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Thread: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Seems the cam on the Bezzera Galatea needs frequent lubrication, particularly after back flushing with Cafetto EVO, the lube gets washed out during the flush and you can feel the harsh metal on metal grinding when the lever is operated, continued unlubed operation must hasten wear.
    I pulled the whole lever assy out the first few times I did the lube job but thats a bit of a pain in the rear end.
    What I do now is remove the mushroom, spring and valve, twist a small piece of cotton wool onto the end of a satay stick, like a long cotton bud, squeeze a small amount of Innox food grade grease onto the end of the cotton wool and carefully insert the cotton tip so that it contacts the cam, operate the lever a couple of times to spread the grease over the surface of the cam, remove the stick (and cotton wool) reassemble and Bobs yer uncle.
    The whole job from start to finish can be done in a couple of mins and is certainly much easier than pulling the complete assy apart.
    Have had no experience with other machines but imagine any using an E61 group would be able to be greased in a similar manner. :)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    I dont or did not have that problem on my Galatea but I use Puly Caff Cleaner

    One only needs 1/4 of a teaspoon of detergent to do the job

    To grease you dont pull off the mushroom just big nut that secures the handle *
    That exposes the cam for greasing and you dont need to pull anything apart just leave it intact

    If you want me to talk you through it by phone you only need to ask

    KK

  3. #3
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0A2E272724241E0A2E322C2E410 link=1276419113/1#1 date=1276420808
    I dont or did not have that problem on my Galatea but I use Puly Caff Cleaner

    One only needs 1/4 of a teaspoon of detergent to do the job

    To grease you dont pull off the mushroom just big nut that secures the handle *
    That exposes the cam for greasing and you dont need to pull anything apart just leave it intact

    If you want me to talk you through it by phone you only need to ask

    KK
    Thanks KK, As I said in my post have done the job as you describe a number of times, I found removing the mushroom quicker, simpler and just as effective. :)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C40495144250 link=1276419113/2#2 date=1276422628
    Thanks KK, As I said in my post have done the job as you describe a number of times, I found removing the mushroom quicker, simpler and just as effective
    Well if you want me to send you some Pully Caff to try it out
    I would be happy to post some to you

    KK

  5. #5
    A_M
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    What lube are you using..

    Lube is not lube... Oils aint Oils and neither is Grease, Grease... Depending on teh function one may suite and another may not.

    Many a user has found out the hard way - Vaseline is not Vicks and nor is it the other way round. ;)

    PS. Vacuum grease is great.. Usually resistant to most cleaning compounds and still performs under pressure and acts as a lube for slow moving parts... Could be just what ya want..




  6. #6
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A454C4E59664A454A4C4E464E455F2B0 link=1276419113/4#4 date=1276425131
    What lube are you using..
    Evening AM, as I said in my first post in this thread Im using (Innox food grade grease) High temp extreme pressure.
    Im not having a problem, in fact the exact opposite, started the post to let members know of what I feel is an easy method of carrying out a minor maintenance procedure.
    The Cafetto EVO seems to be doing an excellent job of back flushing so all is good. :)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E3A333330300A1E3A26383A550 link=1276419113/3#3 date=1276423173
    Quote Originally Posted by 7C40495144250 link=1276419113/2#2 date=1276422628
    Thanks KK, As I said in my post have done the job as you describe a number of times, I found removing the mushroom quicker, simpler and just as effective
    Well if you want me to send you some Pully Caff to try it out
    I would be happy to post some to you

    KK
    Thanks KK, Im pretty happy with the EVO, it does an excellent job of cleaning, not only back flushing but also cleans PFs and baskets very well. :)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 605C554D58390 link=1276419113/6#6 date=1276429271
    Thanks KK, Im pretty happy with the EVO, it does an excellent job of cleaning, not only back flushing but also cleans PFs and baskets very well.
    The reason I offered the Pully Caff is for experimental reasons, because I had very little or nil cam squeak issues

    Try reducing the amount of EVO you use ?

    KK


  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Ive never had the need to lube the Lever Cam. Basically, after a detergent back-flush I just pull a seasoning shot and everything is back to as smooth as could be. Ive checked the state of the surface of the Cam recently and after nearly 15 months of continuous use, theres not a mark on the Cam or the Valve Stem it actuates....

