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Thread: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

  1. #1
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    1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey guys.
    I just signed up about 10 mins ago - seems like this is the place to find some help/info on an old 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia.

    Weve had one in our office forever since my 83 year old boss from Italy brought over 6 of them to OZ back in the day, and I fell in love with it as it punches out perfect crema topped espressos everyday - to this day for the past 30+ years. So I decided to go out and hunt one down for my own home. Ive got one now, but Im finding it really hard to find any instructions/info/maintenance data on it anywhere. Id like to know what modifications can be made to it, if its possible to get parts for it, what current parts are compatible etc, etc.

    Anyone got any tips on this piece of Gaggia history?

    Thanks,
    Dan

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs yeeza.

    Coffee Parts (see sponsor list on the left) would be a good starting point for parts.
    Pedro knows all.

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Gday yeeza and Welcome to CoffeeSnobs from me too [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

    Found this photo while hunting around and wonder if this is the same as yours?

    Mal.


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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Yup, thats the one!

  5. #5
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Theres no mistaking its Italian heritage, thats for sure 8-)

    Mal.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Gaggia testarossa - its cute!

  7. #7
    joe
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Its the Baby that matches my early model MDF grinder, which I still use daily.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/attachments/tamper.jpg

    Id like to restore my white 80s Baby one day, but I had the impression that parts like the boiler were diifferent to that of the Classic or current Baby. That 70s model remained unchanged well into the 80s.

    Coffeeparts.com seem to stock parts for a Baby Gran Gaggia, but I gather these are not Baby-compatible.

  8. #8
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    A quick call to Pedro at CoffeeParts (as TG has mentioned) may provide some direction re: parts acquisition :)

    Mal.

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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Wow!!! what a fab machine. I love it.

    If it is anything like a classic youve got yourself a great peoice of machinery. Gaggias may not look sexy, but they do a fantastic job.

  10. #10
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Quote Originally Posted by lucinda link=1175736343/0#8 date=1175836858
    Wow!!! what a fab machine. I love it.

    If it is anything like a classic youve got yourself a great piece of machinery. Gaggias may not look sexy, but they do a fantastic job.
    Oh I dunno Cindy?

    Thats a pretty darn nice looking and sexy machine in my opinion,

    Mal.

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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    I think it is sexy too. Dont get me wrong, Iwas comparing to ECM machnes with all their chrome etc.

    Im a retro kind of girl though.

  12. #12
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Wow. I just won one on eBay and it arrived today. I found th is site while looking for information about it....Fancy that.

    Im mildly (mildly? maybe wildly) intimidated by some of what I dont know about this.
    (Ive been using a Gaggia Coffee for a few years now).

    If you find instructions etc., please post them or post directions to finding them.
    I will do the same.

    Also the unit I got doesnt have a drip tray, so I am on the lookout for one...

    Glad to meet you all.
    Susan

  13. #13
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Susan.

    Congratultions on the new machine.

  14. #14
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Thanks for the welcome.
    THis morning my new OBG got its test run, and I have to say I was sorely disappointed in its steaming ability/capacity. I think Ive been spoiled by my Coffee.

    Anyone know if I can change this wand out?


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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Hi Susan,
    Was that the one from the US? I think I saw that one too. Glad to see it made its way over here. Yeah still no luck in finding instructions for it, but its fairly simple to use. Ive sussed most of it out by now. Although I havent given it a proper run with coffee as I wan to clean it all internally before I use it. All the buttons seem to be doing everything right though.
    Ill let you know if I learn of anything new to help you out!
    Dan

  16. #16
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Hi there Yeeza. Yeah, this machine was already here in the USofA when I got it. I got rather a lot of good information about it at my own more local coffee discussion group over here. You might want to check in on this thread that I started there and see all of the leads I got from it. They are way too numerous for me to repeat.

    http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/291435

    As you will see if you follow that thread at coffeegeek.com, my machine is currently headless. Im trying to sus out whether it is really working and/or workable, since my first attempts to get steam out of it seemed to produce steam but didnt get me more than warm fuzzy milk. Im used to getting real gooey microfoam out of my Gaggia Coffee....

    Anyway, I have a lot more to do, and its slow going since I really dont understand much about the inner workings....

