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  • E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

    Hi

    This post is specific to the VBM Domobar Piccolo/Levetta/Vaschetta but could apply to other machines with E61 groupheads. After a few detergent backflushes, I noticed the brew lever seemed stiff which wasnt going away after the usual 3 or 4 shots . I felt there was metal-to-metal contact so I thought Id better attend to it sooner rather  than later.

    Dis-assembly was easy - you need an adjustable wrench (a small and medium sized) and an Allen key. The lower pic shows the components as they were removed from right to left.

    1. Unscrew the nut holding the brew lever on using the small adjustable wrench, then the brew lever itself
    2.Unscrew the larger hex nut (I used a bigger adjustable spanner) then the small push rod and spring.
    3. Next, remove the two Allen screws -  the first Allen key I found was from an Ikea kit (we all must have at least one of these lying around) and it surprisingly fit. Ah, a bit of Swedish-Italian collaboration there???
    4. Remove the cover and then you can withdraw the brew arm rod.  Notice the wear on the cam (upper pic)

    5. Using a toothpick  I smeared some Molykote 111 (Deb from Jetblack was kind enough to give me a small amount) on the areas indicated by the arrows in the lower pic. I used this website as a guide

    6. I then re-assembled the brew arm assembly in reverse order.

    All good now. Brew lever action is much smoother.

    Molykote 111 is made by Dow Corning and can be purchased online (google it). Im not sure if you can buy in Bunnings. More likely from an engineering or plumber supply shop.

    The guy who wrote the website I referred to suggests lubing the lever every second detergent backflush. But I thought I might post this as a bit of a warning if the brew-lever action seems stiff or you can detect metal-to-metal contact.




  • #2
    Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

    Thanks for the post. I was planning on attending to mine these hoidays.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

      hi Steve, thanks for the heads-up on the lube job

      i was talking to a guy at work the other day and from what he said good old Vaseline should be good enough to use for lubing the mechanism, he knew a chef that used Vaseline instead of food grade lube for some other purpose in the kitchen and swears by it

      Out of interest Steve what was the consistency of the Molykote ?

      Darren

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

        Originally posted by Banjo link=1229912600/0#2 date=1230009212
        hi Steve, thanks for the heads-up on the lube job

        i was talking to a guy at work the other day and from what he said good old Vaseline should be good enough to use for lubing the mechanism, he knew a chef that used Vaseline instead of food grade lube for some other purpose in the kitchen and swears by it

        Out of interest Steve what was the consistency of the Molykote?
        Hi Darren

        About the same as Vaseline, I would say. I imagine at a pinch Vaso would work. The website I referred to mentions only lubing the cam and the first 1/3 of the inside the barrel which the brew lever fits. This, he suggests, lowers the chance of the MolyKote mixing with the water. Might be worth a try. Better than WD40 ;D

        Cheers
        Steve

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

          Well Vaso gets used for various applications including on the lips so i think i might give it a go.

          hmmm the WD40 would give a nice slick effect lol

          how are the shots coming along ?

          Darren

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

            Yeah I thought about the lip thing after posting and figured Vaso must be non-toxic.

            Shots are going well. Machine has been great since Chris adjusted it. Getting greater consistency now but still getting used to adjusting the grind. All part of the learning.

            I have my in-laws and wifes cousins staying here at the moment so the machine is getting a fair bit of workout. The cousins live in the States and it was pleasant giving them a coffee education. When I asked them how they like their coffee, the reply was 2 sugars with cream.

            How about you?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

              Aside from the possibility of toxicity (MSDS for Vaseline), the other reason for using products like Molykote 111(MSDS) is that its viscosity changes very little with temperature rise. Whereas, the viscosity of Vaseline (a petroleum based product), will decrease and become ever less viscous; to the stage where it will become very runny and may "wick" into areas where it is not very desirable and may affect the flavour of the coffee.

              Id stick with a purpose designed product like the Molykote if you want to experience any kind of longevity with the job after completion.... :

              Mal.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

                Originally posted by Mal link=1229912600/0#6 date=1230046234
                Id stick with a purpose designed product like the Molykote if you want to experience any kind of longevity with the job after completion.... :

                Mal.
                Thanks Mal. THe high temperature stability is a very important requirement. Thanks for the Material Safety info though. The Vaso sounds low risk but worthy of note. Potential Acute Health Effects: Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.

                This site sells 2g sachets of Molykote for $3 each. Check at the bottom of the page.

                Cheers
                Steve

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

                  thanks Mal, good point on the breaking down bit

                  Steve, checked the link, very inexpensive, oh and Steve i had a bit of a break from the machine, i needed it lol, been going instant lately 8-) but got some beans and first shot back wasnt too bad but still plenty of room for improvement

                  Darren

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

                    Originally posted by Banjo link=1229912600/0#8 date=1230072555
                    been going instant lately...Darren
                    I beg your pardon????

                    OK, lynch mob will rendezvous at Newcastle post office!

                    ;D

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

                      Originally posted by flynn_aus link=1229912600/0#9 date=1230073483
                      OK, lynch mob will rendezvous at Newcastle post office!
                      I can book a flight, but someone will have to supply me with either a pitchfork or a torch... Travel restrictions and all.

                      "Pitchfork- dont leave home and join a mob without it. Accepted everywhere people drink instant coffee."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

                        Originally posted by Randy G. link=1229912600/0#10 date=1230084089
                        "Pitchfork- dont leave home and join a mob without it. Accepted everywhere people drink instant coffee."
                        Gee, you guys are hard core. For a first offense, I was willing to let Darren off with a tar-and-feathering. I guess the pitchfork is just a prop to help look the part, right?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

                          OK flynn,

                          A tar-and-feathering would be acceptable for a first offense.

                          The pitchfork is to prick his conscience back into life. Short, sharp jabs work best.

                          Greg

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

                            what was wrong with the machine that needed adjusting by Chris?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: E-61 Group Machines - Brew Lever Lubrication

                              The brew pressure was too high - adjusted to 9 bar at the grouphead.

                              The brew temp was too low. Adjusted up to 93°.

                              Before this adjustment, shots were too quick even with a fine grinder adjustment and were also sour.

                              Comment

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