Pasquini Livietta (Olympia Maximatic) restoration

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
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#1: Post by RAS »

I picked up a 1985 Pasquini Livietta over the weekend, and will be doing a ground-up restoration over the next couple months - I hope the H-B'ers who know this machine will provide some guidance I as I go.

Here's the machine just after picking it up (sorry for the crummy picture - not sure what happened there. The camera is a Canon S410, and I had an S400 that had the CCD go bad... Hope that's not about to happen here).

Overall, the machine appears to be in very-good condition. The couple I picked it up from never used it (it was a given to them in lieu of some money owed), and my guess is that the previous owner didn't use it much. Some issues right away:
1. The Fluid-o-Tech pump isn't working. It had been, but in preparation to sell it, the previous owner turned it on for the first time to check to see if the machine worked. One issue is that there was no water in the boiler, and the thermal fuse popped. The owner says the pump had been working until he turned the machine on it's side to see if he could see why the machine wasn't getting hot. I reset the thermal fuse before I bought the machine, but couldn't get the pump to work. My theory is that when it was turned on its side, some sediment came loose and jammed the pump. Any ideas there?
2. One of the four brew-group - to - boiler nuts was inserted, only a very little bit, at an angle. Yes, the first couple threads are cross-threaded. I'm hoping I can re-tap the threads.
3. Steam arm has a bit of chrome missing - should I mess with either replacing this, or trying to get it re-chromed?
4. 54mm baskets... anyone know if a source for the Oly PF?

One other thing that got me scratching my head is that this 1985 machine has a 54mm brew-group and PF, while my 1988 Olympia Caffarex has a 49mm. Why would Olympia have used a smaller one on more recent machines? Any thoughts on that would be appreciated.

I'll post more pictures (with a properly working camera!) as I proceed. The plan is to paint the casing and frame to finish it all up. If anyone knows of a company here in the Southern California area that can help me out with that, I'd certainly appreciate hearing about it. I know I can always send it to Orphan (whom I'll be supporting with any replacement gaskets I need).

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RAS (original poster)

#2: Post by RAS (original poster) »


1. Took the pump apart, made sure nothing was clearly an issue, then reassembled. Works now - which doesn't surprise me - I've never seen such a robust looking vibe pump... Almost looks mil-spec.

2. Stripped everything else down, and have been cleaning all parts as I go.

3. Case and frame are out for a fresh (powder) coating.

4. I found a source for insulation rated to 300-degrees Fahrenheit... Only will need maybe a 10th of the sheet I bought, so let me know if any others out there would like to insulate their boiler (I'm going to make a template while mine is taken apart).

5. I was able to re-tap the crossed-threaded brew-group threads. 6mm standard-metric threading. Pretty simple to do.

6. Seems some others have had questions about this, and from all the searching I've done online (including here), it seems as though Pasquini spec'd their Olympia-made machines with 54mm brew-groups, even while Olympia-branded machines were still using 49mm. Only bummer here is that there seems to only be one source for replacement baskets... Olympia - and at $54 a pop, I hope they're the finest baskets I've ever seen (may get one as I like to have two to work with... I'll just wait until the machine is back together and working well).

7. Had to destroy the feet to remove them from the frame (for painting). Bummer, but OE has spares for $6.50. Oh well.

8. (unrelated to my restoration project) I contacted Canon about my 6 year old Powershot camera... They know they used a bad run of image sensor/CCDs, and will replace it. Very nice. Next pictures with it shouldn't have those lovely artifacts you see in the above image.

Any one else with Olympia or Pasquini restoration tips or stories, please chime in!

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#3: Post by Sherman »

I'm extremely interested. I have a '90 with a 49mm group that has been patiently waiting for me to tune up. Please record for posterity (that is, so that procrastinators like m'self can learn from you :) ).

