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Thread: Carimali rebuild

  1. #1
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Carimali rebuild

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi gang,

    Im not too comfortable fitting this in the "extreme" category...it sounds too much like a boast. However, it fits the definition closer than any of the other categories, so here goes.

    This the gutted chassis of single group Carimali that I recently came into ownership of. This is prior to cleaning.


    It was in reasonably tidy external appearance when I picked it up, although I dont like the maroon colour, or the "checkerbox" screen printing on the front panel. I may re-do the paint; Im toying with the idea of a metallic "ice" blue....whaddya reckon??




    Cleaning the front panel took care of the screen printing, as it came off anyway, luckily the logo on the rear was made of sterner stuff.

    I steam cleaned the bare chassis this afternoon and have started to re-assemble the electricals. There had been lots of cockys living in the control box...yuk!


    Most of the filth is shop grease mixed with coffee grounds. It looked disgusting, but, like an oily engine, cleaned up fairly easily. Heres some "before" shots.....








    I have the boiler in a copper(!), soaking in CLR. I could probably get away without descaling as it isnt all that bad. Build date was 1997, and it looks to have had relatively little use; not much cleaning either. Ive already cleaned all fittings. Ill replace all seals and gaskets as I re-assemble.

    If other members are interested, I will give updates as I progress. Paintwork not-withstanding, I hope to have it up and running within the next week or so.

    Regards,
    Phil

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Phil,

    Looking good, and yes please updates along the way!!!

    Love to see a project taking shape. ;D ;D ;D ;D

    Just a word of warning (unfortunately too late for you but might help others) :(

    Please, please dont use CLR to clean coffee equipment. Its not food safe so will need LOTS of washing to clean it away - but the really bad news is that it leaves a "taint" which will affect the brews and that is very, very hard to remove. :-/ :(

    Just use citric acid (cheap, effective and totally safe to use and food safe as well). If you want to use what the "big boys" use then its diluted hydrochloric acid - but no need as citric acid works perfectly. :)

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    Re: Carimali rebuild


    Hi Phil,

    What a great looking machine. I reckon thats about as extreme as you need for home use. I look forward to seeing it progress and hearing about the first shots.

    I sort of agree with JB wrto CLR, but I have used it and managed to clear it out of the system. It will probably take a bit more rinsing. CLR is much more effecting near room temp, while citric acid like really hot water to be effective.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Hi Phil - please dont change the colour...I think its beautiful as is!

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Gday Phil

    Looks like a really nice machine, well designed and well built. The ideal home project machine..... And like JB says, we like to have lots of progress reports and photos, its always interesting to see what other CS-ers are getting up to with their "extreme" machines ;D

    Mal.

  6. #6
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Thanks guys,

    It is a neat little machine, isnt it? The boiler is 3.5L and the element 1600W, which are easy to live with in a domestic situation. My current machine is a semi automatic Bo-Ema which makes a great espresso, but has a 7L boiler with a 2400W element. The Carimali would have to be a third smaller, which isnt a huge deal but it would be nice to reclaim some bench space. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, and Ill decide which to keep when I do side by side comparisons.

    Im going to lag the boiler with some temporary insulation and make a template at that time so that if I manage to get some of the silicon foam insulation, it will make it that much easier to do. There are no other tweaks planned at this point, but well see. I wont know whether the volumetric dosing works until I fire it all up....I dont really care if it doesnt!

    Hmm, descaling! This is my third go at a rebuild/restoration, and Ive been developing a bit of a regime depending on how bad the scale and external dirt is. I start by washing the parts in Nifti to clean external dirt and grease. Next up, descaling. Its funny, the three machines have come from Qld, NSW and Vic respectively, and the scale type has been quite different in each case. This one (from Sydney) seems to be more brownish, and a bit "softer". The Qld machine, which was in a parlous state, was very much like dark concrete.

    Anyway, I use citric or tartaric acids for mild descaling, and, as Mark mentioned, at an elevated temperature. I think its handy if the machine isnt going to be stripped down as its fairly easily flushed out. I didnt use it in this case, as I planned to strip the machine completely.

    I agree that CLR can be a pain in the neck, but Im fairly happy that the steps I now take remove it prior to use. I think the odour/taste of CLR lingers in the scale itself, so its critical to completely remove all scale. This can be problematic with small, enclosed areas such as pipes, HXs etc. All parts that will fit end up in my ultrasonic cleaner until Im satisfied its perfectly clean.