    No need to make more work than is required or necessary.... ;)

    Mal.
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Same here with the Giotto Mal. The lever gets tight and "grindy" during the back flush process but goes back to normal after a seasoning shot.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 705D595558340 link=1276419113/8#8 date=1276436330
    Ive never had the need to lube the Lever Cam. Basically, after a detergent back-flush I just pull a seasoning shot and everything is back to as smooth as could be. Ive checked the state of the surface of the Cam recently and after nearly 15 months of continuous use, theres not a mark on the Cam or the Valve Stem it actuates....

    No need to make more work than is required or necessary.... ;)

    Mal.
    Have a read here Mal http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/e61-lubrication
    I come from a mechanical background and have no doubt that lubrication of the cam will help prevent wear to the pins and cam[img][/img] and can certainly do no harm.

    Here is an excerpt from the page,

    (There are 3 culprits that contribute to cam follower (cam pins) wear
    Backflushing With Cleaner

    A backflush with cleaner gradually removes any lubrication from the group, over time this lack of lubrication wears the cam followers on the upper and lower valves (the inlet and preinfusion valve)….the cam being bronze not brass (or a harder alloy of brass), does not wear as much as the pins….but still wears a little. We are told that any stiffness of the lever will soon go as the coffee oils start lubricating the area again, but Coffee oil really is not that effective a lubricating agent…I used to think it was, but experience has taught me this is not the case. I backflush with cleaner every 2-4 weeks depending on use and on the taste/colour of the cooled water drawn from the group.)

  12. #12
    A_M
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 39050C1401600 link=1276419113/5#5 date=1276429084
    Quote Originally Posted by 6A454C4E59664A454A4C4E464E455F2B0 link=1276419113/4#4 date=1276425131
    What lube are you using..
    Evening AM, as I said in my first post in this thread Im using (Innox food grade grease) High temp extreme pressure.
    Im not having a problem, in fact the exact opposite, started the post to let members know of what I feel is an easy method of carrying out a minor maintenance procedure.
    The Cafetto EVO seems to be doing an excellent job of back flushing so all is good. *:)
    *
    Got to say I have tube/s of that stuff all over teh place and tend to use in a few machines / equipment.. Forget the food grade... *It ticks all the other boxes for me as well *8-)

  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    All fair enough Jon...

    My background wasnt restricted to just electrical engineering as it happens.... ;)

    I respect what others believe is required but I prefer to administer maintenance based on my monitoring the condition of the hardware being maintained and like I said, on my machine there isnt a single sign of wear and tear after 15 mths - and one seasoning shot returns everything back to normal. Nothing else is required.

    Wear may be observable on the Valve Pin/Stem further on down the track and I believe that that is intended to be the case, rather than wear out the Cam which is Chrome Plated - Chrome being much harder than the brass from which the Pin/Stem is manufactured. No doubt, due to manufacturing tolerances et al, the Chrome Plating on the Cam may sometimes be of a lesser thickness than is preferred or required which in turn, can lead to premature wearing of the Cam Face.

    So far though, mines looking pretty good so will stick with the current regime of maintenance being applied.... ;)

    Mal.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 14393D313C500 link=1276419113/12#12 date=1276603236
    My background wasnt restricted to just electrical engineering as it happens....
    Wasnt suggesting otherwise Mal, simply conveying the fact that I also know a little about machinery.

    Quote Originally Posted by 14393D313C500 link=1276419113/12#12 date=1276603236
    I prefer to administer maintenance based on my monitoring the condition of the hardware being maintained *
    My feelings exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by 14393D313C500 link=1276419113/12#12 date=1276603236
    one seasoning shot returns everything back to normal. *
    If I dont lubricate the cam I can still feel metal to metal a week later.

