It only hit me recently when I began disassembling the groups in my Gaggia that I realized I started the first steps to restoring the machine, so I decided to start its own thread rather than keep posting to my acquisition thread. I purchased this machine in February and it has been sitting in the atrium of my apartment since then. It will be moving with all my other stuff May 31st, so when that date passes this thread will likely not have anything of note added until it arrives back in the US around early August. The machine itself is in decent condition, notwithstanding the missing drip tray. I will try to be as thorough as possible during this thread, and it will be my very first full restoration of an espresso machine!
Here is the machine as I received it: the panels are actually in pretty good condition and I already decided to keep it original after I finish repairing the machine. All of the knobs are accounted for as is the gas system and electrical wiring. All of it needs a good cleaning. The portafilters are an unusual type that I have seen online once or twice before, which I think are pretty cool in its design. They utilize an open style spout similar to a fountain pen.
I started with the groups, as I will not be going too deep before the move and can reassemble them if needed. I unscrewed the left group first to check the inside, and it was what I expected: a grimy and decaying gasket stack and a rusted/very dirty shower screen. It was when I unscrewed the right group that I ran into my first unexpected find: clogged SOMETHING everywhere inside with the consistency of fine powder. My suspicion (though I do not want it to be true) is the former owner never cleaned this group, and as a result coffee continuously built up over time, to the point the piston itself, which is meant to wobble a bit, is stuck in one position! The good news is this powder easily falls out, so I have been just gently tapping the group assembly to get most of it out.
I have been trying to take off the side panels, but I am having some issues doing so. It appears that there are some bolts that hold these panels together in VERY inconvenient spots, notably in the back. I also one stuck side nut on the left panel, but I have been working on it with WD-40 and will move on to Evaporust if it does not budge. I was able to get off the other side panel nuts by using a US quarter gripped by pliers, as the inside of the screwdriver hole is concave and does not work well with regular screwdrivers. This method was recommended by a tool guy in a local market place, where I also purchased a bearing extractor for the groups for an excellent price! My first question on this machine is how I can approach the nuts on the back of the machine, or if there is an easier method of accessing the machine. I am adding photos of the known nut locations
possible nut behind the panel on the upper part
Painful nut on the bottom part of the back panel
Nut attached to the middle back panel on the inside of the frame (The orange coloured bolt sticking out)
Easiest nut to access, where the drip tray would rest.