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Thread: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

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    Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have a Giotto Premium that has a lever which is getting a bit squeaky and stiff. I believe this is quite easy to rectify, with the use of a little grease. Can anyone please help and advise on how to do this? Can it be done with or without disassembling the lever?

    Also, what kind of grease is generally recommended for these types of jobs on espresso machines?

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Hi Crem
    Food grade grease is available from Jaycar

    http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=NA1032&keywords=grease&form=KEY WORD

    KK

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Youll have to remove the valve assembly to lube the cam and the brew lever shaft.

    Try this website
    (Down for maintenance when I checked just now)

    or this thread: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1229912600 which may be similar enough to the Giotto. The instructions in the first link I posted wasnt for my machine but I dont think there is a great deal of variation.

    I found it easy enough but if you tend to have 10 thumbs when it comes to mechanical things or you dont have the right tools, best left to a qualified repairer

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    cremachine

    Is the squeaking /stiffness happening all the time? *I find my Giotto’s lever stiffens up after I’ve used backwash cleaner but then loosens up again after a day or so. *

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E6C6E63785E010 link=1236205891/3#3 date=1236211725
    I find my Giotto’s lever stiffens up after I’ve used backwash cleaner but then loosens up again after a day or so.
    I think that goes for any E61 group machine but wear can still happen - see what happned to my machine from the thread I posted in a previous reply. The coffee oils and water will provide some lubrication but not really effectively enough to stop wear from the research I did.

    My experience is that its best to use only about 1/4 the recommended quantity of cleaner and dissolve in a bit of water in the blind filter prior to using it to backflush.

    Ive lubed my lever twice now; the second time I used a little more than the first time Molykote and it seems to be OK after 3 detergent backflushes.


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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A787A776C4A150 link=1236205891/3#3 date=1236211725
    cremachine

    Is the squeaking /stiffness happening all the time? *I find my Giotto’s lever stiffens up after I’ve used backwash cleaner but then loosens up again after a day or so. *
    Yes, it seems to be fairly consistent, but thinking back, it may actually be a bit worse after a backwash clean.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 59485F575B595253545F3A0 link=1236205891/0#0 date=1236205891
    I have a Giotto Premium that has a lever which is getting a bit squeaky and stiff. *I believe this is quite easy to rectify, with the use of a little grease. *Can anyone please help and advise on how to do this? [ch65533]Can it be done with or without disassembling the lever?

    Also, what kind of grease is generally recommended for these types of jobs on espresso machines?

    Thanks.
    Hi Crema,

    This task is not too arduous...
    [*]Remove the lever[*]Use a shifting spanner or suitable open end spanner to crack the seal between the outer spindle nut and the inner one. This is much easier to do on the machine than after the entire assembly is removed[*]Loosen or remove large top and lower (exhaust) group nuts to allow for removal of the spindle assembly. Keep a record of what you have removed to ensure it all goes back in the same way ;)[*]Remove lever assembly and use food grade lube to lubricate between the spindle and the collar surrounding it.[*]Reassemble in reverse order

    The important thing is to ensure that you have suitable tools to do the job as if you slip, you will likely bruise the chrome plating on the group.

    Good luck!

    2mcm


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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Cremachine;

    Question for you, how often are you backwash this machine? maybe you are doing it to often.

    Regards

    Renzo

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 406D5B466576706B686D040 link=1236205891/7#7 date=1236239735
    maybe you are doing it to often.

    Regards

    Renzo
    How often is too often? I backflush at the end of each day - after 10 coffees. Is that too often?

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Hi there
    If your daily backflush is with a chemical then YUP.
    I generally backflush every 2 - 3 weeks after about 60 or so coffees, but will have to stretch that out as we are only having about 14 coffees a week at the moment.

    Mal

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 694D444447477D694D514F4D220 link=1236205891/1#1 date=1236208648
    Hi Crem
    Food grade grease is available from Jaycar

    http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=NA1032&keywords=grease&form=KEY WORD

    KK
    Has anybody used the grease from Jaycar? Is it definitely suitable? My lever is also getting squeaky & tight so I want to grease it up ASAP.

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    I have purchased some but not used it yet
    The specs are good and as coffee machines are hot and wet it should be the goods.

    • Food grade
    • High temperature, non-melt
    • Highly resistant to water, salt, chemicals and drying
    • Fully synthetic

    KK

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Thanks mate, might try it over the weekend.