    Quote Originally Posted by 14393D313C500 link=1276419113/12#12 date=1276603236
    rather than wear out the Cam which is Chrome Plated
    Ah ha, this may well be the difference, the cam in the Bezzera is either bronze or brass, I can certainly see how a chrome plated cam would wear the pins, however brass to brass keeps the surfaces a nice gold colour as well, fortunately the pin and cam assy look pretty easy to replace if and when the time comes. *:)

  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Lubricating Bezzera E61 Cam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0E323B2336570 link=1276419113/13#13 date=1276610615
    Ah ha, this may well be the difference, the cam in the Bezzera is either bronze or brass, I can certainly see how a chrome plated cam would wear the pins, however brass to brass keeps the surfaces a nice gold colour as well, fortunately the pin and cam assy look pretty easy to replace if and when the time comes. *:)
    Absolutely Jon.... 8-)

    And given that these components are also quite inexpensive, its almost a non-issue.... ;)

    Cheers mate.... :)

    Mal.

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Absolutely Jon.... 8-)

    And given that these components are also quite inexpensive, its almost a non-issue....

    Cheers mate....




    Mal.
    When I got my Bez the lever was slick but after by first Caffeto backflush its tighter and squeaks...doesnt feel right. 20 shots later and margin improvement. Looks my machine might be in the lube required category... Cheers

  17. #17
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozscott View Post
    When I got my Bez the lever was slick but after by first Caffeto backflush its tighter and squeaks...doesnt feel right. 20 shots later and margin improvement. Looks my machine might be in the lube required category... Cheers
    Morning Ozscott, Yep, Cafetto does strip the lube away, you should be able to lube the cam by removing the mushroom, spring and pin, then using something long and thin (I use a satay stick) put a dab of food grade grease on the cam, much easier than removing the handle/cam assy.
    E61__2.jpg
    Last edited by Yelta; 16th April 2019 at 08:52 AM. Reason: Added .jpg
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  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Trouble is, this only lubes half the cam, the portion that engages with the upper valve.
    Not hard to remove the cam ass'y, lube and replace...

    Another option, is to have the cam "hard chrome faced" and this issue will never be a problem again.

    Mal.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Thanks gents. Any tips for first time strip down. I am assuming screw comes off the side of the lever allowing handle removal which in turn allows a socket (with cloth or tape...yikes) over the main fitting on the side of the group and once that is off the cam is accessible? Cheers

  20. #20
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day mate...

    There are some good videos around re: How-To, like this one for example. There is a thread here too, that covers it with plenty of detail...

    Mal.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Ok she's smooth as silk again. Used Inox food grade lube. I love how heavily built the group is and how easy it is to strip and rebuild. Love it.

    Cheers
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  22. #22
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Excellent Oz'...

    Yep, love the Old School design and quality of these groups too. Can't beat 'em.

    Mal.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Morin Ozscott, good job well done.

    I've contemplated Mals hard chrome option for the cam, however, one of those jobs I've never found time to do, means machine down time, trip or send to Adelaide, all too hard, perhaps if/when I need to replace the cam.

  24. #24
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Morin Ozscott, good job well done.

    I've contemplated Mals hard chrome option for the cam, however, one of those jobs I've never found time to do, means machine down time, trip or send to Adelaide, all too hard, perhaps if/when I need to replace the cam.
    I just bought a new one and sent it off to have the cam chromed (they're pretty cheap). Replaced the original the next time I serviced the Group...

    Mal.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Hi Mal. Would you mind letting me know where you got yours hard faced? I am somewhat underwhelmed by the fact that despite a liberal greasing and no chemical backflush the handle of my Bez is getting stiff and a little squeaky again... not happy Jan!

    Should I just let it grind away and reach a happy medium...? Because from memory each valve gets replaced eventually when the seals go... I can live with the squeaks and stiffness as long as I'm not doing damage that isn't easily repairable.

    Cheers

  26. #26
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Be wary of hard chroming the cam. The cam surface will last forever but will cause premature wear on the upper and lower valve pins and before you know it you'll be wondering why the exhaust and brew valves are misbehaving.

    Edit: one issue that rarely gets mentioned re cam wear is the orientation of the valve pins that contact the cam. Grinding and a dry feeling thru the lever can be caused by the pins being on an angle with the corners digging into the cam rather than being square on. Easily checked and rectified by removing the actuator/lever assembly and if necessary turning the valves straight on with needle nose pliers.
    Last edited by JMcCee; 22nd April 2019 at 07:15 PM.
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  27. #27
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Thanks mate. Much appreciated. This pic shows the bottom valve pin alignment before I pulled the cam out. Does that look right?

