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Thread: La Cimbali m21 Junior s1

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    La Cimbali m21 Junior s1

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

    I think I have scored an absolute bargain here. I have brought a 2002 La Cimbali Junior s1 for $300. Apparently its in "good working order" but I am yet to see it run, and is missing a few accessories, mostly a portafilter.

    Looking forward to getting it home this afternoon and opening it up to have a look on the inside. Exterior of the machine looks in terrific order. It also has a sticker from Supreme Coffee, so it seems to at least have been serviced as some stage in its life

    Now to purchase a new portafilter, quality basket and tamper. A massive step up from the sunbeam cafe espresso ii I currently have.

    Let the learning curve begin.
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    Nice pickup kelvin8r, I had one for a few months around the same vintage. If you picked this up around Brisbane it might even be the same machine.

    Very solid machine which is a full commercial machine with a huge boiler 4.5l boiler from memory but still runs off an internal tank. This is a HX (heat exchanger) machine so you can steam and make your coffee at the same time.

    They run a standard 58mm group so standard baskets and accessories should fit. Not sure about group handles but there is a place down on the Gold Coast, Qld which refurbs coffee gear that might have some used ones (PM me if you get stuck).

    You might find now your grinder will struggle to keep up as the one I had was pretty hard to dial in and required a very fine grind setting, but at the time I had an old Breville grinder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by roosterben View Post
    Nice pickup kelvin8r, I had one for a few months around the same vintage. If you picked this up around Brisbane it might even be the same machine.

    Very solid machine which is a full commercial machine with a huge boiler 4.5l boiler from memory but still runs off an internal tank. This is a HX (heat exchanger) machine so you can steam and make your coffee at the same time.

    They run a standard 58mm group so standard baskets and accessories should fit. Not sure about group handles but there is a place down on the Gold Coast, Qld which refurbs coffee gear that might have some used ones (PM me if you get stuck).

    You might find now your grinder will struggle to keep up as the one I had was pretty hard to dial in and required a very fine grind setting, but at the time I had an old Breville grinder.
    Thanks Rooster. I'm over in Perth (just updated profile haha)

    Definitely going to have some grinder issues, I'm currently running a hand-me-down breville bcg450 that I've modded thanks the posts on the forum.

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    Alright, very excited, nervous, lost, but mostly excited haha

    Ive brought the machine home, filled the tank, downloaded the manual off the Internet and fired it up.

    Super noisy, was my first thought! Seems the pump struggled to drag water through the water softener. I remember seeing something around recharging the water softener with salt. Job for the weekend!

    Finally I could hear water starting to drain into the boiler, perfect! Also run so much quieter once water was actually running through it. Boiler fills and cuts the pump, everything working fine there.

    Heating element light kicks into action, doesn't trip the power circuit. Excellent, don't have a blown element! Pressure starts to build on the gauge. As it start to near the green one, that's when I hear the hiss.... Ahh crap! I start to see the steam leaching from the sides of the unit.

    The pressure gauge got to around 1.5bar before it settle down and dropped back to around 1.2bar. The thermostat? Stayed stuck open the whole time, blowing steam around.

    I turned the machine off and opened the side panels. This showed this issue has been present for quite a while.

    Suggestions on where to go from here?

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    Mate unless you are happy with that I'd probably be talking to the seller about a refund they have misrepresented the product. While no doubt a great little machine when working propery it looks like you have a fair amount of work in front of you to seal those leaks and tidy all that up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoggy42 View Post
    Mate unless you are happy with that I'd probably be talking to the seller about a refund they have misrepresented the product. While no doubt a great little machine when working propery it looks like you have a fair amount of work in front of you to seal those leaks and tidy all that up.
    Thanks Hoggy! Have made contact with the seller and they're happy to have it returned.

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Doesnít look that bad in the pics? The thermostat has three sets of contacts. You have two spares to swap over.

    These are a beast and capable of ripper brews. Very simple too.

    If you are the tinkering rule my gut feel is it wonít take much to get this cranking. Perhaps see if you can renegotiate and have some funds to fix?

    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    Doesnít look that bad in the pics? The thermostat has three sets of contacts. You have two spares to swap over.

    These are a beast and capable of ripper brews. Very simple too.

    If you are the tinkering rule my gut feel is it wonít take much to get this cranking. Perhaps see if you can renegotiate and have some funds to fix?