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Hi;

    I found this information it may help:
    Espresso Machine Cleaning Why, How, and When
    http://www.home-barista.com/espresso-machine-cleaning.html

    At home I backwash after 1 kilo of coffee or 2 or 3 weeks, with detergent. Backwash with water only every thursday. This is my routine at home.

    Yes, the lever get squeaky and stiff, due to we disolving the oils from the lever, however if I run 2 long shoot after this get to normal.

    Hope this information helps
    PS. some detergents disolve better than others, this why is always good to, pre-disolve the detergent, before you lock it up into your grouphead. After finninsh, is always good to do it with water, to be sure that all the detergent is gone.
    Regards

    Renzo
    Di Bartoli Home Barista Centre


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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E6355486B787E6566630A0 link=1236205891/7#7 date=1236239735
    Cremachine;

    Question for you, how often are you backwash this machine? *maybe you are doing it to often.

    Regards

    Renzo
    About once a month generally.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Once a month is good. Run a couple of shoots after see it make any different. Other wise try the lubricants.

    Good luck

    Renzo

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Guys, I picked up some grease from Jaycar today & just did my VBM. Smooth as silk now. My biggest regret is that I didnt do it years ago. I couldve avoided the wear on the cam. I might make this a regular ritual every few months when I change my group gasket.

    A big thanks to flynn_aus for the "how to guide" & KK for his advice on where to get the grease.

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 7162140 link=1236205891/16#16 date=1236336514
    A big thanks to flynn_aus for the "how to guide" & KK for his advice on where to get the grease.

    Evan.
    Although I knew about the grease as I am frequently popping in @ Jaycar
    Mal first raised it on a post a while ago

    So I cant take credit on that but I will take the credit on passing on that information :D

    Glad to hear all is working well again Evan

    KK

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Bought some grease yesterday and plan to do the same job over the weekend.

    Mal

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    I bought some grease today from my local hardware store - the INOX Grease which is the same as the Jaycar one. Will try it in a few days when I receive my other parts from Di Bartoli (thanks!).

    If anyone does this task this weekend on a Giotto Premium, any photos you have of the process would be extremely useful. As 2muchcoffeeman pointed out, it is important to remember how things go back together.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Hi cremachine

    I will be doing this today or tomorrow so will document and advise. Hopefully all will go well and i wont be on Talk Coffees door step requiring Chris to complete the job ;D

    Mal

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Cremachine

    Its really easy, have written and taken pics so will post to my website shortly and provide a link.
    Very daunting contemplating pulling apart the baby but it was a real breeze

    Mal

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Just a caution when greasing your machine:

    **Ensure all cups and glasses are out of the way of falling spanners!**

    Oops--down one Bodum glass. :-[

    Greg
    ps--the Inox grease from Jaycar works a treat.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Hi Greg
    Totally agree with you on the Inox grease, the action is now as smooth as silk.

    Mal

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 44494A44260 link=1236205891/21#21 date=1236404805
    Cremachine

    Its really easy, have written and taken pics so will post to my website shortly and provide a link.
    Very daunting contemplating pulling apart the baby but it was a real breeze

    Mal
    Hi Mal,

    Thank you in advance. It will provide an excellent record for all us who are likely capable but also feeling a little daunted taking this on.

    Regards.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Update:
    Since cleaning & greasing, Ive noticed a small water leak from the shaft during the pour. Just wondering if anybody can advise on which seal/s I should target.

    TIA,

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 0516600 link=1236205891/25#25 date=1236559119
    Update:
    Since cleaning & greasing, Ive noticed a small water leak from the shaft during the pour. Just wondering if anybody can advise on which seal/s I should target.

    TIA,

    Evan.
    Hi Evan,

    If you have a look at http://coffeesnobs.com.au/attachments/Giotto_parts_p_1-3.pdf, the seals are part #219900426

    You may find that simply reseating them will do the trick.

    Good luck ;)

    2mcm

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Thanks mate. It was the only rubber seal I pulled out so I guessed as much. In my machine though, it looked like one fat seal, not two as shown in the diagram. Ill rip it out later & have a closer look. I might add some grease on the side that mates with the brass sleeve. If I need a new one, do you carry them for the VBM?

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Cremachine

    Here is the documentation i have writtne on the process.
    http://www.bolb.com.au/index.php?opt...hines&Itemid=2

    Everything went fine and the lever action is smooth.

    Mal

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Mal, the cam on the end of the shaft will most likely need greasing. I even went as far as polishing mine up with 800 wet & dry to take the steps out. The VBM is a little different but looking at the Giotto diagram, I guess youll just need to remove the big chrome nut. If the lever is in the middle position, the shaft should just fall out. Maybe Chris or others can confirm this.