    Once thats done, I flush them til they seem to be clean, then they get a soak in Sodium Bicarbonate, which seems to remove any lingering CLR odour in IME. The boilers a little more problematic; it invloves removing, rinsing, and shaking to dislodge the scale until theres no more visible, then doing the bicarb soak. As you mention JavaB, the CLR can ruin a fortnights worth of coffee.

    I used Hydrochloric acid on the Bo-Ema, the scale in that boiler boggled the mind! Thank goodness it had a removable end plate! It was a quarter of an inch thick in some places; I was also using a small cold chisel (carefully!) and a wire brush. I may end up using HCl on this one if the CLR doesnt seem to be getting there after a few days.

    If/when I do all this again on yet another machine, Ill do it all with dilute HCl to compare.

    Now, how does this all go back together again.......??!!

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Hi Phil, you clearly know what youre doing. I love the ultrasonic bath. Ive been looking at that auction place with one of those in mind...

    I notice a lot of beans and a few bunnies as well. I hope theyre not going in the machine. ;)

    Keep us posted so we can all enjoy the ride. Hopefully if we get enough restoration projects here, this forum may become a useful souce of info for first time restorers.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Phil,

    Yep, that ultrasonic bath is to "die for"..... you have a great setup.

    If you want even more scale in the boiler- try a refurb on a machine ex Perth which hasnt been used with a water softener..... we have about 125mg hardness in the city with almost 3 times that in some country areas.

    Good luck with your current project.... looking forward to pictures of the final result.


  9. #9
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky link=1175840909/0#6 date=1175904104
    Hi Phil, you clearly know what youre doing
    As if!! Lets just say Im happy to learn by my mistakes!

    The UC came from the well known auction site. As it happens, I bought it from the U.S.; interestingly it belonged to the USNs Nuclear Medicine Dept at Pearl Harbour! It was relatively cheap, couple of hundred or so from memory. My other obsession is hi-fi and music which is why I initially bought it; I also use the UC to clean lps! Its handy for a multitude of purposes...money well spent. It has a 5L capacity, which makes it a much more useful size than the wee jewellery cleaners available.

    I agree that this site is a good resource for amateur restorers. I am a bit of a lurker on forums and chat rooms, but after swapping a few emails and PMs back and forth, figured the project and discussions may be of use to others down the track.

    JavaB, your advice has been niggling at me! Ive taken the boiler out of the CLR, and made up a large brew of what would be about 5%v/v HCl and plonked the boiler in. Ill keep an eye on it and rotate it this afternoon and see how it goes. It is clearly more agressive than the CLR; I wish the brilliant pristine copper could stay that way!

    Regards,
    Phil

  10. #10
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Thats quite a project, Phil. Your approach is very methodical. The machine looks to be of industrial strength and in great shape.

    Yep, pity copper tarnishes -- but then, that protective layer is the very reason why it doesnt "rust" like steel.

    Good luck flushing and reassembling.

    From your pics the steam and hot water taps appear to be electrically operated. Is that right? How do you control volume?

    -Robusto

  11. #11
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1175840909/0#9 date=1175995290
    From your pics the steam and hot water taps appear to be electrically operated. Is that right? How do you control volume?
    Hi Robusto,

    The valves are standard arrangement, but they use a "cam"-like lever arrangement instead of threaded taps. Its not exactly my preference, but I dare say Ill get used to it. I rarely use steam in any case.

    Heres a couple more pics of the boiler soon after removal from the HCl bath. This only took an hour or so. The boiler had been in CLR, and wasnt badly scaled up in the first place, but I was impressed with the job the HCl did.


    Sorry for the out of focus photo, this is the inside of the boiler as seen through the element hole; the HX tube is in the lower half of the frame. It looks like an endoscope shot!


    Regards,
    Phil


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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    ahhhh its a thing of beauty :o

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by phil jeffery link=1175840909/0#10 date=1176151109

    Heres a couple more pics of the boiler soon after removal from the HCl bath. This only took an hour or so. The boiler had been in CLR, and wasnt badly scaled up in the first place, but I was impressed with the job the HCl did.
    Regards,
    Phil
    Looks good there Phil. You can understand why the pros use HCl.... just so much quicker (but caution is needed in handling the stuff....)