    Susan

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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    What a great colour would go well with my purple flock wallpaper and orange nylon carpet .I had a laugh. :P ;D

  18. #18
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    One of the included accessories is a pair of sunglasses.

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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    If anyone wants to know, Ive found a great supplier of parts for this machine. He seems to have a lot of old stock of spare parts for this machine from back in the day. I found him on ebay Italy. So if you dont mind (or would prefer) getting the parts direct from Italy, heres an option for you. His ebay name is "supercoffeeman" and his online shop name is "ItalianCoffeeShop". Although the Aussie guys seem to have things under control with most parts for this model. In fact youre probably getting a newer version of an old part if you get things from around here which seem to work sufficiently. Anyway, thats an option.

    YeeZa

  20. #20
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Thanks, Yeeza. I havent been checking this board for a bit. I got so involved in taking my Baby apart and finding parts. Thanks for the Italian connection. I will follow up. I found a great resource here in USA: PartsGuru, Edward Harris. He has been helping me and holding my hand as I have taken the boiler apart and am still trying to get the steam valve off. The inside of the boiler was pretty nasty, so Ive ordered myself a Dremel tool to get it cleaned out. Luckily I have a perfectly good Gaggia Coffee to make my daily brew; otherwise I would be rushing myself through this process. Meanwhile every day I learn more about the innards of this great machine.

    Look at the inside of the boiler.....yucko


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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    yewwewr nasty - is that yucky old milk?

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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    WOW! Thats brutal. To think that there were bits of that going into someones body at some time. EEWWW!!!! Id be tempted to get a new boiler all together! Its only about $50 and its gonna save you a heap of time and maybe set your mind at ease that the foam on top of your coffee is crema and not aluminium (aluminum ;)) oxide haha. Youd also have to ask yourself whether the seal is going to be compromised after taking away a layer or two. Seems like youre having fun messing with it though. Thanks for the other threads too!
    Oh and if theres any speculation on the size of the tamper to use - 57mm or 58mm - 58mm is perfect!
    YeeZa

  23. #23
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Oh, and if you need a new group(pf) head gasket, note that it is NOT the same as the newer Baby Gaggias (or Classic for that matter). It is slightly thinner. So if you can get your hands on that youll get a better seal on your pf.
    YeeZa

  24. #24
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Hmmmm, well, Im going the re-furbish route instead of the replace route. I ordered myself a dremel tool which I understand will clean that baby out right quick.

    And Ive ordered all new gaskets (steam valve, brew head and boiler) for when I start putting it back together again.

    You can follow my progress here if I neglect to get back here promptly:

    http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/295539

  25. #25
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Hey guys,
    Ok, so Ive been reading the thread on tweaking the OPV on the Gaggia Classics and it got me wondering if I had a similar OPV on mine. I also read on CG site that the OPV on these old ones were adjustable. I opened mine up last night to find that it was different to the Classic. Instead of the 5mm hex key to adjust the pressure, it looks more like a tap washer setup. I dont really know. Has anyone ever done this before, or was the other guy on the CG website wrong. Id love to have that option. If I cant tweak it, is it possible to change the OPV to one like the Classic or is that going to stuff up the whole system?
    Any light would be great!
    Dan/ YeeZa


  26. #26
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Ok,
    So I took the OPV right off to see if I could attack the situation from other end.... and I couldnt. Then I realised that the top had a slot that could be be turned and rise the internal nut up the OPV. I gave it about a 3/4 of a revolution with a pair of sur-clip pliers that worked perfectly.... so lets see how that goes! I hope Im doing the right thing... Ill let you know how it goes.
    Dan/ YeeZa

  27. #27
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    So, Yeeza, in the attached JPG file, is the OPV valve taken apart? Im trying to suss out the picture. Are we looking down into the top of the OPV with the top piece removed?

    Im thinking theres no sense in my doing this until Ive cleaned out the boiler, put on the new gaskets, and tried her out so I can make before and after adjustments after that.

    Seems like its been a long time now. Im hoping the dremel brushes are going to come in todays mail so I can get back to this project....even if working out in the garden is more appealing on days like this.

    Susan

  28. #28
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Hey,
    Yeah Susan, thats the OPV with the gland taken off - on an overhead view.
    I havent had time to tinker with it much more since then, but will let you know when I do!
    Yours seems to be coming along nicely!

