Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

La Cimbali Junior R

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • La Cimbali Junior R

    Hello all

    Having seen but missed out on Sparkys recent BZ35E sale, I had decided that I just had to have an HX machine. But given funds, it had to be second hand - I figured I would be waiting awhile.

    But lo, up popped an ad in the Quokka a week or so ago (our local Trading Post here in WA) for a single group coffee machine for $300. On enquiry, the guy didnt know much about it - he thought it might be called Ciambli - but could tell me it was big - 50cm by 60cm at the base. I got excited.

    On turning up for inspection, it turns out it was indeed a La Cimbali Junior. But an older semi-automatic Typo R.

    The outside didnt look toooo bad. I pulled the side off the machine to look inside, and was appalled.

    However, the vibe pump was working and the boiler heated water. As the guy was prepared to accept $200, I pinned my ears back, and bought it. I figured the value of the stainless steel and copper as scrap would be worth almost half this price.

    On return home, I went to show the missus, and tripped the fuse in the house. Turns out the drive home had seen the end of the heating element ($85 at coffeeparts and counting, kerching).

    Other bad points are: the extent of rust; the state of wiring; the worrying calcinous growths on the boiler around some of the flanges; and the cockroach inhabitants.

    Good points are that the vibe pump works (well goes, lets put it that way); that the rust is mostly superficial; the electrical controls under the driptray are in quite good nick (no water has found its way in here obviously) and that its a Junior (built like a tank, mainly out of stainless steel).

    See attached piccies.

    Anyway CSers, what do you think? Should I cut and run now, and save my money? Or is it redeemable? Comments appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: La Cimbali Junior R

    BTW- some piccies follow (kindly resized by Coffee kid)

    (maybe you could PM me Coffee kid to tell me how to stop the oversize piccy problem)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: La Cimbali Junior R

      Resized it

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: La Cimbali Junior R

        and second

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: La Cimbali Junior R

          The outside of your Chumbly looks OK but I cant say the inside looks as inviting.

          The experts should be along soon to appraise your new toy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: La Cimbali Junior R

            Off topic replies have been moved to [link=http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1175002782]This Thread[/link]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: La Cimbali Junior R

              Good one Dennis. I like the extra heavy-duty thermocouple on the boiler --looks like your boiler is also designed to radiate excess heat to the air. ;D ;D

              Slowdown, agree with TG, the inside looks a mess but outside its quite presentable. But whatever the situation, you are starting from a base of $200 and its a matter whether your budget also happens to coincides with the cost of work that needs to be done.

              It looks as though thereve been many leaks, which have already done their rust damage but should be easy to remedy with a spanner and the odd seal.

              If you have the patience and inclination, youd want to strip it all, taking photos and labling as you go, and thoroughly clean every piece in citric acid, and pay attention to the frame.

              But Ill leave all that to the experts here to advise you on.

              Good luck,

              --Robusto

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: La Cimbali Junior R

                For $200 you got a bargain. The best person to talk to about the restoration here is mauricem, who has two LC Juniors and has carefully restored them. The thread is on here somewhere if you search. But for peace of mind, youll have to completely strip it down and restore it piece by piece. For a machie this size, its not such a big drama and youll learn about how the machine works in the process.

                Id probably look at getting a new pressurestat as well, as the cover seems to be missing from the one you have. These Sirai units are pretty industrial, but that still looks pretty beaten up.

                Id expect all up a restoration will cost less that $500-600. Seals are pretty cheap and most of the metal probably only needs a clean/descale. The one thing you dont want is a leaking boiler. They can be repaired, but the cost will skyrocket. Some older Cimbalis use a stainless steel boiler,  and this can be a problem, as stainless steel is generally not too stainless at steam boiler temperatures, and can corrode. This is a problem with old La Marzocco machines and has been reported with even new Synessos if the chloride content of the water is too high.

                All in all, fingers crossed, you have an potentially awesome machine. Once its restored it should run for years and La Cimbalis have a reputation for producing great shots once you learn to drive them.

                Good luck with the restoration and keep us posted.

                Cheers,

                Mark.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: La Cimbali Junior R

                  Thanks for your heartening comments Mark - my better half will be relieved.

                  Certainly being elevated to the hallowed heights of an extreme machine - $3000+ puts it all in perspective

                  Thanks for the tip re mauricem - I found threads on HB and alt.coffee where he in turn was tic tacking with Ken Fox who seems to be a bit of Junior guru as well. So plenty of material there.

                  Youre right about the boiler - I am worried it has a leak around the HX neck where it joins on the boiler. I think I may have to have it welded/brass soldered here. On this point, I thought the boiler was stainless steel but I have discovered a spot where what seems to be chrome has chipped off exposing copper coloured material underneath. With a bit of luck, given your comments, it is indeed a copper boiler after all.

