the friction and "detent" feeling started to get more pronounced, I noticed the coffee getting thinner. Crema started to vanish, too. My customary grind and puck prep, which had worked very well and gave great coffee while the lever felt nice and lubed, was now yielding poor results.

So, some adjustments were necessary, and every now and then, I'll get a good shot..but it's few and far between, and seems much more difficult to attain. When I got the group back from Cerini, my OCSL was like a different machine that could do no wrong.

Thanks for your advice, everyone. I think group service, either at home or at the shop, might be necessary, if only to satisfy my curiosity.

GFride

#20: Post by GFride »

I was getting some binding and a bit of leakage in mine. A drop or two of water would come from between the piston shaft and group head near the top. I thought there might be a damaged seal, but it just needed cleaning and re-lubrication. This was after about 6 months of ownership. I took the group apart using the C-clamp method, but I didn't like the risk of slip[ping so I made a little frame out of wood to hold the group head and use my floor jack to compress the spring. It makes the whole process much easier and much safer.