    I can now confirm that my VBM uses a single 9mm rubber seal unlike the dual seals pictured in the Giotto diagram. Ive greased mine well & reseated the brass sleeve against it. Its working fine now but will need replacing soon as its starting to crack & perish. Any advice on where I can get one will be greatly appreciated.

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 2E23202E4C0 link=1236205891/28#28 date=1236572275
    Cremachine

    Here is the documentation i have writtne on the process.
    http://www.bolb.com.au/index.php?opt...hines&Itemid=2

    Everything went fine and the lever action is smooth.

    Mal
    Hi Mal,

    Thanks for that. It is excellent.

    I think I may try and go the extra step on mine by greasing the whole spindle, as Evan and Chris were referring. Will see how I go and will let you know.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Ok. I got started on the job planning to follows Mals instructions, and then keep going by removing and greasing the whole spindle.

    Unfortunately, when I got to the stage of the process where 2mcm suggests to take off or loosen the large nuts on the top and bottom of the group, but my adjustable wrench was not big enough. Went to the hardware, and bought the largest one they had, and even that was a fraction too small! (If anyone knows of a tool suitable for the, could they please let me know!)

    So in the end I was limited to just greasing the outer part of the spindle, as per Mal. It is definitely better, but still quite firm and most of the squeak still remains, so I need to find a way to loosen those nuts.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 4756414945474C4D4A41240 link=1236205891/31#31 date=1237153143
    Ok. *I got started on the job planning to follows Mals instructions, and then keep going by removing and greasing the whole spindle.

    Unfortunately, when I got to the stage of the process where 2mcm suggests to take off or loosen the large nuts on the top and bottom of the group, but my adjustable wrench was not big enough. *Went to the hardware, and bought the largest one they had, and even that was a fraction too small! *(If anyone knows of a tool suitable for the, could they please let me know!)

    So in the end I was limited to just greasing the outer part of the spindle, as per Mal. *It is definitely better, but still quite firm and most of the squeak still remains, so I need to find a way to loosen those nuts.
    Hi Crema,

    I crack them using a large shifting spanner whilst on the group. It makes it easier to get them apart. If the larger one moves, there is no choice but to remove the lot and use two spanners together to separate them.

    I can usually manage it with a 12" and 10" shifting spanner working towards each other. Better though would be 2 x open end spanner, custom ground.

    2mcm

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 742B33252E2529202023232B2728460 link=1236205891/32#32 date=1237153524
    I can usually manage it with a 12" and 10" shifting spanner
    Right. The largest shifting spanner I could get at my hardware was a 10" so it is a 12" that I think I need to track down.

    Thanks again 2mcm

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Ok. I know it has been a couple of weeks since my last post but my greasing project got put on the backburner due to a baby birth!

    Anyway, I finally got hold of a 12" shifting spanner, as suggested by 2mcm. That worked well. A couple of times I undid a bolt only to find that I should have actually undone the larger bolt further up. In any event, I got there in the end of the lever works silky smoothly and the squeak is completely gone!

    It was a far bigger improvement than the first round of greasing I did (only on the outer part of the spindle). Mal, if you get a chance, I definitely recommend going this extra step.

    Thanks to everyone who helped (particularly Mal and 2mcm)

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Hi cremachine
    Next time i need to go through the process i will do it complete and update my website with pictures and descriptions.
    If only there were 48 hours in a day or working from home would be nice. ;D

    I just swapped out my shower screen, from memory Talk Coffee changed it about 12 months ago when my Giotto was pimped.

    The baby runs like a charm.

    Mal

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    I do have a query about all the types of grease used for this task ...... I assume that whatever grease is used would not come into contact with the brewing procedure and thus would never be mixing with coffee or water.

    I have previously read about using vasaline, molycote , food grade , Inox , greases so really it would appear that you can use almost anything providing the lever is lubed up, and food grade might taste better , but Id rather not be drinking it.

    Now I realise this may freak out a few purist out there , but this is how I made my grease selection for the job at hand. At home I had 4 different types of greases in the shed. So I put a blob of each on a knife and heated them over the stove element..... ya with me ..!!! Best , most suitable grease for the job was Castrol RED Rubber grease made for brake components. This held its shape whilst heated and most importantly is made to protect and condition rubber seals.

    In reality I wouldnt put too much importance as to which is the "right" grease. Cause I dont intend to drink any grease with my espresso..... More important is to use some grease , when needed, and if it is high temp even better.

