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Brasilia restoration

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  • Brasilia restoration

    I picked up a Brasilia 2 group fairly cheap ($150) and have decided to get some experience restoring it before tackling the La Pavoni which has been gathering dust in my garage for quite some time.
    Here tis...

    I think it is an older Portofino America  ??? Can anyone tell me anything about it ???

    Boiler was alredy full so I started it up....element kicked in and started to heat...excellent !!!
    Turned water supply on and water p!ssed straight out of the hole in the middle of the pump screw as shown with red arrow.

    I assume this is the screw for adjusting brew pressure,  but there is nothing to stop water coming straight out the hole in the screw...take the screw out and there is a spring under it ... am I missing a little ball valve that fits on top of this spring?
    Also from the same photo, could anyone explain the reason for the spring (blue arrow) in the outlet side of the pump. (There is no spring on the inlet side)

    On the element side of the boiler there is an electrical connector (red arrow) Am I right in assuming this doesnt go into the boiler?? do I remove it??

    Many thanks for any help with this

    I am sure there will be more questions !


  • #2
    Re: Brasilia restoration

    HUH ???....sorry, dont know where the pictures went...I thought I followed Javaphiles instructions to the T ...put images on photobucket etc...but cant seem to make it work

    edit..WOHOO !!! up...


    • #3
      Re: Brasilia restoration

      Gday "buff"...

      Nice pickup mate. Should work up into a really good unit I reckon. Why there is a hole in that screw, I have no idea. Ive bought and swapped a number of different pumps including one new unit and none of them had/have that hole. Maybe "Fix" or one of our other professionals can throw some light on it. The "spring" sitting in the pump outlet may belong to a "Check Valve" that the pump was connected to although I would have expected it to be on the Inlet side.... to keep the Pump fully primed after switch-off.

      The fixture attached to the side of the Boiler with 3 4 wires connected to it may be an "Over Temperature Switch" device given the apparent wiring configuration with the Heating Element connections. Very hard to know for sure though, going from a single photo. Might help to try and obtain a parts manual and an electrical schematic if possible..... Will certainly make it a lot easier trying to identify the various components and how they figure in to the operation of the machine. Might be difficult to acquire but cant hurt to throw the question out there.

      Should be fun though.

      Cheers mate,


      • #4
        Re: Brasilia restoration

        Thanks, Mal

        I am pretty sure the manual is here :  ... with the hydro and electric schematics for the 2 group "Portofino SuperAmerica" on pages 40 and 43 respectively seems you may be right about the safety thermostat...any idea on how to remove it ??

        Hopefully someone else can help on the issue with the pump..
        thanks again,


        • #5
          Re: Brasilia restoration

          Originally posted by 5E495A5A3C0 link=1233475216/3#3 date=1233571716
          it seems you may be right about the safety thermostat...any idea on how to remove it ??
          No mate, not absolutely certain from here Im afraid.

          If it doesnt appear to have any obvious fixing screws, etc it most likely screws into the boiler or a "well" within the boiler. In this case, you would need to disconnect the wiring from the switch and then, see if there is a section of the fitting under the electrical switch that will allow you to fit a suitable sized spanner (not a shifter if possible) so that you can unscrew it by turning it anti-clockwise in the photo above. Take it very carefully as it wouldnt be difficult to damage the assembly if you applied loosening torque to the switch mechanism rather than the brass fitting itself.

          Very handy having that PDF manual "buff".... Will save a lot of head scratching if you plan on completely stripping her down and reassembling. All the best mate



          • #6
            Re: Brasilia restoration

   slowly continues...unit now completely stripped, with a few hardships alomg the way (a few snapped bolts which will have to be man-handled out, and threads re-tapped)
            Mal, that thermostat was just a press fit into a recess in the boiler.
            I am currently looking at the water valve assembly, as per the parts diagram towards the middle of this page:
            I have two Qs relating to this...
            1. the manual inlet button do I remove this ?? (red arrow)  
            2. in the following pic, the part indicated by red arrow is listed in the manual as the "automatic level safety tap"....does anyone know what this actually does ??
            thanks for any help,


            • #7
              Re: Brasilia restoration

              Hi buff,
              How did you get on with your leaking rotary vane pump in the top pics ?

              I just stripped down an external pump from a San Marino and had exactly the same problem - water leaking from the Blanced Bypass screw (and had a similar hole with nothing holding the water in !). Its sorta funny actually as I was looking directly at it and got squirted right in the eye.

              From what I could determine, these are Fluid-O-Tech pumps and are pretty common on many Italian espresso machines (the other brand being Procon).

              Despite soaking the pump in descaling solution for days, still no joy - yours may need a good soak as well.

              I suspect mine has seized in a previous life and thus the bypass plunger has either locked itself onto the other side of the pump (and fears the journey back to its resting place), or the previous person servicing the pump might have not put all the parts back together (more likely).

              You might be luckier, but it could be new pump time. I have some PDFs with the parts blow-up (PM me if you want a copy).

              Unfortunately, there may not be a lot of "serviceable" parts in these positive displacement rotary vane pumps - I ended up getting a new unit that was almost idential (PM me if you want a contact on where to get a new unit without paying $200 or trying to get one from overseas).

              The outlet spring is funnily enough called a "retainer spring" (Part #29 on the Fluid-o-Tech parts diagram). Not sure of its purpose though (when buying a new pump, it doesnt come with a replacement retainer spring).

              Let me know if you have any luck with your leaking bypass screw and hos you fixed it.

              My new pump has a few issues - it works beautifully, but has an annoying tapered thread making it very difficult to match a 3/8" taper ==> 1/2" straight union, depsite heaps of Loctite 55 chord, it still wont seal 100% (bucket are wonderful sometimes).




              • #8
                Re: Brasilia restoration

                Damn - that looks a lot like mine:


                If you are able to share some info on the machine - it would be greatly appreciated. Do you know how old your Brasilia is, cause Im starting to think they might be from the same time +/- 5 years...

                Have you had any luck finding manual and electronic schematics?

                Thanks in advance,