                  I am slowly stripping down for a full rebuild. I pulled the element out of the boiler and was pleased to see that there wasnt too much scale at all in there - which augers well for the grouphead. I will follow your technique on your BZ thread (I recall something about citric acid, phosphoric acid and even a caustic just to finish things off - but I forget the details as I dont have that thread in front of me right now).

                  Ill also put a new Sirai PS in - they are less than $100 - and the existing one is shagged (on to its last of three relays).

                  Overall, I am hoping that I will get away for less than $1000 - which was my budget.

                  PS Dennis - sorry your $100 CX500 got booted to off topic - tch tch. But hey, this project will give me as much pleasure as restoring my AJS500! Know exactly where youre coming from. Cheers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: La Cimbali Junior R

                    What a great pickup!
                    No doubt youre already aware that all the spares you need can be got from Pedro at Coffeeparts.
                    Not a bad saving over a new one at about 4 grand.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: La Cimbali Junior R


                      Regarding the boiler: Nickel coated copper is common in a lot of machines and is good to have. I believe mauricem tested his boiler material and found it to be nickel plated copper as well. Beware that copper is relatively soft, so too much force/torque on fittings can cause the boiler itself to warp or distort and can cause some joints to crack. So be careful. To loosen the fittings use either an impact wrench, or a hammer to tap the spanner to first loosen the fittings. Also be careful not to over tighten the compression fittings. They dont need to be too tight to work. For example I believe Swagelok state that you hand tighten the nut on the fitting and then tighten further 1/4 of a turn. That sounds about right to me.

                      If youve read all those threads, then you know what sort of machine you have. Its worth going to the trouble to restore fully.

                      Cheers,

                      Mark.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: La Cimbali Junior R

                        Slowdown,

                        A belated welcome to the La Cimbali owners club.... (Ive been busy on other "projects")

                        They are indeed great coffee machines and although the interior looks a bit scruffy, I think you will find with a bit of patience and elbow grease it will come up a treat. A lot of the gunk inside most commercial machines is coffee grounds, coffee oils and assorted yuck!!! The exterior is kept clean but the interior - well thats left to its own devices.

                        They are very solid units and it sounds like your boiler etc is in particularly good nick, so Id do a strip and rebuild and you will have a great coffee machine which will continue to provide reliable service for decades to come....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: La Cimbali Junior R

                          Thanks Java B

                          The boiler is the biggest concern at this point - all the rest of the machine is pretty much ok - nothing that a few new bits wont fix at modest cost. I have completely disassembled it now.

                          Heres the boiler. Note the white/green growths around where the HX neck enters the boiler cylinder. Also there seems to be similar growths on a number of the other boiler external joins. The HX neck appears to be pressed into the boiler somehow.

                          Im figuring the only way to really get on top of this problem is to first clean/descale the thing, and then send the boiler off to have all these joints brazed.

                          Has anyone seen this problem before, and perhaps can comment on the best way forward/solution?

                          Cheers

                          Slowdown

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: La Cimbali Junior R

                            Slowdown,

                            That little forest of white and green crystalline growth is not unusual around the joints on hot devices (boilers in hot water services, coffee machines etc.

                            It is caused by some weeping from the joint which contains some calcium salts as well as other salts which attack the copper (very slightly). It forms a green / green-white coloured growth as the moisture evaporates due to the heat. It is often most pronounced near welds where the two parts are joined (uneven surface where the water can concentrate and a slightly different metal which promotes the chemical reaction at that spot. The fact that coffee grounds also collect around these places makes a bed for the water to lie in and attack the surroundings as well.

                            Although it looks pretty bad, after a thorough descale and clean, you will almost certainly find the underlying metal and joint quite sound. The amount of corrosion is usually very small even though the effect looks quite dramatic.

                            The boiler only contains about 1 Bar of pressure (14 lbs per square inch) so its not under much stress.

                            Give it a good clean (soak it in hot water with lots of citric acid in a non metallic container) and see what it looks like afterwards. You probably wont need to do anything further (just check for weeping from the joints after assembly to prevent it happening again).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: La Cimbali Junior R

                              Originally posted by JavaB link=1174998951/0#13 date=1175393229
                              Slowdown,

                              The boiler only contains about 1 Bar of pressure (14 lbs per square inch) so its not under much stress.
                              JavaB, my understanding of pressures is that everything at sea level is subjected to 1 bar. Including boilers.

                              But when heated, boilers are that 1 bar, PLUS an additional 0.9 - 1.1 bar.  So in fact, around 2 bar.  The pressure gauges ignore the first 1 bar and read pressure in excess of that.

                              Still a small pressure as you say.

                              --Robusto

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X