    Its a pity the boiler (and cleaned copper piping etc ) doesnt stay the lovely rosy pink clean copper colour. It will look really impressive "under the bonnet".

  14. #14
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    I know what Im doing tomorrow now; a package just arrived from Coffee Parts! Id tackle some re-assembling this afternoon, but I just finished nightshift this morning, and Ive learnt after decades of working shiftwork not to tackle anything requiring thought and an even temper after graveyard. Thats O.K., I can count copper pipes to help me sleep on it...........


    Scratch a stay, Ill have it up and running tomorrow or Sunday. I promise to take plenty of assembly photos,
    Phil

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Good one Phil

    Mal.

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    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Sweet dreams ... of the sweet coffee it will undoubtedly produce by Monday.

    -Robusto

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    phil,

    Good luck for tomorrow...

    Ill be awaiting news of the results of your efforts.

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    all those bags look like so much fun!!! :D

  19. #19
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Well, its assembled...in a manner of speaking!

    I have not yet replaced any external trim parts as there is still work to be done, but Ill get to that.....


    I laid out the parts more or less grouped to the major components so I wouldnt lose track of what went where; boiler, group head, water distribution etc


    Then assembly started. Group head....


    On the fittings that called for it, I used liquid thread sealer rather than teflon tape. Its a bit neater.

    When I re-fitted the boiler, I left all fittings loose, so as to let the boiler "find its place" and avoid placing any of the copper pipes under strain.




    Last in was the doser and pipework, then check and tighten all fittings...


    Last was to bench-test. I primed the pump and dropped the inlet into a bucket. Its a standard Fluid-O-Tech/Procon pump and will happily pump without head pressure. I then hooked the electricity to a portable RCD. My house is protected already, but a little extra protection doesnt hurt; besides, if theres a problem, its quicker than going downstairs to the board every time it trips! O.K., ready to roll, hit the switch Igor!


    Happy days! The auto-fill clicked in after a few seconds, the level decreased in the bucket, and, after a short time, the auto-fill shut off. So far, so good...on to the automatic dosing.

    All doser functions work; most importantly to me the manual switch does also. I will have to learn how to program the dose times; the single short black lasts barely 5 seconds, and the two long blacks only 15 seconds! No big deal; as I mentioned, Im mainly interested in the manual bypass anyway.

    Next up was checking the heating. I hit the switch, the relay clunked, and the element switch light illuminated. You beauty! After about 5 minutes however, the RCD tripped. In any case, the element will be replaced if need be.

    Anyway, Ive had enough for the day. Ill drain the boiler this afternoon and do battle again tomorrow. Im pretty happy all things considered.....

    Phil

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    Re: Carimali rebuild


    Thats a very neat little machine Phil. Thanks for posting the step by step process.

  21. #21
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Very nicely done so far.

    Do you need to put the external trim back?

    I kinda like the look of that first picture.

    Maybe you could make some see through panels.

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Acrylic is easy to use, but maybe not for the top of boiler.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Looks great Phil - better than new!

    Oh and TG - I saw an expobar at the show with acrylic sides and back!

  24. #24
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1175840909/15#20 date=1176530706
    Very nicely done so far.

    Do you need to put the external trim back?

    I kinda like the look of that first picture.

    Maybe you could make some see through panels.

    Haha! I thought the same! Alas, youth is fleeting. Those rosy pink copper/brass pieces will look daggy more or less by this time tomorrow. It looks like an exhibit at an art gallery, doncha think? Well, it does to me....

    After a short break from assembly, Ive got the element working fine. The method I used has worked for me twice now on elements that were leaking to earth enough to trip the RCD. I took the element out and placed it upright in my oven for about 3/4 of an hour at about 150C. The resistance from the sheath to the element went from about 4M[ch937] to total open circuit, ie fixed [smiley=thumbsup.gif] (Moderators, Im not sure whether advice of this kind contravenes any site rules; please delete if so).

    I can now state that the machine is fully functional and leak free. Orright!!

    Goose that I am, the volumetric dosing is also fine. When there is no resistance to flow due to absence of coffee grounds, the flowrate is higher....duh! The single short black dispenses about 45mL, so taking into account water retention in the puck, should end up spot on.

