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Thread: Lelit (Mokita) Combi - PL042 - Overhaul and Upgrade Success

  1. #1
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    Post Lelit (Mokita) Combi - PL042 - Overhaul and Upgrade Success

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,
    Long time watcher but registered so I could share this.

    My Mokita Combi purchased from AF in Melbourne about 12 years ago sprung a leak from the boiler joint. Apart from the power switch imploding a few years back it's the first problem I've had from this beauty whose job has been to make 3-4 coffees a day, so not too taxing.

    I figured that while I had it apart it might be worth a few maintenance items being done and an upgrade or two.

    So, I ordered my parts from a certain store in Cremorne and two days later they arrived. Good start.
    On the agenda;
    Replace heating element - makes sense while it's all apart.
    Clean boiler - likely plenty of gunk in there after 12 years,
    Replace boiler seal,
    Upgrade boiler bolts and nuts to stainless
    Upgrade steam thermostat to 140deg version
    Clean up steam tap and replace o-rings
    Upgrade to ball jointed steam wand
    Upgrade to newer model shower screen

    So, I soon had it open and started pulling electrical connectors (photos continually thru disassembly...iPhone memory!!)
    My first clue of the trouble ahead was when the boiler bolts started shearing off instead of undoing. Fortunately three of them were able to be unwound, once the boiler was out, with some vice-grips but the fourth required drilling and an ezy-out.
    The other issue was this model (Mokita labeled) was pre the quick release PTFE tubes and having not ordered any replacements I quickly gave up removing the one from the pump to the boiler, and all further maintenance was done with the pump and boiler connected by a PTFE umbilical cord!

    Other than that there were no real issues and to my surprise, once the boiler split apart, I found only a few small lumps of scale and no gunk at all inside. Guess my fanatical purging after each brew paid off. Lesson to newbies there....purge purge purge!

    Next, replaced the o-rings on the steam tap and gave the needle point a touch up.

    On to the rebuild. New element fitted with new o-rings (need to be ordered separately). Boiler reassembled with the nice new stainless bolts (after running them through a couple of times with WD40 to clean the threads) and the new steam thermostat (old one was 125deg) gently screwed into the boiler.

    Next job was to enlarge the hole for the new steam wand. To do this I could have used one of those step drills but that's $70 and I'm trying to do this cheaply....and where's the fun if it's not a challenge. So, hole saw it was using a plug in the existing hole drilled out to the hole saw's guide size.

    Next, attached the steam wand adapter to the steam valve using pink plumbers teflon tape and dropped the boiler etc into the case to check the fit.
    All good so a new group gasket went on, secured the boiler and then screwed on the steam wand. Using the photos for verification I then re-attached all the connectors, pushed the pump holder rivets into place and double checked everything.

    Lastly the shower screen upgrade. Now I couldn't confirm this but I'm pretty certain the newer boiler bottom has a finer thread for the shower screen distribution nut so a full upgrade isn't possible (love to know if this is true?).
    Instead I simply used a couple of clamps to hold the new screen to a piece of dense foam and carefully drilled out the centre hole to 13mm to fit the old distribution nut. Popped it onto the group and tightened the nut hand tight as usual.

    Job done.
    Now the test, switched on, no bang and all good.

    I'm not sure the shower screen achieves anything more than looking nicer but I'm hoping it'll be easier to keep the group clean without the mesh going up the sides.
    As for the steam now......WOW....i mean W-O-W

    It's like a different machine, dare I say it is actually equal to the Rancilio Sylvia at work. The steam output has improved massively and the steam pressure from the new wand is incredible. From struggling to get a swirl and a lot of effort for micro-foam it's now like a tornado in a jug and the micro foam almost makes itself!

    I love my new old machine!!

    So, anyone out there with a Mokita or early Lelit who is thinking of an upgrade....do the overhaul upgrade. It's well worthwhile!

    Here's the parts I ordered;
    MC029:Lelit Boiler Element $59
    MC031/140:Steam Thermostat 140 $18.50
    MC045:Lelit Boiler Element O Ring x 2 $2.20ea
    MC046:Lelit Boiler O Ring $7.70
    MC047:Lelit Group Head Seal $9.50
    MC068:Lelit Washer 5X10X0.5 x4 $1.80ea
    MC069/I:Lelit Boiler Screw Ss x4 $2.70ea
    MC070:Nut 5M x4 $1.20ea
    MC085:Lelit Steam Tap O Ring 4.4X1.78 x2 $2.20ea
    MC137:Lelit Shower Screen $16
    MC742:Lelit Ball Jointed Steam Wand $67.10


    Total price for a like-new upgraded lelit...$226.30.
    Hopefully I'm good for another 10 years now, barring a likely pump overhaul at some stage.

    Hope this inspires or helps a few,
    Cheers
    Pete
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  2. #2
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Good work!! The steaming should be the same as the silvia, the boiler size is similar and the silvia has the higher temp steam thermostat.

    Cheers

  3. #3
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    Ahh perfect! Exactly what I was looking for PJR2000. You even had all the part numbers ready and all, legendary

  4. #4
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    Another Revamped Combi...

    I too have a Mokita Combi. Picked up off the street during a council clean up. all it needed was a replacement thermostat.

