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Thread: Where to start modding a 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola

  1. #1
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    Where to start modding a 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hopefully Im not doubling up too much here. Ive hunted around for a while on the various forums and seen a lot of people alter their pre-existing europiccolas.

    I bought a 1970s europiccola and have been learning its quirks for a few months now. I work in a busy coffee shop and am happy to say I can put out decent coffee, but levers are a different beast altogether!

    It took me a month before I got consistent good shots from it, paired with my Mazzer Mini. After descaling it I was horrified to see the HUGE amount of scale come out and realised it hadnt been looked after that well.

    Ive now replaced the gaskets and piston seals and am much happier but am now hearing a weird resonance from the pressure valve. Ive decided to fit a manomater to the sight tube and was wondering if anyone knew whether La Pavoni has kept the threads consistent, ie, will a contemporary fitting (from coffeeparts etc) fit in my machine?

    Second question; Had anyone heard this resonance from the pressure valve before? Its a new development.

    Third question: I know from my homebrew setup that stick-on thermometers exist. Does anyone sell ones for the temperature region that I need to monitor the group head temp?

  2. #2
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    Re: Where to start modding a 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola

    There was some chatter on HB that the old ones will let you switch parts between it and the Pro but that screws were changed on the milennium, so perhaps the old ones will still work.

    Orphan espresso has specially designed stick on thermometers for the task but a mob called colourchanging in the uk have a site with a greater selection at a very reasonable price.

    Im thinking about bidding on a Europiccola... do you mind sharing how you managed a descale? Im new to that sort of thing...

  3. #3
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    Re: Where to start modding a 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola

    The gauge adaptor and Thermometer you are looking for is available from Orphan Espresso. Never checked the top of my sight tube but I would think it is a metric thread reducing down to 1/4 BSPT so you wont get a standard fitting.

    I have no plans to add either of the items above, happy keeping it simple and start brewing 14 or 15 minutes after turning it on seems to work for me.

    I havnt heard any chatter or noise from my relief valve but a suspicion is that during the descale you may have some loose or partially dislodged gunk inside it.

    With the grind thing on the Pavoni try going really fine with a 2kg Tamp. It will take a bit of time but thats what I have settled on with mine.

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    Re: Where to start modding a 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola

    vyapada- descaling the La Pav was fine, just like any other descale except when it was getting low on water I topped it up and added a bit more chemical a few times. Just follow the instructions on the pack, its very easy to do! It DID make a massive difference, so I recommend it.

    beanflying- I thought about dislodged gunk when I did the descale, but cant see or find anything. It only started lately, and the descale was a while ago now, and the insides were super-clean after I did it. Do you know whether these valves have some sort of useful lifespan? Or for that matter, the elements?


  5. #5
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    Re: Where to start modding a 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola

    Like all spring based devices there is a cycle life. Not sure if it is possible to dismantle it but it might still pay to remove it and see if there is any muck visible inside it. Remembering it is only exposed to the steam normally and not the hot water so calcification may still be there.

  6. #6
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    Re: Where to start modding a 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola

    Cheers will do, still trying to decide if its worth changing the element or not. Will probably avoid it for now.



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