    Cheers
    Thanks Artman, the rest of the machine didn't seem too bad, machine ran up really nice, steaming was awesome. Will definitely need a good scrub and clean, both internally and externally. Looks pretty neglected, even the shower screen was full old coffee gunk

    This is the little fella that's caused most of the issues I think, it was releasing pressure before the gauge even reached the green zone. Blowing that much steam around inside that housing has caused most, if not all of the rust and build up. Would that be the safety valve?

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    Anti-vac valve?

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    Might need a parts diagram to confirm but I think that is the anti-vac valve. If you search on this site you will find my old thread and others re stuck anti-vacs which are common on this model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roosterben View Post
    Might need a parts diagram to confirm but I think that is the anti-vac valve. If you search on this site you will find my old thread and others re stuck anti-vacs which are common on this model.
    That's the thread I was just reading which made me think it was the Anti-vac instead of a pressure relief
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  12. #12
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Thatís the anti vac valve. Unscrew it, take it apart and buy a new o ring for it (get a dozen while youíre at the bearing shop, they are a few cents each). Or you can buy a complete anti vac valve (but shouldnít be needed). You will probably find the o ring perished and hence not sealing. The safety valve is longer, a few cm in height/length.

    There is a heap of manuals for these in the manuals section.

    Pull the group collar off (be super careful if the three bolts are right and rusty so you donít snap them off), remove the seal and shower screen and give everything a good clean. Grab a few group seals from coffeeparts , the conical type I had best results with, I think they are under Faema section? Will be obvious when you see the group diagrams. Itís been a few years since I played with these.

    The fitting with the small barb at the base of the boiler is a drain. You can connect a tube to it and crack it open to easily drain it for rescaling if required.

    When you remove the anti vac valve have a peek inside to see condition of boiler.

    Cheers
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    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Will need a serious descale too. I had an older model, did the full strip down and soaked everything in citric acid solution and replaced all the orings. Took me a while to complete but could be done in a day if you're committed, although that scale looks like it'll need an extended bath

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    The leaking joints can look bad over time but might. It be that bad once cleaned up outside. Not necessarily an indication of internal scale.

    Has another look at your pics:

    This is the drain for boiler. Hold green while cracking open red (donít stress boiler to fitting joints) to drain via hole.



    This adjusts the boiler pressure. The nut preloads the spring. Take off tension to lower pressure. Start at around 1 bar.



    Hard to tell from the pics, but this should be the safety valve. On its side via the 90 degree fitting.



    It should have a pin on the end you can pull to check itís springy. Donít do when hot as steam will go nuts and easy to get burnt.

    Only down side to these machines is the need for cooling flush - itís a non thermo syphon design so the heat exchanger sits there getting super hot. Itís easy to do, just run group until the spitting and steam stops. These are made to continually crank out the shots.

    You will need a cimbali/faema e98 group handle, the e61 doesnít fit from memory.

    Have fun!

    Cheers
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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    That’s the anti vac valve. Unscrew it, take it apart and buy a new o ring for it (get a dozen while you’re at the bearing shop, they are a few cents each).
    Most bearing places will stock nitrile O rings as standard, probably not a great idea as nitrile won't last long in these conditions.

    In industry it's usual to use Viton in these sorts of conditions, usually a fair bit more than a few cents each.
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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    You are probably right. The ones I got probably lasted a couple of years? Iím meaning even a button I ring should be heaps cheaper than replacing the entire valve. And usually quicker if you donít have a coffee spares place nearby. In the cimbali it takes only a few minutes to get to the guts of the machine.

    Cheers

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    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    The leaking joints can look bad over time but might. It be that bad once cleaned up outside. Not necessarily an indication of internal scale.
    True, but Perth
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    Where would be the best place, or any place, to look for spare coffee machine parts in Perth?

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelvin8r View Post
    Where would be the best place, or any place, to look for spare coffee machine parts in Perth?
    Coffee Parts in Sydney are probably your best option, not Perth I know, they are good to deal with and carry an enormous range of spare parts.
    https://www.coffeeparts.com.au/parts...ercial/cimbali

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Coffee Parts in Sydney are probably your best option, not Perth I know, they are good to deal with and carry an enormous range of spare parts.
    https://www.coffeeparts.com.au/parts...ercial/cimbali
    Thanks Yelta, that's where I was originally looking, but though I'd see if there were any local places first

  21. #21
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    You could try Dimattina in Osborne Park. They should have standard parts.