    Cheers

  28. #28
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    Be wary of hard chroming the cam. The cam surface will last forever but will cause premature wear on the upper and lower valve pins and before you know it you'll be wondering why the exhaust and brew valves are misbehaving.
    This is NOT true...
    If the chrome plating is completed correctly, the contact interface between the two materials produces such little friction that all that eventually occurs, is that the brass valve stems become highly polished over time with the result that the valve ass's last more than four times as long. Also, no sign of metal 'drag' (galling) on the valve stems either...

    Mal.
    Last edited by Dimal; 23rd April 2019 at 02:04 PM.

  29. #29
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    It's a bit hard to tell on that angle. Maybe pull the assembly and have a squiz. If you've done it once you should be able to do it with your eyes closed =)
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  30. #30
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozscott View Post
    Hi Mal. Would you mind letting me know where you got yours hard faced? I am somewhat underwhelmed by the fact that despite a liberal greasing and no chemical backflush the handle of my Bez is getting stiff and a little squeaky again... not happy Jan!
    I arranged it through a machine-shop owner here in Warwick who uses a business in Brisbane.
    I did a quick look-up on businesses in Brissy and noticed that there are quite a few to pick from, so I guess the easiest thing to do would be to contact a number of them and find which operations are setup to handle small items...

    It's only the cam periphery that needs to be hard faced, not the entire component.

    Mal.
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  31. #31
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Ok pulled apart again. Pins have same surface approach angles on all 4 sides. Some even minor wear on pin surfaces and cam. Relubed and back together. Short of chroming cam this might be the new normal...(although smooth now because of lube)

    Cheers

  32. #32
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    It is a little strange though Oz...

    Admittedly, the first use after a detergent backflush can be a bit rough but I found that after the first shot, there was enough coffee oil remaining behind that future usage was very smooth - That was with the hard faced cam, although it was similar before I did this.

    Mal.
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  33. #33
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    How tight are you doing up the nut on the end of the cam shaft? That nut can be over tightened so maybe try loosening it up a little. Also, did you lube up between the cam lobe and where the shaft pokes thru?
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  34. #34
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    How tight are you doing up the nut on the end of the cam shaft? That nut can be over tightened so maybe try loosening it up a little. Also, did you lube up between the cam lobe and where the shaft pokes thru?
    Sure did Jim. Will loosen the lever screw but didn't tighten tight, just nipped up to same feel as factory setting when I undid it.

    Cheers
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  35. #35
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    It is a little strange though Oz...

    Admittedly, the first use after a detergent backflush can be a bit rough but I found that after the first shot, there was enough coffee oil remaining behind that future usage was very smooth - That was with the hard faced cam, although it was similar before I did this.

    Mal.
    Yep it's odd Mal. I will try doing again what Di Bartoli suggested which was 3 back to back doubles with no water flush in between.

    Cheers

  36. #36
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    The whole length of the "cam shaft" needs to be lubricated now and again, over time it will dry out and this results in squeaking.

    Remove it completely from the body, wipe the shaft and bush clean then lubricate (don't forget a dab of grease on the nub that the shaft pivots on in the group head body) and reassemble.

    There are a couple of grooves cut in the shaft, seems their purpose is to retain some lube, but as I said they do dry out, once you do this the mechanism should operate smoothly again.

    FWIW over 10 years I've only had to replace the pins/seals once and then only because the rubber seals gave up the ghost, pin wear was negligible.

    As a matter of interest lubing the cam through the top works fine, lift the lever to rotate the cam to distribute the grease whilst doing the job, gravity and migration ensure that the cam is coated with lubricant.
    I lube the cam perhaps once every 6 months or so, the shaft? when it needs it.
    Last edited by Yelta; 24th April 2019 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Repetition
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  37. #37
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    As an addendum to my last post.

    Don't over do the chemical back flushing, it will strip the lube out pretty quickly.

    I use my machine twice daily, two shots AM 1 x PM

    I water back flush after each use, chemical back flush weekly, keeps things spotless.

    Before I chemical back flush I remove the shower screen and seal and wash them, then reinstall and do the back flush.
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  38. #38
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Going to have to pull it down again. It's just not performing smoothly. Will lube everything in sight...

