Restoring a sweet 1974 Olympia Express Club

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#1: Post by jwCrema »

The machine I bought from Russel is running again. This is the third Club I've owned in the last 4 ½ years, I have two and the first one is owned by a friend. Club #1 was a 1969 model, Club #2 was the second to last manufactured in 1978, Club #3 is a 1974 model.

This Club needed a complete wire harness, so I created this diagram from the 1978 model, which is completely original. It had never been used until I acquired it.

In the study of the 1978 Club I noticed it had a terminal block. I bought a ceramic terminal block from McMaster-Carr

I never found a source for a perfectly fitting cord grip so I settled with this one from McMaster-Carr

I went with silicone wire:

I used a NOS thermofuse, Manometer and Olympia PSTAT I had acquired in 2018. I found a replacement thermofuse, but it will require a fitting to utilize the same holes in the boiler plate.

I've installed a new spring using used this one piece of 2"x4" on all three Clubs. And, the frame dimension is different on every year. It's a head scratcher - the only thing I can think of is they were more handmade than I would have imagined. The 1974 Club frame is the smallest. I've cut out areas on the 2x4 to allow it to fit flat in the frame; the foot nut/bolt keeps that from happening. I also added these pencil marks to center the jack. The hole to allows the jack to go to full contraction, without the nut.

For disassembly, the additional 1x2 piece isn't needed, however it is needed for installation. With the "booster piece", the jack is able to fully insert the group in the head. There is undoubtedly a better tool, but this one works, and I had the wood laying around to make this work. Machinist Jack

From the same material I use to create the boiler and group head gasket, I created a jack gasket to protect the group head. I believe Dr Gary was the first one to find this material - it is awesome. Very easy to work with:

This spring was still strong enough to pull the shot on its own. My son, who has been drinking black coffee or espresso for most of his life and is over 40 years old, argues for the soft spring for its lower profile shot. He might have a point. But, it's my Club. Ha....

The jack is at full insertion - easy to add the nut from here.

When I installed a new gasket to the site glass, the blue paint looked sketchy, so I removed all of it. What was the old paint? Was it food safe? I decided to go without paint for now.
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#2: Post by Paolo »

Many thanks for your efforts here, Jack!
Much appreciated.


#3: Post by Sw1ssdude »

Nice diagram! This will be very handy for all the Club restorers on HB!

About color coding of cables: In Switzerland, the power grid is three phase 380v AC. the three phases have the colors brown, gray and black. the neutral is light blue, and ground is green-yellow. the three phase power is only used for bigger household devices, like washing machines. For everything else, you tap only one of the phases (usually Phase 1, brown) and neutral (light blue), plus of course a ground connection.

This is why Olympia machines have light blue and brown cables.

The sight glass is from a company named KLINGER. you can still buy an exact replacement if needed. but i cant imagine how you would need one, because those sight glasses are rated up to hundreds of Bars of pressure. I took the blue color out as well. Brass looks nicer, plus i do not trust paint from the seventies...
Lean Mean Caffeine Machine

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#4: Post by UseIt4Toddy »

Thank you for sharing. Are you using the machinists jack to service your groups more frequently? I believe in a prior rebuild thread, you mentioned you only infrequently cleaned and relubed pistons.

You and Nino are now making me nervous about the blue paint in the sight glass of my 75. You removed the paint with a fine steel wool or something similar?


jwCrema (original poster)
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#5: Post by jwCrema (original poster) replying to UseIt4Toddy »

My pleasure. I find the groups are well lubed when I change the springs, so I'm still lubing the seals to a minimal level. When it comes time to lube the seals, not using the jack would be scary with the level of tension they have. I do keep the shaft and lever well lubricated. I forgot to mention screw lever pins are now available on Etsy for the Club after a terrifying lapse of availability. The original c-clip/pin combination is beyond maddening, even with the best c-clip pliers manufactured.

I confess to holding a misguided belief the blue came from glass refraction. I'd never had a reason to re-gasket the sight glass. To remove the paint I used grades of emery, then finished with stainless wool. I also used a thin layer of Loxeal 18-10 on the mating surfaces to tighten it following a torque pattern like you'd use on an engine cylinder head. I like fittings tightened to the minimum level needed to achieve the seal. Loxeal lets me keep that goal.

My wife and I had our first cups this morning with the new spring and we both felt it improved taste, agreeing with Lobin's findings in a recent spring thread.