    Coffeeparts is cheap and fast with great service.

    Cheers
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    Decided to make a start on this today and see what I'm in for.

    Definitely NOT in working condition, or been even remotely looked after for that matter.

    Ive stripped it all down (was fun, apart from the cut on the thumb) and only snapped 1 bolt (rusted) that holds the boiler to the frame, and can't seem to get the Allen key screw out of the group head cover. It had been previously rounded and now its completely stuffed. Any ideas?

    It all needs a good soaking in descaler. Absolutely hideous condition inside the boiler.

    Will need to replace the Anti-vac valve, the little o-ring on the plunger has deteriorated. Need a new shower screen and seal (yuk) and contemplating replacing the pressure relief valve, just while I have it all stripped apart. Will need a a new seal for the HX also

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    If anything the seller should be paying you to take it and fix it for the time and effort involved
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  24. #24
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    good work!

    looks ok, should descale fine and will be good for another 20 years!

    The "technician use only" descaler works a treat (got it from coffeeparts).

    can you drill and easy out the stuck bolt? As you can see they are a taper bolt, so dont need a to be tightened hugely. New replacements are available.

    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    good work!

    looks ok, should descale fine and will be good for another 20 years!

    The "technician use only" descaler works a treat (got it from coffeeparts).

    can you drill and easy out the stuck bolt? As you can see they are a taper bolt, so dont need a to be tightened hugely. New replacements are available.

    Cheers
    Thanks mate,

    I'll add some technician use only to my cart now, just trying to work out what else I may need before I pull the trigger

    Drill and easy out was my next option and purchase a new one

  26. #26
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Get a few group seals (the conical type), they harden and start being problematic at 6 months or so (maybe 12??) I found and are cheap to replace. Good to have on hand. You could grab new pump mounts if bad? Grab all the seals and gaskets you need. And while you have stripped everything you might as well grab a new pump from jackster too.

    Cheers
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    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Not sure if it fits, but worth a try...
    I had a spare 6910 silicone group seal, cut out the shower screen holders, and fitted it to my Musica
    The silicone flat seals are much better than the conicals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Not sure if it fits, but worth a try...
    I had a spare 6910 silicone group seal, cut out the shower screen holders, and fitted it to my Musica
    The silicone flat seals are much better than the conicals.
    Interesting! Will have to see if that would fit these also. Nice bit of innovating thinking there mate!

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    I see Coffee parts offer a standard and Teflon gasket on most seals, would I be best places to purchase the Teflon? Any reason for 1 over the other?

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    Teflon gaskets do not compress as much as other gasket materials so they require much smoother sealing surfaces to form a positive seal. If you can clean up your flanges and mating surfaces the Teflon seals will last much longer and tend not to fuse to the surface like fibre gaskets or nitrile.

    I have the Faema version of this machine (e98 compact) and its been going for over ten years every day without missing a beat. I have replaced the anti vac Oring once in this time and the brew solenoid. These are great machines, and once you've fixed yours it will give you years of service.
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    Thanks Aaron!

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    Here's a pic of some of the scale I removed from the boiler... Yummy!!
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    Finally got the chance to put this machine back together this morning, a few little leaks around the HX gasket and group head, nipped up the screws a little tighter and all seems OK now.

    I adjusted the pstat so now kicks in and out in a range between 1.1 - 1.6 bar.

    Now the issues I have is very minimal water coming from the shower screen, to the point that the pressure gauge went right off the scale and blew the pressure relief valve (good to know that works) and I got a face full of water.

    Any thoughts on what could be causing this? Places to start the investigation? Seemed to work fine before pulling it apart and descaling, so absolutely every chance it's something I've done

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day mate...

    Sounds like you could have a leak between the HX and the Boiler internally.
    Brew water under pressure must be forcing its way through a seal...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    G'day mate...

    Sounds like you could have a leak between the HX and the Boiler internally.
    Brew water under pressure must be forcing its way through a seal...

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal!

    Sounds like I'm going to have to pull it apart once again?

    Does it sound like a seal leak, or actual damaged equipment?

    Still trying to work out the mechanics on how the water gets from the boiler to the group head

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    Could it be a pump issue? Now I can't seem to get the pump to draw water from the tank to the boiler, pump runs but not much suction going on

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Did you replace the jet and its' filter? Part numbers 700221 and 700230 on this page.