Looking forward to your updates,
Your dog wants espresso.
LMWDP #288

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RAS (original poster)

#4: Post by RAS (original poster) »

One more tip: if you remove the face of the machine to polish it up, be REALLY careful how you hold it as you polish. Mine has turned out very nice, and I have some decent cuts on my hands from the edges of the face to show for it. OUCH! :shock: Stainless steel can be very sharp on the edges.

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RAS (original poster)

#5: Post by RAS (original poster) »

While I'm (patiently) waiting for some spare Fluid-o-Tech parts, here's a picture of the insulation job I did. The "Gorilla Tape" I used is sticking like crazy, and hasn't been affected one bit by heat (the machine has been on and at temp for a considerable amount of time as I tested and descaled it).

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RAS (original poster)

#6: Post by RAS (original poster) »

Well, she's all done - finally!

I did end up replacing the pump with a new Fluid-o-Tech 1106, and pump pressure is what it should be. Here are some pictures of the machine as it is now, and a picture of the first "real" shot (there were some lame efforts as I troubleshot the pump). It was a bit fast, but highly drinkable. Actually delicious. This is going to be a fun machine to learn more about.

This has been a great learning experience that I'd recommend to anyone who truly wants to understand how these things work. And would I do it again? Absolutely - even as frustrating as it was at times.


#7: Post by romanleal »

Very nice restoration. The machine looks beautiful. What material did you end up using to insulate the boiler?

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RAS (original poster)

#8: Post by RAS (original poster) »

Thanks Roman - and I can honestly say that the pictures don't do it justice. It really turned out nice.

I used 300-degree F insulation from a company called Nomaco. 1/2" thick for the main body (it's the greenish stuff in the picture above). I also used a scrap of insulation I got from Orphan when I insulated my Olympia Caffarex (1/2" was too thick for that one with the gaps I had to work around). The Nomaco insulation works great, and was pretty easy to work with. Good news is the Livietta/Maximatic has far fewer pipes and connectors to get around than the Caffarex does (that was a bit of a pain!). As I mentioned before, send me an email if you're interested in any - I have lots left over (sorry Sherman about the delay - let me know if you're still interested).

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Team HB

#9: Post by drgary »

Great restoration, Bob!

I've got an '83 Coffex, 49mm brew group in need of restoration. What's involved/about what does it cost to get the powder coating and re-chrome the steam wand? There are some rust issues inside mine as well, but I've addressed similar issues in my Europiccola drip tray and think I can handle that part. I used a Dremel tool to polish off the rust and then applied high temperature Rust-Oleum. I'll probably get to this in a few months because we're just now submitting an offer on what we hope will be our next home, and then all that may follow...

Meanwhile, despite showing its age, the Coffex continues to pump out the best capps ever!


What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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RAS (original poster)

#10: Post by RAS (original poster) »

Thanks Gary! What I've been doing lately is dialing in the boiler pressure (and thus temperature). For this, I bought the gauge and adapter from Orphan. Not inexpensive at $85, but it's beautifully machined, and has been worth every penny from a standpoint of systematically dialing in the pressure. The heating cycle originally was coming on at 1 bar, and turning off at 1.2. This resulted in a longer cooling flush and faster recovery for the HX than I like, and the steaming was WAY too powerful (4 ounces of milk in about 15 seconds). I've dialed it back to 0.85 bar - 1.0 bar.... I'll play around with making shots and steaming milk this weekend to see if I'm where I want to me.

As far as re-chroming the steam wand, I'm not too sure that can be done on the Oly wands. There's a captive nut that cannot be removed, and that makes the wand a two-piece assembly. From what I know, certainly could be wrong, a piece needs to be isolated in order to dip, and re-plate, it. For my wand, it luckily just has a small chrome imperfection which I can live with.

For the powder coating, it was more expensive than I thought it would be. $165 to be exact, but that was, in part, higher than it could have been because I did two colors (which required two set-ups by the painter). I'm very happy with how it came out, so I'm ultimately fine with what I paid. But, due to the cost, my lovely brown '88 Caffarex will remain that lovely brown... The paint is in mint condition, so my wife will just need to learn to love "lovely brown"! :wink: