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Thread: Solace’s VBM Domobar Super restoration thread

  1. #1
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Solace’s VBM Domobar Super restoration thread

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    The Domobar Super was high on my upgrade list with the upgrade slotted in for an upcoming milestone birthday in two years time. Then I found this Domobar Super at a garage sale, the fitting for the tube leading to the solenoid valve had been snapped from the boiler and the previous owner had deemed too hard to seek repair. So $20 later and here I am, about to embark on a restoration journey that will hopefully see me with a fully functional machine I was considering to upgrade to regardless.

    There are parts missing from the E61 group head assembly, so I might start this thread with a question:

    Do I have to seek parts specific for the VBM E61 group head assembly or can I use ‘generic’ parts? The parts needed are items such as infusion valve set, discharge valve set, distribution valve set and the lever set (as in the lever itself and the plate it mounts to).

    I will keep this thread updated with all my trials and tribulations plus plenty of nerdy pictures!

    I am in no rush to complete this project, so bare with me. I’m sure I will learn loads, hopefully this becomes useful for others in the future.

    Here are a bunch of pics of the machine as it sits now, straight from the garage sale to its new home:

    062B2ACB-1F69-4A3B-8D04-C1173927625E.jpgAA4C1A8A-EDC9-4B54-8C8F-AACFDDC2E24B.jpg03E48137-638D-457E-B738-D5AD21CA26D7.jpg01935FE1-A0C8-4DDA-80A7-9B794289584C.jpg91961764-FDAD-46C3-84FC-7A83EECE3B6A.jpg
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  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Do I have to seek parts specific for the VBM E61 group head assembly or can I use ‘generic’ parts? The parts needed are items such as infusion valve set, discharge valve set, distribution valve set and the lever set (as in the lever itself and the plate it mounts to).
    G'day Solace...

    Some components are definitely VBM specific but the best person to contact, would be Pedro at Coffee Parts as he should be able to inform you of the correct parts to use. It's not just VBM who do this, by the way...

    Mal.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solace View Post
    Do I have to seek parts specific for the VBM E61 group head assembly or can I use ‘generic’ parts? The parts needed are items such as infusion valve set, discharge valve set, distribution valve set and the lever set (as in the lever itself and the plate it mounts to).
    The infusion valve on the VBM is longer than some other brands using an E61 type grouphead. See - https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...geability.html

    The VBM distributor has a link for Spare Parts diagrams - https://espressocompany.com.au/colle...er-by-vibiemme

    A link to the manual - https://coffeesnobs.com.au/documenta...rs-manual.html
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 30th January 2019 at 06:48 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Thanks Mal, I was having a look over some of the exploded diagrams on coffee parts for other E61 groups and noted some subtle differences. It appears these differences are mainly around pre-infusion implementation and other ‘non-standard’ E61 hype?

    Anyways, will definitely get in touch with Coffee Parts
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  5. #5
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Thanks @CafeLotta! I was actually going to ask about espressocompany.com.au (as in are they a legit resource) given they have not only the complete parts diagrams but ‘sets’ of components I need. Will also get in touch with them

  6. #6
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Okay, another question:

    The E61 lower housing/fitting and the drain plug are missing from the group assembly. Does anyone know if I am able to use the Faema E61 group parts (lower fitting and discharge fitting) in place of the VBM parts? Are the thread sizes the same for the screw in bits?

    Below, circled, are the parts I am referring to:

    AB65C76F-06F7-458D-B722-8D245968E104.jpeg

    EDIT: it appears I have the discharge fitting! Having never owned an E61 (or really used one for that matter), and having this group given to me in pieces, working out what is what from the exploded parts diagram is challenging! I still need the lower fitting/housing and so that part of my question still stands.
    Last edited by solace; 1st February 2019 at 10:59 PM.

  7. #7
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    This is my go-to E61 manual that I learnt everything from, and may be useful for you...
    E61 Group Servicing - Coffeetime
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  8. #8
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Thanks timmyjj21!

    I also found this resource which has helped pull the puzzle together:

    FRCN Espresso HOW TO Pages" E-61 Overhaul and Lubrication
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  9. #9
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    I found the lower fitting/housing at a very reasonable price - FREE!

    Well, actually, it is more like I had it all along. It was tucked away inside the drip tray

    I am now on the hunt for the lever mounting plate which is 100% missing (I have checked every crevice of the machine).
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  10. #10
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Today I started the process to pull the boiler out, another screw in fitting snapped (with very little force). Corrosion is looking pretty bad, I think a new boiler will be the way to go but I will still test this one out.

    About 20% of the way through getting the boiler out, there are some very persistent nuts holding me back!

    6206985D-EB2D-4B35-ADA7-39BDE8B7C079.jpg490FF05B-B3C5-49CD-B460-D558268267AC.jpg71D94B9C-4ACB-41A1-8AD2-A1207C507365.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    That's a shame mate...

    You will definitely have to Pressure Test this boiler as per certification requirements, if you do decide to re-use it...

    Mal.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    To be honest Mal, I was never really expecting this boiler to be any good.

    When you say certification requirements, you mean the ratings on the sticker on the machine or is there some specific standard relating to coffee machines in general?
    Last edited by solace; 6th February 2019 at 10:22 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Well I think I have found what sealed this boilers fate from the previous owner. A combination of carelessness and poor quality water.

    The boiler fill sensor was completely caked with crud, this likely resulted in the boiler overfilling. Check out the gunk! The previous owner appears to have ignored this problem and persisted with the machine until there was probably a large puddle of water under the machine one day

    Does anyone know how long the probe is meant to be for the Domobar super?

    9EE8C465-C9EF-4C9B-9593-BA6B51D99B5C.jpg
    Last edited by solace; 7th February 2019 at 09:43 AM. Reason: More info and fixed the pic

  14. #14
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solace View Post
    To be honest Mal, I was never really expecting this boiler to be any good.

    When you say certification requirements, you mean the ratings on the sticker on the machine or is there some specific standard relating to coffee machines in general?
    Yes mate, the Standards Association of Australia will have the minimum standard that small boilers will have to meet...

    Mal.
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