    As for using shifters on these fine Italian machines ..... You wont find a shifter in a Ducati tool kit .!!! Please just go and buy the right sized ring spanner..... ( now you know where I got the grease from..... ;) *)

    hotshod

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E3922253E3932560 link=1236205891/36#36 date=1238588603
    As for using shifters on these fine Italian machines ..... You wont find a shifter in a Ducati tool kit .!!! Please just go and buy the right sized ring spanner..... ( now you know where I got the grease from..... ;) *)

    hotshod
    Sorry- I cant agree there hotshod...If you want to preserve the plating on top and bottom group nuts, stay away with the ring spanner. Ideally an open end spanner but you will find you need 4 different sizes at $30 or more each to do the job. A good shifter, used tight is in contact with the entire edge and therefore less risk of bruising. Ive tried with both and a ring will only end up in *:(. Beware!

    Also the anatomy of the group cam does allow for contact with brew water, or the grease placed there during assembly would stay there during backflushing. Its your choice, but no way am I eating brake grease. Sorry, but not recommended.

    2mcm

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    How about a couple of good quality (Snapon?), correctly sized Open Ended Spanners Chris? Or is there still too much clearance between the jaws of the spanner and the Nut/Fitting?

    Mal.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    I agree with 2mcm. The grease washes away so I guess it must come in contact with the brew water. This is quite obvious straight after a chemical backflush. The lever feels quite stiff & rough until the first shot re-lubes it again.
    Regarding grease, can anybody confirm that the Inox stuff has the same consistency as the grease used by the pros? Its heat-proof & food safe but doesnt seem very thick & sticky. It feels like it would wash away too easily. Im going to replace all the wear & tear items in my group & want to avoid unnecessary cam wear.
    BTW, I used Kinchrome ring spanners to strip mine down & it hasnt marked the chrome as far as I can tell.

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A592F0 link=1236205891/39#39 date=1238618529
    Regarding grease, can anybody confirm that the Inox stuff has the same consistency as the grease used by the pros? ...
    Evan.
    The food grade stuff I use has the consistency of tube silicon....

    2mcm

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 0D524A5C575C5059595A5A525E513F0 link=1236205891/40#40 date=1238620912
    The food grade stuff I use has the consistency of tube silicon....
    Yes, I used the Inox Food Grade Machinery Grease, as per the Jaycar link provided by Koffee Kosmo and its working fantastically for me at the moment. I actually found it at my local hardware store.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Thanks guys. It sounds like the Inox stuff might not be as thick & sticky. Ive had a tube of the recommended stuff added to my parts order. Ill report back once I get the parts & rebuild the group.

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 7467110 link=1236205891/42#42 date=1238741590
    Thanks guys. It sounds like the Inox stuff might not be as thick & sticky. Ive had a tube of the recommended stuff added to my parts order. Ill report back once I get the parts & rebuild the group.

    Evan.
    :-? :-?

    My tube of Inox Lube has the consistency of commercial silicone sealant, wouldnt really want it any more viscous than this :o

    Mal.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Mal, Im completely rebuilding the group & I want to make sure that the new cam doesnt end up with worn spots on it this time. A $30 tube of grease is cheap insurance, not that the group parts are expensive anyway! Once Ive got it, Ill compare it to the Inox.

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    I would agree Mal.
    The Inox wasnt what i expected in consistancy but it was very easy to apply and position where required.

    Mal

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    I just received my tube of Loctite 8104 silicon grease & its much thicker & stickier than the Inox stuff. This grease really looks like itll hang on better.

    Evan.

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Ive found my lever loosens up after the machine is backflushed with the special detergent (Clean Machine etc).

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    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 3023550 link=1236205891/46#46 date=1239004895
    I just received my tube of Loctite 8104 silicon grease & its much thicker & stickier than the Inox stuff. This grease really looks like itll hang on better.

    Evan.
    Sounds like thats in the same league as my red rubber grease ..... removed the cam 2 days ago to have a look at it , and found plenty of red sticky stuff in place. The actually cam face still needs a touch up , to maintain super smooth action..... with the Little VBM, a 5mm allen key and the job is done in less than a minute.
    Easy As

    Cheers

  50. #50
    ev
    ev is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    156

    Re: Squeaky and stiff Giotto lever

    Yep, the E61 is certainly very easy to maintain. I just replaced all the valves, seals & shaft/cam in my group & it really was a no brainer. A huge thanks to our site sponsor George at http://www.espressocompany.com.au/ for all his assistance in getting the job done right. No more water leak from the shaft when I run a shot now!

    Evan.



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