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Thread: Removing the base of a 1970's europiccola- anyone?

  1. #1
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    Removing the base of a 1970's europiccola- anyone?

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

    After getting my europiccola in perfect coffee-making shape I was content for about a year until I decided to work on the cosmetics. Wooden handles and a polish did wonders but I'm now stuck, unable to get the base off so I can get it re-powdercoated.

    I've ripped out the (decayed) gaskets that held the machine straight but am now at a loss as to how to defeat 40+ years of limescale and oxidation to get the base of the boiler off! I've tried the usual; three-legged oil filter wrench, pipe wrench (the kind with the belt), penetrating oils and freezing spray.

    I refuse to let it beat me. The problem is that with this design, there's no place to get a good strong purchase with a wrench, and only a terrible angle to get a wrench in, so it always slips.

    Anyone done this before? Better yet, does anyone in melbourne (near abbotsford) have one of those europiccola boiler removal tools I could rent? Help!

  2. #2
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    I'm having the same problem on my recently acquired 1974 europiccola. I've pumped a ton of wd40 into the threads but it's made little difference. The belt wrenches are useless, a better option (the closest I've come with a wrench) is for the vice grip type filter wrench (see this link for a photo).

    It's been able to grip the flange nut but hasn't applied sharp enough force to loosen it. The problem is that constant force is not very useful on difficult to grasp nuts and bolts, a sharp impact is better to loosen them. Most people just recommend a hammer and screwdriver, give it a few whacks on each of the little ears that the element bolts on to (not too violent) and hopefully it gradually loosens.

    I've had no such luck yet, it's a real pain. They design the lever machine to be so simple and straightforward to disassemble and service and then just screw it all up by doing something irritating like this.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    While the manufacturer labels it as such WD-40 is not a very good (If at all!) penetrating oil. Take a look at this article for some better alternatives.


    Java "The right tool for the job" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Wd40 was all I had at the time, I'll check out some other liquid penetrants, might give me some luck. Hopefully the OP too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    Wd40 was all I had at the time, I'll check out some other liquid penetrants, might give me some luck. Hopefully the OP too.
    I believe Penetrene is available in Aust, its a pretty good penetrating oil.
    I reckon a squirt of diesel fuel would probably work as well, certainly a lot cheaper, $1.50 litre at local servo.

  6. #6
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    Counterintuitive as it may be, it is sometimes worth actually trying to tighten the fastener to break the corrosion on threads before trying to undo them. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Well i had another go this afternoon after letting the WD40 soak the threads all yesterday and after a few hits with the hammer and screwdriver, I was able to get both flange nuts off.

    Wow, such relief, so happy, such removal, wow....

    (please somebody understand this reference :P)

    So OP, if you're reading, have patience, or buy the better penetrating oil the other guys have suggested. Also, I'd advise not using a screwdriver as the thin edge can damage the soft brass of the flange nut. Use something with a thicker end.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, that was the first thing I tried; heating it, hitting it with freezing spray and then trying to tighten it to make space for penetrating oil (not WD40, proper stuff). After a few tries of that, I tried the screwdriver technique and the various wrenches...



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