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Thread: Modifications to cheep Sunbeams

  1. #1
    A_M is offline
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Modifications to cheep Sunbeams

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Sunbeam EM3600 amd EM4800;

    With the EM3600 Sunbeam, I have to say it does its job with only the Krups basket as a mod.

    1: Non preserised PF ( Krups #0907163 coffee basket )
    2: I grind as fine as I can on a KG100
    3: Tamp as hard as I can ;D SS custom tamper from a mate in the USA

    The steam is OK on my system, be it a little damper than I would like as an ideal.


    1: If at all diluted with any milk product I am unable to tell the diference between mine and any other real coffies that I have had.

    2: espresso - I watch the stream and the way it trickles out to judge when I should stop. It is amazing that you can pull verry good shots... and not only that they taste great.

    With the EM4800 Sunbeam, I have to say I had problems with the steam and had to use the Krups basket to get fair espresso shots.

    1: Non preserised PF ( Krups #0907163 coffee basket )
    2: Let some watter run (with out a PF basket) to warm the handel and to release a build up of steam! (other wise a burnt effect)
    3: Stop and remove ready to incert and fill the PF with coffee
    4: Run a little more water to warm the cup (optional)
    5: I grind as fine as I can on a KG100
    6: Tamp as hard as I can ;D SS custom tamper from a mate in the USA
    7: Load and pull the shot.

    To improve the steam I had to modify the cct to slow down the frequency of the pump. Kualityman had this done at work, and I have reviewed the steps and performed basicly the same mod to mine. (I have further details, so if you want PM me)


    1: Any type of electrical work is dangerous and the voltages around a coffee machine are 240V with only the odd ELV on some parts of the cct board. Any modifications should be carried out by experienced and qualified technicans.

    2: FRESH BEANS are the only way to go.. Stale or the supermarket ones just do not cut it, as far as I am concerned and you soon know.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Modifications to cheep Sunbeams

    i few changes id make if I still used my sunbeam: replace the aluminium portafilter (complete with a weight in the handle to make it feel heavy) with the brass/chrome one that comes on the 4800.

    and I still think the major design flaw is in the materials used in the grouphead - the part that you lock the portafilter into. Its ABS plastic and fairly strong, but it will bend over time, with excessinve pressure buildup such as is necessary for lovely sunbeam ristrettos. Krups use the same design, same portafilters, same baskets, but the part is metal, not plastic, and Im guessing less prone to bending out of shape under stress.

    I cant pull a shot on my sunbeam anymore without having to hold the portafilter in (that said, its been a good 8 months since it was even turned on) during the shot.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Re: Modifications to cheep Sunbeams

    A couple more things to note:

    Remove the plastic liner in the portafilter, and put a small stainless screw and nut in to block the hole (M3 x 6 long works perfectly). That will stop stale oils getting trapped under the plastic.

    About the plastic group head and leaks/handle pop-offs - part of the problem is the gasket. If you go to a service shop and get a new gasket youll note theyre of a newer design with a bigger lip that sits down into the filter and seals better. I havent had any troubles since replacing mine. Its a consumable item though...

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Modifications to cheep Sunbeams

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    yeah, it still used to pop with brand new gaskets!

    but as you say, new design, less pops. cool. im happy with my expobar!

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