    Cheers

  39. #39
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    How often are you undertaking a detergent Backflush mate and how much do you use each time?

    Mal.

  40. #40
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Hi Mal. I've only done it once since buying the machine and 1/4 teaspoon. It got sticky straight after that and lubricating with Inox food grade grease only works for a few days. I even stopped backflushing with water to see if that helped lube with the coffee oils but still keeps going back to that feel that isn't brass on brass sympathy.

    Cheers

  41. #41
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Hmmm...

    I'd contact your Vendor Oz, shouldn't be happening like that.
    Maybe the Cam, one or both of the Valve Stems has a blemish that leads to this occurring.
    Are you able to examine the interfacing surfaces under magnification, might be able identify something that shouldn't be there?

    Sorry I can't offer more help mate...

    Mal.

  42. #42
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Thanks Mal. I will get onto Di Bartoli. Cheers

  43. #43
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozscott View Post
    It got sticky straight after that and lubricating with Inox food grade grease only works for a few days.
    Dow Corning Molykote 111 is recommended by some in the trade as the way to go. JetBlack Espresso sell it. The tube will last you a very long time. Seems to keep things running smoothly for longer than others I've tried. Cotton buds make application easy. Make sure everything is dry before applying.

    https://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/...111-100g-tube/

    https://www.home-barista.com/tips/lu...ns-t47391.html
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 27th April 2019 at 06:38 PM.
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  44. #44
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozscott View Post
    Going to have to pull it down again. It's just not performing smoothly. Will lube everything in sight...

    Cheers
    Morning Ozscott, the only points in the lever assy of the Bezzera that can dry out and cause this problem are the cam and the shaft, have you done as I suggested in post 36 , removed and lubed the shaft? whilst your at it check for rough edges or irregularities in the assy including the face of the cam as well as the bearing surface of the pins, the shaft and the bush that houses the shaft, its quite a simple process and unless there is in fact a manufacturing fault lubrication should remedy the issue.

    Reassembly can be a little tricky, I've found you need to locate the cam in the closed position then using the handle rotate it into the open position before sliding the bush assembly into place, a bit fiddly, dont force anything, I'm sure you will work it out

    As Cafelotta suggests Molykote is an excellent lube however if Inox doesn't solve the problem I very much doubt any other lube will provide a magic fix.

    As Mal has suggested if none of this works perhaps contact with the retailer is the way to go.
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  45. #45
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Ok she is back together and smooth so we will see how she fares.

    Cheers

  46. #46
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Hope it holds.

    Are those marks/scores on the cam? looks a bit ordinary.

    The bearing surfaces of the pins are showing no signs of wear, they are usually quite bright.
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  47. #47
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    That cam looks a bit beat up or is it just an illusion?

    Edit: What Yelta said :-/
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  48. #48
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Hey Oz, I may have missed it but how much use has that machine had? That cam looks worn out. I'm inclined to suggest a new one or two and go with Mal's greater experience in these matters and get one hard chromed or try it first.
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  49. #49
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    Hi Ozscott, you are getting lots of great advice from very helpful CS'ers with this. Looks like you are well on your way to sorting this one out.
    Just letting you know that site sponsor, Jetblack Espresso sell already chromed cams for the e61, in case you were not already aware of this.
    A few of my friends have gone down this path with their machines and are happy with the ongoing performance.
    Good luck with having the machine up and running silky smooth again!
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  50. #50
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    That Cam face definitely has seen better days. I'd be looking at replacing it and the valves (Brew, Infusion & drain vlvs) at the same time to get you back to square one. Otherwise if you're reluctant to spend the money you could try wet polishing with various fine grades of Wet and Dry (Grey) sandpaper and steel wool to see if the marks come out of the cam face before replacing it (about $30). Also polish the contact face of the old valves if you go down this path.

    I must confess that my old VBM had a partially worn out cam face when I bought it with some brass showing through the chrome at wear points. After a bit of polishing and using MolyKote 111 regularly it only gets notchy now and then requiring some lube or occasionally another polish. I will get around to replacing it one day soon.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 29th April 2019 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Grammar
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