    Last weekend it got a bit of an upgrade - a PID controller that I bought a long time ago on ebay for a freezer->fridge conversion project that never happened.

    All works superbly. the hardest bit was finding the space for the PID and the Solid State Relay, and cutting the square hole in the front panel. I ended up moving the pump and installing the PID under the bank of switches.

    it is insane how cheap you can find a Chinese PID, thermocouple and SSR on ebay... I think I paid about $20 in total.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Great work! One of my future projects to PID a similar machine I use at work.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Great machines. Easy to service if maintained!

    They can be a pain if they have never been serviced as the bolts and nuts rust. I purchased one for work and the nuts and bolts were rusted badly. The shower screen was blocked. The shower screen screw was rusted. I always thought that the shower screen screw was stainless steel (maybe not marine grade 316/318 stainless steel). 2 out of 4 nuts could be moved. 3 out of 4 bolts broke holding the boiler together. I had to drill 2 nuts out to remove the boiler from the housing. Then I could remove 2 of the 3 rusted boiler bolts (now screws). The last rusted bolt (had to be drilled out and the boiler thread cleaned up with a tread tap.

    But after pulling the boiler apart, descale, clean, replacing all o-rings/gasket, replacing the bolts/nuts/screws in stainless and spending 6 hours of my time; the machine looks and is a million bucks. Good for another 10 years without issue with maintenance.
    Dimal likes this.

  7. #7
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    Great work guys,

    I too have been on the dismantle and refit with my Lelit (PL60T V2)
    Although only a bit over 12 months old I found a slight leak on both boiler inputs.
    As such, all the case bolts were rusty, so have replaced them all with S/S versions along with looming up and tidying the internal wiring
    All it needs now is a little sound insulation (dynamat or similar) and fitting a funnel to the reservoir to make it easier to fill.

  8. #8
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    Could you post some inner photos of your machine?

    Specially the steam valve body and the wand connection.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJR2000 View Post
    Hi All,

    Upgrade to ball jointed steam wand

    [...]

    Next job was to enlarge the hole for the new steam wand.
    This is exactly the sort of info I've been after! I picked up a PL041 branded as a Mokita Super Inox (Combi, less the grinder from what I can tell), and am interested in doing a few mods. Asides from the larger hole in the sheetmetal, did you have to change the steam body at all?

    I'm assuming you effectively changed from Lelit Chromed Steam Pipe WITH frothing aid for PL040/041 to this one (available from site sponsor Jetblack)?
    Could you simply screw the multi-directional steam wand onto the steam body of your original machine?

    Also, any chance you have some more photos from the teardown? I'd be interested in comparing internals to get a better idea of what other components on mine might be upgradeable.

    Great work, and thanks for taking the time to post it!

  10. #10
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    Hey guys

    Great work on the overhaul mate!

    I acquired a Mokita about 2 months ago. It was in fair condition; the previous owner obviously didnít know about the 3-way flushing water into the drip tray, and the poorly designed tube can easily empty into no-manís-land if not placed into the tray. Therefore the whole underside of the machine there is rusted and some bits have fallen off.
    Otherwise the machine seems good. Occasionally had a slight drip. Took AGES to try and get the grind right (including almost breaking the grinder).

    So all was going well, until about 2 weeks ago when I started to get more leaks when brewing. So I ordered a new group seal. Between now and then itís got worse, often to the point of jamming the portafilter as hard as I could to the right. Now note, even since getting it, the portafilter would go around to around 5 oíclock. Yesterday I replaced the group seal. Go to make coffee this morning. The spraying out was worse than ever. After several wasted cups I had to jam it to the right at almost 4 oíclock, plus no hard tamping.

    SO Iíve replaced the seal (including the previous one actually being quite supple). The 3-way is working fine, Iíve checked the OPV and itís fine. So where is it leaking? Iíve done up several Gaggiaís before but havenít had this happen. My suspicions are the showerscreen because itís slightly covered on the edges, or I need a shim with the group seal. Oh and if it helps, my pucks are NEVER hard like they are when pulling from my Classic. While I was getting used to the grind I would go quite fine and fill up the double basket half way and tamp hard. That was giving a reasonable result, but itís very hard to pull anything decent now.

    Iíll check out Jetblack for parts.
    Cheers
    k

  11. #11
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    Oh and one more thing - it might be the flimsy rubber back flush disc I got with it, but I've almost never been able to do it without water spraying out, otherwise it was by holding firm.
    K

  12. #12
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    Not sure about where your leaks are comming from. The 3-way solenoid valve can start to go bad and drip. If the water in within the boiler area (top compartment) there are many reasons for leaking. The most odd leak is from a faulty seal with the grouphead gasket leaking water upwards. You really need to clean the area with a wire brush or steel wool to remove the accumulation of dirt and sticky oil. Otherwise there maybe a leak in the plumbing or boiler o-rings.

    Very carefully you could pull the top off and using a blank portafilter basket pump water. If this doesn't show the leak you could switch on the steam mode to increase boiler pressure. Remember water and electricity don't like to mix together.
    Last edited by metho; 19th May 2015 at 09:09 PM. Reason: grammar



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