    Dan

  29. #29
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    The inside of the boiler is beginning to shine up nicely, but I still need to figure out how to get something into that outlet to the OPV valve to ream the gunk out of there.

    Susan


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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    I have a white one of these that I pulled down a couple of years ago. It is an absolute PITA to work on as to get to the boiler, you need to unscrew 3 6mm hex bolts under the water tank + remove the plate under the group + remove the steam wand knob and then you still have the wires connecting back to the innards from the top casting.

    The boiler itself is hard to work on as there is a thermowell rather than a simple thermostat for brew temps and the thermostat for the steaming is a delicate exposed contact device.

    After cleaning out all the corrosion in mine + diassembling and cleaning out the pump (which you get to from under the base), Ive gotten stuck as the group/boiler o-ring needs replacement and it is a VERY different part to current Gaggias.

    Its a wonderfully charming example of 1970s Italian engineering. The metal castings would now drive a machine price above $1000. Interstingly, the dispersion block is EXACTLY the same as in a current Gaggia except that the Babys one is brass, not aluminium.

    If anyone can source the correct o-ring, Id love to know.

    Edit: just noticed there is a 2nd page to the thread!!!!

  31. #31
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Gday Kaanage,

    Id just duck down to your nearest Bearing/O-Ring Centre with the old one as a sample.... Bound to be able to get a replacement and if not, most of those places can make one to order. Just need to make sure they know its for a Water Boiler,

    Mal.

  32. #32
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Hi, Kaanage. Susan Here.
    Im still working on my Orange Baby (just got parts from Superespressoman and need to put it back together), but in the meantime I started in on an old White Coffee, too. My usual sources for help on these machines are at coffeegeek.com. Here are two or three threads that relate particularly to the old white Coffee that you have. I need that same gasket and havent tracked it down yet, so I cant give you a specific resource, but I will come back and do that when I find it. Meanwhile, you might enjoy reading some of these threads.
    http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/300130
    http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/299743

    Susan

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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Hi Susan,

    If you can contact Roger Barrett, he is the ULTIMATE source of knowledge on espresso machines and he was a great help to me during my machine overhauls. He lurks most coffee sites and really should write a coffee table book about coffee machines - Id buy a copy.

    alt.coffee is another source of info that sometimes doesnt cross over to CoffeeGeek.

    Funny how we both have one of the old Baby and Coffee machines :)

    Thanks Mal. I didnt know the bearing places could get food grade o-rings. Ill need 2 for a mate who has an Orange Baby :D

    Greg

  34. #34
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Hey, Yeeza, Im in need of your help here.

    I finally got my OBG put back together and now Ive had to take her apart again. (Details are all painfully available at cg.c). BUT, my new problem is apparently in the OPV, so I need your help. The OPV seems to screw into the boiler through a nut. OPV wants to unscrew counterclockwise, but doesnt have room to get by the sensor that comes out of the top of the boiler just to the left of the OPV. So, do I remove something there, or do I remove the nut between the OPV and the boiler?

    And, another question: what tool did you use to untwist that adjusting piece inside the top of the OPV? Im currently trying it with two small screwdrivers on either side of the post, but not having much luck.

    Thanks in advance of any direction you can give me. Im still plugging away at her.

    Susan


  35. #35
    SJM
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Oops, nevermind, Yeez, I got it apart. Now to soak it in citric acid and see if I can get it back to work


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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Oops. the photo turned out a bit mega!!

  37. #37
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    Re: 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia

    Hi,
    welcome to the forum, maybe check out this link and have a squiz at the site and sale policy and maybe the phot resizing.... and maybe post it in this linked thread haha.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=Sale

    YeeZa

  38. #38
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    I have a 1970s Orange Baby Gaggia in need of good service & clean... any recommendations of where to have done in Melbourne?

  39. #39
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    You might want to contact Rick Bond the Coffee machinist, one of the sponsors on here maybe able to help you with that.


  40. #40
    TC
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    x2. I also recommend site sponsor Rick Bond- aka The Coffee Machinist.

    He's done some great work on golden (and orange) oldies and will look after you.

  41. #41
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    I love the look of these machines. Its a shame the parts are so hard to find now.

  42. #42
    Senior Member csutak40's Avatar
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    Memories! That was my very first coffee machine!



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