  25. #25
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    That would be the new model so you can see the reservoir water level.

  26. #26
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Im impressed by your methodical approach, Phil. Very nice. And a great set of pix.

    I was tricked like you by the volumetric dose, but luckily there is enough brain power left to figure it out straight away.

    To program, if its anything like mine, press and hold the extreme right button. If all the others start flashing, thats good.

    press one of the others to start, press again to finish, and it should be programmed. Repeat the procedure for all of them.

    This may or may not work, but worth a try.

    -Robusto

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Phil,

    Both looking and sounding good there..... yep its a pity that lovely rosy pink fades so soon...

    Now for the first shot of nirvana...

  28. #28
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    We are obsessive about our machines. Who else would lament that the pink sheen is only illusory --- when the internals are hidden out out of sight by panels never to see the light of day ;D ;D ;D

    Perhaps there is some high-temperature clear polyurethane or other similar as used on car engine blocks....?

    -Robusto

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1175840909/15#27 date=1176534652
    We are obsessive about our machines. Who else would lament that the pink sheen is only illusory --- when the internals are hidden out out of sight by panels never to see the light of day ;D ;D ;D
    -Robusto
    Its no different to those who chrome everything in sight under the bonnet of a car..... and even have everything so spotless you could eat your dinner off the rocker cover - but wouldnt of course be allowed to as it would soil the finish....

    At least a coffee machine is a device for food preparation..... and I know its clean (yeah even pretty).... and I dont care if no-one else even sees it. So Im obsessive - and proud of it! ;) ;D ;D

  30. #30
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1175840909/15#26 date=1176533788
    Now for the first shot of nirvana...
    Actually, more like bilge water! I dont plan to do any more tonight than a soak test (hmm, that may be poor nomenclature in the circumstances!), and then do some tuning tomorrow. First impressions are the boiler pressure is running too high; Ive reduced it to 0.8 - 1.0 bar, but the group will still need a good cooling flush first. Its actually spitting steam a bit at the start of the flush. The brew pressure appears to be running a bit low too; the same grind and tamp that works well with the Bo-Ema slowed the flow too much. I dont want to fiddle too much til its plumbed in however, as then Id only have to do it all again.

    Ill break out my newly made brew pressure gauge, thermocouple and a patient mien tomorrow. Its time for a couple of sherbets now.......

    Phil

  31. #31
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1175840909/15#28 date=1176535080
    Its no different to those who chrome everything in sight under the bonnet of a car..... and even have everything so spotless you could eat your dinner off the rocker cover - but wouldnt of course be allowed to as it would soil the finish....
    ...And you know that the black stuff which emerges from your pride and joy is drinkable, unlike the same-coloured liquid that may be oozing out of the chromed manifold 351CID thumper.

    -Robusto

  32. #32
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    .....and finally, heres a pic of the end result. The temp. was a little bit cold, but you get the picture. The shot before this was terrific; of course I didnt have the camera handy then....the one that got away!!

    Sorry for the out of focus shot, Itll be easier once the drip trays back in place.


    Regards,
    Phil

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    looks great id say job well done ;D

  34. #34
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Segrave link=1175840909/30#32 date=1176593205
    looks great id say job well done ;D
    Thanks! I can see Im gonna have the shakes by the end of the day; I cant throw them in the sink, Im drinking them all! Ive got some friends coming around mid-morning, they can be my guinea pigs.

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Lucky them :D

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Great job Phil, and nice machine :)
    Mines the two group version of the same beast, as you can see in the pic at left. It had been rebuilt by the vendor so I havent gone the full restoration route as yet, but hope to one day in the future. As it is, replacing some group seals and one control box got it all working very well, and aside from a minor boiler leak functions very well for me so far (a year and a bit down the track).

    If you havent worked out the volumetric dosing yet, it depends on the age of the controller. Older ones had a program/run switch on the side of the box containing all the electronics under the drip tray.

    Later controllers use the push-for-5-seconds method of getting in to program mode that was mentioned earlier. Even if you have no leds on the control panel buttons you may still have a later controller that works this way (as I now do). I have instructions for how to set the volumes for both types if you need them. Let me know.

    Cheers,

    Dennis

  37. #37
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Thanks Dennis,

    To be honest, I havent played with the doser yet. Ive used the single shot button, and the double long black button for flushing; its a wee bit long, so thatll be the first one I play with. Theres no program/run switch that I recall on the control box, so is probably the latter method.