    Java "Great scale stoppers" phile
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    Did you replace the jet and its' filter? Part numbers 700221 and 700230 on this page.


    Java "Great scale stoppers" phile
    Morning Java!

    No I didn't, I'm actually struggling to see where they sit on this machine, is that the pipework that connects to the opv?

  39. #39
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Hhhhmmm.....Looking at the hydraulic circuits your model may not have them. But...with that said...it may not show them as on the larger models they are a separate fitting (Labeled as injectors in the hydraulic circuit diagrams.) while on yours they may be in the pipe fitting on the OPV and so not considered a separate part. I've never torn into one of the Juniors so I can't say for sure either way. The only way to tell would be to disconnect the pipe between the group and the OPV and see if that's the case. If so check the fitting on the pump side of the boiler fill solenoid as it may have a filter also.


    Java "Filtering the data" phile
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  40. #40
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Hmmm...

    How would that explain the rapidly increasing pressure inside the boiler though JP?

    Mal.

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    That's now only happening occasionally Mal, can now run water from the group head (for maybe 1 min before it turns off by itself) but only getting around 80g of water for 30sec runtime, screens removed

    If the boiler pressure is right at the pstat limit and I run the group, it's more likely to run over pressure, if I run it at the lower end of the pstat setting, it's generally fine

  42. #42
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Still clear as mud, I'm afraid...

    Mal.

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    Damn!

    Not a lot of research out there either. I can't seem to find where any jets may be installed in the pipework to check for scale/blockages. Seems it could be a likely issue, considering the state it was in.

    Next thought (hope) would be the pump is on its way out and can't build the pressure. New pump already coming courtesy of Jackster

    Third though would be a damaged "Teflon pipe" that connects on the back on the group/inside the HX copper tube. I did notice when descaling that this pipe had a bit of a kink close to the connection point, but didn't seem to an actual blockage. Thought with some hot water it would iron itself out.

    I was hoping to get away with repairing this issue without having to separate the HX connections again

  44. #44
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    I'm sure when JP comes back he will have some information to help things along, he's our resident La Cimbali guru around here...

    Mal.

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    I have noticed that

    I still don't know how he comes. It with something different for his signature everytime, always a good read!

  46. #46
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Aaahhh....The mud is becoming clearer. So it's the boiler pressure that is maxing out, not the group head pressure and it's the Boiler Safety Valve that's blowing, not the Overpressure Valve and it is blowing when you try to pull a shot, not fill the boiler. Is that all correct?

    If so then by a process of elimination the problem resides in the Boiler Supply Solenoid Valve. It is stuck at least partially open, most likely caused by some scale as you just did a descale. Accordingly with water being the lazy critter that it is it follows the path of least resistance to the boiler rather than going solely to the group head as intended. Remove the BSSV, disassemble it and give all the parts a good clean to remove any scale. While you have that valve off flush the pipes that connect to it to remove any scale bits and pieces in them.

    Have you disassembled this valve before? If so did you relube it when putting it back together? If not it may be sticking from lack of lube. Use a tiny amount of food grade silicone grease on it when reassembling.

    It appears that on the S1 model they felt the softener unit is enough of a filter and so removed the filters that are used in the D1 model.


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    Morning JP

    Yes that is all correct, and make some sense to me. I did feel as those when I pull the shot on the group head, the water was refilling the boiler quicker than it was getting to the group, hence the rapid rise in boiler pressure. Sorry for the confusion earlier.

    I will have a look at the BSSV this morning and give that a good clean up. It's definitely one of the things I haven't taken apart as yet. Will report back! Think this might even be the issue I was having with not being able to draw water from the tank into the boiler also.

    Much appreciated Mr Phile

  48. #48
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    You can test pump by disconnecting output and running into bucket to check free flow.

    Cheers
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  49. #49
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    Descaled the boiler supply solenoid and all associated pipework. Descaled the pstat also while I was at it. Connected all back up and doesn't seem to have made much difference at all, pulled a shot and would be lucky to get around 80mls in a minute.

    Will have to check pump flow as Artman has suggested

  50. #50
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Is the water now only going into the grouphead when you try to pull a shot or is it still going into the boiler as well? Water going into the boiler as well when pulling a shot has diddly to do with the pump.


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