    This machine ended up being dirtier externally than internally, but I still dont regret doing a complete strip. I now know its condition and layout intimately, and, barring electronic failure, should be sweet for a fair while now. Theyre a well designed machine, arent they?

    Have you isolated the location of the leak?

    Thanks and regards,
    Phil

  38. #38
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Hi,

    Time for a quick update. I had run the machine as Skeletor for awhile to make sure it had no issues that had to be addressed. There was a minor leak at the top of the group head, but that was it. So, on to the panels...

    The powder coated maroon panels were chemically damaged and scuffed/scratched. I have an aversion to the colour maroon, so if its gonna stay in my house, will most likely have a colour change, but in the meantime, got a bit of a cutnpolish.

    Prior to anything......


    Then, out with the cutting compound....


    Was it really worth the effort? Powder coat is hard to work with (it looks better in the flesh)....


    Semi-clad....


    All together bar the drip tray...


    In situ next to the suddenly unloved Bo-Emoth....


    Money shots forthcoming,
    Phil

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Ahhh,

    Aint that cute, big brother Boema now has a little sister Carri :-*.

    Great rebuild Phil with an excellent outcome mate.... Top job,

    Mal.

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Phil,

    Great job on the Carimali..... looks fantastic- just like a new one.

    Congratulations. :) :)

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Phil,
    A truly great job! Seeing how meticulously you went about it all, Im sure you kept receipts. How much did the total rebuild end up costing?

    Regards,
    Paolo.

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    great job phil, how do the shots compare with the boema? the only experience ive hadd with carimali machines, is the substandard coffee served at McCafe...

  43. #43
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Thanks for the responses gang, but I feel like a bit of a fake. It was really only filthy and in need of a stripdown and clean. With that in mind, it was all successful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paolo link=1175840909/30#40 date=1177459587
    Phil,
    A truly great job! Seeing how meticulously you went about it all, Im sure you kept receipts. How much did the total rebuild end up costing?
    Paulo, funnily enough, thats one thing I didnt keep a watch on! The machine cost $150, I bought four second hand PFs for $50, the seals etc maybe $30, plus I bought a lovely narrow width, uncovered double dribbler for $12. So, say all up cost without time and chemicals of ~$250....cheap at twice the price! With labour included, a bloody ripoff! It was a labour of love however.....

    Quote Originally Posted by MachoSilvia link=1175840909/30#41 date=1177474813
    great job phil, how do the shots compare with the boema? the only experience ive hadd with carimali machines, is the substandard coffee served at McCafe...
    Is that right? I didnt know that Maccers used Carimalis. At the moment, Im still pulling nicer shots with the Bo-Ema, but I guess its all a learning curve. Im a bit of a convert to the volumetric dosing however, the need to demolish household items to reach the machine before the shot overflows is much reduced! I find that little things like jiggling the PF with the blind filter while cleaning makes more of a mess with a three lug assembly, but, once again, is probably just something to get used to.

    My current thinking is to keep this one, but the Bo-Ema is my first love....
    Phil

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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    End result looks great Phil, well done!
    The leak on mine Im pretty certain is just the thread where the element screws in to the boiler, just not properly sealed when the rebuild was done I expect. One day Ill get around to looking at it....

    Let me know if you need any of those volumetric programming instructions.

    Cheers,

    Dennis

  45. #45
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Thanks Dennis,

    I had a go at it the doser re-programming this morning, and its just as you and the other poster mentioned. I only have one LED on the panel, on the manual pump button, but that started flashing at about 5 seconds, then up, up and away!

    When I returned the element to service, I reversed the teflon gasket just in case of leaks; touch wood, no leaks. I reckon you could get it done in half an hour (if you have a big spanner or shifter)....go on, get into it!

    Regards,
    Phil

  46. #46
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Hi Phil,
    Great to find your story here. Ive just bought a 1 grp Carimali to restore/rebuild. And my current machine is also a Boema!

    Cheers
    Bruce

  47. #47
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Hi Bruce,

    Small world! If I can be of any help, feel free to PM me or post here. Im certainly no expert, but you cant help but learn about a particular machine when its down to its dismantled components.

    Im still torn as to which machine I prefer, but I think the Carimalis smaller dimensions and volumetric dosing have swung me over. The Bo-Ema has more of "me" invested in it, but thats a silly reason to keep a machine. BTW, I recently replaced the "Turbo" nozzle with a 4 hole one on the Bo-Ema; what a difference!

    Good luck with your rebuild,
    Phil

  48. #48
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Hi Gang,

    I had a heart stopping moment today, happily resolved now!

    Ive been using the Carimali solidly, except for a couple of weeks when I returned the Bo-ema to service to prepare it for sale, and so that potential buyers could give it a try-out.

    The Carimali had been performing flawlessly. I had one occasion early on where I believe a vapour lock caused the p-stat to malfunction. I dismantled it anyway to confirm everything was O.K., havent had a problem with it since.

    The pump also "seized" as when I first got the machine after sitting idle for a couple of weeks. As before, a large screwdriver (when switched off!) at the rear of the motor shaft freed it up again. It got descaled along with everything else, but as it cant be dismantled, its hard to know how much got removed. I dont know about you guys, but I think tight pumps regulary show this type of symptoms if left unused for a period of time.

    Anyway, on to the heart stopping moment.

    The machine is connected to the mains via a timer to turn on a little before 5:00am, so that everythings hot to trot for when I come downstairs. It then turns off at 11:30am, unless I bypass the timer. During this time, I may or may not be at home.

    Today, I had just got home from walking the dogs when I heard the PSV starting to feather. By the time I got to the machine and started removing the top cover, it had well and truly popped! The boiler pressure was already almost 2 Bar and climbing! I hit the power switch and opened up the steam to get the pressure down. The bloody thing kept climbing! I got an asparagus pot (think tall) under the steam arm and opened it up completely. Pressure still climbing, almost forward to the zero...what the??!! Saucepan under the hot water outlet and opened that up too, then raced around the back to physically disconnect from the mains. At last, pressure dropping..whew!

    O.K., now for some troubleshooting. Id had the previous problem with the P-stat; gotta be that right? Wrong! It clicked off where it was supposed to, the element on light went out, but the pressure started to climb, just as before. How can it be? I hit the power switch before the pressure got too high again, but as before the pressure kept going up!

    A quick check with the meter confirmed that the element was getting juice in spite of the power switch being turned off. This left but one conclusion, a problem with the relay in the control box. Sure enough, the varmint was stuck on. Ive pulled it out, blown it out with compressed air, then used 2-23 contact cleaner and it now appears to be working well again. Im surprised that it even could get stuck on, all I can assume is that a fragment of cockroach carcass or something jammed the spring open, or the contacts stuck on. Needless to say, the timer will not be used until im happy that the relay is working O.K. again.

    Which begs the question as to why this machine needs a relay in the first place. Its only a 1600W element, and surely the very substantial contacts on a Sirai P-stat dont need the help of a 4 pole relay? My recently sold Bo-Ema does not use a relay, just a Pressurestat, and its element is 2400W. It seems strange to use a $150 or so relay to protect a $80 or so p-stat and $4 switch. Is it a compliance thing?

    Heres a pic of the offending beast, happily back in the "off" position.

    Now to order a replacement PSV, even though this one is not leaking. I understand theyre not meant to be re-used once theyve popped?


  49. #49
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Phil,

    Yep that relay (contactor) is a strange addition.

    My La Cimbali has almost 4Kw of heaters and they run directly off the Sirai pressurestat so why have they installed a contactor?

    As far as Im aware the PSV is only a spring loaded valve and resets once pressure is reduced..... and doesnt need to be replaced.

  50. #50
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: Carimali rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1175840909/45#48 date=1182392540
    Phil,

    Yep that relay (contactor) is a strange addition.

    My La Cimbali has almost 4Kw of heaters and they run directly off the Sirai pressurestat so why have they installed a contactor?

    As far as Im aware the PSV is only a spring loaded valve and resets once pressure is reduced..... and doesnt need to be replaced.
    Im assuming the contactor was factory fitted; it doesnt look like its aftermarket. Id kind of like to get rid of the clunky thing, especially given todays antics, but assuming theres a good reason why they have chosen to fit it, am a bit hesitant.

    The valve is leak free, so that, along with your thoughts, leads me to believe Ill just keep an eye on it for the moment.

    Thanks for your comments,
    Phil



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